U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in Statuary Hall on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot warned that the threats to democracy witnessed during that invasion did not end when the violence stopped.
Biden in a fiery speech on Thursday condemned the “web of lies” spread by former President Donald Trump, blaming him directly for fomenting the attackers who were attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
“You can’t love your country only when you win. You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies,” Biden said in an address from the Capitol.
“The lies that drove the anger and madness we saw in this place, they have not abated,” Biden said. “So we have to be firm, resolute and unyielding in our defense of the right to vote and have that vote counted.”
Biden’s speech in National Statuary Hall kicked off a day-long program of events organized by Democrats on the anniversary of the riot, when hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and forced members of Congress to flee their chambers. The mob, spurred by Trump’s lies that widespread fraud cost him the election, temporarily halted the transfer of power to Biden.
The invasion sparked an unprecedented criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and a sweeping probe by a bipartisan House select committee. The riot, as well as a rising trend of what experts see as election-subversion efforts, have also pushed Democrats to pursue new legislation to strengthen voting rights.
Although Biden did not mention Trump by name, the former president quickly accused Biden of having “used my name” to distract from his own political challenges. Trump also repeated his false claim that he won the 2020 presidential election, which he lost by more than 6 million voters.
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