As of Wednesday night, the U.S. Capitol building was finally secured, hours after Trump supporters forced their way inside. Thousands had gathered on and around the National Mall earlier to hear remarks by Trump, who falsely claimed he won November’s presidential election “in a landslide.” After his speech, some protesters clashed with police, breaking through a police line, forcing their way to the Capitol, where members of Congress debated certification of the Electoral College win by President-elect Joe Biden.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the Washington, D.C. National Guard had been deployed and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also approved the state’s National Guard and state police to be deployed to the Capitol. Authorities deployed tear gas to disperse the crowd surrounding the Capitol ahead of a 6 p.m. curfew ordered by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, which is set to last through 6 a.m. Thursday. She said no one other than essential workers and working media may be in public places or use transportation during the curfew hours. Gov. Northam also instituted a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for Alexandria and Arlington and declared a state of emergency.
A pipe bomb was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee, a block away from the Capitol building, and the headquarters of the Democratic National Convention was evacuated after an unidentified package was found. 13 people were arrested and about five weapons were recovered, and at least one person who was shot on the Capitol grounds was later pronounced dead.
Trump released a video on Twitter in which he continued to repeat claims that the election was “stolen from us” but called on people to leave the Capitol and go home. Later in the evening, however, Trump tweeted that the breach of the Capitol building was a result of when “a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.” That post was also removed and Trump’s twitter account was suspended for 12 hours.
Congress was forced to go into recess and Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were evacuated due to the violence outside. The session resumed Wednesday night.
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