In the days following the attack on the Capitol, Republican politicians in at least three states introduced legislation creating new prohibitions on protest activity.
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The deaths of five people who were present at the event have, to a varying degree, been related to it. A number of other people were injured, with severe injuries among members of law enforcement being documented.
As lawmakers were being evacuated by Capitol Police, Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, attempted to climb through a shattered window in a barricaded door and was shot in the shoulder by Lt. Michael Leroy Byrd, dying from the wound. The shooting was recorded on several cameras. Capitol Police officers had been warned that many attackers were carrying concealed weapons, although a subsequent search revealed no weapons in Babbitt's possession. In the minutes before she was shot, the crowd had threatened police. A fellow rally attendee who was right near Babbitt recalled she had been warned not to proceed through the window: "A number of police and Secret Service were saying 'Get back! Get down! Get out of the way!'; she didn't heed the call..." Republican Representative Markwayne Mullin said he witnessed the shooting; he felt that Lt. Byrd "didn't have a choice" but to shoot, and that this action "saved people's lives". According to Mullin, at the time, law enforcement was trying to defend two fronts to the House Chamber from the mob, and "a lot of members [of Congress] and staff that were in danger at the time". Zachary Jordan Alam (who was standing next to Babbitt) was videotaped smashing the glass window that Babbitt tried to climb through. He was later indicted on twelve federal counts, including assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon. Following the routine process for shootings by Capitol Police officers, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the Justice Department investigated Babbitt's death and declined to charge Lt. Byrd. Babbitt was a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and had tweeted the previous day "the storm is here", a reference to its prophecy. She has been called a martyr by some far-right extremists who view her as a freedom fighter.
Three other Trump supporters also died: Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama, and Benjamin Philips, 50, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Boyland was a radicalized follower of QAnon whose family had begged her not to attend. Initially thought to have been trampled to death by the crowd, she was later confirmed to have died of an amphetamine overdose during the riot. Her death was classified as accidental by the D.C. medical examiner's office. Greeson reportedly had a heart attack outdoors on the Capitol grounds, and was declared dead at 2:05p.m., shortly before the breach of the Capitol. He had become a radicalized Trump supporter in the preceding years; in December 2020, he declared: "Let's take this fucking Country BACK!! Load your guns and take to the streets!" His family said he was "not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions". Philips was initially reported to have died of a stroke after splitting from his group at 10:30 in the morning. There is no indication that he had participated in the storming. Philips was the founder of Trumparoo.com, a social media page for Trump supporters, and he made arrangements for fellow supporters to travel to D.C. Greeson and Philips' deaths were later confirmed to be natural deaths from both coronary heart disease and hypertensive heart disease, ruled the D.C. medical examiner's office.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was assaulted by rioters. He died of a stroke the next day.
Brian Sicknick, a United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer, died on January 7, 2021, after having two thromboembolicstrokes the day after he responded to the attack on the Capitol. He was placed on life support after the strokes and soon died. The District of Columbia chief medical examiner found that Sicknick had died from stroke, classifying his death as natural and additionally commented that "all that transpired played a role in his condition.", His body lay in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, before his cremated remains were buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In the intervening period prior to the chief examiner's ruling, the cause of Sicknick's death was subject to confusion and controversy. Within hours of his death, the Capitol Police released a statement that the death was "due to injuries sustained while on-duty", when he was "physically engaging with protesters" at the Capitol. The next day, the U.S. Justice Department attributed the death "to the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol, against the violent mob who stormed it". Meanwhile, media, citing law enforcement sources, incorrectly reported for weeks that Sicknick had died after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during the unrest. Brian Sicknick's death was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP, and the FBI. On March 14, two men were arrested and charged with nine counts each, including three assaults with a deadly weapon (chemical spray). Neither of the two men have been charged with causing Sicknick's death.
Four police officers who defended the capitol during the riot have subsequently died by suicide.
Participants in the civil disorder[a] and responders had been injured in the struggle. There were 138 officers (73 Capitol Police and 65 Metropolitan Police) injured, of whom 15 were hospitalized, some with severe injuries. All had been released from the hospital by January 11.
Shortly after 2:00p.m., several rioters attempted to breach a door on the West Front of the Capitol. They dragged three D.C. Metro police officers out of formation and down a set of stairs, trapped them in a crowd, and assaulted them with improvised weapons (including hockey sticks, crutches, flags, poles, sticks, and stolen police shields) as the mob chanted "police stand down!" and "USA!" At least one of the officers was also stomped.
