Transcript of President Biden’s Speech on the Supreme Court Immunity Case that Perfectly Captured this Historic Moment, in a Way No President has in My Lifetime

Rarely, if ever, in my lifetime has a Presidential speech captured a moment in history so accurately that will echo through the centuries:

Good evening. The presidency is the most powerful office in the world. It’s an office to not only test your judgment, perhaps even more importantly, it’s an office that can test your character, because you’ll not only face moments where you need the courage to exercise the full power of the presidency, you’ll also face moments where you need the wisdom to respect the limits of the power of the office of the presidency.

This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each — each of us is equal before the law. No one — no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States. With today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed. For all — for all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a President can do. This is a fundamentally new principle, and it’s a dangerous precedent because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States.

The only limits will be self-imposed by the President alone. This decision today has continued the court’s attack in recent years on a wide range of long-established legal principles in our nation, from gutting voting rates and civil rights to taking away a woman’s right to choose, to today’s decision that undermines the rule of law of this nation.

Nearly four years ago, my predecessor sent a violent mob to the US Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power. We all saw it with our own eyes, we sat there and watched it happen that day. Attack on the police, the ransacking of the Capitol, a mob literally hunting down the House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Gallows erected to hang the Vice President, Mike Pence. I think it’s fair to say it’s one of the darkest days in the history of America. Now, the man who sent that man to the US Capitol is facing potential criminal conviction for what happened that day. And the American people deserve to have an answer in the courts before the upcoming election.

The public has a right to know the answer about what happened on January 6th before they’re asked to vote again this year. Now, because of today’s decision, that is highly, highly unlikely, and it’s a terrible disservice to the people of this nation. So now, now the American people have to do what the courts should have been willing to do but would not, the American people have to render a judgment about Donald Trump’s behavior.

The American people must decide whether Donald Trump’s assault on our democracy on January 6th makes him unfit for public office in the highest office in the land. The American people must decide if Trump’s abrasive violence to preserve his power is acceptable. Perhaps most importantly, the American people must decide if they want to entrust the president once again, the presidency to Donald Trump, now knowing he’ll be even more emboldened to do whatever he pleases whenever he wants to do it. You know, at the outset of our nation, it was the character of George Washington, our first President to define the presidency.

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