“Bob’s Burgers Actor Jay Johnston Faces 5 Years for Capitol Riot”

Jay Johnston Faces Up to Five Years in Prison for Role in January 6 Capitol Riot

Jay Johnston, an actor widely recognized for his work on the animated television series Bob’s Burgers, is facing significant legal repercussions following his involvement in the January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol. Johnston, aged 54, has admitted guilt to a felony charge of civil disorder, an admission that may result in a prison sentence of up to five years. The actor’s legal troubles stem from his active participation in the infamous Capitol riot, an event that has led to numerous arrests and convictions.

After a court appearance in California, Johnston was released on a $25,000 bond in June 2023. The legal proceedings have revealed a series of charges against him, including felony obstruction of officers during civil disorder, unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds, and impeding passage through Capitol grounds. These allegations paint a troubling picture of Johnston’s actions during the riot, which was one of the most significant breaches of the US Capitol in modern history.

Jay Johnston’s Involvement in the Capitol Riot

Charges and Allegations

The court documents against Jay Johnston present a detailed account of his actions during the Capitol riot. According to these documents, Johnston was part of a mob that attacked police officers. Surveillance footage captured him seizing a shield from an officer and using it to push back against law enforcement personnel who were defending the Capitol.

  • Felony Obstruction of Officers: Johnston is accused of obstructing law enforcement officers during the civil disorder, a serious charge that underscores the severity of his actions.
  • Unlawful Entry: He allegedly entered restricted areas of the Capitol grounds without authorization, contributing to the chaos of the day.
  • Impeding Passage: Johnston is also charged with impeding the movement of individuals through the Capitol grounds, further exacerbating the disorder.
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Evidence and Acknowledgment

The evidence against Johnston is substantial. The charging documents mention that he was seen near the entrance to a tunnel, signaling other rioters to advance towards the entrance. This act of incitement further implicates him in the violent events of that day.

Moreover, Johnston himself acknowledged his role in the riot through text messages. In one such message, he remarked that while the event “wasn’t” initially an attack, it “kind of turned into that.” Another message succinctly described the situation as “a mess,” highlighting the chaotic nature of the incident.

Identification and Travel Records

Identification by Associates

Three individuals who were either current or former associates of Jay Johnston identified him from photos that the FBI released online. One of these associates provided investigators with the text message in which Johnston admitted to being present at the Capitol on January 6. This identification played a crucial role in building the case against him.

Travel Records

The FBI’s investigation into Johnston’s activities included a review of his travel records. These records revealed that Johnston had booked a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, departing on January 4, 2021, and returning on January 7, 2021. This travel timeline aligns with his participation in the events at the Capitol, further corroborating his involvement.

Jay Johnston’s Career and Upcoming Sentencing

Career Highlights

Jay Johnston’s career in the entertainment industry has been marked by notable roles in various television shows. Apart from his role on Bob’s Burgers, Johnston has appeared on HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David and held smaller roles on the Fox sitcom Arrested Development. Despite his professional accomplishments, his involvement in the Capitol riot has overshadowed his career achievements.

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US District Judge Carl Nichols is scheduled to sentence Johnston on October 7. The outcome of this sentencing will determine the extent of Johnston’s legal consequences and may serve as a broader commentary on the accountability of public figures involved in the Capitol riot.

Additional Cases Related to the Capitol Riot

Dana Jean Bell

In a related case, a Texas woman named Dana Jean Bell pleaded guilty to assaulting a Metropolitan Police Department officer during the Capitol attack. Video evidence captured Bell cursing at officers inside the Capitol and grabbing an officer’s baton. Bell, aged 65, also assaulted a local television journalist outside the Capitol, an incident documented on video. She faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, with US District Judge Timothy Kelly scheduled to sentence her on October 17. The recommended sentencing guidelines suggest a term of imprisonment ranging from two to two and a half years.

Broader Implications of the Capitol Riot

Convictions and Sentences

The January 6 Capitol riot has resulted in approximately 1,000 convictions or guilty pleas for federal crimes. Over half of those sentenced have received prison terms ranging from seven days to 18 years, reflecting the serious legal consequences for participants in the riot.


What charges is Jay Johnston facing?

Jay Johnston is facing multiple charges, including felony obstruction of officers during civil disorder, unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds, and impeding passage through Capitol grounds.

What is the maximum sentence Jay Johnston could receive?

Johnston could receive a maximum prison sentence of five years for his felony count of civil disorder.

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How was Jay Johnston identified?

Johnston was identified by three current or former associates who recognized him from photos released by the FBI. One associate provided a text message in which Johnston acknowledged his presence at the Capitol.

When is Jay Johnston’s sentencing?

Jay Johnston is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Carl Nichols on October 7.

How many people have been convicted in relation to the Capitol riot?

Approximately 1,000 individuals have been convicted or pleaded guilty to federal crimes related to the Capitol riot.


The legal proceedings against Jay Johnston and other participants in the January 6 Capitol riot underscore the serious consequences of their actions. Johnston’s case, marked by significant evidence and personal acknowledgment of his involvement, highlights the broader implications of the riot for those who took part. As Johnston and others await sentencing, the legal system continues to address the fallout from one of the most significant breaches of the US Capitol in modern history.

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