Officers describe the Capitol riot in first public testimony for the committee investigating the January 6 attack

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Jan. 6 select committee, thanked the police officers who attended today’s hearing to testify and said the hearing is going to be “guided solely by the facts,” adding “there is no place for politics or partisanship in this investigation.”

Thompson said the charge of the committee is to “follow the facts where they lead us,” and while there is still a lot to uncover, he outlined some of the points lawmakers already know.

“We know that the insurrection on January 6th was a violent attack that involved vicious assault on law enforcement. We know there is evidence in a coordinated, planned attack. We know that men and women who stormed the Capitol wanted to derail the peaceful transfer of power in this country,” Thompson said.

He said another major goal of the committee is to find way to eliminate the threat of “efforts to subvert democracy.”

Two DC Metropolitan police officers and two Capitol police officers are testifying at the hearing on Tuesday. Thompson said all officers have the gratitude of the committee and the country.

“You held the line that day. I can’t overstate what was on the line, our democracy. You held the line. We’re going to revisit some of those moments today. It won’t be easy. History will remember your names and actions and it’s important to think about history as this committee starts its work,” he said. “As we hear from these courageous men and to get answers for the American people because we need to understand our history if we want to understand the significance of what happened on January 6th in our role as members of the people’s House. I’m talking about the peaceful transfer of power.”

Some more background: Thompson worked with the panel’s top Republican, Rep. John Katko of New York, to reach a compromise behind the legislation that would have created an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot.

That effort was blocked in the Senate and the House passed a bill to form the special committee that is meeting today.

Thompson has built much of his congressional career on the Homeland Security panel, defined by the fallout from devastating events like Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

CNN’s Jedd Rosche and Christopher Hickey contributed reporting to this post. 

This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.