Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards recounted ‘slipping in blood’ and rioters calling her ‘Nancy Pelosi’s dog’ while she was defending the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 during the House January 6 select committee’s first primetime hearing Thursday.
Edwards also said she was involved in ‘hand-to-hand’ combat with the mob who stormed towards the barricade and went back on duty when she a bike rack was thrown on her and she was knocked unconscious.
Her testimony was one of many heard for the first time by the committee that has interviewed more than 1,000 people – including Trump aides, law enforcement and rioters – and reviewed hours of footage from January 6 in their probe over the last 17 months.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney told the hearing that she has evidence Trump said his Vice President Mike Pence ‘deserved’ to be ‘hanged’ and the committee heard snippets of testimony from Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller.
The GOP have called the hearings a distraction from scandals plaguing the Democrats and the White House – but officers on the scene gave harrowing testimony of their interactions with the mob.
‘I was slipping in people’s blood,’ said Edwards, one of two in-person witnesses the committee called to testify before an audience on Capitol Hill. ‘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 that as a police officer would I find myself in the middle of a battle.’
She said that what she witnessed was out of a movie. ‘What I saw was just a war scene,’ the officer recounted.
She gave committee members – including Chair Bennie Thompson and top Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney – a literal blow-by-blow account of the events, which left her unconscious for moments, and later with a traumatic brain injury.
Edwards spoke after the hearing showed testimony from Ivanka Trump saying she didn’t believe her father’s claims the election was stolen and footage of former Attorney General Bill Barr calling ‘rigged’ allegations ‘bulls***’.
Jared Kushner also thought White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s constant threats to resign over fraud claims in the wake of January 6 were just ‘whining’ in one of a series of videos – including interviews and footage of the attack – seen for the first time.
- Trump spokesman Jason Miller claims a data staffer on the campaign told the president he would lose
- Miller said on Twitter that Cheney failed to show testimony saying Trump disagreed with the analysis
- Campaign lawyer Alex Cannon testified that by ‘mid-November’ they couldn’t find evidence of fraud
- Liz Cheney suggested the White House received reports there were plans for violence ahead of January 6
- Bill Barr also called Donald Trump’s claims voting machines were rigged ‘nonsense’ and ‘crazy stuff’
- Capitol cop Caroline Edwards, who suffered a brain injury, said rioters called her ‘Nancy Pelosi’s dog’
- She added that she was involved in ‘hand-to-hand combat’ with the rioters and was knocked unconscious
- A note from a White House staffer seen by January 6 committee shows them asking Trump to stop riot
- Video from inside the Capitol shows staffers fleeing from Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s office
- At the start of his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson said he would not be showing the ‘propaganda’ hearings
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards recounted the harrowing scene she encountered defending the U.S. Capitol Building from pro-Trump rioters on January 6 during the House January 6 select committee’s first primetime hearing Thursday
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards (left) was one of two in-person witnesses to testify before the House select committee on January 6 during the group’s first primetime hearing. She took the oath alongside documentary filmmaker Nick Quested (right)
Video shows Capitol Police Office Caroline Edwards in a moment she described Thursday night – being knocked unconscious after a bike rack was thrown on her head
Capitol Police Office Caroline Edwards said she ‘caught the stair behind me and my chin hit the handrail and then – at that point I blacked out – but the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me’
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards also recounted seeing her colleague Officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after the Capitol riot, looking ‘ghostly pale’ after he was sprayed with something during the riot
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards arrives for the hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on Thursday night
Cheney said also said there was evidence Trump said Pence ‘deserved to be hanged’, criticized him for watching the riot unfold from the dining room in the White House and said multiple members of her own party -including Rep. Scott Perry – sought pardons for their own role in ‘attempting to overturn the election’. A spokesman for Perry called the claims a ‘laughable, ludicrous, and a thoroughly soulless lie’.
Later in the hearing, Edwards recalled that a group of protesters, led by one of the top Proud Boys Joseph Biggs, had gathered near her outside the Capitol Building and started increasingly becoming anti-police.
‘I know when I’m being turned into a villain – and that’s when I turned to my sergeant and I stated the understatement of the century. I said, “Sarge, I think we’re going to need a few more people down here,”‘ she testified.
