Mr. Kinzinger, who is one of two Republicans to sit on the selection committee, told the officers that although they felt overwhelmed, they “won.”
“I never expected today to be as emotional for me as it used to be,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of you and got to know you.
“I think it’s important to tell you right now; you guys might feel a little overwhelmed, ”he continued. “You guys are all talking about the consequences you’ll have to deal with and the impact of that day. But you guys won, you guys held on.
“You know that democracies are not defined by our bad days,” he said in a broken voice. “We are defined by how we come back from bad days.”
The comment from a GOP spokesman came during the committee’s dramatic opening day after one of the officers who fought back the rioters on January 6, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, told the committee that he was “still recovering” from an attack that former President Donald said Trump was involved. many rioters “hug and kiss” police officers.
“I am still recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses’ the day he claimed that so many rioters and terrorists attacked us that day. If it was hugs and kisses, we should all go to his house and do the same to him, ”said Sergeant Gonell.
“What he did, instead of sending the military, instead of sending support or telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense, he encouraged them to keep fighting.”
The committee was shaken by the guerrilla warfare even before the first hearing began when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the nominations chosen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to the committee. In retaliation, Mr. McCarthy removed all of his GOP elections from the panel.
However, both Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney agreed to join the committee, prompting backlash from McCarthy, who called the pair “Pelosi Republicans.”