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2021 storming of the United States Capitol

2021 storming of the United States Capitol
Part of 2020–2021 United States election protests and attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election
Jan 6 2021 Pres Trump Rally Live DC Crowd.jpg
Crowd at the rally in Washington D.C.
DateJanuary 5, 2021 – January 6, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C., United States

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 byOpposition to the Electoral College vote count of the 2020 United States presidential election
StatusComplete
Casualties
Death(s)4[1][2]
InjuriesAt least 14 D.C. police officers[3]
ArrestedAt least 53[3][a]

On January 5–6, 2021, supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest against the result of the 2020 presidential election and support Trump's demand for Vice President Mike Pence and Congress to reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory.[4][5][6] On the morning of January 6 (EST), protesters gathered for the "Save America" rally, a planned event on the Ellipse where attendees heard speeches from President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani. The demonstration culminated in a riot, in which the United States Capitol was invaded by Trump supporters. The event occurred after numerous earlier attempts by Trump and his supporters to overturn the election results had failed.

During the initial rally, Trump encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" and "take back our country", and asked his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol.[7][8] Subsequently a pro-Trump mob marched on Congress and eventually stormed the building.[9] Congress was in session at the time, conducting the Electoral College vote count and debating an objection to the Electoral College. Protesters broke past security to enter the Capitol, occupying the evacuated Senate chamber while guards drew handguns to prevent entry to the evacuated House floor.[10][11][12][13][14] Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated, and all buildings in the complex were subsequently locked down.[15]

An intruder was shot by law enforcement officers during a standoff outside the House chamber and later died of her injuries;[16][17][18] three others died as a result of medical emergencies throughout the day.[1][2] Three improvised explosive devices were reported to have been found: one on Capitol grounds, and one each at the Republican National Committee, and Democratic National Committee offices, close to the Capitol.[19][1]

In the early afternoon of January 6, Trump denounced Pence as failing to "do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution", despite Pence lacking authority to reject Biden's victory.[20][21][22] At 4:22p.m.EST, Trump told demonstrators to "go home in peace" while describing them as "patriots" and "very special", telling them that he "loved" them.[23] That evening, Twitter placed a twelve-hour lock on Trump's Twitter account and removed three of his tweets for violations of their civic integrity policy after he made posts openly condoning supporters who stormed Congress.[24][25]

The riots and storming of the Capitol were described as insurrection, sedition, and domestic terrorism.[26][27][28][29][30][31] Some sources labeled the act as an attempted coup d'état by Trump.[32][33][34][35] The incident was compared with the 1814 burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812.[36][37]

Background

President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in 2020

The 2020 United States presidential election, held on November 3, 2020, was won by the Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who defeated the incumbent Republican president Donald Trump. Before, during and after the counting of votes, Trump and other Republicans attempted to overturn the election, falsely alleging widespread voter fraud.[38]

With Congress scheduled to meet on January 6, 2021, to count the results of the Electoral College vote, Trump announced plans for a rally ahead of the event to continue his protest on the validity of several states' election results. On December 18, Trump announced "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"[39] Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser requested on December 31, 2020, for District of Columbia National Guard troops be deployed to support local police during the anticipated demonstrations. She wrote in her request that the guards would not be armed, and that they would be primarily responsible for "crowd management" and traffic direction, allowing police to focus on security concerns. Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller approved the request on January 4, 2021. The approval activated 340 troops, with no more than 114 to be deployed at any given time.[40]

Trump had spent previous days suggesting that Vice President Pence should reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory, an act that is not within Pence's constitutional power, and he repeated this call in his speech on the morning of January 6.[21] The same afternoon, Pence released a letter to Congress in which he said he would not oppose Biden's victory.[21]

Events in the District of Columbia

January 5, 2021

Thousands of attendees gathered in Freedom Plaza on January 5, 2021, in advance of protests planned for the week.[41] On Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning (EST), at least ten people were arrested, several on weapons charges.[12]

January 6, 2021

Trump rally in Washington D.C.

