Capitol riot hearings: Trump accused of coup attempt

STORY: CAROLINE EDWARDS: "Carnage. It was chaos."

The congressional committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riots kicked off public hearings on Thursday with graphic video and chilling testimony from witnesses, laying out a case against former Republican President Donald Trump.

The Democratic-led committee presented videotaped testimony showing that close Trump allies, including his own daughter Ivanka, rejected his false 2020 election fraud claims.

Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards was one of two in-person witnesses who testified Thursday, the first of six congressional hearings intended to illustrate how Trump's repeated claims of voter fraud incited the deadly riot by his supporters on January 6.

She described hours of grueling hand-to-hand combat with Trump supporters who barged into the Capitol that day.

CAROLINE EDWARDS: "What I saw was just a war scene... There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces, I was slipping in people's blood."

The committee also screened part of Trump's incendiary speech immediately before the attack, in which he redirected his supporters' anger at Vice President Mike Pence, who was at the Capitol that day overseeing the congressional certification of Joe Biden's election win.

The committee further showed how even some of the people closest to the former president did not believe or support his voter fraud claims, including former Attorney General William Barr, and Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka.

WILLIAM BARR: "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."

IVANKA TRUMP: "I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying."

Representative Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee, also noted that multiple Republican congressmen later sought pardons from the White House for what she said was their role in trying to overturn the election.

Meanwhile Trump, who is considering another White House run in 2024, lashed out at the committee of quote "political hacks" after Thursday's hearing and stood by his voter fraud claims.

Four people were killed during the January 6 riots, which also caused millions of dollars in damage to the Capitol. More than 100 police officers were injured, while one officer died the following day.

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