WASHINGTON: Swarms of protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as they sought to power Congress to undo President Donald Trump’s election loss, quickly suspending a last-ditch effort by a few of Trump’s fellow Republicans to throw out the outcomes.
Police fired tear gasoline and ordered a number of workplace buildings to be evacuated as protesters breached the Capitol and have been seen marching via the halls of Congress, the place lawmakers have been assembly to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Police escorted Home of Representatives members from the chamber the place that they had been debating after lawmakers aligned with Trump challenged the election outcomes – an effort unlikely to succeed. The Senate abruptly adjourned and Vice President Mike Pence, who had presided over a joint session of Congress, was escorted from the chamber.
Capitol Police informed lawmakers within the Home chamber to take gasoline masks from beneath their seats and put together to place them on. Officers on the entrance door of the Home chamber had their weapons drawn as somebody tried to enter the chamber.
Officers ordered folks within the chamber to drop to the ground for his or her security.
The chaotic scenes got here after Trump addressed 1000’s of supporters close to the White Home, repeating his baseless claims that the election was stolen from him because of widespread fraud. Election officers of each events and impartial observers have mentioned there was no important fraud within the Nov. 3 contest, which Biden received by greater than 7 million votes within the nationwide fashionable vote.
Weeks have handed because the states accomplished certifying that Biden, a Democrat, received the election by 306 Electoral Faculty votes to Trump’s 232. Trump’s extraordinary challenges to Biden’s victory have been rejected by courts throughout the nation.
Trump had pressed Pence to throw out election leads to states the president narrowly misplaced, although Pence has no authority to take action.
The certification in Congress, usually a formality, was anticipated to stretch for a number of hours as some Republican lawmakers mounted an effort to reject some state tallies, beginning with Arizona.
Exterior the Capitol, members of militia teams and far-right teams, some in physique armor, mingled with the crowds. Protesters chanting pro-Trump slogans overturned barricades and clashed with police.
On Twitter, Trump known as on protesters to remain peaceable.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowers ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT).
(Writing by Andy Sullivan; Modifying by Will Dunham)
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