The US Capitol is under siege. Shortly after the joint sessions of Congress began deliberating the results of the 2020 Electoral College, protestors began to ascend on the steps of the US Capitol building in a show of unity with President Donald Trump.
US Capitol Site of Mass Mob: One of the nation’s most treasured landmarks is the site of what will surely go down as one of the most historic days in the history of the United States. One woman has been reportedly shot and is in critical condition as chaos erupted when protestors stormed the halls of Congress.
Haunting images and video depicted a scene that will go down in the history books. Protestors were able to push their way through the doors of the House and Senate chambers, taking over the pulpits and posing for pictures in a joking manner. A picture of an armed standoff at the entrance to the House chamber demonstrated how police officers had to brandish their weapons to prevent the breach.
In addition to the report of the critically injured woman, multiple sources are also reporting that several police officers have been injured as a result of the riots. Smoke grenades have been deployed in the Senate side of the building as officers continue their work to disperse the crowds.
Evacuations Ordered and Extra Personnel Activated: The lawmakers, media, and other personnel present in the Capitol were put on lockdown once the rioters were able to breach the security that had been in place. Vice President Mike Pence was in the middle of presiding over the Senate arguments when the chaos began. He was quickly evacuated and taken to a safe place as a precaution.
The president has directed that the National Guard respond immediately to the escalating situation. While the Capitol police had assumed that they would be able to handle the events of the day, it quickly became clear that additional support would be needed.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser mandated a citywide curfew beginning at 6 pm local time and continuing through 6 am on Thursday.
Trump Addresses Rioters: Hours after the chaos erupted, Trump took to Twitter to release a video addressing the rioters, telling them to go home. During the video, the president called for law and order while still continuing to assert that the election was stolen from him.
Earlier in the day, Trump addressed a large group of his supporters in person at a rally on the Ellipse. During the address, Trump focused on how his vice president needed to delay the certification of the Electoral College votes. He also vowed to never concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden. Shortly before Trump took the stage, his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, addressed the crowd with the continued allegations of voter fraud.
What Happens Next: It is still unknown what will happen next in regards to the certification of the Electoral College votes. When the chaos erupted, only 12 of the votes had been certified. The 12 votes from Alabama and Alaska had been certified for Trump before the lawmakers split up to discuss the 11 votes at stake in Arizona. All members of Congress are now waiting at undisclosed locations.
The Capitol Police said that the building is trashed and in a state of disarray, making it unlikely that the building will be able to be used today.