How an insurrection at US Capitol broke out after Trump and some GOP allies refused to concede election

A scene from Capitol Hill, after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building while Congress met to certify electoral votes confirming Joe Biden as president in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY

In Washington D.C. today, at Donald Trump’s urging, thousands of people protested the results of the November election. A mob stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers debated certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Members of the House and Senate donned gas masks and were rushed to secret locations.

In televised remarks, Biden said, “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 siege. To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks, on the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly-elected officials, it’s not protest, it’s insurrection.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Congresswoman Susan Wild was in the House chamber, and described what happened to CBS: “All of a sudden they wouldn’t let us evacuate anymore, they barricaded the doors, and said there were intruders again in the hallway. And then the next thing I knew, there was glass breaking, and shots being fired, and we were told to get down."

A woman who was part of the group that stormed the Capitol was shot, and has since died.

Two suspected homemade bombs were found outside the Republican and Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Democrats and some business groups called for Trump to be impeached again.

Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist suggested Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet forcibly remove Trump from office. “There is a provision in the 25th Amendment that would allow for the removal of a president under exigent circumstances,” Crist said. “Well, if this isn’t that, I don’t know what is. And, you know, I’m not really a big ideological fan of Pence, but at least he’s not a madman like what we’re witnessing today. I mean this is insane, this is horrific.”

Trump eventually posted a video on Twitter to tell his supporters to head home. But he buttressed his request with more lies about the November election results, and told the extremists that he loved them.

Twitter later removed the video and two other Tweets by Trump. It decided to suspend his account for 12 hours, and warned that Trump will be permanently banned from the platform if violence continues.

Credits

Guests:
Jessica Levinson - Professor, LMU's Loyola Law School in Los Angeles - @LevinsonJessica, Tim Naftali - Clinical Associate Professor of History and Public Service, NYU and the former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library - @TimNaftali, Alexandra Minna Stern - author of “Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination”

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Angie Perrin, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Bennett Purser