Two years after the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building, several hundred people have been charged (and some have been convicted) for their involvement in the attack — but former President Donald Trump has yet to face repercussions for his role in the day’s events.
Following his loss in the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden, Trump spent weeks wrongly claiming that fraud had led to his defeat. Through social media and televised interviews, he encouraged his supporters to oppose the election outcome, and invited them to take part in the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House on January 6, 2021, the day the Electoral College was set to be confirmed by Congress.
In a tweet discussing the rally, Trump said that it would be a “wild” time. Then, in an incendiary speech to his loyalists at the rally outside the White House briefly before the attack, Trump repeated lies about the election, wrongly claiming it was “stolen” from him by “radical left Democrats” and “the fake news media.”
He encouraged his supporters to “never give up” and “never concede,” and told them to march to the Capitol, adding that they could “never take back our country with weakness.” He did so with full knowledge that some of his loyalists were armed, according to a former White House aide.
Around 950 individuals who took part in the deadly attack on the Capitol have been charged, according to an analysis from ABC News. But Trump and his closest allies have not been issued any charges so far.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently investigating Trump for his role in the day’s events, as well as his attempts to coordinate a plot to overturn the 2020 election by undermining the Electoral College through the use of fake electors.
Trump is also the subject of an investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, that is looking into his demands that officials “find” him enough votes to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. Trump’s comments were recorded and reported on just days before the January 6 attack.
That investigation, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is reportedly winding down, with the grand jury beginning a formal report of its conclusions last month. Based in part on that final report, Willis will make a decision on whether or not to formally charge Trump with a crime.
For weeks, legal experts have been predicting that the investigations into Trump will result in charges sometime this year. The DOJ is “on a path to charge” Trump, former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said in December. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), who served on the House January 6 committee, also said he’d be surprised if the DOJ didn’t charge Trump.
“There’s just deep culpability from the very beginning in everything that Donald Trump did,” Raskin said late last month.
Most Americans agree that Trump is at fault — at least to some degree — for the violence that took place two years ago. According to an Economist/YouGov poll published this week, 53 percent of Americans believe Trump bears some or a lot of responsibility for the events of January 6, 2021, while only 38 percent say he is only a little responsible or bears no responsibility for what happened.
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