A former police officer who was beaten during the Capitol riot last year said he believes there’s “ample probable cause” to indict former President Donald Trump.
“If there’s probable cause to suggest that he committed these crimes, which I think we’ve seen ample probable cause, he should be arrested,” Michael Fanone, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, told CNN on Saturday. “The case should be put before a grand jury, and if they indict him, he should be tried.”
Fanone was among the Washington, DC, police and US Capitol Police officers who were present on January 6 when a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached barricades and violently stormed the building. In testimony before Congress last year, Fanone said he developed post-traumatic stress disorder from the riot. During the insurrection, Fanone was dragged down a set of stairs and beaten with a flagpole, prosecutors said.
—Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 2, 2022
Organizers were emboldened by Trump’s urges to protest the results of the 2020 election with him, despite Joe Biden’s election victory. While members of Congress were meeting inside the Capitol to certify the results and verify Biden’s electoral win, Trump supporters organized an attempted coup and stormed the Capitol.
Fanone said Saturday on CNN it is time for law enforcement, particularly the Justice Department, to prosecute all involved — including the former president.
“I don’t have the highest of hopes,” Fanone said. “I think that for a lot of people, [Attorney General] Merrick Garland included, accountability was more in the line with political accountability: that they felt they can avoid a trial, which could be very ugly for this country — especially with how polarized things are now – by simply either damaging Trump or his political ability. But I don’t think that’s enough. It’s not enough for me, and I don’t think it’s enough for most Americans.”
He continued, “If you want to restore the credibility of the Department of Justice, we need to return to the rule of law, and my understanding of that is that no one in America is above the law.”
The Capitol riot left five people, including one police officer, dead. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were also present.
After the riot, insurrectionists scrambled to delete photos and social-media posts proving their participation in the Capitol riot. Some broke their cellphones, scrubbed their social-media accounts, and tried to wipe hard drives that might contain photos and other proof of their involvement.
But others boasted of their involvement, making it easier for the FBI to catch and charge them. So far, more than 874 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection, according to Insider’s database.