Podcast Extra: I Was at the Capitol When the Siege Began. I Was Threatened for Being a Reporter.

Listen as our reporter recounts what it was like to watch the barricades fall.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol on Wednesday.John Minchillo/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

On Wednesday, a mob of Trump supporters surged toward the US Capitol as the Senate was debating certification of Joe Biden’s election win. “No one gets out alive, not today!” a man brandishing a Trump flag shouted, according to MoJo reporter Matt Cohen, who was there when the barricades fell and the insurgency began in earnest.

“I remember hearing people shouting just before they took the first barrier, ‘This is it! We’re putting our lives on the line for this! No one gets out alive!” Matt tells Jamilah King, on a special edition of the Mother Jones Podcast. “I think it’s safe to say that a good number of the people there thought this their war, that this is the beginning of a battle for them.”

The rioters scaled the walls, smashed windows, and ran through the Capitol, ransacking and looting as they went, forcing unprepared police officers to issue tear gas and lockdown orders. Five people died. The Capitol rotunda was left littered with broken glass, as American democracy itself reeled from a spasm of extremist violence.

Having covered many protests over the years, Matt says this one was different: “This really felt like the first time that if I had been wearing my press badge, especially when things got hairy, I would have been a target.”

Listen to Matt share his firsthand account with our listeners below:

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate