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The Search for Truth on Jan. 6 Brings Tears

Jamie Stiehm on

WASHINGTON -- I don't need a hearing to tell me what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, which was stormed by an armed mob. But the nation needs a reckoning on that deadly day.

It was a moment history will never forget, a presidential attack on an equal branch of government, Congress. This I can tell you: It was not a drill, nor a sightseeing lark.

I felt something bad would happen, but there I was to witness the saddest story I've ever seen.

A House select committee held its first hearing Tuesday on the event. Four police officers gave heartrending testimony on their beatings, injuries and lasting trauma.

A Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, was moved to tears.

"We never imagined this could happen," he said. "This was a democracy-defending moment."

 

Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming were the only House Republicans serving on the panel, defying their party leaders.

The mob meant to lynch then-Vice President Mike Pence and make Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi go the way of Henry VIII's second wife.

Pence and Pelosi were presiding over election rituals and barely made it to safety. Lawmakers scrambled to make it out alive.

So did we. I was in the House chamber, in the press gallery. We heard gunshots in the Speaker's Lobby as the mob tried to breach the chamber. I covered the streets of Baltimore for The Sun newspaper, but I have never heard shots before.

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