Former US Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, who played a pivotal role in defending the Capitol during the January 6th riots, has expressed his belief that barring former President Trump from holding office could bring closure to the events of that fateful day.
In an interview on SiriusXM, Gonell discussed what closure might mean for him personally, stating, “It could be that [Trump] gets barred from political office and never sets foot in the White House. It could be that he goes to jail. It could be that he loses everything he had because he puts everybody else’s lives at risk.”
Former President Trump faces multiple lawsuits in various states seeking to prevent him from appearing on the ballot in the 2024 presidential election. These lawsuits allege that Trump violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, stipulating that individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the government cannot hold office.
Gonell firmly holds Trump responsible for the attack on the Capitol, as he was the President of the United States at the time. Gonell has previously stated that Trump betrayed his oath to the Constitution.
During the interview, Gonell emphasized that the insurrection was an attack on Trump’s government, which occurred while President Biden had not yet been sworn into office. He pointed out that the attack, which put several high-ranking members of Congress in fear for their lives, constituted a threat to national security.
Capitol Police Hero Frustrated by Lack of January 6th Accountability
Expressing his frustration, Gonell stated, “I don’t get why people continue to make excuses for him.” He received a Congressional Gold Medal for his heroic actions defending the Capitol against the rioters.
Gonell’s commitment to his duty on January 6th came at a significant personal cost. He revealed that he can no longer perform the physical aspects of his job due to the injuries he sustained during the attack. Prosecutors have described the injuries inflicted on him by rioter Kyle Fitzsimons as “career-ending and life-altering.”
Gonell further disclosed that he feared for his life during the attack and was on the brink of using lethal force against Fitzsimons when he suffered the shoulder injury that has had a lasting impact on his ability to serve.
Whether former President Trump will face legal consequences for his role on January 6th remains a topic of intense debate and legal proceedings. As lawsuits and investigations continue, the issue of accountability for the attack on the Capitol remains a central concern for many, including individuals like Aquilino Gonell, who bore witness to the violence and its aftermath.