An Account From Hill Reporters As Protestors Breached The Capitol

WASHINGTON D.C., USA - JANUARY 6: Police intervenes in US President Donald Trumps supporters who breached security and entered the Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Pro-Trump rio... WASHINGTON D.C., USA - JANUARY 6: Police intervenes in US President Donald Trumps supporters who breached security and entered the Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off Wednesday on President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process headed to Inauguration Day. (Photo by Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
January 7, 2021 2:14 p.m.

The frantic and frenetic atmosphere within the Capitol as a mob of Trump-supporting rioters overran its usually well secured halls is evident in the raw, contemporaneous reports journalists sent out Wednesday as the breach was underway.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, congressional reporters have been operating a pool to limit the number of reporters who needed to be on Capitol Hill. That means that a small crew of reporters who are at the Capitol on any given day are sending out usable tidbits of information to the other reporters who would also normally be covering Congress in person, but are staying home to help limit the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The reports that Hill journalists were contributing to the pool on Wednesday were critical to understanding in real time what was happening at the Capitol. Some of the reports were sent from journalists who were in the Senate and House chambers, while others came from reporters monitoring the situations from locked down locations elsewhere within the Capitol.

Here is a rundown of those pool reports as they came in the critical hour between when the Capitol first went on lockdown, a little after 2 p.m., and when evacuations started happening around 3 p.m.:


2:06 p.m.

via Axios’ Alayna Treene

FYI — staff in the Senate press gallery just informed us that if protestors storm the Capitol they will usher us into the Senate chamber and lock the door.



2:08 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
 House chamber print pool report. 2 p.m. color

As Trump supporters storm the east front barricade outside, the debate is comparatively sedate in the House chamber

Joe Neguse spoke, arguing objectors have presented no evidence, no explanation of why courts have not backed claims of fraud

House Dem side is more sparsely populated as members observe social distancing. more dems are in gallery

GOP aide has larger group on the floor

Jim Jordan sitting next to Scalise, conferring in a whisper

GOP Rep. Mike Johnson rises to support objection, arguing Arizona judges changed voting stature against will of the legislature

murmuring by Jayapal, others in gallery



2:12 p.m.

via AP’s Mary Clare Jalonick

We are told same in House.



2:14 p.m.

via Axios’ Alayna Treene
SUBJECT: Pence left

PK says Pence has just left Senate chamber



2:16 p.m.

via New York Times’ Emily Cochrane
SUBJECT: RE: Pence left

they’re closing the House gallery doors, which have been open.



2:17 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s  Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: Locking the House doors@!

House press gallery staff warning they may lockdown the chamber
press not able to leave gallery

police have closed the doors upstairs

Scalise leaving hurredly

Hoyer left quickly

Rep Dean Phillips yelled loudly “THis is because you !”




2:18 p.m.

via New York Times’ Emily Cochrane
SUBJECT: Dean Phillips

just yelled out “this is because of you” as people are closing the gallery doors. Capitol Police presence has increased in the chamber, and debate has stopped.



2:19 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: House has recessed



2:19 p.m.

via The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari
SUBJECT: RE: Dean Phillips

what looked like security personnel – but I can’t be sure – rushed Hoyer off the floor



2:22 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: Capitol police addressed lawmakers

from the rostrum, Capitol police officer told lawmakers that the chamber is in lockdown due to a breach of the building.

He urged members not to leave the building

Lawmakers applauded saying “thanks to the Capitol police!”

Top leaders have been enscorted out



2:26 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: McGovern gavels House back

he recognizes Gosar

House back into recess



2:30 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: House back into recess

Lawmakers are told to stay in their seat

“Sit down! Stay calm” says Pelosi floor manager



2:32 p.m.

via Fox News’ Jason Donner
SUBJECT: Grassley was told this: “The protesters are in the building,” right before Senate recessed when he was sitting in the chair,

You can hear it on the mic right before it cuts out and Senate recesses



2:34 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: House poo report

The officer told lawmakers they may need to duck under their chairs

protestors are in the rotunda we are told

“We now have individuals that have breached the Captiol building. they are in the Rotunda area”

Lawmakers told to “be prepared” to relocate to cloakrooms

“At this point in time there is no threat to the chamber”

The doors are barracede

Rep. Steve Cohen screams “Call Trump! Call your friend!”



2:40 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson

LAWMAKERS are being evacuated

protestors it seems banging on door



2:44 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: Armed standoff house floor

There’s an armed standoff at the house front the door police officers have their guns drawn at someone who is trying to reach the front door

They tried to reach the main doors pick up Chara please a barricade the door with a heavy bureau



2:45 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson
SUBJECT: Sound of a shot

I’ve been down on the floor of the Press Gallery on the third floor sounds like gunfire

Ruby order to get down to the floor it’s an arm stand off the main house the door was at least a statuary hall. Producers of broken the glass that are sticking some objects into the house chamber



2:51 p.m.

via Bloomberg’s Billy House
SUBJECT: Re: Sound of a shot

We can’t twmell if a shot…three dozen members up in gallery with us, some yelling down to police to come get them.

Officer says they will..we atr moving out!



2:54 p.m.

via Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic
SUBJECT: Protesters are in the Senate chamber (photo attached)

One got up on the dais and yelled “Trump won that election”

Several dozen are roaming through the halls, yelling “Where are they”

A bunch are up in the galleries

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: