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Biden decries Trump’s ‘singular duty’ for the Capitol riot

Biden decries Trump’s ‘singular duty’ for the Capitol riot

Biden’s remarks set the tone for a day of solemn reflection within the Home, the place lawmakers lined up in a Home workplace constructing to recall their very own experiences fleeing the pro-Trump mob. The household of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of a stroke the day after the assault, was among the many attendees.

The occasion was a remembrance of the risk to the peaceable switch of energy and a tribute to the legislation enforcement officers who prevented it — but additionally, pointedly, a reminder of Republicans now in search of to distance themselves from it. Solely Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the choose committee investigating the assault, walked the halls all through the day, accompanied by her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In his remarks, Biden defended the integrity of the 2020 election and immediately refuted the long-running effort by Trump and his allies to sow doubt concerning the vote. The president additionally countered Republicans who’ve urged Democrats to maneuver previous the revolt and concentrate on the long run.

“This isn’t about being slowed down previously,” Biden mentioned. “That is about ensuring the previous isn’t buried. That’s what nice nations do. They do not bury the reality.”

Calling out Trump and his GOP allies marks a notable tonal shift for Biden. Since taking workplace, he is largely avoiding immediately confronting a foe he might face once more in 2024. However Biden hewed to one in every of his post-election conventions on Thursday: He didn’t use Trump’s identify whereas criticizing the previous president.

“I didn’t need it to show into a up to date political battle between me and the [former] president,” Biden defined to reporters after the speech.

Trump responded with a meandering assertion that blasted Biden for having “used my identify at present to attempt to additional divide America” and went after the president’s strategy to inflation, Afghanistan and immigration.

However one of many former president’s fiercest foes took a notably completely different tack. After attending a second of silence within the Home, the Cheneys provided sharp phrases for his or her get together.

“It’s not a management that resembles any of the parents I knew after I was right here for 10 years,” the previous vp informed reporters, when requested about how Republican leaders had been dealing with the Capitol assault.

The 2, who had been the one Republicans on the ground for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks on the ground, had been later greeted with handshakes by almost each Democrat within the chamber. Even the senior Cheney appeared to obtain a heat welcome from Democrats — a scene few senior Democrats would have predicted 15 years in the past, when their get together claimed the Home majority after years bludgeoning him because the face of then-President George W. Bush’s overseas coverage.

Other than Cheney, the one GOP presence on the Capitol on Thursday was Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who assembled a press convention to push unsupported conspiracy theories about the reason for the assault.

The Home was not in session, however almost 30 Democrats trekked to Washington to the occasions marking one 12 months for the reason that assault. Most had been members who had been trapped within the Home gallery as rioters broke into the constructing on Jan. 6, 2021. Lawmakers gave their very own emotional testimonials Thursday afternoon, addressing a small group of lawmakers, workers and different attendees, together with the dad and mom of Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died a day after the assault.

The string of occasions on Thursday, deliberate by Pelosi, had been supposed to concentrate on those that endured the assault within the Capitol, reasonably than these liable for the violence. Along with the second of silence and member testimonials, Democrats additionally held a night prayer vigil on the Capitol steps, the place members huddled in near-freezing temperatures for a closing reflection of the day.

Pelosi, reflecting on what Jan. 6 means for the state of democracy, mentioned Thursday that the Capitol assault was a reminder to all the time be vigilant — and that democracy is a piece in progress.

“[Democracy] isn’t dying,” Pelosi mentioned in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night time within the Capitol. “But it surely wants consideration.”

Earlier, Pelosi additionally held a personal occasion the place she personally thanked constructing workers for his or her function in defending the Capitol and their members. Afterwards, workers, together with Capitol Law enforcement officials, had been handled to a lunch donated by movie star chef and philanthropist José Andrés. The meal was served by a number of Democrats who had been within the chamber in the course of the riot.

Senate Democrats additionally spent a part of Thursday commemorating the Jan. 6 assault, holding a sequence of speeches and a second of silence, although a vote was not scheduled and plenty of members had been in Atlanta for the funeral of former Sen. Johnny Isakson.

In his ground speech, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer recalled the second when a police officer grabbed his collar and knowledgeable him he was in peril: “I used to be inside 30 ft of those nasty, racist, bigoted insurrectionists.”

“I used to be informed later one in every of them reportedly mentioned, ‘There’s the massive Jew, let’s get him,’” Schumer mentioned.

However whereas the emotional aftershocks within the Capitol remained a key focus, Biden and plenty of Democrats additionally sought to reveal the stark distinction between their get together and the GOP, most of whose members stay deeply loyal to Trump. GOP leaders have urged their colleagues to spend the day targeted on the safety flaws on the Capitol reasonably than have interaction in any direct validation of the traumatic results of the riot.

A smaller variety of Home Republicans, notably among the 10 who joined Democrats to question Trump for inciting the riot final 12 months, continued to sentence the previous president.

“Any affordable particular person might have seen the potential for violence that day. But, our President did nothing to guard our nation and cease the violence. The actions of the President on January sixth had been nothing in need of reprehensible,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), one of many 10 who voted to question Trump, mentioned in an announcement.

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, who mentioned the mob was “provoked by” Trump within the fast aftermath of the riot, launched a Thursday assertion that didn’t point out Trump by identify. McConnell known as the Capitol assault a “disgraceful scene” and “antithetical to the rule of legislation,” although he additionally blasted Democrats’ try to make use of the anniversary to advance election reforms as exploitative.

Vice President Kamala Harris alluded to that messaging in her remarks Thursday, calling on the Senate to advance voting rights laws.

“Right here, on this very constructing, a call can be made about whether or not we uphold the best to vote and guarantee free and truthful election,” Harris mentioned. “We can not sit on the sidelines.”

Marianne LeVine and Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.

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