GOP Rep. Paul Gosar’s siblings denounced him in a scathing op-ed: ‘Have you no sense of decency, Paul?’

Rep. Paul Gosar speaks at a news conference.
Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at a news conference on January 7, 2016.

  • The siblings of GOP. Rep. Paul Gosar ripped into him in a new op-ed.
  • Published by NBC, the op-ed accuses Gosar of helping to incite the riot at the Capitol.
  • The siblings suggested Gosar does not have the “intellect, character or maturity” to be in Congress.
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Three of Rep. Paul Gosar’s siblings penned an op-ed denouncing many of their brother’s actions and accusing him of helping to incite the January 6 attack at the Capitol.

The scathing op-ed, published by NBC News, was written by Dave Gosar, Jennifer Gosar, and Tim Gosar, and includes a long list of their brother’s actions, asking “have you no sense of decency, Paul?”

The list includes the Republican from Arizona downplaying COVID-19 and saying Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros turned Jewish people in to the Nazis.

Read more: Paul Gosar is the GOP’s under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior

“It seems, in fact, that you are immune to shame. In addition to betraying your family and causing irreparable damage to the relationships within it, you decided to betray your country by helping incite the Jan. 6 domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol,” the op-ed said.

The siblings named actions Gosar took that they thought incited the riot, including sharing false claims about the results of the 2020 election.

They also accused him of gaslighting everyone by painting Ashli Babbitt, the Trump supporter who was killed by police while participating in the riot, as an “innocent bystander.”

Gosar has frequently praised Babbitt. He said she was “executed” and accused the Capitol Police of “lying in wait” for her, comments that were condemned by his colleagues.

“Maybe you don’t know how you got to this very dark place, Paul. Unfortunately, we have some ideas,” his siblings wrote. “Maybe it’s because you’re in way over your head in Congress and don’t have the intellect, character or maturity to be in that leadership role. Maybe your lifelong, insecure need for the approval of others caused you to sacrifice your common decency and integrity to satisfy Trump and his followers in order to keep your seat.”

It’s not the first time Gosar’s siblings have publicly criticized him. In 2018, six of them appeared in an ad endorsing Gosar’s political opponent in the midterm election, Democratic candidate Dr. David Brill. Recently, they have called him a “pathological liar” and “a traitor to this country.”

At the time of the 2018 ad, Gosar accused his siblings of being “disgruntled Hillary supporters” who “hate President Trump.”

He did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the op-ed.

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger: ‘I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas’ in Jan. 6 House investigation

Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) answers a question from the media next to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) with Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) at center, after the first hearing of the House Select committee to investigate the January 6 riot.

  • Kinzinger would back issuing subpoenas to compel individuals to testify before the Jan. 6 panel.
  • “I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people,” he said on Sunday.
  • The congressman said that Trump may not be called to testify, expressing that testimony from individuals in his orbit may suffice.
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Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday signaled that he would support using subpoenas “for a lot of people” to bring them to testify in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Jonathan Karl, the Illinois Republican said he was committed to conducting an exhaustive probe.

“I think this is … the shot we have as a country to get answers to what led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath,” he said. “I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people. But I think the bigger thing is just what is the message that’s going to come out this, is that the American people deserve the truth.”

He added: “It’s going to be a thorough investigation, that’s for sure.”

Last week, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Kinzinger to the committee, joining Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the only other Republican on the panel.

Kinzinger and Cheney were among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January for “incitement of insurrection” over his role in the riot.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy initially picked a slate of Republicans for the committee, which included Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, but after Pelosi rejected the two congressmen, the California Republican pulled every Republican member from the committee.

During the interview, Kinzinger wouldn’t say who the committee might subpoena, only pledging to search for answers.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

“We want to do this expeditiously,” he said. “We don’t want to drag this out. … What led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath.”

When asked if Republicans like McCarthy or Jordan might be subpoenaed due to their conversations with Trump on Jan. 6, Kinzinger simply committed to finding out what happened on that day.

