Political News

Timeline: How pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol

Whitehousetwitter Donaldtrump 010621
White House via Twitter


(WASHINGTON) — A mob of violent pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday while expressing anger over the results of the 2020 election and disrupting the tally of Electoral College votes.

The crowds clashed with law enforcement before gaining access inside the building, causing it to go into lockdown with members of Congress still inside.

Chaos ensued inside the building, as Trump supporters went room by room, screaming about how Trump should remain president and breaking into the offices of lawmakers.

Here is how the unprecedented event unfolded (all times Eastern):

Around 2 p.m.
Protesters wearing “Make America Great Again” apparel and carrying Confederate flags make their way up the exterior steps of the Capitol and begin pushing through barricades.

2:37 p.m.

Rep. Jim Hines, D-Conn., tweets that police asked them to get gas masks, because tear gas had just be released in the rotunda.

2:39 p.m.
Trump tweets, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

2:50 p.m.
Law enforcement confirms that a shot was fired inside the building, later reporting that a woman was shot and critically injured. The woman is rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, but police later said she died.

3 p.m.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issues a citywide curfew beginning at 6 p.m. and ending Thursday at 6 a.m.

Shortly after 3 p.m.

Evacuated lawmakers are seen praying, several kneeling or with heads bowed, according to a small group of lawmakers who accompanied them. House security instructed lawmakers not to disclose where reporters and members are being held.

3:13 p.m.
Trump tweets, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!

3:20 p.m.

The Senate chamber is secured and officers were in the process of pushing protesters down from the second and third floor of the rotunda, police said.

3:35 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

3:40 p.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announces that the National Guard was on its way.

3:45 p.m.

Capitol police encourage members of Congress and their staffs to stay in place, remain quiet and shelter.

3:50 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi release a joint statement, calling on Trump “to demand that all Protesters leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

4:05 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation, calling the actions of Trump supporters “an insurrection.”

“Our democracy is under unprecedented assault,” Biden said.

4:15 p.m.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Capitol Police were investigating a suspicious item close to the Republican National Committee headquarters building on First Street.

4:17 p.m.

Trump posts a video to Twitter addressing the chaos. In the video, he holds on to the false notion that the election was stolen, but tells the crowds to disperse.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook first began restricting engagement with the video, later removing it altogether.

Shortly before 5 p.m.

Senators were moved to a hearing room on the Capitol campus.

5:30 p.m.
The Capitol remained occupied by protesters.

6 p.m.
Curfew in Washington, D.C., goes into effect.

7:02 p.m.
Twitter locks Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours over “repeated and severe violations” of its civic integrity policy. In order to unlock the account, he must delete the offending tweets, including the video he tweeted earlier.

8 p.m.
Senators resumed session in the Senate chamber.

ABC News’ Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.

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