Attempted Coup on Capitol Hill


Bill Clark | Getty Images

A violent mob of Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress works to certify the electoral college votes.

Kennedy Roberts, Staffer

On Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress attempted to count electoral votes which would certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, a mob of violent Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol, forcing the Senate and House chambers to be locked down. 

President Donald Trump held a 70-minute speech on the day of the attack on Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It will never happen,” Trump declared in front of thousands of his supporters. 

As he expressed his dismay with the results of the 2020 election as well as the possible results of the electoral votes, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a formal letter to Capitol Hill, writing that he believed he could not “reject electoral votes unilaterally.”

The attack on American democracy took place after the president’s speech. Thousands of supporters, some armed with guns and nooses, climbed the Capitol walls, broke through police barricades and shattered windows in order to break into the government building. some clips of the chaos, it actually appears that the police opened the gates and allowed a crowd of protestors into the Capitol. One of the rioters even took a picture in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair while others smiled and took selfies with security. One man waved giddily at the camera as he walked off with a podium from the Capitol building. 

In the midst of the violence, one woman, a veteran by the name of Ashli Babbitt, was fatally shot by Capitol police and three others died as a result of the “medical emergencies.” At least two pipe bombs were found on Capitol grounds which bomb technicians were sent to take care of swiftly, rendering them harmless. 

As a result of the savage events that took place on Capitol Hill, Nearly 6,200 national guards have been sent to provide security for D.C. Though Trump initially said he sent the national guard immediately, his administration has given conflicting statements and it is rumored that it was Mike Pence who sent them later on that night after Trump initially resisted sending the National guard. 

After the assail that took place on Jan. 6, Donald Trump posted a video addressed to his supporters. “Go home now. We love you, you are all very special.” President Trump gushed in response to the violence he incited, despite having called BLM protestors “thugs” and “a symbol of hatred” earlier this summer though 93 percent of the protests had been reported as peaceful.

Later that night, Donald Trump was temporarily suspended from his Twitter account and suspended indefinitely from Facebook.Twitter threatened to suspend him permanently if he continued violating the app’s guidelines. 

After the president’s act of inciting an attack on the nation’s Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Congress will begin the process of impeaching Trump if he doesn’t resign immediately.

“Today, following the president’s seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office–Immediately.” Pelosi wrote. 

Pelosi along with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment which would allow for a president’s removal if the majority of the cabinet as well as the Vice President believe they are no longer able to serve.  He later refused, stating that impeachment so close to Biden’s inauguration would divide the nation even more. 

Many of Trump’s loyalists are jumping from his sinking ship, criticizing their own judgement on the integrity of our 45th president. Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chao, Mick Mulvaney, Stephanie Grisham, Sarah Matthews, and a handful of top security officials at the Capitol have resigned from their positions. 

Donald Trump has accepted his defeat but says he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.