House Select Committee Holds Hearing on January Insurrection

By: BNC Digital Staff

The House Select Committee is investigating the fatal insurrection that took the lives of five people on January 6 after six months of debate on the issue.  

RELATED: Rep. Jim Clyburn on GOP’s Efforts to Erase the Insurrection, Qualified Immunity 

The committee will hear testimony from officers who were there. They will be asked how the insurrectionists managed to get as far as they did and if former President Donald Trump played a part in the violence that shocked America.  

RELATED: House Republicans Vote to Remove Rep. Liz Cheney From Leadership Role  

The committee includes Chairman Bennie Thompson, Democratic Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Adam Schiff, Pete Aguilar, Stephanie Murphy, Jamie Raskin and Elaine Luria. On the Republican side, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi selected Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.  

House Republicans are still protesting the convening of the committee, with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying he won’t cooperate after two of his selections for the committee were rejected by Pelosi.  

BNC’s Del Walters, host of D.C. Today, is hosting special coverage of the hearing. 

RELATED: Trump Appointee Federico Klein Arrested in Connection to Insurrection at US Capitol   

Dunn Delivers Testimony 

Dunn opened his statement by saying he is still hurting from the events that happened on January 6. He asked everyone in the room to adhere to a moment of silence in honor of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained in the attack.  

RELATED: Two Men Arrested in Connection to Death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick 

When rioters breached, he saw rioters with a Confederate flag, a “Make America Great Again” flag and a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. One rioter, who showed what appeared to be a law enforcement badge, told Dunn “We are doing this for you.” He also confirmed many of the rioters wore tactical gear and behaved like a militia.  

The rioters chanted things like “Stop the steal,” as they claimed the election was stolen and Joe Biden was not the president, he said.  

Dunn, who is Black, said he and other Black officers had racial slurs yelled at them throughout the insurrection. He said the emotional trauma from the day is still impacting him as he now seeks mental and emotional support from what he experienced.  

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling,” he said urging other officers to seek help.  

Hodges Delivers Testimony 

Hodges, who was working on Constitution Avenue during the attack, said many rioters were dressed in tactical gear and “appeared to be” dressed for more than a speech from politicians. While working, his crew discovered a bomb.  

While discussing the rioters, he said some said “Here come the boys in blue!” while some called them “storm troopers” and “traitors.” Officers walked in a single file line in order to not get separated by the large crowd. One rioter told Hodges, “You will die on your knees.”  

He was struck in the head with a large heavy object and another person took his baton from him. While the crowd chanted “USA”, Hodges led the charge to try to get officers out.  

Officer Fanone Delivers Testimony 

Fanone details how he began his career in law enforcement as a Capitol Police officer after the 9/11 terrorist attack. He said he thought he had seen it all in his career until the insurrection which was “unlike anything” he’d ever seen. He called the insurrectionists “an armed mob.” Detailing the events, he said he was called a traitor and the rioters threatened to kill him with his own gun while beating him.  

He detailed how the crowd pulled him from other officers, removed his badge and ammunition and then beat him with metal objects. A person attempted to get his weapon and kill him with his own firearm. “I was electrocuted again, and again, and again,” he said. “I’m sure I was screaming but I don’t think I could hear my own voice.”  

He and his partner suffered significant injuries. He was beaten unconscious for four minutes, suffered a heart attack and has since been diagnosed with PTSD.  

Sgt. Gonell Delivers Testimony 

Gonell detailed his pride in moving to America and becoming a police officer. When discussing the insurrection, he said rioters told him and other officers at the scene that they had guns while they were beaten and had chemicals sprayed on them. He also said rioters wore tactical gear like bulletproof vests and gas masks. While holding back tears, Gonell said rioters shouted “Trump sent us,” and he detailed the threats made against Pelosi and former Vice President Mike Pence.  

Since the attack, he said he is still trying to recover from his injuries. He had surgery on his right foot and still needs surgery on his shoulder. It is likely he will need further rehab for another year as he is on administrative leave.  

Citing the aid Capitol Police had during Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, he asked where that aid was during the insurrection. He also said he has wondered where the people who express outrage when people kneel for social justice are when he and other officers were brutally attacked and almost killed during the insurrection.  

Witnesses Introduced and Sworn In 

Thompson introduced the four witnesses in the hearing as officer Harry Dunn, Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges. Dunn and Gonell work for the U.S. Capitol Police while Fanone and Hodges work for the Metropolitan Police Department.  

Representative Liz Cheney Delivers Opening Statement 

Rep. Liz Cheney gives her opening statements, saying investigating the event was opposed by her party. Citing her belief that Americans deserve the truth, she said, “We must know what happened here at the Capitol.”  

Cheney was previously ousted by the Republican Party and removed from her leadership position in the party after voting to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection.  

Hearing Begins with Opening Statements 

Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi opens the hearing with a statement calling the insurrection a “vicious attack.” Citing the insurrectionists’ attempts to interrupt the official certification of ballots from the 2020 elections, he said the rioters attempted to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. After his statements, videos from the attack were shown.  

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