'Trump sent us': Capitol Police officer tears up describing 'medieval battle' with Jan. 6 rioters

'Trump sent us': Capitol Police officer tears up describing 'medieval battle' with Jan. 6 rioters

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee on the January 6 insurrection held its first hearing on Tuesday, one of the people who testified was Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, an arch-conservative Republican Pelosi picked for the committee, set out to demonstrate just how horrific the January 6 attack was — and Gonell's testimony made it painfully clear that the insurrection was hardly the "normal tourist visit" that Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia claimed it was.

Gonell testified, "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. My fellow officers and I were committee to not letting any rioters breach the Capitol. It was a prolonged and desperate struggle. The rioters attempting to breach the Capitol were shouting, 'Trump sent us. We won. Trump.'"

The Capitol Police sergeant went on to say that on January 6, he "heard officers screaming in agony, in pain just an arm length from me." And one of them, Gonell noted, was Officer Daniel Hodges, who was present when Gonell spoke.

"I too was being crushed by the rioters," Gonell testified. "I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, 'This is how I'm going to die.'"

Gonell noted the injuries he sustained on January 6, pointing out that he has been on administrative leave for "much of the past six months."

"I expect to need more rehabilitation for possibly more than a year," Gonell testified. "There are some who express outrage when someone kneels while calling for social justice. Where are those same people expressing the outrage to condemn the violent attack on law enforcement, the Capitol and our American democracy? I'm still waiting for them."

Before Gonell's testimony, Cheney made an opening statement:


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