Rioters placed Trump flags in the National Statuary Hall.
They ransacked lawmakers’ offices. Photos went viral of a protester with his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office suite, and others waving Confederate flags.
One of the most dramatic standoffs took place outside of the House chamber. As rioters banged on the doors to get in, Capitol Police issued instructions to House lawmakers to shelter in place as they scrambled to find a safe way to get them out of the chamber.
For several tense minutes, House lawmakers crouched on the ground, waiting for a signal from the police to evacuate.
Eventually, Capitol Police escorted lawmakers out and down a series of staircases to secure locations where they waited for the mob to be quelled.
On the Senate side, most members were sequestered together in a secure room. In the confusion, while they were being evacuated from the chamber, some senators did not make it to the secure room and dispersed to other parts of the Capitol complex, leaving Senate staff to search for them to ensure every member was safe and accounted for.
Inside the room where they were being held, a debate erupted among Senate Republicans about how to proceed.
By that point in the afternoon, it was becoming clear the situation had spiraled out of control and that the assault on the Capitol had overshadowed the Electoral College vote count.
Through the late afternoon, a large crowd of Trump supporters remained lodged outside of the Capitol.
Rioters attacked crews of journalists who were covering the events.
Law enforcement authorities discovered suspected explosive devices outside of the offices of both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, which are headquartered a few blocks away.
Police fatally shot a rioter inside the Capitol.
The victim was later identified as Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran with a history of social media posts supporting Trump’s claims that the election was rigged.
Three other people died during the insurrection.
The national guards for Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia were deployed to the Capitol.
At approximately 4 p.m., Biden delivered a brief speech from Wilmington, Delaware, condemning the attack.
“This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now.
I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward,” Biden said.
He also called on Trump to go on national television and “demand an end to this siege.”
Trump released a short video from the White House soon after Biden’s speech.
But instead of unequivocally condemning the riot, the president offered a mixed message in which he expressed support for his followers.
Democrats dismissed the message and even appeared to fall short among Trump’s allies in Congress.
Two hours later, as police worked to secure the Capitol so that Congress could continue the Electoral College vote count, Rep.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., issued a statement saying that she would abandon her plan to object to the count.
Other Republicans soon followed suit. A few minutes before 9 p.m., Republican Sens.
James Lankford of Oklahoma and Steve Daines of Montana issued a joint statement announcing they would also drop their objections in response to the violence at the Capitol.
“We now need the entire Congress to come together and vote to certify the election results,” they said.
The tide had turned against pro-Trump Republicans in Congress, and against the president.
After a debate that stretched into early Thursday morning, Congress approved the Electoral College vote for Biden at 3:40 a.m.
Even before the voting ended, a debate was already underway about why the police did not do more to stop an overwhelmingly white mob with ties to white supremacist groups from breaching the Capitol.
By Wednesday, Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Pelosi and other Democrats called for Trump to leave office immediately. As they reflected on the ordeal, lawmakers said they still could not believe what had happened.