Timeline of D.C Capitol Hill Storm-in

Lulu Vitullo and Chisom Ugbajah

Jan. 4-5: Warning Signs of Capitol Storm-in
“Calls for violence against members of Congress and for pro-Trump movements to retake the Capitol building have been circulating online for months,” says the New York Times. The Washington Post (after the storm-in) wrote that simply arresting those responsible “allow[s] America to condemn the rioters as simple-minded bigots or crazed conspiracy theorists while doing little about the people who emboldened them,” the people who emboldened them being the members of the Republican party holding office, spreading false information and encouraging people to take action against those who would oppose them. Many Americans, though shocked, were not entirely surprised with Wednesday’s events, given the narrative of ‘patriotism’ and ‘tyranny from Democrats’ many Republicans had pushed.

9 a.m.: Scheduled Trump Rally Begins
Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally, which apnews.com writes was, “overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, off-duty police, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth.”
(timestamp from kvue.com)

11 a.m.: Trump Begins Speech
Trump’s speech was filled with false facts about the election, which he and his supporters claim was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor. It lasted about an hour.

12-1 p.m.: March Toward Capitol & Congress Election Meeting
Around 12:30 p.m.: The end of President Trump’s speech encouraged his supporters to march toward the Capitol. Aljazeera.com reports him saying “‘So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue…and we’re going to the Capitol,’” and “‘You’ll never take back this country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.’” The rally group reached the Capitol building around 1 p.m., claiming Trump was the true winner in the presidential race, and heard yelling, “USA!” and “Stop the steal!,” according to bbc.com.
Around 1 p.m.: Crowds began to grow larger in size and started to congregate around the fenced-off entrance of the Capitol building. Soon after, the protesters began to try to break the barrier between them and the Capitol by rushing the fences and the officers who stood guard. After the first barrier was broken, the now-rioters found other points of entry like the State Chamber room.

1:15-1:45 p.m.: Congress Election Meeting & Pipeline Bombs Found
While the riot was beginning to form outside, inside, Congress was gathered together with Vice President, Mike Pence, counting and reaffirming the Electoral College votes. At this time, two bombs were found placed outside both the DNC and RNC headquarters.

2:30 p.m.: Curfew Ordered
Mayor Muriel Bowser, of D.C, ordered a 6 p.m. curfew around 2:30 p.m., but it was largely ignored by the rioters. By now, they had breached the Capitol barricades and were in the building. Police officers are under investigation for helping rioters, two have been seen taking pictures with the rioters and possibly directing them inside the building, writes slate.com. Around this time, police evacuated congress members from the building. A journalist from the Washington Post, who was in the capitol when the rioters entered, writes, “They marched us all — a phalanx of senators, staff and press — through multiple office buildings in search of the safest grounds to shelter on the Capitol complex.”

3:30 p.m.: Police Assistance
The Capitol has been overrun with rioters looting and roaming the hallways. Capitol police receive assistance from other law enforcement agencies in order to move the protesters out of the building. Slate.com reports that though more people were requested, efforts to send reinforcements were apparently slowed by the Trump Administration.

Around 4 p.m.: President-elect Press Statement
President-elect Joe Biden makes a press statement demanding Trump to put an end to the insurrection. Biden says: “I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this seige,” (nbcnews.com).

5:40 p.m.: Protesters Pushed Out, Building Secure
Around this time the police were able to push back protesters out of the Capitol building, and announced it was secure. Police officers used tear gas and batons, and one woman was shot fatally. Criticism has emerged for not using enough force before rioters entered the building, but also for using too much force instead of de-escalating the situation.

8:00 p.m.: Election Results Ratified
After having evacuated the building, Congress reconvenes to ratify the 2020 election results, confirming President-elect Biden’s victory. (abcnews.go.com)

The Days After: Resignations & Bipartisan Backlash
Around a dozen White House officials, many who used to be loyal Trump supporters, have resigned. This includes Betsy DeVos (Education Secretary), Elaine Chao (Transportation Secretary), Mick Mulvaney (Northern Ireland envoy), Matthew Pottinger (Deputy National Secretary adviser), Hope Hicks (Senior Adviser), Stephanie Grisham (First lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff) and six National Security Council members. The full list can be found on nypost.com.