Live updates are posted below the original story.
Outgoing President Donald Trump supporters have breached the U.S. Capitol and forced evacuations and shelter-in-place orders for officials and staffers inside. Vice President Mike Pence was rushed out of the chamber to safety shortly after 11 a.m.
The process of certifying the electoral votes has been suspended amid the threat. Earlier Wednesday, Trump spoke to protesters at a rally and encouraged them to march to the Capitol, saying he would walk with them. Trump has used Twitter Wednesday to repeatedly disparage Pence and other members of Congress for not overturning the election results in what is traditionally meant to be a ceremonial certification process.
Doors have all been locked to the chambers and police are responding to the situation where protesters can be seen in the hallways. Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a citywide curfew effective at 6 p.m. EST.
This is a developing situation.
11:46 a.m.: There are reports of tear gas being used inside the building to deter protesters. It’s also being reported that windows and doors have been smashed and broken, enabling the group’s illegal entry. Trump has just recently urged his supporters to remain peaceful via Twitter.
11:52 a.m.: The mayor and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have requested the assistance of the National Guard. Capitol police have guns drawn on some protesters.
12:02 p.m.: A woman was seen taken out on a gurney and looked to be bloody and obviously injured. Her identity and the cause of injury is not yet known.
12:12 p.m.: Protesters have made it inside the Senate chamber with a photo circulating of a female defiantly standing at the speaker’s podium. There are very few law enforcement officers controlling the outside crowd beyond those attempting to hold a barricade at the steps. NBC News investigative team has announced an “uncomfirmed report” that someone has been shot and EMS is reporting they are treating several people for injuries.
12:35 p.m.: Gov. Ralph Northam announced he is sending Virginia National Guard and 200 Virginia State Troopers to help respond to the situation. Video is circulating of an officer with his baton out running from protesters who refuse to stop ascending a stairway. MSNBC has confirmed that someone was shot inside the Capitol building. The White House press secretary said Trump, at his discretion, will authorize use of the D.C. National Guard.
12:44 p.m.: D.C. EMS says at at 3 p.m. EST they transported a shooting victim in critical condition.
12:54 p.m.: One package outside the building has been identified as an improvised explosive device.
1:06 p.m.: President-elect Joe Biden spoke to the public and called on Trump to call off the “siege.”
“Let me be very clear, the scenes at the Capitol do not reflect America. … This is not dissent, this is chaos. It borders on sedition and it must stop, now!”
1:17 p.m.: Trump posted a video from the White House lawn still claiming that the election was “stolen,” but asking protesters at the Capitol to go home. They marched to the Capitol at his urging during a rally earlier Wednesday.
1:50 p.m.: Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) called into MSNBC to describe the scene where he and others were trapped inside the chamber with furniture piled up to barricade doors and police with guns drawn until they were able to be safely escorted to more secure locations. Crow said they intend to continue the electoral vote certification as soon as the area is safe to do so.
2:09 p.m.: Flash bangs and tear gas have been set off by law enforcement in the area set up for the upcoming inauguration. Some protesters are retreating from that space. A Getty photo was posted at 12:48 p.m. depicting a noose set up from a wooden structure at the west end of the building.
2:25 p.m.: Riot police are seen pushing protesters back and the National Guard appears to be present at the Capitol.
2:43 p.m.: Police have reported that two explosive devices have been rendered safe.
2:48 p.m.: Pete Williams of MSNBC reports that the woman shot inside the Capitol has died.
2:59 p.m.: The House Sergeant at Arms reports that the Capitol building is secure. Curfew is now taking effect but people are still out in the streets.
3:15 p.m.: At 3:01 p.m., Trump again stoked his supporters with false claims while attempting to persuade them to leave. He said:
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter has disabled the ability to reply, like or retweet Trump’s last two posts.
3:29 p.m.: Pelosi issues a statement announcing that Congress has decided and “should” proceed with electoral vote count Wednesday night “at the Capitol once it is cleared for use.”
4:32 p.m.: Layers of riot police are pushing protesters further back and several buses have arrived around the Capitol building as Congress prepares to resume business. Many people are still out in the streets around the Capitol and through Washington D.C. in defiance of the curfew.
Social media videos are circulating that depict Trump supporters and Proud Boys involved in altercations in other U.S., with some assaults documented in Los Angeles and Salem.
5:01 p.m.: McConnell is expected to speak on the Senate floor — he was scheduled to speak at 8 p.m. EST. Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been temporarily suspended and his last two posts have been fully removed for violation of the platform’s rules.
A video has been sent to SFBay depicting two Trump supporters reenacting the death of George Floyd on steps at a building near the Capital. The video was shared originally online by a Trump supporter.
5:07 p.m.: Pence speaks about the “violent day” and praises Capitol police for quelling the violence. “To those who wreaked havoc today, you did not win. … Let’s get back to work.” McConnell says the Senate will not be intimidated and called Wednesday’s attack a “failed insurrection.”
7:34 p.m.: After the resumed Senate chamber debate, which several took as an opportunity to condemn the day’s violence, senators voted 6-93 on the objection to Arizona’s electoral votes. The state’s 11 electoral votes are now counted for Biden. The House debate completed and a verbal vote was held that audibly was in favor of rejecting the objection. However, a roll call vote was requested and that is ongoing.
We have live tweeted many of the comments made in the Senate and House, along with events through the day and evening — that thread can be found on Twitter here.
8:25 p.m.: The House knocks down the Arizona objection with 303 representatives voting to reject the measure and 121 voting to uphold it. The breakdown was 220 Democrats and 83 Republicans voting Nay with 121 Republicans casting Yae votes.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the city’s emergency declaration for 15 days.
A man who says he is the husband of the woman shot at and killed at the Capitol Wednesday says her name is Ashli Babbit, an ardent Trump supporter who tweeted Tuesday and Wednesday morning with her demands prior to storming the Capitol with others. Babbit, 35, is described as a 14-year U.S. Air Force veteran.
9:12 p.m.: D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said in a press conference that another three people died due to “medical emergencies” during the Capitol siege. That brings the death toll in today’s violent uprising to four people.
Rep. Scott Perry and Sen. Josh Hawley have lodged the night’s second objection, this time related to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote certification. Debates will again be held in separate chambers for up to two hours.
The electoral vote count up to Pennsylvania stands at 244 for Biden, 157 for Trump.
9:42 p.m.: Senate votes 92-7 to reject the Pennsylvania objection and then McConnell quickly moved to adjourn and reconvene for a pro forma session, signaling that all other objections have been dropped and he expects remaining state votes to sail through. The House is still engaged in lengthy debate at nearly 1 a.m. EST.
11:40 p.m.: The House finishes debate and again indicates rejection of the Pennsylvania vote challenge, but another roll call vote has been requested, which should take about an hour.
12:24 a.m.: As Senate president, Pence joins Pelosi to resume the joint session. The House vote is recorded rejecting the objection and Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes and they begin quickly moving through the remaining 11 states.
12:43 a.m.: Vermont’s three electoral votes moved Biden’s count to 271, passing the 270 vote winning threshold and making it official that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
After Wyoming, Biden received 306 votes and Trump received 232 votes. Pence calls for the final prayer. The long and frightening day comes to an end almost normally, and also as ultimately expected.
12:58 a.m.: Trump issued a surprise late statement saying that although he disagrees with the outcome of the election, there will be a “orderly transition” of power.
Last modified January 7, 2021 1:00 am
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