Jan. 6 committee, after partisan battle over appointees, holds first hearing on attack on Capitol Hill

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The House special committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol is holding its first hearing on Tuesday, kicking off what will likely be several politically charged and controversial months by focusing on the day of violence.

Tuesday’s hearing focuses on “The January 6 Law Enforcement Experience.” The four witnesses at the hearing are Private First Class Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of the United States Capitol Police, as well as Constables Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department.

“It’s an honor to have four of these heroes seated before us today. Welcome. For appearing here, and more importantly, for your heroism on January 6,” said President Bennie Thompson, D-Miss ., in his opening remarks.

According to Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif., One of the Democrats on the committee, the officers will describe their experience on the frontlines of the attack on Capitol Hill, which was carried out by a crowd of Trump supporters as Congress was trying to certify the results of the presidential election. They will talk about how outnumbered the police were and how militarized some of the attackers were, Schiff said.

Schiff said the audience will be “quite informative and powerful”.

Trump supporters attempt to cross a police barrier Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.  As Congress prepared to affirm President Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people gathered to show their support for former President Donald Trump and his bogus allegations of voter fraud.  (AP Photo / John Minchillo)
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Trump supporters attempt to cross a police barrier Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepared to affirm President Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people gathered to show their support for former President Donald Trump and his bogus allegations of voter fraud. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

CHENEY’S, RLES OF KINZINGER ON JAN. 6 THE COMMITTEE SHOULD PUT A POINT OF VIEW AT THE FIRST HEARING

The hearing will feature new video shown from the officers’ perspective, including violence and profanity from the crowd, committee aides said.

Thompson leads six other Democrats and two Republicans – Reps Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., And Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. The two men are the only Republicans on the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Refused to sit on Representatives Jim Jordan, R-Oho and Jim Banks, R-Ind. Because they are too close to the former president. Donald Trump.

This led Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., To withdraw his five picks for the committee and led Republicans – who were already decrying the panel as slanted ax work against Trump – to castigate him even more as being purely political.

In this file photo from Wednesday, Jan.6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump climb the western wall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.  (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, file)

In this file photo from Wednesday, Jan.6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump climb the western wall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, file)

“Unfortunately, President Pelosi will only choose people from the committee who will ask the questions she wishes to ask,” McCarthy said at a press conference Tuesday. “It becomes a failed committee and a failed report – a sham no one can believe.”

“What kind of intelligence did President Pelosi receive early, weeks in advance… Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., Said Tuesday.” But President Pelosi said she didn’t want those questions asked, so she kicked them off the committee. “

Scalise added: “It has completely altered the legitimacy of this commission as it is clear that they are not looking for the truth. They are looking to bring out a narrative that President Pelosi has already written.”

Republicans plan to conduct their own investigation on Jan.6.

But Kinzinger and Cheney – as well as Pelosi, who appointed them – insist the committee will remain apolitical in its mission to report on what happened on January 6 and why.

“This moment requires a serious, lucid and non-partisan approach. We have a duty to fully investigate the worst attack on Capitol Hill since 1814 and to ensure that it never happens again,” Kinzinger said in a statement. communicated. statement after being appointed to the committee.

“[O]”Our imperative must be to find the truth,” Pelosi said in a statement. “We must do this in a way that retains the confidence of the American people in the process, so that they have confidence in the emerging truth.”

In this file photo from Jan.6, 2021, smoke fills the aisle outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of former President Donald Trump clash with U.S. Capitol Police officers at the interior of the Capitol in Washington.  For weeks, far-right social media users have openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos will erupt on the U.S. Capitol as Congress meets to certify the election results.  Republicans allege President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Should have seen these signs and fortified the Capitol.  (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

In this file photo from Jan.6, 2021, smoke fills the aisle outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of former President Donald Trump clash with U.S. Capitol Police officers at the interior of the Capitol in Washington. For weeks, far-right social media users have openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos will erupt on the U.S. Capitol as Congress meets to certify the election results. Republicans allege President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Should have seen these signs and fortified the Capitol. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

Tuesday’s hearing is only expected to last a few hours, until around 1 p.m. But the select committee’s investigation itself could take months, extending until election year 2022 before members finish their work and produce a report.

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This will make him a likely target for Trump as he continues to become more active on the Republican candidate campaign. The former president assaulted the committee in a statement on Monday, challenging it to investigate one element of the attack that Republicans pushed to consider: whether Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, could have done more to protect the Capitol.

“Will Nancy investigate herself and those on Capitol Hill who did not want additional protection, including more police and National Guard, so not being prepared despite the large crowd of people all over the place? world knew how to come? ” Trump said.

Tuesday’s hearing is the first for the select committee, but it’s not the first time Congress has looked into the Jan.6 attack. There have been more than a dozen hearings into the attack since the winter, not counting the 25 hours the Senate spent on the issue during Trump’s impeachment trial.

Fox News’ Jason Donner and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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