Some rioters beat officers on the head with lead pipes, and others used chemical irritants, stun guns, fists, sticks, poles and clubs against the police. Some trampled and stampeded police, pushed them down stairs or against statues or shone laser pointers into their eyes. One D.C. Metro officer was hit six times with a stun gun, was beaten with a flagpole, suffered a mild heart attack, and lost a fingertip. Three officers were hit on their heads by a fire extinguisher allegedly thrown by a retired firefighter.
According to the Capitol Police officers' union chairman, multiple officers sustained traumatic brain injuries. One had two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs; another lost an eye. One was stabbed with a metal fence stake, and another lost three fingers. One was crushed between a door and a riot shield while defending the west side of the Capitol with other officers against rioters; he later had headaches he believed stemmed from a concussion.
Morale among the Capitol Police plummeted after the riots. The department responded to several incidents where its officers threatened to harm themselves; one officer turned in her weapon because she feared what she would do with it. Two police officers who responded to the attack died by suicide in the following days: one Capitol Police officer, Officer Howard Liebengood, three days after the attack, and a D.C. Metro Police officer, Officer Jeffrey Smith, who had been injured in the attack, afterward. Some members of Congress and press reports have included these deaths in the casualty count, for a total of seven deaths. Metropolitan Police Officers Kyle DeFreytag and Gunther Hashida died by suicide on July 10 and July 29, respectively; both had responded to the Capitol attack.
As of June 3, 2021, at least 17 police officers (10 Capitol Police, seven Metropolitan Police) remained out of work due to injuries sustained in the riot five months previously. Of that number, six Metropolitan Police officers were still on medical leave in mid-July; the Capitol Police did not disclose how many of its officers were on leave, but confirmed that some officers had acquired career-ending disabilities.
Congress reconvened in the evening of January6 after the Capitol was cleared of trespassers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reopened the Senate's session around 8:00 p.m., saying the Senate refused to be intimidated and that it would count the electors and declare the president "tonight", after two hours of debate on the objection to the Arizona electors. He called the vote the most consequential in his thirty-plus years of congressional service. At 9:58, the Senate rejected the objection 93–6, with only six Republicans voting in favor: Ted Cruz (TX), Josh Hawley (MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), John Neely Kennedy (LA), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL).
At 11:08 p.m., the House rejected a similar motion to dispute the Arizona vote by a margin of 303–121. All the "yeas" came from Republicans while the "nays" were from 83 Republicans and 220 Democrats. A planned objection to the Georgia slate of electors was rejected after co-signing Senator, Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), withdrew her support in light of the day's events. Another objection was raised by Hawley and Representative Scott Perry (R–PA) to the Pennsylvania slate of electors, triggering another two-hour split in the joint session to debate the objection. At 12:30a.m. on January 7, the Senate rejected this objection by a 92–7 vote, with the same people voting the same way as before with the exceptions of Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Rick Scott (R-FL) voting in favor and John N. Kennedy voting against.
At 3:08, the House of Representatives similarly rejected the motion to sustain the objection by a margin of 282–138. Again, all the votes in favor were Republican, while this time only 64 Republicans voted against and 218 Democrats voted against. Representative Peter Meijer (R–MI) said that several of his Republican colleagues in the House would have voted to certify the votes, but did not out of fear for the safety of their families, and that at least one specifically voted to overturn Biden's victory against their conscience because they were shaken by the mob attack that day.
At 3:41, Congress confirmed the outcome of the Electoral College vote, Biden's 306 votes to Trump's 232, with Pence declaring that Biden and Harris would take office on January 20.
By March 2021, the Justice Department said the "investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence". The Department asked courts to delay most cases by at least two months so the volumes of cases and evidence could be better managed.
Some Trump supporters attacked with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and brandished other weapons. A number of them were arrested for offenses such as possession and carry of unlicensed pistols, carrying a rifle without a license, possessing a high capacity feeding device, carrying unregistered ammunition, possession of a prohibited weapon (taser) and possessing illegal fireworks. One defendant allegedly had, inside his truck, an AR-15-style rifle, a shotgun, a crossbow, several machetes, smoke grenades and 11 Molotov cocktails.
On August 20, 2021, Reuters reported that the FBI investigation did not find meaningful evidence that the attack was centrally coordinated by way of a broader plot, such that would involve well known Trump-allied public figures, and cast doubt on the likelihood of charges of seditious conspiracy being brought.
