There was emotional testimony today as Congress began hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Congress was about to count the Electoral College votes from the presidential election when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed into the building to stop the process.
The hearing began with a new video of officers defending the Capitol from rioters determined to overturn the presidential election of Joe Biden.
Rioters crushed D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges as he tried to defend a doorway. “I was effectively defenseless. Gradually sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the mob,” he said.
Four officers from the Capitol and D.C. police forces were the first to testify.
All still suffering physical and emotional pain. A Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell teared up as he remembered his family’s fears.
" They) were frantically calling and texting me from 2 p.m. onward because they were watching the turmoil on television,” he said.
Another testified he was the target of racial slurs.
“One woman in a pink MAGA shirt said, ‘You hear that guys? That N--- said he voted for Biden,’” said Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.
“Hearing it from their perspective in their words was incredibly painful,” said Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. She was trapped in the House gallery by the mob that officers were trying to keep out.
“It isn’t just a personal trauma. This is a collective trauma and a collective attack on the United States Capitol. And if we don’t have accountability, then we do not have the ability to protect our democracy,” she said.
Republican leadership attacked the committee.
“Speaker Pelosi will only put on to the committee people who will answer the questions she wants asked,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“You do not get to erase this experience. You do not get to just say it didn’t happen. You do not get to say these were tourists,” said Jayapal.
D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone shared his response.
“I went to hell and back to protect them. And the people in this room … the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!” he said.
©2021 Cox Media Group