Police: Four People Dead After Pro-Trump Mob Storms U.S. Capitol
Update 11:05 AM:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says the company is blocking President Donald Trump from Facebook and Instagram indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.
Read the full statement below:
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining…
Update 11:20 PM:
Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.
The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
Update 10:00 PM:
The Senate has 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.
Update 8:00 PM:
North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr released the following statement:
“For nearly 250 years, our nation’s commitment to the peaceful transition of power has been the shining hallmark of our democracy. Today, America’s core principles were threatened by those seeking to forcibly stop our electoral process and overturn the results of a presidential election with which they disagreed.
“Let me be clear: these actions are not a defense of this country, but an attack on it.
“I supported President Trump’s legal right to contest the election results through the courts, but the courts have now unanimously and overwhelmingly rejected these suits. No evidence of voter fraud has emerged that would warrant overturning the 2020 election. The President bears responsibility for today’s events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point. It is past time to accept the will of American voters and to allow our nation to move forward.
“Congress will uphold its constitutional duty and certify the results of the election.”
Former President George W. Bush released the following statement:
“Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.
The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety. May God continue to bless the United States of America.”
Update 7:10 PM:
President Donald Trump has officially been locked out of Twitter. Trump posted the following tweet at 6:01pm and Twitter had a disclaimer saying, “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence”
Now, Twitter has completely locked Trump’s account for the next 12 hours. Twitter said if three tweets they believe violate their Civic Integrity police are not removed, the account will remain locked.
Update 6:10 PM:
A woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the violent pro-Trump protest has died.
That’s according to two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the shooting investigation. Police did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter 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.
Hours later, police had declared the Capitol was secured.
Update 5:40 PM:
Police are using tear gas and percussion grenades to begin clearing pro-Trump protesters from the grounds of the U.S. Capitol ahead of a curfew in Washington.
Police donned gas masks as they moved in Wednesday evening with force to clear protesters from the Capitol grounds shortly before a curfew took hold. In the moments before, there were violent clashes between the police and protesters, who tore railing for the inauguration scaffolding and threw it at the officers.
Police used tear gas and percussion grenades to break up the crowd, which began dispersing.
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
Police said at least one person was shot inside the Capitol; their condition was not immediately known.
The district’s police chief said at least 13 people were arrested, and five firearms had been recovered during the pro-Trump protests on Wednesday.
Update 4:40 PM:
President Trump took to Twitter to tell protestors to head on home and stop their violence at the U.S. Capitol after claiming the election was stolen from him.
Several lawmakers from North and South Carolina also commented on the scene at the Capitol condemning the protests and marking themselves as safe.
Charlotte City Council Member Senator Malcolm Graham says;
“I cannot believe the disturbing sight that we’re seeing on Capitol Hill right now. If these protectors were black, we’d be seeing a very different behavior in terms of response. I thought I had seen it all over the past four years of Trump’s presidency. But every single time, he surprises me with his actions. There’s no bottom to his behavior, and I’m speechless. Sick to my stomach. And honestly – on the verge of tears.
It feels like we’re in a movie – there’s no way that this can be real life, right? But, it is real life. Our current President set a tone and encouraged his supporters to STORM THE CAPITOL. How do we deal with this? How do we justify this? What does our ‘great republic’ look like right now to our allies? To people who believe America is the greatest nation?
Donald Trump should be impeached. He spoke at the rally earlier today, encouraging his supporters to take on this behavior. He should be charged with inciting a riot. House members were given GAS MASKS. Everyone was told to relocate to a cloakroom. The House President was rushed off the floor. What you did, Donald Trump, you did with malice. You have lost your ability to govern.
Never forget what the GOP’s “Sedition Caucus” has done to our country today. No election is worth this kind of behavior.”
Representative Alma Adams released a statement to say she is safe and sheltering in place as the situation at the Capitol unfolds.
United States Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted in agreement with President-elect Biden’s call for the violence to stop.
Senator Graham then called for those who attacked the Capitol today to be held responsible.
Original Story (1/6/21):
Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Trump issued a restrained call for peace well after the melee was underway but did not urge supporters to disperse. Earlier he had egged them on to march to Capitol Hill. The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
Wednesday’s ordinarily mundane procedure of Congress certifying a new president was always going to be extraordinary, with Republican supporters of Trump vowing to protest results of an election that they have baselessly insisted was reversed by fraud. But even the unusual deliberations, which included the Republican vice president and Senate majority leader defying Trump’s demands, were quickly overtaken.
In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls. One person was reported shot at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the situation. That person’s condition was unknown.
The protesters abruptly interrupted the congressional proceedings in an eerie scene that featured official warnings directing people to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda.
With the crowds showing no signs of abating, Trump tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Earlier, at his rally, he had urged supporters to march to the Capitol.
Senators were being evacuated. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results.
Though fellow Republicans were behind the challenge to Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against it. He warned the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes” with “separate facts.”
McConnell declared, “The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken.”
But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump’s allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to “fight for Trump.”
“We have to fix this,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.
The last-gasp effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the November results. Biden i s to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Still, Trump vowed to he would “never concede” and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.
“We will never give up,” Trump told his noontime rally.
Vice President Mike Pence was closely watched as he stepped onto the dais to preside over the joint session in the House chamber.
Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud. But he was under growing pressure from Trump to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favor, despite having no legal power to affect the outcome.
“Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority” to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.
Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.
Arizona was the first of several states facing objections from the Republicans as Congress took an alphabetical reading of the election results. Then the chaos erupted.