(The Hill) – The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol will hold its first prime-time hearing on Thursday.
The panel will share recorded depositions from former Trump officials and members of former President Trump’s family, as well as new footage and other materials documenting Jan. 6 that have not previously been released.
The event, set to begin at 8 p.m., will kick off a series of public hearings held by the committee.
Follow The Hill’s live coverage below:
Definition of word ‘insurrection’ displayed on shirt of Capitol Police officer
U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn wore a shirt on Thursday with the definition of the word “insurrection” on it while he attended the first prime-time hearing held by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
There were two definitions displayed on his shirt. The first read, “a violent uprising against an authority or government,” according to photos shared on social media.
The second definition read, “instead of accepting the results of the 2020 election, many attempted to change the results through an insurrection on 1/6/21,” with Dunn’s name placed next to it, apparently indicating it was his own definition.
Dunn was among the police officers who were at the Capitol on the violent day when a mob of pro-Trump supporters ransacked the building and tried to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.
The panel heard two witnesses testify in person on Thursday, Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and documentarian Nick Quested.
“I trained Officer Carolyn Edwards. She is such a great officer and an even more amazing human being. She’s like a little sister to me and what she and other officers went thru that day, didn’t deserve. She is a SHERO and definition of AMERICAN PATRIOT,” Dunn tweeted earlier this week, ahead of the hearing.
“You will hear her testimony, her story on Thursday. I am so proud of her for her bravery that day and every day after,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
— Caroline Vakil
Capitol rioters attribute insurrection participation to Trump’s words
The committee showed video of insurrectionists attributing their participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to encouragement from former President Trump.
Multiple rioters said they went to Washington, D.C., and the Capitol building on Jan. 6 because they felt Trump directly asked them to.
“He personally asked us to come to D.C. that day, and 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,” said Eric Barber, a rioter who was charged with theft and unlawful demonstration at the Capitol.
He said he was disappointed that in his speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 Trump said that he would walk with his supporters to the Capitol but ultimately did not.
Matthew Walter, a member of the Proud Boys, said he was intrigued when Trump said in advance of Jan. 6 that he had “something very important” to say.
Robert Schornack, a rioter who was sentenced to 36 months of probation, said Trump has only asked him for two things, his vote and to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
— Jared Gans
Panel hears testimony from Caroline Edwards, Nick Quested
The first two witnesses of the committee’s public hearings introduced themselves, giving an overview of their experiences on the day of the insurrection.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards was standing behind a line of bike racks that lined the perimeter of the Capitol grounds as the Proud Boys made their first breach of the Capitol. Edwards was knocked unconscious as the Proud Boys entered.
Documentarian Nick Quested, who had been embedded with the far-right Proud Boys, was taking photos and video of the incident as part of a documentary he was making.
Edwards opened by saying she has been called a hero, villain, “Nancy Pelosi’s lap dog” and traitor to her country during and after the Capitol riot, but she rejects all those labels.
“I was an American, standing face to face with other Americans, asking myself many many times how we had gotten here,” she said.
Quested said he documented the crowd outside the Capitol turn from “protesters to rioters to insurrectionists.” He said he heard “incredibly aggressive chanting” and shared what he documented with authorities.
“For anyone who didn’t understand how violent that event was, I saw it, I documented it and I experienced it,” he said.
— Jared Gans
Jan. 6 officers in attendance at hearing
A pair of police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 — Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone — have front-row seats to Thursday’s proceedings. As the video played showing scenes of violent clashes between rioters and officers, an emotional Dunn was consoled by the man seated next to him, who put his arm around the officer.
During a brief break in the hearing immediately after the video ended, Fanone told reporters that the ultimate impact of the congressional investigation hinges on the public response — whether people demand accountability and reform from their representatives in Congress and other policymakers.
“We did our job,” Fanone said.
— Mike Lillis
Panel shows new videos of Jan. 6 violence
The committee showed new videos of the events of Jan. 6 as the day progressed.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel obtained the video clips as part of its investigation and they had not been seen before.
