Charles C. Johnson

Charles C. Johnson

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Updated Jan 18, 2019 at 03:17PM EST by Matt.

Added Jan 09, 2018 at 02:29PM EST by Matt.

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About

Charles C. Johnson or "Chuck" Johnson is an American alt-right activist and the owner of the websites GotNews.com and WeSearchr.com. Though he considers himself an "investigative journalist," many of his claims have proven unsubstantiated and false. Many critics refer to Johnson as an internet troll.

History

Johnson first came to prominence online through a series of controversial news articles that have been proven false. On November 11th, 2012, he contributed to a Daily Caller[1] article that alleged that Senator Bob Menedez had paid two women in the Dominican Republic for sex. These claims were never substantiated as the Washington Post[2] reported that the women were paid to make the claims.

The following year, he again made unsubstantiaed claims that Cory Booker, then-Newark mayor and senatorial candidate, did not live in Newark, NJ.[3] After Booker provided proof of rent, Johnson continued to assert that Booker did not live in the city.[4]

GotNews

In January 2014, Johnson launched GotNews,[7] a crowd-funded news outlet, which publishes Johnson's pieces. The site describes itself as:

"Got News seeks to transform journalism by empowering everyday people, experts, and sources to break news and get rewarded for their effort.

"Got News is in the first stage of its rollout where we will publish our own stories as well as those of select researchers and citizen journalists. In stage two members will join the site and start posting stories to earn income based on their web traffic."

UVA Rape Case

In December 2014, Johnson threatened to dox the alleged victim of the University of Virginia's rape on campus allegation. On December 7th, 2014, he tweeted, [5] "I'm giving Jackie until later tonight to tell the truth and then i'm going to start revealing everything about her past."


Charles C. Johnson @ChuckCJohnson I'm giving Jackie until later tonight to tell the truth and then I'm going to start revealing everything about her past. 12/7/14, 12:39 PM

The tweet created a public outcry for Johnson to be removed from Twitter. Johnson, however, posted a photograph of a young woman he identified as the victime named Jackie. This turned out to be false. He apologized[6] for the mistake, saying, "In the rush to publish, I screwed up and ask your forgiveness… [W]hile I’ve broken many stories before everyone else, I’m still human and make mistakes."

Twitter Ban

The following year, he was again the subject of controversy on Twitter, after he made, what some perceived to be threats against Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson. On May 24th, 2015, Johnson tweeted, "Go to gotnews,com/donate if you want to give money to taking out @deray."

Later that day, Mckesson tweeted,[8] "So, I woke up to this. Hate is organized in America. & yes, I take this as a serious threat." The tweet (shown below) received more than 3,900 retweets and 2,300 likes as of January 2018.


deray @deray So, I woke up to this. Hate is organized in America. & yes, I take this as a serious threat. ..oo Verizon LTE 7:06 AM ④イ100901 Tweet Charles C. Johnson @ChuckCJohnson Go to gotnews.com/donate if you want to give money to taking out @deray. 5/24/15, 1:57 AM

On May 26th, 2015, Johnson was permanently banned from Twitter, as was his alternate account, @citizen trolling.

Nearly three years later, Johnson filed suit against Twitter fro the reinstatment of his account. Of the suit, Johnson said,[9] "This is going to be a very serious case over the freedom of the internet. And whether people have the right to say what they mean and mean what they say."

WeSearchr

On February 8th, 2016, Johnson launched WeSearchr.com, a crowd-funding platform for various right wing investigations, which included raising legal defense money for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.[11]

Chuck Schumer Harassment Allegations Hoax

On December 12th, 2017, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer contacted police in regards to a forged document alleging him of sexual misconduct by a former staffer.[12] The former staffer claims that she was unaware of the document and that her signature had been forged.

Schumer's communications director Matt House said, "The document is a forged document and every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken. We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same."

The document, which is dated 2012, was shopped to numerous new sources but went unreported due to a number of suspicious inclusions. Axios reports that a source close to Schumer has noted several errors in the document. For example, the document claims that the allegation took place on September 16th, 2011 in Washington, when Schumer was in New York City. It also writes of an incident on August 25th, 2011 in Washington, while Schumer was in France.

Ahead of Schumer's complaints, alt-right social media personalities Chuck Johnson and Mike Cernovich claimed to have the document. On Monday, December 11th, Chuck Johnson wrote on Facebook “Michael Cernovich & I are going to end the career of a U.S. Senator.”[13]

That day, in a since deleted tweet (shown below) , Cernovich posted a screen shot of Johnson's post and added, "Spoke with Chuck Johnson on the phone, he told me he has the full case file."


@Cernovich Spoke with Chuck Johnson on the phone, he told me he as the ful case file. Charles C. Johnson 2 hrs Currently reading the sexual harassment settlement documents of a major Democratic US Senator... 10:13 PM 11 Dec 17

The Daily Beast reports Cernovich provided BuzzFeed with documents that looked similar to recent sexual harassment claims toward House Representative John Conyers.[14] However, specifics within the document would apply to the House of Representatives, not the Senate. The Daily Beast writes,

"The Conyers complaint references 'House Rule 23' and a 'mediation' process between Conyers and his accuser. The fake Schumer complaint also describes allegations as falling under 'House Rule 23,' which of course does not exist in the Senate. The 'mediation' process in the Schumer document was never mentioned again."

