Reviewing the Jan. 6 Capitol Raid: Updates, reflections two years after the disaster as Congress wraps up investigation of the events


Graphic by Peyton Anderson.

Kent Pham, Staff Writer

Jan. 6 will be a day that will likely be remembered forever, imprinted in our minds and textbooks. On this day in 2021, thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., planning to stop the counting of the electoral votes happening in Congress. 

The country was divided by this election, but these electoral votes would certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of former president Donald Trump became enraged when they heard the results of the votes, and mobs stormed the Capitol, insisting election fraud was to blame. The events began at a “Save America” rally, where Donald Trump spoke about his anger over the results of the election and falsely stated, “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” 

Trump convinced his supporters to use their First Amendment rights to protest and express their frustration, and mentioned, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” 

Although Trump told them to “peacefully and patriotically” protest, the event quickly turned into a violent insurrection. 

Around 1 p.m., a large group of protestors surrounded the Capitol. No more than 30 minutes later, protestors overwhelmed the police, breaking past their barricades. During this time, law enforcement discovered suspicious packages at the Republican and Democratic National Committee Headquarters, which were later discovered to be pipe bombs. As the nation watched in shock, an estimated 10,000 stormed the Capitol grounds while thousands more broke into the Capitol building itself. All staff were brought to an underground bunker as rioters broke windows, climbed walls, vandalized and looted the building. Throughout this horrific event, five people were killed, and hundreds ended up injured.  

This event did not go without legal repercussions. Almost 1,000 citizens who were involved in the insurrection were charged with a variety of crimes, some including picketing in a Capitol building, theft of government property, assault and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.    

In response to these actions, the House of Representatives created a committee of members to investigate the attack on the Capitol. This independent bicameral commission had its first public hearing on July 27, 2021. By Oct. 2022, the committee had gathered over 1 million documents and hundreds of hours of video footage. On Dec. 15, 2022, this helped the committee and the democrats of the House introduce a bill that would prevent Trump from running for office in the future.