Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson wants the world to believe that the thousands of Trump flag-waving supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot were really “agents provocateurs” in disguise. He and other Trump sycophants say Antifa and other left-wing groups brutally attacked police officers, vandalized the building and erected a gallows to hang Mike Pence just to make the twice-impeached president look bad.But court documents reviewed by CNN make a liar out of Johnson and others pushing that narrative. Nearly a dozen of those arrested and charged with participating in the riot explicitly pushed back on that false theory and say that they other Trump supporters deserve all the credit for the mayhem.
One defendant, Jose Padilla, posted on Facebook the day after the attack, “There’s a lot of memes and posts flying around saying that the people who were fight last night were all Antifa provocateurs etc. I just want to say that as a first hand observer of every point last night, that it was not Antifa. They were Patriots who were trying to Restore the Republic.”
Another alleged rioter, Jonathan Mellis, posted, “Don’t you dare try to tell me that people are blaming this on Antifa and BLM. We proudly take responsibility for storming the Castle.”
Thomas Robertson, the Rocky Mount, Va., police officer fired for participating in the insurrection, also bragged on Facebook of his role. “I was in the Capitol building 2 days ago. I am a (pro-gun group Virginia Citizens Defense League member), NRA member and a serving Soldier and police officer. Damage control by the Republicans in DC is trying to say it was ANTIFA. It wasn’t. Possible some were there? Of course. Caused it?? Nope.”
Prosecutors also recovered a video from the phone of one of the infamous “zip tie guys” who was photographed in the Senate chamber holding plastic handcuffs. In the video, the man allegedly is heard saying, “don’t break s–t… no vandalizing s–t… we ain’t no God damn Antifa.
“Another defendant even implored his fellow rioters to take pride in their actions that day. “Be embarrassed & hide if you need to — but I was there. It was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic,” tweeted Brandon Straka, who spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally on the eve of the insurrection.