Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday called for “accountability” for the events of January 6, 2021, marking a notable departure from the White House’s policy of silence on former President Donald Trump’s legal issues.
“Let the evidence, the facts, take it where it may,” Harris told the Associated Press in an interview in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she is attending the US-ASEAN summit.
She continued, “I spent the majority of my career as a prosecutor. I believe that people should be held accountable under the law. And when they break the law, there should be accountability. And I support it when it happens.”
Pressed on whether that would extend to Trump, who was indicted twice last month and is facing charges pertaining to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Harris said, “Well, everyone has their right to their day in court, but absolutely, people should be held accountable, but under our system of law, right? Let the evidence and facts take it where it may.”
Her comments come following relative silence from the White House on the matter since Trump was indicted on criminal charges related to the 2020 election by two grand juries, his third and fourth indictments since leaving office. The White House has taken pains to minimize any impression that it is interfering with the federal investigations.
As part of special counsel Jack Smith’s federal investigation into the events of January 6, Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.
Trump was subsequently charged for a fourth time by an Atlanta-based grand jury on charges stemming from his and 18 others’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
For Biden, Trump’s third and fourth indictments are undoubtedly the most personal. What began as an attempt to deny Biden the presidency is now headed to federal and state courts, and the accountability Biden once said was “necessary” for the insurrection is moving ahead.
The White House has declined to comment on the indictments, referring questions to the Department of Justice.
Biden has previously been outspoken on the topic of January 6, once saying that Trump and his allies held “a dagger at the throat of America” through lies and violence following Trump’s election loss. A week before Smith’s indictment, Biden told donors in Maine, “If you just take what he said, on the record … some would say it’s just flat seditious.”
But since the indictments were handed down, Biden has largely refrained from speaking out.
Asked his reaction to Trump’s mugshot, Biden quipped to reporters, “Handsome guy, wonderful guy,” declining to comment further.