staff barricaded doors and hid under desks as Trumpist rioters roamed free looking for members of Congress they viewed as enemies

A rioter leaned back in the chair of the Speaker of the House and dropped a brown boot on the papers that had been left on her desk

Elsewhere in the Capitol, a lectern bearing the golden seal of Congress was torn down and framed documents ripped from the walls as Trump banners and Confederate flags passed through deserted hallways

It was Wednesday afternoon the 6th January, when Donald Trump’s four-year attack on US democracy reached its inescapable goal, an orgy of violence against the heart of the republic

Staff in some offices barricaded their doors and hid under their desks like one of the active shooters that the country’s school children practiced when they were in school, “Where the hell are the Capitol Police?” A staff member wrote to a journalist friend that the police were overwhelmed, and the crowds of National Guards and federal agents who had put down peaceful protests against Black Lives Matter that summer were nowhere to be seen until nightfall.

In the corridors outside, Trumpist rioters roamed freely as they searched for members of Congress who they viewed as enemies. They found their way into the Senate Chamber, where the election results were confirmed minutes before a rioter stepped onto the podium and yelled, according to a local reporter, “Trump won this election”

Police fired tear gas as rioters entered the gleaming white building of the Capitol. One woman was shot dead by the US Capitol Police and later died of her injuries, according to Washington police. Three others died in “medical” throughout the day Emergencies, “said the authorities with rioters attacked television crews outside the building Several police officers were also injured The authorities found pipe bombs and a cooler with a long gun and a Molotov cocktail on the Capitol grounds in front of the offices of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee >

When the defeated president was sworn in for the first time almost four years ago, he created the specter of “American slaughter” He portrayed it as something that had gone before, but it soon became apparent that this was what was to come

As Trump has been making clear for months, he was ready to kill the political system that made him the most powerful office if it ever threatened to spit him out

The party that made his rise and then feared him was broken, so divided that Republicans lost both Senate seats in the southern bastion of Georgia, the results confirmed on Wednesday

The moment the Trumpist mob stormed the Capitol, the Republicans had split into dueling factions, with a dozen senators and over a hundred officials ready to follow him across the Rubicon and vote against the confirmation of the confirmed results of the November presidential election

Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and most of the Republican Senators wanted to hop off the Trump train before it reached its final stop in an attempt to put an end to the president’s feverish deception about the presidency would be returned to him after the election defeat

It was Pence’s declaration – who had hitherto been scrupulously loyal to the Führer – that he would follow the Constitution and read the election results aloud rather than try to change it, which apparently sparked Trump’s anger and started events that led to the storming of the Capitol

As the Senators were brought to safety, a senior member of the latter faction, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, reportedly said to a Loyalist leader Ted Cruz, “This is what you got” – a clumsy, desperate epitaph for them Party the Republicans thought they were

The orange spirit, which had not been in the bottle for four years and which gave Republicans every wish, did not return without tearing down the palace walls and turning the party’s own supporters against it

Less than an hour before the Capitol break-in, Trump had told his supporters, “We want to be so respectful of everyone – bad people and we will have to fight a lot harder”

He told them to march from the White House along the National Mall to the Capitol to “save our democracy” He even said he would go with them, but it was just another promise he refused to keep, to instead take his motorcade the hundred yards back to the White House

Go to Congress “peacefully and patriotic”, he told them, but a few minutes later the barricades in front of the Capitol were down and the mob attacked. They were told again and again that their nation was at stake, that of the Chinese led socialists who are child trafficking, take power and fight harder

The Republicans who failed to overthrow the elections were “weak” and “pathetic” and allowed the Democrats to destroy the country Trump selected his once loyal deputy “Mike Pence will have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, it will be a sad day for our country, “shouted Trump from a stage set up a block from the White House. Crowds gathered on the grassy ellipse beneath the National Monument.

However, while the President was speaking, Pence had jumped off the ship. For the first time, two weeks before the presidency, he did the opposite of what his boss told him

Hours after his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump posted a video telling them, “Go home, we love you, you are very special, but he also used the video to support his unsubstantiated claims about the” repeating fraudulent “vote that he had lost

As night fell on the capital, he tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously viciously withdrawn by great patriots who have been mistreated for & for so long Love home & in peace remember this day forever! “

The seeds of violence have been camouflaged in the shell of the old order Wednesday itself seemed to begin like any other political carnival in America, with glowing flags, lavish costumes, and vendors selling t-shirts and hot dogs only upon closer inspection something far more dystopian with a seething potential for violence at hand

“Fuck Your Feelings, Trump 2020” was the message on the fastest-selling t-shirt Some of the flags declared, “Fuck Biden” The crowd spreading across the ellipse was a mix of families and the elderly, Men and women, young and old Only about one in ten wore camouflage clothing, although that was more than the percentage who wore masks

A young couple, Kasey and Mike, sat under one of the decorative cherry trees near the memorial after walking down from Rhode Island They spoke with the dreamy smiles of two people in love, and shared a moment in the story but their message was one of impending conflicts

“The people here are crazy. They saw how so many people devastated our country so I don’t think they’ll sit back anymore,” Kasey said

“I think Trump’s only option that he really still has is to take military action because he has the right to do so””

When Trump finished his speech, the crowd dispersed and thousands flocked along the mall to the Capitol On a side street some distance from the crowd, a small group of young bearded men in military clothing and hats sat patiently, ready for what they knew it would come later when the sun went down

There was no knowing when the glass in the Capitol was cleared and the police began to cast out the cheering rioters, whether they were the embodiment of one last spasm of a spent force or the true face of America’s future

• This article was published on Jan. Changed January 2021 to remove an imprecise term used to describe the rioters

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