Four police officers who defended the US Capitol Building from the pro-Trump mob that invaded it on Jan. 6 have criticized former US president, Trump, and Republicans who are loyal to him for allegedly inspiring the attack and then downplaying the attack after it was carried out.
Speaking at the inquiry hearing organized by the US House of Representatives into the attacks, the police officers on Tuesday, July 27 asked members of the House select committee investigating the events of that day to get to the bottom of the incident.
“You guys are the only ones we’ve got to deal with crimes that occur above us,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Daniel Hodges said.
“I need you guys to address if anyone in power had a role in this. If anyone in power coordinated or aided abetted or tried to downplay, tried to prevent the investigation of this terrorist attack.”
Before the hearing, Republicans had already pulled all of their appointees to the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blocked two of them for being allies with Trump, leaving only Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. who were selected by Pelosi as the sole republicans.
“The mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts… shouting ‘heave, ho,’ as they synchronized pushing their weight forward crushing me further against the metal doorframe,” Hodges said.
“A man in front of me grabbed my baton… he bashed me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull.”
MPD Officer Michael Fanone, meanwhile, detailed how he was “electrocuted again and again and again with a taser. I am sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could hear my own voice.”
The committee members, led by Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., asked the police for details about who the rioters were, and for what they would like to see the committee accomplish.
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Private First Class Harry Dunn talked about how the attackers hurled the N-word at him. USCP Sergeant Aquilino Gonell meanwhile emphasized that the mob “was not Antifa. It wat not Black Lives Matter. It was not the FBI. It was [Trump’s] supporters that he sent them over to the Capitol that day.”
On what he would like the committee to accomplish, Fanone said;
“While I understand there have been investigations [on] the events of Jan. 6, my understanding is that those have addressed some of the micro-level concerns,” he said.
“We had violent political rhetoric. We had the organization of a rally whose title was ‘Stop the Steal’ and that rally occurred on Jan. 6, which I don’t believe was a coincidence,” he continued. “The circumstances of that rhetoric and those events leads in the direction of our president and other members… of Congress and the Senate.”
Fanone added: “What I am looking for is an investigation into those actions… and also whether there was a collaboration between those members, their staff, and these terrorists.”
USCP Private First Class, Harry Dunn asked the committee not to shy away from finding the political causes of the attack.
“It’s not a secret that it was political. They were literally there to ‘stop the steal,’” Dunn said. “Telling the truth shouldn’t be hard.”
The officers were also harsh on Republicans who are downplaying the violence, which forced hundreds of lawmakers and former Vice President Mike Pence into hiding.
“It’s disgraceful that members of our government I believe were responsible for inciting that behavior and then continue to propagate those statements. Things like this was 1776,” Fanone later said. “To me those individuals are representative of the worst that America has to offer.”
“You’re talking about people who claim that they are pro-law enforcement, pro-police, pro-law and order,” Gonell also said. “And yet when they have the chance and the opportunity to do something about it, to hold people accountable, you don’t. You pass the buck like nothing happened.”