"I want you to get to the bottom of that," U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn implored lawmakers on Tuesday

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Sgt. Harry Dunn
Sgt. Harry Dunn
| Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In stirring testimony delivered on day one of the House Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn argued that both the rioters and those who sent them should be punished, saying, "If a hitman is hired and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired them does."

Dunn continued: "There was an attack carried out on Jan. 6th and a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that."

Dunn was among the officers who responded to the breach of the U.S. Capitol in January, which occurred after thousands of Trump voters gathered to hear the former president give a disgruntled and angry speech outside the White House, amid his baseless claims that election fraud resulted in his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden.

As Congress met to certify the votes of the Electoral College inside the Capitol, Trump instructed his supporters to "march" and "fight like hell" in support of his failed efforts to overturn the election results.

"We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," he said, just moments before the group stormed the Capitol, forcing the evacuations of lawmakers including Trump's own vice president as shots were reported inside.

Five people, including U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, died as a result of the violent clash between pro-Trump rioters and law enforcement.

On Tuesday, four of those law enforcement officers spoke to lawmakers as part of a House commission into what led to the events of that day.

In stirring and emotional testimony, each recounted how they were physically and verbally assaulted by the violent Trump supporters, and feared for their lives.

Dunn used his opening remarks to describe the racist epithets he and other Black officers endured on Jan. 6.

Dunn said the mob's rhetoric quickly grew racist after he told some members of the group he voted for Joe Biden. "One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, 'You hear that guys: this n----- voted for Joe Biden!' Then the crowd, perhaps around twenty people, joined in, screaming, 'Boo! F------ N-----!' "

Dunn continued: "No one had ever — ever — called me a n----- while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police office ... One officer told me he had never, in his entire forty years of life, been called a n----- to his face, and that that streak ended on January 6."

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges and U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn
From left: Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges and U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn
| Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Elsewhere in the hearing, Dunn said that the Jan. 6 rioters were given "marching orders" before breaching the Capitol, saying their actions were far different that day than what he had previously seen.

"There were some skirmishes, but never the attempt to overthrow democracy ... this was maybe their second or third time that they had came up on Jan. 6. And even then, as belligerent as they were, it didn't account to this violence. So the only difference that I see in that is that they had marching orders, so to say," Dunn said.