The nation turned its eyes back to Capitol Hill this week as the House select committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection began its deliberations. The Select Committee Hearing was an often emotional affair.
Perhaps the most gripping testimony came from D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was beaten with a flagpole by a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters when they stormed the United States Capitol.
Fanone, who revealed he'd suffered a heart attack and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, recalled being overwhelmed by the violent mob:
"At one point I came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd 'Get his gun and kill him with his own gun.' I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm. I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser. I'm sure I was screaming, but I don't think I could even hear my own voice."
Fanone, for all his heartwrenching honesty, is no stranger to detractors who have attempted to rewrite the narrative of what happened on that fateful day. His latest detractor: Julie Kelly, a former political consultant, contributor to the conservative website American Greatness, and occasional Fox News pundit known for her pro-Trump views.
Kelly went so far as to accuse Fanone of being a "crisis actor," a term weaponized by conspiracy theorists who falsely claim that mass shootings, natural disasters, and events such as the January 6 insurrection were staged.
"Crisis actor Fanone just beat on the table and said it's 'disgraceful!' that any elected official denies his narrative of what happened on January 6. Calls it an 'insurrection.' Blasting GOP lawmakers. Now says this isn't about politics, lol."
Oh, and did we mention that she appears to have an issue with his "many tattoos"?
We don't know why she had to bring the man's tattoos into all of this––what have they done to anyone?––but Kelly's "observation" soon made her the target of considerable derision.
Oh, and attacking a man on a mission to hold those responsible for the attack accountable didn't go over too well either
Kelly has not apologized for her statements. She has instead doubled down, suggesting that her critics will engage in "crisis eating" in response to her unfounded claim that Fanone is a "crisis actor."
For the record, Fanone is not a crisis actor, not that we doubted him. In fact, recently released bodycam footage shows the frightening moment he was attacked by rioters. That's the same bodycam footage, by the way, that Kelly claims we have not seen all of.
Fanone has not responded to Kelly, but we wouldn't be surprised if he references her down the line. He's been quite public about his disdain for anyone––politicians especially––who downplays the events of January 6.
"It's been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events that day, or downplay what happened," Fanone, a 19-year veteran of the force, told CNN in April, in a statement that was. a direct response to former President Donald Trump's claim that his supporters posed "zero threat" despite the violence that resulted in five deaths and many injuries.
We know we're nowhere near finished hearing Fanone speak truth to power––and we hope he never stops. Expect to see and hear more from him as the investigation continues.