The Republican offer to overthrow President-elect Joe Biden's victory ended early Thursday morning after the Senate voted 92-7 to reject a challenge to the Pennsylvania electoral college.
The vote ended a nearly 12-hour saga in which supporters of President Donald Trump bullyed the U.S. Capitol in a violent incident that killed four people.
The senators had returned to their chamber after midnight to debate an appeal sponsored by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told GOP Senators not to get involved in this effort initially, skipped two hours of legal debate and voted directly.
Hawley was joined by his accomplice, Senator Ted Cruz, as well as Florida Senator Rick Scott, Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, and the newly minted Sens. Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville.
The rest of the Senate approved the Pennsylvania Challenge.
Both houses have to vote for a challenge in order for it to be successful.
The Democratic-controlled House is about to vote on the challenge in Pennsylvania, but efforts there too will fail.
Before Hawley threw lawmakers back to their respective homes, Biden was on the precipice of the 270 Electoral College he needed: 244-157.
Republicans in the House and Senate had also challenged the Arizona vote – resulting in a two-hour debate interrupted by the MAGA insurrection – and that objection was overwhelmingly overridden.
House Republicans also tried to question the results in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, but had no Senate support.
Vice President Mike Pence reopened the Senate by condemning "the strongest" condemnation of the chaotic siege of Capitol Hill on Wednesday – but did not blame Trump for inciting the MAGA mob.
The Republican offer to overthrow President-elect Joe Biden's victory ended early Thursday morning after the Senate voted 92-7 to reject a challenge to the Pennsylvania electoral college
Vice President Mike Pence reopened the Senate and condemned the violent siege of Capitol Hill on Wednesday "in the strongest" way – without, however, blaming President Donald Trump for inciting the MAGA mob
An explosion caused by police ammunition is seen as Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Wednesday
"For those who wreaked havoc in our capital today, you didn't win," Pence said. & # 39; Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And that's still the people's house. & # 39;
The vice president who chairs the special session of the Senate called it "a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol".
& # 39; But thanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the violence has been suppressed. The Capitol is secure and the work of the people goes on, ”Pence said.
But, amazingly – and to the disgust of Republicans, including Mitt Romney and all Democrats – some Republicans continued their doomed attempt to reverse the election result.
The oldest was Kevin McCarthy, a minority chairman of the House of Representatives, who claimed the persistence was evidence that Congress was not ravaged by violence. And Josh Hawley, the Missouri Senator who gave the mob a clenched fist before storming the Capitol, also refused to resign even after other objectionable senators abandoned the campaign.
“Americans are going to bed tonight. Your lasting memory should not be a congress overrun by rioters. It has to be a determined Congress that has a healthy debate, ”said McCarthy.
“We may not agree very much in America, but tonight we have to show the world that we are respectful but that we thoroughly perform the most basic duties of democracy. We will continue with the task we were sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law, as well as the process of hearing legitimate concerns about electoral integrity. We will do it with respect. & # 39;
Senator Josh Hawley, who became the first Senator to pledge to support the House GOP's efforts to object to the polls of certain states' electoral college votes, declined to abandon the effort entirely
Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the minority House of Representatives, claimed the persistence was evidence that Congress was not ravaged by violence
Senator Hawley, who became the first Senator to pledge to support the House GOP's efforts to object to the number of votes for certain states' electoral college, declined to abandon the effort entirely.
The Missouri Republican argued that the Senate was the right place to allay concerns about election fraud – as opposed to a violent riot.
"You can't change anything by force," said Hawley. “And that's why I tell my colleagues that what we're doing here tonight is actually very important. Because of those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections … this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place where these objections and concerns should be heard. & # 39;
Immediately after Hawley spoke, Senator Mitt Romney applauded Senators like Loeffler and Lankford who had given up on Hawley and the "dirty dozen" efforts
He hoped the Senate could address concerns "peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets."
Hawley indicated that once the Arizona debate was over, he may not have any objection and addressed the problems he had with Pennsylvania during his brief speech.
"And so, Mr. President, instead of saying a word about it later, let me say a word about Pennsylvania – this is a state that I have focused on and objected to," said Hawley.
He then complained that the state had set up "universal mail-in voting".
"And did it regardless of what the Pennsylvania Constitution says," Hawley said, using the wrong word for independent.
The Senator then turned down, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made its ruling, and upheld the law that allowed increased postal voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Immediately after Hawley spoke, Senator Mitt Romney applauded Senators like Loeffler and Lankford who had given up on Hawley and the "dirty dozen" efforts.
"The best way to show respect to disgruntled voters is to tell them the truth," pleaded Romney.
