Ron Johnson Wants to Personally Question Capitol Police Officers About January 6 Riots

Top line

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) Sent a lyrics to the acting Chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, who asked for the opportunity to personally interview his officers, implying that they may have helped facilitate the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, an opinion that aligns with the defenses of rioters accused of burglary and conspiracy theories that downplay violence. .

Key facts

Johnson told Pittman that his office is trying to determine the “full spectrum of behavior displayed by people” on January 6, requesting security camera footage, incident reports, and the opportunity to “interview” some officers if the Capitol Police have yet to interview them. .

Johnson said he’s particularly interested in discrepancies over how the West Terrace door, through which he said about 38% of Capitol rioters entered the building, was opened shortly after rioters inside the building failed. they opened it.

Johnson suggested that the culprits could be the Capitol Police officers, who seized the security camera footage that “appeared to show … [an] officer gesturing toward the door ”when it was opened, as well as footage showing a group of five officers putting up little resistance to the rioters and, at one point, talking to them.

Lawyers defending Capitol rioters accused of trespassing argument their clients thought officers allowed them in, and conspiracy theorists have come to suggest Videos of police officers interacting non-violently with rioters are evidence that the attack was “staged.”

Capitol Police and reporters on the ground have disputed the notion that the officers were friendly to the protesters, rather than saying they were overwhelmed by the size of the mob and the officers spoke to the rioters to try to de-escalate the situation.

Forbes Spokespersons for Johnson and Capitol Police have been contacted for comment.

Main critic

“They’re trying to cast doubt on the idea that the riot was a pro-Trump, pro-stolen election, and maybe it could have been a false flag to make Trump look bad,” Conspiracy Theory Expert Mike Rothschild and QAnon said Forbes. Rothschild said the letter also aligns with defending the rioters who “thought they were being invited by the friendly, pro-Trump Capitol Police,” noting that while many officers were pro-Trump, “that doesn’t mean that were accomplices. “

Key Background

Johnson, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has routinely downplayed the attack and promoted conspiracy theories about it, arguing in February that “agitator groups” should be blamed rather than Trump supporters and that it was not an “armed insurrection. “because of the lack of firearms. Johnson said in March that he was “not concerned” about the rioters because they “really respect law enforcement” and “love this country.”

Crucial appointment

“Congress should not be allowed to investigate itself when it comes to the massive security breaches of January 6,” Johnson said in a statement Soon after, he and other Senate Republicans voted to block a bill to create an independent commission to investigate the attack. Johnson added that “Americans have a right to know exactly what happened” and noted that he, too, had been “exercising oversight” with letters to various officials.

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