DC Officer Asks America To Abandon Trump In Emotional Op-Ed


In a new article for The New York Times, Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who is with the U.S. Capitol Police and helped defend the Capitol against rampaging Trump supporters last year, exposed some of former President Donald Trump’s guilt in connection to the devastation inflicted at the Capitol.

Gonell attended the recent public hearing of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot featuring former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson in person. “Although I experienced firsthand the brutal onslaught of the insurrectionists, I was shocked to hear Ms. Hutchinson explain the extent to which former President Donald Trump incited the people who almost killed me,” Gonell remarked. What the officer described regarding the guilt Trump holds sounds like it could easily constitute corrupt, criminal intent. “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 added in the article. “Instead of being notified about the danger, my colleagues and I were kept in the dark, and thus walked into an ambush unprepared.”

Hutchinson’s testimony helped make clear that Trump apparently wanted to go to the Capitol after delivering his outdoor speech in D.C. on January 6. Following those remarks, Trump got in the presidential vehicle and encountered the head of his Secret Service detail pushing him to return to the White House instead of going to the Capitol, where the violence was escalating. Trump was reportedly persistent. The idea for Trump to go to the Capitol on January 6 wasn’t a spur of the moment decision; it was in the works for awhile and was opposed by then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone on the apparent basis of concerns about the potential for somebody to get criminally charged over it. Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, said she discussed potential charges with Cipollone including obstruction of the electoral vote count as fears among those opposed to Trump’s machinations grew.

“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 this week. “Or maybe it was the fact that Mr. Trump eventually told the rioters who’d criminally assaulted my colleagues and me while trying to bring down the U.S. government: “Go home. We love you. You are very special.””

Gonell has experienced extreme personal impacts from that day as one of the police officers injured by the mob. “It was like a medieval battleground,” the officer explained. “With our lives in peril, I would have been justified in using lethal force. But I didn’t want to spark a massacre. Over the course of the five-hour struggle, my hands were bloodied from being smashed by a stolen police baton. My right foot and left shoulder were so damaged that I needed multiple surgeries to repair them. My head was hit with such force with a pipe that I no doubt would have sustained brain damage if not for my helmet.” He’s been in physical therapy since shortly after the violence at the Capitol. Gonell was apparently recently advised by his doctors against continuing to serve as a police officer in light of his injuries.

“The physical and emotional damage I sustained on Jan. 6 not only cut short my career, it has upended my life,” Gonell said. “Five of my colleagues in law enforcement died and more than 850 rioters were arrested. So many families have been ruined because of one man’s lust for power. Even more galling are the Republicans who still refuse to provide testimony under oath and instead dangerously downplay how close we came to losing our democracy… 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. 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.” Read more at this link.