And the truth, he said, was that President-elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost. & # 39;
"I've had this experience myself, it's not fun," said Romney, pointing to the loss of the 2012 presidential election to Democratic President Barack Obama.
As he closed, Romney received a standing ovation from some senators – but not from Hawley, who was sitting directly in front of him.
Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi opened the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening with a vow to remain until the election and victory of Joe Biden are confirmed.
"Congress has returned to the Capitol," she said seven hours after the chamber closed as rioters tried to break through its doors. “We always knew that this responsibility would lead us into the night and stay as long as it takes. Our goal is achieved. We have to and we will show the country. & # 39;
"We know we are in difficult times, but we could hardly have imagined the attack on our democracy," she said, referring to the pro-Trump insurgents who tried to stop the joint session.
She said it was the legislature's duty to show the world "the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next".
Just before all the members of the house were evacuated at around 2:30 p.m., the Capitol Police approached Pelosi, who was running the chamber from the lectern and telling her to go.
Pelosi made no fuss and turned her duties over to the House Rules Chairman, Jim McGovern.
He told reporters on Capitol Hill that she whispered "thank you" and handed him the hammer when she was led away.
McConnell, who previously punished members of his own party who tried to object to the electoral college vote, said, "The United States Senate will not be intimidated." Pence's conviction was followed by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – blaming Trump
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol after a rally with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6
House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Will lead the House Chamber after they are reunited
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will stand by President Trump and continue his party's objections to state certification, won by Joe Biden on the electoral college.
Some Republican senators pulled back from the original plan to object after pro-Trump insurgents rushed the Capitol.
McCarthy said, however, it was the duty of lawmakers to have a "healthy debate" and hear "legitimate concerns about electoral integrity".
WHO IS STILL AT TRUMP'S CAMP?
Senator Josh Hawley – Hawley was the first Senator to pledge to support a GOP House effort to object to the polls of certain states' electoral college votes and refused to abandon the effort entirely.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy McCarthy is the oldest member to stand with President Trump and will continue his party's objection to state certification that Joe Biden won on the electoral college.
Senator Ted Cruz – The Senate rejected Ted Cruz's appeal against Arizona as part of Electoral College's certification process.
“When Americans go to bed tonight, their lasting memory shouldn't be a Congress overrun by rioters. It has to be a determined Congress that has a healthy debate. We may not agree very much in America, but tonight we must show the world that we will respectfully but thoroughly fulfill the most basic duties of democracy. We will continue with the task we were sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law, as well as the process of hearing legitimate concerns about electoral integrity. We'll do it with respect, ”he said on the floor of the house after the chamber was reopened.
But he also condemned the rioters.
"We saw the worst in America this afternoon," he said.
McCarthy also cautioned lawmakers to think twice about what it posts on social media. Contributions from Republicans, including President Trump, falsely claiming the elections were rigged and fraudulent actions were believed to have helped stimulate the mob that looted the Capitol.
"We should also think for a moment about what we post on social media," he said. “Just because you have a different personal opinion than I do, you have the right to speak it, but nobody has the right to become a mob. And we should all agree to condemn them all together. & # 39;
Pence's conviction was followed by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – blaming Trump.
"Today's events would certainly not have happened without him," said Schumer.
McConnell, who previously punished members of his own party who tried to object to the electoral college vote, said, "The United States Senate will not be intimidated."
& # 39; Will not be kept away from his chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We're not going to bow down for lawlessness or intimidation, ”said the Kentucky Republican.
He said senators would do their constitutional duty – to confirm the results of the presidential race.
"And we'll do it tonight," McConnell said.
The Kentucky Republican stated, "Criminal conduct will never dominate the United States Congress."
Schumer followed him and admitted that he didn't have the right words to describe what happened on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
"I have never had or imagined the experience we just had at this Capitol," he said. "This temple of democracy has been desecrated, its windows broken, our offices destroyed."
A protester sits in the Senate Chamber. Congress held a joint session today to confirm Electoral College President-elect 306-232 victory over President Donald Trump
Pro-Trump protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021
Legislators huddled in fear as protesters tried to break down the doors of the house chamber on Wednesday
He spoke of the woman who was shot during the riot and has since died from her injuries.
"We mourn for them and feel for their friends and family," said Schumer.
"This will be a stain on our land that will not be so easily washed away," he added.
And the soon-to-be majority leader, after the Democrats won both Georgia Senate runoffs, pointed a finger at Trump, calling the day's events the "last terrible indelible legacy of the 45th President of the United States."
"Undoubtedly our worst," argued Schumer.
