‘There Was a Big Battle in Here’: Lawyers Tour Capitol as a Crime Scene

He referred to different parts of the battle as a “last stand” for different wings of the complex and said the parliamentarian’s office had sustained the worst damage. As a normal tour guide would, Inspector Loyd also pointed out the historic nature of the events that the group had seen unfold on television, including the aftermath of the riot, when National Guard troops were deployed to protect the Capitol.

“We haven’t had soldiers sleeping in the Rotunda since the War of 1812,” he said.

While much of the walk-through was routine, there were dramatic moments in Inspector Loyd’s retelling, including his account of the heroism of Officer Eugene Goodman, who was credited with saving the lives of members of Congress on Jan. 6.

“Officer Goodman leads them up the stairs, he pauses, and he continues to lead them on,” the inspector said as the group stood near the Senate chamber. “This is where Officer Goodman makes sure everyone, including the vice president, is safe.”

In laying out the rules for the tour in a letter last week, Emory Cole, an assistant U.S. attorney, told lawyers that they were not allowed to bring guests or take photographs, unless approved by the Capitol Police.

“Questions about the events of Jan. 6 will not be permitted,” Mr. Cole wrote.

Some lawyers on the tour asked to see the offices of certain senators. Others wanted to photograph the riot shields that still lean against the wall in a hallway. (That request was denied.)

“Folks, please don’t take photos into the window,” Inspector Loyd said at one point.

Some members of the group marveled at what they were witnessing, calling it an experience they had never imagined. When a lawyer asked Inspector Loyd about the breaches, he explained how rioters had broken multiple widows and entrances at several wings seemingly simultaneously.

“Yes,” he said, “we got overwhelmed.”

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