COLUMBUS (WCMH)- In chilling testimony to a House of Representatives committee, law enforcement officers recounted their memories of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Tuesday was the first time the House Select Committee investigating the attack held a hearing.
“I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser,” said D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone during his testimony. “I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice.”
During hours of testimony, officers described the physical and emotional abuse they withstood as supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building with the goal of stopping the certification of the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden.
“One man tried and failed to build a rapport with me, shouting, ‘Are you my brother?’ D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges said. “Another took a different tact, shouting, ‘You will die on your knees.’”
Since the attack on the Capitol, Republicans and Democrats have been at odds on how to move forward. Ohio Senator Rob Portman disagrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who removed and replaced Republican committee members like Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan.
“That’s not the way to have a bipartisan effort that’s viewed as legitimate by both sides and that’s what we need right now,” Portman, a Republican, said.
Congressman Tim Ryan agreed with Portman that the investigation should not become political, but argued it’s Republicans making it that way.
“We got to stop playing politics,” Ryan, a Democrat, said. “We all saw what happened, we all want to hold everyone responsible and it’s going to take two political parties in this country living in reality.”
Several officers testified that they’ve gone through additional pain because of people downplaying or questioning their experiences.
“I feel like I went to Hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many people are now telling me that Hell doesn’t exist or that Hell wasn’t that bad,” Fanone said.
Other Ohio lawmakers reacted to the first day of hearings in the investigation.
“Congressman Johnson is well-aware of the hearing taking place on Capitol Hill, and he believes strongly that anyone that violently attacked our Capitol on Jan. 6 should be held fully accountable under the law, just as anyone who violently attacks a federal building or police station in cities across America should be held fully accountable under the law,” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) said through a statement from his office.
“I am hopeful that today’s heart-wrenching accounts from officers will instill among the members of this Democrat-led Commission a desire to set aside partisan games and to, instead, work in good faith across the aisle to remedy the security vulnerabilities that allowed the events of January 6 to transpire,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) said.
Balderson’s statement continues: “I commend the attempts of officers on the ground who, despite insufficient resources and direction from their leadership, attempted to fulfill their duties to protect the Capitol. As I said on Jan. 6 and have said consistently ever since—those who perpetrated the attack on the Capitol should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and ongoing investigations by federal law enforcement authorities should not be impeded by partisan political theater.”