Capitol riots one year on: 'A dagger at the throat of American democracy'

What has changed in the year since the storming of the Capitol? Correspondent Robert Moore, who along with his team was the only news crew to enter the building as the riot unfolded, returns to the scene one year on

A year ago, at 2.13pm Washington time, a mob stormed Congress, breaching the inner sanctum of American democracy. It was a shocking and violent climax to Donald Trump's incendiary efforts to overturn the 2020 election result. Today, President Biden has issued a dramatic warning - from the halls of Congress itself - that American democracy still “has a dagger at its throat.”

Watch ITV News' eyewitness report from inside the US Capitol as Trump supporters storm building

He blamed, with extraordinary directness, his predecessor for inspiring the riot of January 6 and for spreading in its aftermath a web of toxic lies. Biden furiously taunted Trump, saying “he’s not just a former president, he’s a former defeated president.” He described this new era - with democracy and voting rights under assault - as a battle for the soul of America.

"The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies"

We have never heard one President assault the legacy of a predecessor in such brutal terms.

It was an extraordinary moment and is already being hailed by his allies as the strongest - and certainly the most important - speech that Biden has delivered in his long political life.

The speech acknowledged one reality: that the root causes of the political violence have not gone away. Tens of millions of Americans still believe that the election was stolen, and that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.

The spectre of more election chaos haunts this country.

Robert Moore sheds light on the possibility of political violence in America's future and fears that Donald Trump may return US president

That remains a frightening prospect as the political calendar moves closer to another round of high-stakes elections.

First, we have the midterm Congressional elections in November, when Trump's loyal cadre of Republicans believe they will retake control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Then, America will move into the 2024 presidential election cycle, with Donald Trump again likely to be a candidate for the White House.

So, this first anniversary of the attempted insurrection comes amid continuing division.

Donald Trump at his Washington rally on Wednesday, where he incited his supporters to march on the Capitol Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Just listen to Josh Pruitt, a Proud Boy who I have tracked since January 6.

He was arrested and his case is still going through the courts.

He spoke to me from Tennessee about January 6 - claiming it was "a rally a certain percentage of people took in the wrong direction". He insists it was not planned.

He also stands by the disproven claim the 2020 election was stolen.

'We went there to support Trump, have some drinks and have a good time' claims Proud Boy on trial for his part in Capitol riot

What is most concerning is that recent polling shows that Americans believe that what happened a year ago is a sign of what lies ahead. 68% have said it's a harbinger of a new era of political violence. 34% of Americans believe that violence can sometimes be justified.

If you think Republican Party supporters have studied the events of January 6 and are reconciled to the political reality, think again - 71% of Republican voters still believe that Trump won the 2020 election.

So, January 6 is not in the rear-view mirror at all. As The New York Times wrote this week, every day is January 6.

The growing threats of new violence, the attempted strangulation of voting rights, the broad embrace of the Big Lie about 2020, the rampant online conspiracy theories, and the toxicity surrounding the national political conversation, all suggest to me that the assault on American democracy is only growing.