Updated Jun 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

"I was slipping in people’s blood": Eyewitnesses testify at Jan. 6 hearing

Caroline Edwards, a US Capitol Police officer injured in the Jan. 6 riot, left, and filmmaker Nick Quested, swear in to a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attac

Caroline Edward and Nick Quested swear in to a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two eyewitnesses to the Jan. 6 attack provided detailed testimony about what they saw and experienced during the riot to Thursday's primetime committee hearing.

Driving the news: "I was slipping in people’s blood," U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, believed to be the first officer injured on Jan. 6, recounted.

  • "It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw."
  • The Jan. 6 committee also played a video that shows Edwards being pushed by rioters to the ground, hitting her head on the Capitol steps where she was knocked unconscious.
  • Edwards suffered a concussion from the attack and experienced fainting spells for months after the insurrection, the New York Times reports.

British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was following the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group, also described what he saw on Jan. 6, saying the crowd turned "from protesters, to rioters, to insurrectionists."

  • "I was surprised by the size of the group, the anger and the profanity," he testified.
  • Quested also described being "confused" that "a couple of hundred of Proud Boys were marching toward the Capitol" before Trump’s speech.
  • "I was confused to an extent why we were walking away from the president's speech because that's what I felt we were there to cover," Quested said. 

The big picture: The testimony from two eyewitnesses set the backdrop for the committee's argument that the insurrection "was a result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • The Jan. 6 committee chairs, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), tied Trump to the events of that violent day.
  • "President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said.
  • "Jan. 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup," Thompson said.

What's next: Thursday's primetime, Watergate-style hearing was the first in a series of public hearings that are scheduled for the rest of the month.

  • The committee has a subsequent hearing scheduled for June 13 at 10 a.m.

Go deeper... Jan 6 committee airs closed door video of Bill Barr deposition

Go deeper