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'Can't explain' GOP actions after Jan. 6th - Cheney

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"Almost every member of the Republican conference, understood in the days immediately after January 6th, what had actually happened, and many of them said so publicly, " Cheney said.

She added: "And the fact that so many members of our leadership, and others, the fact that they've gone from recognizing what happened on the 6th, to protesting in front of the Justice Department on behalf of those who were part of the insurrection, is something that I can't explain. Um, I think it's a disgrace."

Cheney spoke after a dramatic first hearing for a committee formed despite opposition by Trump's fellow Republicans to investigate the worst violence at the Capitol since the British invasion in the War of 1812.

Four police officers on Tuesday told lawmakers they were beaten, taunted with racial insults, heard threats including "kill him with his own gun" and thought they might die as they struggled to defend the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 against a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters.

Often tearful, sometimes profane, the officers called the rioters "terrorists" engaged in an "attempted coup" during a 3-1/2 hour congressional hearing in which they also criticized Republican lawmakers who have sought to downplay the attack.

The officers urged lawmakers to determine whether Trump or others helped instigate the riot.

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