Trump Supporters Storm Capitol, Halting Certification of Electoral College Votes
Protesters who had attended a rally for President Donald Trump in support of his efforts to overturn the presidential election in which he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday, breaching security fences, entering the building, and bringing to a halt the process of Congress certifying Electoral College votes.
As of this writing, the Capitol building has been placed on lockdown, after protesters managed to push themselves past police and enter the building
Trump had addressed his supporters, who gathered outside the White House to hear him speak. He told them he would continue to try and overturn the results of the election. Biden won 306 Electoral College votes in November’s race to Trump’s 232.
Trump also expressed his desire for Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes, a power the vice president doesn’t actually have according to the Constitution.
“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. And if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country,” Trump told his crowd of adoring supporters.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter made public on Wednesday, Pence refuted Trump, pointedly stating that he cannot do what the president was asking of him.
“Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally,” Pence said in the document. “Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress. After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct.”
Following the speech, thousands of Trump’s supporters walked to Capitol Hill, where they attempted to breach several buildings, breaking through several layers of security fencing in the process.
The Madison and Cannon buildings on the Capitol Complex were initially evacuated due to the tumult. Reporters said that some in those buildings were encouraged to use underground tunnels if they had to go somewhere else.
“I’m sheltering in place in my office. The building next door has been evacuated. I can’t believe I have to write this,” Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Michigan) wrote in a tweet describing the scene.
I’m sheltering in place in my office. The building next door has been evacuated. I can’t believe I have to write this.
— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) January 6, 2021
Due to the unrest, the certification process for the Electoral College was halted and a recess was called as Pence himself was escorted by security away from the Senate chamber.
This is a developing story…