Thursday's hearing was the first of six that the Committee will hold as they try to uncover how the events unfolded during the January 6 Capitol riots and if former President Donald Trump should be held responsible. All six of these hearings will be broadcasted live on major television networks.
U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker who was following Proud Boys leaders on the day of the attack, were among those who shared testimonies at the public hearings on Thursday.
Here are four other shocking takeaways from the first public House Committee hearing.
Trump "refused to the tell the mob to leave the Capitol"
According to Rep. Liz Cheney, Trump didn't make any effort to bring in reinforcements to stop the attack.
“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,” Cheney said.
Cheney added that former Vice President Mike Pence was the one who made the call to the National Guard as the Capitol was being breached.
“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 continued. “Vice President Pence did each of those things.”
The House Committee unveiled never-before-seen footage of the violent attack on the Capitol.
A video montage compiled from the Committee's prior investigations revealed gruesome attacks on police officers, destruction to Capitol property, and the hunt for Congress members to attack, all of which were led by Trump supporters.
To close the video, the House panel included a snippet from Trump's Fox News interview on July 11, 2021 where he claimed the brutal attack was a peaceful protest.
“They were peaceful people,” Trump said. “These were great people. The crowd was unbelievable. And I mentioned the word love. The love, the love in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Chairman Bennie Thompson said in reference to the video, “It’s important that we remember exactly what took place. That this was no tourist visit to the Capitol."
Rioters said that Trump "personally" asked them to breach the Capitol.
During an interview with the Committee, Robert Schornack, a rioter sentenced to 36 months probation, said, “I did believe the election was being stolen and Trump asked us to come."
Eric Barber, a Trump supporter charged with theft and unlawful demonstration, added, “I thought for everything he’s done for us, if this is the only thing he’s going to ask of me, I’ll do it."
John Wright, who will soon face trial for felony civil disorder, told the House panel, “I know why I was there and that’s because he called me there, and he laid out what is happening in our government."
Officer Edwards depicted the January 6 attack as an "absolute war zone."
During her testimony before the House panel, Edwards, a Capitol police officer who sustained a concussion from the riots, gave a detailed description of the scene.
“I just remember that moment of stepping behind the line and seeing the absolute war zone that the west front [of the Capitol] had become,” Edwards said.″[Officers] were bleeding, they were throwing up... I saw friends with blood all over their faces, I was slipping in people’s blood."
“I was 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 think that as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle,” Edwards continued.