Live updates: Biden blasts Trump, Dick Cheney pays surprise visit to Jan. 6 ceremony at Capitol

Live updates: Biden blasts Trump, Dick Cheney pays surprise visit to Jan. 6 ceremony at Capitol

President Joe Biden denounced former President Donald Trump as a threat to democracy in a blistering speech marking a year since the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Against the background of Statuary Hall in the Capitol, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the nation on Thursday morning, a day of memorials.

“Our democracy held. We the people endured. We the people prevailed,” Biden said of the day on which Congress certified his win in the 2020 election.

The president said he would not shrink from a fight for the country.

“I will defend this nation and allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech at Capitol:Biden unleashes a year’s worth of anger at Trump in Jan. 6 speech, blasting him as an undemocratic liar

The Jan. 6 insurrection, 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 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.

Congress remembers:‘This is insane.’ Lawmakers relive Jan. 6 horror alongside fresh trauma of effort to rewrite history

Fact checking:Capitol riot misinformation persists: False claims continue to circulate on Facebook

Rep. Jackson Lee: Difference between Jan. 6 and 9/11 was difference of unity

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, was in the Capitol for both the September 1, 2001 attacks, and the attack one year ago on the U.S. Capitol, and says the differences between the two incidents were about unity.

On 9/11, “we were running together. We were running as Republicans, Democrats, Americans. We were fearful together. We were hopeful together,” she said.  

“As we were scurrying [on Jan. 6], the ‘Big Lie’ was looming and you wondered: why were you against what was so good about America, the peaceful transfer of power?” she asked.

— Savannah Behrmann

Former officers and military members express horror of the day

Several lawmakers who served in the military or law enforcement told USA TODAY in recent days how their past experiences impacted their feelings that day.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Az., a former Marine, described jumping back to his military training as the events unfolded in, and around, the House chamber.  

“I was giving instructions trying to calm down people, and then at the same time, I was trying to figure out how to defend myself and other members,” he said. “I was making sure [members] take off their jackets, especially the guys, in case we need to fight. I was telling you know, people look for weapons, and at some point when I realized there were no weapons and basically pens is all we had, I was talking to other members about how we may need to use them as weapons.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., stands on a chair as lawmakers prepare to evacuate as protesters try to break into the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a former Air Force pilot, recalls hearing flash grenades from his House office building from his window. He was so convinced there would be violence on Jan. 6 that he was armed when he came to the Capitol and told his wife and staff to stay home.

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Az., immediately noticed there “weren’t enough officers at all,” and focused on trying to answer questions lawmakers were asking him given his past in law enforcement. 

“While there were some former military on the floor, former police like myself that have been through similar situations. Most of our members had never gone through something like that before in their lives. I hope they never do again.”

Rep. Conor Lamb, D-PA., also served in the Marine Corps and said from his view, Trump “abandoned his post as Commander in Chief and chief during the attack and refused to help end it, it looks like, for a period of about three hours.” 

— Savannah Behrmann

In their own words:Here’s what 27 members of Congress told us about Jan. 6

Rep. Jacobs: ready to use her high heels on rioters

Jan. 6 was the first time several freshman members – sworn in three days before – had even been in the House chamber, including Democrat Sara Jacobs of California, who needed staff to help find the way.

When the riot started, Jacobs found herself hiding on the floor and “introducing myself to my colleagues as we were hiding under the chairs (and) fashioning weapons out of stanchions and pens and my high heels ready to take on the rioters who were banging on the doors behind us.”

Jacobs told her story during a ceremony in the Capitol Thursday as a number of lawmakers shared testimonials about the attack a year ago with an audience that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the mother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was attacked during the siege and died a day later.

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer holds a program during a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

As a former State Department employee who served in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Jacobs focused on conflict prevention and response, countering and preventing violent extremism.

“I’d been in scary situations before. And I’d advised many other countries about what they should do. I just never thought I’d need to use that experience here,” she said. “ I never thought the most dangerous place I could be was the United States Capitol.”

— Ledyard King

‘This is insane’:Lawmakers relive Jan. 6 horror alongside fresh trauma of effort to rewrite history

Surprise guest on Jan. 6: Dick Cheney

A surprise guest popped up at a Jan. 6  memorial event Thursday, and he turned out to be a prominent Republican: Dick Cheney.

