Actor Jake Johnston Is Facing Potential Prison Time After Confessing To His Involvement In The Capitol Riots

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Actor Jake Johnston Is Facing Potential Prison Time After Confessing To His Involvement In The Capitol Riots

Actor Jay Johnston, known for his roles in “Bob’s Burgers,” “Better Call Saul,” “Arrested Development,” and the movie “Anchorman,” has pleaded guilty to interfering with police during the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.

Johnston, 55, admitted being part of a crowd that confronted officers in the lower West Terrace tunnel during the height of the uprising, including the well-documented incident where a D.C. police officer pleaded for help as he was caught between rioters and a door.

Johnston entered his plea of guilty to felony civil disorder in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols on Monday. Initially identified by the FBI in March 2021, Johnston’s lawyer contacted the bureau shortly thereafter.

He was subsequently terminated from his role in “Bob’s Burgers,” as reported by the Daily Beast in 2021, but formal charges were not filed until June 2023 as the Justice Department processed a backlog of cases involving numerous rioters.

Sentencing for Johnston is scheduled for October 7. Under his plea agreement, federal sentencing guidelines recommend a term of eight to 14 months.

Prosecutors, however, intend to seek an enhanced range of 12 to 18 months due to the physical injuries sustained by Officer Daniel Hodges, who suffered a concussion and facial lacerations when rioters removed his gas mask and assaulted him.

Although not charged with assaulting law enforcement, Johnston acknowledged being part of the crowd that used stolen police riot shields to form a “shield wall” and shouted “heave-ho” as they attempted to overpower the officers protecting the Capitol entrance.

As of early June, more than 1,450 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol events, with over 1,040 pleading guilty or being convicted. The average sentence for a felony plea has been approximately 29 months, according to a Washington Post database, while cases involving civil disorder have averaged about eight months.

According to court records, Johnston was first observed on camera around 2 p.m. on January 6, filming from behind police barricades on the Capitol’s West Plaza.

He followed the crowd up the lower West Terrace after rioters breached the barricades, entering the tunnel around 3:05 p.m. and receiving a stolen police riot shield, as detailed in court documents.

During the chaos, Johnston handed off the shield to rioters at the front, participating in the push that injured Officer Hodges.

Although initially forced back toward the tunnel entrance, Johnston reengaged in the altercation before departing at 3:13 p.m.

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