GOP Sen. Ron Johnson said the Capitol riot wasn't an armed insurrection because people were 'staying within the roped lines'

Senator Ron Johnson appears on Fox News. Fox News
Senator Ron Johnson told Fox News that it was wrong to call the January 6 riot an armed riot.
Johnson said the protesters appeared "in a happy mood" and remained "within the ropes".
Johnson has long defended the Capitol rioters and describes the uprising as a peaceful protest.
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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said the Capitol riot was not an armed riot because the protesters "stayed within the ropes."
Johnson appeared on Fox News on Sunday and said he and his staff reviewed hours of footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6 to clear the record of what really happened.
"I think it is extremely important to have an accurate historical record of what exactly happened so that the false story that thousands of armed insurgents did not endure does not endure," Johnson said.
When asked by host Mark Levin what his office found, Johnson said they saw "309 people" peacefully walk past the police into the Capitol.
Protesters break into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Johnson went on to say that ego reports from the protesters portrayed them as "in a happy mood".
“You didn't riot. It doesn't look like an armed riot if there are people breaking through the Capitol and I don't forgive them, but they stay within the roped lines in the rotunda. That's not what armed insurrection would look like, "he said.
As of Monday, at least 521 people had been charged in connection with the Capitol riot. Five people, including one police officer, died in the aftermath, and the New York Times reported that about 140 officers were injured.
Johnson has long defended those who broke into the Capitol on January 6 and mistakenly labeled the uprising a peaceful event.
In March, Johnson called the rioters "people who love this country, who genuinely respect law enforcement."
"If the tables had been turned and President Donald Trump had won the election and there were thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I would have been concerned," he told Wisconsin Radio at the time.
Last month he described the uprising as "by and large a peaceful protest".
As part of his office's attempt to investigate the January 6 events, Johnson also asked Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman for permission to interview officers working that day, Forbes reported.
Johnson is one of several Republican lawmakers to argue that calling the January 6 events a riot is misleading.
Another, Rep. Andrew Clyde, said last month: "It is a bold lie, in my opinion, to call it a riot."
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