Biden says Jan. 6 a ‘clear, flagrant violation of the Constitution’
President Biden on Thursday called the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 a “clear, flagrant violation of the Constitution” hours before the House committee investigating the assault holds its first public hearing.
Biden, speaking at the beginning of a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, acknowledged that many Americans would be watching the proceedings Thursday night, and learning new details about the attack.
“I think these guys and women broke the law, tried to turn around a result of an election,” Biden told reporters.
“There’s a lot of questions — who’s responsible, who’s involved – I’m not going to make a judgment on that, but I just want you to know that … a lot of Americans are going to see for the first time some of the detail that occurred,” he continued.
The remarks were Biden’s first public comments on the hearings. The White House has offered support for the committee’s work but sought some distance from it, seeking to avoid the appearance of influencing the investigation.
Biden, who is in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas, is expected to keep up with news out of the hearing, but it’s unclear if he will watch the proceeding live.
“Clearly, he’ll be very busy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday. “He will be very focused on his trip.”
The hearing is slated to begin at 8 p.m. Thursday evening. It’s the first of a handful of public hearings the committee plans to hold in the coming weeks that will examine the events leading up to the deadly storming of the Capitol by a crowd of Trump supporters last January.
The committee is expected to rely on recorded testimony from Trump administration officials and members of the former president’s family in order to connect Trump to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and the effort that unsuccessfully sought to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral win.
Biden condemned the Jan. 6 attack as an attempted coup in an address on its one-year anniversary earlier this year and rebuked Trump for spreading a “web of lies” about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
Biden waived executive privilege on tranches of Trump-era White House documents so that they could be turned over to the committee despite objections from the former president.
“There is no executive privilege to overthrow the government of the United States,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain said during an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.