Here’s a timeline of some of the most important moments from January 6, based on reporting from CNN and others, congressional testimony, Justice Department court documents, and more. Times are approximate and these events only capture a portion of what happened that day.
Meadows is texting Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who backed Trump’s efforts to void the election, according to texts obtained by CNN. Meadows tells Jordan “I pushed for this,” in response to a text Jordan sent the night before, which asked Vice President Mike Pence to void the election while presiding over Congressional certification of the results. of the electoral college. Meadows also tells Jordan he’s “not sure if that’s going to happen.”
Trump spoke on the phone with Jordan for about 10 minutes, according to White House call logs obtained by The Washington Post.
Trump speaks with senior adviser Stephen Miller for 26 minutes, according to White House call logs obtained by The Washington Post.
Before 10 a.m.
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato informs Trump that authorities at the Ellipse, where Trump was going to hold a rally, encountered attendees with weapons including pistols, rifles, bear bombs and spears, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
Around 10:15 a.m.
Hutchinson and Ornato inform Meadows of the armed members of the mob forming at the Ellipse, according to Hutchinson’s testimony. Hutchinson told lawmakers that Meadows reacted little when she told him about reports of weapons in the crowd.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani begins his speech at the Ellipse rally, urges lawmakers to void the election and tells the crowd, “let’s do a trial by combat.” Giuliani shares the podium with another right-wing lawyer, John Eastman, the architect of a Trump-backed plan for Pence to overturn the results while presiding over that day’s joint session of Congress, where lawmakers certify the winner of the Electoral College.
Before 12 p.m.
Trump tells his staff to ‘remove the f***ing mags’, referring to metal detectors at the security line for his Ellipse rally because rally attendees were ‘not here to hurt me’ , according to Hutchinson’s testimony. Trump wanted to increase the crowd size, Hutchinson said.
Trump begins his speech at the Ellipse, where he repeats many of his campaign lies and publicly pressures Pence to accept Eastman’s legally dubious scheme.
Around 1 p.m.
Pro-Trump rioters — including members of the far-right Proud Boys — broke through the first set of barriers outside the Capitol and began rushing toward the building. Senior White House officials, including Meadows, were quickly alerted by the US Secret Service that police lines were collapsing on Capitol Hill, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
As he wraps up his speech at the Ellipse, Trump calls on his supporters to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and march to the Capitol. He also tells the crowd that he will walk with them. Around the same time, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican and Trump ally, called Hutchinson and angrily told him not to let Trump go to the Capitol, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
Trump returns to the White House. During the short ride home from the Ellipse, Trump becomes furious and demands to be driven to the Capitol, but members of his security team refuse to take him there, according to Hutchinson, who testified that she was briefed on the exchange by Ornato and another member of Trump’s security service.
Around 2 p.m.
The Capitol is locked down as some of the first rioters enter the building. Back at the White House, White House attorney Cipollone told Meadows that Trump must take action to stop the riot and that “something has to be done or people are going to die,” according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
The Senate adjourns abruptly, amid a debate over a GOP objection to Biden’s electoral votes in Arizona.
In one of the most infamous scenes
of the insurgency, Doug Jensen, a QAnon supporter, threatens Eugene Goodman, a United States Capitol police officer, who artfully steers Jensen away from the nearby Senate floor.
Around 2:15 p.m.
At the White House, Cipollone again tells Meadows that Trump should intervene. Meadows responds by saying that Trump “doesn’t want to do anything” about the riot and that Trump agrees with the rioters who were calling for Pence to be hanged, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
Trump slams Pence in a tweet, blaming Pence for refusing to go through with his illegal scheme to nullify the election while presiding over the joint session of Congress.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican and pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, tells Meadows via text that he should “tell the president to calm people down,” according to messages obtained by CNN.
The United States Capitol Police begin clearing lawmakers from the House and Senate chambers, and the Secret Service clears Pence from the Senate floor, where he was presiding.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who has promoted many of Trump’s campaign lies, sends a text message to Meadows that “the president needs to tell the people on Capitol Hill to go home,” according to messages obtained by CNN.
Trump’s former acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, texts Meadows saying Trump “needs to stop this, now” and offers to help, according to messages obtained by CNN.
