Today marks one year since the deadly Capitol insurrection

By Maureen Chowdhury, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 12:46 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022
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12:44 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

Jan. 6 committee chair and vice chair on what comes next for the Capitol riot investigation 

From CNN's Leinz Vales and Ryan Nobles

Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Bennie Thompson speak with CNN's Jake Tapper at the US Capitol on Thursday.
Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Bennie Thompson speak with CNN's Jake Tapper at the US Capitol on Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 House select committee, said the committee is investigating individuals who tried to change the 2020 election outcome and that the panel still needs to talk to "quite a few people."

"I can tell you that we are learning that individual's conspired to change the outcome of the election. And that is very concerning, that they used assets of the federal government to try and promote the big lie. That they intimidated state officials toward the big lie," Thompson said during a CNN special with Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper.

Thompson made it clear the committee is very interested in the attempts to use the power of the federal government to attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. 

“We have to tell that story. We'll be able to document it. And I am concerned that even the replacement of certain people, to accomplish the big lie, was under consideration,” Thompson said. "So, the vice chair and I have joined together to make sure democracy stands in this country."

Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, said they still believe there is a chance they will be able to conclude that the actions of former President Trump and some of his associates constitute a crime. 

“He (Trump) watched the attack happened on television. We know that he did not walk in the very few steps to the White House briefing room, get on camera immediately, and tell the people to stop and go home,” Cheney said. “The President of the United States, is responsible for ensuring the laws are faithfully executed, he’s responsible for the security of the branches. So, for the president to either through his action, or inaction for example, attempt to impede or obstruct the counting of electoral votes, which is an official function of congress, the committee is looking at that, whether what he did constitutes that kind of a crime. But certainly, it’s dereliction of duty.”

When asked directly by Tapper if he believed that officials in the inner circle of the Trump White House conspired to undermine the election results, Thompson replied: “No question.”

When Tapper asked if Trump himself was to blame, Thompson responded, “Look — Donald Trump is an open book. Everyone watching this show, they have an opinion of it. He is not known to tell the truth, he is known to promote lies. But, in this instance he invited people to Washington, on January 6th.  And, and at the end of his invitation he said it was ‘going to be wild.’ Little did we know, it would be as wild as it was.”

Thompson said the committee is working on a report to document their findings.

The panel is aiming to release an interim report in the summer and a final report in the fall. The committee is also preparing for a series of public hearings intended to address Trump's continued false claims that the election was somehow fraudulent.

Read more about the Jan. 6 committee's investigation here.

12:46 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

Officers at Jan. 6 attack recount harrowing moments from Capitol steps: "We had a job to do"

From CNN's Leinz Vales


DC Metropolitan Police commander Ramey Kyle and DC Metropolitan Police officer Mike Fanone, who helped defend the Capitol on Jan. 6, relived the harrowing moments of the insurrection on the building's steps and near the tunnel where clashes unfolded.

"I heard a radio transmission come out for a distress call from the Lower West Terrace tunnel," Fanone told CNN's Don Lemon.

"That's where we encountered commander Kyle. Who was orchestrating the defense of the Capitol from theLower West Terrace. And he was commanding about 40 or 50 MPD officers, and about a half dozen US Capitol police officers who were standing shoulder to shoulder, body against body, fighting back thousands of violent rioters," he told CNN.

Kyle told Lemon that he's known officer Fanone his entire career, but did not know that he was standing next to him.

"I could barely breathe," Kyle said. "We had a job to do and we're not in the business of failing. We're going to hold this door at all costs no matter what. This is the Capitol. We are not losing the Capitol. Not this day, not ever."

Kyle went on to describe the moment he approached the West Front of the Capitol.

“You could hear all the screaming and you could smell the pepper spray,” Kyle continued, “It was like I was walking into a war-zone.”

Kyle told Lemon there "wasn't time to be scared" as the chaos unfolded.

“I kind of helped start shoring up some of our defenses here to the south of this terrace. The bicycle racks, they were really kinda a force multiplier for us. We fought all the way up these stairs, all the way up," he continued.

Lemon asked Kyle about objects that were thrown at the officers and whether they were armed.

"At one point in the tunnel, I looked down and there was nothing but baseball bats and hammers and wrenches and any kind of hard object you could think of that had been thrown at us or used against us," Kyle said.

"They were armed," Kyle said when Don noted that some people have said the rioters were not armed that day. "I had one of their pistols in my pocket."

The commander went on to say that he was proud of fellow officers that day, but felt disgust about the events that took place.

