The four officers who testified before the committee investigating the insurrection gave chilling testimony. They were attacked with bear spray, makeshift weapons, and one with his own taser. They were told by the domestic terrorists that they were going to die that day. They were called traitors. One’s citizenship was questioned because of his brown skin. A Black officer spoke of being called the n-word. He said this was the first time that happened while he was in uniform. These officers spoke of injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Officers who weren’t on duty at the time put on their uniforms and went to the Capitol to help their brothers and sisters in blue. The vice president, senators, representatives, and Capitol staffers hid in rooms hoping the violent mob wouldn’t find them.

The men who testified have really backed the GOP into a corner. They said everyone at the insurrection were Trump supporters. They said it was violent. One said he was more afraid than he ever was during a tour of duty in Iraq. They confirmed that there were no “hugs and kisses” as former guy claims. Were these officers lying? They raised their right hands and swore to tell the truth. The former guy repeatedly refused to raise his right hand, swear to tell the truth, and testify before Congress.

Sens. Cramer and Hoeven and Rep. Armstrong, your constituents need to hear from you on this issue. Where do you stand? Are going to finally denounce Trump’s lies? Or are you are going to call these officers liars with your silence and refusing to answer questions about the testimony. You can support the blue or you can support Trump. You can’t support both. Will your grandchildren be embarrassed when they read history and see you defended an individual who attempted to overthrow our Republic?

If you refuse to stand behind these brave officers, I suggest that at the next insurrection, you stand in front of them.

Colleen Whalen lives in Fargo.

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