Pennsylvania Republicans boo officers who defended Capitol on Jan. 6

Pennsylvania Republicans boo officers who defended Capitol on Jan. 6

A number of Republican lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Wednesday booed two law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

Numerous lawmakers posted on the social media platform X that they witnessed members of the GOP booing and walking out of the chamber after former U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and former Sgt. Aquilino Gonell were introduced during the session.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D) described the two officers as “heroes” in her introduction when some Republicans walked out, according The Washington Post.

“Today we welcomed two American heroes, Officer Harry Dunn @libradunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell to the Pennsylvania Capitol. A number of House Republicans literally booed, hissed, and walked off the floor — there is no bottom,” state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D) wrote on X.

Gonell responded to her on X, saying it was “Great meeting you” and “acknowledging what we went through.”

“The @PAHouseGOP like many elected officials I helped protect and defend at the U.S. Capitol, have abandoned the truth/sided with those who attacked us, the police, while at the same time saying they support the police and the rule of law. I’m not buying your bridges,” Gonell wrote in a separate post on X.

State Rep. Emily Kinkead (D) said she was “dumbfounded” that some Republicans “disrespected these brave men by exiting the chamber during their recognition.”

State Rep. Arvind Venkat (D) also said some Republicans “walked out on these heroes.” Venkat said between eight and 10 of his Republican colleagues walked out, in an interview with The Washington Post.

Republican Leader Bryan Cutler emphasized that he spoke to both of the officers in an emailed statement to The Hill.

“I was on the House Floor yesterday and I personally spoke to both of the former officers at the Speaker’s rostrum. I and other members of our caucus also had their pictures taken with the former officers,” he said.

He also hit the Pennsylvania House Democrats for using the incident with the two officers to raise money for their campaigns. His office shared a screenshot with The Hill of what appeared to be a fundraising email sent from Pennsylvania House Democrats asking for donations after some Republicans walked out.

“Unfortunately, they have, through House processes, demonstrated a pattern of antagonizing members and inviting division and discord for their political and campaign purposes. This is something that is continuing to frustrate our members and is damaging the credibility [of] all the actions of the Democrat majority,” Cutler said.

Dunn and Gonell have been hitting the campaign trail for President Biden in recent weeks. The duo will be focused on campaigning in swing states, including Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and New Hampshire.

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