GOP senator pushes lie that police caused Capitol insurrection

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Ron Johnson suggested Capitol Police officers instigated the Jan. 6 insurrection — a blatant lie to try to absolve Donald Trump of culpability in the deadly attack.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Tuesday pushed a debunked conspiracy theory to try to absolve Donald Trump and his supporters of guilt in the violent and deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol — going as far as to blame the law enforcement officers who were brutally beaten by the pro-Trump mob.

Johnson's attempt to whitewash the Jan. 6 riot, which left five people dead and more than 100 law enforcement injured, came during a joint Senate hearing to investigate the security failures that led to the attack.

He read from a debunked article published on the right-wing website the Federalist that blamed the attack on "Antifa." Citing the piece, Johnson went on to suggest that Capitol Police officers themselves were also to blame for the insurrection, for angering what Johnson had described as an otherwise peaceful pro-police group of Trump supporters.

Johnson said that police officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowd is what "changed the crowd's demeanor" and led the crowd to get violent and storm the building.

"There was an air of disbelief as people realized that the police whom they supported were firing on them," Johnson read from the article. "'What are you doing? We support you,' someone yelled."

None of this is true.

Indictment after indictment from federal law enforcement lays out proof that Trump supporters attacked the Capitol to try to block President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory from being certified.

for instigating the attack that left five people dead and more than 100 law enforcement injured.

What's more, many of the insurrectionists themselves said they were Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol on Trump's orders.

No evidence has turned up that prove members of antifa were part of the crowd at all, even though Republicans like Johnson and other right-wing figures pushed the false narrative in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

HuffPost reported that there are "at least three other Capitol insurrectionists charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol who ... complained on social media about antifa getting credit for their work."

Johnson has been trying to rewrite history on the deadly insurrection for more than a week now.

Last week, he questioned the narrative that the insurrectionists were armed.

The insurrectionists, however, were armed. Indictments of the insurrectionists said as much. As did former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who testified under oath on Tuesday that the insurrectionists "came prepared for war" with "weapons, chemical munitions and explosives."

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) criticized Johnson for spreading disinformation.

"@SenRonJohnson using his Senate pulpit today to spread blatant lies about the Capitol insurrection & defending a violent mob as 'jovial,'" Pocan tweeted, adding, "Because he doesn't believe the people holding Trump flags, chanting 'Fight for Trump,' were actually Trump supporters. It was all pretend!"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.