'It was powerful': Group of Dems make surprise in-person appearance to Jan. 6 committee

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Roughly a dozen House Democrats who attended the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearing in person said they were moved by the testimonies of Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and British documentarian Nick Quested. 

The members said they made a quick decision to attend the Thursday hearing in person, despite most of their colleagues other than the panel members having already gone back to their districts.

“It was powerful,” said Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, California Democrat.

Among the non-panel Democrats who attended the hearing were Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Paul Tonko of New York, Sara Jacobs of California, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Dean said she made the choice to skip going home to attend the hearing.

“It was important to me. I was here on the 6th, so it’s personal,” Ms. Dean said.

Ms. Dean added that she thought those on the committee had “the greatest intellect, integrity, and credibility” and that she was proud of the work they were doing. 

Ms. Jayapal said she hopes to attend as many as possible of the hearings that the committee plans to host this month. Members say will reveal a “mountain of evidence” they’ve gathered on what led to the Capitol attack.

“We needed to bear witness,” Ms. Jayapal said. “We needed to hear the facts laid out. We needed to see the story unfolding that led to that night.”

The Democrat-led panel’s hearing was its first public one in nearly a year.

Republicans, meanwhile, have dismissed the committee’s work as a politically-motivated effort to attack conservatives and supporters of former President Donald Trump.

“Tonight’s publicly televised Jan. 6 committee hearing is nothing but a dog and pony show,” said Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana Republican. “The fact that the partisan committee hired an ex-ABC News president to help produce this spectacle clearly indicates the event is simply theater.”

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