January 7, 2021

The Latest: Trump Condemns Capitol Riot, Concedes To Biden

Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. It's been a stunning day as a number of lawmakers and then the mob of protesters tried to overturn America's presidential election, undercut the nation's democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.  - AP Photo/John Minchillo

Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. It's been a stunning day as a number of lawmakers and then the mob of protesters tried to overturn America's presidential election, undercut the nation's democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters who stormed the nation’s Capitol Wednesday.

In a new video message, Trump says that now that Congress has certified the results, the “new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and his “focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power.”

He is also speaking out against the violence, calling it a “heinous attack” that left him “outraged by the violence lawlessness and mayhem.”

Trump did not address his role in inciting the violence. But he is telling his supporters that, while he knows they are “disappointed,” he wants them to know “our incredible journey is only just beginning.”

6:40 p.m.

Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. is criticizing President Donald Trump for prioritizing his own interests over the nation’s following the deadly siege of the Capitol by the president’s supporters.

In a statement Thursday, the Trump-era ambassador called on Americans to join together and push through this “anguishing period of history.” His comments come a day after violent protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.

Huntsman says, “Our light has been dimmed by repeated reckless behavior encouraged by our President, who has shown time and again he cares more about his own ego and interests than in building trust in our ever-fragile institutions of democracy.”

Huntsman resigned from his role as ambassador to Russia in 2019 after two years. He joined other former Trump officials in condemning Wednesday’s attack, including former Attorney General William Barr and former White House chief of staff John Kelly.

6:15 p.m.

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign effective Jan. 16 following the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.

He resigned Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down. His resignation was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Protesters stormed the building and occupied for hours. The lawmakers eventually returned and finished their work.

5:45 p.m.

Democratic leaders of five House committees are seeking an immediate briefing from the FBI on its investigation of Wednesday’s violent breach of the Capitol, which left four people dead and disrupted a congressional proceeding to confirm the results of the presidential election.

In a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the lawmakers called the riot “a deadly terrorist attack” incited by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

The lawmakers wrote, “Given the incendiary environment caused and exacerbated by President Trump’s rhetoric, along with the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, it is imperative that the FBI leverage all available assets and resources to ensure that the perpetrators of this domestic terrorist attack and those who incited and conspired with them are brought to justice, and that this domestic terrorist group is disrupted from further actions against our government.”

The letter was signed by Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson, Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff and Armed Services Chair Adam Smith.

5:35 p.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump’s administration found the siege of the U.S. Capitol to be “appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way.”

But while McEnany’s statement to the press Thursday broke the White House’s silence a day after the violence, Trump himself remained quiet.

McEnany, for the first time, said that the White House was committed to the “orderly transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. She also took pains to try to draw a distinction between the “violent rioters” and other Trump supporters who attended the president’s rally in Washington just before the siege of the Capitol.

But McEnany took no questions. And the impact of the statement would likely be muted, as Trump has long said that only he speaks for his White House.

The president has yet to condemn the violence that was meant to stop the congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

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5:40 p.m.

State lawmakers and police are taking extra precautions at state capitol buildings as legislatures in most states return to session.

Pro-Donald Trump demonstrators have rallied outside numerous capitols since the Nov. 3 election, and some groups have said they want a large presence when lawmakers return. Trump has falsely claimed that widespread voter fraud cost him the election and has convinced many of his supporters that President-elect Joe Biden will be illegitimate.

Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol has heightened concerns.

In Washington state, a pro-Trump group has said it will try to get inside the capitol building in Olympia when lawmakers return to work on Monday.

In Oregon, the state police said it is aware of rumors that armed groups are considering taking over the capitol and warned that anyone attempting that would be arrested.

In Michigan, where several men were charged last fall in separate plots to kidnap the governor and storm the statehouse in hopes of inciting a civil war, police briefly closed the capitol on Thursday after a man called to make a bomb threat.

5:25 p.m.

The head of the union representing U.S. Capitol Police is calling on the department’s chief to resign, saying the Capitol riot “should never have happened.”

Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement Thursday that a lack of planning led to officers exposed to violent protesters storming the Capitol. He says officers lacked the backup and equipment needed to control rioters and argues that Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund must be replaced to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Police have been criticized for not immediately arresting many people who stormed the Capitol. Papathanasiou said, “Once the breach of the Capitol building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety.”

Papathanasiou is chair of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee.

5:15 p.m.

A longtime U.S. senator who has been a staunch supporter of Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri says he was “bamboozled” and no longer backs him.

