LIVE: Trump Supporters Storm U.S. Capitol; Congress Evacuates, Electoral Vote Stalled
Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to reverse his electoral defeat, forcing Congress to postpone a meeting that would have meant recognizing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, according to the vote..
Police used guns and tear gas to evacuate lawmakers and try to clear the Capitol building of supporters Donald trump, who flooded through the halls of Congress in shocking footage for America, broadcast around the world.
One of the protesters took the Senate rostrum and shouted: «Trump won this election». Protesters overturned barricades and clashed with police as thousands of people entered the Capitol grounds.
Police declared the Capitol building safe shortly after 5:30 pm. (22:30 GMT), more than three hours after the protesters infiltrated.
The video shows Trump supporters smashing windows and police using tear gas in the building. Chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Robert Conti (Robert Contee) said some protesters in the crowd used chemicals to attack police and several people were injured. According to local media reports, one civilian was killed by gunfire during the lawlessness. FBI says it defused two suspected explosive devices.
According to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, this was the most devastating attack on an iconic building in America since the British army burned it down in 1814..
The chaos came after Trump, who refused to make a peaceful handover if he lost ahead of the election, reached out to thousands of protesters, repeating "unreasonable" statements that the elections were stolen from him due to large-scale fraud and violations.
Joe biden, the Democrat who defeated the Republican president in elections on November 3 and was scheduled to take office on January 20, said protesters «borders on sedition».
The former vice president said protesters storming the Capitol, smashing windows, occupying offices, invading Congress and threatening the security of duly elected officials: «This is not a protest, this is an uprising».
He called on Trump to demand «put an end to this siege» on national television.
In a video posted to Twitter, Trump reiterated his "false" allegations of election fraud but urged protesters to leave.
«Now you need to go home, we need peace», – he said, adding: «We love you. You’re special».
Twitter later banned users from retweeting Trump’s video, and Facebook removed it entirely, citing the risk of violence mentioned in the content..
Vice president Michael pence (Mike Pence), who chaired the joint session of Congress, was already escorted from the Senate.
Lawmakers Debated Latest Try by Trump Lawmakers to Challenge Results That Would Not Have Been Successful.
Critics have called the efforts of Republican lawmakers an attack on American democracy and the rule of law and an attempted coup d’état..
Two leading Democrats in Congress, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy pelosi (Nancy Pelosi) and Senator Chuck schumer (Chuck Schumer), called on Trump to demand that all protesters leave the Capitol and its grounds immediately.
Capitol police ordered deputies in the House of Representatives hall to remove gas masks from under the seats and ordered them to fall to the floor for their safety. Officers pulled pistols when someone tried to break into the House of Representatives.
Several hundred members of the House of Representatives, staff and members of the press were later evacuated to an unknown destination..
Bipartisan officials and independent observers said there was no significant fraud in the November 3 election, in which Biden won more than 7 million votes in a popular vote..
It has been weeks since many states passed verdicts certifying Biden’s election victory by 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232 votes. Objections by Donald Trump and his administration to Joe Biden’s victory have been dismissed by courts across the country.
Trump demanded that Pence publish the results of elections in states that the president almost lost, although Pence does not have the authority to do so..
Congressional certification, usually a formality, was expected to stretch for hours as some Republican lawmakers attempted to reject the count in some states, starting in Arizona..
«This is not American and it must stop», – said the leader of the House of Representatives Republicans Kevin McCarthy (Kevin McCarthy), Trump ally who supported Republican efforts to challenge the results.
Mayor of Washington Muriel bowser (Muriel Bowser) ordered a curfew in the city from 18:00. (23:00 GMT).
National Guard troops, FBI agents, and the U.S. Secret Service have deployed to assist the Capitol Police.
Violence unfolded the same day Trump Republicans lost their Senate majority as they lost several runoffs in Georgia.
«We will never give up», – Trump previously told thousands of jubilant supporters on the White House lawn. «We will never give in. It won’t».
Trump urged Pence to overturn election results as he presided over Congressional debates. «If not, I will be very disappointed in you», – Trump said.
The U.S. Constitution does not give Pence the power to unilaterally overturn election results, and the vice president has said he cannot accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally..
This violence shocked world leaders. «Trump and his supporters must finally agree with the decision of American voters and stop trampling on democracy», – said the German foreign minister Heiko maas (Heiko Maas).
Business groups, usually staunch allies of the Republicans in Washington, have also reacted sharply. The National Association of Manufacturers said Pence should consider applying a constitutional clause that allows the president to be removed from office if he is unable to do his job..
«This is a rebellion and should be treated appropriately», – said the president of the group Jay timmons (Jay Timmons).