The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

On Jan. 6 anniversary, Biden calls out Trump for ‘web of lies’ about 2020 election

On Jan. 6, President Biden said that “we are in a battle for the soul of America” in a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the violent Capitol mob. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

President Biden on Thursday decried the violent mob of Trump supporters who breached the Capitol a year ago, saying that “democracy was attacked” and urging Americans to ensure such an attack “never, never happens again.” Biden took direct aim at former president Donald Trump, who he said could not accept his loss and created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.”

In a searing speech — and his most direct challenge to Trump — Biden vowed to defend American democracy and said Jan. 6 represents not its end but rather a rebirth of “liberty and fair play.”

“I did not seek this fight brought to this Capitol one year ago today, but I will not shrink from it, either. I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation and allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy,” Biden said.

Here’s what to know:

  • Federal judges in D.C. have gone below the government recommendation in 49 out of 74 sentencings held for Capitol riot defendants one year after the attack, about two-thirds of the cases.
  • Trump had planned to hold a news conference to mark the first anniversary of the Capitol attack but announced this week that he was canceling it.
  • Senior Biden administration officials have concluded that the government’s Jan. 6 preparations were hampered by a lack of high-level information-sharing and a failure to anticipate how bad the day could be.

Enduring images from Jan. 6 | What the Jan. 6 committee has done | The Attack: Before, During and After

The Jan. 6 insurrection

Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. In what was likely its final hearing, the committee issued a surprise subpoena seeking testimony from former president Donald Trump. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.

Will there be charges? The committee could make criminal referrals of former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview.

What we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6: New details emerged when Hutchinson testified before the committee and shared what she saw and heard on Jan. 6.

The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.

Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6.