The January 6 hearing reminds us that the Capitol attack was a big deal | MCUTimes

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

The first hearing of the January 6 election committee contained frightening accounts from four law enforcement officials about the physical, emotional, and racial abuse they were subjected to that day – and served as an indictment against Republicans who have spent the past few months trying to downplay the uprising and mitigate criticism.

One of the main themes in Tuesday’s hearing was that the attack on the Capitol on January 6 was a really big thing – one that complicates the future of American democracy. DC Police Officer Michael Fanone drove this point home at perhaps the most memorable moment in the case and knocked on a table when he referred to the lack of interest in GOP leadership as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy boycotting the committee: “The indifference that was shown to my colleagues are shameful, ”he said.

“Nothing has prepared me to speak to the elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day, thus betraying their office,” Fanone added.

Fanone, who like the other officers appeared in his personal capacity, later detailed how he was knocked unconscious by rebels and begged for his life by telling them, “I have children!”

The two Republicans on the committee, rep. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) also lashed out at members of their party for not treating the January 6 attack on the Capitol with the gravity it deserves.

“On January 6 and in the days that followed, almost all members of my party acknowledged the events of that day for what they really were,” Cheney said in his inaugural statement, contrasting it with a recent effort to downplay January 6. “No member of Congress should try to defend the indefensible, prevent this investigation or launder what happened that day. ”

Money laundering is exactly what most Republican members of Congress are trying to do. Take the structure of the commission itself: In two of his five spots, McCarthy chose to nominate House Republicans who in January voted against confirming the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. When House President Nancy Pelosi refused to put each of them in the seat, McCarthy decided to completely separate from the committee.

One of these House Republicans, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), went on Fox News as soon as Tuesday’s hearing ended, pulling it up as “the script of Nancy Pelosi.”

Another Republican who voted against confirming the election result, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) took to Twitter earlier Tuesday calling for Cheney and Kinzinger’s expulsion from the House Republican conference.

Kinzinger, for his part, was repeatedly emotional while questioning officers. He choked and ended by telling them, “We thank you for keeping that line.”

“Like most Americans, I’m frustrated that six months after a deadly uprising broke the United States Capitol for several hours on live television, we still do not know exactly what happened,” Kinzinger said at another time. “Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another party struggle. It’s toxic.”

Not surprisingly, it does not appear that the first January 6 selected hearing persuaded Republican leaders to take the uprising more seriously. McCarthy said he was stuck in the meetings and did not see any of it, while McConnell told reporters he was too “busy working. “But both made it clear several months ago that with the 2022 midterm looming and January 6 as a political loser for Republicans, they would move on as quickly as possible.

The hearing drove home that the uprising was not a “normal tourist visit”

The four officers who attended Tuesday’s hearing humanized some of the statistics from that day – 150 officers wounded and five dead, including four Trump supporters and officer Brian Sicknick (there are some controversy over his cause of death). Each of their respective body videos from that day were played.

While Republicans like McCarthy and Banks have tried to shift focus from how Trump and his supporters encouraged the uprising to law enforcement failures that contributed to the Capitol being overrun, the officers who testified on Tuesday linked Trump’s rhetoric to the riots. They called on the elected committee to focus on the bigger picture.

It’s worth noting security planning error helped enable insurgents to defeat law enforcement officers and get dangerously close to getting their hands on members of Congress – The Senate last month released a top partisan report outlines some of these errors. But this report did not tackle the root causes of the uprising.

“The rebels trying to reach the Capitol shouted, ‘Trump sent us,'” the U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell: “I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is how I should die.'”

Gonell later said he sees Trump’s comments about how the rebels were actually a “loving crowd” on a “normal tourist visit” that was “hug and kissOfficers as “a pitiful excuse for his behavior,” he added, “I’m still recovering from the ‘hugs and kisses’ that day. “(Gonell testified that he will have to undergo several surgeries to repair injuries he suffered that day.)

In one of the hearing’s few easier moments, DC officer Daniel Hodges – as in one of the most indelible images from January 6 was filmed smashed in a Capitol doorway during a fight with rebels – highlighted the absurdity of Republicans compare the uprising 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 that he was overwhelmed with racial accusations at the Capitol that day – praised Cheney and Kinzinger for being on the committee, but suggested involving Republicans in an attempt to get to the bottom of An attack on the Capitol should not be remarkable.

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are praised as brave heroes. And while I agree with this view, why? Because they told the truth? Why is it hard to tell the truth? I think it’s in this America, ”Dunn said.

Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled to get the committee on Jan. 6 for one emotional and headline-grabbing startand on that front it succeeded. It is unclear when their next public hearing will be held, but panel chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) recently told Washington Post that he is prepared to convene Republican members of Congress and perhaps even Trump himself.

“We follow the facts,” Thompson told the Post. “I would say that we must have so much factual data from all individuals involved. And then it goes from top to bottom – it could be leadership in the House, it could be members of Congress, it could be financiers for the people who came to Washington that day. It could be people who paid for printing material, people who paid for robocalls to go out and encouraged people to come to Washington to help ‘stop the theft’. All this is part of the review. ”

Dunn closed the hearing by indicating that he and his officers support the plan to take a big picture.

“An attack was carried out on January 6, and a hitman sent them,” Dunn said. “I want you to get to the bottom of it.”

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