Five key moments from the Jan 6 Capitol riot hearing

An image of the attack on the US Capitol is seen on video during the US House Select Committee hearing on June 9, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - A House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection opened its series of public hearings with dramatic testimony from an injured US Capitol Police officer, a video appearance by former President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and intense footage from the Jan 6, 2021, riot.

Here are five key moments:

'War Scene'

The most compelling testimony of the night came from US Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who sustained brain damage when she was struck on the head with a bike rack during the riot.

She described a "war scene" that she said she could not have imagined unfolding.

"I couldn't believe my eyes, there were officers on the ground, they were bleeding, they were throwing up," she said. "I was slipping in peoples' blood.... it was carnage, it was chaos."

"Never in my wildest dreams as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer did I think I would find myself in the middle of a battle," she said.

Ms Edwards said she saw Officer Brian Sicknick suddenly fall and go "ghostly pale".

Ms Caroline Edwards testifying at the hearing on June 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

"My cop alarm bells went off," she said, saying she sought whether he had been pepper-sprayed.

Mr Sicknick died the next day. Video shows two men spraying him and another officer with a chemical, but the Washington medical examiner said Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. His family was in the hearing room on Thursday night.

The Video Evidence

The committee played a graphic video of the Capitol breach, juxtaposed with scenes of Mr Trump speaking at a rally nearby and members of Congress convening to certify the results of the election.

"This isn't easy to watch," committee Chair Bennie Thompson said in introducing the video.

The entire scene unfolded over several hours. The mob, which included the radical right-wing group Proud Boys, began heading to the Capitol at 10am, even before Mr Trump had finished.

"These are our streets," one shouted to a police officer. About the same time, members of Congress were filing into their seats to begin the election certification.

Supporters of then US President Donald Trump gathering at the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

By 2pm the mob overran police lines and broke into the building. There were frantic calls over police radios for reinforcements, and lawmakers began evacuating to more secure areas.

Mr Trump is seen at the rally demanding that his vice-president block certification of Mr Joe Biden's victory.

"If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election," he said.

Although there has been extensive video from that day broadcast widely, the committee said some of the footage had never been seen before. The intent was to show that the violence was organised and represented a major effort to overturn the election.

Trump's tweet

One dramatic moment of the video showed a rioter on a bullhorn at 2.24pm yelling out Mr Trump's tweet in which the president rails against vice-president Mike Pence for not having "the courage to do what should have been done".

Shortly thereafter, the video showed rioters chanting to "Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!"

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Speak

Former White House advisor Ivanka Trump is seen during her video deposition at the hearing on June 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The public got its first glimpse of Ms Ivanka Trump's views about her father's baseless claims that he lost the election because of fraud.

In a short video snippet from her deposition to the committee, she is asked her impression when then-Attorney General William Barr told Mr Trump and his advisers there was no fraud.

"It affected my perspective," she said. "I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying."

Her husband, Mr Jared Kushner, in a separate interview said he did not take seriously the White House counsel's threats to resign over Mr Trump's attempts to overturn the election. He said he was more focused at the time on moving a raft of pardons before Mr Trump left office.

"I kind of took it to just be whining, to be honest with you," he said.

Cheney's Case

Committee vice-chair Liz Cheney at the hearing on June 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Committee vice-chair Liz Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the panel, laid out a broad case against Mr Trump that went well beyond Jan 6 itself.

Mr Trump had a 7-point plan to overturn the will of the voters, even after being told repeatedly by his own staff and campaign and attorney general that he had lost the election, Ms Cheney said.

And then, once the violence had started, she quoted him speaking approvingly of rioters talking of hanging Mr Pence. And as the violence continued for hour after hour and Republican leaders were begging him to intervene, Ms Cheney said he never called a single person nor issued any order to protect the Capitol.

Mr Trump has backed a primary challenger for Ms Cheney, the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, and has held rallies in Wyoming in which he calls her a RINO - Republican In Name Only - for working against him.

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