Quigley, Hanson differ dramatically on investigation into Capitol attack

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and Republican challenger Tommy Hanson have dramatically different opinions of the committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol assault.

Quigley, who was in the Capitol when it was attacked by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, called the congressional inquiry "critical to the future of our democracy."

Hanson has downplayed the severity of the event and the importance of the investigation.

Quigley and Hanson, both of Chicago, are seeking to represent the largely suburban 5th District in the U.S. House. They talked about the Capitol attack and other issues in questionnaires for the Daily Herald and interviews.

The attack occurred as Congress met to certify Joe Biden's victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Five people died, many more were injured and extensive property damage occurred during the riot. Since then, hundreds of people have been criminally charged and many have been found guilty of a variety of crimes.

Quigley, who has represented the 5th District since 2009, called the attack "a deeply disturbing experience." He also noted it was the first interruption to the peaceful transfer of presidential power since the Civil War.

The bipartisan committee investigating the attack "has exposed the truth around that day and has exposed how directly involved Donald Trump and the Trump administration were in the planning of the attack on the Capitol," Quigley said.

"We have also learned how derelict Donald Trump was in calling off the attack - even as his own vice president's life was in danger," Quigley added.

Quigley hopes the revelations will result in the people responsible being held accountable both criminally and "at the ballot box."

Hanson, a commercial real estate broker, said investigating the Capitol attack isn't a priority. He said the 2020 election "is being used as a distraction from what is really in front of us right now."

"We have far more serious things going on in this country than rehashing what went on Jan. 6," he said.

Hanson followed up by saying people should instead focus "on all of this legislation that is oppressive to our citizens," citing a false claim repeated my many Republican leaders and candidates that the Inflation Reduction Act will, in part, fund the hiring of 87,000 IRS agents to audit people.

Democrats say the legislation's $80 billion, 10-year budget increase for the IRS would help replace retirees in several roles, not just agents, and modernize equipment.

During his successful GOP primary campaign, Hanson claimed police serving at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were coached "to make it appear that the Capitol was under siege."

Hanson also said he spoke with senators and congressmen who "knew it was not a harrowing event."

Hanson's allegations are countered by eyewitness reports from lawmakers in the Capitol that day, police investigations and countless videos produced by journalists and civilians.

This is Hanson's fourth run at the 5th District seat. He lost to Democrat Rahm Emanuel in 2008 and to Quigley in 2018 and 2020.

The 5th District was enlarged ahead of this election to include more of the Northwest suburbs. It cuts diagonally through Cook and Lake counties between Chicago's North Side and the Barrington area.

Independent candidate Jerico Matias Cruz also is running.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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