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A Play-By-Play Of How The Trump Mob Got Into The Capitol

A timeline of Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol using maps, tweets, and photographs.

Posted on January 8, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. ET

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC, was overrun on Wednesday by a mob of insurrectionists incited by President Donald Trump.

The violent scenes unfolded on live television and social media, where people were inundated with shocking images of the seat of the US government overrun by people trying to stage a coup.

Here, BuzzFeed News has attempted to sort through some of the chaos by using maps, tweets, and photographs to show how and where the intruders gained entry to the Capitol — and what they did when they were inside.

1:10 p.m.: Trump finishes speaking but supporters are already moving from the White House Ellipse to the Capitol

White House

Site of rally

US Capitol

Route rally


took to Capitol




Pipe bombs found

by Capitol Police

Democratic National



BuzzFeed News; Google Earth

1:10 p.m.: Trump finishes speaking, but supporters are already moving from the White House Ellipse to the Capitol

BuzzFeed News; Google Earth

Approximately 1:15 p.m.: Mob pushes down barricades on Capitol grounds

IMPORTANT: this is exact moment the siege of the Capitol building began as the two men in front ripped down a preliminary barrier & rushed officers who were behind a 2nd barrier They then encouraged others to follow their lead. Officers appeared to be taken completely off guard

Twitter: @ElijahSchaffer

Mob occupies space set up for Biden inauguration

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

Rioters gather on the west side of the Capitol building.

How the mob accessed the Capitol

A separate group of rioters push past barricades and

enter building

Rioters use a window-cleaning platform to gain access to the

third floor

Police appear to lift barricades, allowing rioters to enter Capitol grounds



Scaffolding for

Inauguration Day

Scaffolding for

Inauguration Day

At approximately 1:15 p.m., rioters

knock over barricades and overwhelm police officers

Rioters use barricades to

climb walls

Rioters tear

down fencing



BuzzFeed News; Google Earth

How the mob accessed the Capitol

BuzzFeed News; Google Earth

Rioters breach the Capitol building


US Capitol building

Second Floor

Rioters break into

Pelosi’s office, sit at

a desk, steal mail, and leave

a threatening note

Rioters infiltrate the

Senate chamber, sit at the dais,

and climb to the mezzanine



2:43 p.m.:

US Capitol Police

barricade the door

to House chamber

with guns drawn











Hall of the

House of


3:07 p.m.: Rioters breach

main door, joining other invaders

in the rotunda, taking selfies

and causing destruction

3:01 p.m.: First report that

Ashli Babbitt was shot

by US Capitol Police

Rioters break

down door

BuzzFeed News

Rioters breach the Capitol

BuzzFeed News

2:13 p.m.


Sen. James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, is told “protesters are in the building” as he delivers a speech objecting to Biden electors.

Approximately 2:30 p.m.

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

Rioters enter the US Capitol’s rotunda.

2:38 p.m.

Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!

Twitter: @realDonaldTrump

Approximately 2:40 p.m.

Tom Williams / Getty Images

Capitol Police and security officials block the entrance to the House chamber.

Approximately 2:50 p.m.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

A rioter sits at the dais in the Senate chamber.

Approximately 3:10 p.m.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

Rioters breach the main eastern door of the Capitol building and stream into the rotunda.

3:33 p.m.

An officer quakes in fear as the crowd rushes past, pushing officers against the wall inside the U.S. Capitol Building #January6th #DC #WashingtonDC #WildProtest

Twitter: @BGOnTheScene

3:38 p.m.

Montgomery County Police are moving in on the front side of the US Capitol Building.

Twitter: @ZTPetrizzo
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty Images

DC Metropolitan Police hold a line against the crowd on the Capitol steps

A man sits at a desk in Pelosi’s office in the Capitol building. Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images
A message left on on a desk in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office says “We Will Not Back Down.” Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

Approximately 4:40 p.m.

Bill Clark / Getty Images

Trump supporters stand on a DC Metropolitan Police armored vehicle as others take over the eastern steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Approximately 5:30 p.m.

Olivier Douliery / Getty Images

Congressional staffers hold up their hands while Capitol Police SWAT teams check everyone in the room as they secure the floor on Jan. 6.

Approximately 5:30 p.m.

Probal Rashid / Getty Images

Police use tear gas to clear rioters from the terrace on the west side of the Capitol on Jan. 6.