Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Wednesday pushed back against Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-WI) conspiracy theory claiming that insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 were simply "provocateurs."
At a joint Senate hearing on the Jan. 6 attack, Johnson focused on proving his earlier claim that the incident does not qualify as an "armed insurrection."
"Seeking out the truth, that's what I'm trying to do," the senator explained, noting that he had been accused of spreading "conspiracy theories" after reading a conservative column into the record at an earlier hearing. The column used the phrase "agents-provocateurs" to downplay the role of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
At Wednesday's hearing, Johnson again entered a news report into the record claiming that the attackers were "provocateurs."
But Klobuchar, who was chairing the hearing, refused to let the remark slide.
"These people that were assaulting the Capitol in military gear and were pinning an officer between a door and were using bear spray on officers in the Capitol, would you title them provocateurs?" Klobuchar asked FBI Counterterrorism Division Director Jill Sanborn.
"It would all depend on the evidence behind the case," Sanborn hedged.
"Do you think there were some very serious violent people involved insurrection?" Klobuchar pressed.
"100%" Sanborn agreed. "And there were some officers that were injured and a lot of damage was done."
"And would you describe the atmosphere as festive?" the senator wondered.
"Absolutely not," Sanborn said.
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