U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández recalled the feeling that overcame her at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 — just three days after the freshman congresswoman had been sworn into office.


“I was angry that it had come to this,” she said Wednesday, just ahead of the insurrection’s one-year anniversary.

“But I understood that what we were witnessing on Jan. 6 was the culmination of months of the former president making falsehoods, lying about what happened in November” with his general election loss, the New Mexico Democrat said.

Vigils are planned around the nation Thursday to commemorate the deadly uprising by supporters of former President Donald Trump who believed his claim the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him. The incident rocked a nation that had believed its Capitol in Washington, D.C., and what the building stands for — democracy — were impenetrable.

Many members of the U.S. House and Senate have spoken this week about their lingering trauma from the attack, in which they were shaken by the chaos, including a fatal gunshot fired by a Capitol police officer.

A few days after the attack last year, U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, another New Mexico Democrat, said in an interview he heard a mob of protesters moving toward the Senate chamber and saw Secret Service agents rushing into the chamber to move Vice President Mike Pence to safety. He also heard a report of shots fired, followed by cries of, “Get them out of here!”

The effects of the riot were felt in New Mexico as well, where some state lawmakers feared a similar attack on the state Capitol in downtown Santa Fe as they prepared for a 60-day legislative session. They voted to increase security measures, prompting the installation of chain-link fences and concrete barriers around the building. Security patrols and door checks by New Mexico State Police officers and New Mexico National Guardsmen became a regular sight during the 2021 session.

The Roundhouse was closed to the general public during the session, though the decision was due in large part to the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.

Luján joined activists from several voting-rights advocacy groups in a virtual news conference Wednesday to discuss the Freedom to Vote Act, legislation that would give the federal government more control over state elections. Luján said the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection is the right time to act to protect Americans’ fundamental right to vote.

“These bills must become law,” Luján said. “Our democracy depends on it.”

Leger Fernández also supports the measure.

Voting rights activists insist the legislation is necessary to ensure another Capitol attack does not occur. They say Republican leaders in many states already have enacted laws limiting voter access and subverting the election process.

Republicans, meanwhile, have blocked the legislation with a filibuster.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber will vote to change its filibuster rules in an effort to pass the bill, as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — named for the civil rights activist and congressman who died last year — by Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The John Lewis legislation would restore and reinforce portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, put in place to protect minority voting rights.

Senate Republicans in Washington are engaging in “pure obstruction,” Luján said Wednesday. “They have made the political calculus that it is to their advantage to not allow access to the balloting box and enact rules that make it harder for people to vote.”

Among other provisions, the voting rights bill would set federal mandates for early and mail-in voting and would require voters to provide some form of identification before casting a ballot. It also would make Election Day a national holiday, when a range of businesses would be closed and more workers could get to the polls.

During Wednesday’s news conference, Luján said, “One year ago, Jan. 6, 2021, our democracy bent — but it didn’t break. That dark day reminded us how fragile our democracy is. On that day, many heroes stood up to protect America — from the Capitol police to Capitol leadership to everyday Americans. We made it clear we will not hide in fear. Rather, we will rise to the occasion to do the jobs we were sent here to do.”

Leger Fernández, reflecting on the attack in an interview later Wednesday, said, “I want us all to be very honest about what happened on Jan. 6 so we can make sure it does not happen again. I want all Americans to recognize how close we came to undermining this very precious and fragile thing called our democracy.”

Passage of the voting rights bill, she said, is key to ensure “no president — especially a president — is above the law.”

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

(54) comments

Grace Trujillo

I for one have lost the respect and support for Donald Trump on this issue. What a disgrace. And for him not to be able to show professionalism, respect, and compassion as a President of the USA for our people, just shows how much he really cares for us. I don't understand how people still support him. His lies and dishonesty caused this RIOT (out of his own mouth) and he should have been punished and held accountable for his actions. He's a disgrace!

Khal Spencer

For a repudition of the 6 Jan mob and its political underpinnings from a conservative, I give you Jonah Goldberg.


LeRoy Sanchez

No thanks.

