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The primary listening to on January sixth was a harrowing indictment towards the GOP

The special committee’s first hearing, held on January 6, contained harrowing reports from four law enforcement officers of the physical, emotional and racial abuse they suffered that day – and served as an indictment against Republicans who have tried to downplay the riot over the past few months and distract criticism.

One of the main topics of Tuesday’s hearing was that the January 6th attack on the Capitol was a really big deal – one that threatens the future of American democracy. DC Police Officer Michael Fanone drove this point home during perhaps the most memorable moment of the trial and pounded a table as he alluded to the disinterest of the GOP leadership such as the GOP minority leader like Kevin McCarthy who made the committee boycotted: my colleague is a shame, “he said.

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

Fanone knocks on the table and says: “The indifference towards my colleagues is a shame!”

“Nothing prepared me to speak to the elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day and thus betray their oath of office,” he adds pic.twitter.com/LrJOxT0ueh

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

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

The two Republicans on the committee, Reps. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) blamed themselves against members of their party for not treating the January 6 attack on the Capitol with the necessary seriousness.

“On January 6th and in the days after, almost all members of my party recognized the events of that day for what they really were,” Cheney said during her opening speech, contrasting this with recent efforts to downplay January 6th. “No member of Congress should try to defend the untenable, to obstruct this investigation, or to gloss over what happened that day.”

“If those responsible are not held accountable and Congress does not act responsibly, it will remain a cancerous growth for our constitutional republic and undermine the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system.” – Liz Cheney pic.twitter.com/D8LBl64yn3

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

Whitewashing is exactly what most Republican congressmen try. Take the structure of the commission itself: for two of his five seats, McCarthy chose to nominate Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted against the confirmation of the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania in January. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to seat any of them, McCarthy decided to distance himself completely from the committee.

One of those House Representatives, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), went on Fox News as soon as the Tuesday hearing ended and shrugged as “Scripted by Nancy Pelosi”.

Another Republican who voted against the confirmation of the election results, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), went on Twitter earlier Tuesday and called for Cheney and Kinzinger to be banned from the House of Representatives Republican Conference.

. @ RepLizCheney and @RepKinzinger have effectively removed themselves from the Republican Conference.

We should help them out the door by formalizing their departure.

– Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) July 27, 2021

For his part, Kinzinger was repeatedly emotional when questioning the officers. He swallowed and concluded by telling them, “Thank you for keeping this line.”

“I never thought that today would be as emotional for me as it was before” – Adam Kinzinger collapses as he praises the officers for their work on January 6th pic.twitter.com/JrgPEK0h8P

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

“Like most Americans, I am frustrated that six months after a deadly riot broke through the United States Capitol on live television for several hours, we still don’t really know what happened,” Kinzinger said elsewhere. “Why? Because many in my party treated this as just another partisan fight. It’s poisonous.”

Unsurprisingly, the first January 6 special committee hearing failed to convince Republican leaders to take the insurrection more seriously. McCarthy said he was bogged down in meetings and seen none of them, while McConnell told reporters he was too “busy”. But both made it clear months ago that they wanted to move on as soon as possible with the upcoming 2022 mid-term elections and January 6th as a political loser for the Republicans.

The hearing led home that the riot was not a “normal tourist visit”

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

My God. The footage from Officer Fanone’s body camera from January 6th is harrowing and at one point shows him yelling at the insurgents who attack him: “I have children!” pic.twitter.com/7QfVPKIVrc

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

While Republicans like McCarthy and Banks have tried to shift the focus from the way Trump and his supporters promoted the insurgency to law enforcement failures that helped the Capitol overrun, officials linked, who testified on Tuesday, Trump’s rhetoric about the riots. They asked the select committee to focus on the bigger picture.

It’s worth noting that security planning errors helped the insurgents overrun law enforcement officers and get dangerously close to members of Congress – the Senate released a bipartisan report last month describing some of these errors. But this report did not deal with the causes of the uprising.

“The rioters trying to reach the Capitol shouted, ‘Trump sent us,'” said US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell: “I remember thinking, ‘This is how I will die.'”

Gonell later said he viewed Trump’s comments that the insurgents on a “normal tourist visit” were actually a “loving crowd,” the officers “hugged and kissed” as a “pathetic excuse for his behavior,” adding, “I am still “recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses’ that day.” (Gonell testified that he would have to undergo several surgeries to repair the injuries sustained that day.)

Cheney asks Sgt. Gonell how he feels when he hears Trump refer to the mob as a “loving crowd.” He says it’s “worrying” and “it’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something he created himself … I’m still recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses’ that day” pic.twitter. com / cnK1s826CE

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

In one of the few lighter moments of the hearing, DC officer Daniel Hodges – who was filmed in one of the most indelible pictures of January 6th being crushed in a door of the Capitol during a fight with rioters – highlighted the absurdity of the Republicans, who compare the uprising to a tourist excursion.

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

Officer Hodges on Republicans describes insurgents as “tourists”: “Well, if American tourists are like that, I can understand why foreign countries don’t like American tourists.” pic.twitter.com/fmV6I7QEJz

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

Capitol Officer Harry Dunn – a black man who testified that he was showered with racist slur that was in the Capitol that day – praised Cheney and Kinzinger for serving on the committee, but suggested Republican involvement in an attack on the cause of the Reason to go to the Capitol shouldn’t be remarkable.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are recognized as courageous heroes. And although I agree with this idea, why? Because they were telling the truth? Why is it hard to tell the truth? I think in this America it is, ”said Dunn.

Officer Dunn: “Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are praised as courageous heroes. And while I agree with that view, why? Because they were telling the truth? Why is it so hard to tell the truth? pic.twitter.com/CeBD6kHl7P

– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) July 27, 2021

Tuesday’s hearing was set to get the January 6th committee off to an emotional and headline-grabbing start, and it was successful in that regard. It’s unclear when their next public hearing will take place, but panel chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) recently told the Washington Post that he was ready to summon Republican Congressmen and maybe even Trump himself.

“We’ll follow the facts,” Thompson told the Post. “I would say we need so many facts from everyone involved. And it goes from top to bottom – it could be the leadership in the House of Representatives, it could be members of Congress, it could be financiers of the people who came to Washington that day. It could be people who paid for materials to be printed, people who paid for robocalls to go out and invite people to come to Washington to help “stop the theft.” All of that is part of the assessment. “

Dunn closed the hearing by indicating that he and his colleagues support this plan to take a broad perspective.

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

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