“I am deeply disappointed at the failure of many members of my party to recognize the grave nature of the January 6 attacks and the ongoing threat to our nation,” the former Vice President said in a statement after attending a minute of silence ceremony on the House floor.

Cheney, who is also a former congressman, was accompanied by his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney. She is one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection, and is a member of the commission investigating the attack.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney walks with his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., vice chair of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, in the Capitol Rotunda at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

The elder Cheney has been relatively silent about Jan. 6. But his appearance Thursday certainly looked like support for Liz Cheney’s condemnation of Trump’s role in the attack.

“The importance of January 6th as an historic event cannot be overstated,” he said in his statement. “I was honored and proud to join my daughter on the House floor to recognize this anniversary, to commend the heroic actions of law enforcement that day, and to reaffirm our dedication to the Constitution.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of both parties shook hands with Dick Cheney and hailed his return to the House floor.

Dick and Liz Cheney took time to chat with reporters. They were also seen admiring the bust of the former vice president that stands in a hallway at the Capitol.

— David Jackson

White House press secretary Jen Psaki answers questions during the daily White House press briefing January 6, 2022 in Washington, DC.

White House Press Secretary defends Biden speech timing and rhetoric

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s speech when asked by reporters during a regular press briefing about the timing, tone and effectiveness of the speech.

“There is only one President in the history of this country that fomented an insurrection which prompted the seizing of our nation’s Capitol. I think everybody knew who he was referring to,” Psaki said.

She noted that Biden had launched his campaign on the premise that Trump posed “a unique threat” to American democracy and had made similar comments throughout his campaign and presidency.

When asked about Trump’s response to Biden’s speech, where the former president lambasted Biden as “distracting” and “divisive” Psaki said she hoped “he learned something about “what it looks like to meet the moment in the country.”

Psaki also defended Vice President Kamala Harris from viral right-wing attacks critiquing parallels she drew between the rioters’ attack on the Capitol and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Sep. 11 terror attacks.

“Instead of focusing on or analyzing comparisons of moments in history, I would suggest that they be a part of solving the threat to democracy that occurs today, that is happening today,” Psaki said.

Asked whether Biden supports prosecuting Trump for his role, Psaki said Biden will “leave that to his Justice Department, which is independent,” Psaki said.

Psaki was also asked if Biden’s use of the term “insurrection,” which has a legal criminal definition, implied he believes the Justice Department should prosecute rioters for the crime.

“He was not making a judgment about or a direction about how the Justice Department should act,” Psaki replied.

The press secretary said Biden will have further comment on his plan for voting rights and promoting democracy at his speech in Atlanta next Tuesday.

— Matt Brown

More:‘A dagger at the throat of democracy’: Read the transcript of Biden’s full speech calling out Trump

Lawmakers recount ‘terrifying’ scenes in House chamber: ‘I could die here’

Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Penn., was in the House chamber and gallery when the mob breached the building. 

She called it “terrifying.” She recalls hearing “pounding on the doors” then being “instructed to first sit down, then kneel down, then lie down and get your gas mask out from under your seat.”

Amid the chaos, she thought, “there’s a chance I could die here.”  

Dean recalls “screaming over” at colleague Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, who was standing up “in a beautiful white coat” in the gallery amidst the chaos to “’get down!’”   

“If anybody comes in here and has a weapon, we will be like ducks in a shooting gallery and she was such a visible target” she said of her thought process then.   

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., recalls hearing a “’boom, boom, boom’ at the center door to the House of Representatives, and there were members of the mob who were trying to barrel their way into the chamber. A number of members ran over to try to defend the door, but then were quickly scattered by Capitol officers who came in with their guns drawn.” 

The events were “complete chaos” and “pandemonium” Raskin said. He remembers people “calling their husbands and wives and children and parents to say goodbye. There were a lot of those calls and people saying, ‘Pray for us. I love you.’” 

Some lawmakers “essentially crawled over to the Republican side of the House because they thought that if a gunman entered they would be less likely to shoot on the Republican side of the aisle,” Raskin said. 

