The planned memorial events surrounding the anniversary of the January 6 attack at the Capitol look set to be a mainly Democrat affair, with many leading GOP figures not even present in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
The Republican Party is appearing to try to avoid the anniversary altogether, with neither the House nor Senate leaders planning to commemorate the day in public.
While the House is not in session that day, Nancy Pelosi confirmed there will be a “full program of events” to mark one year since Donald Trump supporters attempted to prevent the 2020 Election results from being certified.
The events include representatives sharing their “reflections of the day” in the Cannon Caucus Room and a prayer vigil held at the center steps of the Capitol Building at 5:30 p.m.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris look set to also commemorate the events of January 6 in some way.
Many GOP figures, such as Mitt Romney, will not be in D.C on Thursday and instead will be heading to Georgia to attend the funeral of late senator Johnny Isakson, who died on December 19 aged 76, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Politico Playbook newsletter states that a number of GOP lawmakers are “relieved they have an excuse to be out of town” on January 6 to attend Isakson’s funeral, rather than face any scrutiny or questions regarding Trump’s role in the attack.
According to CNN, citing unnamed sources, House Republican leaders held a conference call Tuesday to coordinate the message they should be putting out on the anniversary of January 6.
Rather than even mention the man who became the first president in history to be impeached twice for allegedly inciting the riot, the GOP will instead focus on denouncing the violence and blame the lack of preparation and security that day on leading Democrat figures.
Republican Senators are also reported to be relieved that Trump decided against holding a press conference on January 6 in which he was expected to still push the so-called “big lie” that he lost the last election due to widespread voter fraud.
Trump said he canceled the press conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over what he called “total bias and dishonesty” from the House Select committee investigating the January 6 attack and the “Fake News Media.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia, said she didn’t think it was a “good idea” for Trump to use the anniversary of the Capitol attack to once again air his grievances about the election which took place 14 months ago.
“I guess it depends on what he’s going to say. But early assumptions are that it’s going to be an aggressive statement. I just don’t think it’s a good idea,” she told Politico.
Two Republicans who are going to acknowledge January 6 in their own way are Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The pair are set to appear on Steve Bannon’s WarRoom podcast, which the Trump ally and promoter of election conspiracy theories said will counteract the memorial events planned by Democrats and the White House.
Both Greene and Gaetz have been campaigning for those who were arrested in connection to the Capitol attack, describing them as “political prisoners” who are being treated unfairly in prison.
While announcing the special show, Bannon—who was charged with criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with the committee investigating the January attack—hit out at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for not addressing January 6 while previewing the special.
“If [Kevin] McCarthy won’t program, Greene and Gaetz will,” Bannon said.
Greene and Gaetz are also set to appear on conservative YouTube channel Right Side Broadcasting Network in order to discuss what they believe actually occurred on January 6 on Thursday.