When asked about the breach on “The Joe Pags Show,” the Wisconsin Republican said he “never felt threatened” because he knew the protestors “love this country.”
“I knew that 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.
He said that “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,” adding that “this could get me in trouble.”
A number of Republicans and conservatives have pointed to what they say is hypocrisy regarding how the media and some elected officials have described the Capitol breach as an “insurrection” or “sedition,” noting that there were months of riots in major cities sparked during BLM protests that received little condemnation or pushback from Democrats.
The Capitol was breached during a joint session of Congress as members debated whether to certify states’ electoral votes, prompting both the House and the Senate to adjourn while lawmakers were forced to seek safety. Photos showed some of the protestors inside the chambers of Congress as others were seen sitting in lawmakers’ chairs.
More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the incident, and prosecutors said last week that they expect more to be charged as an investigation continues.
On March 12, the Department of Justice said in a court filing that it expects to charge at least 100 more people in connection to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6.
“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” prosecutors wrote in their filing, while requesting a 60-day delay in a case against several alleged Oath Keepers members who are charged in connection to the incident.
For his remarks last week, Johnson received criticism from Democratic politicians.
“They would have hurt you if they got their hands on you,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter to Johnson. “That’s why Senators hid that day. Remember?”
A spokesperson for the senator’s office, in response to the criticism, told the Washington Times that Johnson “has condemned rioters and believes those who broke the law need to be held accountable for their actions.”