Chaos at the Capitol

January 9, 2021

Win McNamee/Getty Images

A violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6, as Congress met to certify Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. The rioters plotted for weeks beforehand on social media, mobilizing around the president’s false claims of a stolen election and were egged on by him and others at a rally just before they stormed the Capitol.

Who are the forces behind the attack, how did it unfold and why was the law enforcement presence so easily overpowered?

ProPublica reporter and FRONTLINE correspondent A.C. Thompson, who covered the rise of right-wing extremism for our joint “Documenting Hate” series, joins The FRONTLINE Dispatch to discuss what happened at the Capitol and what the future may hold.

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The FRONTLINE Dispatch is made possible by the Abrams Foundation and by the GBH Catalyst Fund. Additional support for The FRONTLINE Dispatch comes from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.