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Blaze Media Journalist Describes 'HUMILIATING' Treatment by FBI During Arre

The FBI has temporarily released Blaze Media investigative journalist Steve Baker after arresting him for his reporting at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Now, Steve joins Glenn with the details of how the FBI treated him. Steve describes feeling "humiliated" and "overwhelmed" by the FBI's tactics, which included shackles around his wrists, legs, and waist. And he also tells Glenn that, although he was booked on misdemeanors, he was put in a cage with a meth dealer. Steve's attorney, James Lee Bright, also joins to make the case that this is NOT normal.. Out of the roughly 60 journalists who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Bright says that only 6 or 7 have been charged and "all of those have been right-of-center media."

TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Steve Baker is with us.

He's the investigative journalist for TheBlaze. He's TheBlaze media correspondent. He's in today with his attorney. Because on Friday, he was arrested by the FBI.

If you happened to miss that podcast. It's kind of a don't miss. It's Friday's podcast.

James Lee Bright is his attorney, and he is with us, now. Welcome back.

JAMES: Hey, good to be back, Glenn.

GLENN: So I heard you say, the very first thing out, asked how you feel.

And you said, humiliated. Why?

JAMES: I thought I was mentally and emotionally prepared for this, because I've followed too many of these cases to not have been. I've seen too many of these guys, even misdemeanor defendants, even misdemeanor independent journalists. Marched before a magistrate in leg chains and the orange jumpsuit. So I thought I was ready for it, until they put the leg chains on.

And it -- I mean -- I've never even been fingerprinted for anything in my whole life.

And to actually, in the moment that it was happening, it was overwhelming.

And then on top of being chained, at your -- at your waist and your legs, then they put you in a cage with a meth dealer.

For -- and -- and, of course, Lee can speak to this better than I can. But the process of putting a non-violent misdemeanor defendant, who has been utterly and totally cooperative since the very first phone call, from the FBI, over two and a half years ago, it could have been just an order to appear. I could have walked in with Lee. Both of us with our jackets and ties on.

We could have sat in the gallery. They call us up. Stand for it. Just like they did for a felony defendant that day. But I am guarded by US marshals with leg chains on.

GLENN: So how many misdemeanors, Lee, have you -- have you done, where they're in -- leg chains?

How many times did you see this?

JAMES: In a case like this, almost never. I have clients right now, that are charged with felony drug cases, that we are negotiating with the DOJ for voluntary turn-ins. There's an active warrant with one, that I was speaking with this morning. And the DOJ is working with us, to do a voluntary turn-in to a magistrate. We'll do a same-day hearing. She'll process through pre-trial services. Will be out, no leg chains. Nothing. This is determined by the DOJ in Washington. They had us turn Steve in to the FBI at their headquarters, 7:00 a.m.

Walking through, processed him. Put him in leg chains, waist chain.

Handcuffs to his waist. And then took him directly to the marshals down at the Capitol Building here in Dallas.

GLENN: I mean, I don't remember anybody in leg chains and irons, for BLM, setting cities on fire.

JAMES: No. In fact, most of those were just catch-and-release, if they bothered to catch at all.

In fact, most of them had their cases dismissed. And then many of them had been awarded cash payouts from the government, because they were unfairly arrested, or prosecuted. Because obviously, we had to understand what their frustrations and, you know, what made them burn a building down.

GLENN: So I was really encouraged by -- by the op-ed that came out from Jonathan Turley. This weekend.

JAMES: Yeah.

GLENN: He makes the point that you, you know, might be an activist journalism. Or a journalist activist. You know, whatever this new thing is that they're doing.

BAKER: Right. Right.

GLENN: Because you have an opinion. And Stu and I were talking about it earlier this morning. Yes, you have an opinion. I have an opinion.

But that doesn't mean that you are finding the story you want to find.

You could still have an opinion on things. But as long as you're honest enough to say, I'm going in. And I don't know what's going to happen.

I have an idea of what could happen. But I'm going to tell the truth, no matter which side it falls on.

Is that who you are?

JAMES: Well, see, that's the thing that obviously not only the charging documents themselves. Because the charging documents are what they call the statement of fact. They are specifically put together for the purpose of constructing a narrative for prosecution.

GLENN: Okay.

JAMES: Out of context comments.

More importantly, and this is the key, Glenn.

And look, I'll tell you what. I'll let -- let me let an NBC. The court reporter. The guy who does every one of the cases, J6 cases for NBC.

He's there every day. His name is Ryan Riley.

And he tweeted out yesterday. He said, if it wasn't for Steve's language on January 6th, before he entered the Capitol. And then after that evening, this case almost certainly wouldn't have been brought.

