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HomeVideoWATCH: Rep. Thompson says Trump tried to ‘stop the peaceful transfer of...

WATCH: Rep. Thompson says Trump tried to ‘stop the peaceful transfer of power’

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., gave a closing statement on July 12 as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack presented its findings to the public. The focus of the hearing was on extremist far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and the role they played in the Capitol insurrection.

Thompson said that in the days preceding Jan. 6, former President Donald Trump “had an obligation to tell his supporters to accept the results of the election,” but Trump instead encouraged them further down a path toward “mob violence.”

He said that there are many different ideas across the country of what role the federal government should play in American lives, but noted that “there are moments when the institutions of our federal government are the fail-safe.” Thompson said he is from a part of the nation where, without the federal government and the Constitution, his parents and other Black Americans “would have continued to be treated as second-class citizens.”

The insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, Thompson said, was yet another moment in history that tested the strength of the federal government.

“Jan. 6 was an attack on our country. It was an attack on our democracy, on our Constitution,” Thomspon said. “A sitting president with a violent mob trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. It still makes my blood boil to think of it.”

Instead of reassuring the American people that the threat would be dealt with, Thompson said Trump sent the mob, disregarded advice from those who had taken an oath to the Constitution and “oversaw a scheme aided by people whose loyalty” was solely to him.

“There’s nothing [in] our great nation’s history that has ever come close to that sort of betrayal and dereliction,” Thompson said. “Thank goodness our system of government held in spite of a commander-in-chief who worked in opposition to what the Constitution designed.”

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.

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