A flier released on January 5, the day prior to the event, promoting the rally.
Protesters at Union Station on Wednesday morning
Rudy Giuliani speaking to protesters at the Ellipse

On the morning of January 6, 2021 (EST), protesters surrounded Washington Monument to rally. Several people gave speeches on the Ellipse, including Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani and Trump himself. Giuliani addressed the crowd, repeating conspiracy theories that voting machines used in the election were "crooked" and called for "trial by combat".[42] Trump gave a speech from behind a glass barrier, attacking the media and calling for Pence to overturn the election results, something that is not within Pence's constitutional power.[21] Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol, where Congress meets:

You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been 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.[43]

At the rally, Trump told his supporters to "fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." He declared they would be "going to the Capitol and we're going to try and give" Republicans "the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country".[8]

At the rally, Trump also stated "we will never concede."[44] Trump's adult sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump also spoke, verbally attacking Republican Congressmen and Senators who were not supporting the effort to change the Electoral College vote, and promising to campaign against them in future primary elections.[45]

Rioting in the Capitol Building

A Metro Transit Police Department van waits outside the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at 11:28 a.m. on January 6.
A Metro Transit Police Department van waits outside the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at 11:28 a.m. on January 6.
Video shot by congressman Dan Kildee, (and published to Facebook by Michael Moore) inside the US House of Representatives with armed security blocking the doors.

Beginning between 1:00 and 2:15p.m.EST on January 6, 2021,[46][47] rioters began an attempt to storm buildings in the U.S. Capitol complex. Some buildings in the complex were evacuated, and rioters broke past security to enter the Capitol, including National Statuary Hall.[12][13] The storming of the Capitol was organized on pro-Trump far-right social media websites, including Gab and Parler, which featured calls for violence against Congress and served as recruiting centers for weeks for QAnon, the Proud Boys, and other fringe elements.[48] After breaching the security perimeter,[49][50] most rioters simply walked into the Capitol on foot; others used ropes and makeshift ladders to invade the building and some broke windows to get in.[51]

After the breach, all buildings in the complex were locked down, with no entry or exit from the buildings allowed. Those within the building were asked to move into offices and lock their doors and windows; those outside were advised to "seek cover".[15] Members of Congress inside the House were told to put on gas masks after law enforcement began using tear gas within the building.[52] Some staff successfully rushed to rescue boxes of sealed electoral college votes to prevent them from being damaged by rioters.[53][54][47]

ABC News reported that shots were fired within the Capitol building, and that there was an armed standoff at the front door of the House chambers.[52][55] After pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol, multiple police officers drew their guns inside the House of Representatives chamber and pointed them towards the doors to the chamber, which were barricaded with furniture.[56] In a stairway, one officer fired a shot at a man coming toward him.[16]

Ashli Babbitt, an intruder, was shot within the Capitol by law enforcement while climbing through a barricaded door behind the House chamber and later died from her injuries.[16][57][58] A law enforcement official told the Washington Post that police believe the deceased was unarmed, but the officer who fired the fatal shot did not know that at the time, and police were aware that many of the intruders were carrying concealed weapons.[16]

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the offices of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, flipping tables and ripping photos from walls; there was looting in the Capitol.[59][60] Capitol Police officers reported the building had been "trashed".[61] Observers saw "debris, trash, all in the elevators, things knocked down, posts knocked down" in all parts of the building.[62] Glass windows were broken in the National Statuary Hall. Rioters destroyed Associated Press recording and broadcasting equipment outside the Capitol after chasing away reporters.[63] Multiple officers were injured in the violence at the Capitol.[64]

Response

US Congress after being breached – Video from VOA
Evacuation of Congress – video from VOA

At approximately 2:31p.m.EST on January 6, 2021, Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6p.m. curfew to go into effect that night.[65] Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia also issued a curfew for nearby Alexandria and Arlington County in Northern Virginia.[66][67]

Northam sent members of the Virginia National Guard and 200 Virginia State Troopers to support Washington, D.C. law enforcement.[68] Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland also announced that he would send the Maryland State Police and Maryland National Guard.[69][70] Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller decided to deploy the entire 1,100-strong force of D.C. National Guard to quell violence.[71] At approximately 3:45p.m.EST, Miller spoke with Pence, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer, and directed the National Guard and other "additional support" to respond to the riot.[72][73] The order to send in the National Guard, which Trump initially resisted, was approved by Vice President Pence.[74][75] According to the New York Times, it was "unclear" why it was not Trump who approved the deployment.[76]

