Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called former President Donald Trump the “center of [the] conspiracy” that the 2020 election was not valid, saying the violence on Jan. 6 was “the culmination of an attempted coup” as he opened a series of hearings from the House committee investigating the attack.
The hearing June 9 was the first of several planned by the Jan. 6 committee in the coming weeks. In the year since its creation, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.
Thompson, the committee chair, referenced the British storming the U.S. Capitol in 1814, as the War of 1812 raged on, calling “foreign enemies” responsible.
But in 2021, Thompson said, those who stormed the Capitol were “domestic enemies of the Constitution, who stormed the Capitol and occupied the Capitol — who sought to thwart the will of the people, to stop the transfer of power. So they did at the encouragement of the president of the United States.”
“I’m from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and lynching. I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, 2021,” Thompson said.