Jan. 6 hearing makes case Trump at 'center of this conspiracy' to overturn election
Thursday marked the House select committee's first prime-time hearing.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol held its first prime-time hearing on Thursday.
The hearing featured never-before-seen video footage and witness testimony as lawmakers aim to explain what they call a "coordinated, multi-step effort" by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Here is how the hearing unfolded:
- 'He called me there': Teasing next hearing, committee shows video of rioters voicing intent
- Historic hearing gavels out
- 'It was carnage': Capitol Police officer recounts 'slipping in people's blood'
- Video shows Capitol Police officer getting knocked unconscious
- Documentarian notes Proud Boys went to Capitol before Trump spoke
'He called me there': Teasing next hearing, committee shows video of rioters voicing intent
Chairman Bennie Thompson wrapped up the hearing with a video compilation of rioters' interviews with the committee, with more than half-a-dozen Capitol rioters explaining in their own words why they marched on the Capitol last Jan. 6.
"Trump only asked me for two things," said Robert Schornack, who was arrested last March and pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor last December. "He asked me for my vote, and he asked me for January 6th."
"He asked us to come to come to D.C. and said things are going to happen," said Daniel Herendeen," who pleaded guilty last year to illegally entering the Capitol.
Thompson closed by teasing the committee's next hearing, scheduled for Monday, June 13, at 10 a.m.
"We're going to examine the lies that convinced those men and others to storm the Capitol," he said.
-ABC News Benjamin Siegel and Alex Mallin
Historic hearing gavels out
In a nearly two-hour hearing in prime time, the House select committee placed Trump at the center of an "attempted coup" and "multistep conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election," with the panel's chairs emphasizing how Trump and his allies repeatedly tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
Never-before-seen footage and graphic testimony from a Capitol Police officer, who described the crowd as an "absolute war zone," brought some in the hearing room to tears, as the committee laid out how it will explain in subsequent hearings a "sophisticated seven-part plan" by Trump to steal the election.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the 11-month-long investigation with more than 1,000 interviews revealed that Trump was "well aware" of the violence at the Capitol and security risk to Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers but chose to do nothing.
"Not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element to the United States government to instruct at the Capitol be defended," she said. "The vice president -- Pence -- did each of those things."
'It was carnage': Capitol Police officer recounts 'slipping in people's blood'
Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after rioters knocked her to the ground, described in detail what she called a "an absolute war zone" as officers struggled to hold the line.
"I can just remember my -- my breath catching in my throat, because I -- what I saw was just -- a war scene," she said. "It was something like I had seen out of the movies.
"I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing ... I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood," she continued.
"I was catching people as they fell ... It was carnage. It was chaos. I can't even describe what I saw," she added. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think as as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle."
Video shows Capitol Police officer getting knocked unconscious
The committee aired a video showing the moment Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards was knocked out as she tried to hold the line from a crowd of rioters pushing up against barricades and bike racks.
Edwards winced as the video began.
"I felt the bike rack come on top of my head and I was pushed backwards, and my foot caught the stair behind me, and my chin hit the handrail," she said. "At that point I blacked out but the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me."
Edwards returned to duty after regaining consciousness, saying "adrenaline kicked in" as she went to the West Front of the Capitol to protect the Senate steps. There she helped people who had gotten pepper sprayed and others injured before she was hit herself with pepper spray and tear gas.