The stunning revelations broadcast Thursday night during the House Select Committee investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol included the laying out of a scheme by former President Donald Trump to retain power.
While many have long believed that Trump did nothing to stop the deadly rioting, the committee laid bare his involvement in the event that was connected to the deaths of at least nine people – including five law enforcement members – and left more than 150 officers injured.
“It was a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power,” Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice chair of the House committee, remarked during the prime-time presentation.
Cheney noted that several GOP members of Congress pressed Trump for pardons during the insurrection – the inference could explain why many Republicans have remained loyal to the former president and have shown a reluctance to participate in the hearings.
Cheney also reminded the committee of a tweet sent by Trump ahead of the rally in protest of his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election: “Be there, will be wild!”
Trump’s supporters responded, including the extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
One of the rioters read Trump’s tweet on a megaphone at the Capitol, and others, including one that criticized Vice President Mike Pence for denying a request to overturn Trump’s election loss.
“Hang Mike Pence,” the supporters chanted.
“Maybe he deserves it,” Trump allegedly said in response.
Committee officials then displayed a photo of a noose and gallows erected near the Capitol by the insurrectionists.
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards emerged during the public hearings and recounted her trauma for the first time.
“It was something like I’ve seen in the movies,” the officer stated. “I couldn’t believe my eyes; there were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. I was slipping in people’s blood. It was carnage. It was chaos.”
Documentarian Nick Quested described his interaction with the Proud Boys, whose leader, Enrique Tarrio, recently was hit with sedition charges related to the attack.
Quested had been embedded with the Proud Boys and shared never-before-seen footage of the members, including Tarrio’s meeting with the Oath Keepers.
Additionally, a new video of the deposition by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, revealed that Pence gave the orders to send National Guard troops to the Capitol.
However, Milley said administration officials told Pence to falsely state that Trump gave those orders.
Testimony also came from Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who served as an adviser for the administration.
Ivanka Trump testified that she accepted then-Attorney General William Barr’s declaration that Biden had defeated Trump in the 2020 election.
Several former White House officials from the Trump administration said the president refused to stop the insurrection and ignored his team of advisers who urged him to intervene.
“Our democracy remains in danger,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) declared during the hearing. “The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. Unfortunately, there are those in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, allegiance to the rule of law, our shared journey to build a more perfect union.”