"Today's events did not happen spontaneously, the president who promoted conspiracy theories, who motivated these thugs, a president who admonished them to come to our capital city of the United States, encouraged them, and hardly ever discouraged the violence. This president bears a lot of the blame, ”said Schumer.
He said those responsible for overtaking the capital could not be described as "protesters".
"They were rioters and insurgent thugs and thugs, domestic terrorists," said Schumer. & # 39; You don't represent America
The Senate Majority Leader spoke immediately after Pence to explain that the Chamber would not be intimidated by "thugs".
McConnell condemned Trump's offer to overthrow the election for the second time in a day, having previously delivered a powerful speech in which he drew off the efforts of members of his own caucus, the voters in states who voted for Joe Biden wanted to clear the path, blew up.
Wednesday night after Trump supporters broke the aisles, McConnell went for decades on "awkward" invaders – without mentioning that it was President Trump who encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol.
Even so, he ripped off the Trump supporters who were running wildly around the chamber.
& # 39; The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We are not kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation, ”McConnell vowed.
& # 39; We're back to our posts. We will do our constitutional duty and our nation.
And we'll do it tonight, ”McConnell said.
The Kentucky Republican stated, "Criminal conduct will never dominate the United States Congress." Schumer followed him and admitted that he didn't have the right words to describe what happened on Capitol Hill Wednesday
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the President's key allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts, recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two electoral rolls to Congress to end post-Civil War reconstruction
His words have been both bolstered and undercut by his close association with Trump's tenure: McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, serves as Trump's transportation secretary. McConnell spent weeks denouncing Trump's unsubstantiated claims that the election had been rigged. And in partnership with Trump, he achieved his life goal of stacking the judiciary with conservative lawyers.
Speaking with disdain for the mob that had invaded the Capitol, he said the country had "faced much greater threats than the awkward crowd we saw today."
Among the Republicans who opposed the plan to challenge the results was Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before signing Senator Ted Cruz's effort
“We have never been deterred and we will not be deterred today. You tried to disrupt our democracy. You failed, ”he intoned.
He called it a "failed insurrection" and said it "only underscores the importance of the task ahead for our republic".
"Now we're going to finish exactly what we started," said McConnell. "We're going to complete the process the right way: according to the book."
He said the Senate would follow its precedents, laws and constitution "on the letter".
"And we will confirm the winner of the 2020 presidential election," he said urgently. & # 39; Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our democratic republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less, ”he said.
Among the Republicans who opposed the plan to challenge the results was Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before signing Senator Ted Cruz's effort.
“Why in God's name would anyone think that attacking law enforcement officers occupying the United States Capitol is the best way to show you are right? Why would you do that? & # 39; he asked.
“Rioters and thugs don't run the capital, we are the United States of America. We disagree on many things and we have a lot of lively debates in this room. But we talk about it and we honor each other.
Lankford had served in the Senate, defending the opposition from votes in states won by Biden when officials evacuated the Chamber and locked the Capitol.
I was literally interrupted in mid-sentence as I spoke here. Because we all know what happened right in front of this room, ”he praised the law enforcement agencies protecting the Capitol.
Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock early on Wednesday morning, announced that she would no longer object to the electoral college vote
He quickly bowed to the new reality.
"Obviously the commission we asked for is not going to happen at this point, and I understand that. We are moving towards certification of Joe Biden as President of the United States tonight," he said. Cruz and his compatriots wanted a special commission to investigate judicial election fraud cases over a ten-day period.
"And we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example in the coming days," he concluded.
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the President's key allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts, recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two electoral rolls to Congress to end post-Civil War reconstruction .
"It led to Jim Crow," said Graham. "If you are looking for historical guidance, this is not the right choice."
The South Carolina Republican also said that forming a fraud investigation committee would not change people's minds.
"If you have a commission chosen by Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Roberts, you're not going to get where you want to go, it's not going to work," said Graham. "It will be of no use, it will be delayed and give credibility to a dark chapter in our history."
Graham claimed that Trump was a "next president".
"But today … all I can say is count myself, enough is enough, I've tried to be helpful."
Graham praised Pence and said to him, "What they ask of you you will not do because you cannot."
Trump has put pressure on Pence to choose between electoral college votes and "alternative" electoral rolls, which the vice president is not allowed to do.
Graham also mentioned how he had traveled the world with Biden when they served together in the Senate.
"I prayed he would lose," Graham said. "He's the legitimate President of the United States."
Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock early Wednesday morning, announced that she would no longer object to the electoral college vote.
"When I got to Washington this morning, I wanted to speak out against the confirmation of the votes," she said. "However, the events that happened today forced me to reconsider and I can now with a clear conscience have nothing against it."
Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, also announced that he no longer supports senators who raise objections.
Newly minted Senator Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican who had joined Senator Ted Cruz's "Dirty Dozen", appeared to support the effort in his first-floor address.
"We need to restore confidence in one of the most sacred and patriotic duties of our republic: voting," said Marshall.
Marshall said he supported the creation of an electoral commission to propose constructive proposals to states that came about in the 2020 race because of the "harrowing irregularities" he claimed.
Es ist unklar, ob Marshall künftig zusätzliche Herausforderungen in Staaten unterstützen würde, da sich die Diskussion des Senats nur auf die Stimmen des Wahlkollegiums in Arizona konzentrierte.
Eine Frau wurde am Mittwochnachmittag in die Brust geschossen, nachdem chaotische Szenen ausgebrochen waren, als Dutzende von Trump-Anhängern im Kapitol die Sicherheitsgrenzen durchbrachen. Sie starb Stunden später in einem Krankenhaus
Die Polizei sprüht Tränengas auf einen Demonstranten, der eine Polizeibarrikade aufgehoben hat, um näher an das Kapitol heranzukommen
Members of Congress run for cover as protesters attempt to enter the house chamber
Ein Demonstrant geht mit Nancy Pelosis Rednerpult durch den Kongress, nachdem er das Kapitol gestürmt hat
Der republikanische Kongressabgeordnete Thomas Reed kündigte an, er sei gegen die Einwände der GOP gegen die Zertifizierung und erhielt von den Demokraten Applaus.
Reed ging zur demokratischen Seite des Hauses, um über seine Opposition zu sprechen, und nannte als Grund die Gewalt des Tages im Kapitol.
"Wir lösen unsere Differenzen durch Wahlen", sagte er und prangerte die "Mob-Regel" an, die am frühen Nachmittag stattfand.
„Was wir heute Abend in diesem Körper sehen, wird das sein, was wir in Amerika tun. Und das heißt, die Macht auf friedliche Weise zu übertragen “, sagte er, als die Demokraten ihm stehende Ovationen gaben.
Der republikanische Kongressabgeordnete Matt Gaetz, ein Top-Verbündeter von Trump auf dem Capitol Hill, vertrat die Ansicht, dass einige der Mobs, die das Capitol überfielen, Mitglieder von Antifa waren, die gegen den Faschismus und andere Formen der rechtsextremen Ideologie sind. Präsident Trump hat versucht, Antifa als terroristische Vereinigung zu bezeichnen, aber sie sind eine politische Philosophie. Es gibt keine Beweise dafür, dass sie am Aufstand am Mittwoch beteiligt waren.
Gaetz zitierte die konservative Zeitung The Washington Times, als er auf der Etage des Hauses sprach, um die Einwände der Republikaner gegen die Stimmen des Wahlkollegiums in einigen von Biden gewonnenen Staaten zu verteidigen.
'Die Washington Times hat gerade berichtet, dass einige der Leute, die heute gegen das Kapitol verstoßen haben, keine Trump-Anhänger waren, sondern sich als Trump-Anhänger tarnten, und tatsächlich sind wir Mitglieder der violetten Terroristengruppe Antifa «, sagte er, als die Demokraten ihn laut aushöhlen.
Gaetz, ein häufiger Gast in Trumps Residenz in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, verteidigte auch den Präsidenten, der von vielen, einschließlich Mitgliedern der Republikanischen Partei, wegen seiner glanzlosen Reaktion auf die Unruhen kritisiert wurde.
"Ein weiterer wichtiger Punkt für das Land ist, dass Präsident Trump heute Morgen ausdrücklich zu friedlichen Demonstrationen und Protesten aufgerufen hat", sagte Gaetz.
Trump sagte in Tweets, die Demonstranten sollten friedlich sein, aber er forderte sie nicht auf, sich zurückzuziehen und das Kapitol zu verlassen.
Die Demokraten haben Gaetz ausgebuht, als er sprach, und er gab zu: „Sie können stöhnen und stöhnen, aber er äußerte sich viel deutlicher zu seinen Friedensaufrufen als einige der BLM- und linken Schriftsteller in diesem Sommer, als wir sahen, wie Gewalt über diese Nation hinwegfegte. & # 39;
Gaetz hat sich auch mit Liberaldemokraten befasst, die angerufen haben, um die Polizei zu enttäuschen.
"Ich bin sicher froh, dass ich zumindest einen Tag lang nicht gehört habe, wie meine demokratischen Kollegen gerufen haben, um die Polizei zu enttäuschen", sagte er, als seine republikanischen Kollegen jubelten.
