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Jan. 6 committee holds first prime-time hearing

Rep. Liz Cheney shows testimony from Ivanka Trump, Bill Barr and Jason Miller
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Here are key lines from the Jan. 6 committee's prime-time hearing

US Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, gives her opening remarks on Thursday night.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol laid out some of its preliminary findings in its first prime-time hearing on Thursday.

Here are some key lines from the panel’s presentation and testimony from witnesses:

Thompson: “Our democracy remains in danger”

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, used part of his opening statement to set the tone of why Americans should be interested in the committee’s findings. Thompson said the insurrection put democracy at risk — and it didn’t stop on Jan. 6, 2021. “The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over,” Thompson said.

Cheney: “Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack”

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, laid the blame for the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol squarely on former President Donald Trump. “On this point, there is no room for debate,” she said during her opening statement. Later, she said Trump had a “sophisticated seven-part plan” to overturn the election over the course of several months.

Thompson: “It’s hard to watch”

Thompson gave a warning before the committee played never-before-seen footage from the insurrection. The video showed the violent scenes of that day — rioters breaking windows and pushing their way through officers and into the Capitol.

Officer: “Literal blood, sweat and tears were shed that day defending the building”

Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured after she was part of an altercation involving members of the Proud Boys while defending the US Capitol during the riot, said during her testimony that the day of the insurrection was the first time her patriotism had been questioned. She recalled what it was like to deal with the aftermath of the attack.

Documentarian: “For anyone who didn’t understand how violent that event was — I saw it, I documented it, and I experienced it”

Documentarian Nick Quested, a witness who testified during tonight’s hearing, described the violence he saw during the attack on the Capitol. “I documented the crowd turn from protesters to rioters to insurrectionists. I was surprised at the size of the group, the anger and the profanity,” he told the committee. “I heard incredibly aggressive chanting and I subsequently shared that footage with the authorities,” he continued. The documentarian was embedded with the Proud Boys for a significant period of time leading up to the Jan. 6 attack.

Cheney: “There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain”

Cheney had a critical message for her Republican colleagues who are defending what is “indefensible.” Cheney herself has faced a major backlash from fellow Republicans for becoming a prominent critic of Trump and his lies over the election outcome.

Ivanka Trump: “I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying”

In a clip of recorded testimony shown during the hearing, Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and former adviser, said former Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement that the Justice Department found no sufficient evidence to overturn the election changed her perspective — a statement that stands in contrast to her father’s repeated claims that the election was stolen.

Barr: “I made it clear that 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”

Former Attorney General William Barr said that Trump’s claims about election fraud were “bullshit” in a recording of a closed-door deposition. Barr, who resigned in December 2020, said part of the reason that he left the Trump administration was because of the false claims of fraud that Trump was making.

Read takeaways from today’s hearing here.

Committee plans to release closed-door deposition transcripts, Thompson says

US Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, talks to CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday night.

House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson confirmed to CNN Thursday that the panel plans to release the transcripts from the closed-door depositions that it conducted in its sweeping investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to try to overturn the election.

“We’ll make it available,” Thompson said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper after the committee’s first hearing on Thursday.

Thompson also said that the committee planned to cooperate, if requested, with the Justice Department’s investigation into Jan. 6, 2021, while saying the committee’s job wasn’t to determine whether crimes had been committed. The Justice Department last month had asked for transcripts from the committee, but the panel resisted ahead of this month’s hearing.

On Thursday, the committee played video of staffers fleeing House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office. Asked about the video from the office of McCarthy — who has repeatedly criticized the committee — Thompson said that he tried to negotiate with McCarthy to create an independent commission, but McCarthy opposed it because of Trump.