Today marks one year since the deadly Capitol insurrection

By Maureen Chowdhury, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 12:46 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022
14 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:56 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Biden says an attack like the one on Jan. 6 must never happen again

President Joe Biden gives a speech on Thursday.
President Joe Biden gives a speech on Thursday.

President Biden began remarks on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection by saying that "democracy was attacked, simply attacked" on that day.

He lauded law enforcement for saving the "rule of law."

"Our democracy held. We, the people, endured. We, the people, prevailed," Biden said.

"For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol. But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such attack never, never happens again. "

9:25 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Harris: "If we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand"

Vice President Kamala Harris, with President Joe Biden, speaks at the US Capitol on Thursday.
Vice President Kamala Harris, with President Joe Biden, speaks at the US Capitol on Thursday. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Kamala Harris said young people often ask her about the state of America's democracy and how the riot on Jan. 6 has affected it.

Harris, speaking on Capitol Hill on the one-year anniversary of the riot, said this is what she tells those young people:

"Jan. 6 reflects the dual nature of democracy — its fragility and its strength."

She explained that the American democracy's strength is the "rule of law," "the principle that everyone should be treated equally" and "free and fair elections."

"And the fragility of democracy is this: if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand," she said. "It will falter, and fail."

9:21 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Kamala Harris: Jan. 6 showed us what America would look like if democracy was dismantled

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech on Thursday.
Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech on Thursday.

Vice President Kamala Harris said the Jan. 6, 2021, riot showed Americans what the country would look like if democracy was dismantled.

"On Jan. 6, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful — the lawlessness, the violence, the chaos," Harris said in her speech to mark the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol.

"What the extremists who roamed these halls targeted was not only the lives of elected leaders. What they sought to degrade and destroy was not only a building, hallowed as it is. What they were assaulting were the institutions, the values, the ideals, that generations of Americans have marched, picketed, and shed blood to establish and defend," she said Thursday.

She added, "What was at stake then and now is the right to have our future decided the way the Constitution prescribes it, by we the people, all the people. We cannot let our future be decided by those bent on silencing our voices, overturning our votes, and pedaling lies and misinformation."

9:08 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

NOW: Harris delivers remarks on Jan. 6 anniversary

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

President Biden and Vice President Harris are delivering remarks to mark the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Biden is expected to talk about the “singular responsibility” former President Trump has in the “the chaos and carnage” of the Jan. 6 assault, the White House said. 

Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if Biden will address his predecessors role in the riot, White House press secretary Jen Psaki answered, “Yes.”

“President Biden has been clear eyed about the threat the former President represents our democracy and how the former President constantly works to undermine basic American values and rule of law,” Psaki said at a Wednesday afternoon press briefing. 

She added that Biden has spoken “repeatedly” about how Trump “abused his office, undermined the Constitution and ignored his oath to the American people in an effort to amass more power for himself and his allies.” 

“I would expect the President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw, and he will forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former President and attempt to mislead the American people and his own supporters as well as distract from his role and what happened,” Psaki continued. 

Biden will also “speak to the moment, to the importance of history, of the peaceful transfer of power,” and what the United States needs “to do protect our own democracy and be forward looking.”

Pressed by Collins on if Biden would call Trump out by name, Psaki responded, “we’ll see.” 

“We’re finalizing the speech. But I think people will know who he’s referring to,” she said. 

9:10 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

McConnell calls Jan. 6 a "dark day," claims some Democrats are trying to "exploit" it

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Jan. 6, 2021, was a "disgraceful scene" in a statement on the one-year anniversary of the insurrection.

He also said Democrats are trying to "exploit this anniversary."

Read his full statement:

“January 6th, 2021 was a dark day for Congress and our country. The United States Capitol, the seat of the first branch of our federal government, was stormed by criminals who brutalized police officers and used force to try to stop Congress from doing its job. This disgraceful scene was antithetical to the rule of law. One year later, I am as grateful as ever for the brave men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police who served our institution bravely that day and every day since. I continue to support justice for those who broke the law.
“As I said yesterday, it has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event. It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves.
“A year ago today, the Senate did not bend or break. We stuck together, stood strong, gaveled back in, and did our job. Senators should not be trying to exploit this anniversary to damage the Senate in a different way from within.”

9:09 a.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Biden says he is praying "we will never have a day like we had a year ago today"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Joe Biden, right, pauses to speak to media members Thursday as he walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
President Joe Biden, right, pauses to speak to media members Thursday as he walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. (Ken Cedeno/Pool/AP)

As he arrived at the US Capitol ahead of remarks, President Biden told reporters:

“I’m praying that we will never have a day like we had a year ago today. That’s what I’m praying.”

Biden was walking with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

12:29 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

Rep. Raskin: Jan. 6 committee investigation will reveal whole truth about insurrection


Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he believes the investigation will reveal the full truth about the insurrection.

"America is going to be shocked and surprised at what we all come to learn this year," he told CNN.

Raskin, who called the insurrection "a coup" organized by former President Donald Trump, said the committee has not made a decision about possibly subpoenaing former Vice President Mike Pence if he doesn't talk to the committee voluntarily.

"He has a lot to be proud of. He was a constitutional patriot. He stood up for the Constitution," Raskin said.
"We have subpoenaed lots of people whose testimony we need. The Supreme Court has said Congress has the right to subpoena anyone we want in order to get the information we need in order to govern," he said.

Raskin also said that former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham “names a lot of names I had not heard before” and “identified some minds of inquiry that had never occurred to me” during a conversation he had with her prior to her interview yesterday with the committee.

Grisham's meeting with the committee yesterday came after the former White House aide and chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump had a phone call with committee member Raskin, who encouraged her to meet with the panel.

Asked about the large amount of documents and records that have already been turned over to the committee, Raskin said the committee is “hoping to connect the dots amount the different levels of activity,” and learn “how did the former president’s inner political entourage operate in conjunction with the domestic violent extremist groups brought to Washington.”

Raskin's daughter, Tabitha, was with him in the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year — and he says she has not gone to the building since then.

"It is part of my mission to fight for an America where Tabitha and every young person feels safe coming to the Congress of the United States. And this is a building that we should be proud of all around the world, should be a place of peace and safety and democratic dialogue," he said.  

CNN's Jamie Crawford contributed to this post

2:13 p.m. ET, January 6, 2022

How agencies are ramping up security for the Jan. 6 anniversary

From CNN's Geneva Sands and Whitney Wild

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Law enforcement and federal authorities in the Washington, DC, region are stepping up security efforts in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the department is operating at a "heightened level of vigilance, because we are at a heightened level of threat" in general, but he added that DHS is not aware of any credible threats specifically related to the anniversary or Jan. 6. 

"The threat of domestic violent extremists is a very great one," he told reporters. 

Meanwhile, United States Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger insisted on Tuesday that the department would be able to fend off another mob-like attack one year after rioters crashed through doors and windows, attacked police and threatened lawmakers.

The police department is tracking several events and is monitoring an event at the DC jail most closely, though he said there was no specific or credible threat.

Manger said the department is focused on the most important problems first, such as intelligence dissemination, operational planning and civil disturbance unit preparedness.

DHS is working across the department to ramp up, where appropriate, the operational posture, including deploying more people, operating a 24/7 intelligence watch capability, coordinating with fusion centers across the country to share information, according to a federal law enforcement official.  

The United States Secret Service and Federal Protective Service also have deployment plans to use if needed, the official said. 

DHS is coordinating with the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department, Park Police, and Capitol Police to ensure that adequate personnel and physical security measures are in place, the official said, adding that they are tracking intelligence indicators to see if we can identify groups of people who may be traveling to the Washington region.

"Unlike before January 6, there is a well-coordinated and cohesive effort," involving DHS, FBI, state and local law enforcement both in the national capital region and outside the region, the official said. 

The stepped-up security comes as Washington braces for the anniversary of the insurrection. 

Manger said the department tracked roughly 9,600 threats in 2021. Threats could include phone calls, emails or social media posts and don’t necessarily rise to the level of a crime. The threats that worry him most are those that include a previous contact with someone making the threat.

“The US Capitol as an organization is stronger and better prepared today to carry out its mission that it was before January 6th of last year,” Manger said in the press conference Tuesday. “We immediately began to work after the 6th to fix the failures that occurred.”

Of more than 100 recommendations issued by the Capitol Police Inspector General, the department has completed roughly 34 changes, and is working to complete 60 others.

12:28 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee is aiming to release an interim report with initial findings by this summer

Analysis from CNN's Paul LeBlanc

(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is poised for a consequential year as the sprawling investigation nears a more public phase.

The panel is working toward a goal of releasing an interim report with initial findings by this summer, a committee aide told CNN, with a final report following in fall 2022. And committee members have said that they hope to hold public hearings that outline the story of what occurred on January 6, though the specific timing of these hearings has not yet been set.

"There's a belief that a lot of what happened on that day wasn't a comedy of errors, but a planned, coordinated effort. And so our hearings will determine whether or not what occurred on January 6 was a comedy of errors or a planned effort on the part of certain individuals," Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the panel, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

In the meantime, the committee has issued a long list of subpoenas in an effort to find out information and seek testimony — and has taken steps to show there will be consequences for non-compliance.

The committee has also begun the process of holding former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark in contempt of Congress but has paused that process to give him one more chance to testify in front of the committee since he has stated that he intends to claim Fifth Amendment protection.

Still, as Democrats look ahead to what could be a challenging midterm election, the party is publicly and privately gauging the political application of the violent insurrection. Some in the party, without dismissing the gravity of the attacks, argue that Democrats need to prioritize other issues on the campaign trail.

"Most everyday people are worried about their kids getting a good education, worried about getting paid for, making sure their roads are fixed, being able to connect to high-speed internet," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, said in December. "The political process issues, I've never been a real fan of making them a central part of messaging."