OPINION: One Year Later: A look back on the capitol insurrection of Jan. 6

BY KIERNAN McCARTY

Today marks one year since the insurrection of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. After Donald Trump’s speech, which was later used as a key factor in his second impeachment trial, the United States witnessed an unprecedented response to election results as Trump’s supporters ambushed the US Capitol building. 

It’s safe to say the insurrection was an obvious example of increasing nationwide political polarization in the US, but what is the American government’s response to the outrage that was built on such false pretenses?

Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial unfolded as Democrats and Republicans alike condemned the events that led up to the insurrection and what happened during the attack. Republican Senator, Mitt Romney, was quoted after the events of the day unfolded:

“Now we gather due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters who had been deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States,” Romney said on the Senate floor. “Those who continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. The best way we can show respect to the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth.”

The Capitol insurrection has been extensively analyzed and reviewed in the following impeachment trial, yet Trump was ultimately acquitted for inciting the insurrection, falling just 10 votes short of a guilty conviction. More surprisingly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell later voted to acquit Trump of all charges, even after his statements that, “there’s no question, none, that president Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnel said, “the people who stormed this building believe that they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole.”

The events and violence during the insurrection have been extensively documented in video format and security camera footage as well. This makes it possible for the FBI to find and arrest those who were involved in the breaching of the US Capitol. Even one year later, participants in the insurrection are being found and prosecuted. There are over 700 people already charged in 45 different states, more than 75 of which were charged with using a dangerous weapon against police officers. Arrests are still ongoing. 

To find out more about each capitol breach case, follow the link below: 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases

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