Stephen Ayres apologizes to cops hurt in Capitol Hill riots | Watch
- Stephen Ayres, a Capitol rioter, testified at the Jan 6 hearing
- He said he expected Donald Trump would march down to the Capitol himself
- Ayres apologized to the DC Metropolitan cops and Capitol Police sgt who were injured
Stephen Ayres, a Capitol rioter, testified at the Jan 6 hearing, Tuesday, and afterwards was seen approaching and apologizing to DC Metropolitan Police Officers Harry Dunn, Michael Fanone, and US Capitol Police Sgt Aquilino Gonell, who had been injured on the day of the insurrection.
CNN reported that Ayers also shook hands with the law enforcement agents who defended the Capitol from the rioters.
He told the committee that after illegally entering the Capitol, Ayres left after the tweet from then-president Donald Trump, which asked his supporters to go home. The rioter said that they backtracked "basically when President Trump put his tweet out".
Ayres continued, "We literally left right after that come out". The former Donald Trump supporter added, "To me, if he would have done that earlier in the day ... maybe we wouldn't have been in that bad of a situation."
He said elsewhere in the testimony that it was Ayres' belief that the then-president would march to the Capitol with his supporters. "I think everybody thought he would be coming down. He said in his speech...it was kind of like he was going to be there with us... I believed it", Ayres said.
Ayres added that the trust he'd placed in Trump had completely derailed his life and reputation, saying "It definitely changed my life, not for the good. Definitely not for the better."
He was arrested on January 25, 2021, and entered a plea deal, where he pled guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Ayres will be sentenced in September.
Former Oath Keepers' spokesperson, Jason Van Tatenhove, also testified at the hearing saying that the potential for violence on the day of the riots was much higher, and one only has to look at the gallows set up for Mike Pence, then vice-president.
"What else is he going to do if he gets elected again? All bets are off at that point", Tatenhove added.