California-based political blogger Charles C. Johnson’s infamous meddling in last year’s Cochran-McDaniel race apparently earned him a reputation back home, too.
Capitol police at a California fundraising event for Speaker of the House John Boehner grilled Johnson about his involvement in the Mississippi campaign before ejecting him from the event to which he had tickets.
“It was a misunderstanding,” Johnson told The Clarion-Ledger in an email on Monday.
According to a summary of the incident in the online news publication, “The Daily Caller,”
the police officers asked Johnson if he had ever gone uninvited to the home of a member of Congress. When Johnson said no, they mentioned U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, who faced vicious opposition last year by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville.
“Johnson explained, ‘The ‘uninvited’ question brought us to the Sen. Cochran affair. I said there was some real questions as to whether or not he lived in that house in D.C. and that I had gone there.’
Cochran ultimately won the election but faced repeated claims of vote buying, first levied by Johnson, who had reported on his blog that a Mississippi preacher helped the incumbent by paying residents $15 each to support him at the polls.
The preacher later recanted his story, raising questions about whether Johnson paid him to lie.
Here’s another excerpt from “The Daily Caller:”
They then asked (Johnson) about Mississippi. “I said that I had investigated a voter fraud incident in Mississippi involving Senator Thad Cochran and the Barbours buying black votes to defeat Tea party challenger Chris McDaniel,” he said. “I said that I had been present in Mississippi and had witnessed some of the corruption and been chased out of the state by two goons.”
Johnson said police told him that going to a senator’s home is illegal. “I said that it was not and that I had filmed the entire episode on camera with a friend and that we spent a total of ten minutes at the home,” he said. “They said it was in a legal gray zone. I said that it was not, especially as I was reporting on the incident. They said it was illegal if I was harassing them. I said, well, there’s no evidence that I harassed anyone and he [the officer] said that it was inappropriate to visit the home.”
Alluding to Cochran’s marital situation, Johnson told police that “it was inappropriate to live with a mistress and staffer and that I had no intentions of going to members of Congress’s homes. We agreed to disagree.”
When asked by The Clarion-Ledger which “goons” chased him from the state, Johnson said they were assistant attorneys general who went by the names “Ronnie and Danny.”
Read the full story here.