Fact Check: Bennie Thompson Claims Police Killed in Capitol Riot


CLAIM: President Donald Trump failed to stop rioters who were “savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers.”


VERDICT: FALSE. While some rioters assaulted police officers, they didn’t kill anyone; the only victim was another rioter.

The January 6 Committee had its 8th public hearing, its 2nd in prime-time. This event was described as crucial, and the final scheduled hearing. It also featured damning evidence about Trump’s involvement.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chair of the committee, opened proceedings by addressing the hearing remotely, since he was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. He said that Trump did not care about the beating and murder of officers.

For 187 minutes on January 6th, this man of unbridled destructive energy could not be moved. His aides and allies were unable to move him. Even more strikingly, Donald Trump refused to listen and acknowledge the pleas of his family members, Ivanka and Don Jr. Even though he was the only person in the world who could call off the mob he sent to the Capitol [sic] he could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk a few steps down the White House hallway into the press briefing room, where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers revenging the Capitol and hunting down the Vice President and various members of Congress. He couldn’t be moved. [Emphasis added. ]

Thompson’s claim is false. Only one of the five victims of the riot was Ashli Babbitt (Air Force Veteran), who was trying to climb through the broken window of the House of Representatives. She was shot and killed by Thompson.

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Three were protesters who died of unrelated causes. Brian Sicknick (Capitol Police Officer) died after the Capitol Riot. However, he was not killed by the riot as initially reported by media. His death was actually caused by natural causes. Thompson is incorrect.

Thompson also claimed that Trump “sent” the mob to the Capitol, though it has long been clear that the riot began before he told the crowd at his “Save America” rally, roughly a mile away, “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Though Thompson and Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R.WY), claimed the rioters were “armed”, very few of them were actually armed. There were few arrests that involved firearms and there was no discharge by rioters on that particular day.

Thompson objected to the certification of the vote from Ohio in the 2004 presidential election, the very act that he and his colleagues on the committee have described as an attempt to overturn democracy, and insurrection against the Constitution.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. PST). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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