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On Wed., Jan. 6, pro-Trump rioters stormed and broke into the United States Capitol building, attempting to prevent Congress from finalizing the electoral count; the rioters were protesting the recent presidential election, believing it was “stolen” from President Trump. This series of events forced those who were inside the Capitol to hide or flee from the scene. In multiple tweets on Dec. 19, 27, 30 and Jan 1, Trump promised a “big protest in D.C. on January 6th” and urged his supporters to attend. In his rally speech delivered before the riot, Trump told his supporters to go to the Capitol and “give our Republicans, the weak ones…the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Some speculate that Trump also encouraged these actions through his “stand back and stand by” message to the Proud Boys at a presidential debate on Tues. Sept. 29, as well as a comment in his speech Jan. 6, moments before the rampage. Trump stated, “All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats…That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”
After the crowd broke into and rampaged through the Capitol building, Trump recorded a message to them, saying, “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now.”
Pramila Jayapal, a House member from Washington, tweeted that she “was one of a dozen Representatives in the gallery above the House floor. [They] pulled out gas masks and had to get down on the ground. [The Representatives] were eventually told that [they] had to quickly exit.”
As the violence unfolded, Muriel Bowser, Mayor of DC, instated a 6 PM curfew for the city. Casualties of the violence include Ashli Babbitt, whom police shot and killed; Roseanne Boyland, who died after being trampled; and two others whose causes of death have not yet been announced: Benjamin Philips and Kevin Greeson. According to Robert Contee III, the Chief of the DC police, more than 56 officers were injured. Two pipe bombs were found, one outside of the RNC and one outside of the DNC. Police made 68 arrests during the riot. Contee later resigned as chief of police and his force wrote a letter denouncing his leadership that day.
As of Sat., Jan. 9, nine Trump administration officials have stepped down from their positions in the White House in the wake of the violence, including Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education; and Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation.
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook shut down Donald Trump’s social media accounts for a minimum limit of 12 hours on the day of the occurrence, as it was an “incitement of violence.” As of this writing, Trump’s Twitter account has been permanently banned. One of the few tweets that was still available on his Twitter account – previous to his expulsion from the app – said, “WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.” Though Trump insisted that people stop trying to get into the Capitol building in his recorded message, very soon after he posted a series of three tweets that were subsequently deleted by Twitter; these deleted tweets allegedly included praise for the mob and called Vice President Mike Pence a traitor.
After the siege of the Capitol building, the recount of the electoral ballots resumed, and Vice President Mike Pence declared Joseph Biden the next President of the United States. Donald Trump agreed to a peaceful transfer of power moments after the riot on Jan. 6; however, he mentioned on Twitter that he will not be attending the inauguration of the 46th President. Trump will possibly face impeachment for the second time before he vacates the office on Jan. 20.
(Sources: NY Times, CNN)
Photo courtesy CNN