As lawmakers in D.C. convened to count the Electoral College votes cast to solidify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, the U.S. Capitol was breached by protestors.
The joint session of Congress was evacuated as supporters of President Trump stormed the building in protest of the vote that was set to take place this afternoon. Vice-President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the session, was moved to a secure location and the building was placed on lockdown.
As protestors forced their way into the building, law enforcement deployed tear gas in an effort to control the situation. Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson tweeted “locked in Capitol and securing face mask for members.” Congressman Trent Kelly called on protestors to keep things peaceful.
Reports of shots fired have emerged, including some from within the building. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that “people are hurt.” NRP is reporting that one woman was seen being rolled out on a stretcher while “visibly bleeding.” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that the National Guard is on its way to the building.
The protestors from the ‘March for Trump’ rally spilled onto the capitol steps hours after the president spoke to a gathered crowd. During his speech, the president reportedly told his supporters “to march on the capitol steps” amid his continued claims of voter fraud that have been rejected by state and federal courts. The outgoing president has since tweeted a pre-taped statement urging all protestors to “go home in peace.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Despite the objection of several Republican lawmakers, including Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo, the certification of Biden’s victory was set to proceed as Pence stated this morning that he would not object to the Electoral College vote.
Senator Roger Wicker had indicated his intention to vote to certify the election results, citing the Constitution and federal law.
Our campaign lost a close election, and it is time to acknowledge that. The President’s own Attorney General, his head of election security, and a number of Trump-appointed, conservative federal judges all have found that, despite widespread allegations of fraud, there simply was not enough evidence to change the outcome of the election in any state. This is also the conclusion of every Republican Secretary of Defense from the past two decades. As they wrote recently, ‘the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.’
“Congress cannot — and should not — get into the business of deciding the results of our elections. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes duly submitted by the states. Anything further would not be compatible with our Constitution or the conservative principles of limited government that I have sworn to defend, ” Wicker said.
The vote will now be delayed until order can be restored within the building.
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