“We will not take it anymore”. These were the words that started it all.
Speaking to a rally in Washington DC, Donald Trump whipped his supporters into a frenzy, telling them he would “never give up” and “never concede”.
Less than two hours later they were violently storming the Capitol building, forcing politicians to flee and igniting a day of violence and upheaval commentators have compared to the Civil War.
The city is now under lockdown and one woman is dead after being shot on the grounds of the building.
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Here’s how the dramatic events unfolded in Washington time, 16 hours behind us.
2am Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock is declared the winner of one of two key senate run-off races in Georgia, defeating Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and becoming the first black Democratic senator to be elected in the state. Fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff closes in on victory in the other key run-off race, making it likely that control of the Senate would be handed to the Democrats.
12pm Thousands of Trump supporters gather in DC for what is an attempt to have Congress reject Joe Biden as president. Trump addresses the “March to Save America” rally, saying he would never give up, he would never concede and “we will not take it anymore”. He calls on Vice-President Mike Pence, who is overseeing the electoral count, to block Biden’s victory, even though there is no precedent for this.
1pm The ceremonial counting gets underway inside Congress to confirm Biden as the new president. Pence says he will not block the count, saying there is no constitutional precedent to do so.
1.15pm Trump supporters, some armed, begin clashing with police on the steps of the Capitol building.
1.35pm Politicians and congressional officials inside the building are forced to evacuate as the mob breaches security and begins storming the building.
2.38pm Trump fails to denounce the mob and instead asks them to “stay peaceful”. The mob is seen inside the building with some Trump supporters clashing with police, with at least one person shot and several people taken to hospital. Some supporters are seen taking selfies with police and hanging Trump flags.
2.47pm The mob makes its way into the House floor. One person reportedly shouts from the dais, “Trump won that election!”
3.13pm Trump again fails to denounce the mob or call them off and instead asks them over Twitter to “respect the law” and “remain peaceful”.
3.49pm A suspected pipe bomb is found and destroyed at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington and the nearby headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is evacuated.
4.06pm Biden addresses the nation, calling the event a “siege” and calls on Trump to address the nation and tell his supporters to back down. “It’s not protests. It’s insurrection,” he says.
4.17pm Trump tells supporters to “go home in peace” but praises them as “very special” and maintains baseless claims the election was fraudulent and stolen from them. “We can’t play into the hands of these people. So go home, we love you, you’re very special.”
4.23pm CBS projects Jon Ossoff to win the other key senate run-off race in Georgia over incumbent republican David Perdue, effectively handing control of the Senate to Joe Biden.
5pm Police use tear gas to disperse crowds at the Capitol building. Rioters remain outside the building as Washington DC is put into lockdown, with national guard deployed to secure the area.
5.40pm Security officials confirm that the Capitol building has been secured.
6.16pm The woman shot on the grounds of the building is confirmed dead. She is yet to be identified.
6.40pm Nightfall in Washington and Speaker Nancy Pelosi declares congress will reconvene later in the evening to resume the vote count, saying the attack would not “deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden”.
8.10pm Lawmakers returned to Congress to resume counting Electoral College votes, with Vice-President Mike Pence condemning the violence. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house”.