Skip to main content

tv   January 6 Hearings First Open Testimony Before January 6 Committee  CSPAN  June 9, 2022 8:01pm-10:03pm EDT

8:01 pm
only ones in the caucus room tonight. c-span is the only place for gavel-to-gavel coverage of congress and congressional hearings free from bias or commentary. as a reminder, if you have to step away during the next two hours anyone to keep watching the hearing, go to c-span now, which is our mobile video app, and you can download it for free wherever you get your apps.
8:02 pm
[gavel bangs] >> the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capital will be in order. without objection, the chairs off the wire -- authorized to declare the committee and recess at any point. pursuant to house deposition authority regulation 10, the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during tonight's hearing. thanks to everyone watching tonight for sharing parts of
8:03 pm
your evening to learn the thoughts and causes of the events leading up to and including the violent attack on january 6, 2021. our democracy, electoral system, and country. i am bennie thompson, chairman of the january 6, 20 committee. i was born, raised and still live in bolton, mississippi. a town with a population of 521, which is midway between jackson and vicksburg, mississippi, and the mississippi river. i'm from a part of the country where people justified the actions of slavery, the coop -- the ku klux klan and lynching. i'm reminded of that dark history as i hear voices today try to justify the actions of the insurrectionists on january
8:04 pm
6, 2020 one. over the next few weeks, hopefully you will get to know the other members, my colleagues up here, and me. we represent a diversity of communities from all over the united states, rural areas and cities, east coast, west coast, and the heartland. all of us have one thing in common, we swore the same oath. that same oath that all members of congress take upon taking office, and afterwards, every two years to be elected. we swore an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. the words of the current oath taken by all of us, that nearly every united states government employee takes have their roots in the civil war. throughout our history the united states has fought against
8:05 pm
foreign enemies to preserve our democracy, electoral system and country. when the united states capitol was storm done born in -- burned in 1814, foreign enemies were responsible. afterwards, in 1862, when american citizens have taken up arms against this country, congress adopted a new oath to help make sure no person who had supported the rebellion could hold the position of public trust. therefore, congress and united states federal government employees were required, for the first time, to swear an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. that oath was put to test on january 6, 20. the police officers who held the line that day honored their
8:06 pm
oath. many came out that day bloody and broken. they still have those wounds, visible and invisible. they did their duty. they repelled the mar and ended the occupation of the capitol. they defended the constitution against domestic enemies so that congress could return, uphold our own oath, and count your votes to ensure the transfer of power, just as we've done for hundreds of years. but unlike in 1814, it was domestic enemies of the constitution who stormed the capitol and occupied the capitol. who sought to fraught the will of the people to stop the transfer of power. and so they did, at the encouragement of the president of the united states, the
8:07 pm
president of the united states trying to stop the transfer of power. a precedent that had stood for 220 years, even as our democracy had faced its most difficult test. inking back again to the civil war in the summer of 1864, the president of the united states believed he would be doomed for his bid to reelection. he believed his opponent, general george mcclellan, would wave the white flag when it came to preserving the union. but even with that grim fate hanging in the balance, president lincoln ready to accept the will of the voters, come what may. he made a quiet pledge. he wrote down the words, this morning, as for some days past,
8:08 pm
it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be reelecting, and it would be my duty to so cooperate with the president-elect. it will be my duty. lincoln sealed that memo and asked his cabinet secretaries to sign it, sight unseen. he asked them to make the same commitment he did, to accept defeat if indeed defeat was the will of the people. to uphold the rule of. to do what every president who came before him did, and what every president who followed him would do. until donald trump. donald trump the presidential election in 2020. the american people voted him out of office. it was not because of a rigged system, it was not because of voter fraud.
8:09 pm
don't believe me, hear his former attorney general had to say about it. i warned those who are watching that this contains strong language. [video clip] >> i had three discussions with the president that i can recall, one was on november 23, one was on december 1, and one was on december 14, and i've been through the give-and-take of those discussions. in that context i made it clear i did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which i told the president was bullshit. and uh, i didn't want to be a part of it, and that's one of the reasons of me deciding to leave when i did. i observed, i think it was on december 1, you can't live in a world where the incumbent
8:10 pm
administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific inheritance, that there was fraud in the election. [end of video clip] rep. thompson: bill barr, on election day 2020, he was the attorney general of the united states. the top law-enforcement official in the country telling the president exactly what he thought about claims of a stolen election. donald trump had his days in court to challenge the results. he was within his rights to seek those judgment. in the united states, law-abiding citizens have those tools for pursuing justice. he lost in the courts, just as he did at the ballot box. and in this country, that's the end of the line. but for donald trump, that was only the beginning of what became a spalling multistep
8:11 pm
conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election. aimed at throwing out the votes of millions of americans, your vote, your voice in our democracy, and replacing the will of the american people with his will to remain in power after his term ended. donald trump was at the center of this conspiracy, and ultimately, donald trump, the president of the united states, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the constitution to march down the capitol and subvert american democracy. any legal jargon you hear about judicious conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the united states, all bound to this. january 6 with the culmination of an attempted coup. a brazen attempt as one put it
8:12 pm
shortly after january 6, to overthrow the government. the violence was no accident, it represents president trump's last stand, most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power. you may hear those words and think, this is just another political attack on donald trump by people who don't like him. that's not the case. my colleagues and all wanted an outside independent commission to investigate january 6. similar to what we had after 9/11. but after first agreeing to the idea, donald trump's allies in congress put a stop to it. apparently they don't want january 6 investigated at all. in the last 17 months, many of those same people have tried to whitewash what happened on january 6, to rewrite history
8:13 pm
and call it a tourist visit, label it judah met political discourse. -- legitimate political discourse. donald trump have adopted the words of the songwriter, do you believe me or your lying eyes? we can't sweep what happened under the rug. the american people deserve answers, so i come before you this evening, not as a democrat but as an american who swore an oath to defend the constitution. the constitution doesn't protect just democrats or just republicans, it protects all of us, we the people. in this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people. so tonight, and over the next few weeks, we are going to remind you of the reality of what happened that day. but our work must do much more
8:14 pm
than just look backwards. because our democracy remains in danger, the conspiracy to defraud the will of the people is not over. there are those in this audience who thirst for power, but have no love or respect for what makes america great, devotion to the constitution, allegiance to a rule of law, a shared journey to build a more perfect union. january 6 in the lives -- and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. the world is watching what we do here. america has long been expected to be a shining city on the hill , a beacon of hope and freedom, for others when we are at our best. how can we play that role when
8:15 pm
our houses in such disorder? we musk confront the truth -- we must confront the truth with candor, resolve and determination. we need to show we are worthy of the gifts that are the birthright of every american. that begins here and it begins now, with a true accounting of what happened and what led to the attack on our constitution and our democracy. in this moment, when the dangers of our constitution and our democracy loom large, nothing could be more important. working alongside public servants on this has been one of the greatest honors of my time in congress. it has been a particular privilege to count as a partner in this effort and to count as a friend the gentlewoman from ione -- from wyoming, liz cheney. she is a patriot, a public servant of profound courage, a
8:16 pm
devotion to her oath in the constitution. it is my pleasure to recognize miss cheney for her opening statement. >> let me echo those words about bipartisanship and what an honor it is to work on this committee. esther chairman, at 6:01 p.m. on january 6, after we spent hours watching the violent mob besieged, attack and invade our capitol, donald trump tweeted that he did not condemn the attack, instead, he justified it. these other the things and events that happened, he said, when a landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who had been badly and unfairly treated for so long. as you will see in the hearings to calm, president trump believed his supporters at the capitol, and i quote "were doing
8:17 pm
what they should be doing." this is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mop, to instruct his supporters to leave. over a series of hearings in the coming weeks, you will hear testimony live in on video from more than half a dozen of former white house staff in the trump administration. all of whom were in the west wing of the white house on january 6. you were -- you will hear testimony that "the president did not really want to put anything out calling off the riot or asking his supporters to leave." you will hear president trump was yelling and "really angry at advisor's who told him he needed to be doing something more." and aware of the rioters chants to hang mike pence the president responded with this sentiment, "maybe our supporters have the right idea, mike pence deserves
8:18 pm
it." you will hear evidence that president trump refused for hours to do what his staff, his family, and many of his other advisers begged him to do, immediately instructed supporters to standdown and evacuate the capitol. tonight, you will see never before footage of the brutal attack on our capitol. an attack that unfolded while a few blocks away, president trump sat watching television in the dining room next to the oval office. you will hear audio from the ray police officers battling for their lives and hours, fighting to defend our democracy against the violent mob donald trump refused to call off. tonight and in the weeks to come , you will see evidence of what motivated his silence -- this violence, including directly from those who participated in the attack.
