News

‘Trial by combat’: Violent mob storms Capitol Hill

By: Madalyn Amato and Julia Terbeche

As congressional leaders met on Capitol Hill to confirm the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election, violent rioters stormed the building, inciting civil unrest and pausing the proceedings for four hours.

Thousands of angry rioters waving “Trump 2020” and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags forcibly occupied the steps of the U.S. Capitol building with little to no resistance provided by Washington, D.C. police. 

With doors locked, members of the violent mob proceeded to break windows and illegally enter the building in an attempt to disrupt the hearings.

Many of them were armed. 

Senators and members of the House of Representatives were escorted out of the building and sheltered in place at a secure location while the siege raged on. Several explosive devices were found throughout the city of Washington, D.C., according to reports by the Los Angeles Times.

President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had called for “trial by combat,” presumably inspiring rioters to ultimately occupy both chambers of congress, looting and destroying property and infiltrating offices inside the building. 

Several senators, including Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Cory Booker, expressed strong feelings of disapproval for the Trump administration’s handling of the event. Schumer compared the events that transpired to those of the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, saying that Jan. 6 will be “a day that will live in infamy.” 

Although Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew to begin at 6 p.m., law enforcement officials in the area appeared to be quickly overwhelmed and ineffective in deterring the mob. 

The National Guard was ultimately called to supplement local police. According to the Associated Press, few participants in the attack have been arrested and several Washington, D.C. police officers were seriously injured. 

One woman died after being shot in the chest during the attack, CNN reported. She appears to have been a participant in the mob.

After four hours, the Capitol was finally secured by law enforcement agencies, and members of Congress were ushered back into the building to complete “what they had started,” Sen. majority leader Mitch McConnell said. 

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia described the events at the nation’s capital as “disappointing.”

“It’s not a question that what we’re witnessing today on our televisions and on our computer screens is sickening, it’s horrific and it is not who we claim to be as a country,” Garcia said.
“[What is] really disappointing that leaders in this country, including the president, cannot use strong words to denounce what’s happening in our nation’s capital.”

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her seat to Raphael Warnock Tuesday night, had openly advocated for challenging the results of the election in her state, Georgia, whose swing for President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. came as a shock to many. Jon Ossoff has also cinched the win for the state’s other open seat, giving the Democratic Party control of the Senate. 

Following the events that occurred in the capitol, she and several other senators who had spoken in support of challenging the election results conceded and shared messages of support for the democratic process while condemning the actions of the mob.

After sharing several tweets that failed to condemn the actions that transpired, Trump shared messages of love and support to those attacking the house of democracy. 

In an unexpected move, Twitter announced that the president’s account would be suspended for the next 12 hours due to “violations of community guidelines.” If the president violates the guidelines again, his account will be permanently suspended.

Congress recoveigned at 8 p.m. to continue the confirmation process.

Daily 49er newsletter