In the wake of Wednesday's insurrection on Capitol Hill, when thousands of Trump supporters made a mockery of police by storming the building with weapons, seemingly unchallenged, one resounding question remains: how did they manage to do it?
Most of the rioters had been at Trump's White House rally at noon. That event is being pinned as the moment that incited the violence. Reports have emerged that White House staffers were too scared to go to work on Wednesday because they feared there would be violence.
Despite those early indicators and the fact that Trump and has supporters have angrily contested the election result for two months, less than two hours later, thousands had descended on the Capitol with weapons and the Capitol Police force - which only has 2,300 officers in total, were frantically requesting back up.
It wasn't until 3.51pm - nearly four hours after Trump spoke to them at the rally - that 1,100 armed National Guardsmen were mobilized. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had requested National Guard support from Tuesday to Thursday on New Year's Eve, but those Guardsmen were unarmed and their predominant duty was traffic support, according to defense officials. Only 340 were told to be on duty.
Aside from a few photographs of Capitol Hill police drawing their guns to protect lawmakers in the House chamber, there are scarce examples of how cops actually tried to stop the mob as the situation escalated on Wednesday.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Instead, videos have emerged showing officers assisting some of the rioters down the steps of the Capitol building and standing aside as crowds rush past them. Those images stand in stark contrast to the stealthy response shown from the police during the BLM protests of the summer.
Now, outraged Americans are demanding answers as to why more was not done to stop the crowds and prevent the first attempted government coup since 1814.
Only 53 were arrested on Wednesday. In June, 289 were arrested during a single night of BLM protests.
6AM: Crowds start to gather for Trump rally that is scheduled for 10am
On December 19, Trump told his fans on Twitter to gather in Washington DC. He said: 'Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, be wild!
They gathered peacefully in their thousands outside the White House to first wish Eric Trump a Happy Birthday, and then head from the President himself.
11.50am: Trump speaks at Save America Rally, promises to walk with crowd down to the Capitol
In a long, sermon-like speech that went on for more than an hour, Trump told his fans that he'd walk with them. At that stage, there was no mention of violence.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer