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Biden to deliver remarks on the first anniversary of the Capitol uprising

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Biden to deliver remarks on the first anniversary of the Capitol uprising

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In Washington, DC, a year ago, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol following the then president’s Ellipse rally outside the White House, where he questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The events of the day led to Trump’s second impeachment by the House of Representatives. The insurgency launched the largest investigation in FBI history, with 700 people arrested and hundreds of other offenders still at large. And a select House committee continues to investigate the events leading up to the riots. Two Trump allies – Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon – have been charged with criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with committee investigators after being subpoenaed.

On Capitol Hill, a series of events hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will take place after Biden’s speech to mark the January 6 anniversary, including a moment of silence on the floor of the House and testimonies from lawmakers on the heartbreaking attack.

During his speech at Statuary Hall inside the Capitol, Biden is expected to “outline the importance of what happened on the Capitol and President Trump’s singular responsibility for the chaos and carnage we have seen,” he said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. at Wednesday’s press conference.

In a preview of the president’s remarks, Psaki said Biden would “also push back the lie propagated by the former president and attempt to mislead the American people and their own supporters, as well as distract from his role and of what happened “.

“And so right now, we have to decide what kind of a nation we’re going to be,” Biden should say, according to prepared remarks released by the White House Thursday morning. “Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as the norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that does not live by the light of truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot afford to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and live by it.

The events of the insurgency took place just two weeks before Biden’s inauguration, casting a shadow over the administration of the new president. And despite the multitude of rejected court cases, failed state election audits, and countless debunked conspiracy allegations, many Trump supporters continued to doubt the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.

Speaking of the violent day, which left five dead, the president is expected to discuss “the importance of history, the peaceful transfer of power”, as well as what the United States needs “to protect our own democracy and look to the future. “

Biden will address “the silence and complacency” among Republican lawmakers since Jan.6, as well as voting rights, Psaki said, noting that Trump “has abused his office, undermined the Constitution and ignored his oath to the American people in the goal of amassing more power for himself and his allies. “

Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to deliver remarks on Thursday regarding the anniversary of the insurgency.

Harris expected to say “that the insurgency was not just an attack on our Capitol, but an attack on our freedom and our values,” according to a White House official.

“The Vice President will stress that the American experience is being tested and that we must work to guarantee voting rights, guarantee free and fair elections and protect our democracy for generations to come. She will also pay tribute to the brave men and women law enforcement, who fought to defend our democracy, protected the Capitol and saved the lives of those there, “said the official in a statement.

While Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference scheduled for the anniversary of the insurgency, it was abruptly called off. The allies had warned it would cause him unnecessary trouble for Republicans and himself.

Instead of his press conference Thursday, Trump is expected to voice his grievances at a campaign-style rally in Arizona next week.

Lawmakers and historians to commemorate the anniversary

At the end of December, Pelosi announced a list of events on Capitol Hill to mark the passage of a year since the deadly attack.

In a letter to Democrats, Pelosi wrote that the events “are intended as an observation of reflection, remembrance and re-engagement, in a spirit of unity, patriotism and prayer.”

At noon there will be a prayer and a minute of silence on the floor of the House. Next, a moderated conversation will take place with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham. Pelosi’s letter says the discussion will serve “to establish and preserve the January 6 narrative.”

Thereafter, legislators will have time to provide testimony to “share their thoughts of the day”. Colorado Democratic Representative Jason Crow will preside over the testimony. Crow was one of the lawmakers trapped inside the room of the house during the attack and was photographed crouching to help a colleague who appeared to be in distress.
“Trauma, any trauma, impacts everyone,” Crow, a former army ranger, told CNN shortly after the attack. “No one is immune to it and everyone reacts to it differently.”

Later, a prayer vigil will be held on the central steps of the Capitol in which House and Senate lawmakers can participate.

While Congressional Democrats held a full day of events to draw attention to what happened during the insurgency, Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, appeared reluctant to talk about it and especially reluctant to address. the role of Trump.

In a letter to House Republicans at the start of the New Year, GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy briefly mentioned the January 6 birthday, but made no mention of the former president.

“Today’s actions were illegal and as bad as it gets. Our Capitol should never be compromised and those who broke the law deserve to face legal repercussions and full accountability,” he wrote.

McCarthy then turned to criticism of Democrats.

“Sadly, a year later, the majority party doesn’t seem any closer to answering the central question of how Capitol was left so ill-prepared and what needs to be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again. this they are using as a partisan political weapon to further divide our country, ”he said.

GOP leaders will not be on Capitol Hill Thursday with the House out of session and a number of Republican Senators traveling to Georgia to attend a memorial service for the late Senator Johnny Isakson.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Melanie Zanona, Jeremy Diamond, and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.


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