Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson said that he might have been concerned for his safety if the Capitol would have been attacked by Black Lives Matter protesters instead of angry and largely white pro-Trump supporters.
Speaking with The Joe Pags Show, Johnson downplayed the danger members of Congress faced during the January 6 Capitol riot.
“Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn’t concerned,” he said, adding he “never really felt threatened.”
“Now, had the tables been turned – Joe, this could get me in trouble – had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned,” Johnson continued.
Reality is at odds with Johnson’s comments as hundreds of people who participated in the Capitol insurrection have been arrested with many more still attempting to be located by the FBI. The riot also resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer. More than 100 other officers were injured.
Johnson’s latest comments are also part of a larger false equivalency some conservatives have been pushing by attempting to compare the violence from January 6 that resulted in five deaths, massive federal property damage, and hundreds of injuries in just a few hours, to the nationwide and summer-long Black Lives Matter protests that led no deaths caused by demonstrators and varied property damage over a much longer period.
The false equivalency also extends to what is actually being protested. Black Lives Matter has always called for an end to widespread and systematic police brutality and killings of unarmed Black people while the Capitol rioters were calling for an overturn of certified election results based on zero concrete evidence that the 2020 November election was stolen.
The Justice Department is preparing some of the first guilty plea offers for people who were subsequently charged in the investigation. There are more than 400 possible defendants stemming from the Capitol riot.