Most dramatic moments from first day of Jan 6 hearing: ‘I can’t even describe what I saw’

‘It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw,’ Capitol police officer says

Jan 6 police officer recalls ‘slipping on people’s blood’ in Capitol attack

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The first public hearing on Thursday of the January 6 House select committee had several dramatic moments as the findings were made public and witnesses recounted the horror of the day last year.

The first of the six public hearings highlighted the findings of the panel’s investigation, which included interviews of more than 1,000 people about how a mob organised and stormed the Capitol building and the events that followed.

Here are some of the most dramatic moments:

‘I was slipping in people’s blood,’ Capitol police officer recounts

US Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards, who testified, said she was “slipping in people’s blood” during the riots.

Ms Edwards was one of the two eyewitnesses to the attack. She provided detailed testimony about what she saw and experienced during the riots.

“It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw,” she said.

Ms Edwards is also believed to be the first officer to sustain injury on 6 January. While she tried to hold the crowd behind a barricade, they pushed and knocked her unconscious and she suffered a traumatic brain injury.

She also spoke about her pride in her job to “protect America’s symbol of democracy” and the vicious public scrutiny she endured following the attack.

“I was called a lot of things on 6 January 2021 and the days thereafter,” said Ms Edwards. “I was called Nancy Pelosi’s dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain. I was called a traitor to my country, my home, and my Constitution. In actuality, I was none of those things.”

“I was an American standing face to face with other Americans asking myself how many time -- many, many times -- how we had gotten here. I had been called names before, but never had my patriotism or duty been called into question,” added Ms Edwards.

“I am my grandfather’s granddaughter, proud to put on a uniform and serve my country,” said Ms Edwards.

“They dared to question my honor. They dared to question my loyalty. And they dared to question my duty. I am a proud American, and I will gladly sacrifice everything to make sure that the America my grandfather defended is here for many years to come.”

Never-seen-before videos of the riots

During Ms Edwards’ testimony, a clip from bodycam footage showed the officer being pushed by the rioters to the ground, making her hit her head on the Capitol’s steps.

Some other videos at the hearing included birds-eye-view footage from security cameras that showed the massive size of the pro-Trump mob as it began storming the Capitol, overnumbering the police.

In one video, a rioter was seen reading a tweet from Mr Trump on a megaphone where the former president was criticising Mike Pence for announcing that he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The committee’s montage showed a widely shared clip of Trump supporters chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.” They also showed a photograph of a makeshift noose and gallows that the rioters erected near the Capitol.

Another clip showed rioters screaming “Nancy! Nancy!” as they entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, searching for her.

The clips left members in a state of horror as several of them came out of the hearing in tears, shocked by the magnitude of events that unfolded that day.

Trump ‘summoned the mob’: Liz Cheeney’s scathing remarks

Republican representative Liz Cheeney, who is the vice chair of the January 6 committee, delivered scathing remarks about the former president’s role in the insurrection. She stated that Mr Trump had a “seven-part plan” to overturn the election.

The stauch conservative, who became a leading critic of Mr Trump since the insurrection, asserted that his culpability for the attack on the Capitol was crystal clear.

“Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful president,” she said.

Mr Trump, she added, had “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”

Comments from Ivanka Trump and former AG Bill Barr

The earliest shocks in the hearing came with video clips of testimony from former Trump officials and aides who made it clear that he and his allies knew the election had been lost.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr, Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner were shown in an interview with committee officials during the hearing agreeing that the election was not fraudulent.

Mr Barr said Mr Trump’s claims of voter fraud were “bulls**t.”

Ms Trump said that she respected Mr Barr and found his failure to find fraud personally persuasive.

“It affected my perspective. I respect attorney general Barr so I accepted what he was saying,” she said.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the person in charge of campaign data told Mr Trump in “pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.”

The committee also cited testimony from Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon, who said that they failed to come up with evidence of widespread fraud in key states that Mr Trump lost.

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