Biden slams Trump for watching Jan. 6 riot on TV as police faced ‘medieval hell’

President Biden made rare comments Monday on testimony presented by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising, sharply criticizing former President Donald Trump for his reported inaction as the attack on the Capitol unfolded.

In a prime-time hearing on Thursday, the committee showed Trump resisted multiple requests from senior aides to call the mob attacking the Capitol on his behalf, even as members of the vice’s security detail -President Mike Pence feared for their lives. Trump largely spent his time during the attack watching television, committee members said.

Biden referenced that Monday in virtual remarks at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference, first recounting how law enforcement officers on Jan. 6 were “assaulted before our eyes — pierced, pulverized, trampled, brutalized” as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol to prevent certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory. The siege killed five people and injured some 140 law enforcement personnel.

Trump deleted lines of speech calling for prosecution of January 6 rioters

“And for three hours the defeated former President of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office,” Biden said. “While he was doing this, brave law enforcement officers were subjected to medieval hell for three hours – dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage, face to face with a crazed crowd who believed the president’s lies. defeated.”

“The police were heroes that day,” Biden continued. “Donald Trump didn’t have the guts to act. The brave women and men in blue across the country should never forget that. You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-cop. You can’t be pro-cop. pro-insurgency and pro-democracy You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-America.

Senior reporter Rhonda Colvin breaks down the main takeaways from the January 6 hearings so far. (Video: Casey Silvestri/The Washington Post)

Biden has often spoken forcefully against the Jan. 6 attack, calling it “one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history,” but he has rarely weighed in directly on the committee’s work. Asked about the committee’s first televised hearing in June, Biden said he did not watch it, but stressed the importance of the bipartisan panel’s work.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters last week that Biden, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, watched part of the committee hearing that evening.

Thursday’s hearing capped off six weeks of televised testimony, but members of the Jan. 6 committee stressed that their work will continue through the summer and there will be additional hearings in the fall.

On Sunday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), vice chair of the committee, said investigators had several interviews scheduled in the coming weeks, including with other former members of Trump’s cabinet and his campaign. Lawmakers remain focused on gathering information from the Secret Service, which the committee recently subpoenaed following reports that the agency deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, after the office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security requested them.

Cheney also said the committee could subpoena Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for her attempts to pressure the Trump White House to overturn the results of the trial. 2020 presidential election.

New testimony released by the January 6 Select Committee on July 25 shows that President Donald Trump changed parts of his speech on January 7, 2021. (Video: The Washington Post)

On Monday morning, the committee released new evidence showing that Trump had apparently deleted lines from prepared text of a Jan. 7, 2021, speech calling for the rioters to be prosecuted.

“It took more than 24 hours for President Trump to once again address the nation after his Jan. 6 Rose Garden video in which he lovingly told his supporters to return home in peace. There was more he didn’t want to say,” Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) tweeted Monday, along with a video that included previously unpublished testimony from several people close to Trump.

In part of the video, Jan. 6 committee investigators showed Ivanka Trump — Trump’s eldest daughter and former senior presidential adviser — a draft document titled “Remarks on National Healing.”

On the document were handwritten edits that Ivanka Trump identified as her father’s. He had apparently deleted any mention of the Justice Department prosecuting the rioters. These lines were crossed out with prepared remarks: “I call on the Department of Justice to ensure that all offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We must send a clear message – not with pity but with JUSTICE. The legal consequences must be swift and firm.

Also crossed out this message to those who had committed the violence: “I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. At the start of the document, Trump apparently also crossed out that he was “sickened” by the violence.

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