WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is awarding high honors Friday to 14 police officers and local officials for their work in stopping Donald Trump’s coup attempt two years ago that sought to nullify the election he lost in 2020. was in his last-gasp effort.

“History will remember your names,” Biden told the honorees and family members representing the deceased recipients. “What you did was really consequential.”

The ceremony in the White House East Room is presenting the Presidential Citizens Medal to current and former officials Michael Fannon, Eugene Goodman and Caroline Edwards, as well as Ruby Freeman and Shay Moss, the mother-daughter team of election workers in Atlanta. Trump repeatedly targeted her in his remarks following the death threats.

Republican Rusty Bowers, the outgoing Arizona House speaker who was pressured by Trump to overturn the election in that state, will be honored, as will Democrat Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, who resisted threats from Trump supporters there. and Al Schmidt, who faced similar attacks as Republican City Commissioner in Philadelphia.

Officers Aquilino Gonell, Harry Dunn and Daniel Hodges, whose heads were crushed in a doorway during the Capitol riot, are also receiving medals.

Brian Siknik, the Capitol Police officer who died of multiple strokes hours after being attacked by a Trump mob, will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. Also being honored posthumously are officers Howard Lebengood and Jeffrey Smith, who both died of suicide days after suffering serious injuries during the Capitol attack.

President Joe Biden held a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the January 6 Uprising. Among those honored was US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman and Officer Daniel Hodges of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.

Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

The unprecedented effort to overturn the election has focused on Biden’s presidency to date. As president-elect, he went before the cameras on the afternoon of January 6, 2021, to demand that Trump instigate the riots. “This is not a protest. This is a rebellion,” he said from his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump, after trying unsuccessfully to personally lead his followers to the Capitol to block the ceremony certifying his election loss, remained at the White House, watching the violence for three hours and finally a Released the video asking them to leave the building.

Three weeks after taking office, Biden told Americans that Jan. 6 was an attack on democracy itself, and regularly reminded the country that Trump and his supporters were spreading the same lies about a “stolen” election. Which led to the violence in the first place.

“For the first time in our history, a president didn’t just lose an election; They tried to block a peaceful transfer of power after a violent mob breached the Capitol,” he said in his 25-minute speech at the Capitol to mark the one-year anniversary. “And on this day of remembrance, we must ensure that such an attack never, ever happens again.”

Biden continued to hit that theme as the midterms approached last autumn, delivering a speech just five days before the election to warn of the danger posed by “mega Republican” candidates who continue to embrace Trump. .

“American democracy is under attack as the defeated former President of the United States refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election. He refuses to obey the will of the people. He refuses to accept the fact that he lost.

To the surprise of many political observers, concerns about democracy played a significant role in the Democrats’ unexpectedly good performance in the midterms, as many voters – including a significant number of Republicans – turned against candidates endorsed by Trump. was gone and the election of those who continued to preach is a lie.

Despite losing the 2020 election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, Trump became the first president in more than two centuries of US elections to refuse to peacefully hand over power. His incitement to the January 6 attack on the Capitol—a last-ditch effort to stay in office—led to the deaths of five people, including one police officer, as well as the injury of 140 other officers and four police suicides.

Nevertheless, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and has already announced his candidacy for the presidency again in 2024.

In statements on his personal social media platforms, Trump has continued to lie about the election and the work of the House January 6 committee, which he called “fraud” similar to his 2016 campaign’s acceptance of Russian aid and his attempted previous investigation. Where is it? Helping Ukraine make their runs in 2020.

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