Three years after the storming of the Capitol

The investigation into the storming of the US Congress building on 6 January 2021 is still ongoing three years after the event. In February, the Supreme Court will decide whether the exclusion of then President Donald Trump from the current primaries in two states - based on his role in the riot - is legal. How has the event impacted US democracy?

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

A campaign weapon for both sides

The situation in the US is unprecedented, writes La Vanguardia:

“Colorado and Maine have suspended Trump's election campaign for his participating in and inciting the riots, and another fifteen or so states are considering doing the same. The Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is to decide on 8 February whether or not the Republican candidate should be allowed to run. ... The court will become the principle arbiter of the presidential election. ... Until its judgement is made public, the attack on the Capitol will serve as a campaign weapon for both sides.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Everything depends on the Supreme Court

The future of US democracy is at stake, Le Figaro concludes:

“America is fixated on a single question: where is the truth of 6 January, are we dealing with a false winner or a bad loser? In the US and elsewhere, everyone has already made up their minds, so little progress can be expected from the election debate. But the Supreme Court has the opportunity to put American democracy back on the right track. ... If it finds that Trump violated the 14th Amendment by supporting an insurrection, the Republicans will have to find another candidate. ... If it acquits him, it will certainly take more than the frail Joe Biden to 'save' American democracy.”

Berlingske (DK) /

The Democrats also have a democracy deficit

Fighting Trump through the courts is the wrong approach, Berlingske criticises:

“If, on the one hand, Trump is rightly accused of undermining democracy, it's also appropriate to point out when the opposing political wing does the same. And removing the name of the man who is likely to be the opponent in the upcoming presidential election from the ballot is unlikely to strengthen American democracy or confidence in the electoral process. On the contrary, clearly this will only boost the support of Trump's hardcore fans and benefit him politically. ... Elections must be decided at the polling station, not with a legal step that sows distrust.”

La Tribune de Genève (CH) /

Trump is well on his way to success

The event is already fading as a cautionary tale, La Tribune de Genève observes:

“Three years after the attack and the chaos it's as if the idea of a democracy under threat were no longer a central concern for many voters, and not just Republicans. According to a Washington Post poll, only half the respondents across party lines still believe that the attack should never be forgotten. On the contrary: with his complaints about a 'pseudo-democracy' Donald Trump has hit the nail on the head. ... Thanks to his self-staging as a conspiracy victim, he is well on the way to succeeding with his tour de force. ... What will become of American democracy after 5 November 2024 is another question.”

Politiken (DK) /

The problem goes beyond Trump

Politiken warns against expecting too much of Republican candidate Nikki Haley, who is one of the few in her party to have recognised the 2020 election result:

“In the interests of both the US and the Americans, one can only hope that she defeats Trump and becomes the party's presidential candidate. But even then the Republicans would still have a long way to go on the path back to being a responsible party. ... Congress is packed with Trump supporters and the primary system has become a radicalising factor, with Trump's core voters pushing moderate politicians out of the race in favour of extremists. The attack on Congress on 6 January 2021 failed - but democracy in the US in general and among the Republicans in particular is still in a bad state.”