Anniversary of the Capitol Attack

The one year anniversary of the January 6th attack on the Capitol has passed and the trials for the rioters are still going.


Photo by Kaylin Bocker on Unsplash

The Capitol building, which is located in Washington, D.C., is the most recognized symbol of democracy in the world. This houses the United States Congress, also where the January 6th Trump riot took place.

January 6th, 2021, is the day that Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, a global symbol of democracy, breaking in and wreaking havoc.

On January 6th, 2021, hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

With Inauguration Day having taken place on the 20th of January, swearing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into office,  this incident was only 14 days before. The attack was fueled by Donald Trump and his supporters’ claims that there was prevalent voter fraud resulting in his defeat. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in protest, because of this belief.

Though this incident is a year old, big questions still remain on the background of the attack.

There have been thousands of tipster reports, interviews with witnesses, public social media posts, and private messages regarding this collected by federal agents in many states, according to The New York Times. There have been around 700 arrests with an estimated 2,500 more to come, including charges of federal crimes and assaults. Around 225 people have been accused of assaulting police on that day.

Though the cases primarily focus on the individuals directly involved with the attack, there is a potential case against Donald Trump and his allies who were involved in the origin of the attack. Around 60 percent of Americans polled said Trump’s level of responsibility for the attack on the Capitol was “a great deal” or “a good amount,” according to a poll by Washington Post-University of Maryland on January 1st. However, 72 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Donald Trump supporters said that he is not responsible at all, or only has “just some” responsibility in the attack.

The trials for the rioters are scheduled to begin next month, with the first trial set for February 24th. The first trial will be for Robert Gieswein, who is a self-proclaimed militiaman charged with assaulting officers with chemical spray. The court officials are prepared to be met with an argument that he was acting in self-defense, which is a strategy many other defendants have used, according to The New York Times article. The second trial, planned to begin on February 28th, will be for Guy Reffitt, a former oil industry employee who is said to be a member of the Texas Three Percenters radical gun rights movement. He brought an AR-15 rifle and a semiautomatic handgun to the Capitol.

The sentences have differed slightly, depending on the judge overseeing each case.  Trevor McFadden, who was appointed by Trump, has frequently declined to jail petty offenders, while Tanya Chutkan, who was appointed by Obama, has often given more substantial sentences. Judge Amit Mehta has gone on record saying that those who had started the election fraud theories were not “paying the consequences.” “Those who orchestrated January 6th have in no meaningful sense been held accountable. In a sense, Mr. Lolo, I think you are a pawn,” Judge Mehta told John Lolos a defendant professing full belief in election fraud conspiracies.