January 6 aftermath: Timeline of consequences since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol

January 6 aftermath: Timeline of consequences since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol

Donald Trump will spend the third anniversary of the deadly riot at the US Capitol campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024 in the Iowa towns of Newton and Clinton ahead of the state’s all-important caucuses on 15 January.

Despite his chaotic one-term presidency ending in violent disorder on the steps of the legislative complex, swiftly followed by an unprecedented second impeachment, Mr Trump continues to ride high in the polls and believes he is on course to become the first deposed American commander-in-chief to regain the White House since Grover Cleveland achieved that feat way back in March 1893.

His supporters remain nonplussed about the four criminal indictments he faces and the numerous legal fires his attorneys are battling on multiple fronts, cheerily dismissing his travails as the inevitable consequence of widespread but oddly invisible Democratic corruption while seemingly unconvinced by any of the alternative candidates the GOP has thrown up as it seeks to unseat Joe Biden.

But as Mr Trump strides towards the nomination, determined to rewrite the record on his crowning disgrace and refute the idea put forward in Colorado and Maine that he is an insurrectionist ineligible for office, it is worth re-emphasising the significance of the worst attack on the heart of American democracy since the Capitol was set alight by vengeful British soldiers on 24 August 1814, particularly as a new poll suggests a quarter of Americans still believe it was all a plot orchestrated by the FBI.

Five people were killed in the chaos that erupted in the nation’s capital on 6 January 2021 after Mr Trump had spent two months baselessly telling his supporters that the comprehensive defeat he had suffered at the hands of Mr Biden the previous November was, in fact, illegitimate, falsely claiming the contest had been “rigged” in a vast nationwide conspiracy dreamed up by his opponents, a fallacy he has kept up ever since.

After his attorney Rudy Giuliani’s farcical legal challenges had led precisely nowhere – a period now remembered only for the former mayor’s running hair dye and bizarre press conference in the parking lot of a Philadelphia garden centre – Mr Trump was caught on tape attempting to pressure Georgia’s secretary of state into helping him “find” the votes he needed to overturn Mr Biden’s win in that state.

He then pivoted towards publicly pressuring his vice president, Mike Pence, into blocking the formal certification of the results at a joint session of Congress.

When it became clear Mr Pence had no intention of complying, a desperate Mr Trump urged his followers gathered in Washington, DC, to “fight like hell”, leading to the storming of the Capitol, brutal clashes with police officers and lawmakers sent fleeing for their lives as the rioters called for their lynching.

As the third anniversary of the attack approaches, some 1,230 people have been charged with federal crimes arising from January 6 and 750 sentenced but at least 80 bad actors have still not yet been identified, including the person in the grey hooded sweatshirt who left pipe bombs outside the offices of both the Democratic and Republican National Committees.

Here is a timeline of all the key developments that have occurred in the three years since that infamous day.

6 January 2021

The Capitol riot erupts in DC. President Trump watches events unfold on television but ignores frantic requests from his inner circle to call off the carnage. Once order is eventually restored, it is left to Mr Pence to emphatically denounce the Make America Great Again (Maga) uprising.

Mr Trump is swiftly deplatformed by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Donald Trump addresses his supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on 6 January 2021 (AFP/Getty)
Donald Trump addresses his supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on 6 January 2021 (AFP/Getty)

7 January 2021

Mr Pence is finally able to complete the certification of the 2020 election results in the early hours of the morning, at last declaring Mr Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

As daylight dawns and the cleanup operation gets underway, five House committees write to the FBI demanding a briefing on the investigation already underway into what has transpired.

The rest of the world looks on in disbelief.

11 January 2021

Democratic representatives Jamie Raskin, Ted Lieu and David Cicilline file a new article of impeachment against President Trump, accusing him of “incitement to insurrection”.

On the same day, the New York Bar Association announces an investigation of its own into Mr Giuliani’s part in the episode, while Democratic senator Tammy Duckworth writes to the Department of Defence calling for an investigation into the roles members of the US military might have played.

13 January 2021

The House of Representatives votes to impeach President Trump for an unprecedented second time.

15 January 2021

House speaker Nancy Pelosi establishes Task Force 1-6 to lead “an immediate review of security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control” at the Capitol.

16 January 2021

The House Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Intelligence committees request relevant documents and briefings from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to review what was known in advance about what took place.

