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January 6 United States Capitol attack

Coordinates: 38°53′23.3″N 77°00′32.6″W / 38.889806°N 77.009056°W / 38.889806; -77.009056
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January 6 United States Capitol attack
Part of the 2020–21 United States election protests and attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election
Top to bottom, left to right: crowds gathered outside of the Capitol; Donald Trump speaking to supporters at the "Save America" rally; tear gas being deployed against protesters outside the Capitol Building
DateJanuary 6, 2021 (2021-01-06)
38°53′23.3″N 77°00′32.6″W / 38.889806°N 77.009056°W / 38.889806; -77.009056
Caused by
  • Opposition to the results of the 2020 United States presidential election
  • Trump's false claims of election and voter fraud
  • Trump's incitement of his supporters to fight and physically disrupt the Electoral College vote count
MethodsRioting, vandalism,[5] looting, assault, shootings,[6] arson,[7] and attempted bombings
Resulted inAttempts to overturn election results in favor of Trump failed
Casualties and arrests
Death(s)5 dead[14]
  • Unknown number of rioters injured, at least 5 rioters hospitalized[11]
  • 56 officers injured[12][13]
  • 80+ rioters arrested[17]

On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of then-U.S President Donald Trump were in Washington, D.C. to protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election. They went in to support Trump's demand for Vice President Mike Pence and Congress to reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory.[18][19] The protests soon became riots as thousands of Trump supporters broke into the United States Capitol, damaging the building. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss called the attacks an attempted coup d'etat by the President.[20] The attack of the United States Capitol building was the worst at that place since the War of 1812.

Rally[change | change source]

First, protesters came to the Ellipse for a planned rally. There, Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by combat,"[21] then later, Donald Trump told his supporters to march to the United States Capitol "to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today," while also asking them to "show strength" and to "fight like hell" for Republicans to "take back our country."[22][23][24]

Storming of the Capitol[change | change source]

The Trump supporters broke into the Capitol.[25] Congress was in session at the time. All congressmen, lobbyists, news reporters, visitors and Vice President Mike Pence were evacuated to a secure location.[26][27]

A Trump-supporting female rioter was shot by Capitol Police during the storming. At that time, she was climbing through a barricaded door near the entrance to the hall for the House of Representatives; she died later that day.[28] Three people also died from medical emergencies that day, said the Washington D.C. police.[29] The New York Times said that attackers hit a police officer with a fire extinguisher until he died, but that was later proven not true; it did not really happen.[30]

The attack on the Capitol has been referred to as domestic terrorism.[31][32][33][34]

During the attack, several rioters carried Confederate battle flags or Nazi symbols.[35] For the first time in U.S. history, a Confederate battle flag was flying inside the U.S. Capitol building.[36]

Aftermath[change | change source]

Trump responded to the storming by writing messages on Twitter. In a video, he told protesters: "This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace."[37] In another message, he wrote: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long." He continued: "Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"[38][39][40]

5 people died during or shortly after the event: four rioters and one police officer.[41] Fifteen police officers were sent to the hospital,[42] and more than 50 were injured. Members of the mob hit Capitol police officers in the head with lead pipes and other weapons, including flag poles.[43] Howard Liebengood was a Capitol Police officer on duty during the attack. He died by suicide three days later.[44][45] Jeffrey Smith defended the capitol as part of the Metro Police Department. He killed himself soon after.[46]

Reactions[change | change source]

Trump was impeached for a second time because of this attack. Some people even wanted Vice President Pence to use the twenty-fifth amendment to remove Trump from office.[47]

The House of Representatives formed a committee, the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, to investigate the attack and recommend changes that would prevent such an event from happening in the future.

Prison sentences for protesters[change | change source]

More than 750 people were charged with crimes because of the Capitol attack. More than 200 of these people pleaded guilty,[48] meaning that they agreed not to have trials in exchange for smaller punishments.

