Biden calls the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol an 'insurrection' and 'domestic terrorism'

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Grace Panetta
·3 min read
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Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden on January 7. Susan Walsh/AP
  • President-elect Joe Biden forcefully decried Wednesday's violence on Capitol Hill as an "unprecedented assault" on democracy, an "insurrection," and an "act of domestic terrorism" in a speech Thursday.

  • "Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob — insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It's that basic. It's that simple," Biden said.

  • He also said police tear-gassed and were much more forceful with Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer.

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President-elect Joe Biden forcefully decried Wednesday's violence on Capitol Hill as an "unprecedented assault" on democracy, an "insurrection," and an "act of domestic terrorism" in a Thursday speech from Wilmington, Delaware.

"Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob - insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It's that basic. It's that simple," Biden said of the rioters who descended on Washington to attempt to block Congress from counting the certificates of Electoral College votes from the states to affirm Biden's win.

In his speech, Biden also addressed the differences in how much force police officers have used on protesters demonstrating for racial justice and civil rights versus the more restrained and less aggressive approach they took to the insurrectionists who caused massive property damage to Capitol Hill.    

"No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday, they wouldn't have been treated very differently. We all know that's true. And it is unacceptable, totally unacceptable" Biden said. 

The Capitol Police and other law enforcement were woefully unprepared for the insurrection. They failed to prevent the rioters from breaching the Capitol, and both chambers of Congress were forced to go into recess. The mob caused significant property damage. Top law-enforcement officials on Capitol Hill are already facing consequences for the remarkable breach in security. 

In the aftermath of Wednesday's events, the House sergeant-at-arms is planning to resign, according to The Daily Beast. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on the chief of the Capitol Police to step down, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would fire the Senate sergeant-at-arms when he takes over as majority leader.

At the event, Biden was joined by his nominees for top posts at the Department of Justice, and he reaffirmed his commitment to protecting America's institutions and the impartiality of the DOJ. He also applauded the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and rejecting the nearly 60 lawsuits intended to undermine the election that Trump's campaign and his allies brought in multiple states.

"Want to understand the importance of democratic institutions in this country? Take a look at the judiciary in this nation ... at every level, the judiciary rose to the moment during this election, did its job, acted with complete fairness and impartiality with complete honor and integrity," Biden said. 

Biden will nominate the District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general, former Obama administration Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general, and the civil-rights attorneys Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke as the associate attorney general and the leader of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, respectively. 

Read the original article on Business Insider