Rampage at the Capitol, as It Happened108 views
How an Electoral Count Turned Into Chaos. As Congress met to certify the election results, President Trump held a simultaneous rally. Watch these moments unfold side by side to see how his speech incited a mob that broke into the Capitol.
“And the fight begins today.” “And we need to march on the Capitol today —” “Let’s have trial by combat.” “Let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. God bless you, and God bless America.” “We’re debating a step that has never been taken in American history: whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election.” “All of us take our responsibility seriously.” “Let’s go!” “I would urge my colleagues, don’t take perhaps the easy path.” “And the Electoral College is the mechanism by which the people select the president. But if Congress gets to decide which states get to vote in the Electoral College, then clearly, Congress is selecting the president, not the people.” “On the steps of the back side of the Capitol, we’re seeing protesters overcome the police. The police are now running back into the Capitol building.” “Take that House! Take it now!” “My challenge today is not about the good people of Arizona —” [gavel banging] “And it will stand in recess until the call of the chair.” “We’ll pause.” “Protesters are in the building.” “Thank you.” “It wasn’t anything you said.” [shouting] [shouting] [shouting] On loudspeaker: “All individuals must leave the U.S. Capitol grounds.” “The Senate will come to order. Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”
Washington, D.C. mayor issues order extending emergency for 15 days.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington on Wednesday night issued an order extending the city’s public emergency for 15 days, warning that extremists who support President Trump might continue to wreak havoc in the nation’s capital.
The order empowers officials to reduce the hours of operation for businesses, order people off the street if a curfew is issued, and expend funds as needed to protect public safety.
The directive, which will expire at 3 p.m. on Jan. 21, extends the emergency through the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Jan. 20. It came hours after Ms. Bowser imposed a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. on Thursday.
In a statement explaining the extension, Ms. Bowser pointed to the pro-Trump protesters who came to the city “for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction and have engaged in violence and destruction.”
“They have fired chemical irritants, bricks, bottles, and guns,” Ms. Bowser wrote. “They have breached the security of the Capitol and their destructive and riotous behavior has the potential to spread beyond the Capitol.”
She added that, “President Trump continues to fan rage and violence by contending that the Presidential election was invalid,” and said, “some persons can be expected to continue their violent protests through the inauguration.”
He looted Speaker Pelosi’s office, and then bragged about it.
Throughout the late afternoon, rioters repeatedly emerged from the Capitol bearing items that they had stolen. A few carried “Area Closed” signs that they had grabbed and then stormed past. But it was anything taken from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office that was especially popular with the crowd.
One person emerged holding up a piece of a wooden plaque that marked the entrance to Ms. Pelosi’s office, which someone appeared to have torn off a wall. The rioter held it up like a trophy, as hundreds of people on the steps below cheered wildly. “Not our speaker!” shouted one woman. “Get her out!” shouted another man.
Richard Barnett, 60, from Gravette, Ark., stood outside the Capitol, his shirt ripped open and his chest bared to the cold, loudly bragging about how he had broken into the speaker’s office.
“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk,” said Mr. Barnett, who goes by the nickname Bigo. He was brandishing an envelope with the speaker’s letterhead that he had taken from Ms. Pelosi’s office. He insisted he had not stolen it — “I put a quarter on her desk.”
Mr. Barnett continued: When the police came in with pepper spray, “I said, ‘I paid for this, it’s mine,’ and I left.” His face was puffy from being hit with pepper spray, but he was laughing as he entertained fellow protesters with his tale.
His account was backed up by a picture later posted on social media that showed Mr. Barnett sitting at Ms. Pelosi’s desk with his feet up, just as he had described.
Mr. Barnett insisted that he had just been knocking on the door when he was pushed in by the crowd. It was a story he knew no one would buy. “I’ll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the D.C. jail,” Mr. Barnett said.
Congress resumes vote-counting as leaders on both sides repudiate siege.
Rattled but defiant, members of Congress returned to the Capitol on Wednesday night to resume counting the electoral votes from the November election, a process that leaders on both sides of the aisle said would not be derailed by the earlier siege of the building by President Trump’s supporters.
“This temple to democracy was desecrated, its windows smashed, our offices vandalized,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said as the Senate reconvened.
Mr. Schumer, who is poised to become the majority leader after Democrats won both of Tuesday’s runoffs in Georgia, said that January 6, 2021, was a date that would live in infamy, invoking President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s phrase after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
He called Mr. Trump’s supporters who stormed the building “goons and thugs.”
