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Sen. Ron Johnson Claims the Capitol Riot Was Not 'Foreseeable'

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The Senate is preparing to hold a hearing to investigate how law enforcement officials were apparently caught off guard by the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and were not better prepared.

However, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) notes that while there are reports that an FBI office was aware of the potential for violence, he believes that the riot was not predictable.

During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Johnson said, “There was really no suspected harmful activity.”

“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,” he added.

During the Senate’s impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, the Democratic House impeachment managers claimed that the violence was foreseeable. 

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As The New York Times reported, “The footage and the detailed chronology were intended to reinforce the impeachment managers’ central argument: that Mr. Trump laid the groundwork to delegitimize the election so that his supporters would be primed to fight the results if he lost. The Capitol riot, they said, was the intended and foreseeable outcome of his actions.”

Days before the riot, the FBI office in Norfolk reportedly sent a warning to officials in Washington, D.C., about “information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.”

“An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there, ready for war. We get our President, or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal,” a document obtained by The Washington Post read.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda D. Pittman said in a letter to lawmakers that the department knew militia groups and “white supremacist organizations” planned to attend a protest of the electoral vote count.

However, she said the department “did not do enough” to prepare for the violence.

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