Democratic lawmakers, organizations, and activists are fundraising off of the January 6 Capitol riot while at the same time claiming it was one of the most dangerous threats to the U.S. government in history.
Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA) have sent out emails asking for funds while castigating former President Donald Trump and Republicans for allegedly inciting an insurrection that killed multiple people. Democrat and progressive groups such as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Everytown for Gun Safety have also sent out fundraising emails on the riot’s anniversary.
“One year ago today, supporters of former President Trump stormed the U.S. capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the free and fair 2020 election. Incited by the ‘big lie’ and disinformation, the insurrectionists tried to overthrow our democracy,” Schumer’s fundraising email begins. “Five people were killed and countless others injured. It was one of the darkest days in American history.”
The DNC’s fundraising message begins similarly: “One year ago today, our democracy was attacked. The will of the people was under assault, and our Constitution faced the gravest of threats.”
Some of the emails push for Democrats’ overhaul of election laws that would federalize much of the U.S. election process, stripping authority from the states. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed in his latest fundraising email that “our democracy is under severe attack” from Republicans passing state-level election reforms designed to shore up voting processes after the 2020 election.
“But the truth is that the attack on our democracy goes far deeper than the violence of January 6, 2021,” Sanders said. “Our democracy is under attack from Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country who are doing everything in their power to suppress the vote and make it harder for people of color and young people to vote.”
While Democratic lawmakers and groups invoked January 6 to raise money, Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday likened the 2021 riot to tragic dates in U.S. history, such as the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
“Certain dates echo throughout history,” Harris said in remarks in Congress. “Including dates that instantly remind all who have lived them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendar but a place in our collective memory. Dec. 7, 1941, Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 6, 2021.”
Harris refrained from using January 6 as a fundraiser. She did use the opportunity to push the Biden agenda, however, calling for action on the Democrats’ election reforms.
“Here, in this very building, a decision will be made about whether we uphold the right to vote and ensure free and fair election[s],” she said. “Let’s be clear: We must pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate, and the American people must also do something more.”
“We cannot sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defense of our democracy in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our prosperity and posterity,” she added.