Scott Johnston says the Trump administration and campaign officials planned to have crowds converge on the Capitol — and “make it look like they went down there on their own.”
March 21, 2022

Scott Johnston, who worked on the planning of Trump’s Ellipse rally, told Rolling Stone that Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and a national campaign spokesperson made plans to encourage the president’s supporters to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Johnston has since testified to House investigators about the phone call. Via Rolling Stone:

Trump and his allies have tried to minimize his role in calling his supporters to the Capitol and argue he was simply participating in a lawful, peaceful demonstration.

Scott Johnston — who worked on the team that helped plan the Ellipse rally — says that’s just not so. He claims that leading figures in the Trump administration and campaign deliberately planned to have crowds converge on the Capitol, where the 2020 election was being certified — and “make it look like they went down there on their own.”

Johnston, who says he described the phone call to House select committee investigators, detailed his allegations in a series of conversations with Rolling Stone. Johnston says he overheard Mark Meadows, then-former President Trump’s chief of staff, and Katrina Pierson, Trump’s national campaign spokesperson, talking with Kylie Kremer, the executive director of Women For America First, about plans for a march to the Capitol. Johnston said the conversation was clearly audible to him since it took place on a speakerphone as he drove Kremer between the group’s rallies in the final three days of 2020.

Huh. Tell us more, Scott!

Johnston’s account suggests there was a deliberate strategy by Trump’s allies to have supporters descend on the Capitol. Such a connection would implicate top White House and campaign officials in drawing crowds to the Congress without a permit — a step that could have required added security and may have allowed law enforcement to better prepare for the day’s events. Those crowds overwhelmed the Capitol Police and engaged in an hours-long battle with law enforcement. Four people died during the attack.

According to Johnston, rally organizers were “constantly” using “burner phones” — cheap, pre-paid cells that can be harder to trace because they’re not personally identified with a user or a user’s account — “to talk about” potential permits and plans for a march with Trump aides.

Most of us already know that this, or something like it, happened. But Johnston testified to the Jan. 6th committee that Trump's chief of staff was in on the plot -- which locks in the connection to Trump. Every little bit helps!

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