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Open Source (OSINT) Timeline of the Insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th 2021

January 10, 2021

The following is a reconstruction of the timeline for events that occurred during the attack and breach by pro-Trump supporters on the United States Capitol complex on January 6th, 2021. This will be an ongoing timeline investigation and will be subject to change as new and more accurate information is obtained. Please feel free to comment and add additional OSINT information / corrections at our Twitter thread here: @slickrockweb


This timeline has been created using the following public sources and all times are listed as Eastern Standard Time:

[1] Washington Post article on Jan. 9th, 2021 and titled “Inside the Capitol siege: How barricaded lawmakers and aides sounded urgent pleas for help as police lost control” — https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-capitol-siege/2021/01/09/e3ad3274-5283-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html

[2] Department of Defense timeline reconstruction posted by Evan Hill — https://twitter.com/evanchill/status/1347740782573342721

[3] USAToday “Timeline: How a Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, forcing Washington into lockdown” — https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2021/01/06/dc-protests-capitol-riot-trump-supporters-electoral-college-stolen-election/6568305002/

[4] The Wire of India “How Trump Supporters Stormed the US Capitol: A Timeline of Events” — https://thewire.in/world/washington-usa-capitol-hill-donald-trump-pence

[5] Wall Street Journal — https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-capitol-riot-communications-between-agencies-hampered-forceful-response-11610242709

[6] Washington Post “41 minutes of fear: A video timeline from inside the Capitol siege” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibWJO02nNsY

[7] New York Times “Inside the Deadly Capitol Shooting” —  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/us/capitol-police-shooting-ashli-babbitt.html

[8] https://projects.propublica.org/parler-capitol-videos/?id=zOZ8CgfNU1SY

[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkm41FMH39g

[10] https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1359623898808152072

[11] https://twitter.com/MattLaslo/status/1346898208312713223


11:00 — Trump’s rally begins first with the president’s sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., then his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Trump starts speaking shortly before noon at about 11:50 a.m. and says, “And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.” Trump speaks for more than an hour. At the conclusion, thousands walk to the Capitol.

11:30 — A/SD (Assistant Secretary of Defense) participates in table-top exercise regarding DoD contingency response options. [2]

12:53 — Mob rush on the Capitol began taking down police barriers [2]

12:53 — The first outer fence to the Capitol grounds is breached. Pennsylvania Walkway on the west side.

13:00 — Metropolitan Police officers reach Capitol grounds to assist Capitol police [5]

13:00 — US Congress meets for the joint session in the House of Representatives hall.

13:02 — Proud Boy members in street clothes gather on the West side of the Capitol near the inauguration scaffolding to later execute various breaches.

13:02 — VP Mike Pence says he cannot block election results.

13:05 — A/SD receives open source reports of demonstrator movements to U.S. Capitol. [2]

13:10 — President Trump finishes his speech at the rally

13:18 — Police radio communications report “multiple officers injured at the Capitol, west side” [5]

13:26 — USCP orders evacuation of the Library of Congress, the Madison Building and Cannon House Office Building. People had been able to push into the iconic Capitol steps on the west side [2]

13:34 — SECARMY phone call with Mayor Bowser in which Mayor Bowser communicates
request for unspecified number of additional forces. [2]

13:39 — Police line on the west side is attacked with a large metal framed Trump sign.

13:40 — Muriel Bowser, the Washington D.C. mayor, orders a 12-hour curfew in the Capitol starting from 6 pm. Representatives tweet of their ordeal as evacuations are sped up.

13:41 — City-wide dispatch declares “Broken Arrow”, which signals that units are overrun. [5]

13:46 — North scaffolding fabric is sliced open, police line beneath breached and mob enters gaining access to the NW steps. [8]

13:49 — Commanding General, DCNG, Walker phone call with USCP Chief Sund. Chief Sund communicates request for immediate assistance. [2]

13:53 — Metropolitan Police Department declare “a breach at the Capitol as well as a riot at the Capitol” [5]

13:55 — Rioters are now on all sides of the building. [2]

13:58 — Northeast Barricade Breach at the Capitol complex. [9]


14:08 — Window is broken on the east side but not initially breached. [9]


14:10 or 11 — The building is breached, according to research by Evan Hill of the New York Times. Here is where the window was broken one floor below the Senate chambers [2],[6]


14:13 — After multiple militia members enter through the broken window they had just breached on the west side below the Senate chambers, they open doors giving easy access to dozens of additional rioters into the Capitol. Thank you Matt Laslo for verifying the timestamp [11]

14:11 – 13  — On the Senate side, Vice President Pence sat in the chair of the presiding officer when aides started motioning to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) that he had to replace him. The vice president is hurried out a door. [6]

*** Somewhere in here a second window / entrance is breached [unconfirmed]. Appears to have been the 14:08 window breakage on the east side.

