Did the US Capitol open on January 6th with the code? what we know, what we don’t know

As the House Select Committee continues to present evidence in its investigation into the January 6 US Capitol attack, unsubstantiated and misleading claims about the riots continue to surface online.

A major recurring claim is that 20,000lb. The door on the east side of the building was opened from the inside using a security code, which some commentators frame within the “job inside” narrative.

newsweek Look at the evidence behind the claims.

Protesters gather outside the US Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters enter the US Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session of Congress to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory over Donald Trump.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A tweet, first posted on January 31, 2022 and re-shared on Reddit on June 13, 2022, claimed that two 20,000lb. During the January 6 riots, the east entrance doors of the Capitol building were opened from inside using a security code.

The same claim was repeated on Twitter by pro-Trump social media influencer Brandon Straka on the same day as a Reddit post.

Straka posted a similar claim on Twitter in February 2022 as well.

The Post, which has cumulatively collected over 20,000 engagements, claims the doors were magnetically locked, only openable by a security lock inside the capitol.

Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the post, the narrative appears to stem from claims made by a “retired Marine” on 6 January in Gateway Pundit. Interview in May 2021.

“The [doors] were opened from inside. […] Here’s what I can tell you about magnetic locks,” said the unnamed OAuth Keepers member.

“If a door is locked with a mag lock it cannot be opened from outside or inside unless the person controlling that door opens that door by closing the magnetic lock, as shown in the photographs taken by me.” The doors are furnished accordingly.

“Nothing, nothing, no person, no group of people, not hundreds of people who could open those doors. No one. Unless the Capitol police want to open those doors.”

two sets of doors

After looking at the available evidence, newsweek These posts were found to confuse or misinterpret many important details about the entrance to the Capitol building, the timeline of events and how the rioters made it inside.

To set the scene, on 6 January a group of demonstrators entered the Capitol through the upper floor on the east side of the building, which has an entrance hall with two doors.

The first of these is 17ft high, 20,000lb. The bronze Columbus doors, installed in 1863, were later moved to their current location in 1961.

The doors have intricate sculptures depicting the life of Christopher Columbus, including a statue of the explorer at his head and scenes from his journey across the right and left valves.

they open inwardThe second, much smaller, leads to a wooden and glass-paneled door.

Referring to their weight, social media posts suggest that the exterior Columbus doors were locked and sealed by a magnetic lock.

Although, As evidenced by the footage of the January 6 riotsThe main gates of Columbus were already open for a few minutes before the crowd reached inside the Capitol. footage from the scene It appears that the outer doors were opened between 02:06 PM and 02:08 PM.

Although it is not clear who opened them, the rest of the footage suggests that the question is moot, as the doors inside were strong enough to keep the protesters out (until they were opened from the inside at 02.24 pm).

newsweek Was unable to confirm with certainty that there was no magnetic lock on the exterior doors, but at least none can be seen on various videos of the scene.

On the other hand, The pictures of the entrance show that the small door Was secured in this way (the locks are clearly visible at the top of the entrance). To emphasize, this does not mean that it was locked with a security code. really, newsweek No evidence was found to support the claim made by Gateway Pundit interviewer and others.

At least part of his claim seems to be true that the doors were open from the inside. But the “security code” claim is on more questionable grounds.

CCTV recording of a protester Those who make their way to the inside of the east entrance, approach the door, repeatedly pushing against them in what appears to be an attempt to let the crowd in.

He can then be seen communicating with someone outside the shot, pushing again with more firmness, and opening it, before returning to the door.

Notably, photos taken at the scene show a sign outside The doors state that they can be opened by pushing for three seconds, The same mark can be seen in the CCTV footage.

If the entry was secured with a passcode, it is very unlikely that a simple emergency failure would be secure, which would defeat the purpose.

This was also confirmed by Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger. Tweet From the beginning of this year.

“You have to hold it for a few seconds to open this door. It’s not ‘magnetically closed’ due to fire escape reasons,” Kinzinger tweeted. “No the ‘Command Center’ opened it. The other rioters who opened the second door had instructed to open it (from the second level).”

newsweek Kinzinger has been reached out for additional comment.

newsweek Contacted Capitol Police for comment, but were told: “The department cannot comment on security measures related to the US Capitol.”

newsweek A spokesperson for the US Capitol Visitor Center and the House Select Committee has also been contacted for comment.

As House Select Committee hearings continue, new evidence may emerge, including further details about how the exterior doors were opened, or how the magnetic locks on the inside doors work.

But currently available evidence does not support the claim that any of the gates were protected by a security code panel inside the building.

Shortly after historic Columbus opened its doors, at around 02:07, rioters began attempting to block the entrance, unsuccessfully.

The glass-paneled doors behind them – acting as fire exits – held on for about 20 minutes, until they were opened from the inside by a demonstrator.

These are not just repeating misleading claims as the House Select Committee presented its evidence this month.

newsweek recently debunked a claim by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and others, that no protesters brought guns to the Capitol on January 6, although several members of the crowd were already accused of carrying firearms. went.

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