WASHINGTON (US) – In an effort to challenge Trump’s election defeat, hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. After hours of confusion and chaos police reigned in the situation. Lawmakers have currently returned to Congress to begin certifying Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
In what is now considered as the gravest assault on the symbol of American democracy in more than 200 years, rioters broke their way into the Capitol building through metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol. The rioters who barged in roamed free, clicked pictures and got into scuffles with police officers. The scuffle lead to the death of four people – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – during the chaos
Police struggled for more than three hours after the invasion to clear the Capitol of Trump supporters before declaring the building secure shortly after 5:30 p.m. (2230 GMT).
The protesters went on to siege the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were still inside, security officers managed to pile furniture against the chamber’s door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.
By Wednesday night, both houses of Congress resumed their debate on the certification of Biden’s Electoral College win, and it quickly became clear that objections from pro-Trump Republican lawmakers to Biden’s victory in battleground states would be rejected overwhelmingly, including by most Republicans.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today – you did not win,” Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the session, said as it resumed. “Let’s get back to work,” he said, drawing applause.
.One woman died after being shot during the mayhem, Washington police said, although the circumstances were unclear. Three people died due to medical emergencies, said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee.
The assault on the Capitol was the culmination of months of divisive and escalating rhetoric around the Nov. 3 election, with Trump repeatedly making false claims that the vote was rigged and urging his supporters to help him overturn his loss.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump – who before the election refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost – addressed thousands of supporters near the White House and told them to march on the Capitol to express their anger at the voting process.
He told his supporters to pressure their elected officials to reject the results, urging them “to fight.”
Trump came under intensive fire from some prominent Republicans in Congress, who put the blame for the day’s violence squarely on his shoulders.
“There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney said on Twitter.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a leading conservative from Arkansas, called on Trump to accept his election loss and “quit misleading the American people and repudiate mob violence.”
There have been discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow a majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unable to perform his duties and remove him. A second source familiar with the effort doubted it would go anywhere with Trump having just two more weeks in office.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who had remained silent while Trump has sought to overturn the election result, called the invasion a “failed insurrection” and promised that “we will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation.”
“We are back in our posts. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution, and for our nation. And we are going to do it tonight,” he said.