President-elect Joe Biden blasted both the rioters who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and Trump for encouraging them.
“Yesterday, in my view was one of the darkest days in the history of our nation — an unprecedented assault on our democracy,” Biden said.
The president-elect continued, “What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest. It was chaos. They weren’t protestors. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”
Biden then focused on who he thought was to blame for this week’s violence, the outgoing president: “I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming. But that isn’t true. We could see it coming.”
“For the past four years, we’ve had a president who has made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” Biden added, “He has unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of democracy from the outset, and yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack.”
It’s time for a Department of Justice that serves the interests of the people — not a presidency. Tune in as I introduce key nominees to lead the Department. https://t.co/8eIm9NvQS8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 7, 2021
Biden went on to give examples of how Trump has poisoned the political environment and sowed the seeds of distrust in the media and democratic institutions by using “language that autocrats and dictators use all over the world to hold on to power.”
The president-elect also called Trump out for “inciting a mob to attack the capital, to threaten the elected representatives of the people of this nation and even the vice president” with the purpose of denying “the will of the American people.”
Trump tried “to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly one hundred and sixty million Americans who summon the courage in the face of a pandemic that threatens their health and their lives to cast that sacred ballot,” Biden said.
Biden went on to differentiate those who stormed the nation’s Capitol from those who marched for social justice in 2020 by telling of a text message exchange he had with his granddaughter on Wednesday.
“A little over an hour and a half after the chaos started, I got a text from my granddaughter… she sent me a photo of military people in full military gear, scores of them lining the steps of the Lincoln Memorial because of protests by Black Lives Matter. She said, ‘Pop, this isn’t fair,’” Biden said. “No one can tell me that had it been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”
this is a photo of the National Guard stationed in response to a Black Lives Matter protest at the Lincoln Memorial in June pic.twitter.com/BgkKO903OS
— manny (@mannyfidel) January 6, 2021
Biden made the remarks at an event in Wilmington, Del., where he introduced his nominee to head the Justice Department, Merrick Garland, a federal judge who Republicans denied a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016 by blocking his nomination.
“More than anything, we need to restore the honor, the integrity, the independence, of the Department of Justice in this nation that’s been so badly damaged,” Biden said.
Finally, Biden articulated how things will be different under his administration as compared to the last by saying that if confirmed, Garland’s “loyalty is not to me.” Instead, he said Garland’s loyalty will be “to the law, the constitution. The people of this nation. To guarantee justice.”