Capitol Police Officer on Jan. 6 ‘Violence:’ We Should Do the Same to Trump
Sgt. Aquilino Gonell's gives testimony at hearing
A Capitol Police sergeant suggested that people should put on the same display of violence Capitol Police officers experienced on Jan. 6 at Donald Trump's house, before quickly apologizing for the remark.
During Sgt. Aquilino Gonell's testimony in front of the House Select Committee in the probe into Jan. 6, he replied to Republican Rep. Liz Cheney's question on how he felt about Trump's claim that “there was a lot of love” in the crowd.
“It’s upsetting. It’s a pathetic excuse of his behavior for something that he himself helped to create this monstrosity,” Gonell said.
“I’m still recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses' that day."
Rep. Cheney: "You hear fmr. President Trump say, 'It was a loving crowd, there was a lot of love in the crowd,' how does that make you feel?"— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 27, 2021
Sgt. Gonell: "It's upsetting, it's a pathetic excuse of his behavior ... I'm still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day." pic.twitter.com/Icvc0ppaSo
"He claimed that so many rioters, terrorists were assaulting us that day," he added.
"If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him.”
Gonell was one of the officers responding to the attack that took place on Jan 6.
Three other officers testified at the first hearing of the select committee, according to the New York Times.
The session was boycotted by Republican leaders.
PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins tweeted about Gosnell's quick apology saying “he did not mean to suggest anyone should go to Trump’s house.”
Sgt. Gonnell just apologized for his words about Trump's 'hugs and kisses' to the crowd ... saying he did not mean to suggest anyone should go to Trump's house.— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) July 27, 2021
Around 40 police officers were injured at the Capitol, as the result of the 2020 election, was being certified by congress.
Gonell told the committee he thought he was going to die.
“I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die — defending this entrance,'” he said.
"If those responsible are not held accountable, and 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 democracy system." -- Liz Cheney pic.twitter.com/D8LBl64yn3— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 27, 2021
He also blasted Republicans opposing efforts to investigate the incursion.
“There is a continuous, shocking attempt to ignore or try to destroy the truth of what truly happened that day, and to whitewash the facts into something other than what they unmistakably reveal: An attack on our democracy by violent domestic extremists and a stain on our history and our moral standing here at home and abroad,” he said, according to NPR.
The nine-member panel was created after Republicans blocked the creation of an independent commission, Reuters reported.
The panel was made up of Nancy Pelosi-appointed Democrats and Republicans, NPR reported.