It was no surprise that Pennsylvania came up early and often as the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack opened its series of landmark public hearings Thursday night by accusing former President Donald Trump and the extremist groups that supported him of instigating an “attempted coup.”

After all, it’s one of two states congressional Republicans formally targeted that day in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election — and home to some 69 people charged with participating in the ensuing riot.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), the panel’s vice-chair, quickly called out U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, of York County, saying he had later sought a Trump pardon. And the first Capitol police officer injured that day recounted her assault at the hands of a Bucks County man, whom federal prosecutors have described as an instigator of the violence that followed.

It was all part of an effort by Democrats and the two Republicans on the committee to drive home the magnitude of what happened that day, and the wider threat to democracy it entailed.

“President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” Cheney said in her detailed opening statement.

Here are some of the key Pennsylvania moments in the hearing.

Cheney says Perry sought a Trump pardon

There had already been significant information revealed about Perry through news reports and a Senate investigation, showing him to be one of the leading figures in pushing Trump’s false election claims and trying to overturn his own state’s results.

Cheney added a new element: She said Perry was one of several members of Congress who contacted the White House “in the weeks after Jan. 6” to “seek a presidential pardon.”

That suggested that even the unapologetic Perry was worried about fallout from his efforts to keep Trump in power. His spokesperson immediately called Cheney’s statement “a ludicrous and soulless lie.”

Perry publicly and in private aggressively raised doubts about Pennsylvania’s legitimate election results, including by pushing the Department of Justice to investigate the outcome, at one point forwarding a debunked report that claimed there were more votes than voters in the state.

» READ MORE: From last year: Scott Perry is the most loved and hated congressman in Pennsylvania

Perry’s most notable effort appears to have been his role in trying to usurp top DOJ officials who had resisted Trump’s pressure. Perry urged giving power to a more compliant figure, Philadelphia-born attorney Jeffrey Clark.

When those efforts failed, Perry led the formal charge in the House. Hours after the Jan. 6 attack ended, and as body-armored police patrolled the halls, Perry delivered a speech urging lawmakers to dismiss Pennsylvania’s votes.

Perry refused the committee’s request for an interview, but Cheney’s opening statement implies there will be much more about him to come.

Focus on the Proud Boys

The committee focused much of its attention on the role it said the far-right group the Proud Boys had in planning the violence of Jan. 6 and instigating the breach of the Capitol’s perimeter.

In video clips of his interview with the committee, the organization’s former leader, Enrique Tarrio, credited Trump’s remarks during a 2020 presidential debate telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” with swelling the organization’s ranks.

“I’d say [membership] tripled, probably,” another Proud Boy said in an interview clip.

This week, prosecutors indicted Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders — including Zach Rehl, head of the organization’s Philadelphia chapter — on seditious conspiracy charges.

Rehl featured prominently in footage the committee played of the Proud Boys leading a crowd of several hundred around the Capitol building before the attack. He stood at the forefront wearing a camouflage “Make America Great Again” cap and carrying a Temple Owls backpack.

But he has emphatically denied that he had any role in plotting the attack and maintains that he was not involved in any violence or property damage that day.

In a hearing Tuesday, his lawyer and those for the other indicted Proud Boys leaders called the timing of this new indictment and the Jan. 6 committee’s first hearing in the same week suspicious.

But prosecutors say they’ve had only limited interaction with committee investigators and noted that, thus far, the committee has refused to share transcripts of its interviews with the Justice Department.

Two other Pennsylvania Proud Boys, who have not been charged, also featured prominently in the Justice Department’s account of the group’s planning — Aaron Whallon Wolkind, Rehl’s No. 2 in Philadelphia, and John C. Stewart, of Carlisle.

A Bucks County man’s role in the riot’s ‘inciting incident’

Caroline Edwards, a Capitol police officer who was the first one injured as the tense standoff between the pro-Trump mob exploded into a full-blown riot, testified before the committee Thursday night.

Her alleged attacker was Ryan Samsel, 39, of Bristol.

In court filings this week, prosecutors described his attack on Edwards as a tipping point that unleashed the violence that followed, and the barricade Edwards was guarding that day as “the first barrier protecting the Capitol grounds to be breached.”

Recalling that moment Thursday, Edwards testified that she and fellow officers were surrounded by a group of Proud Boys led by Joseph Biggs, one of the five Proud Boys leaders charged with sedition this week. Samsel, who is not a member of the organization, was also in the crowd.

“I saw the person identified as Ryan Samsel,” Edwards said. “He put his arm around Joseph Biggs, and they started approaching the first barricade. They ripped the first barricade down and they approached our barricade.”

Samsel has told the FBI that Biggs encouraged him to push at the barricades and, when he hesitated, the Proud Boys leader flashed a gun and questioned his manhood. Biggs’ attorney has denied that account.

» READ MORE: Accused Bucks Capitol rioter once assaulted an ex with pizza and tried to drown her, feds say in bid to keep him locked up.

Still, video played by the committee Thursday — which has been used as evidence in Samsel’s case — showed him storming up to Edwards, raising his fists, and turning his red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap backward as if, prosecutors have said, he was preparing for a fight. He heaved a bike rack on top of Edwards, causing her to fall and hit her head on concrete.

“I felt the bike rack come on top of my head,” Edwards testified. “I was pushed backward. My foot caught the stair behind me. My chin hit the handrail. At that point I had blacked out, but the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me.”

Samsel has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on counts including assaulting officers, civil disorder, and violent conduct on Capitol grounds. He remains in custody and maintains he accidentally knocked Edwards down.

He has said he tried to help her up afterward, telling her: “We don’t have to hurt you. Why are you standing in our way?”

A Philly connection to a meeting between Proud Boys and Oath Keepers

The committee also heard Thursday from Nick Quested, a British documentarian embedded with the Proud Boys in the run-up to and during the Jan. 6 assault.

The committee played footage he shot of a meeting between Tarrio, the Proud Boys leader, and Stewart Rhodes, head of the militant far-right group the Oath Keepers, in an underground parking garage on Jan. 5 — something investigators have pointed to as potential evidence of collusion among extremist groups.

One of the other attendees of that meeting — Joshua Macias, cofounder of the group Vets for Trump — has a surprising Philadelphia connection. Just months before, Macias had been arrested on weapons charges in the city after he drove up from Virginia in what prosecutors have described as an attempt to disrupt the counting of the 2020 vote at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

» READ MORE: Prosecutors cite Capitol siege in bid to revoke bail for Vets for Trump founder caught in Philly

Officers noticed Macias’ Hummer — emblazoned with QAnon stickers — parked unattended outside the Convention Center, and later discovered an AR-style rifle along with 160 rounds of ammunition, a samurai sword, and a lock-picking kit inside.

Macias was released in late November of 2020 and was out on bail at the time he participated in the meeting with Rhodes and Tarrio in Washington. Macias has not been charged with playing a role in the insurrection, and there is no evidence that he entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6. His attorney, William J. Brennan, has downplayed his client’s role in the riot.

“If he was simply outside with tens of thousands of people exercising their right to free speech in Washington, D.C., then he shouldn’t be charged,” Brennan told The Inquirer last year.

What’s next?

The next hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, will focus on Trump’s efforts to push his lie that the election was stolen despite aides repeatedly telling him that he lost.

Cheney indicated that a hearing Wednesday could focus on the efforts to promote Clark within DOJ, which could shine a further light on Perry.