Police tried to clear the U.S. with arms and teargas in the Capitol building with hundreds of Trump supporters who invaded the building and threatened to push Congress to reverse the election defeat of President Donald Trump on Wednesday as senators gathered to certify the win of President-elect Joe Biden.
After pro-Trump demonstrators stormed into the halls of Congress, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate were cleared, compelling all chambers to postpone proceedings.
According to Reuters a demonstrator seized the Senate dais and screamed, “Trump won that election.” As thousands descended on the Capitol grounds, demonstrators toppled barricades and clashed with police.
Biden, a Democrat who defeated the Republican president in the Nov. 3 election and is set to take office on Jan. 20, said the’ borders on sedition’ activity of the protesters.
The former vice president said that for protesters to flood the Capitol, break walls, surround buildings, disrupt Congressional halls and risk the safety of properly elected officials: “It’s not a protest, it’s an insurrection.”
Trump reiterated his baseless allegations of voter manipulation in a video posted to Twitter but encouraged the demonstrators to engage peacefully and go home.
“I know you are hurt, and I know you are pained that we won an election that was stolen from us,” “You have to go home now, we have to have peace,” Trump added.
Video shows demonstrators smashing glass and officers inside the building deploying teargas. Local media confirmed that an individual was shot and a video showed a person being wheeled on a stretcher from the house.
The Senate has also escorted Vice President Mike Pence, who had presided over the joint session of Congress.
The tumultuous scenes erupted after Trump, who refused to agree to a negotiated transition of power if he lost before the election, confronted thousands of demonstrators, repeating false allegations that because of systematic voting manipulation and violations, the contest was snatched from him.
Lawmakers have been discussing a last-ditch attempt to appeal the outcome by pro-Trump lawmakers, an effort that was unlikely to succeed.
In the House chamber, Capitol Police instructed legislators to remove gas masks from under their seats and plan to put them on.
When anyone tried to reach the chamber, officers at the front door of the House Chamber had their weapons drawn.
For their protection, officers directed persons in the chamber to drop to the floor. Several hundred members of the House, staff, and the press were evacuated to an unknown place and ordered not to leave.