"I'm just disgusted that so many people lost their lives," Kyle said "People were injured. Property was damaged. The Capitol was breached."

Watch the interview here.

10:50 p.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Pelosi staffer recalls fearing for her life as rioters approached: "Was I going to make it out that day?"

From CNN's Jason Kurtz


Leah Han is a staff assistant for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. One year ago today she was rushing through the halls of the Capitol, hoping to stay safe as rioters invaded.

"I hid under the table, and I just waited for what felt like ages," Han told CNN's Jake Tapper. "We started to hear chanting. And that chanting was coming from the rotunda, meaning they were in the building."

Noting that the chanting sounded "full of rage," Han recalls recognizing that the rioters had moved even closer.

"As it got louder and louder, I realized that they had come into our office," she added.

Han says she can't remember specifically what was being yelled, but she is clear on how the voices made her feel.

"My heart dropped," she said. "Do they have these weapons on them? What were they gonna do if they found us? ...Was I going to make it out that day?"

Han revealed to Tapper that she feared for her life in that moment of uncertainty, saying she "absolutely" thought she would die that day.

"My mind did wander," she said, adding "I thought of all the worst things that can happen: torture, hostage, rape, everything."

Han waited until she was safe before connecting with her parents.

"They were very angry, of course, that I had to go through all of that. And like any parent would. Their child just went through such a traumatic day, they didn't even know if I was going to come home either," Han explained, adding that her parents remain supportive as she continues to work at the Capitol despite the violence of the insurrection.

"They see that I have been brave. I am still willing to go to work despite all of this. They're proud of me," she said.

12:09 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

Sen. Klobuchar gives live tour of path senators took through desecrated US Capitol building on Jan. 6 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, gave a live tour to CNN's Jake Tapper of the path she took with her Senate colleagues after rioters desecrated parts of the US Capitol building on the day of the insurrection.

"Right now, it looks all cleaned up, Jake, but that day it was mayhem," Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar showed the mahogany boxes, which historically since 1877 ceremonially hold the electoral college ballots from all 50 states, that were saved by staffers who grabbed the boxes before rioters entered the Senate chamber.

"When we were in the Senate chamber, and we were rushed out of there because of the breach of security, one really smart staff person yells out, works for the parliamentarian, says, 'Get the boxes, get the boxes.' It is very clear now as they invaded the Senate chamber, they would have taken them out, most likely burned them and gotten rid of the electoral ballots. So that presence of mind at that moment meant they were saved, and that allowed us at 4:00 in the morning to finish our work," Klobuchar said.

At the end of the tour, Klobuchar added, "I think it is important we never forget. That's why I thought it was important to take you down this hallway."


10:36 p.m. ET, January 6, 2022

US Capitol employee remembers seeing officers with "head wounds, cuts and scrapes on their arms" on Jan. 6


Bobby Johnson, the Capitol Service Center manager, was just 30 feet from an area that was breached on Jan. 6, 2021, by rioters in what would become a day he would never forget.

Johnson recalled seeing sergeant of arms personnel walk by his office with guns drawn and then "other police officers in riot gear came by, and then more and more and more," Johnson told CNN.

"I guess about 10 minutes later, we started seeing the injured," Johnson said. "And these guys came in and asked if we had water and we had maybe a case of bottled water to rinse their eyes. We ran out of water. We had ice buckets. So we started a bucket brigade. I thought I would get the buckets back but we went through about five or six buckets and I'm standing there. The buckets are not coming back. And I'm like, what do we do? And there were still injured officers. They took them down a little further to rinse their eyes. But at that point, you had people that were bleeding and we had officers [with] head wounds, cuts and scrapes on their arms."

Johnson said he remembered two men asking if he had any first-aid kits but they had run out and all they had "was paper towels and duct tape" which they used.

"They started wrapping each other's fists and we were helping to wipe the blood off. And it was something," Johnson said.

10:33 p.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Daughter of Rep. Raskin recounts the fear she felt on Jan. 6 while hiding under Rep. Hoyer's desk

Rep. Jamie Raskin, left, and his daughter Tabitha Raskin recount the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, left, and his daughter Tabitha Raskin recount the events of Jan. 6, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

Tabitha Raskin, the daughter of Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, recounted the events of Jan. 6, 2021, while she was at the US Capitol during the riot.

Raskin said she was separated from her father at the time in Rep. Steny Hoyer's office. When she heard the rioters break into the building, she and her husband Hank Kronick sought refuge under Hoyer's desk.

