Much of Washington, as well as Americans around the country, was tuned in to the House select panel to investigate the events of 6 January, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was not in the audience.
The minority leader told CNN’s Melanie Zanona that he was stuck in “back-to-back meetings” and could not watch the hearing, which occurred amid other business of the House on Tuesday.
In the hearing, four members of US Capitol Police testified about the events of the siege on the Capitol and described a chaotic, hateful mass of rioters bent on causing violence to officers and members of Congress.
One, Harry Dunn, described how the day was the first time he had ever been the target of racist language while in uniform.
The Independent has reached out to the GOP leader’s office to inquire as to whether he will watch any of the testimony from Capitol Police officers this week.
Mr McCarthy was not the only Republican not glued to a TV screen on Tuesday; several right wing members of his caucus including Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Louie Gohmert held a press conference blocks away in front of the Department of Justice, where they asserted that those who were suspected of committing crimes during the 6 January attack were being treated unfairly by law enforcement while in detention.
That press conference quickly dissolved into confusion as Ms Greene began speaking, with a small crowd of protesters screaming that she and others were “traitors” and responsible for the events of the Capitol riot due to their efforts (along with others) to spread former President Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.
At the hearing, the officers laid blame for the attack squarely on the shoulders of Mr Trump and other Republicans who spread his false claims.
“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”, said officer Michael Fanone.
"It's pathetic and they shouldn't be elected officials anymore”, added Sgt Aquilino Gonell.
Mr Gaetz and Ms Greene did not answer shouted questions about the officers’ comments while being led away on Tuesday as their press conference erupted into chaos.
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