Others arrested include Richard "Bigo" Barnett, the leader of an Arkansas gun rights organization who stole a letter from Pelosi's desk; Larry Rendell Brock, a retired Air Force Reserve officer from Texas who roamed the Senate chamber in a green tactical vest with a white flex cuff; Lonnie Coffman, whose truck was found two blocks from the Capitol containing eleven homemade bombs, an assault rifle, and a handgun; Douglas Jenson, who led a mob of rioters chasing Officer Goodman; Robert Keith Packer, who wore a "Camp Auschwitz" T-shirt; William Merry Jr, who ripped off a chunk of Pelosi's nameplate above her office; and Adam Johnson, who allegedly stole Pelosi's lectern.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touched upon the investigations in a speech on January 15, stating that "if, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that."
On February 13, Pelosi announced plans for a bicameral commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol, modeled after the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), an independent panel that investigated the attacks of September 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission was created in 2002 by Congress and, fifteen months later, issued a detailed report on its findings. Despite initial bipartisan support for a commission, by March 11, disputes between Democrats and Republicans over the scope of the proposed investigation and whether the commission would have an equal number of members from each party stalled the commission's creation.
The bill ultimately introduced on May 19 met all Republican objections; it contained an equal number of members from each party, required approval of both parties to issue subpoenas, and set a firm deadline of December 31, 2021 to complete the report. The bill to form the commission passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 252-175, with 35 Republicans and every Democrat supporting it. However, on May 28, Senate Republicans used a filibuster to block taking up the bill.
On June 8, 2021, the Senate released the results of its investigation of the riot, led by top-ranking members of the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees, and conducted on a bipartisan basis. The investigation received a degree of cooperation from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the House Sergeant at Arms, while other agencies did not hand over documents on time. The report was the most comprehensive official account of the event up to that point, while remaining confined to security preparations and law enforcement response, with some of the findings reiterating parts of existing reports. The motivations of participants, and those of Donald Trump, were not probed, and his conduct was not treated in a contextual manner, e.g. Trump's January 6 speech was included in an appendix.
According to the report, Capitol Police was aware of a threat, but did not take it seriously, did not share intelligence, did not incorporate the warnings into the operational plan for January 6, and, ultimately, the force lacked the capacity to respond; more than a dozen intelligence failures are recounted. A number of recommendations, some related to potential new legislation, are listed.
In late May, when it had become apparent that the filibuster of the bicameral commission would not be overcome, Pelosi indicated that she would appoint a select committee to investigate the events as a fallback option. On June 30, 2021, the measure to form the committee passed by a vote of 222 to 190, with all Democratic members and two Republican members, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, voting in favor. Sixteen Republican members did not vote on the measure.
After the Capitol siege, the Defense Department intensified efforts to root out far-right extremism among military personnel. In 2020, the FBI notified the Defense Department that it had initiated criminal investigations involving 68 military personnel (many retired or discharged) associated with domestic extremism. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, enacted by Congress shortly before the attack on the Capitol, directed the Defense Department to create a deputy inspector general for diversity and inclusion and supremacist, extremism and criminal gang activity (within the DOD office of inspector general) and to keep track of gang and extremist activity in the military. Miller directed a strengthening of military policy against service personnel participating in extremist or hate groups, an issue to be addressed as part of a wider Defense Department report due on March 31, with a plan of action due on June 30.
In September, Capitol Police said that its office of professional responsibility had started 38 internal investigations, as a result of which it has recommended disciplinary action against six members of the force for their conduct during the attack; no criminal charges were announced.
New York State Bar Association
On January11, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) announced that it has launched an inquiry into Rudy Giuliani for his role in the uprising, which could subject him to expulsion from the association and recommendation for disbarment if he is held liable. Giuliani had addressed the crowd before it marched towards the Capitol, saying evidence that the election had been stolen was plentiful and proposing "trial by combat".
Wired magazine has reported that numerous crowdsourced open-source intelligence efforts at tracking participants in the storming were underway, including an investigation by the investigative journalism network Bellingcat and the open source intelligence database Intelligence X. According to Gizmodo, almost the entire contents of the Alt-tech social media site Parler have been archived online, including large numbers of photos and video with GPSmetadata, and that analysis of the GPS coordinates suggested that numerous Parler users had been involved in the storming of the Capitol.
Multiple people involved in the riot have been investigated by their workplaces, with some being fired for their participation, as some businesses were identified by social media users who called for negative reviews and comments to be posted or the establishments to be boycotted.
