WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Ron Johnson defended his remarks in a Capitol security hearing, sharing parts of an eyewitness account that claims four groups, including people acting as Trump supporters, were actually responsible for the insurrection attempt.
The senator was criticized by lawmakers on both sides, but he feels they're in the wrong.
Johnson said he's on a fact-finding mission because now, almost two months after the attack, too many unanswered questions remain. He's calling on his colleagues to carry an open mind into this investigation.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin)
"Plainclothes militants, agent provocateurs, fake Trump protesters and then disciplined uniformed columns of attackers. I think these are the people who probably planned this," said Johnson.
Quoting an eyewitness account in The Federalist, Johnson used his time in a Capitol security hearing this week to suggest a Trump-supporting crowd wasn't responsible for the insurrection attempt. Johnson was widely criticized for his statement.
On Thursday, he stood by those remarks.
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
"The point I'm trying to make is we need to make sure we get the complete reconstruction of what happened so we actually understand what did happen," said Johnson.
More than 200 people have been arrested, including dozens with documented far-right ties. Federal officials have denied any proof of "false flag" actors taking part in, or being responsible for what happened on Jan. 6, but Johnson said it's too early to tell.
"Nothing's proven until you take a look at all the information. So again, I don't fear information," said Johnson. "I don't fear the truth. I think we need a full accounting of what happened."
Democrats and some Republicans were quick to criticize Johnson, like Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who called it a disgrace for a sitting senator to share the misinformation so blatantly. Instead, Johnson says it's important to look at what happened with an open mind.
"It's just amazing to me how close-minded people are," said Johnson. "I guess they've already come to conclusion. They apparently already know. How could they possibly know?"