A joint session of Congress to oversee the counting of electoral votes in the 2020 general election descended into chaos when throngs of violent Trump-supporting insurrectionists breached the US Capitol building.
The rioters, who had attended a “March for Trump” rally to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race, stormed the building, forcing the House and Senate to abruptly go into recess and for lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters to shelter in their offices before being evacuated.
Pence, lawmakers, and members of the press were evacuated into an undisclosed location after the rioters entered the House and Senate chambers. It triggering a dramatic armed standoff at the doors of the House chamber.
In response to the violence, Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6 p.m. curfew in the District of Columbia. The D.C. National Guard and Virginia National Guard are being deployed to the scene.
The event in most years is simply a procedural formality. Biden won 306 Electoral College votes compared to 232 for Trump. But outgoing President Donald Trump and his allies spent the prior two months attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.
Today, that effort erupted into violence never before seen in modern US history.
Dozens of House lawmakers and 13 Republican Senators, as of Wednesday, had planned on raising objections to at least one and possibly multiple slates of electors under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which permits lawmakers to raise objections to specific states’ electors.
Outside, meanwhile, several thousand Trump supporters gathered and then stormed the building.
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