Caption: (Picture: AP; Getty) Protesters successfully stormed the US Capitol Building on Wednesday, and brought Joe Biden’s certification hearing to a halt (Pictures: NBC NEWS)
A US Congress hearing to certify Joe Biden as president was halted after Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol Building. Wednesday’s hearing was stopped while Oklahoma Senator James Lankford was speaking, with the Senate’s most senior police officer seen taking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chair.
Vice President Mike Pence was rushed away from the Capitol to a safe location, with senators now being evacuated by underground tunnels to a secure location. President Trump did not condemn the protests in a tweet sent afterwards, writing: ‘ Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!’
Photos showed protesters on the third floor of the Senate, where reporter Igor Bobic says Trump supporters were going door to door and shouting ‘Where the fuck are they?’
Politicians have been told to wear masks as police prepare to use tear gas to try and disperse protesters, who breached strict Covid protocols that has seen the Capitol closed to visitors since March.
Less than an hour earlier, pro-Trump supporters were filmed clashing with police outside the building, after reportedly breaching four layers of security. Some of the protesters are reported to have entered the building. White smoke was seen hanging in the air on one side of the Capitol, although it is still unclear if it was tear gas.
NBC News say there have not been any reports of violence. Their live feed showed a group of protesters at the door of the US House of Representatives chamber floor, although they are not believed to have made it inside the chamber itself.
Pro-Trump protesters are pictured inside the US Capitol building in Washington DC on Wednesday (Picture: Reuters)
Caption: Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Photographer: Manuel Balce Ceneta
Copyright: Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The Capitol’s security was breached after President Trump held a rally protesting against Joe Bidens win, claiming the result was a fraud. He has since hit out at Vice President Mike Pence for a lack of ‘courage’ in refusing to overturn Biden’s win.
Trump wrote: ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!’
Protesters are filmed outside the US House of Representatives chamber doors
Wednesday’s certification should have been a formality which saw Electoral College votes counted. It has been delayed by objections from pro-Trump congressmen and women, with a debate taking place at the time of the security breach.
This is the moment Joe Biden’s certification hearing was halted after pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday
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