Capitol Riot: Arizona representatives look back on year since January 6 insurrection
PHOENIX - A lot of us were watching in disbelief as the scene played out at the nation's Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. People stormed the steps, tearing down barriers, hoping to stop lawmakers from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
Jan. 6, 2022 marks one year since the riot and federal prosecutors are showing no signs of slowing down their investigation. More than 700 people have been arrested so far.
The fallout continues, and it has a lasting connection to Arizona.
Arizona's election results were first up to be contested. It was ongoing when people began smashing glass and overrunning Capitol entrances. At the same time, a large mob of people were just starting to swarm the Capitol.
Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva says he can still remember how he felt on the House floor that day.
"Never, never did I think that the root of what we do as Americans.. to govern ourselves and our right to vote.. was going to be threatened. Our democracy itself was going to be threatened the way it was."
Congressman Andy Biggs has been name has been dropped a number of times in the investigations since the riot. He says the violence that occurred that day was not the intended outcome of contesting the election results.
"I don’t think I had any role in violence happening at the Capitol at all. We were engaged in a procedure that we felt was constitutionally authorized and as well as statutorily authorized, and that’s what we did. That there was violence was very disruptive and harmful to that process quite frankly."
The fallout for Arizona doesn’t end there. Maybe the face of the rioters is Arizona’s own Jacob Chansley, the so-called "QAnon shaman" for his notorious horns and paint, is serving 41 months in federal prison for his role.
Chansley, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding, was among the first rioters to enter the building. He has acknowledged using a bullhorn to rile up the mob, offering thanks in a prayer while in the Senate for having the chance to get rid of traitors and scratching out a threatening note to Vice President Mike Pence saying, "It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!"
Though Chansley isn’t accused of violence, prosecutors say Chansley was the "public face of the Capitol riot" who went into the attack with a weapon, ignored repeated police orders to leave the building and gloated about his actions in the days immediately after the attack.
"Enter the capital illegally and encourage the queue, so he should be held responsible, and I hope he learns his lesson from this," said Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego.
And the challenge to Arizona’s election results led to a months-long audit that didn’t produce a different election winner.
Multiple events will be held at the Arizona Capitol on Thursday and one is calling for more access to voting rights.
Continuing coverage of the Capitol Riot:
- Capitol Riot: A look back on year since January 6 insurrection
- Maricopa Co. releases new report on 2020 election, deems many claims misleading; here's what you need to know
- Former President Donald Trump cancels Jan. 6 news conference, will discuss Capitol riot during Arizona rally
- Jan. 6 riot: U.S. Capitol Police making changes in aftermath of insurrection
- Jan. 6 committee prepares to go public as findings mount in Capitol riot probe
- Tears, remorse don't spare capitol riot suspects from jail
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