She said Biggs and another Proud Boy, Ryan Samsel, ripped the first barricade down and approached the officers’ bike racks.
Edwards and other Capitol Police officers braced the bike racks.
‘I felt the bike rack come on top of my head and I was pushed backwards and my foot caught the stair behind me and my chin hit the handrail and then – at that point I blacked out – but the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me,’ she said.
Cheney asked the officer if she was knocked unconscious and she answered in the affirmative.
‘Yes ma’am,’ Edwards answered to Cheney’s second question – whether she returned to duty.
Edwards said she tried to hold the West Front of the Capitol and was overpowered there. Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department officers showed up to assist, allowing Edwards to fall behind the line.
‘For awhile I started decontaminating people who had gotten sprayed and treating people medically who needed it,’ she recalled. ‘So after awhile I got back on the line, it was on the House side of the lower west stairs … and officer Sicknick was behind me.’
‘All of the sudden I see movement to the left of me, and it was officer Sicknick with his head in his hands and he was ghostly pale,’ she said. ‘Which I figured at that point he had been sprayed, and I was concerned. My cop alarm bells went off.’
She said if Sicknick would have been hit with pepper spray he would have turned red, not pale.
Sicknick died the next day. His family members were in the audience Thursday night.
‘And so I looked back to see what had happened, what had hit him and that’s when I got sprayed in the eyes as well,’ she said. ‘I was taken to be deconatminated by another officer but we didn’t get a chance because I got tear-gassed.’
Cheney then played a video where it appeared Edwards got sprayed.
At the top of her testimony, she compared what she endured to the experiences of her veteran grandfather, who fought in the Korean War and ‘lived with the rest of his days with bullets and shrapnel in his legs, but never once complained about his sacrifice’.
‘I was called a lot of things on January 6, 2021 and the days after. I was called Nancy Pelosi’s dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain.
‘I was called a traitor to my country, my oath and my Constitution. In actuality, I was none of those things. I was an American standing face to face with other Americans, asking myself, how many times, many, many, times, how we had gotten here?
‘I have been called names before, but never had my patriotism or duty been called into question. I, who got up every day, no matter how early the hour or how late I got in the night before, to put on my uniform and to protect America symbol of democracy. I, who spent countless hours in the baking sun and freezing snow to make sure that America’s elected officials were able to do their job. I, whose literal blood, sweat and tears were shed that day defending the building that I spent countless holidays and weekends working in,’ Edwards said.
Democrat Bennie Thompson invokes slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynching – and introduces Bill Barr’s testimony
Committee Chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, began the hearings by saying: ‘I am from a part of the country where people justified the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.
‘I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6, 2021’.
‘We swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’ he added and said the oath was put to the test.
‘Donald Trump was at the center of that conspiracy. And ultimately, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down to the Capitol and subvert American democracy,’ Thompson said.
He also criticized Trump for trying to stop the ‘transfer of power’ by comparing words from Abraham Lincoln saying he would hand over the reins of the U.S. government if he lost the election.
Thompson then turned to testimony from Barr filmed during their investigation where the former attorney general said: ‘I’ve had I had three discussions with the President that I can recall.
‘One was on November 23. One was on December 1, and one was on December 14, and I’ve been through sort of the give and take of those discussions. 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 bulls***.
‘And, you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it. And that’s one of the reasons that went into deciding to leave when I did what I observed. I think it was on December 1, and you know, how can we can’t live in a world where where the incumbent administration stays in power, based on its view, once supported by specific evidence that the election that there was fraud in the election.’
Barr also said that he told Trump campaign officials that voter fraud claim against Dominion voting machines was ‘crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that.’
Donald Trump’s attorney general Bill Barr said his claims the election was stolen were ‘bulls***’ at the start of the January 6 committee’s first primetime hearing on their investigation into the Capitol riot
They also showed video of Ivanka Trump testifying that she accepted Barr’s rejection of her father’s election fraud claims
Jared Kushner also told the committee that he thought White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s constant threats to resign over the fraud claims in the wake of January 6 were just ‘whining’
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said also said there was evidence Trump said Mike Pence ‘deserved to be hanged’ and criticized him for watching the riot unfold from the dining room in the White House
Liz Cheney claims the Trump White House received reports of planned violence ahead of January 6 and claims ex-president thought Pence ‘deserved’ to be hanged
Cheney laid out what the public will hear during the January 6 committee hearings, including claims the White House was aware there was the potential for violence.
