An Overview of the Chaos at the Capitol
January 6, 2021 is a dark day in the history of America. The day had been heavily anticipated for weeks as it was the day of the Electoral College count. America is at a strange time in its history.
To begin with, the Electoral College votes were to be officially counted. This event happens after every presidential election and the vice president plays an important role in it. This event is a way to formally recognize votes. “The vice president opens the states’ sealed certificates in alphabetical order and hands them to one of four ‘tellers’ — a Republican and a Democrat from each chamber of Congress who review the certificates and announce the states’ votes” (Gregorian).
The “March to Save America” was also scheduled for this day. President Trump has been very open about his belief that the election was stolen, simply looking at his tweets is enough proof. According to the website to organize the march, it was focused on fighting back against the “fraudulent election.” It also says on the site that the plan was to “march to the US Capitol building to protest the certification of the Electoral College.” Nowhere does the site include anything about the use of violence or entering the Capitol building.
The march turned into an invasion of the Capitol building. Earlier in the day, VP Mike Pence went against President Trump’s request to throw out electoral votes. A few minutes after 1 PM, the proceedings in Congress began. At 1:55 PM, Capitol Police began evacuating congressional office buildings due to the crowds outside. At 2:20 PM, the Senate went into a recess and the building was locked down. Ten minutes later, protesters got into the Capitol. The Senate was back in session a little after 8 PM (AP).
President Trump put out a tweet calling for those involved to remain peaceful. His Twitter account was locked for 12 hours following the removal of three tweets posted by the president (Fung).
Four people died in relation to the events of the day. One woman was shot and later died at the hospital. Three others passed away during what has been deemed as “medical emergencies” (AP).
Different ideas have been circulated about those involved in storming the Capitol. Representative Matt Gaetz put out the thought during the Senate proceedings that perhaps these were antifa members. He began his statement acknowledging that he wasn’t sure if the information was accurate but said, “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters. And in fact, they were members of the violent terrorist group, antifa” (Flapol). Senator Lindsey Graham decided to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory. In his statements he said, “As a conservative, this is the most offensive concept in the world that one person could disenfranchise 155 million people” (Fox).
More details in regard to this day are likely to be reported in the coming days. Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.
The Associated Press. “AP: 4 Died as President Trump Supporters Stormed Capitol.” WAAY News, 6 Jan. 2021, http://www.waaytv.com/content/news/Senate-recesses-police-order-evacuations-lockdown-as-protesters-march-on-Capitol-573540671.html.
Fung, Brian. “Facebook and Twitter Temporarily Lock Trump’s Account after Riot on Capitol Hill.” CNN, Cable News Network, 7 Jan. 2021, http://www.cnn.com/2021/01/06/tech/twitter-lock-trump-account/index.html.
Gregorian, Dareh. “Congress Is Set to Count the Trump-Biden Electoral College Votes. Here’s the Lowdown.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Jan. 2021, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/congress-set-count-trump-biden-electoral-college-votes-here-s-n1252609.
March to Save America, marchtosaveamerica.com/.
Powers, Scott. “Matt Gaetz Blames Antifa, Democrats’ Rhetoric for Capitol Attack; Defends Donald Trump.” Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government., 7 Jan. 2021, floridapolitics.com/archives/392939-matt-gaetz-blames-antifa-democrats-rhetoric-for-capitol-attack-defends-donald-trump.
Stimson, Brie. “Graham Calls Biden ‘Lawfully’ Elected, Says ‘Enough Is Enough’ Following Breach of Capitol.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 7 Jan. 2021, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/lindsey-graham-calls-biden-lawfully-elected-enough-is-enough