8:19 pm
you will see video of them explaining what caused them to do it. you will see their posts on social media. we will show you what they have said in federal court. on this point there is no room for debate. 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. president trump summoned the mob, assembled the mop, and lit the flame of this attack. you will also hear about the plots to commit seditious conspiracy on january 6. a crime defined in our laws as conspiring to overthrow, put down, or destroy by force the government of the united states. or to oppose by force the authority thereof. multiple members of two groups, the oath keepers and the proud boys, have been charged with this crime for their involvement
8:20 pm
of the events leading up to and on january 6. some have pled guilty. the attack on our capitol was not a spontaneous riot. intelligence available before january 6 identified plans to "invade the capitol, occupy the capitol and take congresses votes." we will identify elements of those plans, and we will show specifically how a group of proud boys lead a mob into the capitol building on january 6. tonight i am going to describe for you some of what our committee has learned and highlight initial findings you will see this month in our hearings. as you hear this, all americans should keep in mind this fact. on the morning of january 6, president donald trump's intention was to remain president of the united states,
8:21 pm
despite the lawful outcomes of the 2020 election and in violation of its constitutional obligation to relinquish power. over multiple months donald trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. in our hearing you will see evidence of each element of this plan. in our second hearing, you will see that donald trump and his advisors knew that he had in fact lost the election. but despite this, president trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to convince huge portions of the u.s. population that fraud had stolen the election from him. this was not true. jason miller was a senior trump campaign spokesman, in this clip , miller describes a call between the trump campaign
8:22 pm
internal data expert, and president trump a few days after the 2020 election. [video clip] jason: i was in the oval office and at some point in the conversation the lead data person was brought on and i remember he delivered to the president pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose. >> and that was based, mr. miller, on the data team's assessment of this county by county, state by state resolve as reported? jason: correct. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: alice cannon was one of president trump campaign lawyers. he previously worked for the trump's organization. one of his responsibilities was to assess allegations of election fraud in november 2020. there is one sample of his
8:23 pm
testimony discussing what he told white house chief of staff mark does. [video clip] alex: i remember a call where mr. meadows was asking me what i was finding and if i was finding anything, and i remember sharing with him that we weren't finding anything that would be sufficient to change the results in any of the key states. >> when was that conversation? alex: probably in november, mid to before my child was born. >> what was mr. meadows reaction to the information? alex: i believe the word to use was there's no there there? [end of video clip] rep. cheney: the trump's campaign general counsel gave similar testimony. he explained all of the fraud
8:24 pm
allegations in the campaign's other election arguments, taken together, and viewed in the best possible light for president trump would still not change the outcome of the election. president trump's attorney general bill barr also told john out -- told donald trump his election claims were wrong. [video clip] bill: repeatedly told the president in no uncertain terms that i did not see evidence of fraud that would have affected the outcome of the election. and frankly, a year and a half later, i haven't seen anything to change my mind on that. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: attorney general barr also told president trump that his allegations about dominion voting machines were groundless. [video clip] bill: i saw zero basis for the
8:25 pm
allegations but they were made in a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes did not count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were determining it, which was complete nonsense, and it was being laid out there. i told him it was, it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. it was doing grave, grave disservice to the country. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: but president trump persisted, repeating the false dominion allegations in public at least a dozen more times, even after his attorney general told him they were "complete nonsense." and after barr's resignation on december 23rd, the acting attorney general who replaced him, jeff rosen, and the acting deputy, richard donoghue, told president trump over and over
8:26 pm
again that the evidence did not support allegations he was making in public. many of president trump's white house staff also recognized that the evidence did not support the claims president trump was making. this was the president's daughter commenting on bill barr's statement that the department found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election. [video clip] >> how did that affect your perspective about the election when general barmaid that decision? ivanka: it affected my decision. i respect attorney general barr, so i excepted what he was saying. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: as you will here on monday, the president had every right to litigate his campaign claims, but he ultimately lost more than 60 cases in state and federal courts. the presidents claims of the election cases were so frivolous and unsupported that the president's lead lawyer, rudy giuliani, not only lost the
8:27 pm
lawsuits, his license to practice law was suspended. there is what the court set of mr. giuliani. giuliani communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers, and the public at large, in his capacity as a lawyer for president donald j. trump in the trump campaign in connection with trump's failed effort at reelection in 2020. as you will see in great detail in our hearings, president trump ignored the rulings of our nations court. he ignored his own campaign leadership, his white house staff, any republican state officials. he ignored the department of justice and the department of homeland security. president trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false and convincing millions of americans that the election was corrupt and that he was the true president.