“I would support subpoenas to anybody that can shed light on that,” he said. “If that’s the leader that’s the leader. If it’s anybody that talked to the president that can provide us that information, I want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day.”

He added: “I want to know if the National Guard took five or six hours to get to Capitol Hill. Did the president make calls? If he didn’t, why?”

Kinzinger said that those interested in the truth should support the committee’s impending work.

“If anybody is scared of this investigation, I ask you, what are you afraid of? If you think it wasn’t a big deal, you should allow this to go forward,” he said.

When asked if the panel might subpoena Trump, the congressman was noncommittal.

“We may not have to talk to Donald Trump. … If he has unique information, that’s one thing. But I think there’s a lot of people around him that knew some things,” he said.

Kinzinger also criticized statements made last week by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who replaced Cheney as House Republican Conference Chair, where the congresswoman blamed Pelosi for the attack.

“To me it’s mind-blowing and shows the desperation to derail this,” he said. “The speaker and I don’t get along on a lot of things. On this, we do. … Blaming what happened on Jan. 6 on the security posture, that’s like blaming someone for being a victim of crime. It’s insane.”

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GOP lawmaker who downplayed the Capitol riot as ‘a normal tourist visit’ doubled-down on the remark after police testified about the violence they faced

Andrew Clyde
Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., walks down the House steps after the last vote of the week in the Capitol on Friday, April 16, 2021.

  • Reps. Andrew Clyde and Jamie Raskin had a heated exchange over comments made about January 6.
  • Raskin pressed Clyde about whether he listened to the officers who served during the Capitol riot.
  • Clyde stood by his past statements comparing the insurrection to “a normal tourist visit.”
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GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who previously compared the Capitol riot to “a normal tourist visit,” stood by his comments in an explosive Tuesday night exchange with Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

During a House Rules Committee hearing, Raskin, who is a member of the panel investigating the January 6 attack and served as the lead impeachment manager for former President Donald Trump’s trial, asked Clyde if he watched the searing testimony from officers who fought back against the insurrectionists who breached the Capitol.

Clyde described Raskin’s line of questioning as “absolutely irrelevant.”

Raskin pressed Clyde for not disclosing whether he heard the officers speak.

“He refuses to say whether or not he heard the Capitol officers who risked their lives and have experienced traumatic medical injuries,” he said. “That’s his prerogative.”

He then asked: “Do you stand by your statement that they were tourists?”

Clyde refused to answer the question and told Raskin that he should read his “exact statement” and not an “interpretation” of his statement.

Raskin proceeded to read Clyde’s statement that was made in May.

“Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit,” Raskin said, quoting Clyde.

Read more: These 20 millennial Democratic campaign operatives are reshaping politics in the US

He added: “Those are your words.”

Clyde responded: “I stand by that exact statement as I said it.”

The GOP congressman later expressed that he did not state that those who breached the Capitol were “tourists.”

“That is not my statement!” Clyde said, becoming increasingly rankled by the tenor of the questioning.

“You want to make this another January 6th hearing, and this is not! This is the Rules Committee!” he added.

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the chair of the Rules Committee, chimed in and asked for the men to “lower the decibel.”

During Tuesday’s hearing of a House select committee that’s probing the January 6 riot, panel members heard from Metropolitan DC Police Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges, US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, and Capitol Police Officer Harry A. Dunn, who all testified about the atrocities from that day, detailing the sheer violence and emotional scars that were borne that day by rioters upset over the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The Democratic-led panel also featured GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both conservatives who have been highly critical of Trump and many in the GOP who have sought to downplay the attack.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has fermented GOP opposition to the January 6 panel, yanking off other Republicans after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California rejected Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio from serving on the House committee.

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DOJ and House lawyers will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a Capitol riots lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell

Mo Brooks
Mo Brooks

  • The US government will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a Capitol riot lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.
  • The Office of the General Counsel for the House of Representatives said that it would not be appropriate to represent Brooks in this scenario.
  • The Department of Justice said that Brooks was not acting within the scope of his employment when he told protestors to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Office of the General Counsel for the House of Representatives said in a filing on Tuesday that it will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Swalwell alleged in his original complaint that Brooks helped “incite the violence at the Capitol” when he told Capitol protesters to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Brooks said in a filing that he was acting within the scope of his employment when he gave his speech on January 6, a move that if successful would grant him a form of legal immunity via the Westfall Act.

General Counsel Douglas N. Letter wrote on Tuesday, however, that it would not be appropriate to represent Brooks in this lawsuit as the case does not challenge an “institutional action of the House or any of its component entities.”

The Department of Justice also denied Brooks’ claim on Tuesday that he was acting within the scope of his employment and requested that he not be granted immunity. The DOJ and House counsel’s filings are not binding and a judge could still say that Brooks was acting in the scope of his employment and receive immunity.

It took Swalwell several months to serve the original complaint against Brooks because Swalwell’s team could not locate the representative, though Brooks denied hiding from Swalwell.

Swalwell ultimately hired a private investigator to locate Brooks. The complaint was ultimately served to his wife at their home.

“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks said in a tweet.

There are precedents to this decision

House counsel pointed to a previous legal spat between former House Minority Leader John Boehner and Rep. Jim McDermott where both parties used private attorneys.

McDermott obtained and leaked an illegal recording of a call between Boehner and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the press, leading to a lawsuit from Boehner. An appeals court ultimately awarded Boehner over $1 million in damages and said McDermott “unlawfully” obtained the recording in violation of his official duties.

Additionally, according to Ryan Goodman, the former special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense, the DOJ filing also suggests that former President Donald Trump may also not be granted immunity via the Westfall Act.

The DOJ is currently defending Trump in a lawsuit from writer E. Jean Carroll who alleges the former president raped her.

The General Counsel’s full filing is below

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Lawmakers wiped away tears while hearing testimony and watching videos of the riot on January 6 during a congressional hearing

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., wipes his eyes as he listens to testimony on the Jan. 6 attack.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., wipes his eyes as he listens to testimony before the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

  • Lawmakers wiped away tears amid emotional testimony and footage of the January 6 riot.
  • The House Select Committee held its first public hearing as part of its investigation into the Capitol insurrection.
  • Video shows House lawmakers, including Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Zoe Lofgren tearing up at the hearing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Lawmakers wiped away tears while listening to emotional testimonies and graphic videos of the January 6 riot at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

The House Select Committee that is investigating the January 6 insurrection held its first public hearing on Tuesday.

Police officers, who were attacked by a pro-Trump mob that descended on the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election, delivered emotional testimonies of their experiences on January 6, pushing some lawmakers to tears.

Video shows House lawmakers, including Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Zoe Lofgren tearing up at the accounts of the officers who were at the Capitol and at footage of the insurrection. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, a Democrat from New Hampshire, was also seen wiping away tears as she left the hearing on Tuesday.

One of the witnesses, US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, appeared during the congressional hearing to share his account of the Capitol insurrection, describing how he was beaten with a flagpole and sprayed with chemical spray. He broke down into tears as a video of the riot played at the beginning of the hearing.

Kinzinger told the four officers who testified that they “won” and assured them that “democracies are not defined by our bad days.”

“We’re defined by how we come back from bad days, how we take accountability for that,” he said during the hearing.

In their opening statements, Cheney and Kinzinger called out their GOP colleagues, pointing to their own conservative beliefs and why other members of their caucus should support the investigation into January 6.

“I’m a Republican. I’m a conservative,” Kinzinger said in his opening statement. “But in order to heal from the damage caused that day, we need to call out the facts.”

Read more: Meet Matt Graves, the Biden administration’s pick to oversee hundreds of US Capitol attack cases

Cheney echoed a similar sentiment, saying she has “been a conservative Republican since 1984 when I first voted for Ronald Reagan,” but “if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our Constitutional Republic, undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system.”

