Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney took center stage during Tuesday's hearing on the January 6th MAGA riot, with Kinzinger tearing up as he thanked the police officers for their service and Cheney warning America could face a riot every four years if those behind that day are not held accountable for their actions. 

'I never expected today to be quite as emotional for me as it has been,' Kinzinger said, sniffling as he choked back tears. He noted how he got to know many of the officers in the aftermath of the riot.

Both he and Cheney hugged a few of the officers at the beginning of the hearing. 

'I think it's important to tell you right now though,' Kinzinger continued. 'You guys may like individually feel a little broken.'

But, he added: 'You guys won.' 

The emotional day got to almost everyone - lawmakers and witnesses alike. Several times the officers wiped away tears, particularly when footage from January 6th shown. The lawmakers got shook up talking about their gratitude for the officers' work.


'You saved the day. You saved the Constitution,' Rep. Zoe Lofgren told them. 

Some of the most dramatic words came early on when Cheney, in her opening statement offered cautionary words about what could happen in the wake of future presidential elections. She called January 6th a 'cancer' on the Constitution. 

'If those responsible are not held accountable and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our constitutional republic, undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system. We will face the threat of more violence in the months to come and another January 6 every four years,' she said.

Six months after the riot, where Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try and stop the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory, 590 people have been charged. More than 300 suspects are still wanted by law enforcement. In the aftermath of that day, five people died while staff and officers on Capitol Hill remained traumatized over what happened.

The committee began its first hearing into January 6th with dramatic new footage from that day, showing Trump's  supporters over running the building and attacking police officers.

It also contained harrowing testimony from four offices at the Capitol that day, who recounted being physical beaten by the rioters, being called obscenities, and fearing for their lives. 

'We are not asking for medals and recognition, we just want justice and accountability,' said Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of US Capitol Police.

And Officer Daniel Hodges of the DC Metropolitan Police told the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel what he wanted of them was to find out 'if anyone in power had a role in this, anyone in power coordinated or aided or abetted or tried to downplay or tried to prevent the investigation of this terrorist attack, because we can't.' 

The committee showed new video footage from the day of the riot. The graphic video was filled with rioters shouting obscenities. It showed the rioters throwing objects and gas canisters at police officers, screaming and shouting as they broke the Capitol's windows to breach the building.

Police officers are heard on the radio, begging for help as the rioters overwhelmed them.

And the rioters are heard making their own threats. 

'Can I speak to Pelosi? We're coming b***h,' one rioter is seen saying of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

'Hang Mike Pence,' the crowd is heard shouting about the then-vice president.

TOUGH WORDS FROM CHENEY AND KINZINGER 

In her opening statement, Cheney called on those officials who served in Trump's White House with knowledge of the day to step forward and testify.

'We must know what happened here at the Capitol. We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House - every phone call every conversation every meeting, leading up to during an after the attack. Honorable men and women have an obligation to step forward,' she said. 

Cheney and Kinzinger are the only two Republicans on the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Both serve at the invitation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Kinzinger, a GOP lawmaker from Illinois, slammed his fellow Republicans who dismissed what happened on January 6th.

'Like most Americans, I'm frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection breach the United States Capitol for several hours on live television,' he said. 'We still don't know exactly what happened. Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just a another partisan fight. It's toxic and it's a disservice to the officers families.'

He added: 'I'm here to investigate January 6 not in spite of my membership in the Republican Party, but because of it, not to win a political fight, but to learn the facts and defend our democracy. Here's what we know. Congress was not prepared. On January 6 we weren't prepared because we never imagined that this could happen.' 

Cheney said the committee's investigation will be nonpartisan, countering charges from Republican leadership that the hearing is a 'sham' with its outcome pre-determined.

'When a threat to our constitutional order arises as it has here, we are obligated to rise above politics. This investigation must be nonpartisan,' Cheney, a Republican lawmaker from Wyoming, said. 

The video footage was shown to emphasize Democrats' point that the rioters were trying over throw the government.

'A peaceful transfer of power did not happen this year. It did not happen. Let that sink in. Think about it. A violent mob was pointed at the Capitol and told to win a trial by combat,' Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the panel, said in his opening statement.

'These rioters were organized, they were ready for fight, and they came close to succeeding. It's frightening to think about how close,' he added.


Rep. Liz Cheney warned America could face a riot every four years if those behind the January 6th MAGA riot are not held accountable for their actions

Rep. Liz Cheney warned America could face a riot every four years if those behind the January 6th MAGA riot are not held accountable for their actions

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the US Capitol Police, Officer Michael Fanone of the DC Metropolitan Police, Officer Daniel Hodges of the DC Metropolitan Police and Private First Class Harry Dunn of the US Capitol Police are sworn in before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on US Capitol

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the US Capitol Police, Officer Michael Fanone of the DC Metropolitan Police, Officer Daniel Hodges of the DC Metropolitan Police and Private First Class Harry Dunn of the US Capitol Police are sworn in before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on US Capitol

Rep. Adam Kinzinger hugs U.S. Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell

Rep. Adam Kinzinger hugs U.S. Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell

Rep. Liz Cheney hugs Michael Fanone, officer for the Metropolitan Police Department

Rep. Liz Cheney hugs Michael Fanone, officer for the Metropolitan Police Department

U.S. Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell wipes tears as he watches footage from Jan 6

U.S. Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell wipes tears as he watches footage from Jan 6

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., greets Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., greets Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone

Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges reacts as he watches video from his own body worn camera being shown during the hearing

Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges reacts as he watches video from his own body worn camera being shown during the hearing

US Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn hugs Representative Liz Cheney after the hearing

US Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn hugs Representative Liz Cheney after the hearing

The hearing played new footage and audio from police officers on the day of the riot

The hearing played new footage and audio from police officers on the day of the riot


At Tuesday's hearing, the lawmakers heard from four police officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building, leaving five people dead and a trail of destruction. 

  • Harry Dunn, Private First Class, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Aquilino Gonell, Sergeant, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Michael Fanone, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department 
  • Daniel Hodges, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department   

REP. MURPHY REVEALS HOW COPS SAVED HER DURING RIOT 

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy told the officers that she and fellow Rep. Kathleen Rice were hiding in a room 40 feet away from the tunnel where Hodges, Fanone and other officers pushed rioters back.

'You were our last line of defense,' she said. 'I shudder to think what would have happened had you not held that line.'

She recalled hearing the officers' coughing, helping one another, and then going back out to fight.

Murphy said the two women took refuge in that room because they thought they would be safe in the Capitol basement.

'It turned out we ended up at the center of the storm,' she said. 'Imagine if they had caught the two members of Congress that were just 40 feet from where you all were.'

She told the officers their actions gave her and Rice time to escape with a group of US Capitol Police officers sent to extract them.

She noted she has two young children: a 10-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.

'And the reason I was able to hug them again, was because of the courage that you and your fellow officers showed that day. And so just to really heartfelt thank you,' she said.

She noted not a single lawmaker was captured or hurt during the riot.

'I think it's important for everybody though to remember that the main reason rioters didn't harm any members of Congress was because they didn't encounter any members of Congress, and they didn't encounter any members of Congress because law enforcement officers did your jobs that day, and you did it well. I think without you, what would have been a terrible and what was a terrible and tragic day would have been even more terrible and more tragic. So just very grateful for all of you,' she added.

Hodges told her he had no doubt that the rioters wanted to kidnap or kill a lawmaker.

GONELL SLAMS TRUMP FOR SAYING RIOTERS HUGGED AND KISSED COPS 


In his testimony, Gonell slammed Trump for his false claim that the rioters were 'hugging and kissing' the rioters that day.

'I'm still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day,' said Gonell, who was attacked by rioters with a flag pole.

Under the questioning from Cheney, Gonell had more strong words against the former president, saying 'we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him. To me, it's insulting, it's demoralizing.'

'All of them were telling us, Trump sent us,' he said. 'It was not Antifa. It was not Black Lives Matters.' 

He later apologized and said he was not suggesting anyone go to Trump's home. 

In his testimony, Gonell recounted how the 'rioters call me traitor.'

'The rioters were vicious and relentless. We found ourselves in a violent battle,' he said of that day.

He described his experience 'like something from a medieval battle. We fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the Capitol by the mob intend on subverting our democracy.'

Most of the officers grew emotional watching the footage from January 6th. At one point, Fanone got up to offer comfort to Gonell.

FANONE DESCRIBE BEING TASERED AND ELECTROCUTED 

Fanone, who suffered a heart attack from his injuries on January 6th, recounted how he was repeatedly tasered and threatened with his own gun by the rioters.

'I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm. I was electrocuted, again and again and again with a taser,' he said. 

The committee showed footage from Fanone's body camera, where his fellow officer and friend, Jimmy Albright had come to support US Capitol Police.

The feed from his camera showed the ceiling, as Fanone laid on the ground after suffering his heart attack.

