Embattled Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is saying things out loud and in public again, which is always a very dangerous thing for the Republican to do. Speaking Tuesday morning at the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Johnson told the crowd that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was not an “armed insurrection.”
Note Johnson’s parsing there, where he references a hearing where he asked an FBI official how many firearms had been confiscated at the Capitol on Jan. 6. That was on March 3, 2021. Jill Sandborn, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said that to her knowledge, “we have not recovered any on that day from any other arrests at the scene at this point,” Sanborn said. “But I don’t want to speak on behalf of Metro and Capitol Police.”
Since March 3, 2021, we’ve learned a lot more about that. Like the fact that Christopher Michael Alberts was, in fact, arrested by the D.C. police on Jan. 6 for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a firearm on Capital grounds, and other charges, and was charged the day after the riot in U.S. District Court. Since then, the Jan. 6 committee has released audio of police radio transmissions from Jan. 6: “Three men walking down the street in fatigues carrying AR-15s… at 14th and Independence,” one officer reported. “White male… stock of an AR-15,” another officer reported. “Green fatigues… Glock-style pistols in their waistband.” Yet another radioed “Elevated threat in the trees… American flag face mask… weapon on the right-side hip.”
But since the month after the attack, Johnson has been stubbornly insisting the insurrection wasn’t armed, that it wasn’t that violent, that it wasn’t that dangerous.
Let’s get Mandela Barnes to the Senate, and kick Ron Johnson to the curb.