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Capitol secured after assault from Trump supporters

At least four people are dead after supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, forcing Congress to evacuate as lawmakers counted electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. The chaos erupted shortly after Mr. Trump gave a speech once again falsely claiming to have won a second term and vowing “we will never concede.”

One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police after breaching the Capitol and attempting to enter the House chamber. Three others died as a result of “medical emergencies,” according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Troops from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. National Guard were deployed to help quell the violence. Several hours after the initial breach, law enforcement announced the Capitol had been secured. The nation’s capital is under curfew tonight as a result of the violence.

As the chaos ensued, Mr. Trump told his supporters to go home but repeated the false, inflammatory claim that the election had been stolen. “We have to have peace, we have to have law and order,” the president said.

According to MPD, 52 arrests were made Wednesday, four related to weapons charges, and at least six firearms were recovered. Two pipe bombs, one near the Republican National Committee and one near the Democratic National Committee, were also recovered, as was a cooler filled with Molotov cocktails.

The Senate and House both reconvened late Wednesday night to resume counting the Electoral College votes.

“The United States and the United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We’ve never been deterred before. And we’ll not be deterred today.”

As the chaos ensued, Mr. Trump told his supporters to go home but repeated the false, inflammatory claim that the election had been stolen. “We have to have peace, we have to have law and order,” the president said.

CBSN contributors: GRAHAM KATES, VICTORIA ALBERT, JORDAN FREIMAN, JUSTIN CARISSIMO, ZOE CHRISTEN JONES

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist

The former Florida governor, Charlie Crist, said in a Tweet: “The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a President. It’s time to remove the President.”

Schumer and Pelosi call on Trump to rein in protesters

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have called on President Trump to reign in the violent protestors at the U.S. Capitol.

“We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement.

The news comes as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. After Mr. Trump called for the protestors at the Capitol to remain peaceful, Schumer responded on Twitter, saying “It’s a little late for that. Don’t you think?”

Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Biden condemns violent protests at Capitol and calls on Trump to “step up”

President-elect Joe Biden called on President Trump to make a national television appearance condemning his supporters who stormed the Capitol, calling the stunning breach “an assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen.”

Biden said the supporters of President Trump who violently clashed with police before making their way into the building, committed “an assault on the citadel of liberty, on the Capitol itself.”

He called on Mr. Trump to “step up.”

“The words of a president matter no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best the words of a president can inspire, at their worst they can incite,” Biden said.

People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Virginia’s governor says he is sending 200 state troopers and members of the state National Guard to the US Capitol.

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Lawmakers, including the president, have tweeted in response to the activity at the Capitol.

Protesters were also seen inside the Senate chamber. One got up on the dais and yelled “Trump won that election.”

Several dozen are roaming through the halls, yelling “Where are they?” according to a pool report.

Congressional leaders were whisked to safety. Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, who was attending the joint session, and was also said to be safe.

At an earlier rally, Trump had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters clashed with law enforcement and breached the Capitol building, Trump tweeted to his supporters to “stay peaceful.”

“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” Trump tweeted, as tear gas was deployed in the locked-down Capitol. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

“We’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said.

Both chambers abruptly went into recess. The District of Columbia’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser, issued a curfew for 6 p.m.

The skirmishes occurred outside in the very spot where president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.

A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said.

The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress’ vote.

“We will not let them silence your voices,” Trump told the protesters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear the president.

Author: CBS News
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