Lawmakers evacuate the floor as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. President Donald Trump will speak to his supporters at a “Save America Rally as lawmakers convene for a joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
Trump is expected to speak at the rally at 10 a.m. Wednesday on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. Thousands of people lined up before sunrise to show their support for the president, according to the Associated Press.
A number of prominent Trump supporters, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, are expected to attend the protest events, which began Tuesday with a rally at Freedom Plaza near the White House. Lawmakers are set to convene at noon for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Biden.
The proceeding is required by law, and is typically routine, but Trump ’s Republican allies plan to object to the election results. Despite Trump ’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome.
President Donald Trump is vowing that “we will never concede” as he speaks to supporters shortly before Congress is to convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by President-elect Joe Biden. Trump took the stage at the Save America rally, which drew thousands of supporters who swamped the nation’s capital as the president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to his November election loss to Biden.
Trump urged Vice President Mike Pence, who will play a largely ceremonial role in the process, to block certification of Biden’s win. As Congress prepared to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people lined up before sunrise Wednesday to show their support for Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud.
Lou Murray, a life insurance salesman from Boston, said he and many others still hoped Congress and Vice President Mike Pence would not certify the vote. Organizers planned an afternoon march to the Capitol, where Congress will be voting to affirm the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute.
A number of prominent Trump supporters were expected to attend the protest events, which began Tuesday with a rally at Freedom Plaza near the White House. They include Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, the recipient of a pardon by the president.
As temperatures dropped to the low 40s Tuesday night and a steady rain swept onto the streets, hundreds of protesters remained in Freedom Plaza. Trump tweeted his support for the protesters: “Washington is being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened Radical Left Democrats.
Later at the U.S. Capitol, throngs of people pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated counting electoral college votes confirming Biden’s victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, whereon person was shot and later died.
The Senate stopped its proceedings, with Sen. James Lank ford (R-Okla.) interrupted by an aide who said protesters were in the building. The FBI issued a public call early Thursday for “tips and digital media” which would help them identify rioters who invaded the Capitol Wednesday afternoon and vandalized the historic landmark.
“Our goal is to preserve the public’s constitutional right to protest,” the FBI’s Washington Field Office said in the release, “by protecting everyone from violence and other criminal activity.” The woman who was shot and killed during rioting in the Capitol on Wednesday was identified as 35-year-old Ash Babbitt, a California native and Air Force veteran, said her former husband.
“I feel absolutely terrible and sick to my stomach about it … she had a big head and a strong mind,” Mentee wrote. A Twitter account under Babbitt’s name had retweeted messages calling for Vice President Pence to resign and be charged with treason, videos of President Trump ’s rallies and photos of Trump supporters flying to D.C. for the protests.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowler (D) on Jan. 6 said the “unprecedented attack on American democracy” was incited by President Trump. Three people suffered medical emergencies and died during the Wednesday siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, D.C. Police Chief Robert Con tee III said.
The people’s names and the circumstances of their deaths were not released during the late-night news conference with Con tee and Mayor Muriel E. Bowler (D) on Wednesday. “We saw an unprecedented attack on our American democracy incited by the United States president,” Bowler said.
Bowler said officials will review video and issue lookout alerts for people who breached the U.S. Capitol, adding that they “need to be held accountable for the carnage.” Virginia state Sen. Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield), a Trump -style populist who is seeking her party’s gubernatorial nomination, attended the pro- Trump rally but left before the crowd stormed the Capitol.
In a Facebook video posted Wednesday night, she defended the “patriots” and “law-abiding citizens” who she said had been forced by the alleged election fraud to resort to “revolution.” “I support peaceful protest, but I’m telling you, when you back the people of Virginia and across the United States of America into a corner, you’ll end up with a revolution,” she said.