Most businesses who have done so are private businesses, as those who work for the government and unionized workers hold more protections from firing. The earliest report of participants being fired was a Maryland man identified in several highly publicized pictures, wearing his work ID badge and fired from his position the next day.
Law enforcement's intelligence, communication, and operational failures, which allowed the mob to breach the Capitol, attracted scrutiny to the Capitol Police, and the FBI, as well as other law enforcement agencies involved. The three top security officials for Congress – the chief of the Capitol Police, the Senate sergeant at arms, and the House sergeant at arms – all resigned. The acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman, who took over leadership of the force two days after the attack on the Capitol, subsequently said in congressional testimony that the response to the attack as a "multi-tiered failure" by law enforcement.
Questions have been raised in some media outlets regarding alleged discrepancies in the police response to Black Lives Matter protesters and the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. According to an analysis by The Guardian of statistics collected by the US Crisis Monitor, "Police in the United States are three times more likely to use force against leftwing protesters than rightwing protesters", regardless of whether the protest is peaceful or violent.
Trump administration resignations
Dozens of Trump administration officeholders resigned in reaction to the Capitol storming, even though their terms in office would expire fourteen days later with the inauguration of President Biden. Some senior officials, however, decided against resigning in order to ensure an "orderly transition of power" to the incoming Biden administration, out of concern that Trump would replace them with loyalist lower-level staffers who they feared could carry out illegal orders given by him.
On January 11, 2021, Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced to the House a single article of impeachment against Trump, which they had written, for "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol building. Trump was impeached for the second time on January 13, becoming the only federal official in United States history to have ever been impeached twice. On February 13, following a five-day Senate trial, Trump was acquitted when the Senate voted 57–43 for conviction, falling ten votes short of the two-thirds majority required to convict; seven Republicans joined every Democrat in voting to convict, the most bipartisan support in any Senate impeachment trial of a president.
Crackdowns on extremist content and Trump connections
The role of social media in the storming of the Capitol created pressure for platforms to strengthen enforcement of moderation policies prohibiting extremist content to prevent further violence. The response of social media platforms renewed accusations by some conservatives that their policies and enforcement promote an implicit ideological bias by limiting the expression of conservative political and social viewpoints even through controversial or false statements. The First Amendment, however, only restricts government-sanctioned limits on speech, and its protections do not apply to private entities and to obscene or defamatory speech.
Corporate suspensions of Trump's social media, content, and connections
Twitter assessed that two of Trump's tweets on January8 could be mobilized by different audiences to incite violence and replicate the criminal acts perpetrated at the Capitol on January 6 and suspended Trump's main account first for twelve hours and then permanently. Following this, Trump attempted to access alternate accounts, such as the official President of the United States (@POTUS) account, on the platform to continue tweeting and to bemoan the suspension of his account. Still, all tweets were subsequently deleted, and the accounts were either suspended or banned. Furthermore, Trump was banned from other major social media outlets including Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. In the days following the riots, multiple social media companies began suspending or permanently banning several accounts and users who spread or aided the conspiracy theories that led the storming of the Capitol. In total, Twitter banned more than seventy thousand QAnon-related accounts.
Twitter also banned accounts deemed to be "solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content", including those belonging to former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son Michael FlynnJr., attorneys Sidney Powell and L.Lin Wood (both of whom brought failed lawsuits challenging the election results), and former 8chan administrator Ron Watkins. Twitter's ban of Trump and others was criticized by some Trump allies, as well as some foreign leaders.[b]
Also on January8, Discord banned a pro-Trump server called "TheDonald", which had ties to the banned subredditr/The Donald. Discord cited the connection between the server and The Donald's online forum, which was used in planning the riot. Parler removed several posts from Wood espousing conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric, including a call for Vice President Pence and others to be subjected to firing squads, for violating community rules on speech encouraging violence. YouTube terminated two accounts belonging to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, including one hosting his "War Room" podcast, for repeated community guidelines violations pertaining to misinformation about widespread fraud or errors that affected the 2020 election's outcome.
On January10, Parler, a microblogging and social networking service, with a significant user base of Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and far-right extremists was shut down after Amazon terminated its hosting services, saying that it had sent reports of 98 instances of posts that "clearly encourage and incite violence" to Parler in the weeks preceding the decision.
On January 12, Facebook and Twitter announced that they were removing content related to the "Stop the Steal" movement and suspending 70,000 QAnon-focused accounts, respectively.
