The House select committee on the January 6 insurrection held its first hearing Tuesday, during which officers from Capitol Police and Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department testified about their experiences fighting the mob of Trump supporters who had stormed the Capitol.
The officers detailed the physical struggles, the racist epithets that the rioters had yelled at Black officers, and their own near-death experiences that day. The Associated Press reported on the officers’ testimony, writing that they were “sometimes wiping away tears, [and] sometimes angrily rebuking Republicans who have resisted the probe and embraced Trump’s downplaying of the day’s violence.”
But a significant portion of right-wing media personalities responded by attacking the officers for their testimonies and insulting them on personal levels.
For example, after Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn described how a crowd of rioters had yelled racial insults against him — something that Dunn, who is Black, said he had never experienced before while in uniform — The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Dunn had made his claim “without evidence.”
Just to be clear, Dunn was describing an event that occurred directly to him on January 6 — but Davis instead questioned whether “left-wing politics might have influenced his claims today.”
Newsmax host Greg Kelly posted a number of tweets insulting the police officers, saying that all of them “can not be trusted with weapons.” He also claimed that DC police officer Michael Fanone — who was tased by the rioters and suffered a heart attack — was “wrapped too tight,” and that DC police officer Daniel Hodges — who was crushed in a doorway by the Trump supporters — should be “put on ‘desk duty’ right away” because he is “not equipped to be a cop.”
Frequent Fox News guest Julie Kelly also called Fanone a “crisis actor.”
Former New York City police commissioner and Trump-pardoned felon Bernard Kerik tweeted on Tuesday that the officers testifying at the hearing should be fired because they had “cried like babies.” (Kerik has continued to tweet easily disproved allegations that the election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump.)
Newsmax host and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka quote-tweeted Kerik, adding that the officers were “cowards.” During the January 6 attack, Gorka had been one of many far-right commentators openly cheering on the attempted coup, declaring, “Patriots have taken over Capitol Hill. … God willing it will continue to be peaceful, but a message has been sent.”
Raheem Kassam, co-host of the War Room: Pandemic podcast with former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, also tweeted insults against the police officers:
Right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, another Trump-pardoned felon who has previously claimed on Fox News that “there was no insurrection, there was no coup,” tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “I wonder how they’d hold up in the event of a real insurrection,” along with a vulgar insult against the entire Capitol Police Department.
Right-wing commentator David Horowitz, who claimed in January that the increased security in the capital after January 6 was “the early stages of the establishment of a fascist state in America,” also disparaged the officers for having “lent themselves to a transparent witch-hunt posing as an investigation,” calling it “shameful.” Horowitz further accused the officers of “participating in a public hanging.” Ironically the January 6 rioters had chanted for the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence because he had not gone along with Trump’s attempt to unconstitutionally reject the election results.