Anthime Gionet's apparent livestreaming of the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 may have helped authorities nab multiple other participants in the riot, and he himself was arrested on Jan. 15 and charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Now, via attorney Zachary Thornley, Gionet, a known white nationalist, has put in a request to a federal judge to allow him to take off his GPS monitor, insisting that he "does not come from a background of violence" and loves cops. Thornley claims his client was working as a journalist on the day of the attack—Politico notes Gionet is not a credentialed Capitol press corps member—and that he could be seen in video clips fist-bumping police officers he encountered inside. Thornley also insists that Gionet, raised with a "Christian upbringing," warned others inside the Capitol Building not to damage anything.
The attorney says Gionet isn't a flight risk and has stuck to all necessary conditions since he posted $50,000 bail and was released in mid-January. However, prosecutors have said that in a Jan. 6 livestream that lasted nearly 30 minutes, Gionet spurred on other participants and yelled about revolution. In charging documents, the FBI has noted that Gionet also got into a confrontation with a Capitol Police officer, calling him a "f---ing oathbreaker" and a "piece of s---." Gionet is also facing misdemeanor assault charges in Arizona. Ben Smith, now a New York Times media columnist and formerly the editor of BuzzFeed, says Gionet ran the Vine account for the video arm of the latter under Smith's tenure. In a January Times piece, Smith noted the role that social media played in regard to Gionet, and how he seemed enraptured by the power of viral posts. "It's not clear what Mr. Gionet actually believes, if anything," Smith wrote. "And really, I'm not sure I care." (Read more Capitol attack stories.)