20 January 2021

Mr Trump leaves office and President Biden is inaugurated amid heavy security, the atmosphere in DC tense and solemn.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US president (AP)
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US president (AP)

13 February 2021

The Senate votes to acquit Mr Trump after a five-day trial, falling 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for a conviction.

Ms Pelosi announces plans for a bicameral commission to investigate the attack modelled on the 9/11 Commission.

16 February 2021

Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, sues Mr Trump, along with Mr Giuliani and the far-right groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers under the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, alleging that they had engaged in “force, intimidation and threat” to impede Congress in its duties.

2 March 2021

FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and says he was “appalled” by what he saw that day and defines the attack as “criminal behaviour, plain and simple” and says the bureau regards the episode as “domestic terrorism”.

5 March 2021

Ms Pelosi’s Task Force 1-6 finalises its six-week security review and publishes a 15-page document of findings recommending changes to improve the Capitol Police’s ability to respond to crisis events.

14 May 2021

Mr Thompson and the Homeland Security Committee’s ranking member John Katko unveil the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act, as trailed by Ms Pelosi.

28 May 2021

Senate Republicans’ filibuster to block the creation of the bicameral commission, despite the bill’s safe passage through the House.

8 June 2021

The Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees publish the results of their investigation into the riot, blaming Capitol Police for being insufficiently prepared without examining the motives of Mr Trump and other key protagonists. The report draws an angry response from law enforcement and sparks resignations.

30 June 2021

The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 attack is finally formed in response to the commission’s creation being blocked by the Senate. The committee is led by Mr Thompson and consists of six Democrats and two Republicans: Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

Adam Kinzinger,  Liz Cheney and Elaine Luria (AP)
Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney and Elaine Luria (AP)

19 July 2021

Vanity Fair publishes an extract from a new book by Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker in which they interview Mr Trump and he describes the riot as “too bad” and insists that the mob amounted to “a loving crowd”.

27 July 2021

The House committee holds an initial hearing, taking testimony from police officers about their experiences of the day. Officers Harry Dunn, Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges and Aquilino Gonell all recount their exchanges with the rioters in unsparing detail.

29 July 2021

Congress finally passes a $2.1bn Capitol security bill intended to fund the improvements necessary to avoid a repeat of the day’s failings.

5 August 2021

President Biden signs a law enforcement award bill in the White House Rose Garden, awarding gold medals to four officers who lost their lives defending the Capitol: DC officer Jeffrey L Smith and US Capitol Police officers Howard Liebengood, Brian Sicknick and Billy Evans, the latter having passed away in a separate incident on 2 April.

13 August 2021

The widow and estate of deceased Officer Smith, who died of his injuries in the aftermath of January 6, file a wrongful death lawsuit against his two assailants, subsequently identified.

18 October 2021

President Trump, now a private citizen living in luxurious seclusion in Palm Beach, Florida, files a lawsuit against Mr Thompson, his committee and the National Archives, attempting to stop the release of sensitive documents about the attack.

17 November 2021

Jacob Chansley, also known as the “Q Shaman” and one of the poster boys for the events of January 6, is sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Jacob Chansley in the US Capitol (AP)
Jacob Chansley in the US Capitol (AP)

14 December 2021

Karl Racine, district attorney of Washington, DC, sues the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, seeking damages on behalf of his city for their part in what he too labels domestic terrorism.

6 January 2022

On the first anniversary of the catastrophe, President Biden delivers a speech in which he lambasts his predecessor, accusing him of “holding a dagger to the throat of America” and declaring that “his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy, our constitution”.

Lawmakers observe a minute’s silence.

22 February 2022

The US Supreme Court tosses out Mr Trump’s document lawsuit, freeing the House committee to access the vital documents it needs.

9 June 2022

The House committee holds its first official hearing, a primetime television broadcast showcasing previously unseen footage from the attack. The documentary filmmaker Nick Quested and police officer Caroline Edwards give evidence.

13 June 2022

The second House committee hearing takes place, dedicated to exploring the dissemination of Mr Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election had been stolen by the outgoing president and his allies.

Bennie Thompson’s committee convenes (AP)
Bennie Thompson’s committee convenes (AP)

16 June 2022

Third House committee hearing held, examining the pressure Mr Trump exerted on Mr Pence to subvert his entirely ceremonial role presiding over the certification of the election results before Congress.

21 June 2022

The fourth House committee hearing outlines the plan in place to reject and send back elector slates certified for Mr Biden to seven states with Republican legislatures, a crucial ploy for the overturning of the results.

Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger and his deputy Gabriel Sterling are among those giving evidence, as are Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, who would later be awarded a massive defamation payout by a jury finding against Mr Giuliani.

23 June 2022

The fifth House committee hearing lays out Mr Trump’s attempt to pressure officials at the Department of Justice to investigate false claims of fraud and to issue statements of support for his baseless assertions that the election had been stolen.

28 June 2022

The sixth House committee hearing is centred around what proves to be the blockbuster testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mr Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, who reveals numerous embarrassing and troubling behind-the-scenes details concerning the day in question.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows (AP)
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows (AP)

30 June 2022

The New York Times releases its Day of Rage documentary about the attack.

12 July 2022

The seventh House committee hearing examines ties between Mr Trump and the far-right groups involved in the riot.

21 July 2022

The eighth House committee hearing looks at Mr Trump’s inaction in response to the riot, effectively accusing him of a dereliction of his duties as president by refusing pleas to intervene.

28 September 2022

The final House committee hearing is held, summarising its findings and the case against Mr Trump.

20 October 2022

HBO releases the documentary Four Hours at the Capitol, recording the events of 6 January in unflinching detail.

15 November 2022

Mr Trump announces his latest bid for the presidency from his Mar-a-Lago home after months of speculation.

18 November 2022

Jack Smith is appointed Justice Department special counsel.

Jack Smith, Justice Department special counsel (AFP/Getty)
Jack Smith, Justice Department special counsel (AFP/Getty)

22 December 2022

The House Select Committee on the January 6 attack publishes its final 814-page report on the affair after 18 months of work and 10 public hearings, for which it conducted more than 1,000 interviews and reviewed more than 130,000 documents.

6 January 2023

On the second anniversary of the insurrection, President Biden holds a ceremony in which he gives out his Presidential Citizens Medal to 14 members of the public who bravely fought off the attackers.

30 March 2023

Mr Trump receives the first of four indictments within a matter of months in his native New York when Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg accuses him of falsifying his business records to conceal “hush money” payments, resulting in 34 felony charges.

4 May 2023

Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Joe Biggs and Zachary Rehl are convicted of seditious conspiracy over their role in the riot.

Tarrio is sentenced to 22 years in prison, Nordean to 18 years, Biggs to 17 and Rehl to 15.

23 May 2023

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is sentenced to 18 years in jail for seditious conspiracy and evidence tampering.

24 May 2023

Richard Barnett, another “icon” of the riot famously pictured with his boots on Ms Pelosi’s desk, is sentenced to 54 months behind bars.

Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett in speaker Pelosi’s office (EPA)
Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett in speaker Pelosi’s office (EPA)

8 June 2023

Mr Trump is indicted for a second time by Mr Smith in Florida, this time on 37 charges related to the alleged illegal retention of classified national security information after leaving the White House and then conspiring to obstruct justice and making false statements to federal officials when they sought to reclaim the documents.

26 June 2023

The Senate committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs releases a further report on intelligence failures exposed by January 6.

16 July 2023

Mr Smith sends a target letter to Mr Trump, officially notifying him that he is under investigation in relation to the attack.

1 August 2023

Mr Trump is duly indicted for a third time in DC, charged by Mr Smith with conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding and deprivation of civil rights under colour of law.

14 August 2023

Mr Trump and 18 allies are charged once more in Georgia’s Fulton County for conspiring to subvert the state’s 2020 presidential election results following an investigation by local district attorney Fani Willis.

17 November 2023

Colorado district judge Sarah Wallace rules Mr Trump incited the insurrection at the Capitol but rejects a bid to have him dropped from the state’s primary ballot papers, saying the 14th Amendment clause prohibiting the re-eleciton of officials who have broken their oath of office by engaging in insurrection does not apply to him.

6 December 2023

Vivek Ramaswamy, one of Mr Trump’s rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination, says during a televised debate that January “now does look like an inside job”, offering no evidence to back up his claim.

19 December 2023

Mr Trump is officially removed from Colorado’s ballot papers after the state’s Supreme Court rules the 14th Amendment stipulation does apply to him after all.

28 December 2023

Maine’s secretary of state Shenna Bellows follows suit, agreeing with the Colorado ruling and removing Mr Trump from the state’s ballots.

2 January 2024

Mr Trump appeals the Maine decision.

3 January 2024

Mr Trump appeals the Colorado decision in the US Supreme Court.