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Actor Jay Johnston Pleads Guilty to Capitol Riot Charge

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Jay Johnston, an actor known for his roles in “Anchorman” and “Bob’s Burgers,” has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of civil disorder stemming from his participation in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. This offense carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, though sentencing guidelines suggest a term between eight and 14 months.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 7. Johnston appeared before U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols on Monday to enter his plea.

According to the FBI, video footage shows that Jay Johnston was actively involved in confrontations with law enforcement during the Capitol breach. Court documents describe him using a stolen police shield and encouraging others to join the confrontation with police.

The actor’s involvement in the riot came to light after the FBI circulated images of suspects in March 2021. Associates of Johnston identified him to authorities, leading to his arrest in June 2023.

Following his alleged participation in the Capitol events, the Daily Beast reported that Johnston was removed from his voice-acting role on “Bob’s Burgers” in 2021. His other credits include appearances on “Arrested Development” and “Mr. Show with Bob and David.”

In a text message obtained by investigators, Johnston reportedly described the event, saying,

“The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn’t. Thought it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic.”

Jay Johnston’s case is part of a broader federal investigation into the Capitol riot, which has resulted in charges against more than 1,000 individuals. His guilty plea adds to the growing number of convictions stemming from that day’s events.

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