Smoke grenades were deployed on the Senate side of the Capitol by Capitol Police working to clear rioters from the building.[61] FBI and Department of Homeland Security agents wearing riot gear entered the Dirksen Senate Office Building around 4:30p.m.EST.[77]

Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy announced at 4:57p.m.EST that elements of the New Jersey State Police were being deployed to the District of Columbia at the request of DC officials, and that the New Jersey National Guard was prepared for deployment if necessary.[78] Shortly before 5p.m.EST, congressional leaders were reportedly being evacuated from the Capitol complex to Fort McNair, a nearby Army base.[79] At around 5:40p.m.EST, the sergeant-at-arms announced that the Capitol had been secured.[80]

Improvised explosive devices

Improvised explosive devices were found in several locations in Washington, D.C. A device suspected to be a pipe bomb was discovered at a building containing Republican National Committee (RNC) offices. Another suspected pipe bomb was found on the grounds of the Capitol complex.[19] The Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters was evacuated after a suspicious package, later reported to be a homemade bomb, was found.[81] Both the RNC building and DNC headquarters are a few blocks from the Capitol.[82] The devices found at the RNC building and on the Capitol grounds were both safely detonated by bomb squads in the afternoon of January 6.[19] Officials were unsure if the devices were operational.[83]

A vehicle containing a rifle and Molotov cocktails was found near one bomb and a person was arrested.[84] D.C. police also reported a cooler of Molotov cocktails had been discovered.[2]

Aftermath

As police continued to try to push rioters away from the Capitol, protests continued, some moving out of the Capitol Hill area. Some verbal and physical attacks on reporters were reported, with attackers denigrating media outlets as "fake news".[53]

As of 6:08p.m.EST, police had arrested at least thirteen people and seized five firearms during the day's events.[85] Although Mayor Bowser had implemented a 6p.m. curfew, it went largely ignored, and hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators remained in the Capitol Hill area.[86] As of 10:30p.m., 47 more people had been arrested for curfew violations.[2] At least six people were hospitalized for injuries related to the events of January 6, including one law enforcement officer.[87] Fourteen Metropolitan Police Department officers were injured. Four people died; one was shot in the Capitol building by law enforcement, and three others died from medical emergencies.[2]

It was reported that 2,700 troops of the Washington, D.C. National Guard and 650 troops of the Virginia National Guard would be sent to Washington, D.C., on the night of January 6.[88] On the night of January 6, Mayor Bowser issued an order extending the public emergency in Washington, D.C. for 15 days, writing in the order that she expected some people would "continue their violent protests through the inauguration".[89][90]

Reconvening of Congress

Congress reconvened after the Capitol was cleared, with the Senate resuming its session at 8p.m.EST. on January 6, 2021. House Speaker Pelosi said that the attack on the Capitol would not "deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden" and that she made the decision to reconvene the same evening after consultations with other House leaders, the Pentagon, the Department of Justice, and Pence. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the storming of the Capitol a "failed insurrection" and said "we are back at our posts, we will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation. And we're going to do it tonight."[91]

January 7, 2021

Confirmation of the Electoral College vote

At 3:41a.m.EST, the joint sitting of Congress confirmed the outcome of the Electoral College vote, Biden's 306 votes to Trump's 232, with Pence declaring that Biden will assume the role of President and Harris the role of Vice President, with effect from January 20, 2021.[92][93][94]

Closing prayer to joint sitting

Moments after Congress affirmed Biden's victory, Senate Chaplain, Dr Barry B. Black, delivered a closing prayer to the joint sitting, condemning the desecration of the Capitol and reminding lawmakers of the importance of their words and actions.[95]

"Lord of our lives and sovereign of our beloved nation, we deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy.

These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We have been warned that eternal vigilance continues to be freedom's price.

Lord, you have helped us remember that we need to see in each other a common humanity that reflects your image. You have strengthened our resolve to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic as well as foreign. Use us to bring healing and unity to our hurting and divided nation and world. Thank you for what you have blessed our lawmakers to accomplish in spite of threats to liberty.

Bless and keep us. Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to do your will and guide our feet on the path of peace. And God bless America. We pray in your sovereign name, amen."

— Senate Chaplain, Dr Barry B. Black

Outside the District of Columbia

State capitols

Multiple U.S. state capitols closed for safety reasons after the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[96][97] Several states also experienced protests and riots.

