WASHINGTON – During emotional, tense and sometimes aggravated grounds Tuesday, 4 constabulary officers who defended the Capitol connected Jan. 6 vividly recalled the unit they endured portion warring against a mob of Donald Trump's supporters.
“I was grabbed, beaten, Tased, each portion being called a traitor to my country,” said Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone astatine the archetypal proceeding of the caller House probe into the insurrection.
The Jan. 6 insurrection, an effort to halt the certification of President Joe Biden's win, came aft then-President Trump held a rally successful Washington wherever helium urged his followers to march connected the Capitol and “fight similar hell.” Yet contempt extended documentation of the violence, immoderate Republicans person sought to contradict and downplay the carnage that unfolded.
In telling their stories, officers said they wanted to acceptable the grounds consecutive astir the “hell” they experienced.
Here are highlights from the grounds of Fanone, chap Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, arsenic good arsenic Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and Officer Harry Dunn of the U.S. Capitol Police:
They were equipped with flags, alloy pipes, array legs, chemic weapons, guns — adjacent a cattle prod.
The officers said they were expecting a regular protestation the time of Trump's Jan. 6 rally. But they weren't prepared for thousands of his aggravated supporters to overrun them during fierce hand-to-hand combat that transformed the Capitol grounds into what Gonell described arsenic a “medieval battlefield.”
“Is this each the manpower you have? Do you truly deliberation you’re going to beryllium capable to halt each these people?” Hodges said 1 of the rioters told him.
“Get your machete,” idiosyncratic successful the assemblage could beryllium heard saying.
Fanone, astatine 1 constituent was separated from his chap officers, was pulled into the mob, beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun.
"I heard chants of ‘kill him with his ain gun.’ I tin inactive perceive those words successful my caput today,” helium said.
He blacked retired and estimates helium mislaid consciousness for 4 minutes. Doctors aboriginal told him that helium had a bosom attack.
Elsewhere, Gonell was guarding an entranceway erstwhile helium was crushed by rioters. He could consciousness himself losing oxygen. “This is however I’m going to die," helium recalled thinking.
Dunn told lawmakers astir an speech helium had with rioters who had afloat bought into Trump's mendacious claims that the predetermination was stolen and believed “nobody voted for Joe Biden.”
When Dunn, who is Black, told the rioters helium voted for Biden and his ballot should beryllium counted, a assemblage of Capitol intruders hurled the N-word astatine him.
“One pistillate successful a pinkish ‘MAGA’ (Make American Great Again) garment yelled, ‘You perceive that, guys, this n—— voted for Joe Biden!’” Dunn said. The assemblage of astir 20 radical began hurling the slur astatine him.
No 1 had ever called Dunn, an serviceman with much than a twelve years connected the force, the N-word portion helium wore his Capitol Police serviceman uniform, helium told the panel.
However, Dunn was besides speaking to the acquisition of being an African American constabulary officer, who marque up 29% of astir 2,300 officers and civilians serving connected the Capitol Police force.
Dunn said different Black antheral serviceman told him that, portion confronting the rioters connected Jan. 6, helium was told to “Put your weapon down and we’ll amusement you what benignant of n—— you truly are.”
PUSHING BACK ON TRUMP
Ever since the attack, Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the relation helium and his supporters played. In a video belatedly released hours aft rioters breached the Capitol, Trump called for them to “go location successful peace.” But helium besides added: “We emotion you. You’re precise special.”
Since then, he’s insisted galore attendees were “loving” radical who were “hugging and kissing the constabulary and the guards.”
The 4 officers would person nary of it.
“I’m inactive myself recovering from those hugs and kisses,” Gonell said. “If that was each hugs and kisses we should spell to his location and bash the aforesaid happening to him." Later successful the proceeding helium apologized for the comment.
Dunn appeared to comparison Trump to a deed antheral and urged the committee to research his relation successful the insurgency.
“There was an onslaught connected Jan. 6. And a deed antheral sent them. I privation you to get to the bottommost of that,” helium said.
House Republican person Kevin McCarthy, a Trump ally, said helium wouldn't sanction immoderate House Republicans to service connected the committee conducting the probe aft Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected 2 of his selections.
But the probe is bipartisan anyway, acknowledgment to Pelosi's assignment of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, some vocal Trump critics. McCarthy has mocked the 2 lawmakers arsenic “Pelosi Republicans.”
Both Cheney and Kinzinger chastised their enactment astatine the hearing, accusing them of prioritizing governmental powerfulness and fealty to Trump implicit getting to the bottommost of the attack.
“For each the overheated rhetoric surrounding this committee, our ngo is precise simple: It’s to find the truth. And it’s to guarantee accountability,” said Kinzinger, who grew affectional and choked backmost tears. “Many successful my enactment person treated this arsenic conscionable different partisan fight. It’s toxic and a disservice to the officers and their families.”
Cheney, the girl of erstwhile Vice President Dick Cheney, said determining an “objective truth” astir the onslaught would beryllium cardinal to overcoming “the galore efforts we are already seeing to screen up and obscure the facts.”
Tuesday's affectional proceeding was covered gavel to gavel connected galore large TV networks.
McCarthy did effort to connection immoderate counterprograming, though, with an aboriginal greeting quality conference. He lamented the information that Pelosi rejected 2 ardent Trump supporters helium had nominated to the committee, starring to his determination to boycott the panel.
He besides told reporters that Pelosi should beryllium investigated for her relation successful the information failures of the day, but helium ignored questions astir Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who had identical authorization implicit the Capitol Police and Capitol information officials.
“Unfortunately Speaker Pelosi volition lone prime radical for the committee that inquire the questions she wants asked,” McCarthy said, adding that it volition pb to a “sham” and a “failed committee."
The officers had crisp words of their ain for Republicans, galore of whom present downplay the seriousness of the attack.
“I consciousness similar I went to hellhole and backmost to support them and the radical successful this room. But excessively galore are present telling maine that hellhole doesn’t beryllium oregon that hellhole really wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful," Fanone said portion pounding a table.
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