The Atlantic Daily: The Siege of the U.S. Capitol

Today, Americans watched the unfathomable, but not unexpected, play out.

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Insurrectionists on Capitol Hill

Congress fled. A mob took the Capitol, took the Senate floor, took souvenirs. Confederate flags flew. A woman died.

Today, Americans watched the unfathomable, but not unexpected, unfold. Insurrectionists, egged on by President Donald Trump, desecrated the physical center of American democracy, breaking into the building with troubling ease.

This is a coup. And it’s the president’s fault, David A. Graham argues.

Impeach him. Again. Yoni Appelbaum renews his call from 2019: “If senators could not see it a year ago, when the violence he incited was visited upon the most vulnerable, perhaps they have seen it today, as the violence arrived at their doorstep.”

Do it tonight. “Stay ’til dawn. Do whatever is necessary,” David Frum argues. “Avert any potential for martial law.”

Today’s extremists displayed a religious zeal … “Donald Trump is in the Bible,” one told our editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, during their march to the Capitol. “Get yourself ready.”

… as lawmakers faced the anger they’d fomented. “These Republicans finally confronted the monster they’ve created,” Elaine Godfrey, who was also on the scene, reports.

What happens now? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress will finish the job tonight, officially certifying the election results. Keep your eye on our site for the latest.

Biden with Ossoff and Warnock
Getty Images

Just as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol, their agenda received a final rebuke: Democrats picked up a second Senate seat in Georgia, retaking control of the legislative body.

Thanks to the wins of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Biden presidency now stands a chance, our politics reporter Russell Berman writes.

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