During an interview on The Dean Obeidallah Show on SiriusXM, former U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, the author of the upcoming book “American Shield: The Immigrant Sergeant Who Defended Democracy,” shared his thoughts on the implications of potential justice for former President Donald Trump’s role in the January 6 Capitol attack. When asked about his perspective on achieving justice for the officers who suffered during the event, including some who tragically took their own lives, Gonell emphasized Trump’s responsibility as the president of the United States, noting that Trump’s actions contributed to inciting the crowd to attack the Capitol.
Gonell expressed that Trump could have diffused the situation by urging the crowd to disperse when he was made aware of the escalating violence. He further emphasized the gravity of the attack on the government and the national security implications, highlighting the peril faced by key government officials, including the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Pro-Tem, all in the line of presidential succession. Gonell stressed that the attack endangered not only the officials’ lives but also the nuclear codes and the well-being of their families.
In response to Obeidallah’s question about what closure might look like for him, Gonell stated that it could involve Trump being barred from political office and prohibited from setting foot in the White House, facing imprisonment, or losing his assets due to the risks he posed to others’ lives. He indicated his confidence in allowing the legal process to unfold and accepting whatever outcome the courts determine, even if it leads to a not guilty verdict. He also urged against dismissing all allegations as a witch hunt, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation and the need for accountability.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH: What would be justice in your point of view, for yourself and the other officers who suffered so greatly, and some have taken their own lives — For Donald Trump’s role in this January 6 attack on our Capitol.
SGT. AQUILINO GONELL: Do I hold the former president responsible for what happened? Yes, because he was the president of United States. He’s the one who told those people, go to the Capitol and incited the crowd. He could as easily — Once his adviser, his own daughter, his own chief of staff, told him that the riot that the peaceful demonstration that they claimed to have had was getting out of hand — had turned into a riot. And people were fighting the police officers. Nicholas easily say, You know what? This is not what I had in mind. I’m sorry. Y’all need to clear out the capitol. You need to go home without the (inaudible) part.
And he has so much influence on them that they would have listened because they did listen to him when he actually did tell them to go home. You know, and again, this happened in broad daylight. One attack on his own government because Biden was still not sworn in, so it is a an attack on his own government. When you had the the vice president of the United States, his own vice vice president. The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. In the Senate, Pro-Tem. All three people in the line of succession to the presidency are in danger. Plus, a nuclear code with Mike Pence and his daughter and his wife.
If this is not a national security, then what is? I don’t get it. Why people continue to make excuses for him. He has been indicted by multiple counts.
To go back to your question, what is closure for me? I don’t know. It. It could be that he’s, get bared from political office and never set foot the White House. It could be he go to jail. It could be that he lose everything he had because he put everybody else lives at risk. So it’s 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, because not everything it is.