Protesting supporters of President Donald Trump have breached the U.S. Capitol.
There was confusion in the House chamber as the Capitol doors were locked and the debate over the electoral count was suspended.
A representative from the Capitol police spoke from a lectern on the dais and told lawmakers to remain calm, and that more information would be available soon.
The protestors stormed the Capitol shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.
Protesters could be seen marching through the Capitol’s stately Statuary Hall shouting and waving Trump banners and American flags.
Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
See more updates below.
At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.”
President-elect Joe Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”
Biden also demanded President Donald Trump to immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence that he described as an “unprecedented assault’ as pro-Trump protestors violently occupy U.S. Capitol.
Biden’s condemnation came after violent protesters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm the president-elect’s victory in the November election.
Biden addressed the violent protests as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.
Vice President Mike Pence is calling on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than President Donald Trump who merely called for his supported to “remain peaceful.”
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Pence said, “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Pence, long a loyal aide to the president, defied Trump earlier Wednesday, tell him he didn’t have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20. Trump had publicly called on Pence to overturn the will of the voters, but Pence’s constitutional role in the process was only ceremonial.
Angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting the peaceful transfer of power. Trump later issued a restrained call for peace but did not ask his supporters to disperse.
The Pentagon says about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members are being mobilized to help support law enforcement as violent supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership.
A defense official said all 1,100 of the D.C. Guard were being activated and sent to the city’s armory. The Guard forces will be used at checkpoints and for other similar duties and could also help in the enforcement of the 6 p.m. curfew being implemented tonight in the city.
The officials said the D.C. request for National Guard was not rejected earlier in the day. Instead, according to officials, the Guard members have a very specific mission that does not include putting military in a law enforcement role at the Capitol. As a result, the Guard must be used to backfill law enforcement outside the Capitol complex, freeing up more law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.
Hoffman said the law enforcement response to the violence will be led by the Justice Department.
The Department of Homeland Security is sending additional federal agents to the U.S. Capitol to help quell violence from supporters of President Donald Trump who are protesting Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
A spokesperson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that officers from the Federal Protective Service and U.S. Secret Service agents are being sent to the scene. He says they were requested to assist by U.S. Capitol Police.
Dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
Trump has riled up his supporters by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to explain his loss.
The PBS NewsHour can confirm, via a senior law enforcement official, that one person was shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds. The person who was shot is not a law enforcement official. We will update with further details as they come in.
Pressure is mounting on President Donald Trump to condemn supporters who are violently clashing with law enforcement on Capitol Hill.
Among those urging Trump to act: his former communications director, Alyssa Farah, who tweeted that Trump should “Condemn this now.”
She says, “you are the only one they will listen to. For our country!”
Dozens of people have breached security perimeters at the Capitol, forcing the lockdown of the building and halting the vote to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Trump has so far offered a single tweet asking his supporters to “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
His former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted: “The President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home.”
His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also addressed Trump supporters in a tweet, calling them the “patriots challenging the fraudulent election” and telling them that “POTUS wants you to EXPRESS YOUR OPINION PEACEFULLY.”
Protesters backing President Donald Trump have breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
Trump urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s win. Several Republican lawmakers have backed his calls, despite there being no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.
Protesters are now inside the Senate chamber. One got up on the dais and yelled “Trump won that election.”
Several dozen are roaming through the halls, yelling, “Where are they?”
Some were also in the visitors’ galleries.
The PBS NewsHour’s own reporters on the Capitol grounds have previously noted on air that U.S. Capitol police have been outnumbered by protesters, urged by President Donald Trump, to protest the formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.
Regarding additional reinforcements on the ground to control the breach of the U.S. Capitol, which halted debate in the House chamber, Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli confirmed on Twitter that the Federal Protective Service and Secret Service forces are being deployed to the Capitol.
I can confirm that.
— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) January 6, 2021
The National Guard is also being activated.
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.
PBS NewsHour correspondent Amna Nawaz described the chaotic scene outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol building and stormed the hallways, interrupting a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes cast for President-elect Joe Biden.
Outside the Capitol building, Nawaz noted growing crowds seeking to breach its doors, adding that “Capitol Hill police are gravely outnumbered.”
“What you see now is a massive crowd of Trump supporters that have taken over the steps of the Capitol, and it’s unclear what, if anything, could move them,” Nawaz said.
The mayor of Washington, D.C., has 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.
The skirmishes came shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.
PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins was inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as protesters breached the building, interrupting a joint session of Congress and delaying the process of counting Electoral College votes to affirm Joe Biden’s victory.
Thousands of protesters have gathered in Washington in support of President Donald Trump, who has made false claims of election fraud in the weeks since the presidential race was called for Biden.
As Desjardins was speaking with the NewsHour’s managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff, she observed that a lone Capitol Police officer was trying to stop a group of protesters from breaking into a building. As she continued speaking, larger numbers of protesters managed to break a window and enter the building, at least a dozen by Desjardins’ count.
“This is an ongoing battle which police are losing,” Desjardins said. “It looks like protesters are entering the Capitol at will.”