Iron County Progressive


Lawsuit accuses Ron Johnson, Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany of aiding insurrection

Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - Three Republican members of Wisconsin's federal delegation are the targets of a lawsuit filed Thursday by a liberal group alleging the elected officials conspired before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol to keep Joe Biden from becoming president.  

The lawsuit alleges U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany through their public statements about the 2020 presidential election violated a Civil War-era clause in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that bars insurrectionists from running for office.  

"These guys broke the law and shouldn't be on a ballot again," said Kirk Bangstad, a former Democratic candidate for the state Assembly who owns Minocqua Brewing Company and runs the liberal super PAC that funded the lawsuit.

"It's weird for a brewery to be pushing things in a political sense, but that's where we are because we feel like there's not enough intestinal fortitude among some of our higher up legislators or Justice Department officials to be doing what we're doing right now," he said at a news conference Thursday. 

The lawsuit accuses Johnson, Fitzgerald and Tiffany of spreading "malicious falsehoods about a 'rigged election'" through their public comments in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

The officials "engaged in a conspiracy whose illegal objective was to hijack the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 in order to permit the presentation of knowingly false and fraudulent slates of electors," the lawsuit alleges.

"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 was filed in federal court on behalf of 10 Wisconsin residents.