Pro-Trump protesters are now surrounding the House chamber, and members are reportedly being evacuated from the floor.
After encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol amid the electoral vote certification and sending a tweet criticizing Mike Pence, Donald Trump finally sent this very tepid message to protesters to “stay peaceful.”
The mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, has announced a citywide curfew from 6 pm tonight until 6 am tomorrow, after pro-Trump protesters breached the US Capitol.
Trump lashes out against Pence as protesters breach the Capitol
The House and the Senate have now both recessed, due to concerns about pro-Trump protesters breaching the Capitol.
As Capitol police issued instructions to lawmakers and staffers on how to stay safe amid the chaos, Donald Trump sent a tweet criticizing Mike Pence for not trying to circumvent the will of American voters by blocking the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump said, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
According to reports, Pence was quickly moved out of the Senate chamber due to concerns about his safety after the Capitol was breached.
Capitol goes into lockdown as Trump supporters clash with police
The US Capitol is now on lockdown, with no one allowed to go in or out, as Trump supporters clash with police outside the building.
Hundreds of protesters have attempted to breach the barricades around the Capitol, as lawmakers inside the building move toward certifying Joe Biden’s victory.
It’s important to note that Donald Trump instructed his supporters to march to the Capitol when he addressed rally attendees in Washington this afternoon.
“We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Ave — I love Pennsylvania Avenuw — and we’re going to the Capitol,” the president said.
“We’re going to try and give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” Trump added. “So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
The situation at the Capitol is getting alarming, as Trump supporters attempt to breach the barricades around the building.
Reporters sitting in the Senate press gallery were informed that, if protesters storm the building, they would be taken into the Senate chamber with the door locked behind them.
Elaine Luria, a Democratic congresswoman from Virginia, said her House office was evacuated due to a report of a pipe bomb outside.
“I don’t recognize our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” Luria said in a tweet.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy also urged the protesters near the Capitol, some of whom have attempted to storm barricades, to “remain peaceful.”
Senator Ted Cruz defended his objection to Arizona’s electoral votes by noting that polling shows 39% of Americans believe the election was rigged.
Of course, the reason that many Americans believe that is because Donald Trump and his allies have spread baseless claims of widespread election fraud without presenting any evidence.
So Cruz is effectively citing Republicans’ faith in the president as evidence of fraud, without presenting any actual evidence of fraud.
McConnell warns blocking certification would ‘damage our republic forever’
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, made an impassioned speech in favor of certification, as the chamber debated an objection to Arizona’s electoral votes.
“I’ve served 36 years in the Senate,” the Republican leader said. “This will be the most important vote I have ever cast.”
McConnell warned that overruling the will of the people in the presidential election would do irreparable harm to American democracy.
“The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken,” McConnell said. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”
McConnell also noted that the November election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was not particularly close, certainly not close enough to raise doubts about the outcome.
“If this election were overturned by mere accusations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral,” McConnell said.
Criticizing the members of his party who are objecting to the certification, McConnell added, “I will not pretend that such a vote is a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.”
House offices evacuated as Trump supporters storm Capitol barriers
Capitol Police are ordering two House offices to be evacuated as hundreds of Trump supporters stormed barriers around the building.
Videos showed Trump supporters, who attended today’s “March to Save America” rally in Washington, clashing with police officers on the Capitol steps.
After congressman Paul Gosar raised an objection to Arizona’s electoral votes and confirmed the objection was co-signed by senator Ted Cruz, Republicans offered Gosar a standing ovation in the chamber.
The House and the Senate will now debate Gosar’s objection for up to two hours, and it is expected to be easily defeated.
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