“This was no tourist visit to the Capitol,” he said.
The video opened with members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, marching down the National Mall toward the Capitol, with people yelling, “Whose streets? Our streets” as they walked.
Rioters are also seen clashing with Capitol Police, who can be heard calling for backup and are overrun by the crowd. Chants can be heard of rioters calling to hang then-Vice President Pence, who refused to attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The videos also intermittently included Congress’ steps certifying the election results and clips of former President Trump speaking at the rally preceding the riot, calling on Pence to reject the results.
— Jared Gans
Cheney lays out case against Trump
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) set out the panel’s case against Trump in a lengthy statement that included several damning videos of former Trump officials criticizing his actions.
Cheney said Trump has engineered a mob attack on the Capitol and that the violence against police officers was a direct result of his actions.
Trump “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney, one of two Republicans on the panel, said.
— Ian Swanson
Panel plays video of Barr describing Trump claims as ‘bull—-‘
Jan. 6 panel Chair Bennie Thompson in his opening remarks played a clip of former Attorney General William Barr’s interview with the select committee, in which he said he had given Trump a frank assessment of the former president’s election fraud claims.
Barr said in the clip that he recalled speaking to Trump about the issue on at least three occasions in November and December 2020.
“And 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,” Barr said. “And, you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it. And that’s one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when I did.”
“We 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.”
Barr’s comments to Trump had been previously reported, but the clip is the first video to have emerged from the former attorney general’s interview with the panel, which took place last week.
— Harper Neidig
Lawmakers crowd into hearing to watch in person
There are only nine members of the select committee who will participate in Thursday’s hearing, but the number of lawmakers in the room extends well beyond that.
More than a dozen House lawmakers have also gathered inside the bustling committee room to watch the proceedings, all of them Democrats.
They include liberals like Reps. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Paul Tonko; centrists like Reps. Abigail Spanberger (Va.) and Dean Phillips (Minn.); seasoned veterans like Reps. Bill Pascrell (N.J.) and Jackie Speier (Calif.); and first-year members like Reps. Deborah Ross (N.C.) and Sara Jacobs (Calif.).
Like many in the audience, they appear eager to be a part of a historic event. When the members of the select committee entered the room at the stroke of 8 p.m., a number of the lawmakers in the audience stood with their phones to snap a photo.
— Mike Lillis
Chris Wallace is on CNN and he’s skeptical
The former “Fox News Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace is offering analysis of the Jan. 6 hearing on his new network CNN, and he pronounced himself skeptical of what he’s going to hear.
“I’m kind of skeptical about what we’re going to see tonight and over the next couple of weeks,” Wallace said.
Asked why, Wallace cited a couple of reasons, including the “hype” and “over-selling” of the committee. “You’ve got Jamie Raskin, one of the members of the committee, saying ‘this is going to blow the roof off the House,’ you’ve got Adam Kinzinger saying ‘It’s going to change history.”
He also mentioned the hiring of a former ABC executive to produce the event. “I think that’s a bad look both for the committee and the mainstream media to seem that they are hand in glove with each other.”
Raskin (Md.) and Kinzinger (Calif.) are both Democrats on the panel.
— Ian Swanson
Thompson: ‘The world is watching what we do here’
Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) will offer a forward-looking message as the panel kicks off a review of its investigation in its prime-time hearing.
“Tonight, and over the next few weeks, we’re going to remind you of the reality of what happened that day. But our work must do much more than just look backwards. Because our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over,” Thompson will say in his opening remarks, an excerpt of which was shared in advance by the committee.
He goes on to point to those who have a “thirst for power, but have no love or respect” for the Constitution or rule of law.
“Jan. 6 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 a hill. A beacon of hope and freedom,” Thompson says in the remarks.
“A model for others—when we’re at our best. How can we play that role when our own house is in such disorder?”
— Rebecca Beitsch