“We will face the threat of more violence in the months to come, and another January 6th every four years,” she said.

Some members of the GOP caucus called for Cheney and Kinzinger to be stripped of their committee assignments amid their participation on the House select committee, to which Kinzinger said “if people want to get petty, that’s fine. I think that reflects more on people than it does on the situation at hand.”

Cheney and Kinzinger are the only two Republicans serving on the House select committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s GOP picks for the panel – Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom voted against certifying the 2020 election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, two states where President Joe Biden won.

“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement last week. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”

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DC police officer Daniel Hodges says Capitol rioters tried to recruit him because he was white: ‘Are you my brother?’

DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.
DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.

  • MPD Officer Daniel Hodges said he was treated differently than his non-white fellow officers.
  • “Some of them would try to, try to recruit me,” he said. “One of them came up to me and said, ‘Are you my brother?'”
  • He noted there were many white supremacist-linked organizations at the Capitol assault.
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At the opening hearing of the January 6th select committee on Tuesday, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges said he was “recruited” to join the mob by some rioters during the Capitol riot.

The stunning testimony from Hodges came after one member asked him why he had called the Jan 6th riot a “white nationalist insurrection.”

“Officer Hodges, you characterized the attack on the Capitol as a ‘white nationalist insurrection.’ Can you describe what you saw that led you to label the attack that way?” asked Rep. Pete Aguilar, a California Democrat, during the opening session of the select committee to investigate the January 6 siege.

Hodges, noting that the pro-Trump mob was made up of “overwhelmingly white males” and that they didn’t say anything “especially xenophobic” to him, said he was treated differently than his non-white fellow officers.

“Some of them would try to, try to recruit me,” he told the committee. “One of them came up to me and said, ‘Are you my brother?'”

He went on to note that there were many white supremacist-linked organizations at the Capitol on January 6th. “Three percenters, Oath Keepers, that kind of thing,” he said.

“People who associate with Donald Trump, I find more likely to subscribe to that kind of belief system,” he added.

Hodges and other officers’ testimony highlighted the overt racism of the insurrectionists. A fellow officer testifying before the committee, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, testified that he and other officers of color faced a “torrent” of racist epithets and threats during the insurrection.

Hodges also repeatedly referred to the rioters as “terrorists” during the hearing, and recounted in detail what it was like to be crushed in a revolving door by the pro-Trump mob. A video of the incident went viral online earlier this year.

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Police officer responds to GOP claims that Capitol rioters were tourists: ‘If that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists’

daniel hodges
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges testifies during the opening hearing of the U.S. House (Select) Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021.

  • A police officer cracked a joke when asked about GOP claims that Capitol rioters were “tourists.”
  • “If that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” Daniel Hodges said.
  • Hodges repeatedly referred to the Capitol insurrectionists as “terrorists.”
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A Metropolitan Police officer on Tuesday cracked a joke when a Democratic lawmaker asked him about Republican claims that the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 were “tourists.”

“Some of our colleagues have been calling the violent insurrectionists not terrorists, but tourists,” said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, referring to Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde’s earlier claim on the matter. “Why do you call the attackers terrorists, and what do you think about our colleagues who think we should call them tourists?”

“Well, if that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” MPD officer Daniel Hodges deadpanned, as lawmakers and the audience broke into laughter.

He continued: “But I can see why someone would take issue with the title of ‘terrorist.’ It’s gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary the past few decades. And we like to believe that that couldn’t happen here, no domestic terrorism, no homegrown threats.”

“But I came prepared,” Hodges said, before reading out the definition of domestic terrorism under US law.

Hodges referred to the insurrectionists who overran the Capitol as “terrorists” multiple times on Tuesday, as he and three other witnesses testified before a special committee Congress set up to investigate the January 6 siege.

The MPD officer made headlines after harrowing footage showed him screaming in pain while crushed in a doorway between the pro-Trump mob and law enforcement officers trying to hold the line.

