Last updated on February 7, 2021 3:52 pm
Senator Ron Johnson suggested on Sunday that the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is a diversion from the actions of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 6th.
Johnson made the comments to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo ahead of the start of Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting an insurrection. Trump repeatedly made false statements about the election outcome, including pushing the baseless claim it was stolen (even in his video during the riots), and those statements riled up many of his supporters leading up to January 6th.
Johnson himself came under scrutiny for his own comments and a hearing he held about the 2020 election, and was called out by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel for “his role in spreading disinformation about the presidential election.” Johnson responded to them in an op-ed trying to defend the questions he raised, but they ran it with a point-by-point fact-check.
Bartiromo asked the senator about a letter CNN obtained from the former Capitol Police chief responding to outcry over a delayed response on January 6th.
Johnson commended him for the letter and said, “He lays out the diligence that he undertook to provide security around the Capitol and seems like he took pretty reasonable precautions. He’s obviously being one of the scapegoats here.”
Given continued security measures around the Capitol, Johnson said, “Unless there’s some real threats that I’m not aware of that they are not telling us about, I think we ought to take that fencing down and return to as normal a position as possible.”
After Johnson said he wants officials to come forward to address what happened that day, Bartiromo remarked, “You are not getting that information and yet you have an impeachment trial coming up next week. You say that this is partly all part of the plan, deflection.”
Johnson responded by suggesting that Pelosi is the one whose actions should be looked at:
“I’ve always believed the Russian hoax was a diversionary operation from the corruption that was occurring certainly within the FBI and potentially some of our intelligence agencies. You have to kind of ask the question, what is this impeachment all about? We now know that 45 Republican senators believe it’s unconstitutional. Is this another diversionary operation? Is this meant to deflect away from potentially what the Speaker knew and when she knew it? I don’t know, but I’m suspicious.”