The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol marked an irreversible turning point in U.S. democracy for many Americans. The attack, predicated on overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election, led to five deaths, hundreds of arrests and the creation of the bipartisan House select committee dedicated to investigating the causes behind it.
The events of that day led later that month to the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump over his role in inciting the violence. He was acquitted by the Senate in February.
In the aftermath of the Capitol riot, relationships between Republican and Democratic senators and members of Congress — many of whom took shelter from the rioters on Capitol Hill — became strained. Some have called into question the trustworthiness of those still supportive of Trump.
Lawmakers will commemorate the day with narratives, reflections and a prayer vigil.
Biden to pin ‘singular responsibility’ on Trump for Jan. 6 attack in Capitol speech
President Joe Biden will pin “singular responsibility” for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack on former President Donald Trump during remarks on Thursday marking a year since the insurrection.
The White House said Biden will use his speech to “forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former president” about the 2020 election.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will both speak Thursday morning at the Capitol, kicking off a full day of events to commemorate the attack. Excerpts released ahead of it point to a speech focused on a turning point in U.S. democracy.
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies?
“We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.
“The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will “speak to the truth of what happened” on Jan. 6 and talk about the work the U.S. must do to “secure and strengthen our democracy.”
“I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw,” Psaki said, “and he will forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former president and attempts to mislead the American people and his own supporters as well as distract from his role in what happened.”
Psaki said Biden will also touch on voting rights legislation, which Democratic leaders are hoping to pass by Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
– Joey Garrison
Who has been prosecuted?
Federal prosecutors have charged over 700 people in more than 45 states for participating in the insurrection.
Among those charged are Frank Scavo, a former Republican candidate for Pennsylvania state Senate; Tam Dinh Pham, an ex-Houston police officer; and “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli.
Database of Capitol riot arrests:Search this database of hundreds of people who were charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Notable images from January 6
The events of the day were witnessed live by millions through livestreams and captured in shocking images. Flip through the most iconic photos here. Below, some notable ones.
ABOVE: Trump supporters force themselves through a police barrier in front of the Capitol. The rioters breached police lines on the west side of the building at 2:11 p.m.
ABOVE: Police release teargas against rioters surrounding the Capitol on Jan. 6. Those who made it past police lines scaled the walls. Some were photographed breaking building windows around 2:30 p.m.
ABOVE: Rioters who breached the House chamber faced a standoff with armed law enforcement. Shots were reportedly fired in the chamber at 2:44 p.m. Lawmakers were supplied with escape hoods, respiratory hoods and a mask to protect against fires and chemical accidents before evacuating the room, according to witnesses.
Rioters are confronted outside the Senate chamber after breaching the Capitol. Trump supporter Jacob Chansley arrived wearing horns and carrying a U.S. flag. Chansley was arrested days later and sentenced in November to 41 months in federal prison for obstructing a civil proceeding.
Police munitions used to fend off rioters light up the west side of the Capitol. The mob of Trump supporters fought their way into the building, overcoming barriers erected by law enforcement and breaking windows to get in.