Jan. 6 Officer Makes The Case Against Trump’s Return As 2024 Approaches

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Court challenges over whether Donald Trump is eligible for the presidential ballot in 2024 because of the violence of January 6 are continuing, and Aquilino Gonell — a former Capitol Police officer — says in a new interview that blocking Trump from regaining the presidency could be fitting accountability for his role in what happened.

Gonell participated in the defense of the Capitol and has been outspoken about his experiences on January 6, 2021, having left the force after suffering physical injuries inflicted by the pro-Trump mob.

Gonell spoke about those court cases in an interview with Dean Obeidallah. “To go back to your question, what is closure for me? I don’t know,” Gonell posited on the air. “It could be that he gets barred from political office and never sets a foot in the White House. It could be he goes to jail. It could be that he loses everything he had because he put everybody else’s lives at risk. So it’s a broad term. I think I’m confident enough that I’ll let things play out in the court system and whatever the outcome is — if he’s found not guilty, then so be it. But at least don’t declare that everything is a witch hunt.”

Gonell is coming out with a new book. Amid his other recent interview appearances, he also criticized House Republicans for ever coming up with someone like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as an ultimately failed candidate for Speaker, considering Jordan’s role in pushing conspiracy theories about the last presidential election. Republicans, though they resisted Jordan, then elevated Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.)… who helped lead opposition among Congressional Republicans to the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit in Colorado challenging Trump’s eligibility on the basis of January 6 recently went to trial after a series of failures by Trump’s corner to upend the proceedings. Multiple other states have similar disputes, which rest on the restrictions in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment on an individual holding office if they previously took an oath to defend that guiding document then engaged in insurrection.