UPDATED, 7 PM PT: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a prayer vigil of the steps of the Capitol to mark the anniversary of the January 6th attack.
“We prayerfully walk one year since the insurrection, and we patriotically honor the heroes who defended the Capitol and our democracy that day,” Pelosi said.
UPDATED, 10:20 AM PT: Dick Cheney joined his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on the floor of the House to take part in a moment of silence to mark the first anniversary of attack on the Capitol.
The former vice president criticized Republican leadership for the way that they have handled the aftermath to January 6th.
“It’s not a leadership that resembles any of the folks I knew when I was here for 10 years,” Cheney told NBC News’ Frank Thorp V and other reporters afterward.
His daughter was stripped of her Republican leadership post after she voted to impeach Donald Trump after the attack and remained publicly critical of him. Liz Cheney is now the vice chair of the January 6th Committee investigating what led to the insurrection.
Asked if he was “disappointed with the way that” his daughter was treated, Cheney said, “My daughter can take care of herself.”
They were the only two Republicans on the floor during the moment of silence. “It is a reflection of where are party is,” Liz Cheney told reporters.
Dick Cheney told ABC News’ Jon Karl that he was “deeply disappointed we don’t have better leadership in the Republican party to restore the Constitution.”
UPDATED, 6:53 AM PT: Joe Biden, in perhaps the most forceful speech of his presidency so far, called out Donald Trump for spreading a “web of lies” about the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection while warning that the future of American democracy is at stake.
The speech differed from others in the way that Biden directly confronted Trump and his ego, not mentioning him by name but referring to him as “not just a former president” but “a defeated former president.”
“You cannot be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies,” Biden said in his speech from National Statuary Hall. “Those who stormed this Capitol, and those who instigated and incited, and those who called on them to do so, held a dagger at the throat of American democracy.”
Biden also attacked those who criticized the testimony of Capitol and Metropolitan police officers who testified at the first hearing of the January 6th Committee, sharing their stories of the peril they faced as they tried to push back against the mob that day.
“How dare anyone diminish, belittle or deny the hell they were put through,” Biden said. The president did not mention names, but after the law enforcement officials’ testimony in July, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham mocked the officers.
Biden also talked of the gallows that were set up on Capitol grounds to “hang” Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the electoral vote count.
“This wasn’t a group of tourists,” Biden said, referring to one lawmaker’s attempt to downplay the attack. “This was an armed insurrection.”
At the time, Biden noted, Trump was sitting in the private dining room off the Oval Office and watching the riot on TV and “doing nothing.”
Trump, he said, spread the lies about the election “for profit and power,” and also because “he can’t accept that he lost.”
He also said that Trump’s supporters are “trying to rewrite history” about what happened on that day, while continuing to press forward on claims of 2020 election fraud even though “there is simply zero proof the election results were inaccurate.”
“The lies that drove the anger and the madness in this place, they have not abated,” Biden said.
His speech was preceded by remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris, who said that the events of January 6th were comparable to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. She called for the passage of voting rights legislation to counter what has happened since January 6th: Republican led efforts to impose new voting restrictions in a number of states.
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be,” Biden plans to say. “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. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it.”
Biden’s remarks are an acknowledgement that the misinformation that drove Donald Trump’s supporters to storm the Capitol a year ago is just as pervasive today, spread on the internet, social media and among right wing TV figures. That extends even to the events of January 6th, what with Fox Nation carrying Tucker Carlson’s documentary in November that advanced the theory that the attacks were a “false flag” operation coordinated by the FBI.
All of the networks plan coverage throughout the day, a mix of analysis and recollections from correspondents and anchors, as well as a focus on what remains unanswered and of the continued polarization in the country. That was evident by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s remarks on Wednesday, when he vowed to continue its investigation . But he also warned of a pervasiveness of violent threats against more than politicians but election officials, journalists and even flight attendants.
While there is plenty of coverage today on how the events of January 6th changed lives, families and sectors of society, the basic thrust of so much of politics remains a kind of us vs. them, driven by talking head figures who are the lynchpins of viability for so many different cable and online outlets.
More to come.
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