GLENN: Okay. So let's -- wow, that's interesting here in America.

Let me go through the actual charges. And let's take them one by one. Can we do that. Here are the charges.

JAMES: You want me to read them?

GLENN: Yes, please.

JAMES: Okay. So these are the charges listed in the criminal complaint.

That's not the formal filing of the charge. That would either be an information, of misdemeanors, or indictment on felonies.

But this is the criminal complaint, that issued the arrest warrant, with the supporting affidavit and statement of facts contained.

And Steve is right. It is written. With the intent to create a language narrative. There's no question. So of the four charges that Steve has been charged with, 18 USC 752 A1. That's knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, without lawful authority.

That's the one that carries up to a one year in jail penalty, minimum of six months.

18 USC 1752 A2. Disorderly, and disruptive conduct in a restrictive building or ground.

40 USC 5104e2d. Disorderly conduct, in a Capitol Building.

And then 40 USC 5104E2G. Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

GLENN: Okay. So the -- I don't know.

I'm sure you know this now. I don't know when you found out.

But the Speaker of the House released 5,000 hours, of videotape.

Much of it is centering around you.

And showing that you weren't parading or picketing or being disorderly at all.

JAMES: Ever. Not at all.

GLENN: So, how they make that charge?

JAMES: That's going to be fascinating to see.

BAKER: You know, this is -- this is -- and, again, I don't want to get into being the legal expert or even trying. I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night. But the point being, they always -- because I followed so many of these trials. They always overcharge. That's not just J6. And that's to scare you into a quick plea deal. They get their -- you know, their notch in their belt. And their points towards whatever their next career advancement goals are. And that's essentially what's happening here.

Technically, yes. I went in the building. Okay. So if that is a crime, then it is a crime.

But --

GLENN: Hang on. If that's a crime. Then the crime has to be punished equally.

So the New York Times, the Washington Post.

Every single journalist would have to be charged with that crime, right?

JAMES: I think Steve and I were talking earlier. And I think we estimated that roughly 60 journalists went into the rotunda. Went into the Capitol building that day. Six to seven have been charged now. Out of 60, rough.

All of those have been right of center media. All of them.

GLENN: So you -- you are being made -- let me see if I can find it.

From NBC. You're made into a total clown, by NBC.

BAKER: The same guy whose tweet I just read.

GLENN: Correct. Correct. And he -- he says that, you are just a -- you're in a cover band. You weren't a journalist, at the time.

I don't know who defines journalists now.

BAKER: He refused to call me a journalist. Instead, he said, now I'm a writer for TheBlaze website.

That was his only way of getting around having to acquiesce to what I was doing that day.

GLENN: Correct.

JAMES: I apologize. I got to know Ryan a little bit, when we were in trial, back in the fall of '22 for three months for the Oath Keeper's trial. I always found him to be a really reasonable fellow. I liked some of his work. But I agree, the article that he wrote, regarding Steve.

GLENN: Was a hatchet job.

JAMES: It was. It was petty. It was completely unnecessary. I thought it was really poor reporting. And it was done, not unlike the complaint. Not unlike what we're talking when we see the language. It was done to establish a narrative, solely to disparage Steve.

GLENN: So how do you -- first of all, how do you combat the journalist thing?

With him going in, that's a six-month sentence. And he has said, well, yes.

Technically, I did. I did violate that. So how do you defend that?

JAMES: Number one, I'm not the only attorney on this case. We have about five of us, that are volunteering on this.

And we are volunteering because we got to know Steve during trials in DC. Great reporting.

Always loved spending time with him. He was one of the few conservatives in the press pool there.

One of the other attorneys --

GLENN: No. He's a musician. A musician and Libertarian writer.

Who was a frequent presence at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, during the Oath Keeper's seditious conspiracy trial. What were you doing, just hanging out there all the time?

BAKER: Well, the worst thing that I was doing, about half of my reporting was on the press pool.

They didn't like that. Because I always sat in the back of the room, so I could watch them and see what was on -- what they were doing. See what they were doing. See which games they were playing during the important testimonies.

To see who was prewriting their stories. And then just hanging out in the hallway, talking. Because that's what they do.

And they're really good at it. They can pre-write two or three stories in a day. And as soon as the rulings, or the motions are filed, fill in the blanks, and boom, submit, submit, submit.

And then get out. And then more importantly, I was able to show on certain very significant testimonies, how the comparison of how the various journalists withheld information.

Because see, we all know, it is -- it is -- it's not that they lie, it's the lie of omission.

It's when you're only covering the governments case-in-chief.

And their witnesses. And then all of a sudden, they get out, and go for coffee break during the cross-examination. How can you tell the truth about what happened on that trial?

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