Jan. 6 anniversary
President Biden will travel to the Capitol on Thursday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol siege aimed at denying him the presidency. The day's events will begin with Biden and Democratic lawmakers gathering at Statuary Hall, one of several areas where supporters of former President Donald Trump swarmed last Jan. 6 to stop Congress from certifying Biden's victory.
"A series of remembrance events during the day will be widely attended by Democrats, in person and virtually, but almost every Republican on Capitol Hill will be absent," The Associated Press reports. Many Republicans will be in Atlanta on Thursday for the funeral of former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), while others will simply avoid the Capitol and the commemoration of an event few GOP lawmakers are eager to talk about.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will preside over a minute of silence in the House chamber, a moderated discussion with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham, and first-hand accounts of the insurrection from House members there that day. Pelosi told AP on Wednesday that she will focus on the fact "democracy won that night."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested Biden will single out Trump for blame. "I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw," she said Wednesday. "He will forcibly push back on the lies spread by the former president — in an attempt to mislead the American people, and his own supporters, as well as distract from his role in what happened."
In a new AP-NORC poll, 57 percent of Americans said Trump bears significant responsibility for the Jan. 6 siege, up from 50 percent in the days after the attack. The same poll found that while about two-thirds of Americans described the Jan. 6 siege as very or extremely violent, Republicans are less convinced — 3 in 10 said it wasn't violent and another 3 in 10 said it was only somewhat violent.
Trump scheduled a Jan. 6 news conference, then canceled it due to concerns about bad — or insufficient — press coverage. Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said it's "unsurprising" Biden would spend Jan. 6 "trying to further divide our nation" and distract from his own political problems.