Former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone lashed out against GOP lawmakers on Friday, blasting attempts to “whitewash” the Jan. 6 Capitol riots as something less than what they were as we reach the three-year anniversary of the violence.
“It pisses me off to see Republican lawmakers continue to spread the lies and conspiracy theories regarding January 6, in an attempt to whitewash that day, because it’s politically inconvenient for them to acknowledge the reality of what happened,” Fanone said during an MSNBC interview Friday.
Fanone also took on Democrats, who he said cannot get the message across about Jan. 6 effectively.
“I also attribute it to the Democrats’ inability to express anger and outrage and to educate Americans who may or may not live inside the beltway, as to the significance of Jan. 6, and to the threat the former president and his administration — and the Republican Party at this point — pose to America and our democracy,” he said.
“I was brutally attacked. I was pulled from the police line. I was beaten. I was struck with a taser. I suffered a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury,” he continued. “And you know, my experience that day is not unique.”
Fanone has been one of the most outspoken activists among law enforcement at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots. Earlier Friday, he also pressured President Biden to fight against right-wing authoritarianism harder.
“Where’s the outrage on behalf of the current administration?” he said in a separate MSNBC interview. “You know, I give credit, Joe Biden has given some fiery speeches with regards to MAGA and its effort to overturn a free and fair election. But that’s something that this country needs to hear every single day, specifically younger people, young voters.”
In a Saturday op-ed in The Hill, Fanone described the next presidential ballot verification — Jan. 6, 2025 — as the “ultimate” test of American democracy.
“I am more concerned than ever for the country I love so much,” Fanone wrote. “A year from today will be the first time Congress certifies a presidential election since the insurrection. Two in three Americans are worried history could repeat itself. They could be right.”
He called out GOP members of congress who have downplayed the violence of Jan. 6, specifically those who dubbed rioters “patriots” or “tourists.”
“The indifference and lies I’ve witnessed since 2021 are a national disgrace,” he said.
“We will always have our disagreements and differences. That’s democracy. It’s often messy. But we cannot allow it to also be violent. We shouldn’t have to have a conversation about whether another insurrection will happen, but that’s reality,” Fanone warned.
“The future of our country, the country we will leave for our children, depends on all Americans to come together now and over the next year to restore trust in our elections system and apply pressure on Congress to peacefully certify the election,” he continued. “We cannot wait. We cannot fail.”
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