WASHINGTON — Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn testified during the Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial on Monday that members of the far-right organization did not assist him during the Jan. 6 attack.
Dunn, armed with a rifle, stood near House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Jan. 6 and interacted with members of the Oath Keepers. Defense lawyers have tried to suggest that members of the Oath Keepers, after invading the US Capitol, came to Dunn’s aid, a categorization that Dunn rejected.
“They were trying to get past me, and I stopped them,” Dunn said. “They didn’t, I did.”
Video played by prosecutors captured some of his interactions with the Oath Keepers in the Capitol.
“We have dozens of officers down, they’re taking them out on stretchers. Ya’ll are f—ing us up,” Dunn said he told rioters in one of the videos played.
“I was distressed, I was angry, and I was scared,” Dunn testified. “During the event, it was just about surviving.” The feelings of betrayal came afterward, he said.
A federal prosecutor asked what would have been helpful for rioters to do on Jan. 6.
“Leaving the building,” Dunn said.
Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the Oath Keepers face charges of seditious conspiracy and are accused of setting up “quick reaction forces” loaded up with weapons outside of Washington. Federal prosecutors say that Rhodes regretted not having weapons at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and other Oath Keepers said they believed that Rhodes had contacts close to the White House.
Ahead of the trial, Joshua James, Brian Ulrich and William Todd Wilson pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. Fellow Oath Keeper Jason Dolan, who also pleaded guilty, testified during the trial that he was ready to die to keep Trump in office. James, Ulrich and Wilson could end up testifying this week.
Defense attorneys for the Oath Keepers defendants have tried to suggest that they were assisting law enforcement and not part of a plan to overtake the Capitol. Footage from the scene shows that another member of the Oath Keepers did in fact escort a line of police officers through the mob on the east side of the building on Jan. 6, but he told NBC News that he was not in communication with the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy.
US Capitol Police Special Agent David Lazarus, a member of Pelosi’s protection detail, also testified on Monday that the Oath Keepers were talking to Dunn about politics and the election, among other topics. Lazarus said he heard some of their interactions as he headed in and out of Pelosi’s office trying to evacuate staffers who were sheltering in place.
“It was very antagonistic dialogue between the folks in [tactical] gear — the rioters — and Dunn,” he said.
During Dunn’s testimony, Assistant US Attorney Alexandra Hughes introduced video that Dunn filmed on Jan. 5 by the Supreme Court, when a man came up to Dunn and asked him if he knew the location of the Oath Keepers command post.
“I had no clue what he was talking about,” Dunn said. “I looked at my colleague and said, ‘Oath Keepers? What the f— are the Oath Keepers?'”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism