Select committee holds first January 6 hearing with officers on the front lines

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By Jeremy Herb, Lauren Fox and Clare Foran, CNN

In its opening act, the House prime committee investigating the January 6 onslaught connected the Capitol holds its archetypal high-profile proceeding Tuesday with grounds from 4 officers who volition springiness firsthand accounts of the horrors they witnessed and endured arsenic rioters stormed the building.

The officers are expected to recount the harrowing attacks they faced connected January 6, including being beaten with a flagpole, getting crushed successful a doorway, being the people of radical slurs and facing rioters who tased them. The committee besides is expected to amusement never-before-seen videos depicting the unit from that day, conscionable arsenic House impeachment managers did during the impeachment proceedings of erstwhile President Donald Trump.

The affectional grounds kicks disconnected the committee’s probe into the circumstances surrounding the January 6 onslaught arsenic Democratic leaders look to acceptable the code for a sheet that legislature Republicans person dismissed arsenic a governmental sideshow created simply to discredit the bequest of the erstwhile President.

The extremity Tuesday, according to prime committee subordinate Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, is to represent what it was similar “to beryllium connected the beforehand lines for the brave constabulary officers” and to propulsion backmost on efforts to whitewash the events of that day.

“I’m hoping that the proceeding volition springiness the American radical an adjacent much vivid consciousness of what went connected that day, the fearfulness of that day, however these brave constabulary officers saved truthful galore lives,” Schiff told CNN.

But the proceeding volition beryllium conscionable the beginning. In the weeks ahead, the sheet of 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans, all appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, volition contend with however they tin marque the biggest impact, however to take which documents to question and, possibly astir importantly, to determine whether they volition effort to unit Trump — arsenic good arsenic immoderate of their Republican colleagues who spoke to him that day — to testify.

The committee members are looking to instrumentality the accounts from the 4 officers — DC Metropolitan Police Officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell — arsenic a jumping-off constituent for embarking connected a probe that could pb to seeking grounds and documents from the erstwhile President, his aides and adjacent Republican members of Congress.

Democrats had pushed for an autarkic committee to get to the bottommost of however pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol successful a deadly riot, attacked constabulary officers and disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s November predetermination win. After Senate Republicans blocked the commission, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved guardant with a prime committee.

Pelosi has sought for the prime committee to beryllium capable to supply an exhaustive accounting of the events surrounding the attack, the erstwhile President’s role, however extremist groups were capable to signifier and however information failures resulted successful the deadly clash. But the California Democrat has besides taken steps that person infuriated House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, including shutting down 2 of his picks for the prime committee due to the fact that of their past statements and actions that bolstered Trump’s mendacious communicative astir the predetermination being stolen.

Pelosi named GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming to the prime committee, and aft she rejected Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, McCarthy pulled the remainder of the Republicans from the committee. Pelosi responded by adding Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, to the panel, successful an effort to springiness it bipartisan credibility adjacent without McCarthy’s participation.

In a amusement of the value of the Republicans serving connected the sheet astatine Pelosi’s request, Cheney volition springiness an opening connection aft the prime committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

Cheney and Kinzinger person faced crisp blowback for joining Pelosi’s committee, with conservatives arguing that they should beryllium removed from their different committee slots. The 2 members person said those threats won’t deter them.

“If the league decided oregon if Kevin decides they privation to punish Liz Cheney and I for getting to the bottommost and telling the truth, I deliberation that astir apt says much astir them than it does for us,” Kinzinger said Monday.

Congressional Republicans are readying their ain programming to rebut the prime committee, with McCarthy and the 5 members who the California Republican had planned to name to the committee holding a quality league Tuesday greeting earlier the hearing. While the quality league volition springiness them a venue to aerial their grievances, the Republicans won’t beryllium successful the proceeding country arsenic a dependable to support Trump from the attacks he’s apt to look from Democrats.

Instead, the 2 Republican voices connected the prime committee are the astir vocal Trump critics successful the House GOP conference.

Tuesday’s hearing, however, is apt to absorption much connected the visceral information the officers faced January 6 connected the beforehand lines astatine the Capitol.

Body-camera footage shows however Fanone was pulled into the assemblage and tased repeatedly with his ain stun gun. Gonell was beaten with a flagpole and his manus was sliced open. Dunn has spoken retired astir the racist attacks helium and different Black officers faced that day. And Hodges was the serviceman successful 1 of the astir harrowing and well-known scenes from the riots, erstwhile helium was writhing and screaming successful symptom portion crushed successful a doorway by a assemblage of rioters.

“I privation radical to recognize the value of January 6. I privation radical to recognize that, you know, thousands of rioters came to the Capitol hell-bent connected unit and demolition and murder,” Fanone antecedently told CNN.

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CNN’s Manu Raju, Melanie Zanona, Annie Grayer and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.

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