How the Capitol attack still divides the United States

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FILES-US-POLITICS-CAPITOL-UNREST-ANNIVERSARY<br>(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 06, 2021 Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC. - One year after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and shut down Congress, Americans still await a reckoning on the unprecedented challenge to the country's democracy. Was it a simple protest-turned-riot? An insurrection? A coup attempt plotted by Trump? Videos from January 6, 2021 bear witness to the violence wrought in the former president's name. Attackers beating security officers with iron bars and clubs. A policeman crushed in a doorway, howling in pain. Rioters clad in assault gear chanting "Hang Mike Pence," while the vice president and Democratic and Republican lawmakers flee.

A year ago today, Donald Trump made a speech to his supporters contesting the election result and encouraging them to march on Congress. The riot that ensued was unlike anything seen before in American politics. Many hoped a line would subsequently be drawn in the sand and that politicians would come together in solidarity to ensure that nothing of the sort could happen again.

But as the Guardian’s Washington DC bureau chief, David Smith, tells Nosheen Iqbal, that is not what has happened in the weeks and month since the attack. Instead, two distinct narratives have evolved: on the one hand, those who are being led by the mountains of documentary evidence and on the other, those sympathetic to the former president downplaying the events of 6 January and falsely blaming leftwing agitators.

The reporter Nick Robins-Early describes the huge investigation being carried out by the FBI to bring charges against hundreds of people. He says that one of the big unanswered questions at the heart of that investigation is how much planning and coordination went into the insurrection.

Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

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