Two District officials familiar with the deployment said D.C. police Inspector Robert Glover, who heads the special event branch in the department’s Homeland Security Bureau, took over coordinating the response from various agencies and directing staff and resources to execute the plan for their removal. Once those protesters were forced outside, D.C. police oversaw their removal from the external stairs, porticoes and balconies of the Capitol.
Obama said in a statement that history will remember violence “incited by a sitting president who has continued to baseless lie about the outcome of a lawful election.” But he also blamed “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem” for playing along with Trump ’s falsehoods, saying Republican leaders can either continue down a dark path or “choose reality.” “The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost,” Clinton tweeted.
Condemnation also rained down from some members of Trump ’s party in Congress : Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) described “an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.” Bush did not mention Trump or any other leader by name but criticized the politicians who “inflamed” those who stormed the Capitol building, where a woman was fatally shot.
Calling the chaos an insurrection, Bush implored those disappointed by the outcome of the presidential election to put country over “the politics of the moment.” Carter said in a statement that Wednesday’s events were a “national tragedy,” but did not cite Trump or his supporters while striking a hopeful tone.
D.C. police arrested about a dozen Trump supporters for curfew violation on New York Avenue NW, near 15th Street about two blocks from the White House, just before 8 p.m. As the night continued, downtown streets emptied, except for a handful of Trump supporters smoking outside hotels or walking in small groups.
D.C. police occasionally used loudspeakers in their cruisers to warn walkers they were violating curfew. Outside the Marriott hotel on 14th Street NW around 9:15 p.m., a small group of people were arguing loudly with about 10 MPD officers standing opposite them on the sidewalk.
By 8:45, law enforcement officers around the Capitol seemed to sense that the immediate threat of violence had dissipated. On the east side, the lines of officers that stood behind the metal barriers before Congress reconvened had dispersed.
More than two dozen officers seemed to head for home, saying good night and making jokes about how badly they needed the bathroom. The dozen or so Trump supporters still lingering at the reflecting pool settled onto folding chairs and mounds of grass.
“There were clearly enormous strategic and planning failures by the Capitol Police, by the Sergeant at Arms and anyone else who was a part of coordinating this effort. Ryan said he had been in frequent contact with Capitol Police and the sergeant at arms and had been assured as recently as Tuesday night that the Capitol complex was secure and that the department was coordinating with the Secret Service, D.C. police and the National Guard for any additional resources that would be needed.
Asked about viral videos showing officers allowing protesters through a gate at one point, and in another an officer appearing to pose with protesters for a selfie, Ryan said he was shocked and would be demanding answers from Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sound. The suspected bomb outside the RNC was found next to a trash container, and was a metal pipe with metal end caps, with wires running from inside the pipe to a plastic kitchen timer, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing investigations.
In a statement, the RNC called the suspicious package outside its building an “explosive device that was successfully detonated.” The truck, parked across the street from the party offices and near the entrance to a Metro station, contained rifles and shotguns, a great deal of ammunition, and other unspecified material, these people said.
Federal agents are still trying to determine if that vehicle and its contents are connected to the suspected pipe bombs found earlier, the people said. Hundreds of law enforcement officers outside the Capitol prepared for the return of lawmakers to resume the electoral college count.
The mob scenes at the Capitol attracted harsh and unusual criticism from business groups, including the chief executive of one of the nation’s largest banks saying he was “disgusted” and a manufacturing trade group calling it “sedition” and suggesting President Trump needed to be immediately removed from office. D.C. police said they arrested 13 people from Tuesday afternoon through 6 p.m. on Wednesday, including three who authorities said were in possession of firearms.
In addition, D.C. Fire transported seven people to hospitals, including a woman who was fatally shot inside the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) said in an interview that Congress would need to investigate thoroughly how the U.S. Capitol proved so vulnerable to a seemingly disorganized and lightly armed mob, especially given Trump ’s incitement and abundant signs that the demonstration would be volatile if not violent.
“I was surprised to learn this morning that the National Guard was not preemptively deployed, given the threats that had been made and the president’s incitement,” Malinowski said.