8:28 pm
as you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on january 6. in our third hearing, you will see that president trump corruptly planned to replace the attorney general of the united states so the u.s. justice department would spread his false stolen election claims. in the days before january 6, president trump told his top justice department officials, "just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me in the republican congressman." seeing justice department officials, men he had appointed told him they cannot do that because it was not true. president trump decided to replace them. he offered jeff clark, and environmental lawyer at the justice department, the job as acting attorney general. president trump wanted mr. clark to take a number of steps,
8:29 pm
including sending this letter to georgia and five other states saying the u.s. department of justice had, "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election." this letter is a lie. the department of justice had in fact repeatedly told president trump the exact opposite, that they had investigated his stolen election allegations and found no credible fraud that could impact the outcome of the election. this letter and others like it would urge multiple states to withdraw their official and lawful electoral votes for biden. acting deputy attorney general richard donoghue describe jeff clark's letter this way, "this would be a grave step for the department to take and could have tremendous constitutional, political, and social ramifications for this country." the committee agrees with mr. donahue's assessment.
8:30 pm
clark assumed the role of attorney general and the days before january 6 and issued the letters, the ramifications could have been grave. mr. donahue also said this about clark's plan. [video clip] >> i recall towards the end saying, what you are proposing is nothing less than the united states justice department meddling in the outcome of the presidential election. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: in our hearings you will hear firsthand how the senior leadership of the department of justice threatened to resign, how the white house counsel threatened to resign, and how they confronted donald trump and jeff clark in the oval office. the men involved, including acting attorney general jeff rosen and acting attorney -- were reported by president trump. these men honored their oath of office, they did their duty, and you will hear from them in our hearing. by contrast, jeff clark has invoked his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused
8:31 pm
to testify. representative scott perry, who was also involved in trying to get clark appointed as attorney general has refused to testify. as you will see, representative perry contacted the white house in the weeks after january 6 to seek a presidential pardon. multiple other republican congressman also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election. in our fourth hearing we will focus on president trump's efforts to pressure mike pence to refused to count votes. vice president pence has spoken publicly about this. [video clip] >> president trump is wrong. i had no right to overturn the election. the presidency longs to the american people in the american people alone. and frankly, there is no idea more un-american than the notion that any one person could choose
8:32 pm
the american president. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: what president trump demanded mike pence do wasn't just wrong, it was illegal and unconstitutional. you will hear this engraved detail from the vice president's former general counsel. witnesses in these hearings will explain how the former vice president and his staff informed president trump over and over again that what he was pressuring mike pence to do was illegal. as you will hear, president trump engaged in a relentless effort to pressure pence, both in private and in public. you will see the evidence of that pressure for multiple witnesses live in on video. vice president pence demonstrated his loyalty to donald trump consistently over four years. we knew we have a duty to the united states constitution. this is testimony from the vice president's chief of staff.
8:33 pm
[video clip] >> i think the vice president was proud of his four years of service and he felt like much has been accomplished and i think he was proud to have stood beside the president for all that has been done. i think he also knew that his fidelity to the constitution was his first and foremost and that's what he articulated publicly and that's what he felt. >> his fidelity to the constitution was more important than his fidelity to president trump? >> the oath he took. yes. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: you will hear about a lawyer named john eastman. esther eastman was deeply involved in president trump's plan. you will hear from the former fourth circuit federal judge, a highly respected leading conservative judge. john eastman clerked for the judge. judge provided counsel to the vice president's team in the days before january 6. the judge will explain how eastman was "wrong at every turn."
8:34 pm
you will see the email exchanges between eastman in the vice president's counsel as the violent attack on congress was underway. mr. jacob said this to mr. eastman. "thanks to your bullshit we are under seizures." you will see evidence that he did not receive the legal position he was taking. the months before the 2020 election eastman took exactly the opposite view on the same legal issue. in the course of the select committee's work to obtain information from mr. eastman, we have had occasion to present evidence to a federal judge. the judge evaluated the facts and reach the conclusion that president trump's efforts to pressure vice president pence to act illegally by refusing to count electoral votes likely violated two federal criminal statutes. and the judge also said this, "if dr. eastman and president
8:35 pm
trump's plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining american democracy in the constitution. if the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the court fears january 6 will repeat itself." every american should read what this federal judge has written. the same judge, judge carter issued another decision on tuesday night, just this week, indicating that john eastman and other trump lawyers new that their legal arguments had no real chance of success in court. that they relied on the arguments and would try to "overturn a democratic election." and you will hear that while congress was under attack on january 6, and the hours following the violence, the trump legal team and the willard hotel war room, continues to work to halt the count of electoral votes.
8:36 pm
in our fifth hearing you will see evidence that president trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results. you will hear additional details about president trump's call to georgia officials, urging them to "find 11,780 votes" votes that did not exist. in his efforts to get states to resend certified electoral votes without factual basis and contrary to law. you will hear new details about the drone campaign and other trump associates efforts to instruct republican officials in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates and transmit them to congress, the vice president and national archives. in our final to june hearings, you will hear how president trump summoned a violent mob and directed them illegally to march
8:37 pm
on the united states capitol -- united states capitol. 12 violence was underway president trump failed to take action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the capitol. as we present these initial findings, keep two points in mind. first, our investigation is still ongoing. so what we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose. second, the department of justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses and has disclosed to date only some of the information it identified , from encrypted communications and other sources. on december 18, 2020, a group including michael flynn, rudy giuliani and others visited the white house. they stayed late into the evening. we know the group discussed a number of dramatic steps, including having the military sees voting machines and
8:38 pm
potentially rerun elections. you will also hear that president trump met with that group a loan for a period of time before white house staff discovered the group was there and rushed to intervene. a little more than an hour after ms. powell, mr. giuliani, general flynn, and the others finally left the white house, president trump sent the tweet on the screen now telling people to come to washington on january 6. be there, he instructed them, will be while. as you will see, this was a pivotal moment. this tweet initiated a chain of events. the tweet led to the planning for what occurred on january 6, including by the proud boys, who ultimately led the invasion of the capitol -- of the u.s. capitol and violence on that day. the indictment of a group of proud boys alleges that they plan to "oppose by force the
8:39 pm
authority of the government of the united states." and according to the department of justice, on january 6, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized, and lead members of the crowd onto the capitol grounds and into the capitol. leading to the dismantling of metal barricades, the destruction of property, breaching of the capitol building at assaults on law enforcement. although certain former trump officials have argued that they did not anticipate violence on january 6, the evidence suggests otherwise. as you will see in our hearing, the white house was receiving specific reports in the days leading up to january 6, including during president trump's rally, indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the capitol. and on the evening of january 5, the president's close advisor, steve bannon, said this on his podcast. [video clip]
8:40 pm
steve: all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. just understand this. all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: as part of our investigation we will present information about what the white house and other intelligence agencies new and why the capitol was not better prepared. we will not lose sight of the fact that the capitol police did not cause the crowd to attack. and we will not blame the violence that day, violence provoked by donald trump, on the officers who bravely defended all of us. in our final hearing you will hear a moment by moment account of the hours on deck tax -- hours long attack on more than half a dozen white house staff, the lives in the hearing room and via videotaped testimony. there's no doubt that president trump was well aware of the violence as it developed. white house staffer urged president trump to intervene and call off the mop.
