Associated Press photographer Andrew Harnik was inside the U.S. Capitol and describes what he saw when a violent mob stormed the complex and sent lawmakers and others into hiding. (Jan. 7)
ELIZABETH KENNEDY: Today was meant to be a pretty historic day to count the electoral college votes, which would then certify the win for President-elect Biden. This is something that Trump has been railing against. He insists with-- you know, despite no evidence, that the election was stolen from him. And so today, this process was completely derailed when a violent mob of people loyal to Trump stormed the US Capitol.
ANDREW HARNIK: There was a police line and they were pushing back on protesters. And really, within just a matter of a minute or so from when I started taking pictures, that line broke and protesters ran up the steps.
DONALD TRUMP: Right over there. Right there.
ELIZABETH KENNEDY: Trump's speech definitely primed the crowd. I mean, he was telling them that it was a time for strength and that they needed to fight for him.
ANDREW HARNIK: I could see two really heavily armed police officers with, you know, riot helmets on stationed at the door. And really, just protesters were just crammed up against that door.
ELIZABETH KENNEDY: The fact that the, you know, the Capitol Police were so immediately outgunned is absolutely striking.
ANDREW HARNIK: Security officers asked members of the Congress to tear open bags containing gas masks and kind of put them at their feet. Within just a few minutes, security officers started grabbing furniture off of the House floor and making a barricade. At that point security, drew their guns and started shouting. A member of the security force went up to the dais and asked the Congress members to evacuate.
ELIZABETH KENNEDY: A horrible tragedy, obviously, and something that one does not see every day at the US Capitol. But a person was shot and killed today. Some members of Congress were telling other members of Congress to remove their pins immediately, the insignia that is basically a signal to everybody that they are a member of Congress.
MIKE PENCE: To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins.
ELIZABETH KENNEDY: The lawmakers made a point of continuing on with their work and not, you know, they did not-- it was a very symbolic-- it was important symbolically.