The first day of hearings for the select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol 202 days ago has started. Four of the police officers, Harry Dunn (the African American officer who endured both racial and physical attacks,) Aquilino Gonell (a proud immigrant who served in Iraq and was the first in his family to go to college,) Michael Fanone (the most recognizable officer from that day as he has met face to face with many Republicans to implore them to investigate the attack but was shot down every time,) and Daniel Hodges (the cop who will be forever remembered as the defender of the Capitol who got crushed inside a door.) They each read their own statements summarizing what they went through that day at the hands of domestic terrorists. Before committee chair Bennie Thompson called the meeting to order, members of the committee, both Republican and Democrat, shook hands with and hugged all 4 of the victims — a rare human, real, genuine moment in American politics today.
Liz Cheney’s opening remarks were sincere, honest and patriotic. She acknowledged that she disagrees with all of the Democrats on the committee on policy but is 100% with them in this effort because getting to the truth is the only thing that matters. It transcends politics. This is how American democracy is supposed to work.
Before the hearing began, Republicans stood out in front of the Capitol in front of a mic and podium to blame Nancy Pelosi for January 6. They hit all of their lame talking points and embarrassed themselves. They were the usual suspects — Qevin McCarthy, Gym Jordan, Steve Scalise (she rejected 2 of our guys — cancel culture! Cancel culture!) and one woman willing to prostitute herself, Elise Stefanik who said, “She’s an authoritarian who has broken the peoples’ house. She’s a lame duck speaker and everyone knows it.” When it was Gym Jordan’s turn to talk he was the most pathetic of them all — “When you spend a year talking about defunding the police and actually defund the police, it’s kind of hard to have more police here on January 6.”
Minority Leader Qevin McCarthy calls Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger “Pelosi Republicans.” He did that for Trump. Qevin McCarthy is a follower, not a leader.
Liz Cheney called Qevin McCarthy “childish” and said that he, Trump and Gym Jordan could be subpoenaed as material witnesses.
Testimony by the police officers was heart breaking, raw, and shocking. They were traumatized and are still suffering from their injuries and PTSD. Their families are suffering too. Besides being physically, mentally, and emotionally injured during the attack, 80 Capitol Hill Police officers contracted covid that day.
Officer Michael Fanone said, “I was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country. I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, as I heard chants of ‘Kill him with his own gun.’ I can still hear those words in my head today. At some point during the fighting, I was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. I heard someone scream ‘I got one!’ As I was swarmed by a violent mob, they ripped off my badge, they grabbed and stripped me of my radio… they began to beat me. I was at risk of being stripped of, and killed with, my own firearm. In was electrocuted again, and again, and again with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming but I couldn’t hear the sound of my own voice.”
All of the officers who were at the Capitol that day who aren’t on medical leave due to their injuries must return to the same place every day for work — retraumatized. More than 75 Capitol Police officers have left since January 6, at a rate of about three per week, according to union leaders.
The officers testifying today don’t want medals. They want justice.
Meanwhile, Republiqans are sticking with their strategy to minimize the attack and blame the Democrats. They’re gaslighting America because they have too much to hide.
Later today, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene will hold a press conference in front of the Justice Department to discuss the “treatment of January 6th prisoners.” They see the insurrectionists as political prisoners.
The Republiqans don’t want this investigation because they know that the investigation will lead to them.
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