Prince Michael Jauregui

January Seventh, 2021 - Year of His Victory

The Divinely-anointed House of David condemns and rejects all forms of Domestic Terrorism.

Unquestionably, events in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 -Year of His Victory- were equally fostered and emboldened by the inaction and appeasement of agenda-serving politicians, during the unprecedented attacks upon churches, illegal removal of historical monuments and over $3-Billion in destruction to small businesses in various cities across the nation in 2020. Yesterday, regardless of ideological difference, was a culmination of the Mob Rule mentality that -both- the national media and elected officials cowardly sanctioned.

Be clear, for decades I've forewarned corrupted, wicked and unfit "Powers-that-Be" in the U.S.: All things, ultimately, serve Almighty Yahweh.

"Even the wicked, were created for the day of destruction".

Yesterday, some of the same party-serving politicians whom have callously sent American men and women to profiteering, needless wars and have zealously supported the slaughter of over 60-million unborn children, were broadcast world-wide, running and cowering for their own lives.

Gone, with their false bravado and Godless arrogance.

While, long-corrupted career-politicians and their ever-deceptive media allies attempt to proclaim yesterday's events as an "attack upon Democracy", when the livelihood and even lives of hard-working Americans were under cowardly and Godless attack, it was reduced to "Peaceful Protests". Yet again, the sickening, self-serving hypocrisy is evident. For decades, cloaking de facto Tyranny with "Democracy" and crafty Oppression, with "Liberty".

In the words of the well-worn adage of American Farmers?

Yesterday, the U.S. Government's chickens came home to roost.

My message Today, for all executives, officials, agencies, employees of -both- the U.S. "Government" and their multinational "Corporate America" masters: For decades, the fundamental, inalienable rights of the Divinely-anointed House of David and numerous Americans alike, have been wickedly and willfully violated. For years, I've forewarned of surprising, severe and indefensible consequences. With, The True and Living God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, The Most Divine and Eternal God of Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy, Almighty Yahweh as My Witness: In 2021 -Year of His Victory- far-

greater Divine and Powerful Justice shall prevail. As all things, serve Almighty God!

Fight a dirty war, pay the dirty cost.

All, for The Greater Glory of The Kingdom of Christ Yeshua!

+HRH Prince Michael of The House of David+

Mark Specter

TLDR, an acid trip of weird religious zealotry that doesn't say much.

Richard Reinders

Typical left wing name calling, just like you are entitled to an opinion, so is Prince Michael.

Mark Specter

Lol. What is left wing about it? Never said he wasn't entitle to an opinion. Still not sure what it is, but he's entitled to it.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Plainly, you're quite familiar with acid trips Mr. Specter.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Obvious from his comments, well said hermano......

Khal Spencer

I was working from home a year ago today with NPR on in the background. Have to admit I was shocked and horrified at what was happening in Dee Cee, given my full time job was protecting Uncle Sam from harm. But to compare last year's riot/insurrection (I'll give readers the choice) to 9-11 or the Pearl Harbor attack seemed to me a bit of hyperbole on the VP's part.

Its one thing to hold Mr. Trump and his supporters accountable for the mess. Its another to equate it to attacks from abroad that killed thousands of Americans and threw us into a world war or a never ending war on terror. For that matter, last year, as upsetting and horrifying as it was, didn't match the panic in D.C. after the Union rout at First Manassas, when the real possibility of a Rebel flag flying over the national capital with a Rebel army present to salute it was in play.

Let's put the country back together rather than rub people's noses in it. Ok, we had our remembrance. Now let's move on.

Mark Specter

The loss of life is simply not comparable between those events and this one, Khal. I'd make a different comparison, to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. More than likely, we are headed down a path of more serious domestic armed conflict. Not a world war, but one that will see destruction of property and loss of life as reactionary extremists attempt to retain a society in which white folks retain outsized privilege. We should remember this as the precipitating event to that conflict.