8:41 pm
here is a document written while the attack was underway, by a member of the white house staff advising with the president needed to say, "anyone who entered the capitol without proper authority should leave immediately." this is exactly what his supporters on capitol hill and nationwide were urging the president to do. he would not. you will hear the leaders on capitol hill big the president for help -- beg the president for help, including leader mccarthy, who was "scared" and called multiple members of president trump's family after he could not persuade the president himself. not only did president trump refused to tell the mob to leave the capitol, he plays no call to any element of the united states capitol to instruct that the b defended. he did not call his secretary of defense on january 6. he did not talk to his attorney general, he did not talk to the department of homeland security.
8:42 pm
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. vice president pence did each of those things. for example, here is what general milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff testified to this committee. [video clip] >> two or three calls with vice president pence, he was very animated and he was very explosive. very direct unambiguous orders. there was no question about that. and i can get you the exact quotes from some of our records. he was very animated, very direct, very firm to secretary miller. get the military down here, get the guard down here, put down the situation, etc. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: by contrast, here
8:43 pm
is general milley's description of the conversation the president trumps chief of staff, mark nettles, on january 6 -- mark meadows, on january 6. [video clip] >> he said, we have to fill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. we need to establish the narrative that th presidente is still in charge and that things are steady or stable. i heard that as politics, politics, politics, red flag for me personally and no action. i remember it distinctly. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: you will hear from witnesses how the day played out inside the white house, how multiple white house staff resigned in disgust and how president trump would not ask his supporters to leave the capitol. it was only after multiple hours of violence that president trump
8:44 pm
finally released a video instructing the rightists mob to leave. as he did so he said to them, "we love you and you are very special." you will also hear that in the immediate aftermath of january 6, members of the president's family, white house staff, and others, tried to step in to stabilize the situation, "to land the claim before the presidential transition on january 20." you will hear about members of the trump cabinet discussing the popularity of invoking the 20 for the amendment and replacing the president of the united states. multiple members of president trump's own cabinet resigned immediately after january 6. one member of the cabinet suggested that the remaining cabinet officers need to take a more active role in running the white house and the administration. but most emblematic of those days is this exchange of text
8:45 pm
between sean hannity and former president trumps secretary kayleigh mcenany. sean hannity wrote in part, no more crazy people, no more stolen election talk, yes impeachment in 25th amendment are real, many people will quit. kayleigh mcenany responded in part, love that, added to the playbook. white house staff knew that president trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his end. they knew the president needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him. they knew that president donald trump was too dangerous to be left alone. at least until he left office on january 20. these are important facts for congress and the american people to understand fully. when a president fails to take the steps necessary to preserve
8:46 pm
our union, or worse, causes a constitutional crisis, warrant maximum danger for our republic, some in the white house took responsible steps to try to prevent january 6. others egged the president on. others who could have acted refused to do so. in this case the white house counsel was so concerned about potentially wallace activity that he threatened to resign multiple times. that is exceedingly rare and exceedingly serious. it requires immediate attention, especially when the entire team threatens to resign. however, in the trump white house, it was not exceedingly rare and it was not treated seriously. this is a clip of jared kushner addressing multiple threats by the white house counsel and his team of lawyers to resign in the weeks before january 6. [video clip]
8:47 pm
>> jared, are you aware of instances where he threatened to resign? jared: like i said, my interest at that time was china get -- i -- trying to get -- and he was always saying we would resign and we won't be here if this happens or if that happens. i took it up to be whining, to be honest with you. [end of video clip] rep. cheney: whining. there's a reason why people serving in our government take an oath to the constitution. as our founding fathers recognized, democracy is fragile. people in positions are -- positions of public trust are duty bound, to step forward when action is needed. in our country we don't swear and o2 an individual or political party, we take our oath to defend the united states constitution. that oath must mean something. tonight, i say this to my
8:48 pm
republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible. there will come a day when donald trump is gone, that your dishonor will remain. finally, i ask all of our fellow americans, as you watch our hearings over the coming weeks please remember what's at stake. remember the men and women who have fought and died so that we can live under the rule of law not the rule of men. i ask you to think of this scene in our capitol rotunda on the night of january 6. they're in a sacred space in our constitutional republic, a place where our presidents lie in state, watched over by statues of washington and jefferson, lincoln and grant, eisenhower, ford, and reagan, against every wall that night and circling the room there were swat teams. men and women in tactical gear with long guns deployed inside our capitol building. there in the rotunda these brave
8:49 pm
men and women rested beneath paintings depicting the earliest scenes of our republic, including one painted in 1824 depicting george washington resigning his commission, voluntarily relinquishing power, handing control of the continental army back to congress. with this noble act washington said the indispensable example of the peaceful transfer of power. what president reagan calls nothing less than a miracle. the sacred obligations to defend this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every american president except one. as americans we all have a duty to ensure that what happened on january 6 never happens again. to set aside partisan battles, to stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great republic. thank you, mr. chairman. chairman thompson: as we
8:50 pm
provide answers to american people about january 6, it's important that we remember exactly what took place. that this was no tourist visit to the capitol. most of the footage we are about to play has never been seen. the cup -- the select committee obtained as a part of our investigation. this isn't easy to watch. i want to warn everyone that this video includes violence and strong language. without objection i include in the record a video presentation of the violence of january 6. [video clip] >> grab your board. >> be aware, there's probably 300 proud boys, they are marching eastbound and the 400
8:51 pm
block of them all towards the united states capitol. >> i am not allowed to say what's going to happen today because everyone is just going to have to watch for themselves. but, it's going to happen. some things gonna happen. >> [chanting] who streets? >> our streets. >>. aside. -- pick a side. >> i hope mike is going to do the right thing. i hope so aired i hope so. because if mike pence does the right thing, we win the election. all vice president pence has to do is send it back to the states
8:52 pm
to recertify, and we become president and you are the happiest people. [cheering] mike pence is going to have to come through for us. and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. because you will never take back our country with weakness or you have to show strength and you have to be strong. >> [chanting "usa"] >> it does look like we will have a march stepping off here. there's a crowd searching east. >> [chanting "we love trump "] donald trump: mike pence, i hope you will stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. and if you're not, i'm going to be very disappointed in you.
