“Yeah look at all this fancy furniture they have,” said a man in a winter parka and red hat, standing on the west side of the Capitol and peering through the glass at empty desks, computer screens and ergonomic chairs. Several people banged on the windows with their fists, including one man who shouted, “Put the coffee on!” One man hit his head, not seeing the outer layer of glass was there, it was so clean.
As people rushed inside, there was a strange mix of confusion and excitement, and the almost complete lack of police presence in the beginning amplified the feeling of lawlessness. They gawked at a place of wealth and beauty, adorned with art and marble, a domain of the powerful, and for a short while on Wednesday afternoon, the rioters were in control. For once, they felt, they could not be ignored.
Aaron, the construction worker from Indianapolis, and his two friends had heard people talking about going to Ms. Pelosi’s office. So once inside they decided to instead find Senator Chuck Schumer’s office. Both are Democrats.
“We wanted to have a few words” with Mr. Schumer, he said. “He’s probably the most corrupt guy up here. You don’t hear too much about him. But he’s slimy. You can just see it.”