2021 United States Capitol attack
On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., was stormed during a riot and violent attack against the U.S. Congress. A mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attempted to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes to formalize Joe Biden's victory. The Capitol complex was locked down and lawmakers and staff were evacuated while rioters occupied and vandalized the building for several hours. Five people died either shortly before, during, or after the event: one was shot by Capitol Police, one died of a drug overdose, and three succumbed to natural causes. More than 140 people were injured in the storming.
Called to action by Trump, thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., on January 5 and 6 in support of his false claim that the 2020 election had been "stolen" from him, and to demand that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress reject Biden's victory. Starting at noon on January 6, at a "Save America" rally on the Ellipse, Trump repeated false claims of election irregularities and said, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." During his speech, thousands of attendees walked to the Capitol, and hundreds breached police perimeters, as Congress was beginning the electoral vote count. Many in the crowd broke into the building, occupying, vandalizing, and looting it for several hours. They assaulted Capitol Police officers and reporters, erected a mock gallows on the Capitol grounds, and attempted to locate lawmakers to capture and harm. Some rioters chanted "Hang Mike Pence", after Pence's rejection of false claims by Trump and others that the vice president could overturn the election results. Some vandalized and looted the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA), as well as those of other members of Congress.With building security breached, Capitol Police evacuated the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated, and all were locked down. Rioters occupied and ransacked the empty Senate chamber while federal law enforcement officers drew handguns to defend the evacuated House floor. Pipe bombs were found at the offices of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, and Molotov cocktails were discovered in a vehicle near the Capitol. Trump resisted sending the D.C. National Guard to quell the mob.Numerous public figures called for Trump to intervene without success until shortly after President-elect Joe Biden at 4:06 p.m. implored Trump to call off his supporters, at 4:17 p.m. in a Twitter video, Trump reasserted that the election was "fraudulent", but told his supporters to "go home in peace". The Capitol was cleared of rioters by mid-evening, and the counting of the electoral votes resumed and was completed in the early morning hours of January 7. Pence declared President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris victors, and affirmed that they would assume office on January 20. Pressured by his administration, the threat of removal, and numerous resignations, Trump later committed to an orderly transition of power in a televised statement.The assault on the Capitol generated substantial global attention and was widely condemned by political leaders and organizations both in the United States and internationally. Mitch McConnell (R–KY), then the Senate Majority Leader, called the storming of the Capitol a "failed insurrection" and said the Senate "will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation". Several social media and technology companies suspended or banned Trump's accounts from their platforms.A week after the riot, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement of insurrection, making him the only U.S. president to have been impeached twice. Pelosi announced an independent commission modeled after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the attack, although it was ultimately blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), later characterized the incident as domestic terrorism. Opinion polls showed that a large majority of Americans disapproved of the storming of the Capitol and of Trump's actions leading up to and following it, although many Republicans supported the attack or at least did not blame Trump for it.As part of investigations into the attack, the FBI opened more than 400 case files, and more than 500 subpoenas and search warrants have been issued. More than 500 people have been charged with federal crimes. Dozens of people present in Washington, D.C., on the day, including some who took part in the riot, were later found to be listed in the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, most as suspected white supremacists. Members of the anti-government groups, including paramilitary Oath Keepers, neo-fascist Proud Boys, and far-right militia Three Percenters, were charged with conspiracy for allegedly staging planned missions at the Capitol, although prosecutors subsequently acknowledged they do not have clear-cut evidence that the groups had any such plans prior to January 6.