14:14 — Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) had begun his speech objecting to Arizona’s electoral college results. As he spoke, Pelosi’s protective detail agents hustled her away. [2]

14:14 — Rioter, Doug Jensen of Iowa chases USCP officer Eugene Goodman who leads him away from the Senate Chambers entrance, almost certainly saving lives because of his quick thinking. Pictured here. Photo credit Igor Bobic (Ref –> @igorbobic)

14:15 — Senate chambers are considered sealed by security [2]

14:15 — Yelling in the gallery, as House staff and security details start to move around with a heightened sense of alarm. [2]

14:16 — The initial group of a dozen or so rioters, including Doug Jensen of Iowa, chase the black officer up another flight of stairs away from the Senate chambers and are meet by multiple officers that temporarily stop their progress. Igor Bobic tweets the iconic photo of a half-dozen police confronting the protesters.

**** Somewhere in here dozens of rioters pressed against police trying to block their entry into the Speaker’s Lobby, as captured on a video the Washington Post obtained. Trump supporter and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old California native, is shot and killed as she tries to break through the barricaded door. Also here a call is sent out from senior McConnell adviser to Will Levi at the DOJ. Levi immediately called FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, who was in the command center in the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Capitol police had said previously they didn’t need help, but Bowdich decided he couldn’t wait for a formal invitation. Bowdich dispatches a FBI tactical team and two SWAT teams.

14:18 — Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert tweets that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been safely evacuated from the Chambers. The actual event is highlighted above at 2:14 pm


14:19 — Capitol Police issue an alert on a security threat for inside the Capitol [6]

14:22 — SECARMY phone call with D.C. Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Dr. Rodriguez, and MPD leadership to discuss the current situation and to request additional DCNG support. [2]

14:23 — Protestors are breaking the windows of the front / main entrance  to the Capitol (unconfirmed)

14:24 — President Trump tweets the following incitement about his Vice President, Mike Pence

14:25 —  A lady in a blue Trump hat with a bullhorn incites the mob to charge the Police line in the crypt below the Capitol Rotunda. Police line breaks [6]


14:26 — A floor above the main exterior entrance into the Capitol Rotunda on the east side is breached [6,10]

14:26 — House of representatives chamber is still in session [6]

14:28 — Rioters breach Nancy Pelosi’s office [6]

14:30 — A/SD, CJCS, and SECARMY meet to discuss USCP and Mayor Bowser’s requests. [2]

14:30 — Pro-Trump rioters are seen walking through the Capitol Rotunda on security footage. Ashli Babbitt is spotted walking in this video. Time stamped video still from from New York Times article. [7]


14:37 — Staff and security personnel begin to block the entrance to the House Chambers. Most representatives are still inside. Main doors to the House chamber are barricaded with furniture and security draw guns and aim at the door with rioters on the other side trying to break down the door. [6]


14:37 — The greatly outnumbered Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police fall back and fully give up the Western Plaza of the Capitol Building complex to the pro-Trump supporters (added on 06/24/21). Minutes later they retreat to the Tunnel entrance.


14:40 — Time stamped video still of the House chambers being evacuated from New York Times article  [7]

14:44 — Rioters are seen inside the Senate Chambers with zip-ties [6]

Approx 14:45 — Dozens of rioters pressed against police trying to block their entry into the Speaker’s Lobby, as captured on a video the Washington Post obtained. Trump supporter and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old California native, is shot and killed as she tries to break through the barricaded door. [6,7]

Approx 18:00 — A perimeter around the Capitol is secured and the Capitol building itself is secured.

18:12 — The electoral college certificates – ratifying Biden’s win – are marched back to the Senate chamber.

19:30 — Congress resumes counting the electoral college results.

20:06 — Senate gavels back into session [6]


Helpful graphic of US Capitol complex from USAToday [3]

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