US Capitol attack timeline: how the 2021 riots unfolded


In the weeks leading up to the attack on Capitol Hill and the March 6 building, Donald Trump had

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A pro-Trump mob breaks into the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. (Image: Getty)

Donald Trump failed to take “immediate action in a time of crisis” during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots.


The then US President followed the attack on television in his dining room, and an eighth hearing on the riots was announced.

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It is alleged that Mr. Trump wanted to stop Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory by not intervening.


How the riots unfolded…

Timeline of the attack on the US Capitol 2021


8:17 – Mr Trump continues his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud after losing the election to Mr Biden. He tweeted: “States want to correct their votes, which they now know are based on irregularities and fraud, and corrupt practices have never received legal sanction. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

10:58 – A contingent of the Proud Boys group, a far-right militia, make their way to the Capitol

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Image: Getty)

12 o’clock – Mr Trump, the incumbent President, addresses thousands of supporters at a rally near the White House ahead of the chaos, promising to “never admit” he had lost before Congress met on Wednesday to announce the Lord’s presidential victory to confirm Biden

12:53 – Trump supporters march to the Capitol, breaking through barricades and fighting police to burst into the building, forcing Congress to halt the voter certification process. As rioters shouted and waved Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, people inside the building were ordered to duck under their seats and don gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol rotunda

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. (Image: Getty)

13:10 – At the end of his hour-long speech, Mr. Trump says: “We fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell you won’t have a country anymore. So let’s go down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Capitol Police are calling in reinforcements and sending out an evacuation alert

14:13 – Vice President Mike Pence is evacuated from the Senate by the Secret Service. Protesters force their way into the building, breaking glass and kicking open doors for others to follow. Senate break is called. Officer Eugene Goodman encounters the mob, luring rioters out of the upper chamber. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is evacuated from the Capitol

A protester shouts “freedom” in the Senate Chamber after the US Capitol was raided by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. (Image: Getty)

14:24 – Mr Trump says Mr Pence “did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution,” adding: “The US demands the truth!” House debate is suspended, in rejoined the meeting in hopes of completing the count before it was abruptly suspended. Members are urged to grab tear gas masks and be prepared to use them. A Democratic congressman, Eric Swalwell, texts his wife: “I love you and the babies. Please hug her for me”

14:41 – The glass windows of the house’s chamber doors are broken, footage shows an officer’s hands on the other side, holding a gun. A shot is heard and Ashli ​​Babbitt falls to the ground.


15:13 – As pressure mounted on President Trump to condemn supporters who clashed with law enforcement, he wrote on Twitter: “I urge everyone in the US Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the law and our awesome Men and Women in Blue. Many Thanks!”

Chronology of events on January 6, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington DC. (Graphic: Kim Mogg)

16:05 – Addressing the nation, Mr Biden said democracy was “under an unprecedented attack” and called on Mr Trump to make a televised address urging his supporters to stop the violence


16:17 – In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Trump urged his supporters to “go home,” claiming the election results were fraudulent and that he felt their “pain.” Twitter later removed that tweet and a later one urging protesters to “go home with love and in peace.”

17:40 – The Capitol is cleared of rioters as members say they will continue to count electoral votes


18:14 – A perimeter on the west side of the Capitol building is successfully established by law enforcement officers

19 o’clock – Twitter and Facebook remove Mr. Trump’s posts 8:00 p.m. – US Capitol Police declare Capitol safe


20:06 – The Senate reconvenes, chaired by Mr. Pence, to continue debate on objections to Arizona election counting. At 10:15 p.m., the Senate votes 93-6 over a handful of Republican senators objecting to the Arizona electoral vote count

21 clock – Speaker Pelosi reopens the House debate and at 11:30 p.m. a vote is taken by a vote of 303 to 121 to overturn the Republican objection to the Arizona electoral vote count