The House has launched an investigation into the events leading up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but officers who responded to the incident said they doubt the probe will change anything.
The House Select Committee held its first hearing as part of an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. During the hearing, four police officers, including Capitol Pfc. Harry Dun, Sgt. Aquilino Gonnell, and Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department, testified about their experiences.
Downplaying the Capitol Hill Riot
During the testimony, Fanone blasted Congress lawmakers who are "downplaying" the incident, calling their indifference "disgraceful."
"The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful! Nothing, truly nothing has 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," he said, as reported by NPR.
In their testimonies, one of the officers said a rioter attempted to gouge his eye out and called him a traitor. Another officer recalled being smashed in a doorway and being surrounded by the guttural screams from his fellow officers.
A third officer said he was beaten unconscious and repeatedly stunned with a Taser as he begged the protesters.
Gonell and the three other officers said the rioters all chanted racist slurs and claimed then-President Donald Trump sent them to the Capitol.
Their testimonies were punctuated by video montages of the riot, including footage from the officers' body cameras.
However, despite the testimonies and the investigation, other police officers who defended the Capitol against the pro-Trump mob have not expressed optimism that the new proceedings could protect them.
Doubts of the Investigation's Effectiveness
"I don't think it'll go anywhere because it's happened before," one officer said, according to Buzzfeed News.
Another Capitol police officer called the House's investigation "interesting," but questioned why it's needed as the Congress has already produced reports on the deadly insurrection.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, has selected a panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans for the investigation. The panel includes Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-MS, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-CA, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-FL, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-VA, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-IL.
During the first hearing, Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger chastised their fellow Republicans for refusing to investigate the Capitol riot.
"It's toxic, and it's a disservice to the officers' families," Kinzinger said, according to The New York Times.
The House's investigation is expected to allow former Trump administration officials to testify on whether the former president attempted to manipulate the Justice Department to subvert the result of the 2020 presidential election in the weeks leading up to the riot.
The list of potential witnesses includes former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and other former Justice Department officials, as reported by the USA Today.