Mitglieder des Kongresses eilen, um die Kammer des Hauses zu evakuieren, als Demonstranten versuchten einzutreten
Mitglieder der Nationalgarde stellen sich auf dem Capitol-Gelände auf, während Demonstranten das Gebiet nach der Ausgangssperre weiterhin besetzen
Die meist maskenlose Menge überflutete die Hallen des Kapitols mit wenig Widerstand der Capitol Police
Die DC National Guard wurde auf die Straße geschickt, um eine Ausgangssperre von 18 Uhr durchzusetzen
Trump – nachdem er den größten Teil des Nachmittags geschwiegen hatte – veröffentlichte ein Video, in dem er seinen "ganz besonderen" Anhängern im Kapitol erzählte, dass er sie liebt und ihre Schmerzen versteht, sie aber aufforderte, "nach Hause zu gehen".
Er hatte seine Anhänger zunächst ermutigt, nach einer Kundgebung am frühen Nachmittag zum Kapitol zu marschieren, bevor er sie nur fragte to remain peaceful when violence broke out.
The Capitol was briefly secured before being placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officer was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked.
But just before 8pm lawmakers who had been whisked to safety when the siege kicked off began arriving back at the Capitol to resume the Joint Session to certify the Electoral College count of the presidential election.
The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way into the Capitol. A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, who is residing over the Joint Session, said he was already in the building because he'd never left.
As the protesters broke down police barricades and stormed into the Capitol, lawmakers cowering inside the House Chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Officers at the front door of the chamber had their guns drawn at a protester trying to break down the door.
The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked
For those fleeing, it was a race against time: Protesters were getting in as quickly as members of Congress could get out.
One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled: 'Trump won that election'. Some protesters even occupied Pelosi's office, sitting mockingly at a desk.
The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol. The protesters organized via far-right social media sites, including Gab and Parler, telling each other the best routes to avoid police on their way to the Capitol.
After protesters started clashing with law enforcement, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'.
'Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. You are really on our country's side. Stay peaceful!' the president wrote.
As the violence escalated, Trump tweeted: 'I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!'
He did not initially tell the protesters to leave.
Biden on Wednesday evening called for the restoration of 'simple decency' after the mob delayed Congress from certifying the results of November's election.
'At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times,' Biden said. He called it 'an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.'
'I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward.
In an address that took less than 10 minutes and was televised against a split screen of the still-occupied Capitol building, Biden attempted to project calm and to say that a deeply divided country can still come together – while also expressing outrage.
He stopped short of accusing Trump of treason but said the events 'bordered on sedition'.
'At their best, the words of a president can inspire,' Biden added. 'At their worst they can incite.'
Minutes after Biden's address, Trump posted his own video telling his mob of supporters that he 'loves' them, but to 'go home'. In the same breath he also continued to peddle his baseless claims that the 'election was stolen'.
“There has never been a time like this when something like this could be taken away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people,' he said.
“We must have peace. So go home We love you. You are something special. You saw what happened. You see how others are treated who are so bad and so angry. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.'
The video was later removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because it violated their policies.
The president then posted another tweet reiterating his false claim that the election was stolen and encouraging supporters to 'remember this day'. The tweet was perceived by some as an attempt to rile up the Capitol crowds.
'These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,' he tweeted. 'Go home with love & in peace. Remember that day forever! & # 39;
Twitter removed the tweet for violating its rules.
Mob smashes through police barriers and wall of tear gas to stop Biden's victory being certified: How Trump protesters turned Congress into a battlefield
Capitol Police used tear gas as hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.
Demonstrators fought with police and then forced their way into the building.
Asked how so many people were able to get in, officials said they were focusing their attention on keeping lawmakers inside safe.
& # 39; We love you. You are special. & # 39; Trump finally speaks to the unleashed Capitol mob and says: "Go home now. We must have peace & # 39;
Donald Trump told his crowd of supporters to "love" them but "go home" after they raved past police barriers to storm the US Capitol.
But despite urging his followers to resign, he went on to make unsubstantiated claims that the "election was stolen" in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
“There has never been a time like this when something like this could be taken away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent choice, but we cannot play into the hands of these people.
“We must have peace. So go home We love you. You are something special. You saw what happened. You see how others are treated who are so bad and so angry. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace, ”Trump said.
It came hours after Trump put them into a frenzy at his Stop the Steal rally and told them to march on the US Capitol.
The president still hasn't conceded the election and addressed a lot about the Ellipse the previous Wednesday that broke conspiracy theories that he still had a way to win – if Vice President Mike Pence had bid and if GOP lawmakers outraged would have.
Pence didn't do that.
