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New Capitol Police chief supports officers testifying before Congress

USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger said he may not agree with everything his officers may say, but he fully supports their right to say it.

WASHINGTON — Four police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are expected to testify before Congress Tuesday, a move the new U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) chief said he fully supports.

"My cops, every one of them who was out here on January 6, deserve to have their story told," Chief J. Thomas Manger said in an interview with WUSA9. "Their voices need to be heard."

Manger was sworn in as the new USCP chief on July 23. He was retired when the Capitol riot unfolded on Jan. 6 but said watching the insurrection made him reconsider his decision to remain on the sidelines.

"I was very happy to be retired and had a good career," Manger said. "But because of what I saw, because of my familiarity with law enforcement in the D.C. area, I didn't want to come back to law enforcement anywhere. I wanted to come back here, to the Capitol."

In a wide-ranging interview, Manger also defended USCP Officer Harry Dunn, a 13-year veteran of the force singled out by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.

Carlson called Dunn "an angry left-wing political activist,” in an effort to impugn Dunn's credibility before the select committee meeting Tuesday.

Dunn defended the Capitol against rioters and said he was repeatedly physically and verbally assaulted - including with demeaning racially-charged slurs.

"I will tell you this," Manger began. "I fully support my officers' ability to go in front of Congress and tell their story. I think it's important for us to hear that."

DC Police Officer Mike Fanone and Officer Dunn, both scheduled to testify Tuesday, have said they're looking for more support from Congress, police unions, and the public to condemn politicians who minimize the insurrection. 

"We just want more support. This isn't easy," Dunn told WUSA9. "People that have a platform -- the union president, the national union president, the local DC chairmen, the Capitol Police chairman -- we just want statements saying they support us and that the officers' actions were justified."  

"This isn't a political thing, this is about democracy, preserving democracy," Dunn offered. "Why can't people see it as that?"

Calling the probe “deadly serious,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “will do the job it set out to do” whether Republicans participate or not. 

Members of the special panel commissioned to investigate Jan. 6 said they hope hearing from officers will "set the tone" for the investigation.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D- Miss.) told the Associated Press, "We need to hear how they felt, we need to hear what people who broke into the Capitol said to them.”

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Twenty-one-year-old Hunter Robertson walked out of the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown D.C. on Wednesday after testifying in an attempt to take some of the heat off his father, Thomas Robertson.

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