Prison sentences have been as long as 22 years (in prison).[49]

On July 20, 2021, one protester was sentenced to 8 months in prison; the trial was held in federal court.[50]

One protester was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison;[51] Jake Angeli also got a 3 years 5 months sentence.[52]

One protester was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in prison.[53]

Sentences since 2023:

Trials[change | change source]

On March 8, 2022, a jury said Guy Wesley Reffitt was guilty of five crimes, including trying to stop Congress from doing its job (counting the votes) and bringing an illegal weapon (a pistol) into the Capitol. Prosecutors showed the jury a video that Reffitt had made of himself breaking into the Capitol and telling other rioters to hurt Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Reffitt's son testified against him.[48]

On March 22, 2022, a judge said Couy Griffin was guilty of one crime: Illegally going inside the Capitol. Griffin had asked to be tried by only a judge instead of a judge and jury.[57]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Capitol mob built gallows and chanted 'Hang Mike Pence'". 9 January 2021.
  2. "It Was Supposed to be So Much Worse". The Atlantic. 9 January 2021.
  3. "US Capitol rioters chanted 'Hang Mike Pence' — video footage". The Times of Israel.
  4. "A Reuters photographer says he overheard pro-Trump insurrectionists saying they wanted to hang Mike Pence at the Capitol". Business Insider.
  5. Lakritz, Talia (January 6, 2021). "Shocking photos show pro-Trump rioters in the Capitol stealing memorabilia and breaking into the desks of lawmakers". Yahoo News. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  6. Massimo, Rick; Vitka, Will (8 January 2021). "Trump condemns Capitol riot; DeVos, US Capitol Police chief to resign". WTOP. Today, First Amendment protests turned violent. Many persons came to the District armed and for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction and have engaged in violence and destruction. They have fired chemical irritants, bricks, bottles, and guns.
  7. "What happened in Washington DC yesterday? A timeline of insurrection". The Independent. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  8. "Top White House officials resign after Capitol Hill riots, including Melania Trump's chief of staff". www.abc.net.au. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  9. "The Trump Administration Officials Who Resigned Over the Violence in the Capitol". The New York Times. January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  10. Melendez, Pilar; Bredderman, William; Montgomery, Blake (January 6, 2021). "Woman Shot Dead as Mob Overran Capitol ID'ed as Air Force Vet". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  11. Raju, Manu; Barrett, Ted (January 7, 2021). "Facing criticism, US Capitol Police details response to mob, 14 suspects arrested and 50 officers injured". CNN. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  12. Thrush, Glenn; Dewan, Shaila; Eligon, John; MacFarquhar, Neil (January 7, 2021). "Questions mount over law enforcement's failure to protect the Capitol". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Mr. Sund said more than 50 Capitol Police and Washington Metro Police officers had been injured, and several Capitol Police officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.
  13. Kutlu, Ovunc. "Death toll rises to 5 at Capitol riots in US capital". Anadolu Agency.
  14. "Capitol secured after assault from Trump supporters". CBS News. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  15. Perez, Evan; Herb, Jeremy; Polantz, Katelyn; Scannell, Kara; Carrega, Christina (January 7, 2021). "Prosecutors 'looking at all actors,' including Trump, as charges are filed against Capitol rioters". CNN. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  16. Peñaloza, Marisa (January 6, 2021). "Trump Supporters Clash With Capitol Police At Protest". National Public Radio. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  17. Amenabar, Teddy; Zauzmer, Julie; Davies, Emily; Brice-Saddler, Michael; Ruane, Michael E.; et al. (January 6, 2021). "Live updates: Hundreds storm Capitol barricades; two nearby buildings briefly evacuated; Trump falsely tells thousands he won". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  18. "Analysis: Trump's rage ignites mob assault on democracy". Mainichi Daily News. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  19. Palma, Bethania (January 6, 2021). "Did Rudy Giuliani Call for 'Trial By Combat' Before Trump Mob Broke Into Capitol?". Snopes. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  20. Conradis, Brandon (January 6, 2021). "Trump attacks Pence as protesters force their way into Capitol". The Hill. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  21. McCarthy, Tom; Ho, Vivian; Greve, Joan E. (January 7, 2021). "Schumer calls pro-Trump mob 'domestic terrorists' as Senate resumes election certification – live". Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021 – via www.theguardian.com.
