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Hollywood actor becomes latest arrested in 6 Jan Capitol assault

Hollywood actor becomes latest arrested in 6 Jan Capitol assault
Pro-Trump protesters storm the grounds of the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, USA, 06 January 2021. Various groups of Trump supporters broke into the US Capitol and rioted as Congress prepared to meet and certify the results of the 2020 US Presidential election. (Photo: EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER)

LOS ANGELES, June 7 (Reuters) - A Hollywood actor who has appeared on such TV shows as "Arrested Development" and the cartoon hit "Bob's Burgers" was arrested on Wednesday for his role in the US Capitol riot of 6 Jan 2021 that sought to keep Donald Trump in the White House.

Jay Johnston, 54, became the latest of more than 1,000 individuals from nearly all 50 states criminally charged in connection with the rampage that disrupted a joint session of Congress certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory.

A criminal complaint filed on Monday in federal court in the District of Columbia charged Johnston with interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder; entering a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct, and impeding passage through Capitol grounds.

Johnston surrendered on Wednesday to the FBI field office in Los Angeles, where he is a resident, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

According to an FBI affidavit, Johnston wielded a stolen U.S. Capitol Police riot shield as he joined others in the mob shoving their way into officers trying to keep the crowd from surging through a tunnel that leads from an outside terrace into the Capitol building.

According to NBC News, Johnston was identified by online amateur sleuths who recognized him from still images circulated by the FBI seeking tips from the public in tracking down participants in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Trump had urged his followers in a speech that day to “fight like hell” to disrupt the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote in the 2020 election, a race the then-Republican incumbent has falsely claimed was stolen by massive fraud.

Johnston has appeared in dozens of films and television shows, often portraying law enforcement officers, including recurring roles as a cop on the comedies “The Sarah Silverman Program” and “Arrested Development.”

He also was the voice of Jimmy Pesto, a restaurant owner and rival of the main character in the Fox animated series “Bob’s Burgers.” He was banned from the show in 2021 after he was identified as having participated in the Jan. 6 mob, according to the Daily Beast.

Representatives for the actor were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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