Photo by Tyler Merbler | Creative Commons License.


Today, on the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement:


January 6, 2021 was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. While some might want to rewrite history, the truth is a violent mob of insurrectionists breached the Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of a free and fair election.

Hundreds of extremists, provoked by Donald Trump and his allies, ransacked the Capitol, sought to hunt down members of Congress and Vice President Pence, and viciously attacked police officers who fought to defend not only the lives of those inside, but democracy itself.

The insurrectionists’ goal was nothing short of upending – and perhaps simply ending – American democracy by installing Trump as an unelected President despite his overwhelming defeat in the election (which was scrutinized and affirmed by election officials of both parties and dozens of court decisions, including the Supreme Court of the United States). Five people lost their lives in the attack, and four officers who withstood the horror of that day later took their own lives.

We have learned a lot of lessons from that travesty, and many more are sure to come as we and the select committee continue to uncover the truth of how and why this disgraceful attempted coup happened.  But one of the most poignant takeaways is how fragile our democracy truly is and the need to be vigilant in defending it.

We must never again just sanguinely expect the best from people who repeatedly show us we should expect the worst. Whether it is a corrupt President, violent insurrectionists posing as “protestors,” or people in high places who aid and abet them, we cannot ever allow our democracy and the peaceful transition of power to be jeopardized the way it was on January 6th. Extremism has infected our politics, and decisive action is needed to protect our democracy and restore not only America’s faith in our government, but all those who look to us as a beacon of a free and fair society.

The insurrection shook our nation and revealed the many fault lines threatening to break apart democracy. But it also showed our resilience and our resolve. We will continue to seek out the truth, ensure nothing like January 6 ever happens again, and protect and strengthen our democracy for future generations.

But this is not just a job for me and my colleagues in Congress; the American people have a vital role to play in safeguarding our democracy this year. As we approach the mid-term elections, Americans should have a simple, vital test for every person who seeks to serve in Congress: are they being honest, responsible, and accountable for what happened on January 6th?