News & Politics

January 6 Committee Hearing: Key Moments of Testimony You Might Have Missed

Police officers tell their stories of the violence at the Capitol Insurrection.

The MAGA crowd on January 6. Photograph by Evy Mages

DC and US Capitol Police officers delivered powerful testimony at the first hearing of the House’s Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building. Addressing a panel of Democratic representatives, save two Republicans, the officers detailed the violence and abuse they witnessed on the day of the insurrection. If you missed the coverage, here are some highlights:

Officer Michael Fanone Condemns Insurrection Denialists in Congress

Slamming his fist onto the table in front of him, Fanone called out the “disgraceful” behavior of Republican representatives who continue to downplay and deny the events of January 6.

“Boo, Fucking N*****”: Officer Recounts Racist Abuse from Insurrectionists

Officer Harry Dunn described an encounter with the pro-Trump mob, who hurled racial epithets. “No one had ever, ever, called me a ‘n*****’ while wearing the uniform of a Capitol police officer.” Dunn also retold the experiences of fellow Black officers present that day who were threatened with racial slurs.

Representatives Become Emotional When Addressing Witnesses

Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) both teared up when questioning the officers. Kinzinger, one of the two lone Republicans to join the committee, said “I never expected today to be quite as emotional for me as it has been”.

Officers Call for Committee to Investigate Involvement of Government Officials in Attack

Officer Daniel Hodges, who was crushed between a door by rioters, as depicted in a widely spread video, asked the committee to “address if anyone in power had a role in this, if anyone in power coordinated, or aided or abetted, or tried to downplay, tried to prevent the investigation of, this terrorist attack.” Dunn said “a hit man” sent the insurrectionists, and he wanted the representatives to “get to the bottom of that”.

Officer Calls Out Trump’s Downplaying of Insurrection

When asked by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) about Former President Donald Trump’s claim that the the insurrectionists were a “loving crowd”, Sargent Aquilino Gonell said “I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day…If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same to him.” Gonell later apologized and clarified that he did not want to suggest that anyone go to Trump’s home, and that he was speaking from a place of emotion.

 

 

 

 

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Editorial Fellow

Clara Grudberg joined Washingtonian in July 2021. Originally from New York City, she studies history and journalism at Georgetown University.