Police were 'coached' to make Jan. 6 Capitol incursion look like a siege, candidate says
One of the Republicans running for Illinois' 5th Congressional District seat claims police serving at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion were coached "to make it appear that the Capitol was under siege."
Tommy Hanson of Chicago also claims he's spoken with senators and congressmen who "knew it was not a harrowing event."
Hanson's allegations are countered by eyewitness reports from lawmakers in the Capitol that day, police investigations and countless videos produced by journalists and civilians who observed the chaos.
Hanson and North Barrington resident Malgorzata McGonigal are seeking the GOP nomination in the June 28 primary. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Mike Quigley of Chicago.
Hanson and McGonigal were asked about the Capitol riot on a Daily Herald questionnaire. McGonigal refused to fill out the form despite repeated requests.
The attack occurred as Congress met to certify Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Five people died, many more were injured and extensive property damage occurred during the riot. Hundreds of people have since been criminally charged.
Hanson alleged police "were coached on what to do" to make it look like the mob at the Capitol was assaulting the building.
Officers stood back and allowed people into the Capitol "without even trying to fight them off," he said.
Although some police appeared to allow protesters to pass without resistance, others stood firm and were severely injured by the mob.
Hanson also claimed participants in the riot were paid to be there.
"These were hired people and others recruited by organizers," said Hanson, a commercial real estate broker who ran for the 5th District seat in 2018 and 2020. "I know lots of people who were there that day and have seen countless hours of video from their personal phones and have a good bearing on what really went down. We all know the playbook."
Quigley was among the lawmakers and congressional staffers forced to take cover in the gallery during the attack.
The newly redrawn 5th District encompasses parts of Cook and Lake counties, stretching between the Chicago lakeshore and the Northwest suburbs.