Sen. Johnson: ‘Unequal Enforcement’ of the Law a Major Concern for Republicans
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Sunday expressed his frustration over the “double standard” applied by Democrats when it comes to prosecuting violent acts during riots and protests.
Johnson told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures that Republicans are really “troubled” by how Democrats fail to equally enforce the law against individuals who commit acts of violence, referring to violent rioters who terrorized cities and destroyed property over the summer during Black Lives Matter protests.
Although Republicans have been actively condemning the violent acts perpetrated during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, he did not observe the same with his Democrat colleagues in terms of condemning the violence perpetrated by left-wing extremists, Johnson said.
“That’s not the same standard that the Democrats use … in many cases [they] encouraged the riots that occurred over the summer,’ he said.
“Whether it was one to $2 billion dollars of property damage, 12 to 19 people killed in those peaceful protests turned to riots, no condemnation, in fact, there’s actually encouragement of that, for example, by the vice president [Kamala Harris] to encourage people to donate to a fund that would bail out the rioters.”
During the summer riots, then-Senator Harris asked her followers to donate to Minneapolis Freedom Fund (MFF). She promoted the fund in a Twitter post on June 1, saying, “If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”
The MFF raised about $35 million following the death of George Floyd in late May, reported Fox 9. According to the MFF’s website, the group has spent under 10 percent of that money, or $3,475,000, to bail people out of jail, with $210,000 of that used for bailing out those who were arrested amid protests since late May.
“How does that make sense? So the double standard, the unequal enforcement of the law is really what troubles an awful lot of people on our side of the aisle,” Johnson added.
His comment comes days before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is scheduled to hold a hearing on what took place on Jan. 6 and to seek accountability for the incident.
Johnson noted that his letter sent to the current and former Sergeants at Arms of the House and Senate have not yet been answered and that senators are going into the hearing with limited accurate information, other than a letter (pdf) penned by the former Chief of Police for the U.S. Capitol Police Steven A. Sund to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) explaining the actions he took to shore up security for Jan. 6.
“Right now, we’re going to be going into that hearing with what we’ve read in the newspaper,” he said.
“We don’t have the base of information I would like to have before I would go into a hearing … I’m hoping we start getting some information from the people that were actually there and we get a full accounting of what actually happened.”
He noted conflicting reports about what the FBI knew prior to Jan. 6, saying that one branch appeared to have received some “pretty disconcerting warnings” about the breach beforehand. However, Johnson pointed out that in Sund’s letter, the FBI and other law enforcement officials did no provide “any intelligence indicating that there would be a coordinated violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
“Perfect hindsight does not change the fact that nothing in our collective experience or our intelligence—including intelligence provided by FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPD)–indicated that a well-coordinated, armed assault on the Capitol might occur on January 6,” Sund wrote in his letter.
“There was really no suspected harmful activity,” Johnson said. “People really were caught by surprise. This was not predictable. This was not foreseeable as the House managers continue to talk about. I just don’t believe it was.”
Senators on Feb. 23 will hear from Sund, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, former House Seargeant at Arms Paul Irving, and Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee.
Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.