The FBI Raided Jake Paul's House. If That Sentence Means Nothing To You, Click Here!
The FBI and some SWAT teams raided the mansion of YouTuber Jake Paul in Calabasas, California, on Wednesday, reportedly in connection with "looting and rioting activity" at a Scottsdale, Arizona, mall, during the Black Lives Matter protests. He was served a warrant, and the feds reportedly seized a ridiculous number of firearms from his property.
Given that it is quite possible that Paul is probably a bit more of a Who? around here than a Them, we figured it would be a good idea to do a quick explainer on who he even is and why he is suddenly sort of relevant to current events.
Who The Hell Is Jake Paul?
Jake Paul - It's Everyday Bro (Song) feat. Team 10 (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
Jake Paul is a YouTube person. A super famous YouTube person who makes so much money on the YouTubes that he lives in the most ridiculously huge mansion I've ever seen in my life, and I watch practically all of the Real Housewives franchises.
Paul is part of an influencer group, with whom he made the horrifically bad music video above, called Team 10. His older brother, Logan Paul, is also a YouTube person. You may remember him from the time he vlogged a dead body in Japan.
He's been the subject of controversy before — from getting kicked off the Disney show Bizaardvark as a result of his neighbors complaining about pranks, parties, and probably the kind of obnoxiousness one expects to avoid when spending a bajillion dollars on a mansion in the hills (where the Kardashians live!), to getting accused of scamming fans by promoting a site called MysteryBrand, wherein users were supposed to pay money to click on boxes that may or may not have prizes in them but more often than not, did not have any prizes in them. He was also criticized for using the word "ni--a" in his raps — which is definitely not okay for a white YouTuber from Cleveland, Ohio. Oh, and just recently, he threw a big maskless hoedown with no social distancing at his mansion, leading the mayor of Calabasas to enact new restrictions to further restrict dumb shit like that.
Recently, he's been awkwardly trying to turn shit around a little bit every once in a while. Despite his cache of weaponry and the machine gun tattooed on his leg, he attempted to put out a plan of some kind to end school shootings. He also says he was at the mall in Scottsdale not to loot or "riot" but to document the protests, and has asked people not to focus on his arrest, but rather on the death of George Floyd. Which does not seem like a thing anyone was doing, but sure, fine.
OK, So What Actually Even Happened?
According to Scottsdale police, who filed charges against him and his friends Arman Izadi and Andrew Leon, back in June Paul was seen on video participating in rioting and "looting" and "was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police." The charges were for criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly, which are both misdemeanors.
On Wednesday, those charges were dropped by Scottsdale police, so that the FBI could file federal charges against him.
"It has been decided that in the cases charging Jake Paul, Arman Izadi and Andrew Leon, it is in the best interest of the community to dismiss misdemeanor charges without prejudice so that a federal criminal investigation can be completed," police said.
"Scottsdale retains the option to refile charges depending on the outcome of the federal investigation."
Then, the FBI got a warrant, and raided the mansion, which is apparently known as "Graffiti Mansion." They found a bunch of guns, seized the guns, and honestly have not explained any further.
The Guy Seems Like A Douche, But An FBI Raid Over Some Misdmeanors?
Yeah! It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense! And this is why some are speculating that it has less to do with "looting" and "rioting" than with something more nefarious. Particularly considering the fact that his buddy Arman Izadi has an alleged history of being an abusive pimp, torturer and kidnapper back in Las Vegas.
"Arman Izadi was indicted on more than a dozen charges of pandering, kidnapping, battery and coercion. He is accused of savagely beating and torturing prostitutes."
It was, naturally, after that that he decided to become a YouTube influencer.
Of course, given the fact that Trump has dispatched other feds to invade Portland over people protesting, it's hard to put anything past law enforcement these days. In fact, it even seems more likely that they would invade the mansion over a YouTuber being seen at a protest at a mall than over someone perhaps getting into "savagely beating and torturing prostitutes" again.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse