Capitol Police officer disputes claims that Oath Keepers were seen protecting him during Jan. 6 attack

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, testifying Monday in the Oath Keepers' seditious conspiracy trial, disputed claims by defense attorneys that members of the militia group were seen assisting and protecting him during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Five members of the group, including founder Stewart Rhodes, are currently standing trial on charges of conspiring to oppose by force the transfer of presidential power following the 2020 election. All have pleaded not guilty.

Dunn, who has been one of the most outspoken members of the Capitol Police to condemn the attack and those who incited the mob, was asked repeatedly about a photograph showing him in the Capitol with his back to a staircase that leads to the Rotunda.

PHOTO: U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn is seen in the Capitol building in a Jan. 6, 2021, photograph that Dunn was questioned about during his testimony in the Oath Keepers conspiracy trial, October 31, 2022. (U.S. Department of Justice)
PHOTO: U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn is seen in the Capitol building in a Jan. 6, 2021, photograph that Dunn was questioned about during his testimony in the Oath Keepers conspiracy trial, October 31, 2022. (U.S. Department of Justice)

Defense attorneys have repeatedly sought to claim the photo shows members of the Oath Keepers serving as a barrier to protect Dunn from members of the pro-Trump mob that were storming through the halls of the building.

Defense attorneys claim that such a posture would directly dispute the narrative put forward by prosecutors that the militia members who breached the Capitol were engaged in a violent plot to overthrow the U.S. government.

But Dunn testified that at no point did any individual in the photo offer him assistance or give him any impression they were protecting him.

"We have dozens of officers down, they're taking them out on stretchers. Y'all are f---ing us up," Dunn could be heard saying in video played by prosecutors.

MORE: Former Oath Keeper was prepared to fight and 'die' for Trump on Jan. 6, he says

"I'm not letting you come this way," Dunn is heard saying later. In another video, he can be heard saying, "You all want an all-out war. You want to kill everybody."

Dunn testified that immediately after he left the top of the stairwell, he saw two fellow officers being "accosted" by rioters. He said he sought to intervene by "making my presence known," yelling at the rioters to get out.

He said he tried to keep his distance from the mob because he was holding a rifle and was concerned that a rioter could try and grab it.

Asked if he was intimidated, Dunn answered, "Yes, but I didn't let that affect how I did my job."

Asked what any of the rioters could have done to help him at that point, Dunn bluntly answered, "Leaving the building."

Under cross-examination, defense attorneys for the Oath Keepers sought to poke holes in Dunn's statements that he didn't believe the group was protecting him.

PHOTO: Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn watches a video played during a public hearing of the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the Capitol, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 13, 2022.  (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
PHOTO: Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn watches a video played during a public hearing of the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the Capitol, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 13, 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

He was asked by attorney Juli Haller about his posture in the photo, in which she said he looked "relaxed."

"No, I was not relaxed at any point that day," Dunn replied. "I was distressed, I was angry and I was scared."

Prosecutors also played out a cell phone video shot by Dunn the day before the riot on Jan. 5, when he and several other officers were tasked with keeping people out of the street at a "Stop the Steal" protest in front of the Supreme Court.

At one point in the video, a man approaches Dunn and asks him if he knows the location of the "Oath Keepers command post."

MORE: Ex-Oath Keeper says 'many weapons' were stored outside capital during Jan. 6 attack

Dunn responds in the video that he doesn't. After the man turns and leaves, Dunn asks a fellow officer, "Oath Keepers? What the f--- are the Oath Keepers?"

Prosecutors said the exchange shows that Dunn did not know anything about the group prior to Jan. 6.

Capitol Police officer disputes claims that Oath Keepers were seen protecting him during Jan. 6 attack originally appeared on abcnews.go.com