On the fourth day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Michigan was once again in the limelight. State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) is furious that an edited version of her early December Facebook video was selectively edited down even more making it appear she was more threatening than she was.
And she’s not staying quiet.
“I feel kind of raped. Used and abused and crammed down. Those people knew what they were doing,” Johnson told the Advance Friday night. “If they didn’t know, shame on them. They get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be investigators.”
GOP House leaders removed Johnson from her committee assignments at the end of last year after she posted a video about violent and racist threats she received from Trump supporters after committee hearings in which Republicans aired election conspiracies for hours.
There was an edited version of her Facebook Live Video circulated through right-wing outlets, and was then propagated by a YouTuber based in Honduras, as the Advance first reported. Johnson called the torturous digital path her video went down and her subsequent punishment a “digital lynching.” A month later she demanded apologies from leadership in the House for the removal from committees. No such apology has been publicly issued.
The new edited version of Johnson’s video shown in the U.S. Senate appears stuck in between images and sound of lawmakers and celebrities. The edited video (the full defense video featuring politicians and celebrities begins at about the 20-minute mark) appears to have come from the “Ingraham Angle” on Fox News.
“House managers spoke of heated rhetoric. A constant drum beat of heated rhetoric,” attorney David Schoen said as introduce a video montage of democrats “We need to show you some of their own words.”
“This is just a warning to you trumpers… be careful. Walk lightly… and for those of you who are soldiers… make them pay,” Johnson can be heard saying.
As the Advance reported at Dec. 10, the full transcript of the entire video is:
“When I say supporting our efforts, I am talking about doing things right and in order,” she said in the beginning of the video. “There’s a good way to do it and a fu–ed up way to do it. Always provide proof. Nobody cares what your mouth is saying. Provide proof. Don’t get upset with folks and start cussing them out. Don’t. It never works. I wish I could be talkin’ to y’all in a private room. Because … I just wish I could. … But we’re public. Be smart. You don’t have to yell. You don’t have to curse anybody out. You don’t have to call anybody names. Hit their asses in the pocketbook. Hit them in the pocketbook. For instance, one of our bright citizens of our country, in Illinois who happened to voicemail me, unknown, but guess what? FBI, state police, they found her. So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it — do it right. Be in order. Make them pay. I love you all. Bye-bye.”
Johnson posted another Facebook video Friday shortly after 3 p.m., in which she said: “Senators: the Trump defense team is lying to you.”
She issued the following statement shortly after 8 p.m.:
“Once again, my comments are being taken out of context in a weak attempt to justify the riot and hostile takeover of our nation’s Capitol inspired by Trump,” the emailed statement reads. “The people of Detroit didn’t elect me to speak in pre-packaged and polished statements that don’t really say anything. They elected me to stand up for them and tell it like it is — the good, the bad and the ugly. If you take the time to watch that entire video, not the version cut and edited by alt-right outlets with an agenda, it’s clear I was doing just that. However, we’ve already seen the entirety of what Trump is and what he stands for. We’ve seen that for four years, and it led to death threats, armed militias entering our state capitol and a deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol.”
Democratic Impeachment managers made Michigan a focus during Thursday’s trial by introducing the armed right-wing protest in Michigan on April 30, calling it “a state-level dress rehearsal.”
On Wednesday, Democrats also highlighted Michigan, raising Trump protests of vote counting at the TCF Center in Detroit and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s house. A video shot by U.S. Capitol Dan Kildee (D-Flint) on the House floor during the Jan. 6 attack also was entered as evidence.