U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Sunday strongly refuted a media-generated narrative that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an “armed insurrection” during an appearance on Fox News.
In an interview with “Life, Liberty, and Levin” host Mark Levin, Johnson discussed his efforts to extract information from Justice Department and Capitol Police sources about the demonstration, adding that his staff has recently reviewed some 14 hours of video taken that day and have made some startling discoveries.
But the notion that there were throngs of armed participants intent on overthrowing the government — the purpose of insurrection — is completely false, Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, asserted, and the video evidence he’s seen thus far proves as much.
For example, Johnson said that hundreds of demonstrators entered the Capitol Building through a single door and that, while they were met by a small group of Capitol Police officers, there was no violence whatsoever and the encounters were peaceful.
(Video: Fox News)
Asked by Levin, a former Reagan Justice Department official, about his progress thus far in seeking answers, Johnson noted that he hasn’t had much luck, adding that he “didn’t get squat” from FBI Director Christopher Wray about other issues, “and that was when [former President Donald] Trump was in office.”
Turning back to the Jan. 6 protest, Johnson said that the vast majority of demonstrators were “in a jovial mood” and, “while they were serious, they weren’t violent.”
“I think it’s extremely important to create an accurate historical record of exactly what happened so the false narrative that thousands of armed insurrectionists doesn’t last,” said Johnson, the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
“That’s why I have my staff going and reviewing the relevant parts of the 14 hours’ worth of surveillance and we’re finding out some interesting things,” he said, as Levin asked him to elaborate.
Johnson explained that his staff has been able to identify “about 309 people” who entered through a single doorway with police in the vicinity and without violence or confrontation.
“They weren’t rioting. It doesn’t look like an armed insurrection when you have people that breach the Capitol, and I don’t condone it, but they’re staying within the roped lines in the Rotunda. That’s not what armed insurrection would look like,” he said.
Levin added: “And I believe an armed insurrection requires arms.”
The host later noted that, thus far, no one who has been arrested for various violations stemming from the riot are facing firearms charges or charges of sedition.
Earlier, Johnson discussed a letter he sent last week to acting Capitol Police Chief Yolanda Pittman, in which he is seeking information about officers’ behavior and interactions the day of the demonstration, to include those who confronted protesters at the entrance where hundreds came into the building unimpeded and in a non-violent manner.
“Over the span of a 14-minute period, approximately 309 unauthorized individuals entered the Capitol on January 6 through the upper west terrace doors,” he wrote, which amounted to nearly 40 percent of the 800-odd demonstrators who were estimated to have breached the building that day.
Johnson told Pittman he would like to hear from the officers who were at that entrance and engaged with demonstrators.
“In order to fully understand what happened at the upper west terrace doorway, it is important to hear from the officers that were present at that location,” Johnson wrote.
“Have these officers filed detailed reports of this incident? Has USCP [U.S. Capitol Police] conducted transcribed interviews with them? If so, I request copies of these reports and transcribed interviews. If not, I respectfully ask for the opportunity to interview these officers,” he added.
“Does USCP know why at approximately 2:26 p.m. an individual could not open the left door at the upper west terrace entrance, but seven minutes later, at 2:33 p.m., another individual could open that same door?” Johnson pressed. “Does USCP have any indication that this door was locked at 2:26 p.m. and then unlocked by 2:33 p.m.?”
Two days after the protest, One America News Network’s Christina Bobb posted video to Twitter appearing to show Capitol Police officers standing aside as demonstrators flowed into the building.
Capitol police open doors for the protestors. They stand aside and invite them inside. pic.twitter.com/OnSd3KGzz5
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) January 8, 2021
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