U.S.

Biden set to deliver remarks on first Capitol insurrection anniversary

In Washington, D.C., one year ago, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in the wake of the then-president’s Ellipse rally outside the White House, where he questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Today’s events led to Trump’s second impeachment by the House of Representatives. The mutiny launched the largest investigation in FBI history, with 700 people arrested and hundreds of perpetrators still at large. A select committee in the House of Representatives continues to investigate the events that led to the riots. Two Trump allies – Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon – have been held in criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with commission investigators after they were summoned.

On Capitol Hill, a series of events organized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will take place after Biden’s January 6 anniversary speech, including a moment of silence on the House floor and testimony from lawmakers about the horrific attack.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, during his speech at Statuary Hall inside the Capitol, “Biden is expected to make clear the importance of what happened on the Capitol and the individual responsibility that President Trump bears for the chaos and massacres we have seen.” During the press conference on Wednesday.

In a preview of the president’s statements, Psaki said Biden “will retract the lie that the former president spread and will try to mislead the American people and their supporters as well as distract attention from his role and what happened.”

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

Speaking of that violent day, which included five deaths, 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 democracy and look forward.”

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

Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to make comments on Thursday regarding the anniversary of the rebellion.

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

“The Vice President will make clear that the American experience is being tested, and that we must work to secure voting rights, ensure free and fair elections, and protect our democracy for future generations. She will also honor the brave men and women of the law,” the official said in a statement. Our democracy, protect the Capitol and save the lives of the people who are there.”

While Trump was expected to hold a scheduled press conference on the anniversary of the uprising, it was abruptly canceled. The allies warned that this would cause unnecessary problems for the Republicans and for him.

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

Lawmakers and Historians to Commemorate

At the end of December, Pelosi announced the list of events at the Capitol to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack.

In a letter to Democrats, Pelosi wrote that the events “are intended to be a revival of reflection, remembrance and recommitment in a spirit of unity, patriotism, and prayer.”

At noon, prayer and a minute of silence will be held on the floor of the house. Then a moderated conversation will take place between historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and John Meacham. Pelosi’s letter stated that the discussion would serve to “establish and preserve the January 6 narrative.”

Then, lawmakers will have time to provide testimonies to “share their everyday thoughts.” Colorado Representative Jason Crowe will chair the testimony. Crowe was one of the legislators Trapped in the house room During the attack, famous photos surfaced of her crouching to the aid of a colleague who appeared to be in distress.
“Trauma, any trauma, affects everyone,” Crowe, a former Army ranger, told CNN shortly after the attack. “No one is immune to it and everyone responds to it differently.”

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

While congressional Democrats put out an entire day of events to draw attention to what happened during the rebellion, congressional Republicans, by contrast, seemed reluctant to talk much about it and particularly reluctant to address Trump’s role.

In a letter to House Republicans at the start of the new year, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy briefly mentioned the January 6 anniversary, but made no mention of the former president.

“The actions of that day were lawless and as wrong as they could be. The 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 criticizing the Democrats.

“Unfortunately, one year later, it seems that the majority party has not come close to answering the central question of how to leave the Capitol unprepared and what needs to be done to ensure that this does not happen again. Instead, they are using it as a partisan political weapon in order to “More division in our country.”

GOP leaders will not be at the Capitol on Thursday with the House of Representatives out of session and a number of Republican senators heading to Georgia for a memorial service for the late Senator Johnny Isaacson.

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

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