By Trevor Hunnicutt and Jarrett Renshaw
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden will on Thursday mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 assault at the U.S. Capitol by honoring the bravery of law enforcement on the scene, and outlining the unfinished work the nation needs to do to strengthen its democracy, the White House said.
"On Thursday, the president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it has posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday afternoon, in the first preview of the president's remarks.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, both Democrats, will speak on Thursday morning at the U.S. Capitol, one year after a mob loyal to former President Donald Trump raided the complex in a failed attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College votes that officially delivered Biden's election victory.
Later Tuesday, Trump canceled a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that had been scheduled for the evening of Jan. 6, saying he would address many of the same topics at a rally Jan. 15 instead.
Trump, some fellow Republicans and right-wing media personalities have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the Jan. 6 attack, calling it a non-violent protest or blaming left-wing activists.
Four people died on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the day after defending Congress. Dozens of police were injured during the multi-hour onslaught by Trump supporters, and four officers have since taken their own lives.
Biden will put an extra spotlight on the role of Capitol Police and others on the scene on Jan. 6, Psaki said.
"Because of their efforts, our democracy withstood an attack from a mob, and the will of more than 150 million people who voted in the presidential election was ultimately registered by Congress," Psaki said.
Psaki was asked what the president's message will be to the many Republicans who believe Biden stole the election from Trump, despite overwhelming contrary evidence.
"What he's going to continue to do is speak to everyone in the country. Those who didn't vote for him, those who may not believe he is the legitimate president, about what he wants to do to make their lives better," Psaki said.
The White House is struggling to get voting rights legislation through the U.S. Senate that would counter new laws in Republican-led states Democrats say would limit left-leaning voters. Two sources told Reuters that Biden and Harris don't plan to use the Jan. 6 event to push for voting rights legislation.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jarrett Renshaw; additonal reporting by Nandita Bose and Merdie Nzanga; Editing by Heather Timmons and Rosalba O'Brien)
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