Since Senator Schumer's office had spoken with police, Cernovich and Johnson have claimed that they too had been duped by the forgery. Cernovich said, "There’s language that looks like it came from some of the Conyers stuff, like it might have been copied from there." He continued that he hopes to find the forger, offering a $10,000 reward for the identity of the perpetrator. Johnson said that he "enthusiastically" awaits an investigation. Forging a public document is punishable by up to 10 years in jail or a $25,000 fine.

Meeting With Congressmen

On January 17th, 2019, HuffPost reporter Matt Fuller tweeted[17] a photograph of Johnson with Representatives Phil Roe (Tennessee) and Andy Harris (Maryland). He wrote, "Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that Chuck C. Johnson walking with Reps. Phil Roe and Andy Harris? Both waited for him to get through security." The tweet received more than 2,000 retweets and 3,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below).


Matt Fuller MEPFuller Correct me if I'm wrong, but is that Chuck C. Johnson walking with Reps. Phil Roe and Andy Harris? Both waited for him to get through security.

According to HuffPost,[18] the two Republican congressmen met with Johnson to discuss "DNA sequencing." In the past, Johnson has discussed his belief that Muslims are "genetically different in their propensity for violence or rape" and shared stories about how African Americans "possessed a 'violence' gene."[19][20]

Both Harris and Roe denied knowledge of Johnson's past comments. In an email, Congressman Roe's staff responded, "Congressman Roe would not have taken the meeting had he been aware of Mr. Johnson’s previously expressed views ― which he believes are abhorrent ― were not alluded to in the meeting, and were not readily discoverable when Congressman Roe’s staff looked into the name ‘Charles Johnson,’ which is how he was presented."

Johnson's attempts to link DNA to race and violence have been widely debunked, particularly in regards tot he MAO-A gene, which Johnson has frequently touted as proof. University of Texas-Austin professor of psychology Dr. Paige Harden said, "Work (on the MAO-A gene) has now been largely discredited, because we now know that human behaviors are not influenced by single genes with large effects--they are influenced by lots and lots and lots--think thousands--of genetic variants, each of which has a tiny effect. Bottom line: MAO-A likely doesn't matter for aggression or antisocial behavior."

That day, Dr. Harden tweeted,[21] "I talked to @NBCNews about why Chuck Johnson, racist crank who met with Rep. @DrPhilRoe (R-TN), is 'wrong on basically every level that it's possible to be wrong' about genetics & crime" (shown below).


Dr. Paige Harden @kph3k l talked to @NBCNews about why Chuck Johnson, racist crank who met with Rep. @DrPhilRoe (R-TN), is "wrong on basically every level that it's possible to be wrong" about genetics & crime. Activist who met with congressmen posted about black 'violence ge... Alt-right activist Chuck Johnson has shown a steady interest in genetics and links he draws between DNA, race, intellect and criminality. nbcnews.com

Reputation

Johnson's projects and targets have led to many associating him with the alt-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. New York[15] magazine called his website WeSearchr, "a more basic sort of Kickstarter for Nazis."

Criticism

Johnson's actions have made him a controversial figure online. The New York Times[10] said, "Much of what he publishes is either wrong or tasteless, but that matters little to Mr. Johnson or his audience, which responds by forming mobs on Twitter or using the personal information to put fake ads on Craigslist to chase after the targets he points to."

Gawker[16] said, "Many think he simply craves attention; outspoken conservatives regularly accuse him of being insane."

Search Interest

External References

[1] The Daily Caller – Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic

[2] The Washington Post – Dominican police: 3 women paid to make false claims about Menendez

[3] The Daily Caller – Neighbors: Cory Booker never lived in Newark

[4] BuzzFeed – Cory Booker: Yes, I Live In Newark

[5] The Daily Dot – Journalist publishes alleged name and photo of UVA rape victim

[6] Pocket Full of Liberty – Here’s the Truth About Charles C. Johnson

[7] GotNews – About Chuck and GotNews.com

[8] Twitter – @deray's Tweet

[9] BuzzFeed – Far-Right Activist Charles Johnson Has Sued Twitter Over His Suspension

[10] The New York Times – Sowing Mayhem, One Click at a Time

[11] CNBC – The far right uses this site to fund its favorite causes--and its founder hopes to build a 'very profitable business'

[12] Axios – Schumer calls cops after forged sex scandal charge

[13] The Daily Beast – Alt-Right Hyped Sexual Harassment Hoax to Attack Schumer

[14] BuzzFeed – Another Woman Accused Rep. John Conyers Of Sexual Harassment In Court Filings This Year

[15] NY Mag – The WeSearchr Meltdown Is a Reminder That Some Very Rich People Are Funding the Alt-Right

[16] Gawker – What Is Chuck Johnson, and Why? The Web’s Worst Journalist, Explained

[17] Twitter – @MEPFuller

[18] HuffPost – 2 GOP Lawmakers Host Chuck Johnson, Holocaust-Denying White Nationalist

[19] Facebook – Charles.c.johnson's Post

[20] NBC – Activist who met with congressmen about 'DNA' posted about black 'violence gene'

[21] Twitter – @kph3k's Tweet

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