How The Trump March Went From Political Rally To Violent Riot In Just 2 Hours

(Screenshot/Daily Caller)

Andrew Jose Contributor
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Thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol after what started as a political march became a violent riot Wednesday.

The march to the Capitol began Wednesday morning after Trump gave his speech at the “Save America March” rally, for which thousands of people had gathered. 

The rally was organized on the second day of planned demonstrations in Washington, D.C., ahead of the congressional certification of the Electoral College’s results, which Trump continues to dispute. (RELATED: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Warren, Others Slam’ Attempted Coup’ At The Capitol)

Nearly three hours before his speech, Trump, who was to speak at the rally at 11:00 a.m., sent out a barrage of tweets criticizing the then-projected results of the Georgia runoffs where Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were leading or had already been projected to be win.

In those morning tweets, ahead of his talk, Trump suggested that the American electoral process was worse than that of third countries and that around 50,000 votes were illegally produced to aid the Democratic candidates, Washington Post reported.

In the flurry of tweets, Trump also said that the states wanted to reconsider their votes for the Presidential election because they, in his opinion, found they voted on fraud.

Trump then arrived at the rally to deliver his remarks around noon. 

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and Congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowds, many of whom were carrying Trump campaign insignia and waving American flags.

Trump then suggested that he would personally join the march, amidst his other comments denying the legitimacy of the 2020 Elections.  

Trump stated, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and Congressmen and women,” according to Reuters. “We will never give up, we will never concede.”

Trump would later backtrack from his plan to accompany the masses and retreat to the White House.

As he railed on against the election, inflaming his supporters with battle cries such as “We will not let them silence your voices,” and “We’re not going to let it happen,” Trump also began to pressure Vice President Mike Pence by telling the crowds that he hoped Pence would use a non-existent “absolute right” to overturn the elections’ results, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“I hope Mike is gonna do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” he said, also asserting that “one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country” informed him that Pence had “the absolute right to” throw out the election results, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Pence, who arrived on Capitol Hill while Trump made such remarks, however, delivered a formal letter stating that he lacks the authority to “reject electoral votes unilaterally,” rebuffing Trump’s request that he overturn the election.

Congress then convened for the certification of the results at around 1 p.m. with Pence and Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking their places to oversee the electoral votes’ formal count.

Republicans, 20 minutes into the session, raised their first objection to the certification with Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar objecting to his state’s results and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz co-signing Gosar’s objection. The houses then began to debate the objections, with senators and representatives each delivering statements for or against.

Around 1:35 p.m., march participants who had been moving towards the Capitol started to gather in front of the building after Trump’s remarks. Many of them began to clash with police, who attempted to withhold a breach. The situation eventually escalated to the point that two offices in the House were evacuated.

As the rioters and cops clashed outside, Cruz took the podium in the Senate to defend his objection to Arizona’s electoral votes, stating that according to polling, 39% of Americans believed the election was rigged.

The House and the Senate called for a recess after receiving news that rioters had managed to breach the building around 2:00 p.m.

Daily Caller Chief Video Director Richie McGinniss managed to climb the media tower set up for the inauguration to get a better angle around the moment rioters breached the Capitol Police’s perimeter.

Derrick Evans, a newly elected lawmaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, was among the rioters who had breached the Capitol. He captured video of himself at the moment of entry.

As Congress members were being evacuated, Trump slammed Pence for not doing anything to halt the electoral results’ certification. As Trump tweeted his criticism out, Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber because of concerns for his safety.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump tweeted, “USA demands the truth!”

Democrat D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser then issued a curfew order at 2:31 p.m., when the riots seemed to get out of hand, “ordering a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 7.”

Moments after lashing out against Pence, Trump finally tweeted out to his supporters, asking them to “stay peaceful,” as rioters started to surround the House chamber, according to The Guardian.

One congressional reporter told the Guardian that a rioter was shooting into the House chamber, as police officers began to barricade the door with guns drawn.

A woman participating in the riot was also shot during this armed standoff. The victim, identified as an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbit, was hospitalized and later pronounced dead.

Between 2:35 p.m. and 3:10 p.m., rioters began walking on the Senate floor, and Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic shared an image of a man who shouted from the chamber’s dais that Trump won the election.

Trump, at approximately 3 p.m., once again requested rioters to be peaceful, as the ordeal continued.

The Senate floor was cleared of rioters around 3:30 p.m., CNN reported. An officer informed the outlet that they had pushed rioters away from the Capitol’s Senate wing and towards the Rotunda. They then removed the rioters through the east and west doors of the building.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, as this occurred, announced that he would be sending 200 Virginia State troopers to D.C., at Bowser’s request.

Pence then tweeted a message asking rioters to back down and leave the Capitol, saying that the “violence and destruction” must stop.

Trump soon released a video message urging the rioters, some of whom entered the US Capitol with firearms, to “go home” while also praising them as “very special,” at around 4:30 p.m. The video was later blocked by Twitter.

The Pentagon had also approved the D.C. National Guard to disperse the Pro-Trump rioters from the Capitol’s grounds around this hour, U.S. News & World Report reported.

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller later said in a statement that he discussed the deployment of the National Guard troops with Pence and not Trump, according to The Guardian.

“We have fully activated the DC National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation. We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities,” the statement read.

Congressional leaders were being escorted away from the Capitol complex just before 5 p.m. They were set to be evacuated to Fort McNair, a nearby Army base, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon confirmed around 5:00 p.m. that Senate floor staffers had saved the electoral college ballots while they evacuated the chamber.

Using tear gas and flash grenades, Police started clearing protestors from parts of the Capitol building around 5.00 p.m.

Law enforcement managed to clear the building and secure it just before 5:30 p.m. The Sergeant of Arms announced that the Capitol was secure. About 13 individuals were arrested in connection to the riot.

Bowser’s curfew went into effect around 6 p.m., and the violence, condemned by several leaders, was largely quelled.

The march that in two hours had turned into a violent riot was over.

Two hours after the curfew was in effect, both houses of Congress reconvened, and the certification process continued until Biden’s victory was certified, after several Senators and Representatives condemned the violence, and some even speaking out against Trump.

According to D.C. Police, four people lost their lives, and 52 arrests in total were made in connection with the chaos, Fox News reported.