Looking Back At January 6

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Two years after the historic Capitol insurrection, a quick review of consequences and rhetoric that have followed

When rioters stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a joint session of Congress was assembled to count electoral votes certifying President-elect Joseph Biden’s victory.
People around the country and world watched, often via social media livestreams picked up by major news networks, as hundreds rushed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where they took selfies and looted in evacuated rooms and left behind a trail of violence and confusion that Americans and their elected officials are still sorting through today.
Two busy years later, some of the outcomes from that day are quite clear. Others are still being processed, and still other effects seem to remain up in the air, almost entirely unsettled. Such is the case nationally, as well as here in Nassau County, which had plenty of its own ties to events that day.

The Facts
Thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump gathered in the nation’s capitol to protest certification of Joe Biden’s election win.
In the aftermath, Congress reconvened to certify the election results. Five people died amid the riot, and more than a hundred law enforcement officers were reportedly injured; several officers also later died of suicide.
Hundreds have since been charged with crimes related to their activities at the Capitol that day, including at least 65 individuals who live in or predominantly frequent New York State, according to NPR and Insider. They also include numerous individuals from Nassau and Suffolk County communities, and several from New York City; many but not all of them are young or middle-aged men.
In October, for example, an East Williston man was charged with multiple crimes in relation to his actions at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. John O’Kelly, an attorney who previously served as a board member at the East Williston School District, was charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors for his actions on Jan. 6, which allegedly include trying to take a police officer’s baton and shoving a barricade into a line of police.
In late December, the congressional committee investigating the Capitol assault voted to recommend that the U.S. Justice Department pursue the prosecution of former president Trump on four charges, based on the available evidence: Obstruction of an official proceeding; Conspiracy to defraud the United States; Conspiracy to make a false statement; and Inciting, assisting, aiding, or comforting an insurrection. BBC News called the vote to recommend those charges “largely symbolic.”
A number of Nassau County officials were also on hand that historic day, including now-outgoing Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and Congressmen Tom Suozzi, Lee Zeldin, and Andrew Garbarino.
“When people asked if it was as bad as it was on TV, I said it was worse,” Garbarino told Anton Media Group roughly two weeks after the insurrection. “You had a lot of people there demonstrating for whatever reason they believed and you had a couple of hundred people who turned the whole thing into an attack on the Capitol. It’s sad, because these tens of thousands of other people just wanted to be heard. And now, they won’t be, because the assault on the Capitol tainted every concern they had. That’s who I feel bad for—the people who wanted somebody to listen to them. They wanted to be heard. And now, they’ll forever be tainted with this.”
Congressman-elect George Santos, who has become the subject of national scrutiny in recent days over allegedly fabricated core details in his public biography, was also in Washington, D.C. that day. Following his own unsuccessful run for office in 2020 back in New York, Santos attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C.’s presidential park on Jan. 6, 2021, according to Santos, and later claimed that he donated money to bail out arrestees.

The Rhetoric
Using the WayBack Machine, an online archive that takes screen shots of various websites everyday, Anton Media Group was able to see the way different news websites initially reported on the Jan. 6 event.
On the Fox News website, headlines on Jan. 7, 2021 included; “Woman shot during Capitol violence dies as curfew goes into effect; next steps in certification unclear;” “GOP rep who objected to election results condemns protestors breaching Capitol: ‘this is despicable;’” “‘This is a sad day for the country,’ says GOP lawmaker and veteran” and “Trump addresses violence, maintains election was ‘stolen.’”
On the CNN website, headlines on Jan. 7, 2021 included; “Congress to move ahead with vote count;” “US Capitol secured after rioters stormed the halls of Congress to block Biden’s win;” “Trump incites mob in violent end to presidency;” “Ivanka Trump calls rioters patriots, then deletes tweet;” and “George W. Bush derides US Capitol breach as ‘sickening and heartbreaking.’”
On June 10, 2022, a day after the Jan. 6 Committee hearings began, on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson said “what we saw tonight was not a hearing, it was a show trial … The whole thing was indecent. How many people were convinced by what they saw last night? Hmm… Right around zero. They’re not going to win a single vote.”
On the June 10, 2022 episode of Anderson Cooper, John Berman (who was standing in for Anderson Cooper) focused on a few aspects of the first Jan. 6 Committee Hearing, including the fact that former U.S. President Donald Trump said of his daughter Ivanka Trump’s testimony: “Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, election results. She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he sucked!).”
On Dec. 19, 2022, Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 Committee, stated, “To cast a vote in the United States is an act of faith and hope. When we drop that ballot in the ballot box, we expect the people named on the ballot are going to uphold that end of the deal. The winner swears an oath and upholds it. Those who come up short ultimately accept the results and abide by the rule of law. That faith in our system is the foundation of American democracy. If the faith is broken, so is our democracy. Donald Trump broke that faith. He lost the 2020 election and knew it. But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi part scheme. To overturn the results and block the transfer of power. In the end, he summoned a mob to Washington and knowingly they were armed and angry, pointed them to the Capitol and told them to ‘fight like hell.’ There’s no doubt about this.”
On that day, the Jan. 6 Committee referred criminal charges against Trump to the Department of Justice.
In Tucker Carlson’s three-part streaming feature Patriot Purge on the Fox Nation platform, Carlson argues that the events of Jan. 6 are being used for political persecution. In it, Carlson compares rhetoric around the ‘War on Terror’ that led to the war in Iraq to current rhetoric around the threat of domestic white supremacist terror: “They are tying white supremacist terrorists to Trump voters.”

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