For the first time since the War of 1812, protestors breached the Capitol Building yesterday. And while order has since been restored, the world watched and wondered what was next as protestors fired up by President Trump stormed past Capitol police.
Initially, tens of thousands of Trump supporters were rallying peacefully at the ‘March for Trump’ event. Before he left the podium, the President offered what many are calling an incitement to violence.
"And after this, we're going to walk down there, and I'll be there with you, we're going to walk down ... to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women," Trump told the crowd. "And we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong."
And then, then throngs began marching – still peaceful – as Trump headed back to the White House.
At 1pm ET, lawmakers gathered in the House chambers to count the Electoral College votes. As they began the process, demonstrators began grappling with police on the Capitol steps.
By 1:30, an evacuation of the Capitol was ordered and the descent into chaos truly began – and within an hour, police lines were breached and rioters began scaling the walls and entering the building. According to reports, they were going door to door looking for lawmakers
Soon, Vice President Pence was escorted from the Senate Chamber – and moments after, Trump took to Twitter to go after his longtime ally. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts,” he wrote. “Not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
President-elect Joe Biden took to the airwaves. “At this hour," he noted. "Our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times, an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself." He demanded that Trump do something - including telling the rioters to go home.
As rioters were seen breaking windows, Trump returned to Twitter with a one-line request for peace. “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” he wrote. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
But it was too late. By 2:47pm, rioters were in the House Chambers.
In the hours that followed, there were reports of shots fired as well as explosives and Molotov cocktails found – and disarmed. But in the end? Officials confirm that four are dead, more than 50 have been arrested – and more than 14 police officers have been injured. By 11pm calm had returned to the streets. The FBI is also investigating now – and looking for the public's help to identify unlawful individuals. They’ve posted an online form requesting "information related to violent activity at the U.S Capitol Building."
Source: USA Today