Thu. Feb 25th, 2021


“Everybody’s been OK today, except that guy,” he said, motioning to the yeller.

Most of the crowd in the Crypt just milled around. A young man in a red Trump hat smoked a cigarette. Several men shouted and screamed. A man in a backpack with two American flags jumped underneath a chandelier, yelling, “Whose house,” as the crowd answered, “Our house.” The sound boomed and reverberated around the tile and marble as the police looked on.

Around 3:30 p.m., about 25 police officers had entered the Crypt and started asking people to move back. A few minutes later, dozens more, wearing riot gear and some in gas masks, ejected the roughly 150 protesters in the Crypt. But not before one man marched through the halls of Congress with a Confederate flag while another protester raised a Trump flag from the balcony of the Capitol.

Protesters repeatedly exited the building bearing trophies that they had torn off walls. A few carried “Area Closed” signs that they had snatched and then stormed past. But objects stolen from Ms. Pelosi’s office were especially popular.

One man emerged from the risers set up on the steps of the Capitol, wielding a piece of a wooden plaque that marked the entrance to Ms. Pelosi’s office.

He held it up like a trophy, as hundreds of people on the steps below cheered wildly. “Not our speaker!” shouted one. “Get her out!” yelled another.

Another man, Richard Bigo Barnett, 60, stood outside the Capitol, his shirt ripped open and his chest bared to the cold, bragging about how he had gotten into the speaker’s office. He was brandishing an envelope with the speaker’s letterhead.

“I left a quarter on her desk for it,” he said, adding, “I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk.”



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