'Mike it's Jimmy. I'm here,' Albright is heard saying. 'Mike stay in there buddy.'

Fanone said he was unconscious for about four minutes.  

He described how he and his fellow officers held the line in one of the underground tunnels that lead from the Capitol to the lawmakers' personal office buildings, holding back the mob so they could not break through.

'The narrowness of the hallway provided what was probably the only chance of holding back the crowd from entering your personal offices, the House and Senate chambers,' he said.

He became visibly emotional, saying 'what makes the struggle harder and more painful' is seeing lawmakers 'downplaying or outright denying what happened,' even after he 'went to hell and back' for them.

'Being an officer, you know your life is a risk whenever you walk out the door. Even if you don't expect otherwise law abiding citizens take up arms against you. But nothing - truly nothing - prepared me to address those elected members of our government, who continue to deny the events of that day. And in doing so, betray their oath of office,' Fanone said.

'The indifference, shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,' he said, banging on the table.

Fanone recounted how some in the crowd helped him, when he worried he would die and told them about his daughters.

'I thought about using my firearm on my attackers, but I knew that if I did, I would be quickly overwhelmed in that in their minds would provide them with the justification for killing me,' he said.

'So I instead decided to appeal to the any humanity they might have. I said as loud as I could manage: I've got kids. Thankfully, some in the crowd stepped in and assisted me. Those few individuals protected me from a crowd and injure me toward the Capitol, until my fellow officers could rescue me,' he said.

HODGES CALLS RIOTERS 'TERRORISTS' AND 'WHITE  SUPREMACISTS'

In his testimony, Hodges repeatedly called the rioters 'terrorists.'

'It was clear the terrorists perceive themselves to be Christians. I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read Jesus as my Savior, Trump is my president, another Jesus is King,' he recalled.

He also said the attack was conducted by white supremacists.  

'They would - some of them - would try to try to recruit me,' Hodges testified. 'One of them came up to me and said: are you my brother?' 

He said the rioters were three percenters and Oath Keepers, group with known ties to white supremacists.

He was also asked about Republican Rep. Andrew Cline comparing the rioters to tourists. 

'If that's what American tourists are like I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists,' Hodges deadpanned.

Footage from January 6 shows Hodges with his head caught between a door and being beaten with his own gas mask by rioters.

'A man seized the opportunity of my vulnerability to grab the front of my gas mask and used it beat my head against the door,' he said. 

He also noted some of them carried the blue flag that symbolizes support for the police.  

'To my perpetual confusion, I saw the thin blue line flag, symbol of support for law enforcement, more than once, being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us,' he said. 

DUNN SAYS RIOTERS CALLED HIM A 'N*****' 

Dunn described how the rioters called him a 'n******.'

'No one had ever called me a 'n*****' while wearing the uniform as a Capitol Police officer,' said Dunn, the only black officer testifying. He said other black officers told him they were called the same. 

Dunn described putting on a 20 lb. steel chest plate and carrying his rifle to the West Front of the Capitol, where the stage for Joe Biden's inauguration was being built. 

'I had a broad view of what was going on. I was stunned by what I saw and what seemed like a sea of people, Capitol police officers and metropolitan police officers  were engaged in desperate hand to hand fighting with the rioters across the West lawn,' he said.

'I witnessed the rioters using all kinds of weapons against officers, including flagpoles, metal bike racks that they had torn apart, and various kinds of projectiles. Officers were being bloodied in the fighting. Many were screaming, and many were blinded and coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces,' he said.

He said he made his way to the Speaker's Lobby in the Capitol, which is outside the House chamber. He said the rioters wore MAGA hats and Trump 2020 t-shirts.   

'I told him to just leave the Capitol. And their response they yelled, no man. This is our house. President Trump invited us here. We're here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden,' he said. 

He ended his testimony with a message to the rioters: 'To the rioters, insurrectionists and terrorists of that day, democracy went on that night. It still continues to exist today. Democracy is bigger than any one person or any one party. You all tried to disrupt democracy that day, you all failed.' 


Footage from office Michael Fanone's body camera
Footage from office Michael Fanone's body camera

The committee showed footage from officer Michael Fanone's body camera, where his fellow officer and friend, Jimmy Albright had come to support US Capitol Police. The feed from his camera showed the ceiling, as Fanone laid on the ground after suffering his heart attack. 'Mike it's Jimmy. I'm here,' Albright is heard saying. 'Mike stay in there buddy.'

