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Hearing on Jan. 6 violence exposes stark partisan divisions

Capitol Hill Capitol Building Capitol Dome
Posted at 7:28 PM, May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Five hours of testimony about the Jan. 6 riots at a House hearing Wednesday frequently devolved into partisan shouting matches, with lawmakers more often blaming each other than thoroughly questioning the witnesses.

Democrats attacked President Donald Trump's former acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, at some points screaming at him. They are upset about what they argue were unnecessary delays by the Pentagon in sending help to an overrun Capitol.

Republicans meanwhile downplayed the violence of the day, even though Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol beat and injured police officers who were guarding the building. Some painted the Trump supporters who stormed the building as patriots who have been unfairly harassed.

Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified publicly for the first time about the events and defended his agencies’ response to the chaos.

On Jan. 6, a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and dozens of officers were injured trying to hold the crowd back.