Pro-Trump Rioters Breach the U.S. Capitol During Electoral College Voting for Biden

Image from The Washington Post

By Gabriella Garcia 

On Wednesday Jan. 6, the House of Representatives and Senate chambers were evacuated as a mob of belligerent Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, leading to the delay in the Electoral College vote count of the 2020 Presidential Election.

Rioters climbed over walls, roamed the halls of the building once inside and are shown to be physically sitting in office seats “with [their] feet up” on the desks, NBC reported. Law enforcement is now using photos of rioters inside the Capitol to identify, arrest and charge them. 

NBC reports at least one improvised explosive device was found on the U.S. Capitol grounds and at least 5 people were taken to the hospital. The riot resulted in four dead and over 50 arrests at the Capitol.

Those in support of Donald Trump have denounced Joe Biden’s victory in the November election and have only been empowered by Trump’s words since. 

In a Twitter video released hours after the insurrection began, Trump persistently refers to the election as “stolen” and “fraudulent,” which reporters claim only adds “gasoline [not water] to the fire.”

Although Trump asked for rioters to “go home” as “we have to have peace… and law and order,” his words only further encouraged the rioters, as he states: “they [took the victory of the election] away from all of us. From me, from you, from our country.” He ends the video expressing his love for his supporters and claiming that they are “very special.” 

Citizens took to social media to express their frustration for the double standards in how law enforcement responds to protests when compared to the George Floyd protests in late May and June of 2020.

Daughter of late activist Martin Luther King Jr., Bernice King, took to Twitter stating, “What many are saying is true: If this were Black Lives Matter storming the Capitol, tanks would have been in the city by now. The response tells the story of our nation’s racist history and present. How can we stop it from being the future?”

Activist DeRay McKesson concurs, tweeting, “Without being dramatic, they would’ve literally shot us black folks if we had BROKEN INTO the Capitol building in an attempt to STORM THE SENATE CHAMBER.”

Another post stated, “These aren’t protestors. They are Terrorists. They have stated they are attempting a coup. If you’re comparing what’s happening today to any of the protests for racial and economic equality from the past year, you’re so mind bogglingly wrong.” 

Although D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser initiated a 6 p.m. curfew early on in the day, many still feared for the safety of all citizens, especially the legislators still inside the building, as the sun set in the city. NBC reporter on the scene, Vaughn Hillyard, shared that a mob participant expressed, “If our words are not heard today, you’ll hear our muskets tomorrow.” 

The Police Force, FBI, Secret Service and Homeland Security were seen at the Capitol attempting to deescalate the situation. The National Guard was later deployed.

Still, Trump refused to deliberately condemn the current riots through his tweets which only fuels his supporters behavior. In fact, his words arguably show sympathy for his supporters’ actions, as he states in another Twitter post that reads:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

Nevertheless, Republican Representative Markwayne Mullin told NBC that the events are no fault of the president but instead the agitators, claiming those initially involved with the march broke away from the more violent attendees. 

Donald Trump’s Twitter account was eventually locked for 12 hours and was threatened to be suspended indefinitely should he continue to make posts that encouraged rioters.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr called Trump’s conduct during the riot a “betrayal of his office.”

Also amidst yesterday’s riot, Senator Chuck Schumer said that Vice President Mike Pence should use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. 

Throughout the day, members of Congress assured the public that they would continue with the affirmation process despite the disruption, and are expected to reconvene tonight once it is safe to do so.

Following the upheaval that took place in the Capitol, the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham announced her resignation. Her departure is believed to have been an act of protest against Trump and his handling of the riots. 

Despite the curfew, there are reports of citizens still standing around the Capitol at 8 p.m.

It is around this time that the congressional session restarted, beginning with a statement from Pence and Senator Mitch McConnell, both of whom condemned the violent outbursts seen today.

Pence later confirmed Joe Biden as winner of the Electoral College, declaring him the election winner.

Linh Nguyen contributed to this report.

Gabriella Garcia is originally from the Bay Area, California, and is completing her fourth year at UC Davis as a Political Science major and Professional Writing minor.

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  1. Ron Oertel

    Too late – all the comments are in the “other” article (which came first), today. This one has a more-relevant photo, though.

    Well, maybe someone will comment here.  Other than me.

    1. Alan Miller

      Donald Trump should issue pardons to every one of them just to stick it to the Democrats

      Exactly why Trump should be removed from office today.  If he happens to get pardoned by Pence, fine.  Less damage overall.

      Throngs of rightie former Trump supporters in the Legislature are decrying what Trump did yesterday.  Why hold on to a self-sunk ship?

  2. Chris Griffith

    Does anyone remember when Obama commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, the leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group. FALN was responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. Can anyone tell me what the difference would be?


  3. Chris Griffith

    Yeah I had a hard time with that I finally had to go to the FBI website and I cut and pasted it from there I couldn’t remember the name of the democratic party in Puerto Rico 😁

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