From our correspondent in the United States,
Rioters within 30 yards of Mike Pence. Terrified parliamentary assistants barricaded as attackers search for Nancy Pelosi. Chuck Schumer forced to turn around with his guards to take cover…. We already knew that American democracy had been shaken on January 6. But on Wednesday, on the second day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial before the US Senate, unseen videos mixing CCTV footage and bodycam police officers, showed how.
Between 2.10 p.m. and 2.15 p.m. The first rioters force the entry of the Capitol. Donald Trump supporters sing “Hang Mike Pence” (“Hang Mike Pence”), who refused to interfere with the constitutional process to count the votes. In a hallway, Officer Eugene Goodman alerts Mitt Romney of the imminent threat. The Utah senator runs for cover. “Where do they count the votes?” », Several assailants yelled. The African-American policeman, alone in front of the white-hot rioters, provokes them to keep them away from a double wooden door. They don’t know that she leads into the Senate precinct. Many elected officials are still confined there. Goodman, a veteran of the Second Iraq War, attracts them to reinforcements. Nancy Pelosi, she has already been evacuated from the Capitol by the police who “feared for her safety”, according to prosecutors. In one video, rioters seek her out singing “Nancy, where are you Nancy?” “
14h16. Half a dozen parliamentary assistants from Pelosi hide in an office protected by two successive doors. They barricaded themselves by blocking the second door with furniture.
14h23. Rioters arrive en masse in the corridor. One of them smashes the first door but he backs up when he sees the second.
14h24. Donald Trump tweets: “Mike Pence did not have the courage to defend the Constitution”.
14h26. The vice-president is with his family in an office less than 30 meters from the rioters. Pence and his relatives descend a staircase surrounded by Secret Service agents to reach a secure secret place.
14h28. Still barricaded, an assistant to Pelosi whispers so as not to be heard. He explains that he just sent an SMS: “We need the police in the hallway. They bang on the door to find ”Nancy Pelosi.
14h32. The leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, is escorted by four guards – two in front, one behind – in a hallway of the Capitol. They run around, the way is not clear.
14h45. A dozen rioters try to force a glass door from a corridor which leads to the enclosure of the Chamber. Elected officials are nearby. A man hits the glass with a baseball bat. A voice yells: “Pistol, pistol!” A policeman drew his gun from the other side. Ashli Babbitt, a supporter of Donald Trump and Qanon conspirator, tries to climb through an opening. The policeman opens fire and shoots him down. In the Chamber, elected officials hear the shot. “What the fuck” exclaims a voice. “Take off your (deputies) pins,” another advises. So as not to be easily identifiable.
Thousands of supporters of the former US president are now before Congress. Hundreds have entered inside. The Capitol police are overwhelmed. An agent calls for reinforcements in a panicked voice: “We’re surrounded. Go upstairs. Emergency on the West side of the Capitol. I repeat, we are surrounded. The safety cord is broken. A policeman is run over by assailants against a door. He screams in pain. Another is struck with a stick and a Donald Trump flag.
16h17. Donald Trump publishes a video in which he calls on his supporters to return home. But he repeats it: “The election was stolen from us. We love you, you’re very special ».
18h01. Calm has returned. Donald Trump tweets again: “This is what happens when you deprive great patriots of a victory by a tidal wave. Remember this day forever. “
On Wednesday, Jamie Raskin, the Democratic Chief Prosecutor assured him: “Donald Trump has committed the greatest betrayal of the presidential oath in the history of the United States […] He must be condemned and disqualified (declared ineligible) ”. Continuation of the hearing this Thursday.