WASHINGTON — It goes down as one of the darkest days in American history: Thursday marks one year since the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A mob breached the seat of American democracy as lawmakers prepared to certify the election that former President Donald J. Trump lost by seven million votes.
Some people have tried to downplay the day's events and others said the deadly riot presented a genuine threat to the country.
"January 6th was not merely a senseless act of mob violence that sprung up spontaneously, it was an attempt to reverse through violent means the outcome of a free and fair election," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Wednesday.
Five people died during or after the attack, including four protesters and one police officer. Approximately 140 officers suffered injuries, according to ABC News.
"I was there that day," said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia). "I said it was a day I never envisioned, that I'll never forget and, I hope I never see repeated ever in the history of this country."
Kaine continued: "It was so traumatic to have citizens of this country for the first time in our nation's history attack the Capitol, an intentional attack, motivated by their commander in chief, to try and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power."
More than 725 accused rioters have been charged, according to the Department of Justice.
A further analysis of DOJ data shows that 640 have been charged with misdemeanors. But more than 225 have been charged with the more serious crimes, with 75 facing charges of using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
And, 40 have been charged with conspiracy.
That day, the police were simply outnumbered.
"If the intelligence had been acted on the way it should have been and we would've had enough people, then, it would've been a different story," said Chief J. Thomas Manger of the U.S. Capitol Police, testifying Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee. "If January 6th taught us anything, it's that preparation matters."
According to The Guardian, it was the worst breach of the US Capitol since the War of 1812.
"I think the tide of history is going to turn against people who tried to defend it, certainly will turn against people who participated in it," said Christopher Newport University Political analyst Quentin Kidd.
He said, for democracy, it was a close call.
"They didn't succeed in their ultimate goal which was to overturn the election. But they did succeed in disrupting the process."
According to a University of Maryland study, 118 current or former service members face charges in connection with the Capitol breach. The same study said eleven of them are active or reservists.
And, the Justice Department said the attack caused approximately $1.5 million worth of damage to the U.S. Capitol building itself.