WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The chairman of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and Donald Trump’s attempt to nullify the 2020 election told Thursday’s hearing that the attack it was an “attempted coup” that put “two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson said “the world is watching” the US response to the panel’s investigation into the assault on Capitol Hill and the defeated president’s attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory. He called it a “blatant attempt” to annul the election.

“Democracy is still in danger,” Thompson said. “We must face the truth with candor, resolve and determination.”

The commission presented a never-before-seen video and other evidence, with the aim of showing the “heartbreaking story” of that day and also a chilling background in which Trump, the defeated president, tried to annul Biden’s electoral victory.

In a video, the panel played a comment by former Attorney General William Barr, who testified that he told Trump that claims of a rigged election were “nonsense.”

In another, the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified before the commission that she respected Barr’s view that there was no voter fraud. “I accepted what he said.”

Thursday night’s hearing was intended to spell out that the January 6 violence was no accident. Rather, the panel stated that it was the result of Trump’s repeated lies about voter fraud and his public exhortation to his supporters to come to Washington, as well as his private campaign at the highest levels of government to prevent Congress will certify Biden’s electoral victory.


Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Michael Balsamo and Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.