Roundup: Officer Michael Fanone, House Members Highlight Severity of January 6 at Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, pro-democracy Members of Congress and former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who was severely injured while defending the Capitol on January 6th, highlighted the importance of remembering the severity of the attack on the U.S. Capitol at the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. At the hearing, extreme Republicans attempted to avert attention from the events of January 6th and minimize the detrimental impact the insurrection had on our democracy and society.

Below is a roundup including transcripts of noteworthy moments from the hearing

Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee, Rep. Stacey Paskett

Rep. Plaskett: At the end of the day, the purpose of this hearing is to minimize what happened on January 6th, and the lawful prosecution of individuals who were engaged in that practice. The Chairman wants us to believe that people are being persecuted for their political conduct rather than their criminal behavior. So basically, he’s trying to tell us that everyone who’s been indicted and prosecuted for January 6th, did not engage in criminal conduct? That’s the logic of what of he’s saying and it’s… we’ve just come so low in this House. It’s just frightening to me.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

To view Officer Fanone’s body camera footage shown during Rep. Plaskett’s opening remarks, click HERE

Officer Fanone: Within the context of this particular investigation… one of the reasons why I believe that the FBI would have sought voluntary compliance as opposed to applying for a warrant is the sheer magnitude of the event. You had literally 1000s of people who participated again on the attack on the Capitol on January 6, and then in an abundance of caution, and really the responsibility of the FBI and those other investigating agencies is to ensure that that violence does not occur again at our inauguration, which was only about two weeks after that. And so, I think it wholly appropriate, as you just said, it’s completely within our capabilities as law enforcement agencies to seek voluntary compliance from these institutions to investigate criminal acts or potential criminal acts.

Rep. Plaskett: Thank you. So there was an imminent threat on the American people, on the homeland, that being individuals who said they were going to come back and finish the job that they had started on January 6, to try and stop the emplacement of Joe Biden as President of the United States.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Colin Allred 

Rep. Allred: “I was on the House floor on January 6th. We haven’t had a chance to talk, but I know you have kids. I have… —my wife was at home with our son Jordan, he wasn’t yet two…— she was seven months pregnant. And thanks to your bravery, the bravery of your colleagues, of true patriots who defended this Capitol. I believe I got to meet my son Cameron.”

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Rep. Wasserman Schultz: Officer Fanone, what’s your response to those who say that no police officers were killed by the events on January 6th, 2021?

Officer Fanone: Well, my thoughts on Officer Brian Sicknick, obviously, Brian Sicknick’s cause of death was ruled unrelated to the Capitol riot. That being said, I think that good, decent people would understand that if it were not for his participation in the defense of this Capitol on January 6th against a violent mob, Brian Sicknick would be here with us today. I understand, I think better than most, the post traumatic stress that accompanied my participation in defending the Capitol on January 6th and then enduring the mischaracterization or lies about what I experienced that day from people in positions of power, many of whom were here at the Capitol themselves. I understand what brought many officers to taking their own lives and I certainly attribute their actions to their participation in defense of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz: Thank you. Mr. Chairman and my Republican colleagues. Once again, I ask that you stop trivializing the violent assault the entire world saw that day both to our democracy and to our law enforcement. And please do not cavalierly discard financial information as a law enforcement tool to prevent the next January 6th. 

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Gerry Connolly 

Rep. Connolly: The Republican Conference Chair, Elise Stefanik, recently said people who are being imprisoned for crimes committed during January 6 are “hostages.” Do you agree, yes or no,— that the people who have been arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced and are serving those sentences are in fact “hostages”?

Mr. Knight: I have not studied that. My initial inclination is no. And if I can elaborate, I have not read all the transcripts of all the convictions, but I will assume…—

Rep. Connolly: Thank you. I just find it interesting that you can opine about amendments to the Constitution and infringements and warrants, but you haven’t really looked at the issue of whether people who committed crimes on January 6 are hostages or not. Thank you for that moral equivocation. Officer Fanone, maybe you don’t want to equivocate. What do you think? I mean, I’m listening to my colleagues. I’m listening to this testimony, and apparently you got it wrong. On January 6, there were peaceful citizens simply protesting on behalf of their First, Second, and Fourth amendment rights, carrying Bibles, who had just assembled peacefully to express themselves here in the Capitol. Isn’t that what you encountered on January 6?

Officer Fanone: That couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean, my encounter was brutal. It was violent. It involved a number of individuals restraining me, beating me, at least one individual while I was being restrained, beaten, subjecting me to electroshock from a taser device on my neck. All the while, resulting in injuries I sustained as a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Sylvia Garcia

Rep. Garcia: Within hours, the Capitol was overrun by domestic terrorists sent there by President Trump. I don’t mean terrorists in some academic or legal or political science definition. I mean, I was terrified. My staff with me was terrified. And many of my colleagues around me, both Democrat and Republican because this is not a partisan issue, were also terrified. Now some of my colleagues have already forgotten the violence and terror that we all experienced together. And we’ve heard some of the comments, they think they should be called hostages. They think they should be treated as patriots. Well, they were terrorists, plain and simple in my books.

Rep. Garcia: As you reflect now do you see the connection? Do you see what really was happening that day? It was not just the violence of the mob, but it was the attack on everything that we stand for as a country?

Officer Fanone: Yes, ma’am. That’s my assessment.

Rep. Garcia: Thank you. Many members have publicly spoken about and recorded memories of their experiences. And we know that many, many members of Congress have struggled with trauma from that day.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Stephen Lynch

Rep. Lynch: Officer Fanone, as a former Metropolitan Police officer,could you please tell us how the promulgation of false narratives like, “this is just a tourist visit” or “simple vandalism,” how that distorted description affects your ability to do your job?

Officer Fanone: Thank you for the question. Well, essentially the distortions, mischaracterizations, and lies about January 6th resulted in, or at least partially played a role in me leaving my job as a Metropolitan police officer. They have inspired fellow Americans to threaten me, threaten members of my family simply because of the statements that I’ve made about my experience both on January 6th 2021 and in the aftermath.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Linda Sánchez

Rep. Sánchez: Officer Fanone in your experience. Is it appropriate for law enforcement to use all lawfully available tools in the investigation of somebody who’s threatening the family of members of public officials or journalists?

Officer Fanone: Yes, ma’am. It’s not only appropriate, it’s law enforcement’s responsibility to do so.

Rep. Sánchez: Would it be a dereliction of duty if you didn’t use every lawfully available tool to you to try to prevent a crime from happening or to solve a crime that has already happened?

Officer Fanone: Yes, ma’am. I believe so.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. Garamendi: Unfortunately, what’s happened here in this hearing is that we’ve taken the January 6th issue, the insurrection, the violence, the harm that came to officer Fanone and others and morphed it into a larger question of our civil liberties. That’s unfortunate. But here we are using this hearing to somehow degrade the violence and the insurrection itself and the ultimate effort to destroy our democracy.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE

Rep. Dan Goldman

The fact of the matter is, we are once again here on a completely sham rationale. There was no First Amendment or Fourth Amendment violation around January 6th. This is simply another effort to whitewash what happened on January 6th.

To view a video clip of this moment, click HERE


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Courage For America is a campaign advised by a council of proud Americans speaking out against an extreme MAGA agenda that puts money and power over the rights and freedoms of the American people. The campaign is amplifying the voices of Americans in communities across the country — veterans, educators, faith leaders, and more — to demand the People’s House works for the people.