Notable quotes from first hearing on the U.S. Capitol riot

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - The first of six planned congressional hearings into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by then-President Donald Trump supporters made a prime-time television debut on Thursday. read more

The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack included videotaped testimony from senior Trump White House officials and campaign officials in the hearing.

Here is a selection of quotes:

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, from excerpts of his opening statement:

"We can't sweep what happened under the rug. The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't protect just Democrats or just Republicans. It protects all of us."

"So 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."

"January 6th 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."

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney:

"President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol, and I quote, were doing what they should be doing. This is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob."

"On this point, there is no room for debate. Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: That the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful president. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack."

"All Americans should keep ... in mind this fact, on the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain president of the United States."

"As you will see in our hearings, the White House received specific reports in the days leading up to Jan. 6, including during President Trump's Ellipse rally (near the White House), indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the Capitol," Cheney said.

"The White House staff knew the President Trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his ends. They knew the president needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him. They knew that President Donald Trump was too dangerous to be left alone, at least until he left office on Jan. 20."

"Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone but your dishonor will remain."

Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, to Trump-allied lawyer John Eastman, quoted by Cheney:

"Thanks to your bullshit. We are under siege."

Former Attorney General William Barr, by video:

"I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which I call the bullshit. And, you know, I didn't want to be a part of it. ... We can't live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that the election that there was fraud in the election.

"I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time, and was doing grave, grave disservice to the country."

Ivanka Trump, former President Trump's daughter, in video testimony:

"I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying."

Caroline Edwards, U.S. Capitol Police officer injured in attack:

"I was called (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi's dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain."

"They dared to question my honor. They dared to question my loyalty and they dared to question my duty."

"When I fell behind that line and I saw - I can just remember my breath catching in my throat because what I saw was just a war scene. It was like something I had seen in the Middle East. There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. ... I was slipping in people's blood. ... It was hours of hand-to-hand combat."

Nick Quested, documentary filmmaker who followed the right-wing Proud Boys protesters on Jan. 6:

"I was surprised at the size of the group, the anger and profanity."

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Patricia Zengerle, Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham

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