Gluten-free TV chef charged with taking part in Capitol riot

FBI says Carol Kicinski, founder of brand Simply Gluten Free, wandered rotunda of US Capitol wearing blue ‘TRUMP’ hat

Nathan Place
New York
Friday 25 February 2022 01:13
<p>Carol Kicinski has been charged with participating in the 2021 Capitol riot</p>

Carol Kicinski has been charged with participating in the 2021 Capitol riot

Carol Kicinski is a TV chef, cookbook author, and the founder of a gluten-free lifestyle website. She is also an accused Capitol rioter.

According to the Department of Justice, Ms Kicinski was among the mob that stormed the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021. Surveillance footage from that day appears to show the gluten-allergic cook wandering the halls of the building with her roommate, Jon Heneghan.

“At approximately 2:37pm (EST) HENEGHAN and KICINSKI are observed walking through the Rotunda, where they were observed looking down at their cell phones,” an FBI agent reports in the criminal complaint.

Ms Kicinski, a resident of Dunedin, Florida, has been charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

The charges stand in bizarre contrast to the list of accomplishments on Ms Kicinski’s website, Simply Gluten Free.

“Diagnosed with gluten sensitivity more than 20 years ago, Carol Kicinski has motivated millions to live healthy and happy gluten- and allergen-free lives,” the cheerful site says, as recorded in a screenshot in the charging document.

The website’s “About” page says Ms Kicinski has been appearing on the morning TV show Daytime for seven seasons, offering up gluten-free recipes, and is the founding editor of Simply Gluten Free magazine.

According to the FBI, that page – which until recently featured a photo of Ms Kicinski – helped identify her as a suspect. In the Capitol surveillance footage, the complaint said, Ms Kicinski could be seen wearing a “grey colored jacket, blue jeans, red shirt and wearing a blue ‘TRUMP’ hat with red writing on it.”

Mr Heneghan has been indicted on the same charges as Ms Kicinski.

Nearly 800 people have been arrested and charged in connection to 6 January, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol as Congress was certifying the election victory of Joe Biden. At least five people died during or as a result of the riot.

It is not clear whether Ms Kicinski has yet had a chance to enter a plea or whether she has a lawyer.

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