Khal Spencer

I'll buy that, Mark. Or the other comparison is to the riots in the Weimar Republic that led to the downfall of the short-lived German experiment with democracy in the twenties and up to about 1932. There is nothing magic about the future of the United States or as Franklin is supposed to have said, we have a Republic if we can keep it.

John Cook

It would be great, wouldn't it, if the country would just move on and not rub the Republican party's nose in its attack on the Capitol? On the other hand, Pearl Harbor and 9-11 were attacks on our country by foreign enemies. 1/6/21 was an armed attack on our country and its democratic institutions by one of the major political parties. So, to follow your idea: should we deal with the Republican party as we dealt with the Japanese and with those who attacked us on 9-11? Or would that not be fair to domestic traitors?

Emily Koyama


Oh, you mean the flagpoles and fire extinguishers? Ok.

Mr Cook, had a large group of several hundred, or even thousands, of "real insurrectionists" arrived at the Capitol building toting AR15 and semi automatic handguns, the end result would of course been much different and much more tragic.

To call this an "armed insurrection" is an insult to genuine "insurrectionists" everywhere.

Another steaming pile of....oh what's the use.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup][thumbup]Partisan political hyperbole at its best.....

Khal Spencer

I'll meet you halfway, Emily. If those involved in descending on D.C. for the "stop the steal" were seriously competent to stage an insurrection, they would have planned what do to once they were inside rather than as the adage goes, being the dog that caught the car and trying to figure out what to do next. They would have been heavily armed (and if anyone thinks DC gun laws would have stopped them, I have a bridge to sell you) and had lines of communication. Der Orangenfuhrer (or someone) would have been in command and control and doing more to support them such as by blocking law enforcement or attempting to call in "loyalist" troops.

This was more of a Marx Brothers Duck Soup version of a coup d' etat than a real one. Its the real one that might happen in the future that worries me. Will future Joint Chiefs be loyal to the Constitution or to a leader figure? Will some of the military mutiny or will they too be loyal to a lawful chain of command? I watched Frontline last night and while it seems to be a tiny minority in the military that is getting unduly politicized with extremism, one has to wonder where this story will go.

We need to put this polarization into reverse gear.

John Cook

The United States is not a delineated section of real estate. The United States is a government with a Constitution and laws. Those who attack our democratic institutions attack the country and they are traitors to our country. You who try to minimize and celebrate their treason are what you are.

Mike Johnson

Yes Khal, over 700 have been charged, and few with a felony, mostly misdemeanors, most no jail time, and none with sedition, "insurrection", or treason, not even sentences enhanced by domestic terrorism charges. So how dangerous was all this to us as a country and our democracy? A tempest in a teapot, as the Bard would say......

LeRoy Sanchez

You are delusional. You are wrong. You are uninformed.

Khal Spencer

Guess I just don't think you heal things by rubbing salt in the wounds. Those directly responsible are being indicted. The rest of us have to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

John Cook

Former President Donald Trump and members of the House Freedom Caucus were directly responsible. When they are indicted, convicted and sentenced we can begin to put things back together again. And, no, Dr. Johnson a vote of only 57 Senators to convict is not a finding of innocence. An impeachment is a political process. Those directly responsible should be indicted and tried in courts of law. You know...in those democratic institutions they tried to destroy.

Richard Reinders

John, you said in another post "Those who attack our democratic institutions attack the country and they are traitors to our country." I agree. The Federal building in Portland is also a Democratic institution and was repeatedly attacked as well as who defended it. There was all the death and destruction of businesses, but not a peep was made, because it was a bunch of left wing thugs. Is it equal justice for all? When do they get their comeuppance?

Mark Specter

What do you mean not a peep was made? It was daily news for months and dozens were prosecuted.

Mark Specter

The wounds are beyond healing Khal. We won't have a come together moment. We'll have piece again when a big portion of the traitors age out of the population.

Richard Reinders

Mark, thousands killed, burned and assaulted Portland for a year how come only dozens prosecuted, we are prosecuting every single attacker on Washington as we should. It is not equal justice.

Mark Specter

Thousands?! Nah, man. You live in a fantasy world. That's probably why.