Airbnb cancelled all reservations in Washington, D.C., for the week of January 20 (refunding affected hosts out of its own money), and deactivated accounts of any users who it found belonged to hate groups and/or participated in the storming of the Capitol.
The day of the storming of the Capitol, Cumulus Media, owner of several conservative talk radio programs through Westwood One, sent an internal memo directing its employees to stop questioning the outcome of the election on-air, on threat of being fired.
Revocation of Trump honorary degrees, contracts, and other connections
New York City MayorBill de Blasio in a video conference stated that Trump committed a "criminal act" and as such the city would terminate all contracts with the Trump Organization and would not do any business with them any longer. Specifically, New York City would take steps to terminate contracts with the Trump Organization to operate the Central Park Carousel, the Wollman & Lasker skating rinks, as well as the Ferry Point Golf Course. De Blasio stated that the city was working to find new vendors to take over the facilities to continue to provide services to customers. De Blasio ended that Trump would "no longer profit" with his relationship with New York City.
After the assault on the Capitol, Lehigh University and Wagner College revoked the honorary degrees they had conferred upon Trump in 1988 and 2004, respectively. The revocations of the honors left Liberty University as the only institution that gave an honorary degree to Trump. The board of the SAG-AFTRA voted "overwhelmingly" that probable cause existed to expel Trump from the entertainment union, to which Trump had belonged since 1989. The guild cited Trump's role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol, and his "reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members." Trump later resigned from the union before the matter of his expulsion came before the union's disciplinary committee.
The New York Times reported in March 2021 that the incident had caused groups like Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and the Groyper Army to splinter amid disagreements on whether the storming had gone too far or was a success, and doubts about the leadership of their organizations, reactivating concerns of increasing numbers of lone wolf actors who would be more difficult to monitor and might take more extreme actions.
Several large companies announced they were suspending all political donations. Others ceased funding the lawmakers who had objected to certifying Electoral College results and who became pejoratively known as the Sedition Caucus. However, some of them later reversed course. By November 2021, Republicans had fundraised more than Democrats. Republicans also fundraised more in the first nine months of 2021 than they had in the equivalent time periods in the election cycles 4 and 8 years earlier.
On a private call on January 11, Capitol Police spoke with House Democrats about the possibility of making members of Congress pass through metal detectors for Biden's inauguration. Following the call, a lawmaker told HuffPost that concern had been raised about "all these [Congress] members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns." On January 12, acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett informed lawmakers that anyone entering the House chamber (including members of Congress) would have to pass through metal detectors. Security screening remained in place after Biden's inauguration. The House passed a rule on February 2 that anyone who did not complete the screening would be fined $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 from a second offense, to be deducted from their salaries; within several days of the rule's passage, two Republican representatives were fined.
After the riot, a new security perimeter was established around the Capitol for Inauguration Day, including a "non-scalable" security fence.
Security was also put on high alert at the Capitol itself; a "non-scalable" security fence was placed around the Capitol and 6,200 members of the National Guard were expected to deploy to the national capital region by the weekend. A new security perimeter was created for the January 20 presidential inauguration, blocking off large portions of the city near Capitol Hill. The mayor announced parking facilities would be sealed off on January 15, and that delivery vehicles serving businesses in the security zone would be screened on entry. The Washington Metro announced it would close 11–13 subway stations from January 15 to 21 and re-route buses around the security zone to discourage people from traveling to the area. The night before the inauguration, 25,000 National Guard members arrived in Washington, D.C., and they were authorized to use lethal force.
Security was bolstered in Washington, D.C., in preparation for March 4, which QAnon adherents, adopting a false belief from sovereign citizen ideology, believed would be the day Trump was re-inaugurated as president. The House prematurely ended its work for the week following an announcement by the Capitol Police of intelligence on a "possible plot" by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol building on that day.
In August, a Justice for J6 rally was organized by Look Ahead America, a nonprofit led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, was scheduled to be held on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on September 18. It was Look Ahead America's third rally held in Washington, D.C.; its first was outside the Department of Justice on June 19, 2021, and its second was outside of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections facility on July 17.
The event passed with minor incidents while remaining a generally peaceful small-scale demonstration. Four people were arrested before and after the rally, although D.C. police said they made no arrests related to the rally. Earlier in the day, two people were arrested for outstanding firearms violation warrants. One man arrested nearby was found to be in possession of a large knife. Another arrested 15 minutes after the rally, a US Customs and Border Protection officer, was found to be in possession of a gun but was not prosecuted.
