Jan. 6 anniversary speech: Biden to call out Trump's 'responsibility'

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President Biden, in his speech marking one year since the deadly Capitol riot, is expected to call out former President Trump as holding the “singular responsibility” for the “chaos and carnage” on Jan. 6, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

The president is set to make remarks Thursday, one year after the attack on the Capitol building. 

“Just as you heard him say on Jan. 6 of last year, I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol, and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw,” Psaki told reporters on Wednesday in previewing the president’s remarks. 

“He will forcibly push back on the lies spread by the former president – in an attempt to mislead the American people, and his own supporters, as well as distract from his role in what happened – so, he will, of course, speak to the moment, to the importance in history of the peaceful transfer of power, and of what we need to do to protect our own democracy and be forward-looking,” she continued. 

President Biden speaks during a virtual meeting on Jan. 3, 2022 in Washington. 
( Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Psaki doubled down, though, in that Biden will “reflect on the role his predecessor had.” 

“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 and his allies,” Psaki said. “He sees Jan. 6 as a tragic culmination of what those four years under President Trump did to our country.” 

Days after the riot, the House of Representatives introduced an Article of Impeachment against Trump saying he “engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” 

The article alleged that before Jan. 6, the joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election results, Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials.” 

President Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as president, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The article claimed that before the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, the president addressed a crowd and reiterated “false claims,” claiming that his remarks “encouraged–and forseeably resulted in–lawless action at the Capitol.” 

The House of Representatives voted on Jan. 13, 2021, to impeach Trump. The Senate, in February 2021, voted in favor of his acquittal.

Trump was the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, and the first president out of office to go through an impeachment proceeding. 

Meanwhile, Psaki, on Wednesday, previewed that Biden will also “speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril opposed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance.” 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Biden is also expected to speak to “the work we still need to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions to reject the hated and lies we saw on Jan. 6, and to unit our country,” Psaki said. 

Psaki added that the president has been “clear-eyed about the threat the former president represents to our democracy, and how the former president constantly works to undermine basic American values and the rule of law.” 

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to visit the U.S. Capitol Thursday for the anniversary of the attack, where they both are set to deliver remarks.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly riot, which saw thousands of Trump supporters breach the entrance and flood into the building while Congress was certifying the 2020 presidential election results in favor of Biden.

Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer while attempting to force her way into the House chamber. Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old Capitol Police officer was pepper-sprayed during the chaos and died the next day after suffering from two strokes. Three others died of natural causes.

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