January 6 riot casts a long shadow as Donald Trump returns to Washington

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports on the topics likely to be mentioned in Donald Trump's speech on Republican policy in his first return to the capital since leaving office last year

Donald Trump hasn’t visited Washington since he left the White House in January 2021, however he’s been the talk of this place ever since.

Today he will add his own voice to that fray as he returns to the “swamp” he was so keen to drain.

Not so long ago he had a home here and a hotel. Both are gone now but the Trump presence remains and even those who claim he is of the past, not the future, will have an ear on what he says.

There is a growing feeling the issue is when, not if, he will declare himself ready run in the next election in 2024. This speech is likely part of the rally cry.

He’s chosen a friendly audience for his return. The America First Agenda Summit is staged by a think tank of like-minds initially set up when Trump was running for the 2020 election.

A video of Trump recording a statement on 7 Jan is played as the House select committee investigating the 6 Jan attack holds a hearing. Credit: AP

Staffed by ex-administration officials and allies it was created to plan a path for his second term with the hope of avoiding some of the chaos of the first.

Despite his defeat it has continued to focus on Trump-style policy and multi-million dollar fundraising.

But friendly as his audience will be, the welcome in Washington will not be warm.

Since he was last here the corridors of power have echoed to allegations he tried to subvert the very constitution upon which this country is built. January 6th casts a long shadow.

As Trump arrives in DC, those who believe in him as the future of the Republican party will be hoping for a triumphant return.

Those who fear what his future might mean for this country are well aware he returns today as the former president, but could yet return as the next one.

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