President Joe Biden said Monday that former President Donald Trump “lacked the courage to act” on Jan. 6, 2021 as Trump’s supporters overran the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the Electoral College votes.
“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,” Mr. Biden said. “While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers are subjected to the medieval hell for three hours.”
Mr. Biden, who is recovering from COVID-19, made the comments in a virtual address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives on Monday. His remarks came on the heels of the last public hearing of the summer by the House select committee investigating the attack.
The bombshell public hearings have revealed new information about Trump’s actions leading up January 6 and on that day as rioters stormed the Capitol. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican on the committee, said at Thursday’s hearing that “the mob was accomplishing President Trump’s purpose, and he did not intervene.”
“You saw what happened,” Mr. Biden said Monday. “The Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police, other law enforcement agencies, were attacked and assaulted before our very eyes — speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized. And lives were lost.”
Mr. Biden credited the police for their role in ending the riot, and implied that Trump supporters cannot claim to be pro-police but support the Capitol rioters.
“You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-cop,” Mr. Biden said. “You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.”
Monday’s remarks were some of Mr. Biden’s most forceful comments yet about his predecessor and January 6. Mr. Biden has waived executive privilege for members of Trump’s inner circle, but he has mainly allowed the House committee’s work to speak for itself.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said Sunday on CNN that the committee has not yet decided if it will make a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Trump. While the House committee has been investigating the attack, only the Justice Department can charge a person with a crime.
Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
Create your free account or log in
for more features.