The January 6 Insurrection in Washington DC.
Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer
Former President Donald Trump is facing his second impeachment trial in the Senate. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump, charging him of initiating the January 6 Capitol riots. On Tuesday, the Senate voted in a 56-44 vote in favor of the impeachment. The measure got the vote of 11 Republicans. The trial remains in place.
This comes on the one-month anniversary of when proclaimed Trump supporters had protested by storming Capitol Hill the day members of congress were finalizing the election results for current President Joe Biden.
Most of the supporters who stormed the capitol had come from the former President’s “Save America” rally, an event that took place an hour before the protest where Trump spoke to his supporters about the election being stolen from his campaign. During the event, Trump spoke about how the nation “has had enough” stating “we will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is about.” The former President also riled up his supporters with a statement of “stop the steal”, a phrase that has become popular among his campaign and supporters. (USA TODAY)
It took Capitol police nearly four hours to calm down and diffuse the entire situation. According to the Architects office, which is the office that houses and preserves the Capitol’s artworks and architectures, damages to the building consisted of shattered glass, broken doors, and graffiti. The office also reported that residue of different kinds of pepper sprays and tear gas was found on historic statues and paintings. Despite much of the violence that had happened inside, no major damages to paintings were reported.
On the south side of the building, a group of protestors broke into rooms, which included Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s office. The protestors had smashed windows as they reportedly marched down the National Sanctuary Hall. According to the New York Times, Pelosi’s laptop was also stolen within the process. The individual who stole the laptop was arrested and is now on house arrest.
The Rotunda also saw damage and vandalism which could be seen on videos taken by protestors themselves. A protestor had been seen stealing a framed Dalai Lama photo and putting it in his bag. A marble sculpture of Zachary Taylor had been defaced with what appeared to be fake blood. Despite those damages, many other artworks and statues such as the 18-foot paintings by John Trumbull did not appear to have any damages.
Outside of the building, two 19th century light fixtures designed by Frederick Law Olmsted were damaged. There were also reports that graffiti was sprayed on the stands that were set up that would eventually be used for President Biden’s inauguration. Amidst the chaos that had been happening, Trump took to Twitter in attempts to diffuse the violence saying “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!” Later on, Trump released a video telling his supporters to leave stating “You have to go home now. We have to have peace.” (CNBC)
Many employees had spent most of the night and early morning of the next day cleaning up much of the rubbish and glass that had been leftover by the protestors. The events of that day led to five deaths in total. Those who died included: Ashli Babbitt who was fatally shot by an unidentified officer as she tried to climb her way through a broken window of a barricaded doorway. Benjamin Phillips, 50, had died of a stroke. Phillips was responsible for founding a website popular with supporters of Trump. The website coordinated transportation for those who attended the events at the Capitol. Rosanne Boyd also died because of a medical emergency. Kevin Greeson, 55, died from a heart attack because of the unrest of that day. Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, faced injuries while countering many of the protestors. During a confrontation, Sicknick was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to law officials. While several Republicans have accused Trump of being responsible for the Capitol Hill violence, many have questioned the necessity of the impeachment trials. “I think I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to end the impeachment trial because I think it’s blatantly unconstitutional,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement to CBS.
On the opposing side, Connecticut Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy states the opposite; “impeachment comes not only with the provision to remove an individual from office but to disqualify them from future office” he states in a Fox News interview. Murphy also claims that the job of those in position do not change because Trump has left office.