The House Select Committee is still investigating the attack on the Capitol a year after it took place. Donald Trump, on the other hand, still enjoys a strong position within his party.
What happened on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C., is considered to be the most serious attack on American democracy in centuries. Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, where Congress was meeting to certify the results of the presidential election, which Joe Biden won. There were threats directed at Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
At least seven people died and dozens were injured, while hundreds of Capitol employees were traumatized. This week, three more police officers have filed a lawsuit against the former president, demanding compensation for the physical and mental damage they suffered while defending the Capitol.
So far, Trump has not suffered any consequences, even though a huge number of people in the U.S. assert that Trump’s campaign to reverse the results of the 2020 election inspired the violence that spread across Washington.
In a speech delivered on the anniversary of the attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol, Biden blamed his predecessor for undermining democracy and creating a “web of lies” about the 2020 election.
An investigation by the nine-member U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has been in full swing for several months. It has interviewed more than 300 witnesses and dug through 35,000 documents. The committee is investigating, among other things, the role Trump and his entourage played in the event, and whether the former president together with some members of Congress were planning to take action aimed at changing the election result. The committee is also reviewing Trump’s campaign to pressure local and state authorities, as well as the Department of Justice, to help him remain in power. The committee is also taking a closer look at national extremist groups that took part in the attack, such as QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the Stop the Steal movement.
The final report is expected to be published before the November midterm elections. In the coming months, however, the committee members are scheduled to open public hearings and present their findings. “Unfortunately, some key witnesses do not want to share what they know with the American people,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, commenting on the lawsuits filed by Trump and his aides to prevent the commission from obtaining evidence.*
The Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation, and Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the department “remains committed to holding all Jan. 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law, whether they were present that day or otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on American democracy. We will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Garland is also facing increasing pressure to disclose the details of the investigation, while his department has increased its focus on the role and actions of the former president and his aides.
Democrats angrily recall last year’s events, while a majority of Republicans are trying to downplay the storm on the Capitol as well as the role Trump played in it, and the former president still spreads his theory that the election was stolen. Trump continues to occupy a strong position within the Republican Party. He is the one who “anoints” the candidates to political posts, he draws the largest donations during campaign rallies and he holds the best ratings in public opinion polls about the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Those who faithfully stand by Trump stand a chance of furthering their political careers, unlike those who disagree with his claim of a stolen election. Ten members of Congress who condemned the former president after the Capitol riot and voted to impeach him learned this lesson firsthand. Reps. Anthony Gonzales and Adam Kinzinger have announced they will retire, saying they have been unable to withstand hostility from their fellow party members. Rep. Liz Cheney has been stripped of her congressional leadership post and was expelled by the party members in Wyoming. And there are others who plan to run against candidates supported by Trump in the next election.
*Editor’s Note: Although accurately translated, this quoted remark could not be independently verified.