Eleven people were arrested in Sacramento, CA, for illegal possession of pepper spray. No injuries were reported, but there was at least one reported assault. Several roads were closed in downtown Sacramento and some bus lines were stopped, with over 200 police assigned to the demonstration. Some members of the crowd wore t-shirts supporting the far-right Proud Boys.[98][99]

Militia members in Georgia also attempted to storm the Georgia State Capitol, leading to the evacuation of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other officials.[100] By about 3:15p.mEST on January 6, 2021, it was reported that the majority of the demonstration had disbanded outside of the Georgia Capitol.[101]

Protests took place inside the Kansas state capitol.[102] A capitol security guard stated that protesters were allowed in the rotunda, as they had a permit to protest there.[103][104]

A "Storm the Capitol" rally in St. Paul, MN, was met by roughly 30 Minnesota state troopers and did not breach the state Capitol. Demonstrators then marched to the governor's residence.[105] Despite not entering the Minnesota capitol, the protesters did cheer upon learning that rioters in Washington had entered the U.S. Capitol.[106]

Protesters and counter-protesters demonstrated at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. One brief violent incident was reported.[107]

Protesters in Lincoln, Nebraska, gathered outside the state capitol during the opening of the new session of the Nebraska Legislature.[108]

The Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City was the site of another protest. One arrest was made on charges of attempted arson as well as assault and battery for attempting to light other people's flags on fire.[109] The protest numbered in the hundreds and was otherwise peaceful.[110] A crowd also formed in Carson City, Nevada.[111]

Two Tennessee lawmakers held a prayer rally at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. The crowd numbered roughly 150.[112][113]

Protesters in Olympia, Washington, made their way onto the front lawn of the Washington Governor's Mansion.[114]

Other US cities

Several hundred protesters met outside the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The protest extended onto Las Vegas Boulevard as protesters marched to the Lloyd D. George federal courthouse.[115][116]

There were also protests in the Los Angeles area, including at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. An incident was reported of a protester spraying a counter-protester with a chemical irritant.[117]

Canada

In Canada, a few dozen people rallied in support of Trump in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.[118]

Reactions

Donald Trump

On January 6, 2021, Trump tweeted at 2:38p.m.EST, "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!".[119] He had spent previous weeks promoting the Saving America rally.[120] Trump later tweeted at 3:13p.m.EST, "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!".[121] At 4:22p.m.EST, Trump issued a video message urging his supporters to "go home in peace" and telling them "we love you, you're very special".[23]

Trump later tweeted: "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". He then issued a call: "Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!".[122][123] A Trump advisor said that Trump did not want to calm the riots.[124]

Shortly after upload, Trump's video message was removed by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for violating site policies on "civil integrity" and election misinformation.[125] Facebook executive Guy Rosen stated that the video was removed because "it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."[126] That evening, Twitter locked Trump's account for twelve hours and threatened a permanent suspension for "repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy". Twitter also required him to remove three of his tweets.[127][24]

Mike Pence

Pence tweeted at 3:35p.m.EST on January 6, 2021, "This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law".[128]

Pence spoke to the Senate when they reconvened on the night of January 6, saying, "Today was a dark day in the United States Capitol... To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins."[129]

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

On January 6, 2021, at 4:06p.m.EST, President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation from Wilmington, Delaware, calling the events an insurrection and borderline sedition, and said that "our democracy is under unprecedented assault".[130][131] He called upon Trump to go on national television and demand an end to the protests.[132][133] Minutes afterward, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris reiterated Biden's comments, writing that the protests were an "assault on the Capitol and our nation's public servants".[134]

Congress

Schumer's speech following Capitol protests

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called upon Trump to "demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately."[135] Pelosi later stated, following her announcement that the electoral vote count would proceed during the evening of January 6, "let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal".[136]

On CSPAN, U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin said that after his son died on New Year's Eve, he had brought his family to the Capitol, to "show them a peaceful transfer of power".[137] Representative Cori Bush tweeted her intent to introduce a resolution calling for the expulsion of "Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election".[138][139]

