Chaos at the Capitol and What Happened Next

What occurred at the Capitol riots, and the aftermath.


Avery Forristal, Copy Editor

On January 6th, 2021 the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump-supporting domestic terrorists. The event began with a Trump Rally, where President Trump and several of his allies held a rally in Washington D.C. Trump initiated the march to the Capitol, saying, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Meanwhile, at the Capitol, electoral votes were being counted on the Congress floor. The rioters started by chanting. They then started breaking windows in an attempt to get inside of the building. Several people managed to enter through windows and even some doors. Various rioters were taking photos with the Capitol Police, as well as of the paintings and statues in the Capitol building. One of the most recognized rioters entered the Capitol with a Confederate Flag. This was a deafening hit for Americans, as this was the first time this Flag has been inside the Capitol building.

By this time, media coverage flooded the scene. Most of the House and Senate members put on gas masks and were escorted to a safe area. However, some congressmen were left in the room on the balcony with rioters. Thankfully, all congressional members ended up safe.

One prominent member in the crowd got into Nancy Pelosi’s office. Another stole a pedestal and two people took pictures in Vice President Mike Pence’s seat in the Senate. As of January 13th, most of these people have been put into custody, as the FBI found them and they were put on the Do Not Fly list.

President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden both released statements during the attack. Biden spoke first, where he called on Trump to speak and use his power to end the riot. Biden said, “The words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that President is. At their best, the words of a President can inspire. At their worst, they can insight.” Trump released a pre-recorded video on his Twitter, mentioning the “election fraud” and telling the rioters, “We love you. You’re very special. Go home.”

Trump supporters have many thoughts on this riot. Some claim that the event was actually by members of ANTIFA dressed up in MAGA gear, claiming that it was all an elaborate ploy for the BLM “rioters” to keep rioting and destroying property. Other Trump supporters say the riots did not go far enough. There have been several theories on the true intention of these riots, as bombs, zip tie cuffs, and several other weapons including a guillotine have been found. Some believe the terrorists hoped to kidnap or kill several House members.

During and after the attack, Trump tweeted several statements that were flagged for being false. By the end of the night, Trump had a 12-hour ban from the platform. However, he continued to tweet false information post-ban, and on Friday his account was permanently removed from the platform. He tried to use several other accounts such as the POTUS account, but all were suspended or taken down. Soon after Twitter banned Trump, many other companies followed suit. As of January 13th President Trump is now banned from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon (Specifically Parler), Snapchat, Reddit, Twitch, LiquidWeb, Apple, Discord, Google, Pinterest, Shopify, TikTok, and even Spotify.

Almost hours after the riot, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar drafted impeachment papers with support from several other Congress members. The House passed the Impeachment on January 13th. With a vote of 232 to 197, the Impeachment set a record for the most members of the House to vote someone out from their own party. Donald Trump is also now the first president to be impeached twice.

After the event, some heroes were revealed. Female Senate Aides, Senate interns, and Eugene Goodman. Some Senate Aides thought very quickly during the siege on the Capitol, grabbing the boxes of electoral votes before being escorted out. Senate interns were also very helpful in ensuring that everyone was safe. They were able to barricade the doors and stay calm with individual Congress members. Officer Goodman was being chased upstairs by a gang of rioters when he noticed there were still Congress officials on that floor. Goodman purposely egged on the rioters to bring them to another room where reinforcements were located.

It is no question that this was a horrific attack on America’s democracy. Many also see it as a final event defining the “Trump Era.” As the Inauguration approaches, America will watch to see if Biden can fix the pieces Trump broke.