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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks Thursday marking one year since the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
Speaking from the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, Biden is expected to give a somber speech emphasizing the dangers posed to the nation’s two-century-old democracy.
“Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a 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 lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies?” Biden is expected to say during his speech.
“We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it,” Biden will say.
When asked if Biden plans to name former President Donald Trump during the speech, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that details of the address were still being finalized.
“President Biden has, of course, spoken repeatedly about how the former president abused his office, undermined the Constitution, and ignored his oath to the American people in an effort to amass more power for himself,” Psaki said.
Vice President Kamala Harris will make a brief address before introducing Biden.
“On January 6th, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful: The lawlessness, the violence, the chaos,” she will say, according to advance excerpts released by the White House.
“The fragility of democracy is this, that if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand. It will falter and fail.”
A year ago, Trump encouraged thousands of his supporters at a rally outside the White House to march to the Capitol to protest the confirmation of Biden as the next president.
Trump had repeatedly vowed never to concede to Biden, backed dozens of failed lawsuits and flooded his Twitter account with baseless claims of voter fraud. Twitter permanently suspended his account after the riot.
Vice President Mike Pence, who had been presiding over the count of Electoral College votes, was rushed out of the Senate as Trump supporters poured into the Capitol complex.
Hours after protesters besieged the Capitol, Trump told supporters in a tweeted video from the White House “you have to go home now.” He did not condemn the violence and continued to falsely claim he won the election.
A day later, Trump acknowledged for the first time President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and said in a three-minute video that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th.”
Multiple people involved in the riot died on Jan 6, including Ashli Babbitt who was shot as she tried to climb through a barricade. Five police officers who defended the Capitol have died since Jan 6, including four from suicide.
Trump was later impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He was acquitted in the Senate. Trump is the only president to be impeached twice.
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