Supporters of outgoing US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of senators. The US Senate abruptly went to an emergency recess during its Electoral College debate after protesters forced a lockdown of the building.
Supporters of Donald Trump were seen breaching barricades, roaming the building and later pounding on the door of the US House Chamber in an attempt to get in.
An announcement was reportedly played inside the building as lawmakers prepared to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory, warning of an “external security threat” and saying that no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex.
Reporters were warned to stay in the Senate’s press gallery as the doors were locked. Some senators and members of the House of Representatives were later seen being evacuated. Police reportedly deployed tear gas in an attempt to quell the protests as they broke windows and massed inside.
The breach came after outgoing Vice President Mike Pence refused Trump’s request to block Biden’s confirmation. Trump, having urged his supporters to march on Congress, later called for protesters to act peacefully.
The Washington DC Mayor ordered a curfew in response to events, mandating people stay home from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Separately, the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was reportedly evacuated from the Georgia Capitol after militia members gathered outside.