Capitol rioter describes his assault of police officer

2021-12-01 20:22:38

The Justice Division launched video on Tuesday of the in depth March 2021 interview two federal investigators did with alleged Capitol rioter Daniel Joseph Rodriguez. The 38-year-old Californian is accused of stunning Metropolitan Police Workplace Michael Fanone with a stun gun amid an intense standoff between Trump supporters and legislation enforcement through the riot, and of collaborating in a conspiracy to assault of the Capitol. He has pleaded not responsible.

“This isn’t how we again the blue. And I tased one in every of them,” Rodriguez mentioned within the interview.

When requested what he would inform Fanone now, Rodriguez sobbed, then muttered, together with his head down: “I am sorry he needed to undergo that. It is not proper that he needed to endure like that. And it places worry in him and worrying about his life. He was scared for his personal life and considered having to kill us. And he was prepared to die due to his beliefs, too.”

“Do you suppose he was doing the best factor?” the agent requested him. “Yeah. He was doing his job,” Rodriguez mentioned.

Rodriguez additionally described the second of the assault: “Once I did it, I used to be like, oh, my God. What did I simply do? And I bought out of there. I left. I did it and I left,” he mentioned.

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Within the interview, carried out with Rodriguez behind a desk cornered by the brokers, Rodriguez mentioned he felt prompted to participate in right-wing political rallies due to InfoWars, and since he was known as by Trump to battle. He additionally spoke a few perception he was being antagonized by leftist activists from Black Lives Matter and Antifa earlier than January 6.

“Trump known as us. Trump known as us to D.C. … If he is the commander in chief and the chief of our nation, and he is calling for assist — I assumed he was calling for assist,” Rodriguez mentioned within the interview. He additionally described making ready for a “large battle” or “civil struggle” with leftists.

“Are all of us that silly that we thought we have been going to go do that and save the nation and it was all going to be tremendous after? We actually thought that. That is so silly, huh?” he mentioned close to the tip of the interview.

The video is the primary of its sort launched as a part of the Capitol riot investigation. It grew to become a part of the courtroom file after Rodriguez’s attorneys tried to suppress it from his case, so his admissions couldn’t be held towards him at trial. A federal decide ordered the video’s launch this week, after a media coalition led by CNN that has sought public entry within the Capitol riot circumstances requested for it to be made public.

Rodriguez was indicted final week as a part of a bunch that prosecutors say deliberate to be violent collectively on January 6. He was initially charged in March and is in jail whereas he awaits trial.

The video of his interview gives a gripping window into the method the FBI has taken towards most of the rioters — urgent them for hours shortly after their arrests however earlier than their courtroom proceedings are in full swing. With Rodriguez, two brokers, one recognized as Enrique Armenta and the opposite solely recognized as “Particular Agent Elias” coax him to open up about why Rodriguez got here to Washington on January 6.

Additionally they warned him how critical the fees he faces could possibly be, the significance that he not deceive them, and by telling him they will help him if he helps them get the info straight.

“Danny, you perceive how critical that is, proper?” Armenta asks him through the interview. “Full disclosure, all of the playing cards are out on the desk, you are seven federal felony counts. Seven.”

“What’s that? The remainder of my life in jail?” Rodriguez responded. Rodriguez presently faces eight federal felony counts, in some of the critical units of prices among the many virtually 700 riot defendants. Along with assault and conspiracy, prosecutors additionally allege Rodriguez destroyed property contained in the Capitol and stole an emergency hood from a congressional workplace.

In elements of the interview, the investigators press Rodriguez for the names and actions of different alleged rioters with whom he interacted on or earlier than January 6, and the place he bought the Taser he used on Fanone. He insisted it was not the identical Taser his group delivered to Washington.

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