  22. "Before mob stormed US Capitol, Trump told them to 'fight like hell' –". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  23. Moneymaker, Anna (January 6, 2021). "In Photos: Angry protesters and broken windows inside Statuary Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  24. McEvoy, Jemima (January 6, 2021). "DC Protests Live Coverage: Entire Capitol Now On Lockdown As Protesters Enter The Building". Forbes. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  25. Lang, Brent; Littleton, Cynthia (January 6, 2021). "U.S. Capitol on Lockdown, Pro-Trump Protestors Breach Police Lines". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  26. Jouvenal, Justin; Leonnig, Carol (January 8, 2021). "Ashli Babbitt was shot during chaotic moments in the Capitol". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  27. "Over 50 people arrested, 14 officers injured and 4 deaths reported amid pro-Trump protests in DC". FOX5. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  28. Palma, Bethania (16 February 2021). "Did US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick Die After Hit With a Fire Extinguisher?". Snopes. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  29. Trepany, Charles. "'This is domestic terrorism': Meghan McCain, Cardi B and more react to Capitol riot". USA TODAY.
  30. Corn, David. "Donald Trump is now a terrorist leader".
  31. Johnson, Martin (January 6, 2021). "Cori Bush introduces legislation to sanction, remove all House members who supported election challenges". TheHill.
  32. Jansen, Bart. "President-elect Joe Biden calls Capitol riot 'insurrection,' urges President Trump to 'end siege'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  33. McLaughlin, Eliott C. (January 7, 2021). "Before Wednesday, insurgents waving Confederate flags hadn't been within 6 miles of the US Capitol". CNN. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021.
  34. Cramer, Maria (January 9, 2021). "Confederate Battle Flag in the Capitol: A 'Jarring' First in U.S. History". New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  35. Zilbermints, Regina (January 6, 2021). "Trump tells rioters 'go home,' repeats claims that election 'fraudulent'". TheHill. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  36. Durkee, Alison (January 6, 2021). "Trump Justifies Supporters Storming Capitol: 'These Are The Things And Events That Happen'". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  37. Gearan, Anne; Dawsey, Josh (January 7, 2021). "Trump issued a call to arms. Then he urged his followers 'to remember this day forever!'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  38. "Trump encourages his supporters to 'remember this day.'". The New York Times. January 6, 2021. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  39. Safdar, Khadeeja; Ailworth, Erin; Seetharaman, Deepa (January 8, 2021). "Police Identify Five Dead After Capitol Riot". The Wall Street Journal.
  40. Conley-Kendzior, Lisa (January 7, 2021). "Capitol Police say reports of officer's death are wrong". The Hill.
  41. Limon, Alexandra (8 January 2021). "Capitol Police were hit in the head with lead pipes". Nexstar – via WJW.
  42. "A Capitol Police Officer On Duty During The Coup Attempt Has Died By Suicide". Buzzfeed. January 11, 2021. A US Capitol Police officer on duty during Wednesday's coup attempt by Trump supporters died by suicide on Saturday, his family has announced.
  43. Klein, Allison; Tan, Rebecca (January 11, 2021). "Capitol Police officer who was on duty during the riot has died by suicide, his family says". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  44. "Second officer from Capitol riot dies by suicide, police chief says". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  45. Novet, Jordan (January 6, 2021). "U.S. trade group asks VP Pence to 'seriously consider' invoking 25th Amendment to remove Trump". CNBC. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  46. 48.0 48.1 Alan Feuer (March 8, 2022). "Texas Man Convicted in First Jan. 6 Trial". New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  47. 49.0 49.1 https://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/i/8JkW0G/proud-boys-leder-doemt-til-22-aars-fengsel-for-kongresstorming. VG.no. Retrieved 2023-09-06
  48. Hosenball, Mark (20 July 2021). "Florida man gets 8 months in prison in U.S. Capitol attack". Reuters.
  49. https://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/i/pW9Kzo/tre-aar-og-fem-maaneders-fengsel-for-capitol-stormingen. Retrieved 11 November 2021
  50. https://www.newsnetnebraska.org/jacob-chansley-better-known-as-jake-angeli-sentenced-to-3-years-and-5-months-in-prison-for-assaulting-the-united-states-congress/. Retrieved 23 November 2021
  51. "Toughest sentence yet for any Capitol rioter: Over 5 years". Associated Press. 17 December 2021.
  52. https://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/i/Q7Oqmq/stormet-kongressen-doemt-til-18-aar-i-fengsel?utm_source=vgfront&utm_content=hovedlopet_row17_pos1&utm_medium=dre-646fa47f868247a3090eec89. VG.no. Retrieved 2023-05-25
  53. https://yle.fi/a/74-20048017. Yle.fi. Retrieved 2023-09-01
  54. Hsu, Spencer; Barrett, Devlin (March 8, 2022). "Longtime Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio charged with conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack on Capitol". Washington Post.
  55. Allison Mollenkamp (March 22, 2022). "'Cowboys for Trump' leader is given a mixed verdict in his Jan. 6 Capitol riot trial". NPR. Retrieved March 27, 2022.