Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued his review of the Jan. 6 footage and the events that transpired by interviewing a now-former U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant on Tuesday who contended his first-hand account was never sought by the sham committee “focused on Donald Trump…”
Tarik Johnson served 22 years with the USCP until a suspension related to Jan. 6 ultimately led him to resign his post. As Johnson detailed to Carlson, his duty was to protect the senators during the 2020 presidential election certification and video aired by Fox News depicted him unilaterally moving to evacuate the lawmakers after his request for “direction” drew “no response.”
“So, I ask over the radio and I say something to the effect that we need direction, we have hundreds of people inside of the building. What do you want us to do? We need some direction,” the former officer explained. “I got — I heard no response. No response.”
His account pointed blame in the direction of leaders like then-Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman who was elevated to acting chief by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the days following the Capitol breach despite, as Johnson alleged, withholding vital information about the protests.
“We should have been better prepared that day, and we could have been better prepared that day if the information was disseminated like it was supposed to be,” he told the host.
As his account did not support the narrative peddled by the Jan. 6 committee and he had been suspended following the events of the day, it’s no wonder that Johnson was not called to testify, a fact that still surprised him. “My voice is one of the first ones you hear on the audio transmission, so I did expect to get an interview sometime, but no, it didn’t happen.”
“I guess the focus was on Donald Trump,” he said.
“I prayed almost daily that they would get to me. I was never asked to testify… I was never asked by anybody connected to the January 6 Committee to testify. I asked myself why every day, and every day I might have a different answer. But, you know, pretty much they focused on Donald Trump and not the failures of the Capitol Police,” Johnson suggested.
As to why he was suspended, the former officer detailed how he had come to be adorned with a “Make America Great Again” hat while outside the Capitol which, after being captured on video, presented a harmful image for police who did not want to be associated with the protesters.
“Sometimes I look at it and I’m like, ‘Thank you, God, for blessing me with this hat.’ And sometimes I’m like, ‘Wow! I wish this hat never came in my life,'” Johnson, who had voted for now-President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, said.
While outside, someone had placed the hat on his head while he was moving through the crowd on the steps and, after they asked for it back, he requested to keep it for “self-preservation and de-escalation.”
“I figured if I had the hat on, it’d be easier for me to navigate my way through the crowd,” Johnson described. “It was basically self-preservation and de-escalation, and I needed to get up those steps. I couldn’t say what would have happened walking through that crowd without it.”
Just as the footage aired by Carlson was self-evident, the former officer’s story spoke for itself as he said, “I think that some people there had planned on being violent, some people may have turned violent after what they were going through. I think that people wanted to support their president, they wanted to — some of those people wanted just to support him. And some of those people didn’t commit violence and some of those people didn’t plan on it.”
Even still, current U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger unloaded on Carlson for his “opinion program” and alleged the host had “cherry-picked from the calmer moments” of the more than 40,000 hours of footage to “support the narrative they want to push.”
“Those of you who were here on January 6,” Manger wrote in an internal email, “those of you who were in the fight, those of you who ensured that no Member of Congress was hurt, [those] of you who contributed to the effort to allow the country’s Legislative process to continue know firsthand what actually happened.”
The USCP chief did not seem to be including Johnson when he made that claim and the argument that “The Department stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night,” referring to those evidently escorting the “QAnon Shaman” to the Senate floor.
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