Biden Holds Trump Responsible in Jan. 6 Speech


Mr. Biden offered his most extended rebuttal of the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, noting that multiple recounts, court battles and inquiries had turned up no meaningful fraud. He pointed out that Republicans had not challenged Republican victories for Congress and governorships based on the same balloting they claim was illegitimate in the presidential race.

Mr. Biden also touched on voting rights legislation stalled in the Senate, although he has a separate speech on the subject scheduled for next week. Vice President Kamala D. Harris, who spoke before Mr. Biden, said, “We must pass voting rights bills that are now before the Senate.”

Republicans accused the White House and Democrats of politicizing the attack to promote legislation meant to benefit their own party, and rejected Mr. Biden’s indictment of Mr. Trump. “What brazen politicization of Jan. 6 by President Biden,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Graham himself broke with Mr. Trump on that day a year ago, saying, “All I can say is count me out, enough is enough.” But it did not take long for him, like most Republicans, to fall in line behind the former president again.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr. Graham decried the violence on Jan. 6 but not Mr. Trump. “President Biden and Vice President Harris’s speeches today,” he wrote, “were an effort to resurrect a failed presidency more than marking the anniversary of a dark day in American history.”

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House Republican whip, said Mr. Biden and Democrats have a “mass obsession” with Mr. Trump and were distracting from their own failures. “They just want to continue talking about Donald Trump and anything else other than the problems they created,” he said on Fox News.

Still, even as Republicans went after Mr. Biden and Democrats, no senior party leaders offered any real defense of Mr. Trump. The former president was left to be defended only by some of his most faithful fringe allies, like Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is under federal investigation for sex trafficking, and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a onetime QAnon follower who asserted that a California wildfire was started by a space laser controlled by a Jewish banking family.



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