On Tuesday, Hodges told lawmakers that he remembered foaming at the mouth while being crushed and as rioters tried to rip his helmet off.

“I did the only thing I could do, scream for help,” he said.

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Capitol Police officer rejects Trump’s claim about ‘loving crowd’ of rioters: ‘I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day’

U.S. Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell
U.S. Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video being displayed during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

  • A Capitol Police officer called Trump “pathetic” for claiming insurrectionists were a loving crowd.
  • “I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day,” said Officer Aquilino Gonell.
  • He added that Trump’s comments were “insulting” and “demoralizing” and that he sacrificed the country “for his ego.”
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Capitol Police Officer Aquinilo Gonell on Tuesday said it was “pathetic” that former President Donald Trump claimed the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 were a “loving crowd.”

Gonell was one of four witnesses who testified at the first hearing for the special committee Congress created to investigate the deadly insurrection.

At one point, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who is one of two Republicans serving on the committee, asked Gonell what he thought about former President Donald Trump’s claim that there was “a lot of love” among rioters who stormed the Capitol.

“When you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and the violence of the assault that day and then you hear former President Trump say, quote, ‘It was a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd,’ How does that make you feel?” Cheney asked.

“It’s upsetting,” Gonell said. “It’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create, this monstrosity.”

“I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day,” he continued. “If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him. To me, it’s insulting, it’s demoralizing because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt. And what he was doing instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support, or telling his people, his supporters to stop this nonsense, he egged them to continue fighting.”

Gonell added that all the insurrectionists he encountered “were telling us, ‘Trump sent us.’ Nobody else – it was nobody else, it was not antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent over to the Capitol that day.”

Trump “could have done a lot of things,” Gonell said, including telling the rioters to stop.

“He talks about sacrifices,” but “the only thing he has sacrificed is the institutions of the country, and the country itself only for his ego,” Gonell said. “He wants the job, but he doesn’t want to do the job. And that’s a shame on him.”

The officer later walked back his remarks and apologized for the “outburst.”

“By no means was I suggesting that we all go to his house,” he said.

Along with Gonell, Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges also gave jarring and emotionally charged testimony recounting their experiences defending the Capitol on January 6.

Dunn choked up as he recalled being called a “f—ing n—–” by the Trump supporters who stormed the building, and Fanone was on the verge of tears while describing how he told rioters that he had kids while begging them to stop the onslaught.

Hodges’ struggle with the insurrectionists was caught on video, and the harrowing footage showed him being crushed in a doorway between the rioters and police officers who were trying to hold the line.

The officer said he remembered foaming at the mouth while being crushed and as rioters tried to rip his helmet off.

“I did the only thing I could do, scream for help,” Hodges said.

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‘I cried out in pain’: DC police officer Daniel Hodges recounts when he was crushed by rioters between a door on January 6

daniel hodges
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges testifies during the opening hearing of the U.S. House (Select) Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021.

  • MPD officer Daniel Hodges recounted how rioters attacked him on January 6.
  • Hodges described the moment when he was crushed between a door frame of the Capitol.
  • “I was effectively defenseless,” Hodges said.
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Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges vividly recounted the physical abuse he faced while defending the Capitol on January 6 during a House hearing on Tuesday.

Hodges described the moment when rioters trampled the barriers of the Capitol and attempted to break into a building entrance, resulting in a viral video of him being crushed against a revolving door.

“My arms were pinned and effectively useless, trapped against either the shield on my left and the door frame on my right,” Hodges said. “With my posture granting me no functional strength or freedom of movement, I was effectively defenseless and gradually sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the mob.”

“Directly in front of me, a man sees the opportunity of my vulnerability, grabbed the front of my gas mask and used it to beat my head against the door,” Hodges continued. “He switched to pulling it off my head, the straps stretching against my skull and straining my neck.”

Hodges added that the man ultimately succeeded in removing his gas mask, leaving the police officer exposed to chemical irritants sprayed by the rioters.

