A year ago, on January 6, 2021, American democracy received an unexpected and very hard blow. That day, hundreds of supporters of then-outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and opened a deep rift in a political system that until then was believed to be insurmountable. The aftermath of this unprecedented attack in American history still worries an increasingly polarized society.
“American democracy feels uncomfortably unstable right now,” he summed up TN the Crisis Group analyst Stephen pomper a year after the violent heart attack of the American Republican system.
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For Pomper, the current calm may herald a storm a few months before the legislative elections in November this year. The rift opened by the assault on the Capitol, he said, will peak in the upcoming presidential elections in late 2024.
How was the assault on the Capitol: the 6 hours that shook the world
The violent attack on the US Capitol occurred when a joint legislative session was held on the premises to certify the victory in the November 2020 elections of the current president, Joe Biden.
The assault was the colorary of Trump’s insistent complaints about an alleged electoral fraud that, according to his version, had truncated his dreams of re-election. Furthermore, he had urged his followers to “fight like hell”Against that alleged plan orchestrated from the highest levels of power to remove him from the White House.
The assailants then stormed the building and occupied the Senate. The images traveled the whole world. The balance of the clashes between the security guards and the attackers was five dead, including a policeman. American society went into shock. The attack lasted six hours and included shooting and looting.
How is the case for the assault on the Capitol one year later: the convictions and the indicted
One year after the assault on the Capitol, hundreds of legal proceedings are still open to prosecute those who are materially and intellectually responsible for the attack. And at the end of that long road the image of Donald trump.
Today the investigations are divided into two large groups: on the one hand, the police and judicial persecution of the hundreds of people who participated in the assault; and on the other, the open political process in Congress against the alleged intellectual authors. And there the fence narrows towards the figure of the former president.
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The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, according to Efe, filed charges against more than 700 people for crimes ranging from attacking police officers and preventing them from performing their duties, destroying government property, and entering a building with restricted access. Some 150 of them agreed to plead guilty to ease their sentences.
The cause has already led to some convictions. Last december 17 Robert Scott Palmer was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for attacking police officers with a fire extinguisher.
While, Jacob chansley, better known as “The shaman of QAnon”, and whose image with a cap with bison horns went viral throughout the world, was sentenced on November 17 last to 41 months in prison for his participation in the assault. In addition, he will have to pay a fine of $ 2,000 and will be watched for three years once he is released from prison.
How is the investigation in Congress?
In parallel, the House of Representatives – under the control of the Democratic Party – is conducting an investigation into the assault on the Capitol through a committee made up of 6 Democrats and only two Republicans. But analysts estimate that its future will be in doubt if the Conservatives win control of the Lower House in the legislative elections next November.
This commission does not have the capacity to apply sanctions. However, if a witness refuses to appear, they may be found in contempt. And then you could be showered with charges from the Justice Department. In that situation there are already three former Trump collaborators: his former adviser and former campaign manager Steve Bannon; your former chief of staff, Mark Meadows; and the former assistant attorney general Jeffrey Clark.
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All three run the risk of being sentenced to up to one year in prison.
But behind all the legislative investigation lies Donald trump. The big question is whether the committee will formally ask the Justice Department to file criminal charges against the former president for allegedly being the mastermind behind the attack. According to analysts, this judicial offensive could lead to a defeat for Democrats if Trump presents himself as the victim of a political persecution.
And even more so when the request depends on a government decision to bring the former head of state to justice.
For now, the commission is preparing to release its findings after interviewing more than 300 witnesses and collecting tens of thousands of documents, including text messages, emails and phone records from people close to Trump. Y claims to have evidence of the “connection” between the attack and the pressure exerted by Trump over various states and the US Congress in an attempt to reverse their defeat in the elections.
How the United States is today
One year after the attack, Donald Trump announced that this Thursday he would give a press conference to commemorate this first anniversary of an event that shocked the foundations of the country. “Meanwhile, remember that the insurrection occurred on November 3”, On the day of the presidential elections, he warned in a message released in recent days.
But this Tuesday he reversed: “In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the Non-Elected Democratic Committee of January 6, two failed Republicans and the Fake Media, I cancel the press conference of January 6 in Mar- a-Lago, ”he announced in a new statement.
Trump still maintains some control in the Republican Party. In fact, polls cited by US media show that around two-thirds of Republican voters believe him when he claims that there was fraud in the elections. In addition, a large part of the Republican congressmen back him.
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In his dialogue with TN, the Crisis Group analyst Stephen pomper he summarized: “More than half of the opposition party members refuse to accept Joseph Biden as the legitimately elected president of the United States.”
“We are seeing efforts at the state level to erode some of the checks and balances that helped protect the integrity of the 2020 election. Polarization seems more deeply ingrained than ever. While it is too early to make predictions about how the 2024 presidential election will play out, it’s not too early to worry”, He concluded.