Saturday’s rally came not long after the anniversary of the riot by a pro-Trump mob seeking to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
Republicans seem eager to move past that violence, but others are less willing to do so. Trump abruptly ended a recent interview with National Public Radio when faced with questions about the riot.
The select committee continues to ratchet up its effort to understand the activities of Trump and his allies in the days before, during and after the riot. It has sought to question House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who quickly rebuffed the panel.
“Jan. 6 has become the Democrat Party’s excuse to justify an unprecedented assault on American civil rights and liberties,” Trump said. He decried the treatment of those arrested in connection with the insurrection, calling it an “appalling persecution of political prisoners.”
He called their continued confinement “brutal lockdowns.”
Trump called the police officer who killed Ashli Babbitt, the California woman who was climbing through a barricaded door outside House offices, “a dope.”
Trump blamed the media for not exploring the baseless trope about the widespread use of confidential informants for the FBI who goaded the crowd to attack the Capitol.
He pivoted back to the 2020 election, which he falsely said was “rigged and stolen.”
Trump called for in-person, same-day voting that makes sparing use of absentee voting. It would upend Arizona’s predominantly mail-based system that has been in use for more than two decades.