By MARY CLARE JALONICK
WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection opened its archetypal proceeding Tuesday with a absorption connected the instrumentality enforcement officers who were attacked and beaten arsenic the rioters broke into the gathering — an effort to enactment a quality look connected the unit of the day.
“There’s nary spot for authorities and partisanship successful this investigation,” said the panel’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, arsenic helium opened the session.
The constabulary officers who are scheduled to attest endured immoderate of the worst of the brutality. They were punched, trampled, crushed and sprayed with chemic irritants. They were called radical slurs and threatened with their ain weapons arsenic the mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters overwhelmed them, broke done windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s statesmanlike win.
Testifying volition beryllium Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.
In erstwhile interviews, Dunn has said that attackers yelled radical slurs and fought him successful what resembled manus to manus combat arsenic helium held them back. Gonell, an Iraq veteran, elaborate country connected his ft and injuries from which helium struggled to recover. Fanone has described being dragged down the Capitol steps by rioters who shocked him with a stun weapon and bushed him. Hodges was beaten and crushed betwixt 2 doors, and his bloody look and anguished screams were caught connected video.
Thompson played video of the onslaught and told the constabulary officers: “History volition retrieve your name.” He said the rioters “came acceptable for a fight, and they were adjacent to succeeding.”
The panel’s archetypal proceeding comes arsenic partisan tensions person lone worsened since the insurrection, with galore Republicans playing down, oregon outright denying, the unit that occurred and denouncing the Democratic-led probe arsenic politically motivated. Democrats present privation to motorboat the probe — and triumph nationalist enactment for it — by reminding radical however brutal it was, and however the instrumentality enforcement officers who were sworn to support the Capitol suffered sedate injuries astatine the hands of the rioters.
“What we truly privation to effort to pass during the proceeding is what it was similar to beryllium connected the beforehand lines for these brave constabulary officers,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, different subordinate of the panel. “How vastly outnumbered they were, however good militarized the members of the assemblage were.”
The hope, Schiff said, is to “inform the nationalist of what truly happened that day, peculiarly successful airy of the efforts to whitewash that portion of our past now.”
Thompson, the sheet chairman, says the proceeding volition “set the tone” of the probe, which volition analyse not lone Trump’s relation successful the insurrection but the right-wing groups progressive successful coordination earlier the attack, achromatic supremacists among them.
It volition besides look astatine the information failures that allowed hundreds of radical to breach the Capitol and nonstop lawmakers moving for their lives. Some of those who broke successful were calling for the deaths of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was hiding conscionable feet distant from the mob.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, 1 of 2 Republicans connected the panel, volition springiness opening remarks aft Thompson — an effort by Democrats to look arsenic bipartisan arsenic possible. The House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, withdrew the information of different Republicans past week aft Pelosi rejected 2 of them, saying their “antics” successful enactment of Trump, and his lies that helium won the election, weren’t due for the superior investigation. Monday evening, the House voted against a solution offered by the GOP person to unit the members to beryllium connected the panel.
McCarthy has stayed adjacent to Trump since the insurrection and has threatened to propulsion committee assignments from immoderate Republican who participates connected the Jan. 6 panel. He has called Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is besides sitting connected the committee, “Pelosi Republicans,” an effort that Cheney instantly dismissed arsenic “childish.”
Ahead of the proceeding connected Tuesday, McCarthy again called the process a “sham” and said Pelosi lone wants the questions asked “that she wants asked.”
McCarthy told reporters that Pelosi should beryllium investigated for her relation successful the information failures of the time but ignored questions astir Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who had identical authorization implicit the Capitol Police and Capitol information officials
Outside of a committee mentation league for the proceeding connected Monday, Kinzinger told reporters that “for excessively long, we’ve been pretending that Jan. 6 didn’t happen.” He said helium ne'er expected to beryllium successful this position, “but erstwhile you person these conspiracies that proceed to thrive, erstwhile you person lies and misinformation that proceed to thrive, it’s indispensable for america arsenic members of Congress to get to the answers.”
Shortly aft the insurrection, astir each Republican denounced the convulsive mob — and Trump himself, who told his supporters to “fight similar hell” to overturn his defeat. But galore person softened their code successful caller months and weeks.
And immoderate person gone farther, with Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde saying a video of the rioters looked similar “a mean tourer visit” and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar repeatedly saying that a pistillate who was changeable and killed by constabulary arsenic she was trying to interruption into the House enclosure was “executed.” Others person falsely claimed that Democrats oregon wide groups were liable for the attack.
On Tuesday, a radical of GOP members plans to clasp a quality league astir the insurrectionists who were arrested, calling them “prisoners.”
The officers testifying person go progressively politically progressive successful caller months, and went from bureau to bureau successful May to lobby Senate Republicans to enactment an extracurricular committee to analyse the insurrection. The Senate GOP yet rejected that effort, adjacent though that sheet would person been evenly divided betwixt the parties.
In June, the radical watched from the assemblage arsenic the House voted to signifier its ain probe instead.
After that vote, members of the radical said they were frustrated with the Republican effect — lone Cheney and Kinzinger had voted for the panel. Fanone, shaken, said “it’s precise idiosyncratic for me.” Dunn said helium couldn’t judge that truthful galore of them would ballot against an investigation.
“I didn’t deliberation it would beryllium that close,” Dunn said. “I thought it would be, everybody wants to get to the bottommost of it.”
Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Kevin Freking and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.