The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol made its case to the American public during a prime-time hearing on Thursday night, placing the blame for the attack squarely on Donald Trump.
The hearing featured new video of the ambush and testimony from those closest to the former president, and over its course, the committee laid out its argument that the assault was an “attempted coup” directly resulting from Trump’s repeated efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
This is only just the beginning.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022
In the weeks to come, we'll continue to investigate & unveil our initial findings about those responsible for the January 6th attack.
We have spent months conducting a serious, bipartisan investigation to give Americans the answers they deserve.
"Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022
President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack." -Vice Chair @RepLizCheney pic.twitter.com/GOeynxo1Tm
The committee will continue to investigate and unveil more of its findings in the weeks to come.
Here is a look at some of the striking testimony the panel played.
Bill Barr: ‘I told the president [his claim of election fraud] was bull—’
In video testimony from Bill Barr, the former attorney general said he told Trump after the 2020 election that his fraud claims had no merit. Barr said publicly at the time that the Justice Department had not found fraud.
Barr said he had three discussions with Trump about the presidential election — one that took place in November and two more in December. He added that he told Trump repeatedly that he “did not see evidence of fraud.”
“I’ve been through the sort of give and take of those discussions, and in that context, I made it clear that I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was “bull****,” Barr said. He added that one of the reasons why he decided to step down from his post was because he “did not want to be part of” the campaign that repeated false election fraud claims.
“You can’t live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view unsupported by specific evidence that there was fraud in the election,” he continued.
WATCH: Attorney General Barr declares that Donald Trump lost the Presidential election in 2020.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022
There is no doubt that the American people voted Trump out of office and the Select Committee has found no evidence of election fraud. pic.twitter.com/qa5qNyMXqS
Ivanka Trump: ‘I accepted what [Barr] was saying’
The panel also showed video testimony from Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who spoke to the committee in April.
She said Barr’s declaration that the Department of Justice didn’t find sufficient fraud that would have overturned the election “affected my perspective.”
“I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying,” she told the committee.
“It affected my perspective … I accepted what [Barr] was saying.”— The Recount (@therecount) June 10, 2022
— Ivanka Trump, in recorded deposition to the 1/6 committee, asked about Trump Attorney General Bill Barr saying there was not sufficient election fraud to overturn the election pic.twitter.com/Fp2NUFIHCu
Jared Kushner said he viewed White House counsel’s threats to resign ‘to just be whining’
The panel also showed video testimony of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump and his former adviser.
Before the panel played the clip, Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s vice chair, said Kushner would be addressing “multiple threats by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and his team of lawyers to resign in the weeks” leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
When Cheney asked him if he was aware of Cipollone’s threats to resign during his interview with the committee, Kushner said that his “interest at the time was at trying to get as many pardons done.”
“And I know that, you know, he was always, him and the team were always saying, ‘Oh we’re going to resign. We’re not going to be here if this happens, if that happens.’ So, I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you,” Kushner said.
Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Trump and Trump's son-in-law, tells 1/6 committee of his reaction to White House counsel Pat Cipollone's threats to quit over the insurrection:— The Recount (@therecount) June 10, 2022
"I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you." pic.twitter.com/AI6FtpuCRc
Trump met with a group to discuss ‘a number of dramatic steps’ about the election
“On Dec. 8, 2020, a group including General Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and others visited the White House,” Cheney said. “We know that the group discussed a number of dramatic steps, including having the military seize voting machines and potentially rerun elections.”
Trump met with that group alone “for a period of time before White House lawyers and other staff discovered the group was there and rushed to intervene,” she continued.
After they left, Trump sent out the tweet telling people to go to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 — the day the electoral votes were set to be certified.
Cheney says there was a December 18, 2020, White House meeting where Michael Flynn, Powell, and Giuliani discussed "having the military seize voting machines and potentially rerun elections." She says Trump met privately with this group. pic.twitter.com/yPNlPk0Kyn— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 10, 2022
Liz Cheney: ‘Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard,’ but Pence did
Prior to introducing testimony from General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Cheney asserted that “not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element of the United States government to instruct that the Capitol be defended.”
“He did not call his secretary of defense on Jan. 6,” Cheney continued. “He did not talk to his attorney general. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. 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.”
Rather, Cheney said, it was Mike Pence who “did each of those things.”
She then played the interview with Milley.
General Mark Milley: ‘Red flag for me personally, no action’
During his interview with the panel, Milley said there were “two or three calls with Vice President Pence” that took place, adding that he “was very animated” about the events unfolding.
“He issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders,” he told the panel. “There was no question about that.”
Milley said Pence instructed Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense at the time, to “get the military down here and get the guard down here, put down this situation, etc.”
He had a far different conversation with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, Cheney said, drawing a distinction between the two.
As the attack was ongoing, Milley said Meadows told him, “We have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions.”
“We need to establish the narrative that the president is still in charge and that things are steady or stable or words to that effect,” Milley said. “I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red flag for me personally, no action. But I remember it distinctly.”
"Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets. But Mike Pence did." - @RepLizCheney— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022
Testimony from General Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: pic.twitter.com/X6MzHl4hHj
Caroline Edwards: ‘I was slipping in people’s blood’
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a brain injury while defending the building and lawmakers inside after insurrectionists breached the barricades, delivered emotional and graphic testimony about her experience.
“What I saw was just a war scene,” she said, likening the attack to something she has witnessed in movies. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
She recounted observing how officers all around her were suffering serious injuries amid the sheer “chaos” and “carnage.”
“There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces,” Edwards said. “I was slipping in people’s blood.”
While Edwards said she has been trained to detain a couple of subjects and handle a crowd, she noted that she is not combat trained. But that day, she told the committee, “it was just hours of hand-to-hand combat.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle,” she said.
Cheney: Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons
Cheney revealed a bombshell finding uncovered by the committee during its investigation: multiple Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons from Trump for their roles in attempting to overturn the election.
“[Republican] Representative [Scott] Perry [of Pennsylvania] contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan. 6 to seek a presidential pardon,” she said, adding how others did the same for the part they played. Cheney did not name the others who sought the pardons.
‘Your dishonor will remain’
Cheney, who was ousted from her post as the third-ranking Republican in the House and faces an uphill climb toward being reelected because of her criticism of Trump over the insurrection, also had strong words for her “Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible.”
“There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain,” she said.