President Biden speaks on January 6 in the National Statuary Hall. Photo: The White House

By Ramona du Houx

January 6, 2022

One year ago, violent extremists attempted a coup against American Democracy, trying to falsify the results of the 2020 presidential election that President Joe Biden won with the most votes in U.S. history.

“At this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be,” said President Biden. “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? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.”

Currently, Congress is holding hearings and gathering evidence for the historic record of the insurrection.

“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” said President Biden.

The President gave his remarks standing in the same National Statuary Hall where a mob of Trump supporters invaded a year ago today.

After encouraging the mob Trump sat watching in his White House dining room, “doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives were at risk, the nation’s Capitol under siege,” said the President.

Without using Trump’s appendage, President Biden accused his predecessor of trying to rewrite history. “He has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Mr. Biden said. “He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest . . . He can’t accept he lost.”

The President talking about Trump supporters who still are in denial of the 2020 presidential election that Mr. Biden won.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke before the President:

“What the extremists who roamed these halls targeted was not only the lives of elected leaders. What they sought to degrade and destroy was not only a building, hallowed as it is. What they were assaulting were the institutions, the values, the ideals that generations of Americans have marched, picketed, and shed blood to establish and defend.

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. What was at stake then, and now, is the right to have our future decided the way the Constitution prescribes it: by we, the people — all the people,” she said.

The speeches kicked off a day of commemorations that will underscore the dangers to our democracy a fraction of the Republican party represents.

Trump’s refusal to accept defeat at the ballot box motivated backers to invade the Capitol, disrupt the counting of the Electoral College votes and send lawmakers running for their lives.

Mr. Biden and other Democratic leaders will make other addresses, and hold discussions today. There will be a candlelight vigil tonight to honor the people who lost their lives during the insurrection and to remember. Capitol police died because of the mob’s actions.

Trump originally planned a news conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to rail against the Congressional investigation into the attack but canceled.

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