The Riot at Capitol Hill


Bonnie Jo Mount via Getty Images/The Washington Post

The mob of Trump supporters seen swarming the Capitol.

Max Gardiner, Staff Writer

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. was violently raided by Donald Trump’s supporters, aiming to interrupt Congress and overturn the loss of their candidate in the 2020 presidential election.

The attack, consisting of several thousand people, began on the steps of the building as a loud protest. But as more people started to arrive, the protest turned violent.

The rioters breached the building by climbing over the walls and stairs. Capitol security was quickly overwhelmed.

There were several IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) found in and around the Capitol, including multiple pipe bombs and a cooler full of Molotov cocktails that were taken by the FBI.

In addition, there were five fatalities in the riot, including 35-year-old air force veteran Ashli Babbitt who was shot and killed by capital security while trying to break in through a window and 43-year-old Brian Sicknick, a police officer who suffered blunt force trauma from a fire extinguisher in a scuffle with rioters.

Donald Trump posted a video on Twitter the day of the riots, telling his supporters at the Capitol, “You have to go home now. We have to have peace.” In the same video, he also made claims of a fraudulent election. Twitter took down the video and permanently banned Trump’s account from the platform. Donald Trump also became the first president in U.S history to be impeached twice. He was charged with inciting insurrection and was acquitted on Feb. 13.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell denounced former Pres. Trump, calling him, “Morally responsible” for the attack, but ultimately voted not guilty in the trial. Senator Nancy Pelosi stated, “Our House Managers laid out a case of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of this searing truth: that Donald Trump incited a violent mob to attack the Capitol and then refused to intervene to stop the attack, even as his mob threatened to ‘hang Mike Pence’ at the conclusion of the impeachment of Donald Trump.”

While the outcome of this election is set in stone, there is still much turmoil over it. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) warns that threats of far-right domestic terrorism are still prevalent, but the question remains whether America was always this torn, or if this years’s election has widened the political gap even further.