Concerns over January 6, 2022
In the days leading up to the first anniversary of the attack, federal and local law enforcement agencies began increasing security in anticipation of potential violence. Homeland Security SecretaryAlejandro Mayorkas said that there is a "heightened level of [general] threat", but that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unaware of any credible threats. On January 5, 2022, federal officials noted an increase in unspecified calls for violence and rebellion on forums frequented by domestic violent extremists, but none of them suggested a specific threat or a coordinated plan. Earlier, an intelligence assessment released on December 31, 2021, warned of "threat actors" taking advantage of the anniversary, with lone offenders being the most likely threat.
On May 20, the House passed a $1.9 billion Capitol security bill in response to the attack by a vote of 213–212. The bill would reimburse the National Guard and the District of Columbia, who have helped secure the Capitol, install new Capitol security features such as retractable fencing and hardened windows and doors, provide more funding for Capitol police, create a new force within the National Guard to respond to future emergencies at the Capitol, provide funding for the protection of lawmakers and federal judges, and provide funding for the prosecution of suspects in the riot. Unexpectedly, 3 progressive Democrats voted against the bill and another 3 voted "present", stating that they had concerns about Capitol Police accountability. The modified bill, with spending increased to $2.1 billion, was passed by Congress on July 29.
In the days following the attack on the Capitol, Republican politicians in at least three states introduced legislation creating new prohibitions on protest activity.
In Florida, a bill based on legislation proposed in response to the George Floyd protests against police brutality in summer 2020 was introduced by State Senator Danny Burgess on January 6. The bill, which would protect Confederate monuments; permit the state to overrule local governments' decisions to reduce funding for police; waive sovereign immunity for municipalities, thereby allowing local authorities to be sued for providing inadequate law enforcement; and block people injured while participating in protests from receiving damages, was described by Governor Ron DeSantis as an effort to prevent events like the Capitol attack. In Mississippi, a bill was introduced on January 7 that would criminalize blocking traffic, throwing objects, pulling down monuments, causing emotional distress, any activity by a group of six or more people that "disturbs any person in the enjoyment of a legal right", or aiding a person doing any of these; it would also prevent protesters from suing police, prevent municipalities from reducing funding for police, and expand the state's stand your ground law. In Indiana, a bill also introduced on January 7 would criminalize camping at the Indiana Statehouse, which was the site of protests in June 2020, and introduce mandatory sentences for anyone convicted of battery against a police officer or emergency service professional.
On February 16, 2021, U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sued Donald Trump for conspiring to incite the violent assault at the Capitol. Thompson is represented by the NAACP. Also named defendants in the federal civil lawsuit are Trump's former personal lawyer Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by preventing Congress from carrying out its constitutional duties "by the use of force, intimidation, and threat". The law was first passed following the Civil War to combat the Ku Klux Klan violence against African Americans.
On August 13, 2021, the widow of Police Officer Jeffrey L. Smith, and the Estate of Jeffrey L. Smith filed a wrongful death, assault, batters, and aiding and abetting lawsuit against two assailants who were identified as having attacked Officer Smith in the Capitol. As described in news sources, Smith's counsel David P. Weber enlisted the assistance of online open source intelligence investigators, to locate and identify the assailants so they could be sued. Criminal charges against both assailants are pending, as is the civil lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
On October 18, 2021, Trump filed a lawsuit against Thompson, the United States House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, David Ferriero (Archivist of the National Archives) and the National Archives, seeking an injunction against the release of records related to communications made with the Trump administration on the day of the attack. The lawsuit claims the request and the committee are partisan shams and illegitimate.
On January 10, 2022, a federal judge considered whether Trump and other Republican officials were immune from liability in three civil lawsuits. Two had been brought by Democratic U.S. Representatives including Eric Swalwell, and a third had been filed on March 30, 2021 by injured Capitol Police officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby. The defendants—including Donald Trump (represented by lawyer Jesse Binnall), Donald Trump Jr., Representative Mo Brooks, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers—had requested immunity on the grounds of the First Amendment. Those who were elected officials also claimed immunity based on that status. They asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuits. The judge, however, observed that Trump took no action for two hours on January 6. A "reasonable person" would have clarified his own message to stop the violence, the judge argued, yet Trump failed to "denounce the conduct immediately...and sent a tweet that arguably exacerbated things." The judge did not rule immediately following the hearing. The same court was scheduled to hear arguments for six more lawsuits related to January 6.
