Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 72 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Officer Harry Dunn testifies before Congress on the January 6 insurrection

Officer Harry Dunn of the U.S. Capitol Police testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on July 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

'A Hitman Sent Them,' Capitol Police Officer Says of January 6 Attackers

"I want you to get to the bottom of that," Officer Harry Dunn told lawmakers.

Common Dreams staff

Update:

Officer Harry Dunn of the U.S. Capitol Police told a special House committee on Tuesday that a "hitman" sent the mob that invaded the halls of Congress on January 6—a clear reference to former President Donald Trump, whose lies about the 2020 election helped fuel the insurrection led by his supporters.

"There was an attack carried out on January 6th, and a hitman sent them," Dunn, who responded to the mob assault on the Capitol earlier this year, said in his testimony during the first hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack.

"I want you to get to the bottom of that," Dunn told members of the committee.

Dunn was one of four law enforcement officers who testified during Tuesday's hearing, offering first-hand accounts of the violent scene on January 6. In his opening statement, Dunn said the right-wing attackers shouted racist slurs and abuse at him as they attempted to storm the Capitol Building.

Michael Fanone of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department testified that the insurrectionists repeatedly tased and beat him.

"I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm as I heard chants of 'kill him with his own gun,'" Fanone said. "I can still hear those words in my head today."

Fanone went on to blast Republican members of Congress and others who are still "downplaying or outright denying" what happened on January 6. In May, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) infamously said the events of January 6 were indistinguishable from "a normal tourist visit" to the Capitol.

"I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room," said Fanone. "But too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist, or that hell actually wasn't that bad."

Earlier:

A House select committee formed to investigate the January 6 insurrection by a violent mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters is set to hold its first hearing Tuesday morning, beginning with the testimony of four police officers who were on the scene during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The special House panel is chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and includes seven Democrats and two Republicans—Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

"Over six months later now, it's past time for the public to receive answers on the insurrection, and for those who stoked it to be held to account," progressive advocacy group Win Without War tweeted shortly before the hearing began.

Watch the hearing live:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo