President Joe Biden has repeatedly said the January 6 attack on the Capitol was an attack on America's democracy, threatening the liberties of people across the political spectrum.
But when Biden marks three years of the insurrection this Saturday, it will not be as the sitting president, who blamed the "former president" for his role in the incident a year after the attack. It would be as a presidential candidate would clearly be indicted — and potentially nominated — with Donald Trump as a central figure.
Julie Chavez Rodriguez, campaign manager for the Biden-Kamala Harris campaign, told reporters, "On January 6, 2021, we saw a very different vision of America — one defined by retribution, retribution and condemnation of our democracy." Conference call Tuesday.
"This Saturday will mark the three-year anniversary of when – at the encouragement of Donald Trump – a violent mob ransacked our nation's capital. It was the first time in our nation's history that a president has stopped a peaceful transfer of power. Tried to. Not even during the Civil War did insurrectionists breach our Capitol. But at the urging of Donald Trump, on January 6, 2021, insurrectionists did."
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building
The president will deliver an address Saturday afternoon near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania — the site of a key battle in the American Revolutionary War — and will speak candidly about "what the 2024 election is going to be," Rodriguez said.
In the first year since the insurrection, Biden celebrated the event at the Capitol, "this sacred place," he said, where the country's way of living and governing was threatened.
"The will of the people was attacked. The Constitution – our Constitution – faced serious threats," Then Biden said,
He spoke repeatedly that day about the role of the "former president" but never mentioned Trump by name. Biden rarely uttered the word “Trump” at public events early in his presidency, a snub to a man whose eponymous brand is at the center of his businesses.
As the campaign has heated up — and the prospect of a Biden-Trump matchup has grown — Biden has mentioned the Trump name more often. And it has not been in a positive way.
At private fundraisers in recent months, Biden has been more direct in his criticism of Trump and his role in the January 6 attacks. The announcement from Biden's Saturday speech brought that line of attack to a new level, with the campaign decrying the insurrectionists for acting "at the insistence of Donald Trump."
A strong majority of Americans (55%) believe that January 6 is "an attack on democracy that should never be forgotten," according to one Referendum released this week According to the Washington Post and the University of Maryland, 43% believe "too much is being made of the storming of the United States Capitol" and it is time to "move on."
But there are stark partisan differences in the poll, with 18% of Republicans, 77% of Democrats and 54% of independents saying those who entered the Capitol that day were "mostly violent."
Overall a majority of Americans (51%) said Trump "endangered democracy" by his actions that day. A large majority (58%) said those who entered the Capitol that day endangered democracy.
The question has become not only political, but also legal, as the Supreme Court of Colorado and the Secretary of State in Maine have determined that Trump, after participating in the insurrection attempt, should not be included on the presidential primary ballots in those states. Are not eligible.
The Colorado Republican Party has appealed the state's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Trump has appealed Maine's decision to a state court there. Trump is expected to appeal the Colorado case to the Supreme Court this week.