Supporters of Donald Trump breached the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, attacking officers and destroying parts of the building in what was a stunning display of insurrection.
The riot took place as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. The Capitol was put on lockdown, and it took several hours for it to be secured. Lawmakers evacuated the House and Senate chambers. Vice President Mike Pence was also moved to a safe location.
Congress returned later that evening to certify Biden's victory, but the country — watching the riot live on television — was shaken. The chaos led to the deaths of multiple people on the day of the attack or shortly thereafter. Several officers who responded during the Capitol attack later died by suicide.
More than 1,000 people were charged by the Justice Department in connection with the riot. Trump was impeached by the House and charged with "incitement of insurrection," but he was acquitted by the Senate in February 2021.
In August 2023, Trump was indicted on criminal charges by a federal grand jury in a case that strikes at the former president's efforts to remain in the White House after losing the 2020 election. As part of special counsel Jack Smith's investigation, Trump was charged with: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.
"The attack in our nation's capital on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy, and as described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies," Smith said in a brief statement. "Lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing the bedrock function of the US government nation's process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of a presidential election."
Trump, who is running for president in 2024, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and accused Democrats of targeting him for political reasons.