A year after rioters took over the U.S. Capitol, spurred on by former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, lawmakers and others continue to worry about the strength of American democracy.
The bloody attack on January 6, 2021, which President Joe Biden described as an “unprecedented assault,” came after the outgoing President Trump gave a speech in which he reiterated his false claims of a false election and landslide victory, insisting, that his followers would “stop stealing.”
He urged those who listened to him to “fight like hell” and march over to the Capitol building to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
A crowd marched to the Capitol, and a mob broke in, leading to several deaths that day and in the days that followed. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes after being sprayed with a chemical irritant. Four officers later died of suicide. Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was shot dead by a Capitol police officer as she tried to crawl into the Speaker’s Lobby. Two others had heart attacks, while one died of an accidental overdose of a prescription drug that can be used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy.
More than 725 arrests have been made in connection with the riot, and 31 people have so far been sentenced to prison terms. The cases continue.
A House committee continues to investigate and is in a U.S. Supreme Court battle with the former president over documents over which he is trying to invoke executive privileges. It is seeking testimony from several Trump staffers.
Meanwhile, former top assistant Steve Bannon has been accused of contempt for Congress.
Here’s a look at what happened in the last year.
Storming of the Capitol
January 6, 2021
A joint session of Congress meets to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, while his supporters outside, following a speech by President Donald Trump, march to the US capital. A mob fights with the Capitol Police, breaks into the building, shouts “Hang Mike Pence” and threatens the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. Pence and lawmakers are rushed to safety. Later in the evening, after the building is secured, Biden’s victory is certified.
Supreme Court for Trump
President Donald Trump will be sued by the House of Representatives for a single article related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol: “incitement to violence against the US government.” A month later, he is acquitted in the Senate by a vote of 57-43, shorter than the 67 votes that would have prevented him from running for office again. Democrats had tried to argue that he deliberately incited the mob to attack the Capitol.
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman receives the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor, for diverting the mob inside the Capitol from the Senate Chamber and leading Utah Senator Mitt Romney away from approaching rioters.
The first confession of guilt comes in connection with the riot. Jon Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers militia from Indiana, pleads guilty to entering the U.S. Capitol illegally. Schaffer, who reported himself after a photo was posted of him inside the Capitol, was wearing a tactical vest and wearing bear spray.
Investigating the rebels
30th of June
The House sets up a select committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol. Two GOP representatives, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, agree to sit on the committee, making other Republicans angry. It expects to publish a preliminary report in the summer of 2022.
Former Presidential Adviser Steve Bannon has been indicted on two charges of contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions or provide documents to the committee on January 6. Trump has asked his former aides not to pass on documents that could be protected under executive privileges. The indictment is the first of its kind. Bannon left his job at the White House in 2017.
Publishing cursing texts
The House committee, which is investigating the riot on Jan. 6, reveals texts from the president’s son and several Fox News hosts begging Mark Meadows, then chief of staff, to convince Trump to stop the violence. Two of the hosts, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are now accusing the committee on January 6 of bias.
Finding Meadows in Contempt
The committee on January 6 refers former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal charge for refusing to answer questions about the attack. Meadows, a former U.S. representative from North Carolina, provided documents to the congressional committee before asserting executive privileges and stopping his cooperation. He reportedly sent an email saying National Guard troops would protect Trump’s supporters on January 6. Ohio Republican Jim Jordan accuses Democrats of destroying the executive privilege.
Seeking information from Trump allies
The House committee is seeking details from the close Donald Trump adviser, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on Communications with the President on January 6th. Committee President Bennie Thompson (D) of Mississippi says in a letter to Jordan that the committee believes that Jordan “had at least one and possibly more communications with President Trump on January 6.” Jordan says on Fox News: “We will review the letter.” The committee also wants information from the Republican rep. Scott Perry from Pennsylvania, who says he will not comply.
Battle for documents
Former President Trump is asking the US Supreme Court to block the National Archives from passing documents from his time in office to the committee on January 6. The committee is seeking documents related to the riot, including records of communications between the White House and the Department of Justice. Trump claimed executive privileges, but President Joe Biden asked the National Archives to release the information. The January 6 committee asks the Supreme Court to reject Trump’s attempt to screen his records.
The Ministry of Justice publishes a figure of more than 725 arrests in connection with the riot. More than 150 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, 70 have had their cases convicted and 31 were sentenced to prison. Robert Palmer of Florida received the most severe punishment, more than five years in prison for assaulting police officers with a fire extinguisher and other weapons. More than 225 are charged with assault or resisting arrest, more than 75 with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers.
Watching Riot on TV
January 2, 2022
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming says the Jan.6 committee has testimony that Ivanka Trump asked her father at least twice to intervene to stop the riot. It also bears witness to Trump watching the attack on television while sitting in the dining room next to the oval office, Cheney told ABC News’ “This Week.”