2021 storming of the United States Capitol

2021 storming of the United States Capitol
Part of the 2020–21 United States election protests and attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election
Clockwise from top:
  • Protesters gathering outside the Capitol
  • President Trump speaking to supporters at the "Save America" rally
  • A gallows erected outside the building
  • Crowd retreating from tear gas
  • Tear gas being deployed
  • Crowd pressing into the Capitol's Eastern entrance
DateJanuary 6, 2021 (2021-01-06)
Location
38°53′23.3″N 77°00′32.6″W / 38.889806°N 77.009056°W / 38.889806; -77.009056Coordinates: 38°53′23.3″N 77°00′32.6″W / 38.889806°N 77.009056°W / 38.889806; -77.009056
Caused by
Goals
Methods
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
No centralized leadership
Casualties and criminal charges
Death(s)5 (4 protesters,[22][23][24] 1 police officer[25][26])
Injuries
  • Unknown number of rioters injured, at least five rioters hospitalized[27]
  • At least 138 police officers (73 Capitol Police officers, 65 Metropolitan Police Department officers)[28] including at least 15 hospitalized[29]
DamageExtensive physical damage;[30][5][31] offices and chambers vandalized and ransacked; property stolen;[32] $30 million-plus for repairs and security measures[33]
Charged401[34][35][36]

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. was stormed during a riot and violent attack against the U.S. Congress. A mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attempted to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes to formalize Joe Biden's victory.[2] The Capitol complex was locked down and lawmakers and staff were evacuated while rioters occupied and vandalized the building for several hours.[37] More than 140 people were injured in the storming. Five people died either shortly before, during, or shortly after it.[38]

Called to action by Trump,[39] thousands[40] of his supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., on January 5 and 6 in support of his false claim that the 2020 election had been "stolen" from him,[41][42] and to demand that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress reject Biden's victory.[43] Starting at noon on January 6,[44] at a "Save America" rally on the Ellipse, Trump repeated false claims of election irregularities[45] and said, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."[46][47][48] Starting before the end of his speech, thousands of members of the crowd walked to the Capitol,[49] where Congress was beginning the electoral vote count. Many in the crowd at the Capitol breached police perimeters and stormed the building,[50][51] occupying, vandalizing, and looting it[37] for several hours.[52] 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.[53] The rioters vandalized and looted the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA),[54][55] as well as those of other members of Congress.[56]

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.[57] Rioters occupied and ransacked the empty Senate chamber while federal law enforcement officers drew handguns to defend the evacuated House floor.[58][59] 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.[60][61] Trump resisted sending the D.C. National Guard to quell the mob.[62] In a Twitter video, he continued to assert that the election was "fraudulent" but told his supporters to "go home in peace".[63][64] The Capitol was cleared of rioters by mid-evening,[65] 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.[66][67]

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"[68] and said the Senate "will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation".[69] Several social media and technology companies suspended or banned Trump's accounts from their platforms;[70][71] 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.[72] Pelosi announced an independent commission modeled after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the attack.[73] Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), later characterized the incident as domestic terrorism.[74] 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.[75] 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.[76] More than four hundred people have been charged with federal crimes.[34][35][36] 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.[77] 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,[9][78][79][80] although prosecutors subsequently acknowledged they do not have clear-cut evidence that the groups had any such plans prior to January 6.[81]

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference NYTrioteranalysis was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Reeves, Jay; Mascaro, Lisa; Woodward, Calvin (January 11, 2021). "Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared". Associated Press. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  3. ^ Luke, Timothy W (February 21, 2021). "Democracy under threat after 2020 national elections in the USA: 'stop the steal' or 'give more to the grifter-in-chief?'". Educational Philosophy and Theory. doi:10.1080/00131857.2021.1889327. Retrieved March 20, 2021. President Trump inciting thousands of his supporters to march on the Capitol 'to stop the steal'. The resulting assault on the Capitol left five dead, scores injured, and the sad spectacle of Trump's supporters defiling the House chambers, vandalizing the Capitol building itself, and leaving the nation to deal with a tragic result
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  21. ^ Capitol assault: Why did police show up on both sides of ‘thin blue line’?
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  27. ^ Melendez, Pilar; Bredderman, William; Montgomery, Blake (January 6, 2021). "Woman Shot Dead as Mob Overran Capitol ID'ed as Air Force Vet". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
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  32. ^ Miller, Maggie (January 8, 2021). "Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during Capitol riots". The Hill. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
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  37. ^ a b "Vandalized":
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  48. ^ 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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