US Capitol rioters had coordinated plans to disrupt democracy': Hearing chair

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Jul 27, 2021, 08:17 PM(IST)

US Capitol riot (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

On the first day of the hearing, the lawmakers will be hearing first-hand accounts of the Capitol police officers who were attacked mercilessly by the rioters in US Capitol, while hoping to find leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence

Former US President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the US Capitol building had clear plans to carry out coordinated attacks and "disrupt democracy", senior Democrat Bennie Thompson said on Tuesday after starting the congressional inquiry into the January 6 riots.

An inquiry was opened on Tuesday to investigate the attack of Trump supporters at the Capitol police and Capitol building on January 06.

Also read | US Capitol Riots: Man from Florida sentenced to 8 months in prison

Armed with video and picture evidence, Thompson claimed the Capitol riot was the most violent attack since the British assailed the US legislature in 1814.

"A violent mob was pointed toward the Capitol and told to win a trial by combat. Some descended on this city with clear plans to disrupt our democracy," Thompson said. "We know there is evidence of a coordinated planned attack. We know that the men and women who stormed the Capitol wanted to derail the peaceful transfer of power in this country."

Also read | Directionless and poor management: Senate report highlights faulty leadership during Capitol riots

On the first day of the hearing, the lawmakers will be hearing first-hand accounts of the Capitol police officers who were attacked mercilessly by the rioters, while hoping to find leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.

Four police officers, including Michael Fanone who was stun-gunned and brutally beaten by protestors, are scheduled to testify at the hearing today. One of the officers described this attack like a 'medieval battle’ and claimed he feared he would die.

It was "something from a medieval battle. We fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the Capitol," said Aquilino Gonell, a Capitol police officer. He also added that at the moment all he could think was "this is how I'm going to die, defending this entrance".

The hearing chair said it is very clear that the Capitol attack was coordinated to derail the peaceful transfer of power. The attack took place on the same day when the certification process of Joe Biden’s November presidential election victory was taking place in the Capitol building.

Read in App