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 evidence in 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.

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