The violence was captured live on video cameras, with rioters kicking officers with flag poles and fire extinguishers. One even squeezed one between the doors, as he begged to save his life.
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 4 percent of 10 Republicans still remember the Jan. 6 attack by Trump supporters as extremely violent or very violent nearly a year later. About 3 out 10 Republicans believe the attack wasn't violent and 3 out 10 others say it was.
They were an outlier as about two-thirds (including 9 in 10) Americans described the day as extremely or very violent.
These findings show the country's political polarization. The false portrayal of the siege is despite the extensive footage showing the horrific ransacking and destruction of the building. Trump and his allies in Congress, as well as conservative media, have downplayed the incident and falsely characterized it as minor civil disturbance.
This is a common view among Republicans, even though not many Republicans are willing to defend the rioters.
Paul Bender, a Cleveland-based conservative, said that "my understanding was that a lot it was peaceful." He spoke to The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I have seen video where people march in through velvet ropes."
Bender said that he couldn't keep up to date with news coverage and added: "There were certain outliers who weren't peaceful and were breaking through windows and stuff like this, but I wasn’t aware of any overt violence."
The percentage of Americans who blame Trump have increased slightly in the last year. 57% said that Trump is responsible for the Jan. 6, 2016 riot. A poll by AP-NORC was conducted in the days following the attack and found that 50% of respondents said this.
Republicans are also seeing the uptick, although relatively few believe Trump is responsible for it. Up from 11% lastyear, 22 percent now say this. Sixty percent of respondents say he was responsible for little or no damage.
Bender, 53, stated that he doesn't believe he was actively encouraging people to peacefully protest. "However, once things got outof control, I believe that it would have been appropriate to him to have reacted sooner. This could have been a statement, going on the radio, TV, or whatever.
Trump's last desperate attempt to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden was ended with the insurrection. Trump's false claims of voter fraud were rejected by the courts. He then turned his attention to the Electoral College certification, Jan. 6, and publicly pressed Mike Pence, the Vice President, to stop Congress from naming Biden as the winner. Pence was not granted that power by law as the function of the vice president is mostly ceremonial.
While Trump is not the only one to blame, Republicans and Democrats agree that Trump's actions were largely responsible.
Mary Beth Bell, Jacksonville, Florida, stated that while she believes there were strong Trump supporters present, she thinks the attackers might not have been true Trump supporters. "Because I know many Trump supporters, they see the Jan. 6 events as disgusting."
A majority of Americans believe a House select panel should continue investigating the attack. Only 3 percent of Americans disagree.
Robert Spry, a Democrat from Kingman, Arizona said that the congressional investigation was crucial to uncovering the truth.
We need a complete report on that day. Spry stated that it must be revealed what the people did to the police and to this building.
The 63-year-old, who used to vote Republican but now considers himself a conservative Democrat, said the protest-turned-attack appeared chaotic at first but the committee's findings are making it "more and more clear that it was planned in advance."
Spry is supported by 41% of Republicans, but 58% disagree.
Bell stated that a federal investigation into "a terrorist attack" she witnessed is appropriate. However, she objected to the manner in which the nine-member panel has been investigating the matter since July last year.
"They aren't listening to all the information. She said that she felt the committee was more one-sided than trying to investigate all information. It is comprised of seven Democrats as well as two Republicans. After rejecting the House GOP leadership's choices, Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, chose all members of the committee.
Bennie Thompson (Democratic chairman of the committee), said that it was important for Americans to understand that Democrats tried first to create a bipartisan panel with equal numbers of members from each political party. It was blocked by the Senate Republicans.
Thompson stated that Speaker Pelosi had to act because the Republican leadership was failing this country. He also said that it was in the country's best interests to create a committee to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding Jan. 6.