Opinion | ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Jan. 6 Testimony by Capitol Officers

To the Editor:

Re “Beaten, Tased and Crushed by Rioters at Capitol” (front page, July 28):

For those who do not believe that there was a violent insurrection on Jan. 6 and that former President Donald Trump instigated it, please listen to and watch Tuesday’s testimony of the heroic officers attacked at the Capitol. Your ears and eyes provide the best evidence that this was an assault on our democracy.

Finding the truth and holding leaders responsible for what happened on Jan. 6 should not be a partisan issue. Hats off to the two Republican committee members, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, for reminding us about that.

As someone who has followed government investigations for nearly 60 years, I have never seen a more gripping and gut-wrenching congressional hearing — one that should be watched and rewatched by all Americans. When asked what the congressional committee should do, several of the officers said political leaders who played any role in causing the insurrection should be investigated and held accountable.

Let us honor the request of these brave officers. Doing anything less is to disrespect the heroic service of these public servants and poses a threat to our fragile democracy.

Richard Cherwitz
Austin, Texas

To the Editor:

What the officers’ testimonies revealed was that many participants in the assault on the Capitol actually called and felt themselves to be “patriots.” They moved en masse as true believers trying to right an imagined wrong perpetrated on their country, the illegitimate steal of votes from the rightful leader.

While we cannot condone the lawlessness of their action and must bring all the perpetrators to justice, we must also study, understand and address the sociological and psychological realities — the fears, disenfranchisement, loneliness and isolation — that motivated the assailants and fueled the horrendous event, if we are to prevent similar attacks from recurring.

Carmine Giordano
Lake Worth, Fla.
The writer is a psychoanalyst.

To the Editor:

Let me remind everyone that Donald Trump called the folks at the Capitol “peaceful people” and “great people.” These folks, who participated in a riot intended to overturn the presidential election, were actually, if our former president can be believed, a “loving crowd.”

On Jan. 6, that “loving crowd” injured about 140 police officers. That riotous lovefest cost four of the rioters their lives. Just imagine how badly things might have gone — for me, for you, for our country, for our democracy — if the mob had been less loving.

John R. Scannell
Sammamish, Wash.

To the Editor:

As someone who wishes the Democrats well, I believe that this select committee will always be open to criticism that it is partisan. Had Kevin McCarthy’s choices been accepted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the result would have been a more balanced Republican delegation, with both anti-Trump and pro-Trump members. Having Jim Banks and Jim Jordan on the committee would have also forced them to confront the facts as they unfold.

Ms. Pelosi’s arrogant rejection of the delegation now ensures that no matter what emerges from the investigation, the committee will be judged as deeply partisan. That will be good neither for the Democrats nor the country.

David Parent
Wallingford, Conn.

To the Editor:

Re “Jan. 6 Questions I Want Answered,” by Adam Kinzinger (Opinion guest essay, July 28):

That Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney are the only Republicans who have the courage to seek the truth about what happened on that terrible day says so much to me about the blind loyalty the rest of their party has to the former president.

Every day, I wonder exactly why this party has made the gamble to support white supremacists, to engage in wild theories about the 2020 election and to obey the instructions of the person who lost the election. What does he hold over these people that they cannot stand up to him?

In the end, the more hopeful side of me believes their actions will fail and the serious nature of Mr. Kinzinger’s and Ms. Cheney’s line of inquiry will succeed. It may take a while, but truth will win out over subversion of our government.

Jane Carlin
Nantucket, Mass.

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