A display set up at the Conservative Political Action Conference offered a performative portrayal of jailed U.S. Capitol rioters by a failed actor whose testimony landed some of them in prison.
The booth consists of an unidentified man wearing an orange inmate jumpsuit and a MAGA hat sitting in a mock jail cell and crying, and passersby are offered headphones that play testimony from suspects arrested for various offenses during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to freelance journalist Laura Jedeed.
\u201cHello I would like to share with you the most astonishing thing I have ever seen\n\nAt this CPAC booth you receive a silent disco headset that plays harrowing testimony from people arrested for participating in J6\n\nInstead of dancing, you stand around and watch this guy cry\u201d— Laura Jedeed (@Laura Jedeed) 1659708876
Jedeed noted that the man never broke character for the half hour that she observed the performance, saying that he continued crying throughout the entire time and wrote tally marks on a chalkboard.
Various Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), have described the Jan. 6 defendants as "political prisoners."
The "prisoner" was identified by WUSA-TV reporter Jordan Fischer as "Walk Away" founder Brandon Straka, who avoided prison for his own role in the insurrection by providing "substantial" testimony to investigators about other defendants, including Dr. Simone Gold, who was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
\u201cThis is "Walk Away" founder Brandon Straka \u2014 who did not serve any prison time in his Jan. 6 case thanks to, as his attorneys described it in their sentencing memos, "substantial" cooperation with investigators.\u201d— Jordan Fischer (@Jordan Fischer) 1659716664