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Biden warns forces behind US Capitol riot ‘remain at work today’

US president calls January 6 insurrection ‘one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history,’ urges Americans to ‘protect our democracy’

US President Joe Biden walks to his place during a family photo with heads of delegations at the Summit of the Americas, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden walks to his place during a family photo with heads of delegations at the Summit of the Americas, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

LOS ANGELES — US President Joe Biden warned Friday that the “forces” behind the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol last year remain a threat to democracy.

“It’s important the American people understand what truly happened, and to understand that the same forces that led to January 6 remain at work today,” he said during an address in Los Angeles, where he was hosting the Summit of the Americas.

The president’s remarks came in the wake of an explosive congressional hearing Thursday that blamed former US president Donald Trump for an “attempted coup” that sparked the violence at the Capitol.

“The insurrection on January 6 is one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history. A brutal assault on our democracy, a brutal attack on law enforcement, some losing their lives,” he said.

Biden urged Americans to “protect our democracy,” arguing that the battle for the country’s soul was “far from won.”

The House select committee looking into the insurrection is holding a month of hearings to lay out its initial findings from a year-long probe in the riot, which was linked to five deaths.

Lawmakers provided videotaped testimony from Trump aides and family members that they said revealed a deep-rooted and ongoing plot orchestrated by the former US president to overturn the result of the 2020 election won by Biden.

Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump stand outside the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

“We can unite and defend this nation, Democrat and Republican, allow no one to place… a dagger at the throat of our democracy,” Biden said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was also in Los Angeles for the summit, said that she was heartened by the “tremendous” response to the hearing.

“The purpose of the committee is to seek the truth and to do so in a way that makes sure that never again would anybody think that it’s ok to have a coup,” she said.

She tied the effort to support for Ukraine as it battles a Russian invasion.

“We’re talking about winning for democracy,” she said.

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