Before President Donald Trump finished his Jan. 6 speech in which he told Congress to reject some results from the Nov. 3 presidential election, agitators had already entered the US Capitol to stop challenges to the Electoral College vote count, The National Pulse reported.
Trump arrived late for a speech scheduled for 11 a.m., which did not conclude until 1:11 p.m., after which he commenced a 45-minute march to the Capitol building.
The Washington Post reported, however, that the “first wave of protesters arrived at the Capitol about 12:40pm.”
Trump did not start speaking until noon. When factoring in the congested 45-minute walk from Trump’s speaking location to the Capitol building, it is clear that the first agitators and vandals were not interested in the president’s rally.
The agitators breached the line formed around the Capitol building by Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund before Trump’s speech had ended.
“Sund’s outer perimeter on the Capitol’s west side was breached within 15 minutes,” the Washington Post reported.
This places the initial breech of the Capitol building at about 12:55, more than an hour before Trump’s supporters arrived.
Fearing the crowd’s size and strength, Sund had requested permission before the protest to put the D.C. National Guard on standby.
House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, who report to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., denied Sund’s request.
Irving warned against the move’s “optics,” while Stenger said Sund should ask the Guard to “lean forward” without issuing a formal declaration.
On Jan. 6, Sund sought assistance from D.C. and Pentagon officials.
“I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance… I have got to get boots on the ground,” he said on a conference call.
An anonymous Army official reportedly denied the request, again citing concerns about bad publicity.
“I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,” the official said.