Moments earlier, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, called the rioters “unhinged” and referred to the siege as a “failed insurrection.”
“We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation,” he said.
From the dais of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol during the breach, thanked law enforcement officers for restoring order and protecting leaders.
“Violence never wins,” Mr. Pence said. “Let’s get back to work.”
Charles Kushner tells friend that Trump’s behavior is ‘beyond our control.’
Charles Kushner, the father of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, admitted in an email to a close confidante on Wednesday that the president’s behavior was “beyond our control.”
Bob Sommer, a longtime Kushner family friend who once represented the family real estate company, Kushner Companies, erupted in anger at Mr. Kushner, who last month received a presidential pardon from Mr. Trump.
“I’ve texted jared as well,” said Mr. Sommer, who served as president of the Observer, wrote. He urged his former client to please “get trump to be an American” instead of an expletive.
Mr. Kushner did not dispute his characterization of the president. “Got it and beyond our control,” he replied, according to a copy of the email exchange obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Kushner, 66, pleaded guilty in 2004 to 16 counts of tax evasion, a single count of retaliating against a federal witness and one of lying to the Federal Election Commission in a case that was also a lurid family drama. He served two years in prison before being released in 2006. His pardon last month was one of the most anticipated of the Trump presidency.
Mr. Sommer also texted the president’s daughter and Jared Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, after she referred to the violent protesters who invaded the Capitol as “American patriots” in a Twitter post Wednesday. Mr. Sommer wrote that he was “horrified I attended your wedding.” She did not respond.
Trump rebuffed initial requests to deploy the National Guard to the Capitol. Pence gave the go-ahead.
President Trump initially rebuffed and resisted requests to mobilize the National Guard to quell violent protests at the Capitol, according to a person with knowledge of the events.
In the end, it was Vice President Mike Pence, defense and administration officials said, who approved the order to deploy. It was unclear why Mr. Trump, who is still technically the commander in chief, did not give the order. The mobilization was initiated with the help of Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, among other officials, according to the person with knowledge of the events.
Kash Patel, the chief of staff to Chris Miller, the acting defense secretary, responded: “The acting secretary and the president have spoken multiple times this week about the request for National Guard personnel in D.C. During these conversations, the president conveyed to the acting secretary that he should take any necessary steps to support civilian law enforcement requests in securing the Capitol and federal buildings.”
The Army activated 1,100 troops of the D.C. National Guard, an Army official said Wednesday, and Virginia’s governor dispatched members of the Virginia Guard along with 200 Virginia State Troopers to quell the violence in the nation’s capital.
The troops were sent to the D.C. Armory to be deployed to the Capitol and to other points around Washington.
A prominent business group calls on Pence to start Constitutional process to remove Trump from office.
A lobbying group for the manufacturing industry — an entity once aligned with the Trump administration — urged Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday to utilize powers within the constitution to remove President Trump from office after Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
In a lengthy statement, the National Association of Manufacturers termed the violent incursion at the Capitol complex as “mob rule” that it said was fueled by Mr. Trump.
The 14,000-member group, which last year honored Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, said that Mr. Trump was not fit for office.
“This is sedition and should be treated as such,” the group said. “The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy.”
The association called on Mr. Pence to use a constitutional mechanism that provides the vice president and a majority of the cabinet — the officials who lead executive agencies — with the ability to declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Both the Senate and House would be required to approve such a measure by a two-thirds vote.
“Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy,” the group said.
Most of those calling for Mr. Trump’s removal as president 14 days before he is slated to leave office were Democrats, but there were some exceptions.
Governor Phil Scott, Republican of Vermont, said on Twitter that Mr. Trump should be ousted.
“The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the president,” he said. “Enough is enough. President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.”
Twitter, taking a harder line, locks President Trump’s account. Facebook does the same.
Twitter on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of locking President Trump’s account, depriving the president of his favorite means of communication after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and swarmed the streets of Washington.
Twitter took the harder line after removing three of Mr. Trump’s tweets, which it said had violated a company policy that forbids using the platform “for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.”
Facebook later said it had “assessed two policy violations” against Mr. Trump’s page, and said it was blocking him from posting on the platform for 24 hours.
Twitter said it was acting “as a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.”
“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets,” the company said on Twitter. “If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”
The tweets that were removed repeated Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud and expressed praise and sympathy for those who had forced their way into the Capitol and disrupted Congress’s certification of the election results. Twitter also removed a video in which Mr. Trump repeated his baseless claim that “the election was stolen” and advised the mob to “go home,” while adding, “We love you.”
Mitt Romney says Trump incited an ‘insurrection’ at the Capitol.
Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, condemned President Trump on Wednesday night for the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, saying that the president bore direct responsibility for the violence that disrupted the counting of electoral votes by Congress.
“What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States,” Mr. Romney said in a statement. “Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.”
Mr. Romney, the lone Republican in the Senate who voted to convict Mr. Trump last year on one of two articles of impeachment, has been the target of verbal attacks by Mr. Trump’s supporters in recent days. Videos showed one of the president’s followers confronting Mr. Romney before a flight at Salt Lake City International Airport earlier this week. He was later heckled by Mr. Trump’s supporters aboard a flight.
In his statement, Mr. Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, said that the objections to the counting of Electoral College votes for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was because of “a selfish man’s injured pride.” He said that Mr. Trump had misinformed his supporters and stirred their outburst.
“They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history,” he said of Mr. Trump’s supporters. “That will be their legacy.”
Former President George W. Bush, the only living Republican former president, also denounced the actions of those who stormed the Capitol. He did not mention Mr. Trump by name.
“It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,” Mr. Bush said. “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions and our law enforcement.”
Pelosi: The electoral vote tally will resume tonight.
Lawmakers will resume counting Electoral College votes on Wednesday after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said, as she vowed that the attack could not “deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.”
Ms. Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues, said she had reached that decision after consulting with her leadership team and a series of calls with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and Vice President Mike Pence. She made no mention of the president.
‘We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. “We also knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, despite ill-founded objections to the Electoral College vote. We now will be part of history, as such a shameful picture of our country was put out to the world, instigated at the highest level.”
Twitter locks Trump’s account after he encouraged his supporters to ‘remember this day.’
In what could be interpreted as an attempt to stoke the flames of a Capitol mob which has begun to disperse, President Trump sent a tweet at around 6 p.m. in which he reiterated the false claim that the election was stolen and encouraged his supporters to “remember this day” going forward.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he tweeted. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter later took down the tweet, saying that it had violated the company’s rules.
Mr. Trump also posted a video in which he repeated his baseless claims of widespread election fraud on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. All three social media
Woman shot in the Capitol has died.
A woman who was shot inside the Capitol building after it was overrun by a pro-Trump mob has died, Washington D.C. police officials said on Wednesday.
The woman has not been identified and no information has been released about who may have shot her. Chief Robert J. Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department said earlier that she was a “civilian” and that his officers were leading the investigation.
The woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the police department, said in an email. Mr. Sternbeck said he did not yet know who shot her or have any other details.
A video posted to Twitter earlier on Wednesday appeared to show a shooting in the Capitol.
The woman in the video seemed to climb onto a small ledge next to a doorway inside the building immediately before a single loud bang is heard. The woman, draped in a flag, fell to the ground at the top of a stairwell. A man with a helmet and a military-style rifle stood next to her after she fell, and shouts of “police” could be heard as a man in a suit approached the woman and crouched next to her.
“Where’s she hit?” people yelled as blood streamed around her mouth.
‘I thought we’d have to fight our way out,’ a congressman says.
Within minutes of the mob breaching the Capitol complex, rioters were pounding on the doors of the House gallery, where a group of lawmakers were trapped.
“I thought we’d have to fight our way out,” said Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq.
Mr. Crow said he moved other members away from the barricaded door inside the gallery, helped them don gas masks, told them to take off the lapel pins assigned to all House members and took out his only possible weapon — a pen.
After 15 minutes, he said, Capitol Police and SWAT team members on a rescue mission hustled the members out by clearing a path outside the gallery, above the House floor.
With police in the lead, guns drawn, the lawmakers entered a scene of chaos and mayhem, Mr. Crow said. Some police rushed to barricade doors to block rioters. Others pinned protesters to the ground to allow the lawmakers to pass.
“We heard yelling through the halls,” said Mr. Crow, who described bringing up the rear to ensure all the members made it to safety. As police led the members down stairwells and into the subterranean maze of tunnels to a secure location, Mr. Crow said he called his wife, who had been watching the terrifying scene on television from Colorado.
Mr. Crow said lawmakers were determined to resume their work in the Capitol on Wednesday night, if possible, once the buildings were cleared of remaining threats. “We want to go back and finish the business of the people to show that we are a democracy, and that the government is stronger than any mob,” he said.
Police in Washington seize 5 guns and arrest at least 13 during violent Capitol protest.
Police seized five guns and arrested at least 13 people during the violent protests involving supporters of President Trump at the Capitol on Wednesday, Chief Robert J. Contee of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said on Wednesday.
Chief Contee said the firearms included handguns and long guns. He also noted that none of the people arrested were residents of the District of Columbia.
At the same news conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called the violent protests, where Trump supporters looted and vandalized congressional offices, “shameful” and “unpatriotic.”
And she pledged that “anyone who has engaged in these activities” will be held accountable. “There will be law and order and this behavior will not be tolerated,” she said.
The sergeant-at-arms, who is responsible for Congress’s security, has told lawmakers and reporters that the Capitol is now secure, though lawmakers, staff and reporters continue to shelter in much of the Capitol complex.
Lawmakers in both parties have called for the certification process of the Electoral College votes to resume with the securing of the building. No word yet if and when that will begin.
Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, vowed that Congress would continue the counting on Wednesday night.
“I have faced violent hatred before,” Mr. Clyburn said on Twitter. “I was not deterred then, and I will not be deterred now. Tonight, Congress will continue the business of certifying the Electoral College votes.”
Mr. Clyburn, an instrumental early supporter of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., condemned the breach of the Capitol.
“This authoritarian menace will not succeed in his attempts to overthrow our democratically elected government,” he said, apparently referring to President Trump. “I am praying for the safety and security of the public servants who are dedicated to making this country a ‘more perfect union.’ ”
A sign from Nancy Pelosi’s office was taken as a trophy.
One of the members of the mob that breached the Capitol was seen outside the building displaying part of the sign that marked the entrance to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Multiple photos haven been tweeted out from inside Ms. Pelosi’s offices, which were vacated so quickly that some staffers left their email programs up on their screens.
Republican Senator Ben Sasse unloads on Trump.
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, was unsparing in his criticism of President Trump as the instigator of the day’s events.
“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his vice president for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution,” he said in a statement.
“Lies have consequences,” he continued. “This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the president’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
He added: “Americans are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americans aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades.”
F.B.I. and Homeland Security make a show of force in Washington.
A column of F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security agents in riot gear entered the Dirksen Senate Office Building around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and officers from Washington’s police force headed to the Capitol in a show of force to end violent protests, looting and vandalism.
A Metropolitan Police commander instructed his officers to stay calm because “it could get crazy in there.”
The F.B.I. had previously considered sending officers to patrol Washington streets in the wake of protests last June, but ultimately decided not to deploy the agents for the planned rally.
“The F.B.I. has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners, as requested, in protection of federal property and public safety,” the F.B.I. statement said.
The F.B.I. would not say how many of its agents were deployed to the Capitol. But a former government official said that earlier on Wednesday all F.B.I. agents in the Washington region were alerted that they could be called to Downtown Washington.
Chris Miller, the acting secretary of defense, also pledged support, saying he had spoken to Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders and has “fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation.”
He continued, “Our people are sworn to defend the Constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.”
In Photos: Trump supporters go up and over to breach the Capitol.
The pro-Trump mob scaled walls, knocked over barriers and occupied the Capitol for hours. The unrest continued, even as President Trump asked for protesters to remain peaceful, and Vice President Mike Pence asked for the group to disperse.
The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media.
Just after 1 p.m., when President Trump ended his speech to protesters in Washington by calling for them to march on Congress, hundreds of echoing calls to storm the building were made by his supporters online.
On social media sites used by the far-right, such as Gab and Parler, directions on which streets to take to avoid the police and which tools to bring to help pry open doors were exchanged in comments. At least a dozen people posted about carrying guns into the halls of Congress.
Calls for violence against members of Congress and for pro-Trump movements to retake the Capitol building have been circulating online for months. Bolstered by Mr. Trump, who has courted fringe movements like QAnon and the Proud Boys, groups have openly organized on social media networks and recruited others to their cause.
On Wednesday, their online activism became real-world violence, leading to unprecedented scenes of mobs freely strolling through the halls of Congress and uploading celebratory photographs of themselves, encouraging others to join them.
On Gab, they documented going into the offices of members of Congress, including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Dozens posted about searching for Vice President Mike Pence, who had been the target of Mr. Trump’s ire earlier in the day.
At 2:24 p.m., after Mr. Trump tweeted that Mr. Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” dozens of messages on Gab called for those inside the Capitol building to hunt down the vice president. In videos uploaded to the channel, protesters could be heard chanting “Where is Pence?”
As Facebook and Twitter began to crack down groups like QAnon and the Proud Boys over the summer, they slowly migrated to other sites that allowed them to openly call for violence.
Renee DiResta, a researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory who studies online movements, said the violence Wednesday was the result of online movements operating in closed social media networks where people believed the claims of voter fraud and of the election being stolen from Mr. Trump.
“These people are acting because they are convinced an election was stolen,” DiResta said. “This is a demonstration of the very real-world impact of echo chambers.”
She added: “This has been a striking repudiation of the idea that there is an online and an offline world and that what is said online is in some way kept online.”
Trump, after largely staying quiet as his supporters stormed the Capitol, tells them to go home.
After weeks of promoting Wednesday’s rally in Washington, and remaining largely quiet as his supporters violently stormed the Capitol, President Trump issued a video urging them to “go home in peace” even as he continued his false argument that the election had been stolen from him.
As a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, breaking windows and forcing lawmakers and others to flee, Mr. Trump had avoided appearing publicly, instead urging his supporters twice on Twitter to respect law enforcement. He only issued a video after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. called on him to publicly “demand an end to this siege”
In the video posted to Twitter, Mr. Trump told his supporters “You have to go home now,” and said that “we have to have peace.” But he also spent a large portion of the video falsely claiming that the election was fraudulent.
Twitter attached a warning to the video that said its claims were “disputed” and that the tweet could not be shared or replied to “due to a risk of violence.”
Mr. Trump concluded the video by saying that his supporters should be peaceful.
“So go home,” he told them. “We love you. You’re very special.”
President-elect Biden calls on Trump to ‘demand an end to this siege.’
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. called on President Trump to go on television and respond to Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol this afternoon, disrupting the certification of the Electoral College vote.
Our democracy is under unprecedented assault — unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward. You’ve heard me say it before in a different context, the words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. I call on President Trump to go on national television, now, to fulfill his oath, and defend the Constitution. And demand an end to this siege. It’s not a protest, it’s insurrection. The world is watching. Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment. Notwithstanding what I saw today, what we’re seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There’s never been anything we can’t do when we do it together. So President Trump, step up.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Trump supporters’ breach of the Capitol building was “an assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen it” and called on President Trump to immediately denounce the mob that had overrun the building, vandalized offices and forced lawmakers to evacuate.
“At this hour, our democracy’s under an unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Mr. Biden said at a news conference in Delaware. “An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself.”
Mr. Biden expressly demanded that Mr. Trump, who in recent days had encouraged his supporters to rally in Washington, to go on television and publicly “demand an end to this siege”
As Mr. Biden spoke, the National Guard was being deployed to the city as thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters continued to swarm the Capitol.
Mr. Biden said the chaotic scenes “do not represent who we are,” calling the people who had wreaked havoc on the Capitol “a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness.”
“It borders on sedition. And it must end, now,” he said.
Not long after Mr. Biden’s remarks, Jon Ossoff was declared the winner in his Senate race against Senator David Perdue in Georgia, giving Democrats control of the Senate.
An explosive device is found at the R.N.C., and the D.N.C. is evacuated.
An explosive device was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington and the nearby headquarters of the Democratic National Committee was evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package on Wednesday, according to three people briefed on the discoveries.
The device that was found at the R.N.C. was a pipe bomb that was successfully destroyed by a bomb squad, according to an official for the R.N.C.
The package at the D.N.C. has yet to be identified, according to a top Democrat briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The R.N.C. and D.N.C. are headquartered just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.
The Army activates the D.C. National Guard.
The Army activated 1,100 troops of the D.C. National Guard, an Army official said Wednesday, and Virginia’s governor dispatched members of the Virginia Guard along with 200 Virginia State Troopers to quell the violence in the nation’s capital.
The troops are being sent to the D.C. Armory to be deployed to the Capitol and to other points around Washington.
Defense and administration officials said it was Vice President Mike Pence, not President Trump, who approved the order to deploy. It was unclear why Mr. Trump, who is still technically the commander in chief, did not give the order.
A Defense official said troops were en route to the Capitol at 5:20 p.m. to back up the Capitol Police in clearing the area. The troops, the official said, would be wearing protective gear and riot gear, but would not be armed initially, although that could change if the situation deteriorates Wednesday night.
The decision comes as pro-Trump protesters have overwhelmed Capitol Police and prompted a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Washington.
Pentagon officials have been loath to have uniformed National Guard units deploy to the Capitol, preferring to put the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police out in front, to avoid the specter of a military battling election protests. But the tense standoff at the Capitol, and the breach of police lines by Trump supporters, led to the decision, officials said.
Marauding protesters vandalize Speaker Pelosi’s office.
Scenes of looting in the Capitol roiled Republicans and Democrats, who pleaded with President Trump to intervene.
Pro-Trump protesters stormed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s august suite of offices, flipping over tables and pulling photos off the walls.
In the basement “crypt” of the Capitol, hundreds of Trump supporters shouted “U-S-A, U-S-A,” creating a roar in the building. Shattered windows left glass scattered on wet floors.
“You stay here and call everybody you know and tell them to get to D.C. now,” one protester said.
A Capitol Police officer tried to reason with the crowd: “You guys just need to go outside,” he pleaded with a man in a green backpack. When asked why they weren’t expelling the protesters, the officer said, “We’ve just got to let them do their thing now.”
Trump calls for ‘peaceful’ protests and Pence asks crowd to leave Capitol.
President Trump, who faced criticism for not doing enough to end the violence at the Capitol, posted a second tweet calling for protesters to “remain peaceful” as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Vice President Mike Pence went a step beyond that, asking the crowd to leave the Capitol building.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful,” Mr. Trump wrote. “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
Mr. Pence posted two messages shortly after Mr. Trump’s tweet. “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now,” he tweeted. “Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.” In a reply to that tweet, he said “Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Protesters roam the halls of the Capitol, breaking into offices.
Trump supporters, many of them wearing camouflage clothing, breached entrances on the east side of the Capitol, marched directly through the magnetometers and slammed the wooden doors inside.
Swarms of protesters roamed the halls, taking photos and breaking into offices. A man was smoking pot in a room where there were photos of mountains and maps of Oregon on the wall. A man put a framed photo of the Dalai Lama in his backpack. A man in a leather jacket ripped a scroll with Chinese characters.
Outside, people banged on the glass windows of the Capitol, breaking some panes. Crowds pressed past the front columns. People shouted at empty rooms inside with computer monitors on desks and empty chairs.
“Yeah look at all this fancy furniture they have!” said a man in a winter parka and red hat.
‘This is insane.’ Lawmakers speak out.
Democratic lawmakers said the Capitol Police had instructed them to take cover on the floor and prepare to use gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the rotunda of the Capitol.
“This is insane,” tweeted Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota.
As protesters circled the House chamber, Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, yelled out to Republicans: “Call Trump, tell him to call off his revolutionary guards.”
“It’s horrible that this is America,” said Representative Norma Torres, Democrat of California, as the Capitol’s emergency sirens blared. “This is the United States of America, and this is what we have to go through, because Trump has called on homegrown terrorists to come to the Capitol and invalidate people’s votes.”
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, said on Fox News that he called Mr. Trump and asked him to call for an end to the violence. “I think we need to make a statement, make sure that we can calm individuals down,” Mr. McCarthy said. “This is un-American what’s going on, and it has to stop.”
Police officers drew their guns inside the House chamber on Wednesday after pro-Trump protesters broke into the Capitol building and thousands swarmed the steps outside.
Images from the scene showed at least two officers aiming their guns toward the doors of the chamber, which appeared to be barricaded with some kind of large desk. There appeared to be several holes in the door.
Mitt Romney, on his way to a secure location, says, ‘This is what the president has caused.’
As the entire Senate was hustled into the Capitol basement by uniformed police officers, Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah and a prominent critic of the president’s, summoned a reporter as he was ushered with other lawmakers into a secure location.
“This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” Mr. Romney said.
Trump says ‘stay peaceful’ as his supporters storm the Capitol.
President Trump on Twitter urged his supporters to “stay peaceful” in his first statement after pro-Trump protesters stormed into the Capitol building in Washington, halting the certification of the electoral vote.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” he wrote as scenes of protesters clashing with the police and overrunning them on their way into the building rolled across television screens. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
His comments came after weeks spent promoting the rally, which was branded as a protest to stop what Mr. Trump has falsely said is a stolen election.
No one is allowed to walk or drive in “any street, alley, park, or other public space” between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, said on Twitter.
As she spoke, thousands of protesters who had overwhelmed police officers continued to cheer outside of the Capitol building and waved flags on the steps. She said the order did not apply to “essential workers,” including reporters.
Protesters with Trump flags breached the Capitol, forcing the closure of the Senate chamber. Senate pages were herded to the back of the room, as Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, could be heard yelling, “Lock the door.”
Dozens of Trump supporters rushed to the East Front entrance to the Senate side of the Capitol, including some who repeatedly hit the locked doors with batons and poles. One played a recording of President Trump’s false claims of election fraud on a speaker. Another shouted, “We will not take it anymore.”
“Arrest Congress!” a woman in a flag scarf shouted.
Outside, at around 2:15 p.m., a protester clad in all black breached police lines on the West Front of the Capitol, popping up behind the police to cheers in the crowd. For about two minutes, the man exhorted protesters before the police chased him back
Pro-Trump protesters break into the Capitol building.
Scores of protesters in pro-Trump attire breached the Capitol building and neared the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon as thousands cheered and clashed with police in front of the building.
Photographs and videos from the scene showed a small group who had managed to get inside of the building.
Police brush back protesters during clash.
Thousands of protesters carrying Trump flags and shouting “You swore an oath” repeatedly clashed with police officers, tearing down a tarp and climbing over scaffolding as they surged toward the door of the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.
Live videos from the scene showed officers spraying some type of substance at protesters, and at one point a group of protesters grabbed a metal fence away from police officers in riot gear.
Many of the maskless protesters waved American flags as they swore at the officers and at times surged forward, leading to scuffles. The videos showed people tear back a white tarp and hang on metal scaffolding just in front of the Capitol building as thousands of others cheered them on.
“Stop the steal,” they shouted as they moved past the large columns of the Capitol building and toward a door.
Pro-Trump Mob Swarms Capitol
Thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol around 1 p.m. hoisting Trump flags and shouting “Stop The Steal.”
Some stood outside of the Capitol helping peers climb over a stone hedge and walk across the front lawn. “Don’t just stand there, march forward,” one woman shouted.
The House and the Senate began a joint session to formalize Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory at 1 p.m.
Dozens of Trump supporters climbed an elevated platform that stood more than 20 feet high directly across from the Capitol, waving flags at the top while others shouted into a microphone, “march forward!”
One man walked through the crowd yelling “guys with medical conditions, stay away from the front.”
While most in the crowd were relatively peaceful, groups donned in camouflage and helmets also marched through the crowd yelling profanities at news reporters.
‘We will never concede.’ Photos from Trump’s rally in Washington.
President Trump stoked tensions during a rally near the White House on Wednesday.
“We will never concede,” he said to thousands of supporters who came to protest the results of the election, in which President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. received more than seven million votes more than Mr. Trump did, resulting in 306 electoral votes.
Hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered on the Capitol’s west steps when, at 1:20 p.m., police began firing what appeared to be flash-bang grenades into the air to disperse the crowd.
Rather than disperse, the protesters cheered and shouted, “push forward, push forward.”
One protester shouted, “That’s our house,” meaning the Capitol.
Hundreds of protesters began pressing against a barrier separating the police from the crowd on the Capitol steps, as a half-dozen protesters exhorted the crowd to press toward the building.
The crowd grew larger, many of them chanting, “1776, 1776.”
Amid the turmoil, an older man from Alabama collapsed. Medical personnel rushed to his aid, starting chest compressions. His condition is unknown.
A man in his 60s, from Atlanta, identifying himself as Emory, was rinsing his eyes with milk and water.
“They pepper sprayed me, and I wasn’t doing anything,” said Emory, his eyes and face puffy and red.
“They’re doing tear gas up there on the steps,” said Emory’s son, Vance. “It was a police officer. He said, ‘Get away from the barrier,’ but we weren’t even touching it.”
Inside, Representative Haley Stevens, Democrat of Michigan, reported on Twitter that she was sheltering in place, while other buildings in the Capitol complex have been evacuated.
New York Times