The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots held its first public hearing Thursday during prime time, providing an inside look into their investigation over the past yr through testimonies and video accounts from the violence that ensued on that day.
This was the primary of six public hearings the bipartisan committee is planning to carry, hoping to piece together the events culminating into the attack on the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s role in it.
All three major broadcast networks aired the hearing live.
The committee heard testimony Thursday from U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was following leaders of the Proud Boys on Jan. 6.
Listed below are 10 notable takeaways from the hearing:
Then Attorney General William Barr told Trump his claims the election was stolen were ‘bullshit.’
The committee showed video testimony from former Attorney General William Barr recounting he told Trump his claims around election fraud were “bullshit.”
Barr said he had three separate conversations with Trump on Nov. 23, 2020, Dec. 1, 2020, and Dec. 14, 2020, before he resigned as attorney general.
“I made it clear I didn’t agree with the thought of claiming the election was stolen and putting out these things, which I told the president it was bullshit, and I didn’t need to be a component of it,” Barr said during his deposition.
Following Joe Biden’s victory in November 2020, Barr told The Associated Press there was no proof to support claims of widespread fraud.
“Thus far, we’ve not seen fraud on a scale that might have effected a distinct final result within the election,” Barr said on the time.
Ivanka Trump told the committee she was ‘affected’ by Barr’s comments.
Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and former White House adviser, told investigators Barr’s assessment that there was no election interference “affected my perspective,” in response to video aired from her testimony.
“I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying,” she said.
Trump’s campaign staff told the previous president he had lost the election.
The House panel also aired footage of testimony by Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign adviser, saying Matt Oczkowski, Trump’s campaign internal data expert, held a call with the previous president in the times following the presidential election, telling Trump he had lost, based on the reported results.
“I remember he delivered to the president pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose,” Miller told the committee.
Jared Kushner dismissed White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s threats to resign as ‘whining.’
Vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced a video showing Jared Kushner telling investigators he dismissed White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his team of lawyers’ multiple threats to resign prior to Jan. 6.
“I do know he was at all times ― him and the team were at all times saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to resign. We’re not going to be here if this happens, if that happens,’” Kushner said. “So I form of took it as much as be just whining, to be honest with you.”
Cipollone and his deputy had threatened to resign if Trump brought in an acting attorney general who would support his election fraud lies.
Trump cheered supporters wanting to hold Mike Pence.
Cheney revealed Trump was offended along with his advisers telling him he must be doing more to stop the riots, while he embraced calls by his supporters for then Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged for his refusal to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
“Perhaps our supporters have the appropriate idea,” Cheney recited Trump as saying, based on his advisers’ accounts. “Mike Pence deserves it.”
Among the many latest revelations at Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing: Direct quotes from Donald Trump expressing approval of threats by supporters to hold Vice President Mike Pence.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 10, 2022
Cheney added the previous president didn’t make any efforts to send reenforcement because the Capitol was being breached, despite pleas by lawmakers, including members of his own party like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“Not only did President Trump refuse to inform the mob to go away the Capitol, he placed no call to any element of the USA government to instruct that the Capitol be defended,” Cheney said.
Cheney added it was Pence who made efforts to deploy the National Guard.
“President Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day and he made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets,” Cheney said. “Vice President Pence did each of those things.”
The committee released never-before-seen brutal video of violence on the U.S. Capitol.
The committee released a never-before-seen video presentation of scenes before, during and after the riots on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) introduced the montage warning the video won’t be easy to look at and includes violence.
“It’s vital that we remember exactly what took place. That this was no tourist visit to the Capitol,” Thompson said.
The footage, which the committee obtained as a part of their investigation, showed Trump supporters attacking cops, destroying property on the Capitol and on the lookout for members of Congress to attack.
At the top of the video, the House panel included an audio except from a Fox News interview with Trump on July 11, 2021, drawing contrast between the gruesome scenes and Trump’s assertions that the event was a peaceful protest.
“They were peaceful people,” Trump said. “These were great people. The group was unbelievable. And I discussed the word love. The love, the love within the air, I’ve never seen anything prefer it.”
Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn shed tears while watching videos of the riots.
Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, who was working on the Capitol throughout the attacks of Jan. 6, teared up while watching footage of the riots throughout the hearing. Dunn was sitting alongside the girlfriend of the late Officer Brian Sicknick, left, and fellow Capitol police officer, Aquilino Gonell, on the appropriate.
Dunn told The Wall Street Journal it was hard watching video from the attacks.
“It was painful. It was difficult. It was very emotional,” Dunn said.
Dunn though still plans to attend all of the longer term Jan. 6 committee hearings.
“It’s only right that we seek accountability and justice for you understand, a few of our officers aren’t any longer with us due to that day,” Dunn told the Journal.
Dunn, who wore a T-shirt featuring the definition of revolt, has previously spoken at length about his experience from that day and his fears an identical attack could occur in the longer term.
“It’s scary to think something [like this] can occur again, and yet it might occur again … there’s nothing in place now to discourage these people from doing it again,” Dunn told MSNBC in January.
Proud Boy said membership ‘tripled probably’ following Trump comment in presidential debate.
The committee aired testimony of Jeremy Bertino, who the panel lists as a Proud Boy, saying the road gang’s membership grew “exponentially” following Trump calling on them to “stand back and standby” during a presidential debate in 2020.
″I’d say tripled probably,” Bertino told investigators.
an investigator for the January 6 committee says Trump’s request that the Proud Boys “stand by” during a presidential debate led to a spike in membership for the group pic.twitter.com/2kLQDNFt9L
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 10, 2022
Trump made the reference to Proud Boys in response to a matter by debate moderator Chris Wallace in Sept. 29, 2020, about whether Trump would condemn white supremacists and militia groups.
“Proud boys stand back and standby,” Trump said. “But I’ll inform you what: any person’s got to do something about antifa and the left, because this just isn’t a right-wing problem.”
“This can be a left-wing problem,” Trump continued.
Officer Edwards described ‘the carnage’ and ‘absolute war zone’ outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Edwards, the primary U.S. Capitol police officer to be injured throughout the Capitol riots, painted the scene on Jan. 6, 2021, as an “absolute war zone” during her testimony before the House panel Thursday.
“I just keep in mind that moment of stepping behind the road and seeing absolutely the war zone that the west front [of the Capitol] had grow to be,” said Edwards, who sustained a concussion throughout the attack.
Edwards also spoke concerning the injuries other officers suffered throughout the revolt.
″[Officers] were bleeding, they were throwing up… I saw friends with blood throughout their faces, I used to be slipping in people’s blood,” Edwards said.
“I used to be catching people as they fell. It was carnage, it was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw. Never in my wildest dreams did I feel that as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I’d find myself in the course of a battle,” Edwards continued.
Edwards also recounted being called “Nancy Pelosi’s dog” and a “traitor to my country, my oath and my Structure” on Jan. 6 and the times following the attack.
“I’d be called names before, but never had my patriotism or duty been called into query,” Edwards said.
NEW: “I used to be called a variety of things on Jan. 6, 2021, and the times thereafter,” Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards testifies. “…I used to be called a traitor to my country, my oath and my Structure.”
“In reality I used to be none of those things. I used to be an American.” pic.twitter.com/R3FmXRAelW
— ABC News (@ABC) June 10, 2022
Capitol rioters said they were invited by Trump.
The committee showed a video presentation compiling statements from several rioters saying Trump had invited them there.
“I did consider the election was being stolen and Trump asked us to return,” said Robert Schornack, who was sentenced to 36 months probation, during an interview with the House panel.
Eric Barber, who was charged with theft and illegal demonstration within the Capitol, said Trump “personally” asked them to return to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I believed for every part he’s done for us, if that is the one thing he’s going to ask of me, I’ll do it,” Barber said, in response to audio sourced by the Department of Justice.
John Wright, who’s awaiting trial for felony civil disorder and other charges, told the House committee he also attended at the previous president’s request.
“I do know why I used to be there and that’s because he called me there, and he laid out what is occurring in our government,” Wright said.