Another man then grabbed Hodges’ baton and “bashed me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull,” Hodges said.

Video footage and photos of the violent scene show Hodges stuck between the doorway with a bloody lip.

The rioters, whom Hodges repeatedly referred to as “terrorists,” then started “pushing their weight forward, crushing me further against the metal door frame,” Hodges continued.

“At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright,” Hodges said. “At best, I would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues. At worst, be dragged out into the crowd and lynched.”

Hodges then said he resorted to do “the only thing that I could do and screamed for help.”

His yells were eventually heard by another police officer who was able to extricate him from the position. Hodges said he found water to decontaminate his face and “soon after” went back to the fight.

The DC police officer was one of four law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill on Tuesday who testified before a House select committee that is investigating the January 6 insurrection.

Hodges recounted other instances from that day when the rioters attacked him, including one man who “latched onto” his face and “got his thumb” in Hodges’ right eye, “attempting to gouge it out.”

“I cried out in pain and managed to shake him off before any permanent damage was done,” Hodges said.

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‘This is how I’m going to die’: Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell tearfully describes the ‘constant trauma’ of January 6

Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell
US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video being displayed during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

  • US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell gave vivid and emotional testimony on the January 6 riot.
  • Gonell recalled “verbal assaults and disrespect” from the rioters and the “horrific and devastating” violence.
  • “What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle,” he recounted.
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US Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell recounted the violence of the January 6 insurrection in an emotional testimony before the first hearing of the House select committee on Tuesday, saying he could have died “many times” that day.

Sgt. Gonell, US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, and Metropolitan Police Officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone were the witnesses testifying at the hearing. All were on the front lines of defending the Capitol from the violence of the riot.

“For most people, January 6 happened for a few hours. But for those of us who were in the thick of it, it has not ended,” Gonell said.

Gonell, giving his opening remarks through tears at several points, captivated the room with vivid testimony about the carnage.

“To be honest, I did not recognize my fellow citizens that day, or the United States they claimed to represent,” Gonell said, adding that “on January 6, for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment in Iraq.”

He recalled the “verbal assaults and disrespect” from the rioters and the “horrific and devastating” violence they exacted, describing being kicked, shoved, and assaulted with knives, batons, shields, and chemical irritants.

“What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle. We fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the Capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting our democratic process,” Gonell said.

Gonell recalled “being pulled” by rioters and being hit with his own baton.

“I vividly heard officers screaming in agony, in pain, just an arm’s length from me. I didn’t know at that time that was Officer Hodges, and he’s here today to testify,” he said.

“I too was being crushed by the rioters,” Gonell said. “I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die,’ defending this entrance.”

“It was not until 4:26 p.m., after giving CPR to one of the rioters who breached the Capitol in an effort to save her life, that I finally had a chance to let my own family know that I was alive,” Gonell said.

Gonell said that while he returned to work the day after the insurrection, he’s been out on medical and administrative for much of the time since, and has undergone multiple surgeries caused by the riot.

“I continued to work for 15 consecutive days until after the inauguration. I made sure to work despite my injuries because I wanted to continue doing my job and help secure the Capitol complex,” Gonell said. “More than six months later, I’m still trying to recover from my injuries. I sustained injuries on both my hands, my left shoulder, my left calf and my right foot. I already undergone fusion surgery on my right foot and I was just told that I need surgery on my left shoulder.”

Gonell said that when he was finally able to arrive home, he “had to push my wife away from me because she wanted to hug me. And I told her ‘no,’ because of all the chemicals my uniform had on. I couldn’t sleep because the chemicals reactivated after I took a shower and my skin was burning.”

At the end of his opening statement, Gonell also called out those people who have criticized athletes who have knelt during the national anthem at sports games but have downplayed the violence of the January 6 insurrection.

He also noted that law enforcement received ample resources during the protests of summer 2020, but not the Capitol siege.

“We are not asking for medals or recognition. We simply want justice and accountability,” he said.

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