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Comer Opening Statement: “We cannot ignore some acts of violence and then use others for political gain.”

Calls for impartial review of the events from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and other acts of political violence

WASHINGTON—Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened today’s House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing by condemning the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and calling for those who committed crimes and violence to be held accountable.

In his remarks, Ranking Member Comer criticized Democrats for politicizing the attack on the U.S. Capitol and for failing to condemn the political violence perpetrated by the radical left that our nation witnessed last summer. He concluded by calling for a constructive examination of missteps that occurred on January 6 and strategies for preventing them in the future.

The remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

Madam Chair, thank you for holding today’s hearing on the events of January 6.

What happened on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol is unacceptable. Those who committed crimes and violence on January 6 must be held accountable, and the Justice Department is actively working to do just that.

As of April 16, 410 defendants have been arrested. Their names, the charges, and place of arrest are all listed on the DOJ’s website.

The charges include assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees – some of which include using a deadly or dangerous weapon. Some have been charged with conspiracy. Others have been charged with trespassing on federal property.

The FBI continues to seek perpetrators of crimes committed on January 6. The FBI’s website is filled with pictures—866 photos—and videos of individuals being sought in connection with the events of January 6.

Less than a week after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, I joined Ranking Members Rodney Davis and John Katko in introducing a bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the facts and circumstances related to the attack.

The commission would also identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned in order to detect, prevent, and respond to such kinds of attacks in the future.

But instead of seeking to examine the facts in a bipartisan fashion, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have politized the January 6 attack.

Until last week, Speaker Pelosi refused to entertain an even split on the panel. For three months she dragged her feet and failed to build consensus. Meanwhile, the Senate engaged in bipartisan, constructive problem solving.

Instead of looking at what we can control—the security of the Capitol—Speaker Pelosi, Chairwoman Maloney, and other Democrats have wrongly targeted perceived conservative technology companies for the role they may have played in this violence. 

Well, Chairwoman Maloney looked into this issue, and guess what?  There was nothing there.  That’s why you haven’t heard anything about it – because there was nothing there.

If looking at the facts, it’s clear that Facebook, Twitter, and other Big Tech companies’ platforms were used to organize this violence.

The FBI and Department of Justice have laid out their roles very clearly in their criminal complaints and indictments.

But the Democrats refuse to investigate those companies or even ask tough questions of them.

I guess the Democrats just don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.

Additionally, Democrats continue to demonize tens of millions of Americans who support President Trump and have legitimate questions about the integrity of the 2020 election.

Expressing concern over election integrity is not a seditious act. Plenty of my Democrat colleagues expressed concern in past election results.

What is wrong is when individuals take to crime, violence, and mob tactics. This was wrong on January 6 and this was wrong last summer when several cities across the country were attacked by rioters.

The political violence that resulted in the burning of our post offices. The destruction of other federal buildings. Mob attacks on live television. Violence in the streets of Portland and other cities. Businesses boarded up with graffiti sprayed everywhere. Commerce—even here in D.C.—ground to a halt.

It’s hypocritical that Speaker Pelosi and Democrats refuse to examine the political violence Americans witnessed on televisions every night last summer.

According to one report, 25 Americans died during these violent political protests in the summer and fall of 2020. Many Americans’ property and livelihoods were destroyed.

Instead of condemning this violence, many Democrats supported and encouraged it. Kamala Harris even contributed to help bail out rioters.

Many Democrats continue to engage in such dangerous rhetoric. Democrat Chairwoman Maxine Waters recently called on the public to “get more confrontational,” if there was a verdict of not guilty for Derek Chauvin.

No wonder America thinks Congress is broken. We cannot ignore some acts of violence and then use others for political gain. This is unbecoming of Americans’ elected representatives in Congress. 

The justice system must work its course to hold violent offenders accountable. Congress must examine both the January 6 attack and the violence we witnessed last summer to try to prevent it from happening again.

We owe it to the American people to address these acts of violence.

The American people deserve better from their elected representatives.

I look forward to a constructive examination of missteps that occurred on January 6 and strategies for guarding against these errors in the future.

Finally, Madame Chairwoman, I want to tell the families of those who died in the wake of these events that my prayers have been with them over the course of the past several months.

Our law enforcement, who put their lives on the line for us, each and every day deserve better from their leaders—they deserve strong and decisive leadership.

I’ll close now by thanking them and remembering the fallen. May God bless them and their families.

I yield back.

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Author: Amy Hasenberg

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