Michael Fanone, who was a D.C. police officer when the Capitol riot took place two years ago, where he was among those brutally attacked by the pro-Trump mob, denounced Trump for his role in inciting the violence in a new CNN interview and characterized House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy as — in his public-facing capacity — focused on getting ahead rather than, you know, roughly anything else.
Fanone specifically pushed the idea of Trump facing criminal consequences for inciting the Capitol attack. He’s obviously not the only one to promote such an idea, considering even the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot also recommended criminal charges. “I’m frustrated at the lack of accountability for those that were responsible for orchestrating the attack on our Capitol on January 6,” Fanone said in the interview. “We’re two years out, and while we have cycled a lot of individuals through the criminal justice system that participated in the attack, Donald Trump is still walking around a free man.”
“A lot of people predicted what was happening today, and I certainly am not surprised,” Fanone added on the subject of McCarthy’s leadership and the days of chaos around his attempts to secure the role of House Speaker. “Again, I had that conversation with myself and Officer Harry Dunn and Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Brian Sicknick, and we sat in Kevin McCarthy’s office, and he told us point-blank, ‘I can’t control the fringe members of my party.’ And so here we are, about a year and a half out from that meeting, and Kevin McCarthy is desperately seeking the speaker’s gavel and cannot control the fringe members of his party. By definition, a leader should have a firm grasp on all the members of his party. He doesn’t — he’s not a leader.”
Asked about the infamous trip McCarthy took to visit Trump in southern Florida not long after the January 6 violence — a trip some have credited with providing a substantial boost to Trump’s political career, Fanone credited the struggling House GOP leader’s behavior to ambition evidently no matter the cost. “His concerns lie in his professional future,” the former officer said. “He’s the type of person who would — in the immediate aftermath of this historic event, the attack on our Capitol, would lay the blame at the foot of the president, former President Donald Trump, and then when he saw it as not being politically advantageous… he goes down to Mar-a-Lago, kisses Donald Trump’s ass, and here we are.”
McCarthy making himself known for sticking by Trump in the wake of the riot barely even paid off, considering his historic 11 losses in a row in the race to become House Speaker. Taking on the role requires overall majority support, and throughout those nearly a dozen votes, Democrats were actually closer to answering the push for getting the House operational since their pick was closer to a majority. It would depend on how involved figures might break down and prioritize their partisan versus institutional interests, but moderate Republicans could’ve supported Hakeem Jeffries at any juncture in an even less numerically strenuous gesture than Democrats flipping to McCarthy in sufficient number for a victory — and besides, Kevin’s stances set off serious partisan alarm bells!
Watch Fanone’s interview below: