So it shouldn’t surprise you a bit, then, that Johnson used his time during the Senate’s first public hearing on the Capitol attack to spread a single eyewitness testimony suggesting that there were professional provocateurs seeded in the crowd on January 6 who led the largely peaceful campaign. come together to become violent.
In it, Waller claimed that “a small number of executives appeared to use the cover of a huge rally to stage their attack,” suggesting that these “agent provocateurs” were a) not Trump supporters and b) were those mainly responsible for the violence. storming of the Capitol.
Here’s a representative sample of Waller’s massively long and often contradictory account of what he saw on January 6:
“Although the crowd represented a large cross-section of Americans, mostly from the working class in appearance and manner of speaking, some people stood out. A few did not share the jovial, friendly and serious demeanor of the vast majority. obviously did not fit.
“Among them were young people in their twenties wearing new Trump or MAGA hats, often with the visor on the back, showing no enthusiasm and staring at the ground, glistening, or holding out their phones with their arms outstretched to do so. videos of as many faces as possible. in the crowd. “
In the same article, Waller argues that the Capitol Police overreacted to the crowd, which made things violent. And that, in his words, “apparent agent provocateurs have put hundreds of the president’s unsuspecting supporters in physical danger.” They tried to block exits for people trying to escape the tear gas. They put vulnerable people at risk, including children, the frail and the elderly. “
That Waller wrote the play is one thing. As he says:
“This article is a first-person eyewitness account written on the night of January 6 to the morning of January 7. It is therefore unaffected by other reports or information. The only research tools used in this article were photos and videos that I took from my phone. “
It is literally a guy’s interpretation of what he saw.
But for Johnson to elevate an admittedly subjective view on January 6 to the level of reading aloud during a Senate hearing into an attack that left five dead and dozens injured? It is quite another thing.
That Johnson showed such poor judgment is becoming a hallmark of his time in the Senate. This and the inconsistency of his opinions depending on whether his camp is accused or not. While Johnson is more than willing to take a man’s word that the people gathered for the “Stop the Steal” rally were peaceful until they were made violent by these alleged “agent provocateurs”, he was overwhelming. less willing to come to the same conclusion during the protests in Portland last summer.
Josh Campbell of CNN contributed to this report.