WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol has been commemorated all day Thursday as we officially mark one year since the riot. The question remains: could something like this happen again?
President Joe Biden thanked members of the D.C. Police Department, D.C. National Guard and U.S. Capitol Police who battled pro-Trump supporters last year.
While Biden condemned the actions of the rioters, he had even tougher words for the man who preceded him – former President Donald Trump, placing the blame squarely on him.
"For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol," Biden said. "But they failed…We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie. Here's the truth. The former President of the United States of America has spread a web of lies about the 2020 election."
FOX 5 spoke with Homeland Security Department Assistant Secretary Samantha Vinograd who says even a year later, the extremist and domestic terror threat remains high in the nation's capital.
"We are very concerned about the risk of lone actors and small groups of individuals mobilizing to violence," she says. "Oftentimes, it’s fueled by content online, so that threat is dispersed, so our state and local partners need information, and we need information from them because it’s a two-way street on information sharing."
One of DHS's biggest jobs is to separate threats from constitutionally protected free speech, a critical balancing act to protect the Capitol.
"We are not here to police thought, and we are not here to police speech," Vinograd says. "Where we become and remain concerned is when certain speech has a nexus to violence, and it leads to an act of domestic violent extremism. That is the differentiating factor here."
Trump did release a series of statements on Thursday, again making false claims about the 2020 election being stolen before pointing out 2022 is an election year and that "MAGA Republicans" should work with him to defeat democrats.