A week following the attack, journalists were searching for an appropriate word to describe the event. According to the Associated Press, U.S. media outlets first described the developments on January 6 as "a rally or protest", but as the events of the day escalated and further reporting and images emerged, the descriptions shifted to "an assault, a riot, an insurrection, domestic terrorism or even a coup attempt". It was variably observed that the media outlets were settling on the terms "riot" and "insurrection". According to NPR, "By definition, 'insurrection,' and its derivative, 'insurgency,' are accurate. 'Riot' and 'mob' are equally correct. While these words are not interchangeable, they are all suitable when describing Jan. 6." According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "the attack was widely regarded as an insurrection or attempted coup d'état."The New York Times assessed the event as having brought the United States "hours away from a full-blown constitutional crisis".
Naunihal Singh of the U.S. Naval War College, and author of Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups, wrote that the attack on the Capitol was "an insurrection, a violent uprising against the government" and "sedition" but not a coup because Trump did not order the military "to seize power on his behalf". The Coup D'état Project of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois, which tracks coups and coup attempts globally, classified the attack as an "attempted dissident coup", defined as an unsuccessful coup attempt "initiated by a small group of discontents" such as "ex-military leaders, religious leaders, former government leaders, members of a legislature/parliament, and civilians [but not police or the military]". The Cline Center said the "organized, illegal attempt to intervene in the presidential transition" by displacing Congress met this definition. Some political scientists identified the attack as an attempted self-coup, in which the head of government attempts to strong-arm the other branches of government to entrench power. Academic Fiona Hill, a former member of Trump's National Security Council, described the attack, and Trump's actions in the months leading up to it, as an attempted self-coup.
On the English Wikipedia, there were several disputes among the site's volunteer editors as to what terminology should be used to describe the event.
Conservation of items damaged or left behind
Signs, flags, stickers, Pelosi's damaged nameplate, and other items left behind from the riot will be preserved as historical artifacts in the collections of the House and Senate, and the National Museum of American History, and "shared with national museums", including the Smithsonians. On the morning of January 7, military history curator Frank A. Blazich, Jr. volunteered to go to the National Mall where he spent three hours collecting an array of objects discarded along the National Mall, including a large repurposed street sign which read "STOP THE STEAL - OFF WITH THEIR HEADS," along with discarded protest signs, American flags, and other pro-Trump paraphernalia.Anthea M. Hartig, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, said the Smithsonian would seek to collect and preserve "objects and stories that help future generations remember and contextualize January6 and its aftermath", a statement echoed by Jane Campbell, president of the Capitol Historical Society.
An hour-and-a-half unedited documentary film titled Full Video: The Seige [sic] On United States Capitol[c] was produced at the scene, and released on YouTube, by John Earle Sullivan, capturing many notable individuals and moments from the event, including the death of Ashli Babbitt. The author was deemed to be a participant to the civil disturbance and was charged with crimes.
Some recordings from Capitol surveillance cameras and DC Metropolitan police body cameras were made publicly available in June 2021, following a CNN-led lawsuit by major media outlets. The Justice Department had argued that releasing recordings of current defendants could interfere with their right to a fair trial.
On June 30, The New York Times released Day of Rage: An In-Depth Look at How a Mob Stormed the Capitol, a 40-minute narrated documentary assembled from thousands of video and audio recordings from the event, much of the material recorded by rioters, with some being obtained through motions to unseal police body-camera footage.
In October, HBO released Four Hours at the Capitol, a documentary by Jamie Roberts that details the events of the attack.
Commemoration of the attack was seen leading up to and on the one-year anniversary in 2022 by right-wing groups, supporters of Trump, politicians, and the general public. President Biden gave a speech to commemorate the attack, in which he described the rioters as "holding a dagger to the throat of America" and claims that Trump held "singular responsibility" for the attack as "his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy, our Constitution."
Many lawmakers observed a moment of silence at the House of Representatives chamber. A majority of Republican lawmakers were absent, excluding Liz Cheney (R-Wyo) and her father, former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who told reporters that the current Republican leadership did not resemble anything that he had seen ten years prior. Additional commemorative events were planned, including a moment of prayer, member testimonials, a prayer vigil, and a private event hosted by Pelosi, which thanked building staff for their protection during the attack.
A former Trump aide and founder of a right-wing organization, Matt Braynard, posted on Gab: "January 6th was America's Tiananmen Square. Join us in marking this lie with #J6vigils from coast to coast." While there was a sparse response to that post, there were planned protests to honor those who participated in the attack. A local chapter of the Proud Boys planned on holding a protest for all of those arrested afterwards, and an anti-mask protest planned in Beverly Hills was scheduled to be renamed after Ashli Babbitt.
