Speaking on CNN with host Don Lemon on Wednesday, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn asserted that the Capitol riot on January 6 was a “bigger threat to America” than the riots across the country in the summer of 2020. He added, in an apparent reference to the heated rhetoric that preceded the January 6 riot, that “we need to make sure we’re prepared and we continue to shoot down all rhetoric that could possibly lead to violence.”
Dunn, who pointed out, “Everybody is allowed to have a different political view. That’s what makes America, America. That’s what makes America a democracy,” stated:
I said this and I continue to stand by it, that as long as people are emboldened by people in power, then they’re still a threat for things to happen. That’s why we need to make sure we’re prepared and we continue to shoot down all rhetoric that could possibly lead to violence.
Like I say, it’s OK to have different opinions. But don’t fight like hell or march down to the Capitol — first amendment protest is what this country is about, first amendment, the Constitution. That’s the democracy of it. But once you start attacking people, attacking things, then that’s wrong.
And that — you know what? That goes to the riots this summer. They were wrong. If you peacefully protest, then sure. But the riots and the violence and the damage this summer, they were wrong. They were wrong. And that’s the exact same thing that happened at the Capitol. But their goal was to overthrow democracy, which is a bigger threat to America.
Officer Dunn: "The riots and the violence and the damage this summer — they were wrong. They were wrong. And that's the exact same thing that happened at the Capitol. But their goal was to overthrow democracy, which is a bigger threat to America." pic.twitter.com/SlWvvxo6Yz
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) July 29, 2021
On Tuesday, in his testimony before Congress, Dunn stated, “If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail, but not only does the hit man go to jail but the person who hired them does. There was an attack carried out on January 6, and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.”
Lemon asked Dunn, “The hit man and the person who hired them, who sent them there do you think?”
“I’m not one to speculate so I like to stick to facts,” Dunn replied. “There was literally a rally at the White House saying to go down to the Capitol, fight like hell. That’s not my words. And that’s what they did.”
Dunn was apparently referencing former President Trump’s remarks at a rally on January 6 in which he stated, “Our brightest days are before us. Our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along had any idea how corrupt our elections were, and again most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say I want to thank you very much, and they go off to some other life, but I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened and we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore …”
Trump continued, “So we are going to—we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give—the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote, but we are going to try—give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re try—going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Prior to that statement, Trump had stated, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
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