Biden expected to push for election bill on anniversary of Capitol riots


President Biden is expected to denounce former President Donald Trump as a threat to democracy and reiterate his calls for the passage of a federal elections bill on Thursday at an event marking the anniversary of the riot of the Capitol.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will address a gathering of lawmakers around 9 a.m. in the Capitol Statues Hall, located between the building’s central rotunda and the House Chamber.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden “is going to tell the truth about what happened, not the lies some have since spread, and the danger it posed to him. rule of law and our system of democratic governance “.

“He will also talk about the work that we still have to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions in order to reject the hatred and lies that we saw on January 6 and to unite our country,” Psaki added.

Republicans blocked passage of the electoral bill in the equally divided Senate, where most bills require 60 votes. Centrist Democrats have refused to lower the simple majority threshold, effectively killing the bill that seeks to override state laws that restrict postal voting and establish other electoral rules that Democrats say will reduce participation.

In his speech on Jan.6, 2022, Biden is expected to criticize former President Donald Trump for his inaction during the Capitol riot last year.
AP Photo / Evan Vucci, File
Former President Trump Trump told thousands of supporters near the White House the election was "Fly" and urged them to walk to Capitol Hill to support the objections before the riot.
Former President Trump Trump told thousands of supporters near the White House that the election was “stolen” and urged them to walk to Capitol Hill to support the objections before the riot.
Jon Cherry / Getty Images

“I would expect President Biden to expose the significance of what happened on Capitol Hill and President Trump’s singular responsibility for the chaos and carnage we have seen,” Psaki added. “And he will forcibly push back the lie propagated by the former president in an attempt to mislead the American people and their own supporters.”

Ahead of the riot, Trump told thousands of supporters near the White House that the election was “stolen” and urged them to walk to Capitol Hill to support objections filed by Senators Ted Cruz (R -Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Against certification of voters from major pivotal states.

Crowds then stormed the Capitol – sending lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee to safety. Trump had urged Pence, who presided over formalities, to reject voters himself, but Pence refused to do so.

An explosion caused by police ammunition is seen as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
An explosion caused by police ammunition is seen as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
REUTERS

Trump had planned to hold a press conference Thursday afternoon at his resort town of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., But he disconnected on Tuesday in a statement denigrating the media and a House select committee headed by Democrats researching his presidential records regarding the riot. Trump is suing to assert executive privilege over documents held by the National Archives.

“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the unselected Committee of Democrats on January 6, two failed Republicans and bogus news media, I am canceling the January 6 press conference in Mar-a-Lago Thursday, ”Trump said.

Trump was banned by Twitter and suspended from Facebook after the riot. He said last year to a meeting with the Washington Post that he didn’t think his supporters would storm the building.

“They were introduced by the police,” Trump told Post reporters Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig. “I mean, in all fairness – the Capitol Police were bringing people in. The Capitol police were very friendly. You know, they were kissing and kissing.

Although the police were sometimes friendly with the intruders, the rioters also fought for hours with the officers at various entrances to the building. A battle between cops and rioters broke out in the Capitol rotunda and in other parts of the building.

Trump supporter Ashli ​​Babbitt, 36, was shot dead by a police officer as she tried to climb through a smashed window into the Speaker’s lobby. Three other Trump supporters died of medical emergencies in the riot and Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, himself a Trump supporter, died of a stroke a day after riot. Four cops and at least one accused rioter later died by suicide.

Trump said in another interview last year with the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker that he wanted to walk on Capitol Hill with the crowd.

“I said I was going to fall with the crowd. Corn [the Secret Service] wouldn’t let me go. I think if I had been there I would have stopped people from doing anything wrong ”, Trump said.

But Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the riot and parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Said : “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the crowd when he saw what was going on.

Security forces draw their guns as rioters loyal to President Donald Trump try to break into the House of Representatives chamber to disrupt the Electoral College process.
Security forces draw their guns as rioters loyal to President Donald Trump try to break into the House of Representatives chamber to disrupt the Electoral College process.
AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, dossier
Biden is also expected to repeat his calls for a federal elections bill during the speech.
Biden is also expected to repeat his calls for a federal elections bill during the speech.
AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Republicans have pushed back Democrats investigating Trump and his allies, which the former president said amounts to a “witch hunt,” and are even more united against Biden’s proposed election law, calling it a federal overrun.

“The Democrat-partisan ‘electoral reform’ bill is not about voting rights,” McConnell said in May. “This is about letting the Democrats in Washington control the terms of political debate and the electoral laws of the 50 states.”

“It is more than unpleasant for some of our colleagues to brutally invoke the anniversary of January 6 to advance these objectives,” insisted the Republican of Kentucky on Wednesday. “The Democrats in Washington have been trying to take control of the election for years. The first bill was presented in January 2019. ”

Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday more than 725 people had been arrested and charged with felony charges for participating in the riot and the House voted last month to despise former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for refusing to testify before the committee of inquiry into the events.

Meadows delivered nearly 9,000 pages of emails and text messages before cutting contact. Those documents included desperate pleas from reporters, politicians and even Donald Trump Jr. asking Meadows to ask Trump to help calm the crowd.

Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon was indicted in November by a federal grand jury with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the committee – in the first such prosecution since 1983. Bannon was not a White House employee at the time of the riot.

Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters, one waving a Confederate battle flag which reads "Come and take it" during clashes with the Capitol police on January 6, 2021.
Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters, one of whom holds up a Confederate battle flag reading “Come and take it”, during clashes with Capitol Hill police on January 6, 2021.
REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton / File Photo

The riot caught lawmakers, police and journalists by surprise and it took hours for order to be restored. Biden’s victory was certified by wide margins when the ballot counting process resumed and Trump relinquished power two weeks later – though he teased a potential rematch in 2024.

House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, impeached Trump last January for allegedly inciting a riot. Trump was acquitted by the Senate by 57 to 43 votes, with seven Republicans convicting him – below the constitutionally required two-thirds threshold.