The chaotic scenes unfolded shortly after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters clashed with law enforcement after violating the Capitol, Trump tweeted his supporters to "stay peaceful."
One video posted on TikTok appeared to show a group of about four officers standing by as protesters pushed past a barricade near the Capitol building.
The officers did not appear to try to block the stampede, instead walking with it toward the building.
One protester jumped up on the dais, where the president of the Senate presides, and yelled: 'Trump won that election.'
Several dozen protesters roamed the halls of the Capitol, yelling: 'Where are they?'
Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol.
Another protester in the Senate yelled: 'Where's Pence, show yourself!'
The chaos caused the Capitol to go on lockdown and disrupted the certification of the electoral college vote that would cement Biden's victory.
Mayor Bowser declared a 6pm curfew for the city and said multiple law enforcement agencies would be patrolling the streets. Just before the curfew went into effect she was asked multiple by times by CNN if curfew violators would be arrested, but she refused to give a clear answer.
Bowser said 'many' arrests had already been made but did not have a specific number.
As footage started coming out of Capitol Hill being breached by angry Trump supporters, Donald Trump Jr tried to quell the outburst with a tweet – that was critical of Democrats and liberals.
& # 39; That is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don't start acting like the other side,' Trump Jr. wrote. 'We have a country to save and this doesn't help anyone.'
Meanwhile, the president continued to focus his anger on Pence, who had previously announced that he would not single-handedly overturn the election results from his position as chairman.
'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! & # 39; The president tweeted.
The extraordinary closure was a departure from security vulnerabilities of the past. The protesters routinely interrupted the ongoing television hearings and even the events in the chamber of the house. However, the trained Capitol Police are usually able to arrest troublemakers and remove them immediately. Often, formal charges are never filed.
But in the storming of the building on Wednesday, dozens of people made it by armed police officers and entered the building without taking any security precautions to keep those with guns or dangerous objects away.
There were occasions after September 11th when the building was placed on lockdown and people were ordered to leave, but this usually happened when suspicious packages were discovered.
If the building is open, as it was before the pandemic, members of the public are not allowed to go unaccompanied to the second floor, where lawmakers enter and exit the legislative chambers.
The protesters were supported by scaffolding built for the upcoming inauguration.
In another tense piece of video from inside, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tweeted video of protesters repeatedly rushing Capitol Police officers in the crypt, in the ground floor part of the building under the rotunda.
'I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result,' McCaul wrote. 'But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end.'
Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon
Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather
A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside
Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol
Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday
A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening
Trump's mob causes chaos nationwide: MAGA fans take to the streets in California, Oregon, New Mexico and Kansas and surround Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office
As the US Capitol was stormed, Trump supporters staged smaller rallies outside statehouses in several cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.
Protesters swarmed into the Kansas statehouse in Topeka and gathered inside the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda, though the rally remained orderly, television station KSNT reported.
There were no immediate reports of violence, despite the flurry of demonstrations by pro-Trump demonstrators echoing his baseless claims that he was robbed of a re-election victory due to voter fraud.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Twitter that he had instructed city agencies to close municipal offices early in Colorado's state capital 'out of an abundance of caution' after about 700 demonstrators gathered at the statehouse downtown.
'My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly. Pray for our nation,' he tweeted.
A major courthouse complex and two other government buildings in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, were also ordered closed due to protests near the statehouse.
Among those whose daily routines were altered were aides to Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican election official pressured by Trump in a weekend telephone call to 'find' enough additional votes for the president to overturn the November victory of President-elect Joe Biden, due to take office in two weeks.
Raffensperger's spokesman, Walter Jones, said staff left their offices after lunch out of an abundance of caution because of protests. He said Raffensperger was not in the office at the time.
In Salt Lake City, Dana Jones, director of the state Capitol Preservation Board, said she had asked building staff to work from home on Wednesday afternoon on the advice of the Utah Highway Patrol and public safety commissioner, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The precaution was taken, the newspaper said, in response to a crowd of about 250 pro-Trump demonstrators who posted signs on the Capitol building that read: 'Stop the steal!' and 'Trump won!'
A Utah state police spokesman said security had been beefed up at the Capitol, though he said protesters there were 'very peaceful,' the Tribune reported. It said one of its photographers was pepper-sprayed by individuals upset that he was documenting their protest.
Several hundred Trump supporters also staged a 'Stop the Steal' rally at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix, cheering and jeering while exhibiting a guillotine.
MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump
ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of around 25 people, some of whom were carrying assault rifles
LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a Black Lives Matter supporter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters
OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem
TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin
ATLANTA: Georgia Capitol Police escorted Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3pm
'I won't betray my oath': Pence publicly defies Trump's demand to block Biden's confirmation
Trump told thousands of supporters outside the White House that he wanted pence to "get through" for us and demanded that he reject votes on the grounds that the president claims it was "a fraud".
He threatened Pence with the words "I don't hear good stories" and told him to have "courage" to put down the voices of the swing states – a move that would be against the constitution.
But minutes before arriving on Capitol Hill to chair the joint session of Congress and confirm the election result, Pence bluntly told lawmakers that he would refuse to obey Trump's instructions.
Pence sent a letter to the 535 Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill prior to chairing the joint session confirming Joe Biden's victory.
In it he outlined his belief in his role in what he describes as "ceremonial", adding that it does not include the power to "determine which votes should and should not be counted".
Trump tried to blame Pence for his expected loss on Wednesday, but the president also has no support from a majority of senators in his own party, doomed his efforts to overthrow the results by Congress.
Pence acknowledged Trump's allegations that the election was rigged, for which there was no evidence and no court upheld, in a likely peace offer to the president.
"I share the concern of millions of Americans about the integrity of this election," he wrote.
Shortly before this, images emerged of hundreds of protesters descending on the Capitol steps after gathering near the White House for President Donald Trump
A Capitol police officer urged lawmakers to vacate the building after top leaders were escorted
Pence acknowledged Trump's allegations that the election had been rigged, which there was no evidence and no court, in a likely peace offer to the president
Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make 'OK' hand gestures indicating 'white power' during the chaos
Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest
Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol
Capitol Police spray tear gas at Trump supporters as they try to break through a police barrier
In a letter on Wednesday, Pence said, "It is my deliberate judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution prevents me from using unilateral authority to determine which votes should and should not be counted."
As Vice President, however, he found that the constitution does not give him the power to decide which votes are counted and which are not.
As a history student who loves the Constitution and venerates its drafters, I do not believe that our country's foundations intended to give the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which votes to count during the joint congressional session, and no, the Vice President of the American history has ever asserted such authority, ”noted Pence.
He added vice presidents in the past have conducted 'the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy'.
"It is my deliberate judgment that my oath to support and defend the constitution prevents me from using unilateral authority to determine which votes should and should not be counted," he said.
He concluded his letter with a prayer to God: “When the joint session of Congress meets today, I will do my duty to see that we open the electoral papers of the various states. We hear objections from senators and officials. and we count the votes of the electoral college for presidents and vice-presidents in accordance with our constitution, our laws, and our history. May God help me. & # 39;
Pelosi reminded lawmakers that due to social distancing, only 11 members of each party were allowed to enter the house at a time. She called on Republicans to have too many lawmakers on the ground
"The law says voter registration ends on October 5th. Democrats said we don't care what the law says that they went to court and had to renew an Obama-appointed judge in 18 days," said Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally at Capitol Hill, complained about Arizona
Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman, led the debate. She disinfected the hammer before using it. Pence had used it when he chaired the joint session
REPUBLICAN OBJECT TO ARIZONA'S VOTES
When the certification process got underway shortly after 1pm Wednesday, lawmakers got through Alabama and Alaska, two states that went for Trump, before the first objection was filed for Arizona.
Republican Paul Gosar of Arizona rejected the votes of his state electoral college to Biden and Harris. He confirmed that his objection had been signed on to by a US senator.
Democrats in the chamber audibly groaned while droves of Republicans in the chamber stood up and clapped.
The move forced Pence to order the houses out of Joint Session. The senators in the House chamber started moving back toward their side of the US Capitol.
On the House side, Republican lawmakers used their time during their debate on the Arizona objection to complain about the president's treatment, particularly the impeachment proceedings and special adviser Robert Mueller's investigation.
They did not provide evidence of electoral fraud, but complained that electoral laws were changed before the November contest, which is not illegal.
"The law says voter registration ends on October 5th. Democrats said we don't care what the law says that they went to court and had to renew an Obama-appointed judge in 18 days," said Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally at Capitol Hill, complained about Arizona.
In many states, voter registration deadlines have been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic – the extension applied to voters from both parties. Other states again extended the mail-in voting period due to the pandemic and applied to all voters.
Democrats argued the election was conducted legally.
"In some of the most difficult circumstances in our history, our fellow citizens held a free and fair election that reaffirmed our founders' belief that we are capable of self-government and peaceful transfer of power," said Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff.
Speaker Pelosi presided over the debate. She disinfected the hammer before using it. Pence had used it when he chaired the joint session.
Pelosi also reminded lawmakers that due to social distancing, only 11 members of each party were allowed to enter the house at a time. She called on Republicans to have too many lawmakers on the ground.
