Trump Supporters Breach U.S. Capitol

getty images / Saul Loeb

Trump supporters have breached the US Capitol, where the Senate had been in the process of certifying the 2020 election results.

Trump supporters have breached the US Capitol, where the Senate had been in the process of certifying the 2020 election results. 

The breach occurred just after 1 p.m. EST when a group of pro-Trump protestors pushed through the gates outside of the Capitol. According to reports from CNN, protestors tussled with police before some gained entrance to the building 90 minutes later.

The Capitol has been placed on lockdown. Senators have been locked inside their chambers while Vice-President Pence was evacuated from the building at 2:15 p.m. EST according to the New York Times.

CNN reports that flash bangs were heard at the scene, and that tear gas has been employed, although whether by protestors or police is unclear. The news agency’s ground team also reported seeing protestors attempting to scale the walls of the Capitol. 

The AP reports that the skirmishes began shortly after President Trump spoke to the crowd outside the Capitol, who had gathered to protest November’s election results. The agency reports that the President had rallied the crowd around baseless claims of election fraud. 

Earlier this afternoon, a group of GOP senators had moved to block the certification process — a move to discount the electors of the states whose voters voted for Biden and a Hail Mary attempt to instead elect Trump to a second term. The efforts have largely been viewed as symbolic by political analysts. 

“This is what you’ve gotten, guys,” Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) shouted as news of the unfolding events reached members in the Senate, according to the New York Times report. 

The Department of Defense has activated National Guard units from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to help local law enforcement, which has been overwhelmed, gain control over the unfolding situation.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have issued a joint statement on Twitter, calling on President Trump “to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and the Capitol grounds immediately.”

Speaking a few moments ago, President-elect Joe Biden called for an end to the siege, and for a coming-together of all Americans.

“This is not dissent. This is disorder. This is chaos. It borders on sedition.  And it must end. Now,” he said. “I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”

He used his call for unity to call on President Trump to demand an end to the riot.

“I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together. And this god awful display today is bringing home to every democrat and republican and independent in the nation that we must step up. This is the United States of America,” he said. “So President Trump, step up.”

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