After Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, a crowd of his supporters stormed into the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. By blocking a joint session of Congress from officially recognising Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, the mob attempted to keep Trump in office.
Five people died either before, during, or after the attack. One rioter was shot by Capitol Police, another died from a drug overdose, and the remaining three perished from natural reasons. 138 police officers were among the many individuals hurt. Within seven months, four officers who responded to the attack committed suicide.
What went down:
Prior to his rally in Washington, DC, President Donald Trump tweeted accusations of vote fraud earlier in the day.
Right-wing militia members from the Proud Boy movement were observed moving in the direction of the Capitol. At noon, President Trump, some 15 minutes into his speech, urged his supporters to converge on the Capitol.
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“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump had said.
The crowd, inspired by Trump, marched towards the Capitol where the House had started gathering to certify ballots. The agitated crowd outnumbered the police, broke barriers and got past them. They chanted “Fight for Trump,” with weapons in hand.
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The then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had begun the certification process, with the then Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the session. However, following the protestor’s hostile behavior, a warning was issued and an evacuation was ordered.
VP Pence was abruptly and rapidly removed off the Senate floor by the Secret Service. House Speaker Pelosi was also evacuated from the Capitol and moved to a secure off-site location.
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The protesters smashed the windows. They entered the Capitol, hopping over the shattered glass. They then kicked open the doors to let others in. Some carried cameras or Confederate flags, while others wore hoods and helmets.
Due to this, an immediate recess of the Senate was called.
The rioters looked for any opposing Representative of the House, mainly for Speaker Pelosi, to inflict physical harm on her. The rioters also searched for Pence and called for him to be hanged.
While staff members had barricaded themselves within offices, the protestors searched for Pelosi so that they could kill her. More protestors were let in the building through every door and window.
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As the protestors had entered the Rotunda and were marching towards the House Chambers, the lawmakers that were still in, were asked to hide under their chairs and be ready to wear their tear gas masks.
The protesters continued to wreak havoc in both chambers of the Capitol, even after a fellow protestor, Ashli Babbitt, had been shot and killed by the police.
The mob finally dispersed after Trump tweeted and asked them to go home, all while referring to them as “great patriots.”
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The Capitol attack drew severe criticism to the US, its democracy, the Republican Party, and Trump, from locals, as well as the international community.
The United States House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol or the January 6th Committee was established to conduct an investigation into the attacks and its perpetrators. According to the Committee findings, the attack was the culmination of a seven-part plan by Trump to overturn the 2020 election.