The Select Commitee Hearing investigating the U.S. Capitol riots started its deliberations with heart-wrenching testimony from Capitol police officer Michael Fanone, who was working as a plain-clothes officer the day of the insurrection. In Fanone’s striking statement, he recalled being “swarmed by a violent mob,” “dragged,” and “beaten unconscious” by rioters on Jan. 6.
“At one point I came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd ‘Get his gun and kill him with his own gun.’ I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm,” he said.
“I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice.”
Fanone also revealed he had suffered a heart attack, and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. But still, one of the most difficult part of the trauma is knowing “so many of my fellow citizens — including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend — are downplaying or outright denying what happened.”
“I feel like I went to Hell and back to protect them, and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that Hell doesn’t exist, or that Hell actually wasn’t that bad,” he said, proceeding to pound his fists on the table as he boomed, “the indifference shown to my colleagues is DISGRACEFUL!”
“Being an officer, you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door,” he continued, “but nothing, truly nothing has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day, and in doing so, betray their oath of office.”
Despite Fanone’s genuinely harrowing recollection of events — politicians and pundits alike remain undeterred, and continue to do the very thing Fanone decried: Deny the reality that were the Capitol riots.
Julie Kelly, a right-wing denier of the Capitol insurrection who has appeared twice on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in the past month, took to Twitter in light of Fanone’s testimony and called who others have deemed an “American hero” — a crisis actor.
“Crisis actor Fanone just beat on the table and said it’s disgraceful!’ that any elected official denies his narrative of what happened on January 6. Calls it an ‘insurrection.’ Blasting GOP lawmakers,” she tweeted.
Twitter isn’t impressed with Kelly’s takeaway — many mocking her decision to specifically, inexplicably, address Officer Fanone’s tattoos.
Some even needed clarification, because Kelly’s claim claim was so outrageous.
Others were quick to point out her hypocrisy.
It remains to be seen how other insurrection deniers will respond to the upcoming testimonies.