8:53 pm
i will tell you right now. [chanting] [screaming] [shouting] >> they have breached the line. we need backup. [indiscernible] >> madam speaker, the vice president of the united states senate. [applause]
8:54 pm
>> we are going to give warnings. this is now defensively a riot. >> be advised they are trying to breach into the capitol. >> copy. >> hold the line. hold the line! hold the line! hold the line! >> we are trying to make our way through all of this. [shouting]
8:55 pm
>> go, go, go, go. >> we have a breach on the capitol. breach on the capitol on the upper level. >> be advised they are requesting additional sources on the east side as they are trying to kick it in. >> without objection the chair declares the house and recess pursuant to law 12 be in rule one. >> mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should've been done to protect our country and our constitution. giving states the chance to certify, not the inaccurate ones
8:56 pm
which they previously certified. the u.s. demands the truth. [indiscernible] [beeping] [chanting] [indiscernible shouting] [chanting] [shouting]
8:57 pm
>> we can't hold this, this is too many fucking people. look at this. >> we need an area for the house members, they are walking all over through the tunnels. [shouting] >> no, no. -- go, go. >> we are trying to hold the upper deck now. we need to hold the doors of the capitol.
8:58 pm
i need support. we've lost the line. we've lost the line. all mpd step back. all mpd step back to the upper deck. pull back to the upper deck asap. [indiscernible chanting] >> be advised that capitol
8:59 pm
police have moved resources inside. [indiscernible] >> moving resources inside.
9:00 pm
>> we have no way out. officers on the third floor, evacuate so we can secure the other side. copy? >> it is up to us people now, the american people. one more time? whatever it takes, i will live my life down if it takes it. that is why we showed up today. [indiscernible] >> we are coming in. [indiscernible] >> you backup. >> officer down, get him up.
9:01 pm
get him up. >> usa! usa! >> call for backup.
9:02 pm
>> these were peaceful people. the crowd were unbelievable. can i mention the word love? the love in the air, i have never seen anything like it. mr. thompson: pursuant to the order of the committee tonight, the chair declares the committee in recess for approximately 10 minutes.
9:03 pm
9:04 pm
>> the january 6 committee has eight members. we have heard from two, the chair, bennie thompson and the vice chair, liz cheney. two more people are going to be testifying today and those are nick, who is a british filmmaker who was embedded with the crowd -- the proud boys on that day. and also caroline edwards, the first capitol police officer who was injured on january 6.
9:05 pm
now, one hour to go in the hearing tonight. if you have to step away and you want to continue to watch it, go to c-span now. this is our mobile video app and you can watch the hearing in its entirety on your phone, you can download it wherever you get your apps. another place if you missed any of today's hearing so far, you can watch it online, is the website, go to 6. it contains all of the video dealing with that day in our history on that website. a couple of tweets have been coming out, a lot of tweets i should say have been coming out. republican members want to share a few of them with you. this is denny lesko, a republican from arizona. the number one question that january 6 committee should be asking tonight is why was the u.s. capitol not secured? he is a republican from arizona.
9:06 pm
fred keller, republican, pennsylvania. it is fascinating to see democrats packed into a full committee room, even though many of them used proxy voting as an excuse not to show up to work for the past two years. now the house judiciary gop put out this tweet which has been retweeted. and you can see a lot of tweets by republicans of this vein. retweet if you would rather democrats focus on tackling five dollar per gallon gas rather than january 6 charade. i want to remind you, that if you have been watching this hearing, all of the cameras you see at all of the january 6 committee hearings video is being provided by c-span as a public service and c-span is brought to you by these television companies, including dish network, media, and buckeye
9:07 pm
broadband. c-span has seven cameras in the house caucus room tonight and c-span is the only place for gavel-to-gavel coverage of congress, free from bias or commentary. the hearing is due to resume in about five minutes.
9:08 pm
9:09 pm
9:10 pm
9:11 pm
>> there watching c-span's live coverage of the january 6 hearing. bennie thompson, democrat from mississippi is the chair. we expect the gavel to come down shortly.
9:12 pm
mr. thompson: the committee will be in order. i want to thank our witnesses for being with us this evening, to share their first-hand accounts of that terrible day. i know that some of the witnesses from our first hearing are in the room with us. along with some of the family members, friends and widows of the officers who lost their lives as a result of the attack.
9:13 pm
thank you all for being here for us and the american people. carolyn edwards has been with united states capitol police since 2017. on january 6, officer edwards was assigned to the first responder unit, which served as the first line of defense at the capitol complex. she also served as a member of the civil disturbance unit, a special subset of the uniformed division trained to respond to mass demonstration events. officer edwards is a graduate of the university of georgia and currently is working on a masters degree in intelligence analysis from johns hopkins university. nick is an acclaimed filmmaker, credits include documenting
9:14 pm
stories from war zones in afghanistan, syria, and iraq. on january 6, they were working on a documentary about quote why americans are so divided when americans have so much in common. end quote. during that day he interviewed and documented the movements of the people around the capital, including the first moments of the violence against the capitol police and the chaos that ensued. i will now swear in our witnesses, the witnesses will please stand and raise your right hand. do you swear and affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god?
9:15 pm
let the record reflects the witnesses answered in the affirmative. without objection, the witnesses statement will be included in the record. pursuant to section five c eight of house resolution 503, i recognize myself for questioning. as you saw just a few minutes ago, the proud boys instigated the first breach of the capital, just before 1:00 p.m. when rioters pushed over barricades near peace circle at the foot of the capital. our two witnesses tonight will -- were both there at the time of that first breach. officer edwards was standing
9:16 pm
with the other officers behind the line of bike racks that marked the perimeter of the capitol grounds. she bravely tried to prevent an angry crowd from advancing on the capital. unfortunately, she was overrun and knocked unconscious as the crowd advanced on the capital. nick was a few yards away from officer edwards, taking footage of the proud boys as part of his work on a documentary film. most of his footage has never been shown publicly before we shared it this evening. officer edwards, i would like to start by asking if you could tell us why you believe it is important for you to share your story this evening with the committee and the american public.
