Crowds of Trump supporters, estimated in the thousands, prepare for a pro-Trump rally near the Ellipse. Many began gathering the night before. Trump tweeted about the rally on Dec. 19: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Trump’s “Save America Rally” begins first with the president’s sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., then his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Trump starts speaking shortly before noon at about 11:50 a.m. and says, “And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.” “Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.” “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” “We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.” “Nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.” The crowd repeatedly chanted “Fight for Trump!” “Thank you,” Trump said. Trump speaks for more than an hour. At the conclusion, thousands walk to the Capitol.
Lawmakers gather for a joint session in the House of Representatives chamber to count Electoral College votes.
Rioters begin grappling with police on the Capitol steps.
Capitol police order evacuation of Library of Congress, Madison Building and Cannon House Office Building on Independence Avenue across from the Capitol.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser orders citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. CNN reports District police are asking for more law enforcement.
Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., tweets she is being evacuated after reports of a pipe bomb outside. “Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots.”
With a mob of election protesters laying siege to the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Mike Lee’s cellphone rang. Trump was trying to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the newly elected Republican from Alabama and former Auburn University football coach – “How’s it going, Tommy?” Taken a little aback, Lee said this isn’t Tommy. “Well, who is this? Trump asked. “It’s Mike Lee,” the senator replied. “Oh, hi Mike. I called Tommy.” Lee walked his phone over to Tuberville who was talking to some colleagues. “Hey, Tommy, I hate to interrupt but the president wants to speak with you,” Lee said. Tuberville and Trump talked for about five to 10 minutes, Lee said, adding that he stood nearby because he didn’t want to lose his cellphone in the commotion. As police were getting anxious for senators to leave, Lee walked over to retrieve his phone. “I don’t want to interrupt your call with the president, but we’re being evacuated and I need my phone,” he said. Tuberville said, “OK, Mr. President. I gotta go.”
Rioters breach police lines on the west side of the Capitol. Moments later, rioters scale the walls.
Reports say Vice President Mike Pence has been escorted out of the Senate chamber.
Trump tweets, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
C-SPAN reports rioters have crossed Statuary Hall, the chamber that separates the House and Senate, heading for the House and Senate.
Trump tweets, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
Rioters are photographed breaking Capitol windows.
Shots are reported fired in the House chamber.
Huffington Post reporter tweets image of rioters at dais. “They’re in the chamber.”
Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., tweets he has been safely moved from the House chamber. He says he and others were given an escape hood, a respiratory hood and mask for protection in fires or chemical accidents.
Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tennessee, texts “shots fired.”
Rioters are photographed on the Senate floor.
Trump tweets: “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!”
CBS reports a woman is in critical condition after being shot in the neck inside the Capitol. Police later report the woman died. She was identified as Ashli Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran. Her husband was quoted as saying she was a strong supporter of Trump.
In an account to WUSA9, a purported witness explains what happened, saying they had stormed the building and she was climbing through the window. He says armed police and Secret Service repeatedly warned to get back, but “she didn’t heed the call,” and then they shot her.
The District of Columbia National Guard, about 1,100 troops, is mobilized to support local law enforcement.
A congressional correspondent tweets that congressional leaders are being evacuated from the Capitol.
In a tweeted video lasting just over a minute, Trump says, in part: “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. … So go home. We love you, you’re very special. … I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”
Some of Trump’s tweets addressing the riot were deleted. Twitter bans the president from tweeting for 12 hours. Twitter first froze the tweets and wouldn’t allow comments or retweets, then the ban was imposed.
Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer and top adviser to Trump, called newly sworn-in Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville and left a voicemail. –
Senator Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer. I’m calling you because I want to discuss with you how they’re trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you. And I know they’re reconvening at 8 tonight, but it … the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow—ideally until the end of tomorrow.
I know McConnell is doing everything he can to rush it, which is kind of a kick in the head because it’s one thing to oppose us, it’s another thing not to give us a fair opportunity to contest it. And he wants to try to get it down to only three states that we contest. But there are 10 states that we contest, not three. So if you could object to every state and, along with a congressman, get a hearing for every state, I know we would delay you a lot, but it would give us the opportunity to get the legislators who are very, very close to pulling their vote, particularly after what McConnell did today. It angered them, because they have written letters asking that you guys adjourn and send them back the questionable ones and they’ll fix them up.
So, this phone number, I’m available on all night, and it would be an honor to talk to you. Thank you.
Congress reconvenes to resume counting Electoral College votes.