AS CONGRESS met to count the Electoral College votes and confirm President-elect Joe Biden as the nation’s next leader on Wednesday, Trump supporters protesting the election results stormed the Capitol building, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to be ushered out of the Senate chamber.
Hundreds of Trump supporters pushed through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol building about 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Washington Post reported, running past security guards and breaking fences while chanting “USA! USA!”
Stunning footage of protesters fighting with federal police officers soon began flooding Twitter, leading queries such as “Where is the National Guard” to begin trending, along with reports that staffers were temporarily evacuated from two buildings on Capitol Hill. Footage showed tear gas fired in inside the Capitol building, as well.
These were followed by images of protesters inside the Capitol building, and outside the Senate chamber. The debate between Senators was stopped mid-speech, and both the Senate and the House went into recess.
“It’s a mess out here. I hear a lot of non-lethal munitions going off, and look, this is a disaster,” said Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois in a Fox News interview.
“We do things as a democracy with order. We don’t do stuff like this. It’s insane, and the president’s tweets have been insane,” he continued. “The president needs to show leadership right now, bring out the D.C. guard, bring order so we can go forward with our constitutional responsibility. And every member of Congress after this should not be voting to object to this election, because this is nothing short of an attempt to take over the government.”
“This is despicable. This is not who we are as a country,” agreed Republican Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida from inside the Capitol building during a phone interview with Fox News.
He said lawmakers had been debating, and there is “no place for violence” in the U.S. as a way to resolve disputes.
Earlier in the day, President Trump held a rally in the nation’s capital protesting the election results, and falsely claiming that he had won. He took the stage before a crowd that stretched from the Washington Monument to the Ellipse. Some left the rally early to begin marching toward the Capitol.
Trump had said he would join their march to the Capitol, but returned to the White House instead. After protesters breached the Capitol, Trump tweeted that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts.”
He later tweeted for his supporters to “stay peaceful!” and support law enforcement.
This is a developing story that will continue to be updated.