— Savannah Behrmann

More:Ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham will testify to Jan. 6 committee

‘There’s so many of us who are so offended by what they did’

Mandy Katz, 58, was jogging by the Capitol when she spotted the flag-bearing attendee to the Jan. 6 insurrection talking to reporters.

“I was standing here and I thought, one guy here with his flag, maintained that he did nothing wrong by invading our shared public spaces,” Katz, a Washington resident, said. “There’s so many of us who are so offended by what they did to our physical representation of our democracy.”

Last year was very different, Katz recalled. She saw pickup trucks featuring “Make America Great Again” stickers parked miles from the White House on her run. But the Biden supporter didn’t sense an immediate threat. 

“I didn’t feel personally frightened. But it was still a really startling experience, ” Katz said. “I saw people milling up and down the mall in small groups. And then I went home.”

That’s when everything changed.

“We were glued to news accounts and just watching it minute by minute. And then…we’re hearing explosions and and my relatives were all texting us and saying, ‘Oh my God, stay inside. Can you leave the city come stay with us?’ They were very frightenied for us.”

— Chelsey Cox and Ella Lee

USA TODAY/Suffolk poll:A year after Jan. 6, Americans say democracy is in peril but disagree on why

A year after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Park Police patrol at the Washington Monument, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, along the National Mall in Washington. Thursday marks the first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, a violent attack that has fundamentally changed Congress and prompted widespread concerns about the future of American democracy.

Moments of silence from House and Senate chambers

Both the U.S. Senate and House observed a moment of silence at noon for those who lost their lives on Jan. 6. 

Attendance for both was slim as the House is not in session, meaning most lawmakers are back in their districts, and many Senators are attending the funeral services of the late Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, who is being laid to rest today in Georgia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, “As we acknowledge the horror of that day, we honor the heroism of so many, particularly U.S. Capitol police, institutional staff, floor leadership, and committee and member staff.”

She called them that day, “and the days after, the defenders of our democracy.”

As she named the fallen officers from the attack, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., bowed his head. 

Approximately 40 House lawmakers were in attendance, with only Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., with her father, the former vice president, appearing to be the only Republicans in the chamber. 

Afterwards, Rep. Jim McGovern made the sign of the cross. Members milled about, many hugging one another and chatting quietly in small groups.

On the Senate side, there were just a handful of Senators on the floor. There appeared to be no Republican senators in attendance. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the moment of silence was designed to honor “the heroic efforts of our staff” to resist the assault on democracy. She urged all people to recommit themselves to “make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

— Savannah Behrmann and David Jackson

Minute by minute:A year ago, Americans stormed the US Capitol. How a horrific day unfolded.

Revisiting the Capitol

Keith Scott, 49, waved a blue flag reading “election fraud” on the west side of the Capitol Thursday. He came from Texas to revisit the “greatest day of his life.”

On Jan. 6, 2021, Scott attended former President Donald Trump’s speech on the Ellipse about 50 rows from the front, and shortly after, followed a crowd of thousands toward the Capitol. 

“I got all the way up against the edge and I was watching the chaos unfold below me, where everyone was fighting to try to get in that in that door,” he said, pointing to the right of the west entrance door. 

Scott didn’t enter the Capitol, he said. Instead, he sang Amazing Grace and the National Anthem and watched.

“I felt so patriotic, like I was one of the Founding Fathers before everything started against King George and the British,” Scott said. “I feel bad about the violence that happened that day and the loss of life on both sides, but moving that part to the side, I felt like we were having our voices heard. That’s what I wanted to happen that day.” 

— Ella Lee and Chelsey Cox

See for yourself:Chilling images from the Capitol riot: Jan. 6 insurrection in photos

Former Vice President Dick Cheney walks with his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, in the Capitol Rotunda at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

VP Cheney: GOP leadership doesn’t ‘resemble any of the folks I knew’

After the House’s moment of silence, Vice President Dick Cheney told reporters it was great to be back in the Capitol, but Republican leadership doesn’t resemble “any of the folks I knew when I was here for 10 years.” It’s changed “dramatically,” he said.

Cheney represented Wyoming as a member of House in the 1980’s, the position his daughter holds now. 

When asked if he was disappointed by how the GOP caucus has treated his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., — like booting her from her leadership position in the caucus in 2021 for standing up to Trump — the former vice president said: “My daughter can take care of herself.”

