Press release

United States Must Deliver Full Transparency and Accountability for January 6 Attack

All Americans who believe in democracy should work to uphold its core values and strengthen its institutions.

On the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The violent attack on the US Capitol one year ago today was an outrageous violation of democratic principles and an assault on our nation’s founding values,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The violence was not a spontaneous event that got out of hand. It was part of a premeditated, deliberate effort over many months to overturn the election results and thwart the will of the American people. Unfortunately, such abuses did not begin or end with the 2020 election cycle; we have seen a much broader trend in which this country’s democratic institutions and processes are being undermined for political gain.”

“The full impact of January 6 extends beyond the attack itself. The pernicious disinformation that drove the violence has propagated a mistrust in America’s electoral process that will permeate US politics for years to come and corrode American democracy if left unaddressed.”

“We continue to call for full transparency and accountability regarding the causes and actions of that day,” Abramowitz said. “Both will be necessary if we are to restore American democracy to health. Democracies cannot survive without strong institutions, free and fair elections, peaceful transfers of power, and trust in government to carry out its duties fairly.”

“Repairing the damage that has been done to American democracy will require sustained effort by all Americans—members of the public, civil society groups, academics, journalists, and politicians who share a commitment to democratic governance regardless of their partisan or policy preferences,” said Michael Chertoff, chairman of Freedom House’s Board of Trustees. “Our views on January 6 should not be shaped by whether one is a Republican or Democrat or independent; they should be shaped by our dedication to free and fair elections, checks and balances, and a fully functioning democratic system. Each of us bears the responsibility to protect and support our democratic institutions. We must not let the violence of January 6 or its root causes go unaddressed.”