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After much controversy and partisan wrangling, yesterday saw the first hearing of the House of Representatives’ select committee on the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol. And even for those who followed the event closely on the day, the testimony was harrowing.
Along with a compilation of video and audio footage captured on the day, four police officers who served that day described the violence, hatred and vicious racism visited upon them by the hundreds of people who descended upon the building. More than one of the witnesses visibly reached the point of tears.
The panel, of course, did not include any Republicans nominated by the party’s leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy. That’s because Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his nominees, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan – and instead of choosing two alternatives, Mr McCarthy simply withdrew the three Ms Pelosi had accepted.
At a press conference before the hearing, he and the congressmen he’d nominated complained that they would not be able to ask questions Ms Pelosi did not want answered, but did not acknowledge that it is they themselves who opted out.
But two Republicans did join the hearing: leading Trump critics Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. They asked unsparing questions that shed light on just what the officers in front of them were forced to deal with on the day, and elicited excruciating testimony about how they feel about the actions of Mr Trump and his supporters before, during and after the riot.
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To put the astonishing hearing in context and chart where the committee may be headed next, The Independent’s senior Washington correspondent, Eric Garcia, will be hosting an Ask Me Anything event at 1pm BST on Wednesday 28 July.
If you have questions about where this process might lead, who might be called as a witness and what the impact of the investigation might be, submit them in the comments section below – either now, or during the live session.
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