President Biden, on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol Building riot held former President Trump responsible for the events that day. The president delivered a speech from inside the complex's Statuary Hall.
"For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, but tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power," Biden said during his roughly 25-minute address.
Biden accused Trump of sitting in the White House dining room "doing nothing for hours" as the "nation's capital under siege" and the mob "hunt[ed] down members of Congress."
Biden's speech, which commemorated rioters vandalizing statues of the country's greatest leaders, some causing significant damage in addition to battling with law enforcement officers, was preceded by a short address from Vice President Kamala Harris in which she compared the events of 1/6 to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
The speeches began a day of anniversary-related events on Capitol Hill that will be led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democratic leaders.
The president then pivoted to discussing the results of the 2020 election, saying that "the former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election," due to which a significant number of Americans believe the results of the 2020 election cannot be trusted. Biden said there is no evidence, anywhere, to suggest that the results of the election were altered, flawed, or in any way untrustworthy.
"We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie," said Biden, calling Trump an individual who "values power of principle."
"He's not just a former president, he's a defeated former president," said Biden, adding that Trump has refused to accept the results of the election and subsequently, "the will of the people."
The president also thanked the Capitol police for their efforts to defend the Capitol on that day.
"I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of American democracy," he said.
Many in the camp of the former president believe there has been minimal transparency from the current government apparatus in Washington, which is uniformly controlled by Democrats. The complaints revolve around the often seemingly partisan activity of the House panel that is currently investigating January 6, and a continued failure of the authorities to release information about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's communications on the day in question.
Additionally, there remain a number of outstanding questions pertaining to the Capitol police's apparent failure to be adequately prepared on 1/6 for the sorts of security threats they would face.