The January 6 hearing reminds us that the attack on the Capitol was a big problem

The January 6 hearing reminds us that the attack on the Capitol was a big problem

The January 6 hearing reminds us that the attack on the Capitol was a big problem

The first Select Committee hearing on January 6 contained heartbreaking accounts from four law enforcement officers about the physical, emotional, and racial abuse they suffered that day, and served as an indictment for Republicans who have spent the past few months trying to downplay the insurrection and deflect criticism.

One of the main themes of Tuesday’s hearing was that the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol was truly important, one that endangers the future of American democracy. DC Police Officer Michael Fanone emphasized that point during perhaps the most memorable moment of the proceedings, banging on a table while alluding to the disinterest of Republican leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is boycotting the committee: “The indifference shown to my colleagues is a disgrace,” he said.

“Nothing has prepared me to address the elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day and, in doing so, betray their oath,” added Fanone.

Fanone, who like the other officers introduced himself in a personal capacity, then detailed how he was beaten unconscious by the rioters and pleaded for his life saying: “I have children!”

The two Republicans on the committee, the representatives. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) also criticized their party members for not treating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol with the gravity it deserves.

“On January 6 and in the days after, almost every member of my party recognized the events of that day for what they really were,” Cheney said during his opening statement, contrasting that with more recent efforts to downplay the issue. January 6th. Congress should try to defend the indefensible, hinder this investigation or cover up what happened that day. “

Laundering is exactly what the majority of Republican members of Congress are trying to do. Take the structure of the commission itself: For two of his five seats, McCarthy chose to nominate House Republicans who voted in January against certifying election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. When the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, refused to place each of them, McCarthy decided to disassociate himself from the committee entirely.

One of those House Republicans, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), went to Fox News as soon as Tuesday’s hearing ended and shrugged as “written by Nancy Pelosi.”

Another Republican who voted against the certification of the election results, Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ), took to Twitter early Tuesday and called for the removal of Cheney and Kinzinger from the Republican House conference.

Kinzinger, for his part, was repeatedly excited while questioning officers. Choking, he concluded by telling them, “We thank you for keeping that line.”

“Like most Americans, I am frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection tore through the United States Capitol for several hours on live television, we still don’t know exactly what happened,” Kinzinger said at another point. “Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It is toxic.”

Unsurprisingly, the first select committee hearing on January 6 does not appear to have persuaded Republican leaders to take the insurrection more seriously. McCarthy said he was caught up in meetings and didn’t see any of it, while McConnell told reporters that he did too. “busy doing work. “But they both made it clear months ago that with the 2022 midterm elections looming and Jan. 6 a political loser for Republicans, they wanted to move forward as quickly as possible.

The audience took home that the insurrection was not a “normal tourist visit”.

The four officers who participated in Tuesday’s hearing humanized some of the statistics from that day: 150 officers wounded and five killed, including four Trump supporters and Officer Brian Sicknick (there are some controversy on the cause of his death). Each of their respective body camera videos from that day were played.

While Republicans like McCarthy and Banks have tried to shift the focus from how Trump and his supporters encouraged the insurrection to law enforcement failures that contributed to the Capitol being overrun, officials who testified Tuesday linked Trump’s rhetoric with the riots. They urged the selection committee to focus on the big picture.

It is worth noting that security planning failures Helped Allow Insurgents To Overrun Law Enforcement And Get Dangerously Close To Laying Hands On Members Of Congress: Last Month, The Senate Issued A Bipartisan Statement report summarizing some of those failures. But that report did not address the root causes of the unrest.

“The rioters who tried to get to the Capitol were yelling, ‘Trump sent us,’” said US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell: “I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die.’

Gonell later said that he sees Trump’s comments about how the insurgents were actually a “loving crowd” on a “normal tourist visit” that they were “hug and kiss“Officers as” a pathetic excuse for his behavior, “adding,” I’m still recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses’ from that day. “(Gonell testified that he will have to undergo multiple surgeries to address the injuries he sustained that day. ).

In one of the audience’s few lighter moments, DC Officer Daniel Hodges, who in one of the indelible images on January 6 he was filmed being crushed in a Capitol door during a fight with rioters – he highlighted the absurdity of Republicans compare the insurrection to a tourist outing.

“Well, if that’s the way American tourists are, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists,” he said.

Capitol Officer Harry Dunn, a black man who testified about being showered with racial slurs on Capitol Hill that day, praised Cheney and Kinzinger for serving on the committee, but suggested Republican involvement in an effort to reach the The background of an attack on the Capitol should not be extraordinary.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are being hailed as brave heroes. And although I agree with that notion, why? Why did they tell the truth? Why is it difficult to tell the truth? I guess in this United States it is, ”Dunn said.

Tuesday’s hearing was intended to bring the January 6 committee to a headline-grabbing and emotional start, and on that front, he succeeded. It’s unclear when his next public hearing will take place, but recently panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) He said The Washington Post that is willing to quote Republican members of Congress and perhaps even Trump himself.

“We will follow the facts,” Thompson told the Post. “I would say that we need to have as much factual data from each and every individual involved. And that goes from top to bottom: It could be House leadership, it could be members of Congress, it could be funders of the people who came to Washington that day. They could be people who paid for the printing of material, people who paid for robocalls to go out and invite people to come to Washington to help “stop the theft.” This is all part of the review. “

Dunn closed the hearing by stating that he and his fellow officers support such an overview plan.

“There was an attack on January 6 and a hit man sent them out,” Dunn said. “I want you to get to the bottom of it.”