When how they felt being the only Republicans to show up for the moment of silence, Rep. Cheney said: “It is a reflection of where our party is. Very concerned.”

— Savannah Behrmann

One year later:Who invaded the US Capitol on Jan. 6? Criminal cases shed light on offenses

House Speaker Pelosi commends Capitol Police, warns of danger of insurrection

A solemn atmosphere on the House floor hung over the 40 House Democrats and two Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, as House Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben delivered a prayer for the health, safety and stability of the nation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., acknowledged the somber occasion by announcing that while no legislative business would take place in the House until next week, legislators would fill a different duty that day.

“Today one year ago, the Capitol and those who work in it were targeted by a violent insurrection that sought to undermine democracy,” Pelosi said. “As we acknowledged the horror of that day, we honor the heroism of so many,” she continued, citing Capitol police, professional staffers and first responders.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., is surrounded by reporters in the National Statuary Hall at the Capitol as she walks back to her office, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in Washington.

“In the face of extreme danger, they all risked their safety for our democracy,” Pelosi said. She also acknowledged the officers killed that day, and other officers who had died by suicide in the months after the insurrection.

Quoting Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, Pelosi cautioned that US democracy remained under assault from within, as in past eras.

“Today we accept responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leaders have faced,” Pelosi said, referencing GOP state voting laws and ongoing efforts to undermine trust in the electoral process.

— Matt Brown

Low-key Senate session

The Senate is holding a low-key session on the Jan. 6 anniversary – at least half of it is.

As the Republican side of the chamber  sat empty, a steady stream of Democrats went to the floor to mark the occasion and warn Americans that democracy remains under threat.

Urging the passage of new voting rights legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,  called on Americans “to rise to the occasion and assure that the mob, the violence,  the lies do not win the day.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., recalled how she and staffers had to leave ahead of the surging rioters. She recalled how a staffer shouted to “take the boxes” full of electoral ballots.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said some lawmakers – i.e., Republicans – have developed “amnesia” about Jan. 6, and led “a concerted effort to downplay or grossly mischaracterize” the brutal effort to overturn a legitimate election.

Some Senate Republicans made statements on the occasion, and some accused the Democrats of “politicizing” the Jan. 6 attack.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Jan. 6 “a dark day” for all Americans, and said the Capitol “was stormed by criminals who brutalized police officers and used force to try to stop Congress from doing its job.”

McConnell also said:  “It has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals.”

McConnell led a delegation of Republicans to attend the funeral of former member Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Also, the Senate chamber is usually mostly empty; members typically arrive to give their remarks and then leave.

— David Jackson

More:Mitch McConnell 1 year after Jan. 6 Capitol attack: Democrats are trying to ‘exploit this anniversary’

Former VP Dick Cheney attends House moment of silence

Former VP Dick Cheney attended the House’s moment of silence on Thursday.

Before it started, he was seen on the House floor with his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.. They were huddled talking to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

The father-daughter duo sat in the first row. Behind them, on the Republican side of the chamber, nearly every single seat was empty.

After the moment of silence, several lawmakers have lined up to say hello to the former VP.

Pelosi went over and enthusiastically shook his hand.

— Savannah Behrmann

More:Biden unleashes a year’s worth of anger at Trump in Jan. 6 speech, blasting him as an undemocratic liar

‘Best speech I’ve heard him give’: Senators react to Biden speech 

Senators from both sides of the political aisle had strong feelings about President Joe Biden’s passionate speech, in which he lambasted former president Donald Trump for what he described as inaction on Jan. 6 and spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election.

“We’ve known each other for 50 years,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told USA TODAY. “It’s probably the best speech I’ve heard him give, but more importantly, it was the most important speech for the country this time. The President of the United States had to speak out like that, and I thank him for it.”

When asked if Biden should have made this speech sooner, Leahy said the president “picked the exact right time.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told USA TODAY she thought it was “excellent” and “exactly what needed to be said.”

However, some Senate Republicans disagreed with that analysis.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted it was “brazen politicization of January 6 by President Biden.”  

