Ron Johnson, 2 Other Wisconsin GOP Members Sued for Alleged Insurrection

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and two other Republican members of Congress became the subject of a lawsuit filed Thursday for alleged insurrection following their support of former President Donald Trump ahead of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The lawsuit, filed by 10 Wisconsin citizens, alleges Johnson and Representatives Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald conspired against President Joe Biden by undermining the 2020 election results, violating the Disqualification Clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, according to the Associated Press.

The suit is just one of the riot's aftereffects, as an investigation into alleged election fraud in the state in 2020 continues despite no evidence of it. If the suit were to move forward, it could make disqualification from Congress a consequence of supporting the unfounded theory which led to the Capitol riot saying the election was stolen from Trump.

The Disqualification Clause does not allow anyone who has "engaged in insurrection" to hold an office in the United States government. It is a product of the Civil War era that was aimed at preventing those who had fought for the Confederacy from returning to Congress.

The lawsuit said the Congress members' public statements leading up to the Capitol riot spread "malicious falsehoods about a 'rigged election,'" the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Ron Johnson and Other GOP Members Sued
Senator Ron Johnson and two other Wisconsin GOP members were sued for allegedly engaging in an "insurrection." Above, Johnson appears before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on August 6, 2020, in Washington D.C. Photo by Toni Sandys/Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes, a result that has since received several lawsuits and recounts, the AP reported. However, none of the reviews have found widespread fraud. Newsweek reported Monday only 24 people in the state were facing voter fraud charges, making up an insignificant percentage of the millions of Wisconsin citizens who cast their ballots in 2020.

Fitzgerald and Tiffany were part of the groups of Republicans who voted against counting Biden's presidential electors in Arizona and in Pennsylvania, according to the AP. Johnson also initially signed an objection to counting Arizona's electors but reversed the decision following the riot.

Johnson was also part of a group of three Republican senators who met with Trump two days before the riot to hear from several presenters who supported the claims of the election being stolen, the Journal Sentinel reported. In December, Johnson held a hearing on the allegations of election irregularities.

"Following the hearing, myself and my staff continued to gather information and consider allegations, that is why I joined the meeting," Johnson said in a statement to the Washington Post.

"After having been egged on relentlessly by the flagrant lies and distortions put forth by President Trump, Johnson, Tiffany, Fitzgerald, and their co-conspirators, known and unknown, over the previous months, thousands of people took the law into their own hands and stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Joint Session of Congress," the lawsuit said.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Johnson called the lawsuit "frivolous."

"This lawsuit is total nonsense," he said. "Democrats have ignored the Summer 2020 riots and relentlessly used January 6th as a political cudgel."

The offices of Tiffany and Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to Newsweek's requests for comment.

Update 03/10/22 5:35 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information.