Ex-Officer Who Defended Capitol Rips GOP For Ever Backing Jim Jordan For House Speaker

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In a discussion on MSNBC with host Katie Phang, Aquilino Gonell, who was among the police officers defending the Capitol on January 6, 2021, sharply criticized the prospect of the GOP making an election denier the Speaker of the House. Most of the declared candidates for the role amid the latest round of haggling inside the House GOP voted against the full certification of the election results from 2020.

Gonell also criticized the House GOP for having already gone — for a time, at least — with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as their pick for Speaker. He failed in three votes in a row on the House floor to secure the needed majority support to actually take the Speaker role, but before that point, plenty of House Republicans (though not all of them) were evidently fine with someone who helped spread election conspiracy theories and refused to cooperate with a Congressional investigation into January 6 and surrounding circumstances. That’s despite Jordan’s potentially critical firsthand knowledge, considering he spoke with Trump that day.

“If you look at the Speaker race, to have the notion of nominating someone who has repeatedly gone against what the Constitution stands for — somebody who tried to go against it, and then be nominated multiple times. Someone who is a material witness to the events of January 6 who has refused to participate in the investigation and follow up with the subpoena that was issued to him for multiple months already — and that’s the person that they best find to be qualified?” Gonell pointedly asked. Democrats in Congress have also repeatedly pointed to Jordan’s subpoena defiance.

“It’s a disservice to all the sacrifices that not only myself did, but my colleagues and our forefathers,” Gonell added, discussing specifically how it’s even a possibility that someone who voted against the 2020 election results becomes Speaker. As of Monday, it was unclear who Republicans would next select as their formal pick for Speaker of the House in votes on the floor — and whether that eventual choice would then get the majority support needed to actually become Speaker. Nine House Republicans were competing.