^Only sporadic instances of injured rioters have been publicly recorded; injuries in general (such as a total number) among this group have not.
^Goldman, Adam; Dewan, Shaila (January 23, 2021). "Inside the Deadly Capitol Shooting". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021. Since Ms. Babbitt's death, far-right extremists and white supremacists have claimed her as a martyr and a "freedom fighter", even reproducing her image on flags and with anti-Semitic imagery. Many have demanded the release of the name of the officer who shot her.
^ abcHermann, Peter; Hsu, Spencer S. (April 19, 2021). "Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged rioters, suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, officials say". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 19, 2021. In explaining the decision, the medical examiner's office provided an updated timeline leading up to Sicknick's death. A statement says Sicknick collapsed 7 hours and 40 minutes after he was sprayed, and then died nearly 24 hours after that. ... Nearly 140 officers were assaulted, authorities said, facing some rioters armed with ax handles, bats, metal batons, wooden poles, hockey sticks and other weapons.
^ abWishwanatha, Aruna (April 21, 2021). "Officer Brian Sicknick: What We Know About His Death". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. As rioters started to pull on the bike rack, one of them allegedly sprayed three officers, including Mr. Sicknick, with a chemical spray, according to the FBI affidavit for the alleged assailant’s arrest. The officers were 'temporarily blinded,' according to the affidavit, and were 'unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray.' Mr. Sicknick also reported to his supervisors and colleagues that he had been sprayed in the face with a substance, the affidavit said. Around 10 p.m. that night, Mr. Sicknick collapsed at the Capitol and was transported by D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services to a local hospital.
^Reeves, Jay; Mascaro, Lisa; Woodward, Calvin (January 11, 2021). "Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021. Under battle flags bearing Donald Trump's name, the Capitol's attackers pinned a bloodied police officer in a doorway, his twisted face and screams captured on video. They mortally wounded another officer with a blunt weapon and body-slammed a third over a railing into the crowd. 'Hang Mike Pence!' the insurrectionists chanted as they pressed inside, beating police with pipes. They demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's whereabouts, too. They hunted any and all lawmakers: 'Where are they?' Outside, makeshift gallows stood, complete with sturdy wooden steps and the noose. Guns and pipe bombs had been stashed in the vicinity.... The mob got stirring encouragement from Trump and more explicit marching orders from the president's men. 'Fight like hell,' Trump exhorted his partisans at the staging rally. 'Let's have trial by combat,' implored his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose attempt to throw out election results in trial by courtroom failed. It's time to 'start taking down names and kicking ass', said Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama. Criminals pardoned by Trump, among them Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, came forward at rallies on the eve of the attack to tell the crowds they were fighting a battle between good and evil
^Eric Tucker; Mary Clare Jalonick (March 2, 2021). "FBI chief warns violent 'domestic terrorism' growing in US". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 4, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2021. FBI Director Christopher Wray bluntly labeled the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as "domestic terrorism" Tuesday and warned of a rapidly growing threat of homegrown violent extremism that law enforcement is scrambling to confront through thousands of investigations.
^Judkis, Maura; McCarthy, Ellen (January 9, 2021). "The Capitol mob desecrated a historical workplace — and left behind some disturbing artifacts". Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021. Because of the historic nature of the Capitol riot, the mob not only destroyed historically important artifacts but created them. As cleanup crews tended to the Capitol's exterior on Thursday, another type of worker was sifting through the mess for salvageable items. Frank Blazich, a curator from the National Museum of American History collected signs and other ephemera from the scene outside. Among the objects: a sign that read, "Off with their heads: Stop the steal." Other leavings, including pro-insurrection stickers and flags found inside the Capitol, will be preserved along with artifacts like the speaker's damaged name plate in the House and Senate collections and shared with national museums, including the Smithsonians, said the Committee on House Administration spokesperson.
^Castronuovo, Celine (January 9, 2021). "Flags, signs and other items left behind in Capitol riot to be preserved as historical artifacts". The Hill. Archived from the original on January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021. Flags, signs and other items left throughout the Capitol by rioters who stormed the building Wednesday will be preserved as historical artifacts in the House and Senate collections and shared with national museums...Frank Blazich, a curator from the National Museum of American History, also collected signs and other items left at the scene of the chaos, including a sign that read, "Off with their heads: Stop the steal."