President Joe Biden will make a public statement on the anniversary of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, the White House said. This comes after former President Donald Trump said he would hold a public event on that day.
“I think it’s safe to say that the American people will hear from him on that day,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a news briefing on Wednesday, when asked if Biden would speak.
Psaki said last week that Biden wanted to commemorate “one of the darkest days in our democracy,” but could give no details at that point as to what specifically he might do.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on Monday she was planning a “solemn observance” of the anniversary, featuring a panel of historians, a “prayerful vigil,” and an opportunity for members of Congress to “share their experiences and reflections from that day,” even though the House is not scheduled to be in session.
On Tuesday, Trump said he would hold a news conference at his residence, the Mar-a-Lago Club, in Florida, to address what he called a protest against the “rigged election.” While the Democrats have called the January 6 events an “insurrection,” Trump said the actual insurrection “took place on November 3,” the 2020 election day.
On January 6, the House of Representatives and the Senate met in a joint session to certify the 2020 election results, according to which Biden won the presidency. Trump alleged irregularities and fraud, giving a speech outside the White House earlier in the day.
After a group of people urged his supporters to storm the Capitol, hundreds of people entered the building and disrupted Congress just as Republicans began objecting to the election results. Four of the protesters died in the ensuing riot – one of them fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer. When Congress reconvened later that evening, Republicans dropped their objections to the election results amid Democrat accusations of “insurrection.”
None of the participants in the riot have been charged with insurrection, which is a specific term in the 14th Amendment – adopted after the Civil War – under which those declared rebels against the government can be stripped of citizenship and voting rights.