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Bret Baier reacts to Jan. 6 hearing: After testimony, you can't say 'it's not a big deal'
Fox News anchor Bret Baier said Tuesday's testimony from four members of law enforcement who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 pokes a hole in efforts by some of President Trump's allies to downplay the deadly incident or discredit the congressional investigation.
"While Republicans politically are saying that this is a partisan effort and that they charge that it's not going to get to the questions that they think are important about Jan. 6 - Why were the Capitol Police so ill-prepared for what happened that day? - you cannot watch this testimony and say that it's not a big deal," Baier said Tuesday during Fox News's coverage of the House panel's first hearing on the Jan. 6 insurrection.
"And you cannot watch this testimony and say that there are questions that are going to take us places that I don't think we know where we're going to go yet," he added.
During the hearing, officers from the U.S. Capitol Police and the D.C. Metro Police Department gave emotional testimony about their experiences that day.
"On Jan. 6, for the first time, I was more afraid working at the Capitol than during my entire Army deployment to Iraq," said Aquilino Gonell, a Capitol Police sergeant and Army veteran. "In Iraq, we expected armed violence because we were in a war zone. But nothing in my experience in the Army or as a law enforcement officer prepared me for what we confronted on Jan. 6."
In the weeks and months since the attack, Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill have tried to minimize the riot and the physical threat to lawmakers that day, arguing that House Democrats should have done more to secure the Capitol grounds.
Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone, during his testimony on Tuesday, said of those GOP efforts, "The indifference being shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!"
"My law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience," he continued. "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."
Baier called Fanone's statement and those of his colleagues "compelling, at times damning" for the rioters and those who are defending them.
"For anybody who looked at that and looked at the videos and their testimony about that day and thought that it was not violent, I think that was an eye-opener," Baier said. "We obviously talked about Jan. 6 a lot in the time since then, but putting it all together and seeing it again is jarring and to listen to these officers say how they really fought to hold onto their lives."