9:17 pm
please, your microphone. officer edwards: well, thank you mr. chairman. i really appreciate it and thank you to the committee for having me here to testify. i was called a lot of things on january 6, 2021 and the days thereafter. i was called nancy pelosi's dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain. i was called a traitor to my country, by oath, 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 times, many, many times how we have gotten here? i have been called names before, but never have i had my patriotism or duty and called into question. i, who god of every day, no matter how early the hour or --
9:18 pm
i got up every day, put on my uniform and protect america's symbols of democracy. i spent countless hours in the baking sun and freezing snow to make sure that america's elected officials were able to do their jobs. i, whose literal blood, sweat and tears were shed that day, defending the building that i have spent countless holidays and weekends working in. i am the proud granddaughter of a marine that fought in the battle of the chosen reservoir in the korean war. i think of my grandpa often in these days, how he was so young and thrown into a battle he never saw coming. and he answered the call at a great personal cost. have you lived the rest of his days with bullets and shrapnel in his legs that never once complained about his sacrifice. i would like to think that he would be proud of me. proud of his granddaughter that
9:19 pm
stood her ground that day and continued fighting, even though she was wounded, like he did any years ago. -- many years ago. i am my grandfather's granddaughter, proud to put on the uniform and serve my country. 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. thank you. mr. thompson: officer edwards, your story and your service is important and i thank you for being here tonight. i would also like to ask you to introduce yourself. can you tell us how you found yourself in washington dc on january 6, 2021? >> good evening chair, adam
9:20 pm
vice chair. thank you for the introduction. as stated in the winter of 2020, i was working on a documentary. as part of that documentary, i found several rallies in washington dc on december 11 and december 12 i learned there would be a rally on the ball on january 6. though my three colleagues and i came down to document the rally, according to the permit, there was going to be a rally at the ellipse. we arrived and observed a large contingent of proud boys marching towards the capital. we filmed them and almost immediately, i was separated from my colleagues. i documented the crowd turning from protesters to writers, to insurrectionists. i was surprised at the size of the group, the anger and the profanity. and for anyone who did not understand how violent that event was, i saw it, i documented it and i experienced it. i heard incredibly aggressive
9:21 pm
chanting and i subsequently shared that footage with the authorities. i am here pursuant to a house appeal. thank you so much. mr. thompson: thank you. the select committee has conducted extensive investigative work to understand what led the proud boys and other riders to the capital on january 6 we have obtained substantial evidence showing that the president's december 19th tweet calling his followers to washington dc on january 6 energized individuals from the proud boys and other extremist groups i would like to play a brief video highlighting some of this evidence. >> my name is marcus, i'm investigative counsel for the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the
9:22 pm
united states capital. >> give me a name, give me a name, give me a name. stand back and stand by. >> after he made this comment, enrique, the chairman of the proud boys said on parlor, standing by sir. during our investigation we learned that this comment led to an increase in membership with the proud boys. would you say that proud boys members increased after the statement? >> exponentially. i would say triple probably. with the potential for a lot more eventually. >> one of the vendors on my page links me to it, but i wish i would have known what they shared. >> president trump tweeted about the january 6 rally and told attendees be there, it will be wild. many of the witnesses we interviewed were inspired by the president's call and came to
9:23 pm
d.c. for january 6. the extremists took a step further, they viewed this tweet as a call to arms. a day later, the department of justice describes how the proud boys created the ministry of self-defense leadership chat. in this chat, they established a command structure in anticipation of coming back to d.c. on january 6. the apartment of justice describes tar rio coming into possession of the 1776 returns, which describes individuals occupying key buildings around the united states capital. the oath keepers are a group that the committee investigated. >> you better get to d.c. this saturday. because if you don't, there will be no more republic. it's not even an f. it's either president trump's strengthened to do what he must do or would wind up in a bloody fight. we all know that, the fight is coming. >> the oath keepers began blocking the peaceful transfer of power after the election and according to the department of justice, the oath keepers leader
9:24 pm
said to his followers we are not going to get through this without a civil war. in response to the december 19, 2020 tweet from president trump, the oath keepers focused on january 6 in washington dc. in response to the tweet, one member, the president of the floor to chapter put on social media the president called us to the capital. he wants us to make it wild. the goal of the oath keepers to be called to do anything to keep the president and power, although president trump had lost the election. the committee learned that the oath keepers set up quick reaction forces outside of the city in virginia, where they stored arms. the goal, quick reaction forces to be on standby just in case president trump invoked the insurrection act. >> did the oath keepers provide weapons to members? >> i am inclined to answer that within the grounds for due process grounds. >> in footage obtained by the committee, we learned that on the night of january 5, enrique and steward rhodes met in a parking garage in washington dc. >> there is mutual respect
9:25 pm
there. they were on the same side and i think that is what is important. >> the committee learned that the oath keepers went into the capital through the east doors into stacked formations. the doj alleges one of these stacks went into the capital, looking for speaker pelosi and they never found her. as this was unfolding, enrique took credit in documents obtained by the department of justice, he said in an encrypted chat, make no mistake and we did this. later on that evening, mr. t arrio posted a video of him in front of the capital and the title of the video was premonition. the evidence developed by the department of justice highlights how each group participated on the attack on the capital on january 6. in fact, the investigation reveals that it was individuals associated with the proud boys who instigated the initial breach of the p circle at 12:53 p.m..
9:26 pm
within 10 minutes, rioters had filled the lower east plaza. by 2:00, they had reached the doors on the left and the east clauses. by 2:13, they had broken through the senate wing door and gotten into the capitol building. fearing the bridge that followed at 2:25 p.m., they breached the east side doors to the rotunda. in right after 2:40 pm, they breached the east side doors. once they infiltrated the capital, they moved to the crypt, the rotunda, the hallway leading to the house chambers, even inside senate chambers.
9:27 pm
>> individuals associated with 2000 extremist groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the january 6 attack. one is the oath keepers, they are a group of armed antigovernment extremists. the other group is the proud boys, they promote white supremacy beliefs and have engaged in violence with people they view as their political enemies. members of both groups have already led guilty to crimes associated with the january 6 attack. mr. thompson: mr. quested, as part of the documentary you have been filming, you gained access to the proud boys and their leaders, enrique tarrio. your crew filmed them in washington dc on the evening of january 5 and then on january 6.
9:28 pm
on january 5, the night before the attack, you were with the head of the proud boys, mr. tarrio in washington dc. what happened? mr. quested: we picked up mr. tarrio from jail. he had been arrested for carrying magazines, some extra capacity magazines and for -- he took responsibility for the burning of the black lives matter flag that was stolen from the church on december 12. we were attempting to get an interview with mr. tarrio. we had no idea of any of the events that were going to subsequently happen. we drove him to pick up his facts from the property department of the police which is south of the mile.
9:29 pm
we picked up his bags and went to get other bags from the phoenix hotel, where we encountered mr. steward rhodes from the oath keepers. by the time i had gone to park the car, my colleague was saying he had gotten into the car with mr. enrique tarrio and they had moved to a location around the corner. the parking garage of the hall of legends, i believe. and so, we quickly drove over there, we drove down into the parking garage and filmed a scene of mr. enrique tarrio and mr. rhodes and certain other individuals in that garage. we then continued to follow enrique tarrio. there was discussion as to where he was going to go, he ended up going towards a hotel in baltimore and we conducted an interview with him in the hotel
9:30 pm
room. and then we returned to d.c., but that night, who was interesting that night actually was that was the first indication that d.c. was much more dizzy than it had been any other time we have been here. because we could not get into the hotels we wanted to and we ended up in a hotel that, you know, was not as satisfactory as we would have hoped. mr. thompson: thank you. so, what you are saying is you filmed the meeting between mr. enrique tarrio and the oath keepers leader, steward rhodes, right? you could not hear what was said but according to the justice department, the indictment of mr. tarrio, in reference to capital.