LeRoy Sanchez

Our BIGGEST problem today is DOMESTIC terrorism. Pure and simple. To deny this is not only delusional, but deplorable as well.

Jim Klukkert

Khal Spencer– I have to completely disagree with you as to the relative impact of the 1941 and 2001 attacks, compared to the attack on 6 January. The latter attack, and the ongoing organizing to launch a follow-up, represents potentially a far more lethal assault on our electoral process, and so is aimed directly at the very heart of our experiment in Democracy.

As I read history, and as I experienced 9/11, I never would predict a Japanese emperor nor a holy warrior, would hold the reins of power in D.C.

On the other hand, that a phony Real Estate scam artist could gain the White House, seems very possible, and perhaps likely.

Mike Johnson

Jim, I can't argue with you about your description of you know who, and the embarrassment I felt when he was elected, even if the alternative was no better. Unfortunately that is where America has arrived today in the kind of people who run for office and get elected. When people look at "government institutions" or buildings, they see people they dislike and have no respect for, and when Mr. Cook describes America thusly: "The United States is a government with a Constitution and laws. Those who attack our democratic institutions attack the country.." many people see the people as the core of this country, not the politicians and government institutions. So to many, the "attack" on the Capital was not as dastardly an act as 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, since it was on many politicians people dislike and have no respect for anyway. There was not a connection between the place and the people who run it that made the place sacred. In fact, many would welcome a face to face encounter with, say Pelosi, AOC, Ben Ray, or Bernie, to tell them what they really think of them and their policies. I know I would. And since so few people trust the politicians in DC, I think the polarization about this "attack" is understandable. The views of Congress I describe here are not new, in fact, read some quotes from Mark Twain (H.L.Mencken also had some good ones): "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

“There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

"Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can."

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."

"An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere."

"All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity."

Khal Spencer

A ragtag bunch of people wearing Monty Python outfits will not overthrow the Republic. It will take a more insidious corrosion from the inside, state legislature by state legislature. I do think we will see the writing on the wall clearly in 2024.

I would put the destruction of the Bonus Army as a worse stain on our Republic than 6 Jan.

Khal Spencer

Also, Mike (below? above?) makes some good points today. When Trump won in 2016, many Dems thought the election was fraudulent. Even more Republicans do today with Mr. Biden's election. I was at the Jan. 2017 march in Santa Fe. The loathing of Trump was dripping from every face. And that was prior to anything he did as POTUS.

With so much distrust in government from both left and right, its not hard to see how some day folks may take Thomas Jefferson at his words: "...When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...."

I think that dissolution would be a terrible idea and it would probably be far more like that which divided India from Pakistan than North vs. South as we once attempted. The separation of India into two states, where it wasn't regional but individuals who had to get up and move, was brutal and bloody (and the reason my wife's family fled to the United States). But when I see such polarized opinions and politics, its not clear how to change course. The Left and Right are not going to change each others minds with invective and insult. I don't know. At times, I think Newton had it right: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In politics, too.

Mike Johnson

Good points and thoughts Khal. A day like today was made to draw out all the anger, frustration, polarization, and division that exists in this country, and that is a considerable amount, greatly multiplied by the pandemic and all that has done to rip us as a country and people. Our divisions are deep, and getting deeper, and in many cases that division is geographically and culturally based into the many enclaves that are dominated by left and right with no common ground. A very disappointing day and time, let us hope and pray someone comes up with an answer to unifying us all. Another Civil War would not be good for anyone.

Emily Koyama

Hey a pot-smoking, small-time community organizer and do-nothing Illinois State Senator made it into the White House, and is now a member of the One Percent, so anything's possible, right?

Khal Spencer

Sure is. A kid born to a single mom in a Catholic home for unwed mothers, who was raised in a working class home by my mom and a UAW factory worker stepdad (who never finished high school) and went to public schools, eventually went on to get a Ph.D. and two fantastic jobs.

I want any present or future kid who grew up lacking the silver spoon in the mouth to have the same chances I did. That won't happen by people throwing stuff through windows of the national capitol. It will take buckets of hard work, not buckets of B.S.