DC police officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a heart attack from his injuries on January 6th, recounted how he was repeatedly tasered and threatened with his own gun by the rioters

DC police officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a heart attack from his injuries on January 6th, recounted how he was repeatedly tasered and threatened with his own gun by the rioters

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video from Jan 6

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video from Jan 6

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges testifies during the hearing

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges testifies during the hearing

US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn testified that the rioters called him and other black officers 'n******' during the riot

US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn testified that the rioters called him and other black officers 'n******' during the riot

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy told the officers that she and fellow Rep. Kathleen Rice were hiding in a room 40 feet away from the tunnel where Hodges, Fanone and other officers pushed rioters back

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy told the officers that she and fellow Rep. Kathleen Rice were hiding in a room 40 feet away from the tunnel where Hodges, Fanone and other officers pushed rioters back

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone is embraced by U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn following their testimony

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone is embraced by U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn following their testimony

Michael Fanone, officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, embraces Aquilino Gonell, sergeant of the U.S. Capitol Police

Michael Fanone, officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, embraces Aquilino Gonell, sergeant of the U.S. Capitol Police

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., wipes his eyes during the officers' testimony

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., wipes his eyes during the officers' testimony

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also teared up and told Rep. Kinzinger that it must be an 'Adam thing'

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also teared up and told Rep. Kinzinger that it must be an 'Adam thing'

Rep. Liz Cheney greets Sgt. Aquilino Gonell as Rep. Adam Kinzinger embraces DC officer Michael Fanone before their testimony

Rep. Liz Cheney greets Sgt. Aquilino Gonell as Rep. Adam Kinzinger embraces DC officer Michael Fanone before their testimony

US Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell; Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone; US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges after their testimony

US Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell; Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone; US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges after their testimony

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) arrive for the House Select Committee hearing on Jan 6

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) arrive for the House Select Committee hearing on Jan 6


REPUBLICANS GO ON ATTACK 

Meanwhile, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday slammed the committee as 'a sham that no one can believe.' 

His comments ahead of the hearing as Republicans tried to get their talking points in before the officers testified.

'Speaker Pelosi will only pick on people on the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked - that becomes a failed committee and a failed report, a sham that no one can believe. If you want to do answers, do not be afraid of the questions that will get asked,' McCarthy said a press conference with Republican leaders.  

Pelosi's office fired back. 

'McCarthy and House Republicans have desperately tried to undermine and prevent a real investigation into the events of January 6th from the start. Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republicans' arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation,' the speaker's office said in a statement.

Pelosi doesn't direct the DC National Guard, which is actually under the purview of the White House. She does not oversee day-to-day operations in the Capitol and is not in charge of its security. 

Republicans left out that Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP Leader, was also in leadership on that day as they repeatedly tried to tie the lack of proper security preparation back to decisions made by Pelosi in the run up to January 6.  

McCarthy dismissed questions about Trump's role on that day, a question the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will examine as part of its probe.  

Instead, the Republicans, who were trying to set the stage before the committee gaveled its hearing to order later Tuesday morning, tried to keep the focus on the speaker and berated her for removing Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the panel.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the Number 2 in House GOP Leadership, charged Pelosi with 'canceling' the two lawmakers.

'They got canceled by this new cancel culture that we see moving throughout the country led by Speaker Pelosi and a lot of our socialist allies here in Congress, where they want to shut out voices that raise tough questions that they don't want to be asked or answered,' he said.

The GOP leadership also complained they would have none of their people asking questions at the hearing. But Pelosi, who said she vetoed Banks and Jordan to protect the 'integrity' of the investigation, accepted McCarthy's other three picks. He pulled them in response to her veto of his other two lawmakers.


House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as 'a sham that no one can believe'

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as 'a sham that no one can believe' 

Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger during the hearing on the January 6 riot

Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger during the hearing on the January 6 riot


Cheney and Kinzinger - both of whom voted for Trump's second impeachment and who have been vocal critics of the former president's - give the panel the veneer of bipartisanship.

McCarthy has combined his attacks on Pelosi with hits on his two wayward GOP lawmakers.

'She's broken Congress. Then it just makes the whole committee sham and the outcome predetermined,' McCarthy told reporters at the White House on Monday of Pelosi.

He also slammed Cheney and Kinzinger as 'Pelosi Republicans.' McCarthy, facing pressure from some conservatives in his GOP conference to punish the two lawmakers, merely told DailyMail.com 'we'll see' about any possible consequences. 

In response, Cheney and Kinzinger called McCarthy 'childish' as they met with the seven Democrats serving on the committee in the Capitol Monday as part of their prep session.  

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