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In this episode of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political correspondent Jonathan Swan tracks the unfolding of the Capitol insurrection on January 6, revealing what happened in the Senate and at the White House — and what it means.

  • Swan brings listeners into the secure room where senators sheltered in place, heard remarks from both President Trump and President-Elect Biden, and deliberated how to resume the vote certification process.
  • Swan also reports on the reaction inside the Trump administration, where officials were rapidly resigning, and the ones who remained were strenuously pressuring the president to discourage and disavow the mob of his supporters.

Note: This episode contains some explicit language.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Additional reporting and fact checking by Zach Basu. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and theme music by Michael Hanf.

About this series: The reporting in this series is based on multiple interviews with current and former White House, campaign, government and congressional officials as well as direct eyewitnesses and people close to President Trump. Sources have been granted anonymity to share sensitive observations or details they would not be formally authorized to disclose. President Trump and other officials to whom quotes and actions have been attributed by others were provided the opportunity to confirm, deny or respond to reporting elements prior to publication.

This series was reported by White House reporter Jonathan Swan, with writing, reporting and research assistance by Zach Basu.

Go deeper ... Off the rails: Episode library

Go deeper

Schumer: 43 Republicans chose Trump over country

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday accused Republicans who voted to acquit Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial of choosing Trump over country and failing to "summon the courage or the morality to condemn" the former president's actions leading to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege.

Driving the news: Seven Senate Republicans joined all their Democratic and Independent colleagues in the final 57-43 vote, but they failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Updated Feb 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Senate acquits Trump

Photo by congress.gov via Getty Images

The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict former President Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a final vote of 57-43 cementing his acquittal.

Why it matters: Seven Senate Republicans voted ‘guilty,’ the most bipartisan margin in favor of conviction in history.

McConnell votes to acquit, then condemns Trump for Capitol siege

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

After voting to acquit Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned the former president as "practically and morally responsible for provoking the events" on the day of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege.

Why it matters: The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a final vote of 57-43 cementing his acquittal. But in his post-vote speech, McConnell said Trump “didn’t get away with anything yet."