The US Senate recessed an Electoral College debate Wednesday after angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, forcing a lockdown by police.
Protestors broke glass windows to one of the entrances to the building in an attempt to enter, according to a video shared by The National News reporter Joyce Karam.
The Washington Post reported that two buildings at the Capitol complex have been evacuated amid the tension.
National Public Radio reported that Vice President Mike Pence left the Senate, citing the Capitol Hill press pool.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a curfew starting at 6 p.m. (2300GMT).
The incident happened an hour after Pence announced that he rejected Trump’s demand that he interfere in Congress’s counting of Electoral College votes.
The largely pro forma meeting will eventually declare President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential contest, although it will be significantly dragged out as some Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate raised objections.
Pence said in a letter to Congress that he cannot claim “unilateral authority” to decide America’s next commander-in-chief, but vowed to hear objections raised by lawmakers.
Trump took to his favorite medium to express disappointment with his vice president.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter. “USA demands the truth!.”
He urged protestors to support security forces and remain peaceful.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” Trump said. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
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