(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden plans a blistering critique of Donald Trump as he marks the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol with a speech that will warn of the dangers of misinformation and subverting democracy. The president on Thursday morning will also call on lawmakers to pass voting rights legislation intended to rebut changes sought by Trump loyalists in state governments across the nation that would limit access to absentee voting and strengthen identification requirements.
Division reigns over Jan. 6 anniversary
On Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob of rally attendees, fresh from hearing President Trump speak near the White House, marched to the Capitol, forced their way past barricades and a line of police officers and stormed the building, interrupting the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.
It’s a series of facts and details that have since been disputed, politicized and muddied, leaving the nation bitterly divided on partisan lines and complicating the work of the select committee exploring the day’s events and what preceded it.
While one day after the attack, many Americans were united in revulsion to the ugly scenes that played out on their television screens, a year later people hold deeply different views on the gravity of the day, who is responsible for what happened and even the value of analyzing the attack.
The result is a very different kind of anniversary from those the nation has previously marked to reflect on the darkest days of its history.
“Everybody’s initial reaction, whether it was Donald Trump Jr. or Laura Ingraham, or Sean Hannity, aligned with AOC’s and Bernie Sanders’s: This was a terrible thing and the president needed to do something about calling off the dogs,” said Tim Roemer, a former Democratic lawmaker from Indiana who served on the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, which was established to provide a complete account of the deadliest terrorist attack on America.
On the eve of the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol, former President Carter urged Americans to come together amid increased political division in the country “before it is too late.”
“Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss,” Carter wrote in a guest essay published by The New York Times. “Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.”