Trump tweets that rioters should “stay peaceful” but does not tell them to leave the Capitol.
Some of the Capitol’s early windows are smashed by Dominic Pezzola, an alleged proud boy who has been charged with seditious conspiracy. (He pleaded not guilty to charges related to the attack.) Other pro-Trump rioters swarm the Capitol building after breaking through barricades, battling police officers and scaling the groundbreaking scaffolding.
Around 2:40 p.m.
A group of Oathkeepers – a far-right extremist group – weave their way through a crowd of rioters in a military-style formation and enter the Capitol building. Several members of the group have been charged with seditious conspiracy.
Pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt is shot and killed by a police officer as she tries to break into the President’s lobby, which is adjacent to the House floor, as lawmakers evacuate. Meanwhile, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican who supported overturning Biden’s victory in his state, is texting Meadows saying “it’s really bad up here on the Hill,” according to reports. messages obtained by CNN.
Around 2:45 p.m.
Pro-Trump rioters invade the Senate floor and break into the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Donald Trump Jr. texts Meadows, “He needs to condemn (sic) this shit. ASAP. Police captiol (sic) tweet not enough,” according to messages obtained by CNN. Meadows responds, “I push hard. I agree.”
A little before 3 p.m.
Trump speaks on the phone with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who begs Trump to call out the crowd, but Trump sides with the rioters, telling McCarthy they seem to care more about the election results than he does , according to CNN. reports.
White House aides are drafting a statement to be released by Trump, which would have condemned the violence and “illegal” actions of the rioters, according to Hutchinson’s testimony. The statement was never released.
Former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus texts Meadows, “TELL THEM TO GO HOME!!!,” according to messages obtained by CNN.
Trump tweets that his supporters on Capitol Hill should “stay peaceful,” but again doesn’t tell them to leave. Meanwhile, former Trump health secretary Tom Price is texting Meadows saying, “POTUS should get on the air and defuse this,” according to messages obtained by CNN.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, calls the rioters “patriots” in a tweet, telling them “the violence must stop,” but not saying they must leave the Capitol.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has promoted many of Trump’s election lies, texts Meadows: ‘Can he make a statement. I saw the tweet. Ask people to peacefully leave the capital’ , according to messages obtained by CNN. Meadows replies, “on it”.
Trump Jr. texts Meadows: “We need an oval address. He needs to lead now. It’s gone too far and it’s gotten out of hand,” according to messages obtained by CNN. Minutes later, Trump Jr. sends another message saying, “Now Biden beats us to the punch.”
Biden delivers a televised address, saying the Capitol attack “borders on sedition” and calling on Trump to tell his supporters to “end this siege.”
Trump tweets a video, where he tells the rioters that “you have to go home now”, but he also praises them and repeats the lie that fueled the attack itself – that the 2020 election was stolen.
Trump tweets that “these are the things and events that happen when a landslide sacred election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped of great patriots.”
The United States Capitol Police announce that the Capitol building is secure. the Senate reconvenes and Pence returns to the dais saying, “To those who wreaked havoc on our capital today, you did not win.” Senator Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the chamber, called the day’s events a “failed insurrection.”
Trump spoke on the phone with Giuliani for nine minutes, according to White House call logs obtained by The Washington Post.
The House meets again.
The Senate is voting to reject the objection raised by GOP lawmakers to Arizona’s electoral vote count, which was awarded to Biden because he won the popular vote in that state.
Trump speaks with former White House strategist Steve Bannon for seven minutes, according to White House call logs obtained by The Washington Post.
Trump speaks to Hannity for eight minutes, according to White House call logs obtained by The Washington Post.
The House is voting to reject the objection raised by GOP lawmakers to Arizona’s electoral vote count, which was awarded to Biden because he won the popular vote in that state.
January 7, 2021
The Senate is voting to reject the objection raised by GOP lawmakers to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote count, which was awarded to Biden because he won the popular vote in that state.
The House is voting to reject the objection raised by GOP lawmakers to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote count, which was awarded to Biden because he won the popular vote in that state.
Pence officially certifies Biden’s victory and the joint session of Congress comes to an end.