A police officer compared those in power who were responsible for encouraging violent pro-Trump insurrectionists to storm the US Capitol on Jan. 6 to "a hitman" who should be in jail.
US Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn urged lawmakers on Tuesday to "get to the bottom" of the attack during powerful and emotional testimony before a House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.
"If a hitman is hired and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, the person who hired them does," Dunn said. "There was an attack carried out on Jan. 6. And a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that."
Dunn, along with three other police officers, described in harrowing detail how they and hundreds of other officers endured verbal and physical attacks on Jan. 6 that have since taken a significant toll on their emotional and physical well-being.
When asked by the committee's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, what answers the officers were looking for from the investigation, three of them said they wanted to know whether elected officials had a role in influencing or planning the attempted insurrection.
"I need you guys to address if anyone in power had a role in this," said DC Metropolitan police officer Daniel Hodges, who was badly injured when he was crushed in a doorway between a mob of rioters and a line of officers.
"If anyone in power coordinated, aided or abetted, or tried to downplay or prevent the investigation of this terrorist attack," he added.
Dunn, who described how he and other Black officers endured a torrent of racist slurs from Trump supporters, dismissed the sentiment that the Jan. 6 attack was not political.
"It's not a secret that it was political," Dunn said. "They were literally there to 'stop the steal.' It is political. There's no getting around that."
DC police officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a heart attack and a concussion after being attacked by the rioters, testified that the "time, place, and circumstances" of the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6 and the "violent political rhetoric" at the time "leads me to the direction of our [former] president and other members of Congress."
He also called for an investigation into "whether or not there was collaboration between those members, their staff, and these terrorists."