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Biden plans to deliver major Jan. 6 speech when House probe ends

The goal would be to emphasize what he says is at stake should former President Trump or his allies return to power in Washington, sources told NBC News.
Image: Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on June 24. Andrew Harnik / AP

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is likely to deliver a speech on the Jan. 6 committee's findings once the House panel wraps up its investigation, according to a senior administration official and a Democrat familiar with the planning.

The goal of the speech would be to emphasize what Biden believes is at stake should former President Donald Trump or his allies return to power in Washington, the sources said. The exact timing of the speech would be influenced by the committee's progress in concluding its investigation, but could come before November’s midterm elections.

Discussions in the White House about a presidential speech focused on Jan. 6 come as the administration hopes voters who are angry about record inflation and high gas prices might be persuaded by the argument that Trump and his allies are a threat to the democratic underpinnings of the country. The planning also comes as the president looks to sharpen his message against Republicans ahead of the midterms, with an eye toward 2024 as well.

Biden's speech would draw on revelations from the committee’s investigation to make a vivid case against voting for Republican candidates in November, the sources said.

Over the course of the panel's probe, Biden has said relatively little about Jan. 6 and the broader effort to overturn his 2020 election victory. Trump, meanwhile, continues to falsely claim it was a fraudulent election and that he was the true winner.

Biden's comments on the insurrection have mostly been limited to the anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, when he said the Jan. 6 committee was doing important work, and after the panel's first public hearing earlier this month.

“We have to protect our democracy,” Biden said at the time, calling the deadly riot “one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history.”

He also echoed a key theme of his 2020 campaign, saying “the soul of America has been far from won.”

When announcing his candidacy for 2020, Biden characterized defeating Trump as a “battle for the soul of this nation.”

Framing his Jan. 6 speech around the notion that the fight he began two years ago is not yet over is something Biden allies see as a potential test-run for a key campaign message in 2024.