Republican U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger, among others, condemned the violence and described the events as a "coup attempt".[34] Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the Chair of the House Republican Conference, said "No question the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame."[140] Representative Mike Gallagher remarked of the riots that he had "not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq".[141] Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who had planned to oppose the certification of the electoral vote, announced that she would no longer object to the Electoral College results after witnessing the "disgraceful and un-American" events of January 6.[142] She was joined by senators Kelly Loeffler, Steve Daines, James Lankford, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, and Cynthia Lummis, all of whom reversed course on the issue of contesting the electoral vote after witnessing the violence of the mob.[143] Senator Mitt Romney of Utah stated, "What happened at the U.S. Capitol today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States" and part of "an unprecedented attack on our democracy".[144]

Other domestic reactions

Against protester actions

All four living former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter — denounced the storming of the Capitol, with Obama and Clinton condemning Trump by name for inciting the violence.[145] Bush, who had infrequently commented on national matters since leaving office in 2009, released a statement saying "this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic," continuing that he was "appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement."[146] Obama wrote that "History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president, who has continued to lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation" but that the violence was unsurprising given the two-month campaign by "a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem" to promote a "fantasy narrative" that "has spiraled further and further from reality ... whipped up into a violent crescendo."[147]

Hillary Clinton wrote that "today, domestic terrorists attacked a foundation of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power following free elections. We must reestablish the rule of law and hold them accountable."[148]

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said, "The coup attempt initiated by outgoing President Trump has been despicable".[149]

William Barr, Trump's former attorney general, denounced the violence, calling it "outrageous and despicable".[150] Jim Mattis, a former Marine general and Trump's first secretary of defense, wrote, "Today's violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump. His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice."[151] Mattis wrote that the nation would overcome "this stain" but Trump "will deservedly be left a man without a country."[151] Trump's first homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, condemned the mob attack, as "wrong and illegal" and "un-American" and wrote that Trump was culpable because he had "undermined American democracy baselessly for months."[152]

Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter, was criticized for addressing the rioters as "American patriots" in a now-deleted tweet publicly urging for the cessation of violence.[153] Terry Gainer, a former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police and former Senate sergeant-at arms, described the protests as unprecedented in law enforcement, declaring that "this is a much more hateful crowd incited by the president himself. It's definitely something new in our business."[154]

Ted Cruz condemned the protest and urged the people storming the Capitol to stop. He furthermore stated "Violence is always unacceptable. Even when passions run high. Anyone engaged in violence—especially against law enforcement—should be fully prosecuted."[155]

Former United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated "every American has the right to peacefully protest. What's happening right now at the U.S. Capitol building is wrong and un-American. We are better than that."[156]

Trump's former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney urged the President to call a stop to the storming of the Capitol.[157]

Support for protester actions

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, after rioters had breached the Capitol grounds, initially expressed her support, remarking on-air that "This is a huge victory for these protesters. They have disrupted the system in an enormous way!"[158] MacCallum later reversed herself, calling the images "stark and so disturbing."[159]

Derrick Evans, a newly-elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, traveled to Washington in order to participate in the protest. During the outbreak of rioting, Evans filmed himself breaching the Capitol grounds alongside a number of other rioters, shouting "We're in! We're in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"[160] The video was uploaded to the internet and quickly spread despite being deleted shortly after. Evans subsequently denied involvement in any destruction of property which took place during the riot, claiming that he was "simply there as an independent member of the media to film history."[161] His actions were condemned by West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, West Virginia House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.[160][161]

The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Texas Republican Party was removed after expressing support for the rioters on Facebook.[162]

White House resignations

Matthew Pottinger, the Deputy National Security Advisor;[163] Stephanie Grisham, the chief of staff for First Lady Melania Trump; Sarah Matthews, the White House Deputy Press Secretary; and Anna Cristina "Rickie" Niceta Lloyd, the White House Social Secretary, resigned in protest on the day of the storming of the Capitol.[164][165][166]

CNN reported that several Trump aides were considering resigning, including Robert O'Brien and Chris Liddell.[167]

Impeachment and removal proposals for Trump

More than three dozen Democratic politicians, mostly members of the House,[b] called for Trump's impeachment and removal by Congress, citing his role in inciting the riot; those calling for Trump's impeachment spanned the party's ideological spectrum.[171] Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, both Democrats, also called for Trump to be impeached,[171][172] while Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford also described Trump's conduct as impeachable.[173] One Republican governor, Phil Scott of Vermont, called for Trump's removal.[171][174][171]

