First video of FBI's interrogation with alleged Capitol rioter released

·4 min read

The first video of an FBI interrogation of an alleged Capitol rioter has been released. In the clip, Danny Rodriguez, who authorities say broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, along with others, is seen crying and admitting that he tased Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the interrogation video be released, despite objections from Rodriguez that he was not read his Miranda rights.

He was charged in a superseding indictment on Monday with conspiracy, with the government alleging he took steps to plan for the riot at the Capitol.

He has plead not guilty to assaulting Fanone.

Rodriguez, in the video released on Tuesday, is at times seen looking remorseful, and crying about what he allegedly took part in at the Capitol.

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"I mean, that sounds stupid. I don't know if I tasered him to protect him, but maybe just to, like -- so he wouldn't struggle and get hurt, maybe," Rodriguez told two FBI agents in the clip. "If they're going to beat him up or injury him or, like -- I don't know if they're going to -- I don't know what was going to happen to him. And, honestly, I didn't think very much about it because, when I did it, I was like, oh, my God. What did I just do? And I got out of there. I left. I did it and I left."

During the interrogation, he was shown Fanone's account of what occurred on Jan. 6, which caused him to break down. "What do you want me to tell you? That I tased him? Yes," Rodriguez told investigators. "Am I (expletive) piece of (expletive) ? Yes."

FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo (Leah Millis/Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The FBI agent then asked him why he tased Fanone.

"I don't know," he said in tears. "I'm a piece of (expletive). I'm sorry. I don't know. He's a human being with children, and he's not a bad guy. He sounds like he's just doing his job."

Of the preparations he and his co-conspirator made, Rodriguez told investigators they were for Black Lives Matter protesters and Antifa.

"The preparations were for BLM and Antifa. We thought that they were going to go -- we thought we were going to hit it like a civil war," he said. "There was going to be a big battle. This is what I thought," he says in the video. "I thought that there was going to be fighting, for some reason, in different cities and I thought that the main fight, the main battle, was going to be in D.C. because Trump called everyone there."

Rodriguez -- who said he broke a window to get into the Capitol -- said he was a true believer in former President Donald Trump, and even wanted to enlist in the military when he took office. He said he thought he was doing right by the former president by breaking into the Capitol with other of his supporters.

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He also said he is an InfoWars fan and was trying to find truth through well-known radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

"I thought we were going to occupy the building. I thought we were going to take a couple days or something. I honestly thought it might be, like, a day or two that we were going to be in there and I thought that they were going to gas mask -- I mean, not gas mask. I thought they were going to tear gas us, so we needed either an escape route or a breathing hole," he said in the video.

Rodriguez thought he was doing a good thing, he told investigators, but he's realized he was in the wrong, and said he wants to be on the right side of history.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," he said in tears in the clip. "I didn't know that we were doing the wrong thing. I thought we were doing the (expletive) right thing. I thought we were going to be -- I'm so stupid. I thought I was going to be awesome. I thought I was a good guy. I wanted to -- you know, my whole life, I've been, oh, (expletive) the police. I really have."

First video of FBI's interrogation with alleged Capitol rioter released originally appeared on abcnews.go.com