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Pro-Trump mob leaves damage, debris in U.S. Capitol

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- When a mob of President Donald Trump supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, they left a trail of broken glass, scattered papers and broken furniture.

Much of that destruction remained Thursday morning as Capitol workers and police surveyed the building, collected evidence and cleaned up debris.

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It was the first time there had been such widespread damage at the home of the nation's top legislative body since 1814, when it was partially burned down during the War of 1812.

"Around the Capitol complex, things have been damaged and lots of glass has been broken," tweeted Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Calif. "But we aren't broken, and we won't be intimidated. We are getting back to work."

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The insurrection took place early Wednesday afternoon, after Trump delivered remarks at the nearby Ellipse reiterating his baseless claims about election fraud. He called on his supporters to march to the Capitol and demand that Congress not certify the Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

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The mob breached the Capitol Police barricade around the building and forced their way inside, using riot shields and other implements to break windows before climbing in.

Photos taken in the aftermath of the attack -- which left four people dead -- showed multiple broken windows, damage to doors and door frames where rioters apparently attempted to break into offices, vandalism to statuary, and overturned and broken furniture. Participants also scribbled messages on walls and doors, including "Traitors," "[Expletive] antifa" and "Murder the media."

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Some rioters managed to find their way onto the House and Senate floors, as well as inside the offices of lawmakers. One man was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's podium away from the House chamber.

Her office was also breached by at least two men, one of whom -- Richard Barnett -- sat at and put his feet up on her desk. Barnett confirmed his identity to KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Ark., and The New York Times. He said he took an envelope from her office.

Other representatives reported damaged and missing items from their offices.

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The office of the Senate parliamentarian was ransacked and left littered with papers and other debris.

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Some windows showed bullet holes, though it's unclear whether they came from law enforcement officials or members of the mob. One rioter died after sustaining a gunshot wound from an officer.

Throughout history, the U.S. Capitol has been the site of a number of violent attacks, perhaps none so destructive as the damage done during the Burning of Washington on Aug. 24, 1814. During the War of 1812, British forces set fire to several government buildings, including the White House and Capitol.

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British forces looted the Capitol before setting it afire, destroying much of the southern and northern wings, including the entire collection of the Library of Congress.

In 1971, the Capitol sustained $300,000 in damage after a bomb exploded. The explosion took place on the Senate side of the building and caused no casualties. The perpetrators -- a group known as Weather Underground -- said the bombing was in protest to the U.S. invasion of Laos.

And in 1954, a group seeking Puerto Rican independence opened fire from the House balcony, injuring five representatives.

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