"As soon as we heard them close, we immediately looked for someplace to hide. It was really the only good hiding spot," Tabitha Raskin told CNN. "So the two of us, we hid under his desk. We were under there for a while. I remember there was a hole in the desk for cords, and I was scared. I just imagined people coming in and like seeing us through the hole and then I remember trying to cover the hole."
12:10 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

GOP Rep. Cheney: "Critically important" Trump never gets close to the Oval Office again

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)
(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

Republican lawmaker Liz Cheney says her party should not allow former President Trump to gain the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

"Look, what we saw him do after the election, what we saw him do on the 6th, are absolutely disqualifying," Cheney told CNN's Jake Tapper.

As Tapper noted that Trump would be a Republican frontrunner should he choose to run, Cheney further detailed why she feels the former president isn't fit to again become America's commander-in-chief.

"When you have somebody who has demonstrated his lack of fidelity to the Constitution, someone who is at war with the rule of law, you cannot entrust that person with the power of the presidency ever again," she said.

Almost a full year since Trump left office, Cheney says it's vital he doesn't earn a second term.

"I think it's critically important for the republic that he not be anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again," she said.

Cheney also talked about the state of the Republican party. “We’re certainly in a very dangerous place as a party. I think that right now we have a cult of personality. We have too many people in the party who have decided to embrace the former president.”

 “Right now my party is not embracing truth, is not embracing substance and seriousness,” she said.

CNN's Ryan Nobles contributed reporting to this post.

10:27 p.m. ET, January 6, 2022

Rep. Raskin on decision to go to the Capitol the day of riot, despite losing his son the week earlier 

(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)
(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, walked into the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021 with the purpose of certifying the 2020 election results despite losing his son a week earlier.

Raskin told CNN's Anderson Cooper during tonight's special that his sense of duty is what gave him the strength to come into the Capitol building for the election certification.

"It was surreal, there's no doubt about that. I felt Tommy very much in my heart, in my chest. And like I told Tabitha and her big sister Hannah and Hank, the whole family, I just said, 'It's a constitutional duty, the Constitution says we have to be there that first Wednesday in January in order to count the electoral college votes.' And as you know, it was a surly political environment, and we had a very narrow majority at that point. And Covid-19 was running rampant...and people who were getting sick. And I just said, 'Hey, we live closer to the Capitol than any other member of Congress other than Eleanor Holmes Norton who is a nonvoting delegate,' I said, 'I got to be down there'," Raskin said.

Raskin's daughter, Tabitha, and son-in-law, Hank Kronick, accompanied him to the Capitol to offer support and then the unthinkable happened, a mob of rioters breached the building and set off hours of chaos.

Raskin's daughter and son-in-law took refuge in Rep. Steny Hoyer's Capitol office. Raskin was separated from them for about an hour while he evacuated with his colleagues to the House side.

"It was about an hour later when finally the officers said that it was secure enough to come in to try to get them out of Steny's Capitol office. And so they came back, and you can imagine the sense of relief I felt. And it was very emotional, when they came back, " Raskin said. "And then I was working to get them home because we were planning on being here most of the night, as we were, because all of us were adamant that we were going to see the electoral college vote certified. We were not going to leave until that happened. And so when we finally figured a way for them to get back home, I was giving them hugs and kisses and saying goodbye, and I said to Tabitha, 'I promise it will never be like this again when you come back to the Capitol.' And she just looked at me, I'll never forget it, and she said, 'Dad, I don't want to come back to the Capitol,'" Raskin recounted.

More context: Asked about how he managed to keep his composure and continue to fight for the election to be certified, Raskin told CNN's Jake Tapper on Jan. 17, 2021: "I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021."

Raskin went on to become the lead impeachment manager weeks after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and is now a member of the House Jan. 6 select committee investigating the riot.

12:13 a.m. ET, January 7, 2022

Cheney on fellow Republicans downplaying the Capitol riot: "That’s how democracies die"

(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)
(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who is the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 select committee, said that her fellow GOP colleagues who are downplaying the gravity of the Capitol riot are "failing to live up to their oath of office."

When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper what she would say to them, Cheney told him:

"I say that's how democracies die. That if you have members of political parties who ignore an attack, we've never before been in a situation where the President himself provoked a violent assault on this Capitol building. And when you sit here in Statuary Hall night, you realize how sacred this place is. Any American who would enable or look the other way or dismiss what happened or refuse to do their duty to get to the bottom of it, I think is failing to live up to their oath of office and to their duties as a citizen of this great nation."