MITCH MCCONNELL SLAMS ELECTION & # 39; Conspiracy Theories & # 39;
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shamed Trump and his own Republican colleagues for mounting challenges to the Electoral College vote count, saying their doing so could lead to a 'death spiral' of American democracy – and pointing out there's no real evidence of widespread voter fraud.
'We're debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election,' he said on the Senate floor, after Rep Gosar and a batch of GOP senators, including Sen Ted Cruz, objected to Arizona's Electoral College vote count.
McConnell ridiculed Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech, which will be one of his last as majority leader, and which he said was about the most important vote of his career.
"The allegations range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments and sweeping conspiracy theories," said McConnell.
He reminded the senators that he supported Trump in the application of the country's legal system, which handed loss to loss to the president and his team. And pointed out that these cases were heard by some of the "all-star judges the president himself nominated" – including the US Supreme Court.
McConnell said that every election is plagued by some instances of vote irregularity. 'And of course that's unacceptable,' he said.
McConnell mocked President Donald Trump's claims of widespread electoral fraud in what will be one of his last five-minute speeches as a majority leader – and which he believes was the most important vote of his career
The top Senate Republican also said he supported 'strong state-led voting reforms,' adding that he didn't wan tto see 'last year's bizarre pandemic procedures' – like mail-in ballots that gave Democrats an edge – 'become the new norm.'
"But my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have affected the entire election," argued McConnell. "Even public doubts alone cannot justify a radical break if the doubt itself was instigated without evidence."
He pointed out that the Constitution gives Congress a "limited role".
"We just can't make ourselves the national steroids electoral board," said McConnell.
McConnell twisted the knife in Trump, pointing out that the race between Biden and Trump "wasn't unusually close".
"The electoral college's leeway was almost the same as it was in 2016," McConnell said.
"If this election were overturned by mere allegations on the losing side, our democracy would get into a death spiral," warned McConnell. "We'd never see an entire nation accept elections again."
"Every four years there would be a power struggle at any cost," he added.
TRUMP & # 39; S STOP THE STEAL RALLY
This came after Trump excoriated 'weak' Republicans and demanded fealty from Pence to a rally crowd near the White House on Wednesday, where he demanded Pence and Congress overturn the election results that lead to his defeat.
In an extraordinary speech, just minutes before a joint session of Congress, Trump again called his election "rigged" to count the certified votes that made him lose to Joe Biden.
Trump labeled votes that came in after 10pm after election night – which consisted of personal and postal ballot papers, and denied him the leadership he and his pollsters expected – as "these explosions of bullsh * t."
Members of the crowd immediately sang "Bullshit!" In answer.
'Our election was over at 10 in the evening,' Trump said.
Trump mocked his party's 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Now-Sen. Mitt Romney, who had pocketed his own race at the time.
& # 39; We will never admit. That doesn't happen, ”he said – although the loss of candidates has been admitted for generations. “There has never been anything like it. It's pure theft. & # 39;
Trump's comments represented a declaration of war on elements of his party after his attorney Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by battle" against opponents of his allegations of electoral fraud.
Trump spoke to several thousand people – but referred to them as "hundreds of thousands" of followers conceived on a lawn south of the White House where not so many people live.
He said his election was stolen by the fake news media. They did and they do. & # 39;
Speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House at his "Save America" rally on Wednesday, Trump declared war on his own party by calling Republicans who opposed him "weak".
Hours after a humiliating defeat in one race in the Georgia Senate and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no signs of conceding
A booth has been set up at the foot of the U.S. Capitol with a pro-Trump supporter holding a flag hours before Congress meets to confirm the electoral college vote for Biden
A crowd of Trump supporters gathered outside the White House for a rally on Wednesday
He urged his supporters to march to Congress, which should start the counting at 1 p.m.
"We'll go down to the Capitol and cheer for our brave senators and congressmen," he said, speaking from behind a pane of bulletproof material.
He turned the heat on Pence, a potential 2024 contender who will lead the count. Its role is set out in the Constitution and the Election Census Act and is largely ceremonial.
"Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us and if he doesn't it will be a sad day for our country because you vowed to uphold our constitution," he said.
Trump admitted that he tried to pressure Pence to reject votes from states he lost, quoting from a conversation he has denied.
"All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states for recertification and we will become President and you are the happiest people," he told his fans, who cheered, "Stop the steal!" sometimes.
& # 39; I told Mike it doesn't take courage. What takes courage is nothing to be done. It takes courage. And then we're stuck with a president who lost the election a lot and we have to live with that, ”he said of Biden.
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