LOS ANGELES — President Biden on Friday said the Jan. 6 hearings that premiered in Congress late Thursday are important because the public needs to understand that the threat from pro-Trump forces remains real.
“It’s important the American people understand what truly happened, and to understand that the same forces that led Jan. 6 to remain at work today,” the president said at the port of Los Angeles.
Mr. Biden said the hearings show that democracy was at stake during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I have to admit to you — I never thought it was going to be this straightforward of a challenge,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s about our democracy itself. That’s what those hearings are about.”
The first Jan. 6 hearing featured unflattering testimony from people in former President Donald Trump’s orbit about the ex-president’s role in whipping up supporters, who believed his unproven claims about voter fraud in 2020 and stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The testimony did not say that Mr. Trump believed supporters would storm the building. But Democrats are painting a picture of his central role in inciting the assault.
Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican and member of the Jan. 6 committee, also chastised fellow Republicans for staying loyal to Mr. Trump amid testimony from Capitol Police about the violence on that day.
“The insurrection on January 6 [was] one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s important that the American people understand what truly happened.”
— Jeff Mordock reported from Los Angeles.