Capitol Police sergeant injured on Jan. 6 says Trump betrayed oath to Constitution

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A Capitol Police sergeant injured during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot wrote in an op-ed published by The New York Times on Sunday that former President Trump “betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution.”

Aquilino Gonell wrote in the Times that he was present in the committee room when the Jan. 6 panel investigating that day heard public testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

“Of course, I never would have imagined that an American president would not only not come to the aid of law enforcement officers defending the Capitol but encourage that crowd to march on it,” Gonell wrote in the op-ed. “Instead of being notified about the danger, my colleagues and I were kept in the dark, and thus walked into an ambush unprepared.”

“I don’t know what part of Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony enraged me most: that Mr. Trump wanted to be driven to the Capitol to lead the vicious riot, that he’d spurred his supporters on knowing they were armed, or that he ignored some of his advisers and even his daughter who told him to call it off, allegedly fighting with his own Secret Service agent after he refused to let the president be driven there,” Gonell added.

Gonell, who received a Congressional Gold Medal for his role in defending against the rioters, also wrote in the op-ed that he still experiences physical and mental trauma from the attack and that it cut his career short.

Gonell added that Trump should be barred from running for office, saying that he didn’t protect Americans “he was supposed to protect” on that day.

“The enabling of Mr. Trump needs to stop now. He should not only be banned from running for any other government office, he should never be allowed near the White House again,” Gonell wrote in the op-ed.  “I believe he betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution, and it was to the detriment of me, my colleagues and all Americans, whom he was supposed to protect.”

The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack’s next public hearing is slated for Tuesday, after completing six televised public hearings last month, giving new details about the lead-up to the Capitol insurrection, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including some of Gonell’s fellow Capitol Police officers.

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