In video of Capitol rioter Daniel Joseph Rodriguez’s testimony to police released by the Justice Department on Tuesday, the Trump supporter who assaulted police officer Michael Fanone can be seen sobbing in regret.
The 38-year-old man from California is accused of shocking Michael Fanone with a taser after he was dragged down the Capitol steps and beaten. Insurrection rioters only stopped after Fanone allegedly screamed out that he had children, which prompted less aggressive members of the crowd to protect and guard him.
Rodriguez initially pleaded not guilty and was indicted last week along with a group of other violent Capitol rioters. He’s currently in custody in a local jail house while awaiting his trial.
In the extensive interview conducted with the Capitol rioter back in March, he was very emotional, crying and expressing regret for the tense battle between Jan. 6 rioters and Capitol police.
“This is not how we back the blue. And I tased one of them,” Rodriguez said of his actions toward Officer Michael Fanone.
Fanone, one of the most outspoken officers involved in the attack on the Capitol, suffered from a heart attack, a concussion, and traumatic brain injury. “I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room,” he told The Washington Post in July.
When asked in video of the interrogation what Rodriguez would tell Michael Fanone now, two months after the attack, he said that he was “sorry he had to go through that” and that “It’s not right that he had to suffer.”
“It puts fear in him and worrying about his life,” he said, which is not why he went to the riot. “He was scared for his own life and thought about having to kill us. And he was willing to die because of his beliefs, too.”
“He was doing his job,” he responded.
According to authorities, Rodriguez said that he felt empowered to take part in the right-wing riot because of calls to battle from InfoWars’ Alex Jones and former President Trump. He also said that the two figures convinced him that the Black Lives Matter movement were the antagonists and that the people should be preparing for a “civil war” with leftists.
“Trump called us. Trump called us to D.C.,” he said in the interrogation video. “If he’s the commander in chief and the leader of our country, and he’s calling for help… I thought he was calling for help.”
“Are we all that stupid that we thought we were going to go do this and save the country and it was all going to be fine after?” he asked investigators. “We really thought that. That’s so stupid, huh?”
The video was released by the FBI due to his plea of not guilty, which his lawyers wanted to maintain by making sure the video of his admission to investigators never came to light.
Back in July, Michael Fanone shared a voicemail he received while testifying to the house committee from another unnamed Trump supporter, telling him that he wished, “they would have killed all you scumbags, ’cause you people are scum.”
“Too bad they didn’t beat you more,” the man said in the threatening voicemail. “They stole the election from Trump, and you know that.”
Fanone shared the voicemail on CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight, stating that he’s sadly gotten used to ridiculous and offensive calls that accuse him of lying about what happened on Jan. 6.
“Some of the terminology that was used, like ‘hugs and kisses’ and ‘very fine people,’ is very different from what I experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th,” he told Don Lemon. “This is what happens when people tell the truth in Trump’s America.”