The U.S. Capitol building was stormed by an angry pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6. Overall, five people died as a result of the riot – one woman shot as she tried to break into a room of lawmakers, three people who died of medical emergencies in the crowd and one Capitol Police Officer who later died due to head injuries sustained from an attack by a rioter. Overall, with five deaths, property destruction and theft and the prolonged length of the attack, many are calling the riot the largest attack on the U.S. Capitol since 1814.
The attack occurred during the early moments of Congress counting all electoral votes in a largely ceremonious declaration of President-elect Biden as the incoming successor to Trump. Continued unsubstantiated claims of election fraud from Trump over the last two months, parroted by a minority of Republicans in the House and Senate, led to a few lawmakers objecting to certain swing states’ electoral votes. These objections, when paired with false claims of election fraud and broad conspiracy theories running rampant within a radical minority of Trump’s voter base, culminated in the out-of-control, violent attack.
At times during the attack, Capitol Police either nonchalantly allowed rioters to get closer to the Capitol or outright encouraged the mob to gather right at its doors and windows. Several videos show sections of police using little or no force in stopping the mob, with some standing to take selfies. Three of the four Capitol Police Board members have since resigned.
According to a recent YouGov survey, while a majority of Americans oppose the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, 45 percent of Republicans say they’re in support of the riot and believe it’s justified. That’s roughly 33 million voters across the country that believe the angry pro-Trump mob was right in inciting an attack during a live session of Congress that resulted in five deaths.
Democrats are swiftly moving to draft articles of impeachment against Trump before his term ends in less than two weeks. The party is also hoping to implement the 25th amendment, which would have two-thirds of Congress vote to remove Trump from office and install Vice President Pence for the remainder of the term. Both appear unlikely to gain enough Republican support, but huge cracks within the GOP are emerging following the Capitol attack as anger builds across both parties.
In response to his party turning away from him and social media companies blocking his accounts, Trump finally acknowledged defeat in the 2020 presidential election through a homemade video. It’s unclear what Trump will seek to accomplish during his last two weeks, with his legacy now firmly cemented as one of the most alienating and discordant presidents in U.S. history. Reports from The New York Times suggest he’s quickly preparing a list of pardons – including himself.