–Savannah Behrmann

Transcript:‘A dagger at the throat of democracy’: Read the transcript of Biden’s full speech calling out Trump

Obama: We need to protect democracy

Former President Barack Obama warned Thursday that “democracy is at greater risk today” than it was a year ago as states across the country battle over voting rights legislation.

“Our system of government has never been automatic. If we want our children to grow up in a true democracy – not just one with elections, but one where every voice matters and every vote counts – we need to nurture and protect it,” he wrote in a statement posted to social media. “Today, that responsibility falls to all of us. And on this anniversary, nothing is more important.”

– Amy Nakamura

Trump response to Biden speech

Former President Donald Trump responded to President Joe Biden’s scathing remarks about his role in the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol by accusing Biden and the Democrats of trying to stoke fears and divide the country.

In a pair of statements issued shortly after Biden’s speech, Trump accused his successor of using the insurrectionist attack by a mob of pro-Trump supporters to deflect from “the incompetent job he’s doing.”

“This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” Trump said.

In his remarks, Biden laid the blame for the attack one year ago squarely at the feet of Trump.

Trump fired back that Biden “used my name” to try to “further divide America.”

Biden never actually used Trump’s name. He referred to the “former president” 16 times during his remarks, but never actually mentioned Trump by name.

Afterward, Biden told reporters he never called Trump out by name because “I did not want to turn it into a contemporary political battle between me and the president.”

“It’s way beyond that,” he said.

– Michael Collins and David Jackson

Biden’s speech:‘A dagger at the throat of democracy’: Read the transcript of Biden’s full speech calling out Trump

Trump backer at Capitol to show support 

Outside the fences surrounding the Capitol stands a man with a cowboy hat and an American flag sewn on his jacket.

Larry Warren traveled from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to “commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 6 movement” and “support the prisoners that are still being held.” Warren was also here last year but was stopped by Capitol police before he could get into the Capitol. 

Warren grew up as a Democrat but became an independent once he lost his job at a Michigan steel mill that closed in the 1990s. Warren supports Trump’s policies to “buy American, hire American” and switched his affiliation to the Republican Party when Trump became president. He hopes for more transparency about the charges levied against the prisoners who were arrested last year on Jan. 6.

– Michelle Shen

Outside the Capitol: ‘I still see division’

On the snowy grounds outside the Capitol’s eastern front, a small group of press and a few members of the public are gathered in front of the barricades blocking off the building. Elizabeth Nicholas, a Capitol Hill resident and former Senate staffer, said she felt “mixed emotions” as she paused to reflect on last Jan. 6 while walking her dogs, Stella and Archie. 

Nicholas was in North Carolina visiting family that day and remembers trying to get in touch with friends who worked inside the building as she learned about the breach. She didn’t know if they were safe for several hours. 

“It was very triggering because we all went through September 11 being part of the Senate family,” she said, adding that she hopes the country can come together the way it did after 9/11. “It was very, very hard.”

“I would like to see more unity,” Nicholas said. “I still see division.”

– N’dea Yancey-Bragg 

Biden: Trump, insurrectionists ‘held dagger at the throat of America’

President Joe Biden placed the blame for the mob attack on the Capitol one year ago squarely at the feet of Donald Trump, saying the former president and his supporters who stormed the seat of democracy “held a dagger at the throat of America.”

“You can’t love your country only when you win,” he said. “You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.”

Biden delivered his remarks from Statuary Hall, a stately, semicircular chamber that houses a collection of statutes of prominent Americans donated by all 50 states. The room was one of several in the Capitol broken into last year by the mob of insurrectionists looking to stop Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.

“They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle,” Biden said. “They came here in rage.”

President Joe Biden speaks at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022, one year after the attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC.

While Biden had harsh words for the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol, he also called out the former president in blunt language, calling him “a defeated former president” who sowed doubts about the electoral process even before the first ballot was cast and later instigated the mob attack on the Capitol.

On Jan. 6, “for the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election: He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” he said.

Trump and his supporters are trying to rewrite history, Biden added.

“They want you to see Election Day as the day of insurrection and the riot that took place here on Jan. 6 as a true expression of the will of people,” he said. “Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country?”

Despite the attack, the attempt to thwart democracy failed, Biden said.