‘You will also hear that President 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 said in her opening statement.
‘A little more than an hour after Ms. [Sidney] Powell, Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani, Gen. [Michael] Flynn and the others finally left the White House, President Trump sent the tweet on the screen now, telling people to come to Washington on Jan. 6. ‘Be there,’ he instructed them, ‘will be wild.’ As you will see, this was a pivotal moment, she added.
‘This tweet initiated a chain of events, led to planning for what occurred on January 6 including by the Proud Boys who ultimately led the invasion of the Capitol and the violence on that day.’
She went on to mention the Proud Boys that have been indicted for seditious conspiracy for their role in the attack and went against any claims that Trump wasn’t warned about January 6. There is still no evidence that was the case.
‘Although certain former Trump officials have argued they did not anticipate violence on Jan. 6, the evidence suggests otherwise,’ she said. ‘As you will see in our hearings, the White House was receiving specific reports in the days leading up to Jan. 6, including during President Trump’s Ellipse rally, indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the Capitol.’
Cheney then described testimony from a witness who said Trump was aware of chants to ‘Hang Mike Pence’. ‘Aware of the rioters’ chants to ‘hang Mike Pence,’ the President responded with this sentiment: [quote] ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence [quote] ‘deserves’ it,’ she said.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley says Mike Pence wanted to call in law enforcement, not Trump, and describes his phone calls with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
In his recorded testimony, Milley told the committee it was Pence who wanted the National Guard to come in and quell the violence on January 6, and then Meadows told him to say it was Trump who wanted backup.
‘Vice President Pence — there were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that, Milley said in his interview.
‘He was very animated, very direct, very firm to Secretary Miller. ‘Get the military down here, get the guard down here. Put down this situation, et cetera,’ he added, pointing to Pence.
He then went onto describe his phone calls with Meadows that day. ‘He (Meadows) said: We have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect,’ Milley said in his testimony.
‘I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly,’ he added.
Republicans say the primetime hearings are a distraction for scandals plaguing the Democrats and the White House – including surging gas prices, crime and inflation
The committee has interviewed more than 1,000 people – including Trump aides and rioters – who they believe were directly or indirectly involved in the Capitol riot 17 months ago.
Republicans have called the primetime hearing, produced by a former ABC News executive James Goldston, a distraction from scandals plaguing the Biden administration and Democrats including inflation, dire polls, gas prices, crime and the situation at the border.
They also say security failures are also squarely to blame for the riot and have claimed Nancy Pelosi is responsible for those lapses.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump tore into the actions of the committee in a Truth Social post saying January 6 ‘represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again’.
‘The Unselect Committee didn’t spend one minute studying the reason that people went to Washington, D.C., in massive numbers, far greater than the Fake News Media is willing to report, or that the Unselects are willing to even mention.’
In a second post, he said: ‘It was about an Election that was Rigged and Stolen, and a Country that was about to go to HELL…& look at our Country now!’
In the next post he bashes the lawmakers on the committee as ‘political Thugs’ who ‘refused to study and report on the massive amount of irrefutable evidence, much of it recently produced, that shows the 2020 Presidential Election was Rigged and Stolen.’
Among the revelations, Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley on January 6 that he wanted to ‘establish a narrative’ that Trump was still in charge and ‘kill’ the suggestion that Vice President Mike Pence was ‘making all the decisions’
Sandra Garza widow of Capitol Cop Brian Sicknick, and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Pfc. Harry Dunn cry as they listen to testimony at the hearing
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the committee, looks ahead as the hearings get underway
Surveillance video taken from the Capitol shows the huge crowd surging towards the police barricades on January 6
There was also video of staff members running out of Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s office in the Capitol on the afternoon of January 6 as the chaos unfolded
The hearing was also shown video of Capitol law enforcement, barricaded against a door and trying to stop rioters getting in