TV actor and comedian Jay Johnston was arrested in California for ties to the January 6 United States Capitol attack that took place in 2021. According to the Hollywood journalistJohnston was charged by the Los Angeles Department of Justice on Wednesday. PA News reports that Johnston’s attorney “did not immediately respond to a phone call and text message seeking comment.”
Jonston is best known for his work on Mr. Show with Bob and David, where he is both a writer and an actor. He is also known for playing Officer Jay McPherson on The Sarah Silverman Program as well as the voice of the infamous Jimmy Pesto in Bob’s Burgers. Johnston also appeared on the cult Adult Swim series, Moral Eagle. He not only directed two of the episodes, but also voiced both coach Denielle Stopframe (before Scott Adsit reprized the role) and school bully Joe Secondopinionson.
Provided by AP News and available via Court Listener, the affidavit of an FBI agent describes Johnston’s involvement from police body camera footage of the attacks. The actor “pushed against police and helped other rioters near an entrance to the US Capitol.” The affidavit also describes Johnston signaling and directing other members of the crowd, as well as providing water to other rioters after they were gassed. Johnston can also be seen holding a stolen United States Capitol Police shield above his head, participating in a “shield wall” in order to enter the building.
The FBI interviewed three “current or former associates” of Johnston, all of whom identified him in the provided photos of the attack. One of the people provided a text message in which Johnson himself admitted to being involved in the attack. In the text, Johnston describes that the event was mislabeled by the news as well as by his experiences.
“The news presented it as an attack. This was not the case. I thought it had turned into this. It was a mess. I was massaged and tear gassed and found it quite unpleasant.
The FBI also discovered United Airlines records showing that Johnston had made a round-trip flight reservation. The actor flew from his Los Angeles home to Washington DC on January 4 and returned on January 7.
Jay Johnson was identified after an online post
On March 4, 2021, the official FBI Twitter released a statement asking for help in identifying the various attackers. Johnston’s photos were among many who were, at the time, mystery people. The tweet can be viewed below.
Johnston was quickly identified by the masses online, but he has not been officially confirmed. But the crew behind Bob’s Burgers were quick to act and subsequently fired the actor from his recurring role. The character’s absence was quickly noticed by fans. Jimmy Pesto was a rival and antagonist of Bob Belcher from the first season. The character, who owns a pizzeria across from Bob’s Burgers, reveled in always being one step ahead of the Belcher family and their burger joint. He was also the father of Tina Belcher’s constant source of affection, Jimmy jr. The dance-mad son and his two little brothers Andy and Ollie still make regular appearances. Jimmy Pesto’s last official appearance on the show was in season 11, as well as a few (silent) appearances in Bob’s Burgers movie information.
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