A Pro-Trump Mob Stormed the Halls of Congress. Photographs From Inside the Chaos at the Capitol

A mob whipped up by the President stormed police lines, smashed windows and broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to block lawmakers from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. The violent scene, which called to mind images of coups in foreign lands, was a culmination of two months of “Stop the Steal” rallies, fueled by Donald Trump’s baseless allegations that widespread voter fraud had cost him the election. The President has repeatedly incited his supporters to challenge the peaceful transfer of power, the essential marker of democracy.

Two hours before the assault on the Capitol, Trump had vowed that he would “never concede,” and urged them to pressure Republican lawmakers “to take back our country.” When he finished, a crowd chanting, “Storm the Capitol!” proceeded to the iconic building, overwhelmed police and flooded inside. Inside the House Chamber, police officers shoved furniture to barricade the doors as Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers scrambled to evacuate. In the Senate, intruders dressed in everything from full body armor to a horned Viking cap posed for photos at the rostrum, fists raised. A red MAGA hat was planted on the head of a bronze statue of former President Gerald Ford in the Rotunda and a Trump flag placed in his hand. Shots were heard and a woman reported killed. As it all unfolded, control of the upper chamber moved from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party as, 600 miles to the south, civil servants and citizen volunteers continued to faithfully tally ballots. —Vera Bergengruen, with reporting by Leslie Dickstein and Julia Zorthian

Capitol Police detain protesters outside of the House Chamber on Jan. 06, 2021.
Drew Angerer—Getty ImagesU.S. Capitol Police detain pro-Trump rioters outside of the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber in the Capitol on Jan. 06, 2021.
Drew Angerer—Getty ImagesCapitol police officers point their guns at a barricaded door as pro-Trump rioters attempt to break into the House Chamber.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol Building in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso—AFP/Getty ImagesTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the Capitol Building.
Joint session to certify the 2020 election results, in Washington
Kevin Dietsch—Pool/ReutersA Capitol police officer confronts a Trump supporter scrambling into the Capitol through a smashed window.
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Stephanie Keith—ReutersRioters climb the walls of the U.S. Capitol after President Trump encouraged a rally audience to pressure Republican lawmakers.
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.
Andrew Harnik—APLawmakers and staff shelter as protesters besiege the House Chamber.
Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 06, 2021.
Drew Angerer—Getty ImagesMembers of Congress run for cover as pro-Trump rioters try to enter the House Chamber.
PRO-TRUMP-RALLY-IN-WASHINGTON-DC/
Joel Marklund—ReutersCapitol police officers take position as a pro-Trump mob attempts to enter the Capitol Building.
Congress Electoral College
Andrew Harnik—APPeople shelter in the House gallery as pro-Trump rioters try to break into the House Chamber.
A note left in the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inside the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty ImagesA note left in the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inside the Capitol.
Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Drew Angerer—Getty ImagesPeople put on gas masks while sheltering in the House Chamber.
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the Capitol's Rotunda on Jan. 6, 2021.
Olivier Douliery—AFP/Getty ImagesSupporters of President Trump gather outside the Capitol.
Papers and other materials litter the chamber after House were evacuated as protesters try to break into the House Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.
Andrew Harnik—APPapers and other materials litter the House Chamber after it was evacuated.
Members of the National Guard assist police officers in dispersing protesters who are gathering at the Capitol Building in Washington, on Jan. 06, 2021.
Tasos Katopodis—Getty ImagesMembers of the National Guard assist police officers in dispersing the mob of Trump supporters who were gathering at the Capitol.
A flag hangs between broken windows after supporters of President Donald Trump tried to brake through police barriers outside the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021.
John Minchillo—APA flag hangs between broken windows after Trump supporters tried to break through police barriers outside the Capitol.

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