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PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at claims by Sen. Johnson and Rep. Pocan

Posted at 9:16 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 22:17:48-05

MILWAUKEE — What really happened during the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol? Sen. Ron Johnson says it was not at an armed insurrection.

PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at that claim and one accusing Johnson of not showing up during the impeachment trial.

Five people died during the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including a Capitol Police officer. But Republican Sen. Johnson's opinion of that day generated national headlines.

"On several radio talk shows, Sen. Ron Johnson asserted the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was not an 'armed' insurrection - he took issue with that word armed," said Eric Litke with PolitiFact Wisconsin.

Sen. Johnson says he was referring to firearms when he said "armed."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the word has broader meaning to include carrying a weapon. Arrest reports indicate people were armed.

"14 people are facing federal charges for bringing or using a dangerous weapon around the Capitol," said Litke. "One man walking away from the Capitol was found with a loaded handgun."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim 'Pants on Fire.'

Sen. Johnson was the focus of a tweet by Madison Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan during the Senate impeachment trial.

"Rep. Mark Pocan said Sen. Ron Johnson didn't 'show up' for one day of the hearings," said Litke.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the photos don't back up this claim and Pocan's office could not provide any confirming evidence to the contrary.

"We do have photos from various news organizations that showed Johnson coming and going from the hearings on Feb. 11 and 12," said Litke, "and we have a C-SPAN feed where we can see Johnson in his seat at the end of the February hearing."

PolitiFact Wisconsin also rated this claim Pants on Fire.

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