TALLAHASSEE, Florida: A Florida man accused of trying to organise an armed response to supporters of former president Donald Trump for their expected gathering last month at the state Capitol has been indicted on federal charges.
A federal grand jury in Tallahassee formally charged Daniel Baker on Thursday (Feb 18) with two counts of transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure, according to court records. The FBI arrested Baker on Jan 15 at his Tallahassee home.
“At a time of widespread alarm and turmoil in our nation, and at state capitals in particular, Baker’s actions clearly posed a threat to public order,” US Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe said in a statement.
Baker was using social media to recruit people in a plot to create a circle around protesters and trap them in the Capitol, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent.
Court documents describe what it said were a series of threats of violence made by Baker, along with a prediction of civil war. Baker is described as anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists and anti-police.
The pro-Trump protests expected for Tallahassee on Jan 17 ultimately didn't materialize, although news outlets reported dozens of law enforcement officers were in the area.
Baker was kicked out of the Army in 2007 after going AWOL before being deployed to Iraq, according to authorities. The affidavit said Baker was then homeless and largely unemployed for the following nine years, most of the time in Tallahassee.
“If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!” Baker wrote on a Facebook event page he created, according to the affidavit.
Baker's attorney declined to comment on the case.