Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots, in which a crowd of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building after a rally accused the then-president of fraud in the 2020 election. The attack resulted in five deaths and charges against more than 700 people, and prompted Trump’s historic second impeachment and the largest indictment undertaking in US history.
A year after the incident, the rebellion is being investigated by a bipartisan House Select Committee. Amid the anniversaries, some lawmakers continue to push for the passing of voting rights legislation, while others argue that the alleged rioters are being unfairly detained as they await their upcoming trials.
The timeline of the events of January 6 has so far not been critical in many court cases. But it has been at the center of a select committee investigation, as well as prosecutors, that accused rioters of conspiring to block certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
A Timeline of the Capital Riot
January 6, 2021
12:53 am: President Donald Trump tweeted that Republicans need to “get smart” and “fight,” with a post GOP members of Congress should “get on the wall for president.”
1:00 am: Trump suggests that Mike Pence has the authority to decline electoral votes in a tweet about the vice president’s role presiding over the certification.
8:17 am: Trump tweeted that the states “want to get their votes right” and asked Pence to “send him back to the states.” He tells Pence that it is “a time for extreme courage.”
10:58 am: Members of the Proud Boys are seen marching towards the Capitol. One member tells the BBC: “We are taking our country back.” 1
11:00 pm: Trump begins talking to participants of the “Save America rally” at the Ellipse in Washington, DC 2
12:17 PM: Trump told his supporters he would “walk up to the capitol and we’re going to please our brave senators, and congressmen, and women.” 2
12:29 pm: About halfway through his speech, Trump says he has “accumulated overwhelming evidence about the fake election.” 3
12:39 PM: Trump claims states want to “recertify” their votes and urges Pence to “send it back.”3
12:49 pm: Capitol Police respond to reports of a possible explosive device in the Republican National Committee. Later a pipe bomb was also found in the Democratic National Committee.4
12:50 pm: Trump expressed hope that Pence “will stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country.” If not, the president says he will be “very disappointed” in his vice president.3
12:53 pm: A crowd grows outside the Capitol and a confrontation with the police ensues.1
1:00 pm: Congress gathered to testify the election victory of former Vice President Joe Biden.5
1:11 PM: Trump told supporters to “fight like hell” because if they don’t, “you won’t have a country anymore.”3
1:13 PM: Trump finished speaking.3
1:26 PM: Capitol Police ordered the evacuation of the Library of Congress, the Madison Building, and the Canon House office building. 6
1:30 pm: The House and Senate adjourned separate chambers to hear objections to Arizona’s election results.5
1:45 PM: The rioters pushed the police back and one officer declared it was “effectively a riot now”, though officers are trying to get compliance.1
1:49 PM: Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund called Major General William Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, to request assistance.6
2:00 pm: The rioters made their way past the barricades and proceeded to the exterior of the Capitol, making their way into the building.7
2:05 pm: Trump supporter Kevin Grison was reportedly pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack outside the Capitol.8
2:10 PM: The rioters began breaking open the doors and windows of the Senate.9
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images
2:13 PM: The Secret Service escorts Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Senate floor. At the same time, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman confronts a mob and leads them away from the upper chamber.5
2:20 PM: Congress members have been instructed to vacate the chamber.5
2:23 PM: Julian Khatter sprays a chemical on Capital Police Officer Brian Siknick, who is pronounced dead the next day.10
2:24 PM: Trump tweeted that Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution.
2:25 PM: Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told staff to be prepared to move the emergency response force to the Capitol.9
2:26 PM: Trump intends to call Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, but he calls on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee instead. Lee gives the phone to Tuberville, who tells Trump that Pence was kicked out and cannot speak.7
2:30 pm: The rioters knocked on the door of Pelosi’s office but found it locked. A few minutes later, a rioter pushes in the door.1 1
2:38 PM: Trump urged people to “support our Capitol police and law enforcement” and tweeted that “they really are on our nation’s side. Be peaceful!”
2:41 PM-2:43 PM: A group of rioters try to enter through closed doors outside the House Chamber. Demonstrator Ashley Babbitt is fatally shot while trying to crawl through it.1
2:50 PM: Protester Richard Barnett is captured on surveillance video entering Pelosi’s conference room. He is photographed sitting in a chair with his feet at the desk belonging to one of Pelosi’s employees.1 1
3:00 pm: Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy approved the activation of 1,100 National Guard troops to support the DC Police.
3:05 pm: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told WUSA he called the president urging him to “calm down.”
3:13 PM: Trump posted on Twitter that he is asking people at the Capitol to “remain peaceful” and not engage in violence: “Remember, we are a party of law and order – respect the law and our great men and women . Thank you!”
3:19 PM: Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the Pentagon for help and were told the National Guard’s request had been approved.9
3:51 PM: The District of Columbia National Guard is mobilized to support local law enforcement.6
4:05 pm: Biden held a press conference and called on Trump to “siege” the Capitol ending.
4:08 PM: Pence called acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and asked for a deadline to secure the building.5
4:17 PM: Trump posted a video on social media telling the rioters that he knew their pain and hurt. “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially on the other side. But you have to go home now… We have to keep the peace. We have to keep law and order.” .. so go home. We love you, you’re so special. … I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,” he says.
4:26 PM: Protester Rosanne Boyland collapses and is taken to the hospital. He was later pronounced dead of an amphetamine overdose.
5:20 PM: National Guard members begin arriving at the Capitol.9
6:01 PM: Trump tweeted a post saying the Capitol riots were the result of a fraudulent election. “These are the things and incidents that happen when a holy landslide electoral victory is so ruthlessly and viciously snatched away from so many great patriots who have been treated badly and unfairly for so long. With love and peace Go home. Always remember this day!” He says before deleting the tweet.
7:00 pm: Facebook removed Trump’s post from social media site
7:02 PM: Twitter removed Trump’s tweet and suspended his account for 12 hours.
7:55 PM: Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews have resigned.
7:59 pm: A group of lawmakers wrote to Pence asking for the 25th Amendment to be implemented and Trump removed from office.
8:00 pm: Capitol Police has declared the building safe.9
8:06 PM: Senate meets again to resume certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.5
8:10 pm: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed Congress, placing the blame on Trump and saying Congress would not be “scared” to testify Biden’s victory.
8:36 PM: Facebook has suspended Trump’s page for 24 hours.
9:00 pm: The House is reconstituted to continue the debate.
10:15 PM: Senators rejected a challenge from Republican lawmakers objecting to the election results in Arizona.
11:30 pm: The House votes to dismiss objections to the vote of the Electoral College of Arizona.
January 7, 2021
3:40 am: Congress attests to Biden’s electoral victory.
3:49 am: Trump is committed to an orderly change of power, but has vowed to continue fighting to ensure that “only legal votes are counted.”
Timeline Source: 1. BBC; 2. The New York Times; 3. Rev; 4. Al.Com; 5. The Washington Post; 6. Defense Department; 7. USA TODAY; 8. Pro Publica; 9. The Associated Press; 10. The New York Times; 11. Department of Justice