9:31 pm
on january 6, you learned that the proud boys would gather near the rally scheduled to dig place near the white house could what time did you meet up with the proud boys and what was happening when they met? mr. quested: we met up with the proud boys somewhere around 10:30 am and they were starting to walk down the mile easterly direction, towards the capital. there was a large contingent, more than i would expect, and i was confused to a certain extent why we were walking away from the president's speech, because that is what i felt we were there to cover. mr. thompson: so i 10:30 am, that is early in the day, that is even before the president trump had started speaking, am i correct? mr. quested: yes, sir. mr. thompson: how many proud boys would you estimate were marching together to the capital? mr. quested: a couple of
9:32 pm
hundred. essentially, a couple of hundred proud boys were marching towards the capital at that point. mr. thompson: at the time, was the area heavily guarded? mr. quested: no, i remember we walked past -- we walked down the mile, we walked to the right of the reflecting pool, and north along the road that leads to the peace circle and as we were walking past the peace circle, i framed the proud boys to the right of my shot with the capital behind and we see one soul police officer at the barriers, which are subsequently breached. we then walked up past a tactical unit preparing and you see that in the film, where they question their duty and their honor and you see maybe a dozen capitol police putting on their riot gear. mr. thompson: so how would you
9:33 pm
describe the atmosphere at that time? mr. quested: the atmosphere was, it seemed to be much darker. i made efforts to create a familiarity between myself and my subjects, to make them feel comfortable. and the atmosphere was much darker this day than it had been in these other days and there was also a contingent of proud boys that i had not met before from arizona, who appeared to where these orange hats. and they had orange armbands. mr. thompson: so when the proud boys went back down the hill to peace circle did a large crowd start to form? mr. quested: we went round to the back and down the steps, we took photographs on the east side of the capital. and then we went for lunch. we went for tapas.
9:34 pm
mr. thompson: you are a journalist, so you are careful to state the things that you have observed. but what you have told us is how that is highly irrelevant. let me highlight a few key facts that you and others have provided the committee. first, there was a large group of proud boys present in the capital. we know that from multiple sources. you now estimate that there were around 250 to 300 individuals that you have testified. they were not there for president trump's speech, we know this because they left that area to march towards the capital before the speech began. they walked around the capital that morning which allowed them to see what defenses were in place and where weaknesses might be. and they decided to launch their
9:35 pm
attack at peace circle, which is the front door of the capital complex. it is the first security perimeter that those marching from the ellipse would have to come to as they move towards the capital. the peace circle walkway was always where the thousands of angry trump supporters would arrive after president trump sent them from the ellipse. the proud boys timed their attack to moments before the start of the joint session in the capital. which is also where president trump directed the angry mob quote we fight like hell. he told them before sending them down pennsylvania avenue right to where the proud boys gathered. and where you were filming. now, a civil question is whether
9:36 pm
the attack on the capital was coordinated and planned. what you witnessed is a core knitted and planned effort. -- a coordinated and planned effort. it was a culmination of months long president trump. thank you for your eyewitness account of the lead up to the breach of the peace circle. this brings us to a point in time where you and officer edwards were in close proximity. at this point, i reserve the balance of my time pursuant to five c section eight of house resolution 503. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wyoming, miss cheney, for questioning. ms. cheney: thank you mr. chairman. officer edwards, i want to start by thanking you for your service and thank you for your courage. thank you for being here this evening. i know that it is not easy to
9:37 pm
relive what happened for you and for the officers behind you and the family members of officers in the audience this evening, but it is really important for the country to have a full accounting and understanding of what happened. i want to start, officer edwards, with a short clip that shows the horrible moment when you were injured. as the peace circle was breached. >> usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! ms. cheney: officer edwards, can you describe the crowd that assembled at the peace circle as
9:38 pm
you and your fellow officers stayed behind and guarded the peace circle? officer edwards: there were about i want to say five of us on that line. and there were -- there was our bike rack and at the bottom of the pennsylvania avenue walkway, another bike rack. and so the crowd had kind of gathered there. it was the crowd led by joseph biggs. and they were mostly in civilian clothes. there were some who had military fatigues on, we could see people with bullet-proof vest on, you know, things like that. it did not seem extremely cohesive, but they had gathered there in their outfits. they had gathered there together
9:39 pm
and joseph biggs started -- he had a megaphone and he started talking about first there was things kind of relating to congress and then, the tables started turning once he -- the arizona group is what he said. they caught up with warren and they came up chanting [expletive] antifa. and they joined that group. and once they join that group, joseph biggs rhetoric turned to the capitol police. he started asking us questions like you didn't miss a paycheck during the pandemic.
9:40 pm
mentioning stuff about our pay scale was mentioned, and he started turning the tables on us. and i've worked -- i can conservatively say probably hundreds of civil disturbance events. i know when i am being turned into a villain and that is when i turned to my sergeant and stated the understatement of the century. i said sergeant, i think we are going to need a few more people down here. and so, after that, you know, they started conferring. they went a little silent. they started conferring among each other. i saw the person now identified as ryan, he put his arm around joseph biggs and they were talking.
9:41 pm
and then he started approaching the first barricade. they ripped the first barricade down and they approached our bike racks. you know, at that time, we started holding on, grabbing the bike racks. there were not many of us, so i grabbed the middle, between two different bike racks and, you know, i was not under any pretense that i could hold it for very long. but i just wanted to make sure that we could get more people down and get our units time to answer the call. so we started grappling over the bike racks. i felt the bike rack fall on top of my head and i was pushed backward and my foot caught the
9:42 pm
stair behind me. and my chin hit the handrail and then at that point, i had blacked out. but the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me. ms. cheney: and you were knocked unconscious conscience, is that right? officer edwards: yes, ma'am. ms. cheney: but then when he regained consciousness, even with the injuries, you returned to duty. is that right? officer edwards: yes, ma'am. at that time, adrenaline kicked in. i ran towards the west front and i tried to hold the line at the senate steps. at the lower west terrace. more people kept coming at us. it just seemed like more and more people started coming onto the west front. they started overpowering us and
9:43 pm
that was right about when mpd's officers showed up. there bike officers pushed the crowd back and allowed our units as well as there is to form that line that you see, that very thin line between us and the protesters or the rioters at that time. i fell behind the line and for a while, i started decontaminating people who had gotten sprayed. and treating people medically who needed it. ms. cheney: and then you were injured again there on the west terrace, is that right, officer? officer edwards: yes, mama. after a while, i got back on the line.
9:44 pm
it was on of the house side of the lower west terrace. and i was holding the line for a while. there were not many of us over there. and officer was behind me for most of the time, for about 30 or 45 minutes that i was down there. we were just doing the best he could. we were just grappling over bike racks and trying to hold them as quick as possible. all of the sudden, icy movement -- i see movement to the left of me and i turned and it was officer sicknick with his head in his hands. and he was ghostly pale. which i figured at that point, that he had been sprayed and i was concerned.
