WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC/AP/News Nation) — The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump and authorities.
Thousands of people descended on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win. Videos posted online showed the Trump mob fighting with U.S. Capitol Police officers as some officers fired pepper spray to keep them back.
Four declared dead by D.C. police
At least four people died in and around the Capitol Complex, according to acting chief of Metro Police Robert Contee in a Wednesday night press conference. One of those deaths was a woman who was killed after a Capitol Police Officer discharged their service weapon. Authorities didn’t identify the person, but she was identified by her husband as the person who was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon.
The three others died because of medical emergencies. At least 52 people were arrested, authorities said.
14 D.C. officers sustained injuries, authorities said. One officer suffered serious injuries and is currently hospitalized. One officer received significant facial injuries after being struck by a projectile. Two pipe bombs were found, authorities said, at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters and Republican National Committee Headquarters.
D.C. State of Emergency extended
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the capital city will be under a state of public emergency for a total of 15 days.
Challenge to Biden Arizona win rejected
The Senate also overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand.
The objection to the results in Arizona — spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz — was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favor came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.
The Republicans raised the objection based on false claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona’s courts and by the state’s election officials.
Senate resumes election debate
The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress “will not be deterred” in confirming the results of the presidential election hours after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Their change of heart came after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday and interrupted their proceedings.
Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.
Trump’s Twitter suspended following removal of three tweets
Twitter removed three tweets from Donald Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, on Wednesday evening. Following the removal of these tweets, the president’s account was locked. It will remain locked for 12 hours, preventing Trump from tweeting for the remainder of the day.
Twitter Safety says the tweets violated their Civic Integrity policy.
Donald Trump’s video address was one of the three removed tweets.
Pelosi says Electoral College proceedings will resume
The Associated Press says, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use.
Pelosi said she made the decision Wednesday in consultation with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice president, who will preside.
She noted the day would always be “part of history,” but now it would be “as such a shameful picture of our country was put out into the world.”
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”
Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.
Capitol complex secure after rioters take over
Officials declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump.
An announcement saying “the Capitol is secure” rang out Wednesday evening inside a secure location for officials of the House. Lawmakers applauded.
The occupation interrupted Congress’ Electoral College count that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.
Lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations around the Capitol complex and Washington, D.C. after thousands of Trump supporters breached the building and skirmished with police officers.
Lawmakers have signaled that they would resume the constitutionally mandated count as soon as it was safe to do so.
Police uses tear gas to clear Capitol grounds
Police officers at the U.S. Capitol used tear gas and percussion grenades to start clearing crowds before the D.C. curfew began. The curfew started at 6 p.m. Wednesday and last until 6 a.m. Thursday Around 5:40 p.m., the Associated Press reported that crowds began dispersing from the grounds of the Capitol.
Virginia under State of Emergency
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for Alexandria and Arlington. He also issued a State of Emergency for the entirety of the Capitol.
Pro-Trump protestors deploy “chemical irritants”
The police chief of Washington, D.C., says pro-Trump protesters deployed “chemical irritants” on police in order to break into the U.S. Capitol. Police Chief Robert Contee told the Associated Press that officials have declared the scene a riot.
Donald Trump addresses the nation
In the wake of his supporters storming the Capitol, President Donald Trump released a video statement calling for peace and telling people to go home.
“We have to have law and order,” Trump said.
Also in his video he continued to perpetuate false claims that the election was rigged and victory was stolen from his campaign. The Associated Press continues to validate the election results and fact check claims of election fraud.
The entire video can be viewed below. The video posted on Twitter was marked as disputed. Later in the day, the video was removed from Twitter.
Joe Biden gives remarks on Capitol Protests
The Associated Press reported, President-elect Joe Biden is calling for the restoration of “just simple decency” after a mob incited by his predecessor stormed the U.S. Capitol and delayed Congress from certifying the results of November’s election in which Biden won the White House.
Biden had planned to deliver a speech focused on how to revive an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic from his native Delaware on Wednesday afternoon. But shortly before he was to begin speaking, demonstrators broke into the capital, reaching as far as the House floor. The building was locked down and police with guns drawn moved in as Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations.
“At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said.
D.C. National Guard activated
According to ABC News, the entire D.C. National Gaurd has been activated to assist at the U.S. Capitol. Other law enforcement groups have responded to help to control the chaos at the Capitol including, the Federal Protective Service, Secret Service, Virginia National Guard and more.
Donald Trump watching from the White House
According to ABC News, President Donald Trump is watching his supporters storm the Capitol from a television inside of the White House.
Person shot at the U.S. Capitol
According to Associated Press, One person was shot at the U.S. Capitol as dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building and violently clashed with police.
That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity amid a chaotic situation.
The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear. The person said the victim had been taken to a hospital. Their condition was not known.
The shooting came as dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters and entered the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. Trump has riled up his supporters by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to explain his loss.
Virginia Activates National Guard
Virginia National Guard members and 200 Virginia State Troopers are being sent to the nation’s capitol today. Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted that the D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested help as people have breached the capitol and flooded the D.C. area.
According to the Virginia National Guard, for safety reasons there will be no details available about the number of personnel, staging locations or timelines.
House members told to don gas masks at Capitol
Members of Congress inside the House chamber were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda amid skirmishes by supporters of President Donald Trump
Pro-Trump protestors breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, violently clashing with law enforcement as lawmakers were gathered inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election.
Law enforcement instructed lawmakers to retrieve masks from under their seats amid the clashes. The Capitol building was placed on lockdown, as Trump supporters marched through evacuated public spaces in the building.
After egging on protests, Trump tweeted to his supporters to “stay peaceful” as they violently clash with law enforcement and breached the Capitol building.
Where are Virginia legislators?
Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin tells 8News he is sheltering in place in the U.S. Capitol complex. His specific location is not available due to security concerns.
McEachin says he feel say safe now. “I’ve got the worlds best security force protecting me and my colleagues. We’re going to be okay. We’ll get through this day. We’ll execute our constitutional responsibilities and confirm Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and the next vice president of the united states and then we’ll go about our business,” McEachin said.
8News is awaiting updates from other local members of congress. Follow along with reporter Ben Dennis on Twitter for live updates.
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) evacuated her office after a pipe bomb was reported outside. Luria also says she heard what she believes to be gunshots outside.
Sen. Mark Warner says he is “safe and sheltering in place with other senators.
Mayor of D.C. issues 6 p.m. curfew
The mayor of Washington, D.C., ordered a curfew in the nation’s capital beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday after protestors seeking to overturn the election results stormed the U.S. Capitol building.
Mayor Muriel Bowser issued the order as protestors supporting President Donald Trump breached the Capitol, where lawmakers were meeting to formally count the electors that will make Joe Biden president on Jan. 20.
The order extends through 6 a.m. Thursday.
Congressional buildings evacuated
Late Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Capitol Police began evacuating some congressional office buildings due to “police activity” as thousands gather outside the Capitol to protest the electoral vote.
Police told congressional staff members they should evacuate the Cannon House Office Building and the building that houses the Library of Congress. It wasn’t immediately clear what specifically sparked the evacuation.
The Cannon Building has been cleared for re-entry.
Reaction to developing situation
Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Representative Elaine Luria responded to the situation by tweeting that her office had to be evacuated because of a reports of a pipe bomb outside and multiple gunshots.
“I don’t recognize our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” Rep. Luria tweeted.
President Donald Trump tweeted in response to events unfolding outside the U.S. Capitol, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.
Videos posted online showed protesters fighting with Capitol Police officers as police fired pepper spray to keep them back.