“This is not a land of kings or dictators or autocrats,” he said. “We’re a nation of laws, of order, not chaos – of peace, not violence. Here in America, the people rule through the ballot.”

– Michael Collins

Harris: Capitol riot an attack on rule of law, broader threat to democracy persists

Shortly after 9 a.m., President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walked onto a platform in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, where the silence was heavy, aside from the sounds of their footsteps and the clicking of cameras. The room was mostly empty besides a handful of reporters, staffers, and TV cameras.

As Harris began speaking, Biden retrieved a tissue from his pocket, and wiped his eyes. 

Harris described the Capitol insurrection as an ominous warning about the future of the country should its root causes go unaddressed.

“On January 6th, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful: The lawlessness, the violence, the chaos,” Harris said.

“The American spirit is being tested,” she cautioned. The answer to whether we will meet that test resides where it has always resided in our country – with you. The people. The work ahead will not be easy.”

The vice president described the rioters actions as an attack “on the rule of law” and further argued that conspiracy theories about the illegitimacy of the 2020 election threatened the democratic nature of the country. She called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation to combat restrictive voting laws passed in GOP states.

“We cannot sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defense of our democracy,” Harris said.

– Matthew Brown

Ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham will testify to Jan. 6 committee

Carter: Political distrust threatens to ‘collapse’ US democracy

Former President Jimmy Carter held out hope that the Capitol riot would “shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy.” That hasn’t happened.

Writing Thursday in The New York Times, the nation’s 39th president said too many people continue to promote the lie of a stolen election in 2020. They “have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems,” Carter wrote on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Carter wrote that politicians “have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes.” 

While not specifically citing ex-President Donald Trump or the Republican Party by name, Carter called out politicians in Texas, Florida and his home state of Georgia.

He added: “They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed.”

– David Jackson

Jan. 6 events around Washington

To begin a day of events commemorating Jan. 6, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala will deliver remarks at 9 a.m. at the Capitol.

On Capitol Hill, a series of memorials organized by Democrats will mark the Capitol attack with prayer, testimony from lawmakers and conversations with historians.

The events kick off at noon. A prayer vigil and moment of silence will be observed on the House floor, followed by a panel moderated by the sitting Librarian of Congress to “establish and preserve the narrative of January 6th.”

More:Biden, Trump, Pelosi and prayers: What to expect during Thursday’s Jan. 6 commemorations

At least two GOP lawmakers, Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., will counter-program the main events with their own speeches.

In the afternoon, at 2:30 p.m. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., will preside over testimonies from lawmakers about their experiences during the insurrection.

Elsewhere around Washington, civic groups will push to remember the insurrection in their own manner.

The Catalyst Movement, a social advocacy organization, will hold a vigil from 2-6 p.m. on the National Mall.

At 4:45 p.m., a coalition of more than 130 organizations will hold a candlelight vigil near the Capitol. Shortly after and nearby, at 5:30 p.m., lawmakers will hold a prayer vigil on the steps of the Capitol.

– Matthew Brown

More:The first test of Joe Biden’s presidency came on Jan. 6. The next test is how to step out from its shadow.

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

Witness:Chilling images from the Capitol riot: Jan. 6 insurrection in photos

Who has been prosecuted?

Federal prosecutors have charged over 700 people in more than 45 states for participating in the insurrection.

But the FBI’s wanted page for violent Capitol offenders shows photos of another 350 people who have yet to be publicly identified or charged. As of mid-December, at least 146 individuals have signed guilty pleas and at least 55 have been sentenced.

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. 

More:Who invaded the US Capitol on Jan. 6? Criminal cases shed light on offenses

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.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump attack the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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.

Protesters, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, storm the U.S. Capitol.

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.

Police with guns drawn face off against rioters trying to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.

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.

Investigation:Capitol riot: What we know about allegations of inside help from members of Congress

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. Jacob Anthony Chansley, the Arizona man with the painted face and wearing a horned, fur hat, was taken into custody on Jan. 9 and charged with counts that include violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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.

An explosion lights the west side of the U.S. Capitol as the pro-Trump mob is pushed back on the evening of Jan. 6, 2021.

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.

Exclusive:A year after Jan. 6, Americans say democracy is in peril but disagree on why: USA TODAY/Suffolk poll



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