9:45 pm
my cop alarm bells went off, because if you get sprayed with pepper spray, you're going to turn red. he turned just about as pale as a sheet of paper. and so, i looked back to see what had hit him, what had happened, and that is when i got sprayed in the eyes as well. i was taken to be decontaminated by another officer, but we did not get the chance, because we were then tear gassed. and we --ms. cheney: and we are going to play a brief clip of that moment that you just described, officer edwards.
9:46 pm
ms. cheney: officer edwards, i just want to thank you for being here and i know how difficult it is. i know the family of officer sicknick as well, who is here tonight. and one of the things, one of the capitol police officers said to me recently was to ask me whether or not members of congress, all of us understood that on that day, on january 6, when we were evacuated from the chamber, were led to a safe undisclosed location, whether we knew that so many of you had rushed out of the building and into the fight. and i can assure you that we do know that. and that we understand how important your service is. thank you for your continued work with our committee in the interviews and thank you very
9:47 pm
much, both of you, for being here this evening. mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. thompson: thank you very much. miss edwards, can you give us one memory of that awful day that stands out most vividly in your mind? officer edwards: i can. the time when i talked about falling behind mpds line. i remember because i had been kind of shielded away because i was holding those stairs, so i was not able to really see what was going on over here. when i fell behind that line and
9:48 pm
i saw -- i can just remember my breath catching in my throat because what i saw was just a war scene. it was something like i had seen out of the movies. i could not believe my eyes, there were officers on the ground. you know, they were bleeding, they were throwing up, i saw friends with blood all over their faces. i was slipping in people's blood. you know, i was catching people as they fell. i was -- it was carnage, it was chaos. i cannot even describe what i
9:49 pm
saw. i have never in my wildest dreams thought that a police officer, as a law-enforcement officer, i would find myself in the middle of a battle. you know, i am trained to detain a couple of subjects and handle criminals, but i am not combat trained. and that day, it was just hours of hand to hand combat. hours of dealing with things that were way beyond any law enforcement officer who is ever trained for. and i just remember that moment of stepping behind the line and just seeing the absolute war zone that the west front had become. mr. thompson: let me thank you
9:50 pm
for your service and obviously your bravery. that you have told the world about tonight, it is unfortunate that you had to defend the capital from fellow americans. none of us would ever think that that would have to happen, but it did. so let me think our witnesses for joining us tonight and sharing their experiences with america. throughout my chairmanship of this committee, i have continuously doubt that this committee would ensure a copperheads of account -- i have vowed that this would be a comprehensive account. that would follow the facts wherever they lead. your testimony is an essential part of that effort and helps us do our job. mr. quested, thank you for sharing your footage and account
9:51 pm
of the day events with us. the images you recorded and have shared with the committee do a better job than any of our words and reinforcing -- in reinforcing the violence of january 6. we hope that the power of your footage helps encourage all americans to consider how citizens with such in common -- so much in common could rally in defeat of democratic governance. thank you for your service, officer edwards, as i indicated. on january 6 and all you did to protect us. most important, our democracy. if you and your fellow officers had not held the line against those violent insurrectionists, we can only imagine the disaster that would have ensued. your hero is him in the face of danger is admirable and your
9:52 pm
will to continue to protect and serve, despite serious injuries should be an inspiration to all of us. we wish you a continued recovery and look forward to seeing you back in uniform sometime soon. the members of the select committee may have additional questions for tonight's witnesses and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. without objections, members are about to 10 business days to submit statements, including additional questions for the witnesses. the witness has just told us what they heard the rioter say. why they stormed the capital. now we are going to hear it from the rioters themselves. without objection i include in the record a video presentation.
9:53 pm
>> what really made me want to come was the fact that i had supported trump all of that time. i did believe, you know, that the election was being stolen. and trump asked us to come. he personally asked for us to come to d.c. that day. and i thought for everything he has done for us, this is the only thing he is going to ask of me, i will do it. we are going to walk down to the capital. >> president mentioning going to the capital in a speech. >> that is one of my disappointment, he said he was going to go, that he was going to be there. >> i know i was there and that is because he called me there and he let me out. what is happening in our government. he laid it out. >> iron number donald trump telling people to be there.
9:54 pm
>> you mentioned the president asked you, dear member a specific message? >> he asked for us to come to d.c., big things are going to happen. >> he said i have something very important to say on january 6 or something like that. what got me interested in being there. >> trump has only asked me for two things. he asked me for my vote and he asked me to come on january 6. mr. thompson: when the committee reconvenes next week, we are going to examine the lives that convinced -- the lies that convince those men and others to storm the capital. to try to stop the transfer of power. we are going to take a close look at the first part of donald trump's attack on the rule of law. when he hit the fuse that ultimately resulted in the violence of january 6.
9:55 pm
without objection and with that, the committee stands adjourned. [indiscernible]
9:56 pm
9:57 pm
9:58 pm
>> chairman thompson announced the next hearing will be one day beginning at 10:00 a.m. we will bring you live gavel-to-gavel coverage about. president trump had an initial reaction on truth social to what happened tonight. the same group that brought you the now fully defunct and discredited russia, russia, russia hoax refused to study and report on the massive amount of irrefutable evidence recently produced that shows the 2020 presidential election was rigged and stolen. they want nothing to do with
9:59 pm
that topic because they cannot not go on the facts. cancel and deny, call it the big lie is all they can do, corrupt politicians. bennie thompson is at the stakeout. >> i think we told the story. we told the story about what occurred on january 6. we told off the other violent organizations who participated and actually scouted the capitol while the speech was going on. so, it's clear that there was more to what was occurring than just a rally. some of what we presented tonight defines that. >> [inaudible]
10:00 pm
mr. thompson: it is our hope that they will. obviously, we are a nation of laws. our committee follows the law. we will invite anyone who has information to visit. we are glad to accept them. any information we were presented tonight, if there is someone who will come on their own through our committee with a different opinion, we welcome them. not at this point. we have a hearing monday, which will talk about some of the actions that went on with people to try to stop the election. you know the networks. [laughter]
10:01 pm
>> that was chairman thompson. there was a stakeout right outside the caucus room and he stepped to the microphone for a brief minute to talk about the monday hearing. just a reminder, this whole hearing tonight, all of the cameras have been c-span cameras that are in there. the january 6 hearings and all c-span products are brought to you as a public service by these television companies, including comcast, cox, charter, dish network, buckeye broadband among others. c-span cameras were the only ones in the room tonight. and c-span is the only place for gavel-to-gavel coverage of congress and congressional hearings, free from bias or commentary. c-span's coverage of the jerry six committee continues on
10:02 pm
monday at 10:00 a.m. with live gavel-to-gavel coverage. and we want to hear from you tomorrow morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span's daily "washington journal" program that takes or calls and comments on issues. tomorrow, the focus will be on tonight's hearing. that's life tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. if you've missed any of tonight's hearing, we are going to show you the entire thing again, beginning now.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on