Michael Fanone testified July 27 before the House select committee appointed to investigate the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “What I witnessed and experienced on Jan.6, 2021, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Fanone, who recounted being beaten by attackers who attempted to take control of his firearm. He feared at times they would kill him with his own gun. “Nowhere in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to be in that situation.”
He was one of four members of the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police who testified about the violence and fear they experienced that day, and how the attack has continued to affect them. “To be honest I did not recognize my fellow citizens, or the country they represent,” Fanone said of the day he responded to the insurrection.
Fanone said he suffered from a concussion and traumatic brain injury after responding to the attack, as well as PTSD. He expressed dismay at some Americans’ reactions to the insurrection, and said the response to the attack should not be dictated by politics.
“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 hell doesn’t exist,” the officer said of efforts to downplay or deny what happened.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised the committee will “get to the truth” of what happened during the storming of the Capitol, which killed at least five people, and followed a rally where former President Donald Trump repeated false claims of voter fraud and a stolen election as he urged crowds protesting the results of the election to head to the Capitol to take a stand against “this egregious assault on our democracy.” The committee includes seven Democrats and two Republicans, appointed by Pelosi. Republicans, who have been wary of crossing former President Donald Trump, have criticized the process. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently withdrew the names of five GOP appointees after Pelosi rejected the participation of two of them.
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