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Bennie Thompson says Jan. 6 was the 'culmination of an attempted coup'

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, called the attack a "culmination of an attempted coup," in opening remarks at Thursday's hearing about the 2021 riot.

Jan. 6 was a "sprawling multistep conspiracy aimed at overturning the election, aimed at 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 that conspiracy. And ultimately, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down to the Capitol and subvert American democracy," Thompson said.

The chairman also introduced the first piece of video evidencein the hearing — a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr saying that referring to the 2020 election as stolen was "bull****" and that he told the former president that.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.