‘Violence and extremism has no place in America’, says Joe Biden after Trump acquittal

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Hours after the acquittal of Donald Trump, US President Joe Biden said now was the time to “defend the truth and to defeat the lies”.

Rebecca Franks

Hours after Donald Trump was acquitted of inciting rioters to storm the US Capitol which led to the deaths of five people, President Joe Biden proclaimed that “violence and extremism” had no place in America.

In a statement issued after Mr Trump’s second impeachment trial – this time over whether he encouraged “patriots” who stormed the building in a violent insurrection claiming the election result was “rigged” – Mr Biden said now was the time “to defend the truth and to defeat the lies”.

He added that “democracy is fragile” and must always be defended.

One of the ‘patriots’ Jake Angeli who is now incarcerated for being one of the Trump rioters. Picture: Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP
One of the ‘patriots’ Jake Angeli who is now incarcerated for being one of the Trump rioters. Picture: Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

Five people including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died in the violent coup instigated by far-right extremist Trump supporters on January 6 in devastating scenes that shocked the world.

The rioters – described as “patriots” by Mr Trump – called for former vice president Mike Pence hung for refusing to rule the Biden election result was invalid.

During Mr Trump’s trial, prosecutors earlier today relied heavily on video footage showing the violence, and other social media content showing Mr Trump reportedly calling on supporters to march on the building.

But the prosecution fell 10 votes short of conviction.

“Today, 57 Senators – including a record seven Republicans – voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy,” Mr Biden said in his statement.

US President Donald Trump holds up USA Today front page article with a headline ‘Acquitted’ in Washington, D.C. Picture: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
US President Donald Trump holds up USA Today front page article with a headline ‘Acquitted’ in Washington, D.C. Picture: Nicholas Kamm/AFPSource:AFP

“The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.

“Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.”

In his statement, Mr Biden said it had been nearly two weeks since he and his wife Jill Biden had paid their respects to Officer Brian Sicknick who “laid in honor in the Rotunda after losing his life protecting the Capitol from a riotous, violent mob” on January 6, 2021.

“Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day,” Mr Biden said. “I’m thinking about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C. Picture: Roberto Schmidt/AFP
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C. Picture: Roberto Schmidt/AFPSource:AFP

“And I’m thinking of those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy – Democrats and Republicans, election officials and judges, elected representatives and poll workers – before and after the election.

“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile.

“That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant.

“That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

“That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America.”

Riot police push back a crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump after they stormed the Capitol building on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Picture: Roberto Schmidt/AFP
Riot police push back a crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump after they stormed the Capitol building on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Picture: Roberto Schmidt/AFPSource:AFP

Source: news.com.au

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