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Biden to Address Significance of January 6 Capitol Riots

Capitol Riots
Where does America stand one year after the insurrection at the Capitol? Credit: Tyler Merbler, CC BY 2.0

President Joe Biden will address the historical significance of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, also known as the Capitol Riot, on Thursday. The Capitol Riot occurred last year when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. following his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told the press on Tuesday that “The president will speak to the historical significance of January 6 and what it means for the country one year later.”

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will both make remarks on Thursday morning at the nation’s Capitol. Their speeches will be held exactly a year after angry rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the Electoral College from counting votes.

“On Thursday the president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it has posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance,” Psaki explained.

“He will also speak to the work we still need to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions, to reject the hatred and lies we saw on January 6, and to unite our country.”

Former President Trump had plans to hold a press conference of his own on the riot’s anniversary, but has since canceled it in favor of a later rally in Arizona:

“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republican, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, and instead will discuss many of those important topics at my rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona — It will be a big crowd!” Trump said in a statement.

Rioter sentenced for assaulting police officer on January 6

Scott Fairlamb was sentenced to over 3 years in prison in November for assaulting a police officer during the storming of the Capitol that took place on January 6. Fairlamb was the first person involved with the riots to be sentenced for violence.

Fairlamb is a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter who struck a police officer in the midst of the riots that broke out in the wake of the 2020 Presidential Elections. Fairlamb pleaded guilty after spending the last ten months in jail after the events and was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Wednesday.

“It’s such a serious affront to society and to the law, to have the Capitol overrun and the function of government stopped,” said Judge Royce Lamberth, who presided over the Fairlamb case. Lamberth said that the violence “struck in the heart of our democracy.”

This ruling is a crucial one, as it is expected to establish a precedent for how the January 6 rioters will be sentenced in regards to the instances of violence that took place at the Capitol during that day. The majority of cases related to the riots that have already been adjudicated have involved defendants who were nonviolent.

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