I guess that's why I'm usually the one here trying to patch the holes in the Titanic.

LeRoy Sanchez

1.6.21 will forever live in our minds as a day infamy. We will never forget or forgive what happened a year ago today in Washington DC.

Khal Spencer

Any Freedom to Vote act has to be consistent with the Federal role in state level elections.


John Cook

Interestingly, both voting rights acts before the Congress are completely consistent with the federal role in state elections. So. Do you support them?

Khal Spencer

Hi John. I have not read the bills. I heard some criticisms of whether all of the topics in the bills were consistent with the Constitution, and its just this morning that I went and read that Constitution Center piece.

Regardless, if something is not within the power of Congress, it will be litigated. To answer you somewhat, I'm not fond of the attempts to "get even" with Mr. Trump's loss by rigging the state systems for partisan gain. But not having read the bills, I'm not going further.

Amy Christiansen

Stop using this date to manipulate our elections!! Democrats know they're on our way out and will try anything, even if it's unconstitutional!!

Mike Johnson

Today is a partisan political holiday, as it gives the left wing Democrats a reason to continue to rail about Trump, and try to tie and blame him for all things they are not accomplishing. A national day of partisan rage.

Mark Specter

You have to be joking! You're always on here tempting fate with saying BLM is going to burn cities down and you say this is a partisan holiday? You're not even good at trolling, sir. Do you remember the cop that died, the tremendous amounts of vandalism? The attempt to disrupt our democracy? Get a different hobby man. Nobody takes you seriously.

Richard Reinders

The cop died from health issues the unarmed girl was shot and killed, this was an unarmed assault. I don’t agree with what they did in any way shape or form but let’s make sure we are factual, we will get more done with the truth and not politics.

Emily Koyama

Yes Richard, you are correct that the officer died from natural causes.... but this is information that has been largely left out, or conveniently omitted by the left wing media, which is why people like Mr. Specter seem to be oblivious.

It's what happens when you rely on confirmation bias sources.

Mike Johnson

Yes, no police died from injuries sustained by the rioters, none. The suicides months later were never said to have been caused by the riots. One rioter was shot dead point blank in the face, and some others died in the parking lot from natural causes (and even a drug overdose), but no rioters were armed with firearms, as the police were, why didn't they use them more than 1 time? And Mr. Specter, if that is your real name, you want to talk about rioting, looting, arson, police killed? Read this:.....https://thehill.com/homenews/news/516742-vandalism-looting-after-floyd-death-sparks-at-least-1-billion-in-damages-report

And this: .....https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/31/americans-killed-protests-political-unrest-acled

Mark Specter

That information is simply not true. And it doesn't matter. If you're on their side, youre against the rest of. Duly noted. You're adversaries of democracy and we'll act accordingly

Emily Koyama

The results of the autopsy report have been public for some time.

Emily Koyama

Sounds like threats Mr Specter. How about I just throw this out there. I think liberalism, which is a mental disease, and it's ideological buddy, socialism, are a stain on the world, and this country. It promises to shackle the masses, give power and money to a few, and very likely lead to armed conflict. It's clear where you stand. "Duly noted".

Ernest Green

You'll want to use more CapsLock to give this statement greater stature and credibility

John Cook

Amy, you are so right. Any public discussion of the attack on the Capitol should be outlawed. Along with any discussion of racism in this country. It is so unconstitutional to talk about these things.

Mike Johnson

Yes, and after listening to the stirring speeches by Kamala and Joe, here are some suggestions to celebrating today, our newest national holiday:


Richard Reinders

I give you credit for listening to the whole thing I couldn't listen to VP Harris anymore, her personality coaching classes didn't work, she treated her classes like she treated her job at the border.

Mike Johnson


Emily Koyama

K. Harris, AKA "Giggles", literally makes me want to throw up. Mike has a cast iron stomach, methinks.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Mostly with politicians, but when she comapred this incompetent mob riot to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, I admit I lost it......

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