Thursday will mark one year since the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob intent on stopping the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win. Even before he officially lost the electoral college, Trump was talking about a “rigged election.” Several Texas Republicans echoed his calls that the election was stolen, laying the groundwork for what happened on January 6th. Here is a timeline of what happened.
November 4, 2020
The day after Election Day, several states are still counting ballots. Early in the morning Donald Trump proclaims that the election is a “fraud on the American public.” With no evidence, he claims that he won. According to a CNN report, former Texas governor Rick Perry sends a text message to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with an “aggressive strategy” to overturn votes through state legislatures.
November 7, 2020
Joe Biden is declared president-elect by all the major news networks and publications.
In the following weeks, Trump will continue to proclaim the lie that the election was rigged in favor of Democrats.
December 8, 2020
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton files a lawsuit with the Supreme Court attempting to throw out the votes of four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Allen West, the then-chairman of the Texas GOP, releases a statement supporting Paxton’s lawsuit.
December 11, 2020
The Supreme Court dismisses Paxton’s lawsuit.
December 27, 2020
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert sues Mike Pence, and alleges that the vice president has the ability to overturn the electoral college.
January 2, 2021
A federal judge dismisses Gohmert’s lawsuit. Later that night, Gohmert will appear on the ultra-rightwing channel Newsmax. “Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa as BLM,” he said.
In four days, the House and Senate are set to convene to certify that Joe Biden won the election. Until this point, this formality has largely been ceremonial. However, several Republican members of Congress and the Senate, including Ted Cruz, declare that they will object to the certification. At the same time, Donald Trump has been hyping a major speech at the White House Ellipse on January 6th. Thousands of his supporters, many from Texas, will travel to Washington D.C. in the coming days.
January 6, 2021 (all times in CST)
Supporters of Donald Trump gather at the White House Ellipse ahead of his speech. Several speakers precede him, including Ken Paxton who appeared with his wife, state Senator Angela Paxton. Ken Paxton’s speech is less than two minutes, but he says “We will not quit fighting. We’re Texans, we’re Americans, the fight will go on.”
Donald Trump begins his speech. He repeats the big lie that he won the election, and he urges Mike Pence to reject the vote counts from several states. At several instances during the speech, he calls for his supporters to march to the Capitol.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gavels in a joint session of Congress to certify Biden’s electoral win. Mike Pence is set to preside over this largely administrative task. Almost immediately there are objections from Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Senator Ted Cruz to Biden’s certification. The two chambers then split to meet in two different rooms of the Capitol. Around the same time, protesters trample over barricades around the Capitol.
The protesters clash with police outside the Capitol, and many begin to breach entrances into the building. Several members of Congress, including Rep. Haley Stevens from Michigan, report that they are sheltering in place. Shortly, both the House and Senate will evacuate.
According to USA Today, Mike Pence is taken by Secret Service away from Senate chambers.
Rep. Veronica Escobar posts a video on Twitter showing rioters in the hallways of the Capitol. “I’m currently sheltering in place. The Capitol building has been breached and both chambers are locked down. This is the chaos and lawlessness [Donald Trump] has created.”
Over several hours, hundreds of protesters would stampede through the Capitol. They would ransack offices and property in an attempt to overthrow the election. They also breached the House and Senate chamber. Five people died on January 6, including police officer Brian Sicknick. According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the mob caused approximately $1.5 million in damages to the U.S. Capitol building.
Nancy Pelosi announces that Congress will proceed to certify Biden’s electoral win when the Capitol is cleared.
After nearly five hours, the police have regained control of the Capitol. At the same time, Ken Paxton claims on Twitter that those who stormed the Capitol were not Trump supporters.
George W. Bush releases a statement about the Insurrection. “I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
Mike Pence gavels back in the Senate.
Nancy Pelosi gavels back in the House.
A joint session of Congress is reconvened.
January 7, 2021 2:42 a.m.
Mike Pence declares that Congress has certified Joe Biden’s electoral college win.
Even after the events of January 6, 147 Republicans objected to Joe Biden’s election win, including several from Texas:
Senator Ted Cruz
Rep. Jodey Arringon
Rep. Brian Babin
Rep. Michael Burgess
Rep. John Carter
Rep. Michael Cloud
Rep. Pat Fallon
Rep. Louie Gohmert
Rep. Lance Gooden
Rep. Ronny Jackson
Rep. Troy Nehls
Rep. August Pfluger
Rep. Pete Sessions
Rep. Beth Van Duyne
Rep. Randy Weber
Rep. Roger Williams
Rep. Ron Wright
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).