- Sen. Ron Johnson turned down Gladys Sicknick’s plea to establish a commission to investigate the Capitol insurrection.
- Johnson said he “respectfully disagreed on the added value of the proposed commission.”
- Johnson has previously attempted to downplay the severity of January 6 riot.
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GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on Thursday said he still opposed the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol insurrection after meeting with the mother of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
Gladys Sicknick visited Capitol Hill with Sicknick’s longtime partner Sandra Garza, hoping to convince lawmakers to support a January 6 commission. Her son suffered a stroke and died one day after facing rioters at the Captiol.
“This is why I’m here today,” Gladys Sicknick told CNN on Thursday as the Senate prepares to consider legislation that would establish the commission. “I just couldn’t stay quiet anymore.”
-The Recount (@therecount) May 27, 2021
Johnson said in a statement that he offered his condolences and was “happy” to meet with Sicknick’s family along with Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn, two police officers who were injured while defending the Capitol.
But the Republican senator said he “respectfully disagreed on the added value of the proposed commission.”
“I did commit to doing everything I could to ensure all their questions will be answered,” Johnson added.
Johnson has repeatedly attempted to downplay the severity of the January 6 riot and previously said he “never felt threatened” by the violence that forced Congress to shelter-in-place and left five people dead.
Last week, Johnson described the insurrection as “by and large a peaceful protest.” The Wisconsin Republican also voted to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
On Thursday, Johnson said he condemned “the grotesque violence, repugnant racial slurs, and other illegal acts that occurred on Jan. 6” and that “all those who engaged in those repulsive acts should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
-Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) May 27, 2021
Johnson and most other congressional Republicans have opposed a bill to create a bipartisan body to investigate the insurrection, arguing its too narrow in scope and could serve as a distraction from the 2022 midterm elections. The House last week approved the legislation in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans in favor of it.
Only a few Republican senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Susan Collins of Maine – lawmakers who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial – have signaled a willingness to support the bill.