How the Capitol Riot Changed US Politics, Police, and the Vote

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In the year since a pro-Trump mob attacked the United States Capitol on Jan.6, 2021 in an attempt to overturn the election, Republican criticism of former President Donald Trump has subsided as police of the United States Capitol has faced a shortage of officers and “elections.” integrity ”has become a prominent conservative issue.

Here are eight ways the United States has changed since the events of January 6:

1. The percentage of Republicans who believe the attack threatened democracy has decreased.

Although a majority of Americans continue to condemn the attack, the percentage of those who think insurgents threatened democracy has plummeted due to a sharp drop among Republicans.

A Quinnipiac poll conducted January 7-10, 2021 found that 80% of Americans believe that “the individuals who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 undermined democracy,” including 95% Democrats and 70% Republicans.

Almost a year later, however, an ABC News-Ipsos poll from December 27-29, 2021 found that 72% of Americans believe those involved in the attack “threatened democracy,” including 96% of Democrats. and 45% of Republicans. , a drop of 25% in almost a year.

2. Most of the elected Republicans who initially condemned Trump for the attack have become less vocal.

Initially, leading Republicans openly opposed the attack and criticized Trump for instigating it, but it didn’t last.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “former President Trump’s actions leading up to the riot were a shameful and shameful dereliction of duty” on February 13, 2021, but weeks later he said he would “absolutely” support Trump for president in 2024 if he wins the candidacy.

Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” on January 13, 2021, but softened his stance within days, saying Trump ” had some responsibility “but that” everyone across this country has some responsibility “and there were” a lot more questions, a lot more answers than we need to have in the future to come “.

The Trump administration saw a wave of resignations from January 6, but Politico found that most of those who left have either publicly toned down their criticism or picked up on Trump.

3. Hundreds of people have been indicted by federal prosecutors.

More than 700 defendants have so far been charged in connection with January 6, according to a CBS News tally. This includes more than 600 people accused of entering or remaining on restricted grounds of the Capitol, and at least 225 people accused of assaulting, obstructing or resisting law enforcement. About 45 people are accused of destroying government property and more than 40 are accused of a larger conspiracy.

4. The Capitol police are undergoing a major overhaul.

The attack wreaked havoc on the United States Capitol Police. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was pepper sprayed during the riot, has died of natural causes after suffering two strokes the day after the attack. In the weeks following the riots, two other officers who responded – Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith – died by suicide. And two other officers who responded that day, Kyle DeFreytag and Gunther Hashida, also committed suicide in late July.

Meanwhile, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told Politico that 135 officers have retired or resigned since the attack, and that the force is about 400 officers fewer than she shouldn’t.

President Joe Biden signed a bill last month to streamline the Capitol Police emergency response, and members of the Capitol Police Board of Directors have produced a report for lawmakers which recommends major reforms, including strengthening the agency’s intelligence gathering and expanding health and welfare services for employees.

“Unlike agencies that protect the White House, the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and other buildings, the USCP protects a public institution that, except for COVID-19 restrictions, is regularly open to the public, who can access freely to buildings, ”the report read.“ Jan. 6 revealed critical gaps in operational planning, intelligence, staffing and equipment. These issues need to be resolved. “

5. No widespread electoral fraud was found.

Trump’s claim that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election catalyzed the January 6 rally that sparked violence in the capital. An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in six swing states challenged by Trump – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – found less than 475 votes out of 25.5 million ballots were disputed, a number too small to have tipped. the results.

6. Republicans are pushing for new election laws across the country.

Despite the lack of evidence of widespread electoral fraud, Republicans across the nation’s states have pushed for additional election laws in the name of electoral integrity. At least 19 states have passed 34 laws regarding voting in 2021, according to the Brennan Center, and at least 13 additional voting bills have been pre-tabled for the 2022 legislative session in four states.

7. The Jan. 6 commission looks at social media companies and extremist groups, and Trump’s response.

Since its formation last July, the United States House special committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol has interviewed more than 300 witnesses. The committee, made up of seven Democrats along with Republican Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, requested files from 15 social media companies and called people close to the president as well as right-wing groups to appear. like Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Told the Washington Post that the committee was particularly interested in how long it took Trump to call on his supporters to step down. According to the Post, staff working for the committee are investigating lobbying campaigns to overturn election results, extremist activity and online disinformation, as well as the funding and organization behind protests against the election results.

8. Some Democrats and Republicans disagree on the importance of the January 6 affair.

In her remarks to mark the day, Vice President Kamala Harris compared January 6 to September 11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor, other historic events known for their dates.

“Certain dates resonate throughout history, including dates that instantly remind everyone who lived them – where they were and what they were doing when our democracy was under attack,” Harris said.

Meghan McCain and Debra Burlingame, administrator of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation, are among those who have criticized such comparisons.

Other Republicans have gone so far as to reduce the anniversary. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Jan. 6 “Christmas” for the media, while Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said they would spend Thursday exposing “the truth” about the attack . However, not all of their Republican colleagues are following suit.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, described Jan. 6 as “a violent terrorist attack” and Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the attack must be understood so that it is never repeated. In a statement Thursday, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, wrote: “We ignore the lessons of January 6 at our peril. Democracy is fragile; he cannot survive without leaders of integrity and character who care more about the strength of our Republic than about winning the next elections.


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