Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin asked DC police officer Daniel Hodges about why he is repeatedly referring to the Jan. 6 rioters as "terrorists" during his hearing testimony today.
Raskin said, "Officer Hodges, I read your testimony carefully. I hope every American reads your testimony. But I noted that you referred to 'terrorists' or 'terrorism' 15 different times to describe the people" who seized the Capitol. Raskin noted that some of colleagues have been calling the violent insurrectionists "not terrorists, but 'tourists.'"
"Well, if that is what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists," Hodges responded, getting some laughs from the hearing room.
He said he can see why someone would take issue with the title of "terrorist" since "it's gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades." But, he said, he came "prepared" to explain why he uses the term to describe the rioters. Hodges then recited how US criminal codes describe "domestic terrorism."
"U.S. Code title 18 part 1 chapter 1.1.3, B as in brown, section 18.104.22.168. The term domestic terrorism means activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state and B, appeared to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."
Some more context: Some Republicans have tried to paint the events of Jan. 6 as mostly peaceful except for a few bad apples. Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Republican from Georgia, made one of the most egregious comparisons to downplay the riot, suggesting many members of the mob looked like regular tourists.
In a May Congressional hearing, Clyde claimed the attack looked like a "normal tourist visit."
“Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit,” he said.
Clyde is referring to one moment after the rioters broke into the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall. Other footage of Jan. 6, however, shows rioters beating a police officer with a flagpole, as well as using police shields to smash through windows and clambering over the Capitol walls — not typical tourist behavior.