Journalist recounts being shackled, placed in cell with meth dealer over Jan. 6 misdemeanor charges

Journalist Steve Baker, right, told Tucker Carlson that he was shackled and placed into a cell with a meth dealer after turning himself in to the FBI over Jan. 6-related charges.
Journalist Steve Baker, right, told Tucker Carlson that he was shackled and placed into a cell with a meth dealer after turning himself in to the FBI over Jan. 6-related charges. | Screengrab/Tucker Carlson Network/X

A conservative journalist who is facing four misdemeanor charges related to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, recounted how he was shackled and placed in a cell with a meth dealer after turning himself in to the FBI earlier this month.

"They handcuffed me, fingerprinted me, marched me up to the car, which has been seen on camera," Steve Baker, a reporter with Blaze Media, said during an interview on the Tucker Carlson Network that aired Wednesday.

"They took me to the courthouse, handed me over to the U.S. Marshals, and that's where they put the leg chains, the belt chain, chained my wrist to my stomach, and then sat me in a jail cell with a meth dealer."

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Baker, who was a freelance journalist when he allegedly went into the U.S. Capitol for about 37 minutes on Jan. 6, made an initial court appearance in Dallas on March 1 after surrendering to the local FBI field office, his defense attorney William Shipley told The Associated Press.

Weeks before, Baker tweeted that the Department of Justice had already informed him that he would be charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. He stands accused of charges that include trespassing and disorderly conduct, and an FBI affidavit alleges he "antagonized" police officers, according to the AP.

Baker told Carlson that he first learned of his impending prosecution in November 2021, when an assistant U.S. attorney out of Philadelphia emailed his attorney.

Baker said they heard nothing more for 20 months until he received a grand jury subpoena in August 2023 demanding the videos he took during the riot, which he provided. On Dec. 14, while he was sitting in the office of Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., he said he received a text from his attorney telling him, "I think this is the one, the big one."

"So I stepped out into the hallway there at the Rayburn Building and called my attorney," Baker said, adding that his attorney told him the FBI wanted him to self-surrender the following week in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Baker, who was by that time working for Glenn Beck's outlet Blaze Media, noted that they issued a "media offensive" in response that garnered millions of views, after which the federal government "backed off yet again."

"Then we got another call the next day from the FBI saying that they were going to put that off until sometime after Christmas," he said. "Once again, we didn't hear from them for two months until two weeks ago."

Baker recounted that U.S. Assistant Attorney Adam Dreyer requested he show up to the field office in shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops, which he saw as an indication that they intended to change him into an orange jumpsuit and march him before the magistrate. Following negotiations with his lawyer, he said he was allowed to show up wearing his own clothes.

Baker also noted that the agents who arrested him were silent when he asked them if his treatment was typical of those charged with misdemeanors, and added that rank-and-file members of the FBI have intimated to him their disgust with what is happening in the agency.

"I have received messages from retired whistleblowing agents all over the country, apologizing to me for the behavior of the agency they were once proud of," he said.

The journalist went on to speculate that federal law enforcement has become increasingly politicized in recent years amid a new generation of special agents who have joined since the passage of the Patriot Act and the Obama administration, which he alleged ushered in "overwhelming" politicization of the FBI from the top down.

Baker also said that one of the U.S. Marshals who processed him at the courthouse in Dallas looked at his paperwork, called his charges "bulls---," and said that former President Donald Trump should be paying the legal fees of every Jan. 6 defendant.

"I strongly agree with that," Carlson replied.

More than 1,300 people have been charged with federal crimes related to Jan. 6, including multiple journalists, though prosecutors and judges have typically dismissed the defense that their activities on that day were covered by the First Amendment.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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