Pro-Trump Rioters Storm U.S. Capitol, Forcing Evacuation of Lawmakers
Rioters could be seen breaking windows and storming the Senate chamber
As a Trump-supporting mob descended on Washington, D.C., during Wednesday's unprecedented riots, a man was seen carrying a Confederate flag inside the U.S. Capitol.
Photos of an unmasked, unidentified man carrying a large Confederate flag on the second floor of the Capitol building were shared widely on Twitter by journalists on the ground during Wednesday's violent scene, with Stanford professor Sam Wineburg noting that it was the first time the flag had been publicly carried within the halls of the Capitol.
Take this in: Never once, in the years 1860-1865, was this flag ever paraded in the halls of the American capitol. pic.twitter.com/NFFVM0aSY0
— Sam Wineburg (@samwineburg) January 6, 2021
Washington Post reporter Rebecca Tan also shared photos of the flag being raised in protests outside the Capitol building.
Scenes from DC right now. They’ve raised the confederate flag outside the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/MAVv4a6DSA
— Rebecca Tan (@rebtanhs) January 6, 2021
The man seen carrying the Confederate flag inside the Capitol appeared to be standing near the Senate entrance.
That’s the confederate flag flying outside the Senate chamber pic.twitter.com/1XB5TlAsuv
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
A large group began to storm the Capitol after President Donald Trump gave a “Stop the Steal” speech on the National Mall earlier Wednesday, during which Trump refused to acknowledge that he’d lost the election to Joe Biden and repeated his baseless claims about fraud.
A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, January 6, 2021. Photo by Mike Theiler pic.twitter.com/pbhwfAVsUX
— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) January 6, 2021
The massive crowd of rioters went on to breach Capitol security, forcing lawmakers into hiding while a joint session of Congress to ratify Biden's election win was temporarily halted.
The riot included reports of gunshots, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who had supported Trump's baseless challenges to the Electoral College vote — said people were "being hurt."
At least one person was shot and injured.
There were various photos and videos of looting and vandalism as the rioters moved throughout the Capitol, including taking over congressional chambers and lawmakers' offices.
Hours after the Capitol had been breached, Trump delayed telling his supporters to leave the building, tweeting first, "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!"
In a taped statement posted to his Twitter account at 4:17 p.m., Trump instructed rioters to leave peacefully, saying, "You have to go home now, we have to have peace." (The video has been removed or restricted from social channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, due to "risk of violence.")
President-elect Biden gave a speech Wednesday from Wilmington, Delaware, calling for an end to the violence in Washington and encouraging Trump to "step up."
"Let me be very clear, the scenes at the Capitol do not reflect the true America," the president-elect said. "What we’re seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s chaos.”
Biden told Trump to "go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to the siege," saying, "It must end now."
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers denounced Trump and the rioters throughout the day during Wednesday's events.