Called to action by Trump, thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., on January5 and6 in support of his false claim that the 2020 election had been "stolen" from him, and to demand that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress reject Biden's victory. Starting at noon on January 6, at a "Save America" rally on the Ellipse, Trump repeated false claims of election irregularities and said, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." Starting before the end of his speech, thousands of members of the crowd walked to the Capitol, where Congress was beginning the electoral vote count. Many in the crowd at the Capitol breached police perimeters and stormed the building, occupying, vandalizing, and looting it for several hours. They assaulted Capitol Police officers and reporters, erected a gallows on the Capitol grounds, and attempted to locate lawmakers to capture and harm. Some rioters chanted "Hang Mike Pence", after Pence's rejection of false claims by Trump and others that the vice president could overturn the election results. The rioters vandalized and looted the offices of House SpeakerNancy Pelosi (D–CA), as well as those of other members of Congress.
With building security breached, Capitol Police evacuated the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated, and all were locked down. Rioters occupied and ransacked the empty Senate chamber while federal law enforcement officers drew handguns to defend the evacuated House floor. Pipe bombs were found at the offices of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, and Molotov cocktails were discovered in a vehicle near the Capitol. Trump resisted sending the D.C. National Guard to quell the mob. In a Twitter video, he continued to assert that the election was "fraudulent" but told his supporters to "go home in peace". The Capitol was cleared of rioters by mid-evening, and the counting of the electoral votes resumed and was completed in the early morning hours of January 7. Pence declared President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris victors, and affirmed that they would assume office on January 20. Pressured by his administration, the threat of removal, and numerous resignations, Trump later committed to an orderly transition of power in a televised statement.
The assault on the Capitol generated substantial global attention and was widely condemned by political leaders and organizations both in the United States and internationally. Mitch McConnell (R–KY), then the Senate Majority Leader, called the storming of the Capitol a "failed insurrection" and said the Senate "will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation". Several social media and technology companies suspended or banned Trump's accounts from their platforms; a week after the riot, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement of insurrection, making him the only U.S. president to have been impeached twice. Pelosi announced an independent commission modeled after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the attack.Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), later characterized the incident as domestic terrorism. Opinion polls showed that a large majority of Americans disapproved of the storming of the Capitol and of Trump's actions leading up to and following it, although many Republicans supported the attack or at least did not blame Trump for it. As part of investigations into the attack the FBI opened more than four hundred case files, and more than five hundred subpoenas and search warrants have been issued. More than four hundred people have been charged with federal crimes. Dozens of people present at the riot were later found to be listed in the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, most as suspected white supremacists. Members of the anti-government paramilitary Oath Keepers and neo-fascist Proud Boys groups were charged with conspiracy for allegedly staging planned missions in the Capitol, although prosecutors subsequently acknowledged they do not have clear-cut evidence that the groups had any such plans prior to January 6.
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^Rutenberg, Jim; Becker, Jo; Lipton, Eric; Haberman, Maggie; Martin, Jonathan; Rosenberg, Matthew; Schmidt, Michael S. (February 1, 2021). "77 Days: Trump's Campaign to Subvert the Election". New York Times. Trump's... effort to reverse his loss turned into... an extralegal campaign to subvert the election, rooted in a lie so convincing to some of his most devoted followers that it made the deadly January6 assault on the Capitol almost inevitable... With each passing day the lie grew, finally managing to do what the political process and the courts would not: upend the peaceful transfer of power that for 224 years had been the bedrock of American democracy.
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^Jacobo, Julia (January 7, 2021). "This is what Trump told supporters before many stormed Capitol Hill". ABC News. Retrieved January 10, 2021. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections. But whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. Our country has been under siege for a long time. Far longer than this four year period.
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