At a high-profile listening to on the rebellion on the US Capitol earlier this yr, Senator Ron Johnson on Tuesday claimed the temper of pro-Trump protesters who ultimately stormed the Capitol had been “festive” earlier than police fired a tear gasoline canister at them.
The Wisconsin Republican has been one of many chief promoters in Congress of discredited conspiracy theories that it was not supporters of the previous president who perpetrated the assault on the legislature, however relatively a small set of imposters.
Mr Johnson’s theories have been broadly debunked and disproven by federal information on those that have been arrested for his or her roles within the riots.
On Tuesday Mr Johnson, citing the first-hand account of right-wing suppose tank scholar J Michael Waller printed within the far-right publication The Federalist, blamed a cadre of “fake Trump supporters” for scary police on the Capitol, who then provoked the bigger crowd into riotous behaviour after they responded in form.
“He said that the mood of the crowd was ‘positive’ and ‘festive,’” Mr Johnson mentioned, studying Mr Waller’s account of the riot into the official congressional report.
“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. 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,” Mr Johnson mentioned, quoting Mr Waller’s story.
Mr Johnson’s theories concerning the nature of the bloody riot, which resulted within the deaths of 5 folks, together with a police officer, haven’t been borne out by subsequent arrests and investigations.
The feds have indicted greater than 250 folks for his or her roles within the riot, a lot of whom have mentioned they believed they have been following Donald Trump’s orders after they stormed the legislature — a undeniable fact that contradicts Mr Johnson’s narrative that the “jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority” was sabotaged by left-wing anarchists disguised as right-wingers.
At least 14 of these arrested have professed to be supporters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy concept that believed the previous president was elected to wage a shadow battle in opposition to a cannibalistic cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles consisting of Democratic politicians, Hollywood elites, and different outstanding liberals.
Another 16 have hyperlinks to the so-called Proud Boys, a fringe right-wing militia group that strongly backs Mr Trump.
Scores of stories retailers have printed investigative studies with particulars concerning the open planning occurring on right-wing message boards within the days and weeks main as much as the storming of the Capitol.
Several males who wore fight gear and radio gear as they breached the Capitol — together with one who carried zip ties into the Senate chamber — have been arrested and subsequently discovered to be hardcore supporters of the previous president who was impeached a second time for inciting the assault.
Former US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund confirmed his perception to senators on Tuesday that probably the most violent parts of the assault on the legislature had been premeditated and punctiliously deliberate out.
“The fact that the group that attacked our west front, attacked our west front… approximately 20 minute before the event over at the Ellipse ended, which means they were planning on our agency not being at what they call full strength,” Mr Sund mentioned, referring to Mr Trump’s speech on the National Mall exhorting his supporters to the Capitol.
“And then also the fact that we’re dealing with two pipe bombs that were specifically, you know, set off the edge of our perimeter to, what I suspect, draw resources away. I think there was a significant coordination with this attack,” the previous police chief mentioned.