President Joe Biden on Friday commemorated the second anniversary of the storming the United States Capitol with a recognition ceremony for those who fought to defend American democracy against attackers who he said were “fed by lies” about the 2020 presidential election.
“It was all fueled by lies about the 2020 election, but on this day two years ago, our democracy stood because we the people did not waver,” Biden said.
Biden awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to 14 people, some of them posthumously, and delivered remarks during a White House ceremony as Republicans, many of them loyal to former President Donald Trump, for the fourth day in a rowfailed to elect a Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The White House on Friday added two names to the list of deceased after the events, who took their lives after January 6. They are Capitol Hill Police Officer Howard Liebengood and Washington Police Officer Jeffrey Smith.
Honorees also included former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who resisted the pressure to overturn the 2020 election results in their states; Capitol Hill Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who diverted protesters through the halls of Congress as lawmakers evacuated; and Georgia poll worker Ruby Freeman, who was falsely accused by Trump of voter fraud.
Freeman was forced to flee her home last year after death threats from angry Trump supporters. Earlier this Wednesday, Trump singled out Freeman again by her name for her nearly 5 million followers on his social media platform.
The White House called the honorees “heroes” who demonstrated courage and selflessness during a time of peril for America.
The trump supporters attacked police, broke through barricades and entered the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a failed effort to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s 2020 election victory. Trump, who has announced another candidacy to the presidency in 2024, continues to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the days after the attack on the Capitol, received a posthumous medal. Washington’s chief medical examiner ruled the officer died of natural causes following multiple strokes after the storming the capitol.
Shortly before the riot, Trump in his final days as president made a speech near the White House urging his supporters to march on the Capitol. Five people were killed in the ensuing riot and more than 140 police officers were injured. A US House panel investigating the attack said last month that Trump should face criminal charges for their role in provoking the violence.
[Con reporte de AP y de Reuters]
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