Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) spent time during a Senate hearing focused on the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, raising concerns about alleged claims
“provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” planned the insurrection.
Johnson read from a piece published in The Federalist by J. Michael Waller, a senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy, recounting his experience witnessing the violence.
“Of the thousands of people I passed or who passed me along Constitution Avenue, some were indignant and contemptuous of Congress, but not one appeared angry or incited to riot,” Johnson said as he read the article.
He continued, “Many of the marchers were families with small children; many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail—traits not typically attributed to the riot-prone.”
Waller claimed he saw some wearing “pro-police shirts” or carrying “pro-police back and blue’ flags.”
Watch his comments below:
Ron Johnson is using his questioning time during the Capitol security hearing to promote a conspiracy theory that the January 6 insurrectionists weren't actually Trump supporters, but were "provocateurs" and "fake Trump protesters" pic.twitter.com/t72QkHDbaG— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 23, 2021
Johnson continued to read, “A very few didn’t share the jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn’t fit in.”
He added, “[Waller] describes four different types of people – plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and then disciplined uniform column of attackers. I think these are the people that probably planned this.”
During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Johnson claimed the riots were not predictable, as IJR reported.
“There was really no suspected harmful activity,” Johnson said. “People really were caught by surprise. This was not predictable. This was not foreseeable as the House managers continue to talk about. I just don’t believe it was.”
During Trump’s impeachment trial, the House managers argued the violence was foreseeable.
The Senate voted to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection after it failed to acquire the 67-votes needed to convict him, as IJR reported.