Capitol Police Officer Suggests Committing Violence Against Trump During Jan. 6 Hearing Testimony


A Capitol Police sergeant on Tuesday appeared to suggest people should go to former President Donald Trump’s house and put on display the violence Capitol police officers experienced on Jan. 6 before apologizing for the comment.

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell made his comments during his testimony in front of the House Select Committee during the investigation into the incursion of the Capitol.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming asked Gonell how he felt when he heard Trump say “there was a lot of love” in the crowd of people who attended the rally before the incursion.

“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. He claimed that so many rioters, terrorists were assaulting us that day. If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him.”

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Gonell was one of the police officers who responded to the attack that day. Three other officers testified at the first hearing of the select committee, The New York Times reported.

Republican leaders boycotted the session.

PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins tweeted that Gonell later apologized for his comment and said “he did not mean to suggest anyone should go to Trump’s house.”

About 140 police officers were injured during the incursion of the Capitol while Congress was in session to certify the results of the 2020 election.

Gonell detailed the events of Jan. 6 to the committee and said 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.

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Gonell also criticized Republicans who have opposed efforts to investigate the incursion.

Do you think this officer was out of line?

“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 formed after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, according to Reuters.

The panel is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, all of whom were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NPR reported.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith