Trump egged on his supporters before the Capitol attack, both online and at a rally in Washington on Wednesday.
President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which he blamed on "thugs, insurrectionists, white supremacists, [and] anti-Semites," who he said had the "active encouragement" of Donald Trump.
"They're a bunch of thugs, insurrectionists, white supremacists, anti-Semites," Biden told reporters. "These are a bunch of thugs. Thugs. And they're terrorists, domestic terrorists."
Biden said that it would be up to officials in the Department of Justice to independently determine what crimes the attackers should be charged with.
Biden said the difference between Wednesday's attack and other events was Trump's role.
"The difference here is: This had the active encouragement of a sitting president of the United States," he explained.
Before the attack, Trump tweeted, "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"
Five people have died as a result of the siege of the building.
From a Jan. 8 press conference:
REPORTER: What kind of an investigation needs to take place, and what steps need to take place to improve the security of the Capitol? And then secondly, how do you think the people who are involved in the storming of the Capitol, how should they be treated by your Justice Department? Should they be treated as domestic terrorists?
JOE BIDEN: Yes, they should be treated as – they're a bunch of thugs, insurrectionists, white supremacists, anti-Semites – "Six N is not enough" – I mean, come on, these shirts they're wearing? These are a bunch of thugs. Thugs. And they're terrorists, domestic terrorists.
And that'll be a judgement for the Justice Department to make as to what the charges should be. But the fact is, they should be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted.
The difference here is: This had the active encouragement of a sitting president of the United States.
And the way in which the breakdown in security occurred, needs to be thoroughly investigated.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.