Representatives Ted Lieu, Charlie Crist, and Doris Matsui called on Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump via the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[175][176][177] The National Association of Manufacturers also requested Pence to "seriously consider" invoking the 25th Amendment.[178]

Yoni Appelbaum of the The Atlantic called for the impeachment of Trump a second time.[179] Several conservative commentators, including Rod Dreher, Daniel Larison, and John Podhoretz, expressed their support for the impeachment and removal of Trump.[180][181][182] Calling the armed storming of the Capitol an "act of sedition", the Washington Post editorial board wrote that Trump's "continued tenure in office poses a grave threat to U.S. democracy" as well as to public order and national security, and called for Pence to immediately begin the 25th Amendment process to declare Trump "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" so that Pence could serve until Biden's inauguration on January 20.[183]

On the evening of January 6, some Cabinet members were having preliminary discussions about the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.[184][185]

Scrutiny over Capitol security lapses

The failure of law enforcement to prevent the mob from breaching the Capitol was a major security lapse that attracted scrutiny of the 1,700-strong Capitol Police and other police agencies involved.[186] Prior to the storming of the Capitol, the barriers erected were low and most officers were in regular uniforms rather than riot gear, aimed at managing a protest rather than deterring an attack.[186] Policing experts criticized the Capitol Police's preparation and initial response, stating that the agency had underestimated the potential threat from the Trump supporters; unwisely allowed rioters to gather on the Capitol steps; and failed to immediately arrest the rioters, or otherwise respond to the disorder, after they forced entry.[186] The Washington Post reported that the Capitol Police was caught off guard by an overwhelming crowd, and did not have the personnel to immediately detain all the intruders.[186] Some of the shortfall in staffing was attributable to officers who were quarantined after being infected with or exposed to the COVID-19 virus.[186]

Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH), the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch (which has budgetary authority over the Capitol Police), announced that he would begin an inquiry into security lapses that allowed the violent mob to overrun the Capitol and breach into the legislative chambers. Ryan indicated that he expected some leaders in the Capitol Police to be fired, and cited a "lack of professional planning and dealing" and "strategic mistakes" ahead of "the insurrection and the attempted coup."[187]

The law enforcement failures that allowed the storming of the Capitol led the U.S. Secret Service to initiate a review of its security plans for the inauguration on January 20, 2021.[186]

International reaction

Leaders from Argentina,[188] Australia,[189] Austria,[190] Belgium,[191] Brazil,[192] Canada,[193][194] Chile,[191] Colombia,[195] Costa Rica,[196] the Czech Republic,[197] Denmark,[197] Fiji,[198] Finland,[199] France,[200] Germany,[201] Greece,[202] Iceland,[190] India,[203] Ireland,[204] Italy,[191] New Zealand,[205] the Netherlands,[190] Norway,[206] Poland,[207] Portugal,[191] Russia,[200] Singapore,[208] Slovenia,[197] Spain,[206] Sweden,[209] Turkey,[210][195] the United Kingdom,[195] Ukraine,[191] and Venezuela[211][195] all expressed their concerns over the protests and condemned the violence. Some criticized the government of the United States itself, comparing the riots to other chaotic events throughout history.

Supranational organizations

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that the American democracy appeared to be "under siege,"[190] while the President of the European Council Charles Michel added that the US Congress was a "temple of democracy" and called the events a "shock,"[190] Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, called the scenes at the U.S. Capitol "shocking" on Twitter, and stated that the "outcome of this democratic election must be respected".[212] The Organization of American States declared that the "exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning."[190] Also, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stated that he was "saddened by the events at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday" and added that "in such circumstances, it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence, as well as to respect democratic processes and the rule of law."[213]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Robert Contee III, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia chief of police, said police had made at least 52 arrests: 47 for curfew violations and unlawful entry; 4 carrying a pistols without a license, and 1 for possession of a prohibited weapon. Contee said that 26 of the 52 arrests were made on the Capitol grounds.[3]
  2. ^ Democratic U.S. Representatives who supported the impeachment of Trump include Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Seth Moulton,[168][169][170] as well as Katherine Clark.[171]

References

  1. ^ a b c "4 died as Trump supporters invaded Capitol". Associated Press. January 6, 2021. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021 – via Politico. D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
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