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Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6 uprising, called the attack “the culmination of a coup attempt” in an opening speech at Thursday’s hearing on the 2021 riot.
January 6 was a “multi-step conspiracy with the aim of overturning the election, with the objective of overturning the votes of millions of Americans,” Thompson said.
Thompson also pointed to the former president as the center of the conspiracy that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“Donald Trump was at the center of this conspiracy. And finally, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, spurred a multitude of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march on Capitol Hill and subvert American democracy,” Thompson said.
The president also presented the first video evidence at the hearing – a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr saying that referring to the 2020 election as stolen was “silly” and that he told the former president that.