US President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak Thursday (Jan 6) about the historical significance of last year’s attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.
In a speech on the one-year anniversary of the attack, Biden will speak from Statuary Hall in the Capitol along with Vice President Kamala Harris.
“The president will speak the truth about what happened, not the lies that some have spread since then and the threat it poses to the rule of law and our democratic system of government,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. /1).
“He will also commemorate the day, remembering the heroes of January 6, especially the brave law enforcement officers who fought to uphold the Constitution and protect the Capitol and the lives of those who were there. It is because of their efforts that our democracy has survived mob attacks, and the will of the more than 150 million people who voted in the presidential election was finally registered by Congress,” he added.
Pro-Trump mobs stormed Congress as legislators inside met to ratify the November 2020 election results. They defeated on-duty Capitol Police, smashed windows and damaged the historic building, and sent legislators fleeing for safety.
It was only hours later, after federal law enforcement agencies and the military arrived to wrest control of the Capitol, that members of Congress were able to finish their job and certify Biden’s election victory and prepare for his inauguration ceremony a few weeks later.
Four people died on the day of the attack, including a Capitol police officer who died the following day. The mob injured dozens of officers, and within months of the attack, four police officers had committed suicide.
Trump had planned to hold a press conference on Thursday (6/1) in Florida, but on Tuesday (4/1) he said he was canceling the event. In a statement making the repeated false claim that he actually won the 2020 election, Trump said he would discuss “important topics” at the Jan. 15 rally in Arizona.
Carl Tobias, professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, told AFP that the Trump campaign was “unprecedented in US history.”
“No former president has gone to such great lengths to discredit his successor and the democratic process,” Tobias said.
Public opinion polls show about 70 percent of Republicans do not consider Biden’s election victory legitimate. [uh/ab]