Abby Phillip Spars With Attorney For Convicted Jan. 6 Rioter Over Whether the Day Was Violent: ‘I Know This Stuff Better Than You’


CNN anchor Abby Phillip conducted a heated interview on Thursday with an attorney who has represented dozens of January 6 defendants, with the two arguing over whether the storming of the Capitol was an inherently violent event.

Phillip’s interview with attorney John Pierce became tense from the first question after he took issue with the way that Phillip had worded her introduction.

“I would actually take some issue with the language in some of your lead up about, you know, folks storming the Capitol,” he protested. “January 6 was a very complex event. There were a lot of people who engaged in various kinds of conduct.”

Asked if his most recent client, who was convicted on several charges including physical assault, was “remorseful about his actions on January 6,” Pierce said:

I think there are certain things that he wish had happened differently, but you know, the trial laid out very clearly that he was there to have his voice be heard, he was there to protect other people. There is very clear evidence that there was excessive force by police officers and he was trying to assist an elderly person who was being beaten by batons when he was on the ground.

Phillip cut in:

Look, I have to stop you there because, honestly, we watched what happened on January 6, okay? And you can make sort of legalistic arguments about what exactly your client was convicted of and what he was not, [but] there’s no question that there was violence at the Capitol, that officers were assaulted on that day. There’s no question about that. There’s also no question that your client was participated in pushing back against law enforcement officers who were doing their jobs.

Pierce took issue with Phillip’s words, responding, “The narrative that, with all due respect to your network, sometimes has been pushed, that this was a, you know, just a violent event that—there was violence on both sides.”

“No, no, no. It was a violent event. Look, it was a violent event. Police officers were there doing their jobs,” said Phillip, to which Pierce replied, “Trust me Abby, some of the police officers were not doing their jobs. Some of the police officers were going way beyond doing their jobs, including unjustified lethal force, okay? January 6 is not as simple…”

Phillip shot back, “John, a mob was attacking the Capitol. They were trying to break into the chamber. Some of them were armed. Many of them assaulted police officers to the point of permanent, long-term injury.”

After the CNN anchor interrupted Pierce’s response, he said, “You have to let me finish. The vast majority… I know this stuff better than you, with all due respect. Way better. The vast majority of individuals who were on the Capitol grounds were there and they were peaceful.”

Watch above via CNN.

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