Three-term Republican Sen. John Danforth of St. Louis told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he first met Hawley when Hawley was a third-year student at Yale Law School and was immediately impressed by his intelligence. Now, he calls his support of Hawley “the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

Danforth cited Hawley’s decision to challenge the legitimacy of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory in November. Danforth says telling people the election was fraudulent “is very, very destructive to the country,” and the attack at the Capitol building on Wednesday “was the culmination of that whole approach to politics.”

Danforth says he would no longer support Hawley’s political future, whether it be for a reelection bid or a run for president in 2024.

Asked if he believes Hawley bears some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol, Danforth says simply, “Yes, I do.”

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5:10 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is leaving it up to the current Cabinet to decide whether to remove President Donald Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.

Transition aide Andrew Bates says in a statement Thursday that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are “focused on their duty” - the transition work in preparation for their inauguration on January 20 - “and will leave it to Vice President Pence, the Cabinet and the Congress to act as they see fit.”

The 25th Amendment allows for a majority of the Cabinet to vote to transfer the powers of the presidency to the vice president in cases where the president is unable to perform his duty. Trump officials are facing growing calls to consider the move after pro-Trump protesters, egged on by the president himself, broke into the Capitol on Wednesday in a violent melee that forced lawmakers to evacuate.

Biden avoided weighing in on whether Trump should be impeached again, a move already gaining traction among House Democrats in an attempt to remove the president from power before he leaves office later this month.

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4:20 p.m.

One of the people who died of a medical emergency during the storming of the Capitol was the founder of a pro-Trump social media site called Trumparoo and had coordinated transportation for several dozen people from Pennsylvania to Washington.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 50-year-old Benjamin Philips drove there in a van along with Trump-related memorabilia he had produced. The Inquirer and the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise both spoke with Phillips before the rally.

He was a web developer and founder of Trumparoo, a social media site for supporters of President Donald Trump. His profile on the site said he was organizing a bus from the Bloomsburg area to go to the rally and expressed anger at Democratic officials and moderate Republicans.

The Inquirer reports that members of his group say they last saw Philips around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and that he did not show up to meet them for a 6 p.m. departure. They learned from police that he had died and had a somber ride back to Pennsylvania.

Philips told the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise on Tuesday that people from other states were staying at his home. He said, “My ‘hostel’ is already full.”

4 p.m.

The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia says “all options are on the table” for charges against the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, including sedition.

Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for D.C., says prosecutors plan to file 15 federal cases on Thursday for crimes including unauthorized access and theft of property, and investigators are combing through scores of evidence to bring additional charges.

He says 40 other cases had already been charged in a District of Columbia superior court.

The announcement comes a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.

Police say more than 90 people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

3:55 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

That’s according to two people — one close to Pence and one familiar with the inauguration planning. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the plans had yet to be finalized.

The news comes a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the congressional confirmation of Biden’s victory, with some angrily shouting that they were looking for Pence.

Trump had told his supporters that Pence had the power to reject electoral votes and make him the president instead of Biden, even though he didn’t have that authority. The pressure campaign created a rare public rift between the men after years of Pence’s uncheckered loyalty.

Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley tweeted Thursday: “You can’t attend something you haven’t received an invitation to....”

But it is customary for an outgoing vice president to attend the inauguration. Outgoing President Donald Trump has not said whether he plans to attend.

Biden will be inaugurated in Washington on Jan 20.

3 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s top congressional allies, says the president must accept his own role in the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.

The South Carolina senator said Thursday that Trump “needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution.”

Graham was a foe of Trump's during the 2016 campaign and questioned his mental fitness for office. Once Trump was in office, however, Graham became one of his closest confidants and often played golf with him.

Graham added that he had no regrets of his support of Trump but that “it breaks my heart that my friend, a president of consequence, would allow yesterday to happen.”

Graham complimented Vice President Mike Pence’s decorum during the Electoral College vote certification process, saying that any expectation that Pence could have overturned the results was “over the top, unconstitutional, illegal and would have been wrong for the country.”

2:55 p.m.

District of Columbia police have identified the three people who had medical emergencies and died during the storming of the Capitol.

They are 55-year-old Kevin Greeson, of Athens, Alabama; 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland, of Kennesaw, Georgia; and 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania.

Police Chief Robert Contee would not go into detail about the exact causes of their deaths and would not say if any of the three was actively involved in breaching the Capitol building on Wednesday.

Contee would only say that all three “were on the grounds of the Capitol when they experienced their medical emergencies.”

Greeson’s family says he had a heart attack. They described him as a supporter of President Donald Trump’s but denied that he condoned violence.

The Capitol Police say a fourth person, identified as Ashli Babbitt, was shot by an employee of Capitol Police while the rioters were moving toward the House chamber. She died at a hospital.

The siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists came as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

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2:35 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

The California Democrat also said Thursday that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. He reports directly to Pelosi, while Sund answers to both House and Senate.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll fire the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.

Lawmakers have mixed praise for the Capitol Police with harsh criticism for the outfit, which was overwhelmed by Wednesday’s mob and unprepared for it.

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2:30 p.m.

Canadian-based e-commerce company Shopify Inc. has removed online stores affiliated with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying his actions have violated the company’s policies.

The company said in a statement Thursday that it does not tolerate actions that incite violence. The president has been accused of inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after repeatedly and falsely telling them that Democrats had stolen the election from him.

The company says, “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our acceptable use policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause.”

Sites for Trump hotels, trumpstore.com and campaign store shop.donaldjtrump.com generated messages saying, “Oops something went wrong″ and ”This store is unavailable.″

Trump’s social media channels showed the stores sold items including Christmas ornaments depicting his hotels, flip flops and T-shirts emblazoned with his logo and the American flag, scented candles, teddy bears, bath and beauty products, model airplanes and footballs.

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2:25 p.m.

The family of an Alabama man who died of a medical emergency during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol say that he was a supporter of President Donald Trump's but deny that he condoned violence.

District of Columbia police said Kevin D. Greeson, of Athens, died of a medical emergency during the fracas on Wednesday at the Capitol.

Officials did not release additional details about the circumstances of Greeson’s death or where he collapsed, but family members said he had a history of high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack.

In a family statement emailed from his wife, Kristi, the family described Greeson as a Trump supporter but maintained he was not there to participate in the rioting inside the Capitol. The family said they are devastated by the loss.

They said, “Kevin was a wonderful father and husband who loved life. He loved to ride motorcycles, he loved his job and his coworkers, and he loved his dogs.”

The family added that Greeson attended the event to show his support for Trump. They say, “He was excited to be there to experience this event- he was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”

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2:20 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump should immediately be removed from office or Congress may proceed to impeach him.

Pelosi on Thursday joined those calling on the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. It came a day after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the building into lockdown. Trump called them “very special” people and said he loved them.

She said at the Capitol: “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.”

Pelosi says he could do further harm to the country: “Any day can be a horror show for America.”

Democrats and some Republicans want Trump removed before his term ends on Jan. 20 with Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.

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2 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is calling the violent group that descended on the U.S. Capitol “domestic terrorists” and laying the blame for the violence squarely at President Donald Trump’s feet.

During remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, Biden says people should not call the hundreds of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol protesters. Rather, he says, they are “a riotous mob — insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.” Biden said Trump is guilty of “trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million Americans” who voted in November.

Biden says the president has “made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done” and unleashed an “all-out attack” on the country’s democratic institutions that ultimately led to the violence Wednesday.

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1:45 p.m.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning effective Monday, becoming the highest ranking member of President Donald Trump’s administration to resign in protest after the pro-Trump insurrection at Capitol.

In a statement Thursday, Chao, who is married to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, said the violent attack on the Capitol “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

She said her department will continue to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s designated nominee to head the department, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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1:30 p.m.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is vowing to fire Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Stenger is in charge of the chamber’s security.

Schumer says, “I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate.” The New York Democrat will become the majority leader after President-elect Joe Biden and Georgia Sens.-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are sworn in.

Top Republican and outgoing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees that there was a “massive failure’’ by police and other officials that allowed a violent breach at the Capitol Wednesday.

McConnell says a “painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow.’’

He says the “ultimate blame” lies with the criminals who broke into the Capitol and the people who incited them. But he said that "does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols.”

11:40 a.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to remove him from office following Wednesday’s violent assault on the Capitol by the president’s supporters.

In a statement Thursday, Schumer said the attack on the Capitol “was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” He added, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

Schumer said Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and immediately remove Trump from office. He added, “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

11:25 a.m.

Republican Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger is calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.

Kinzinger made the remarks Thursday in a video posted to Twitter, responding to the violent mob that stormed Congress on Wednesday in an attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win over Trump.

Kinzinger says, “the president is unfit. And the president is unwell.”

He went on to say Trump “must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”

The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.

11:15 a.m.

The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police says the violent mob that stormed the building wielded metal pipes, chemical irritants and other weapons against law enforcement.

Steven Sund issued a statement Thursday saying the rioting protesters “actively attacked” police officers and “were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”

A Capitol Police officer shot and killed one person, who Sund identified as Ashli Babbitt. Sund did not identify the officer but said they would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Sund defended his agency’s response from criticism that officers did not stop the incursion. He says his agency “had a robust plan” for what he anticipated would be peaceful protests, but what occurred Wednesday was “criminal riotous behavior.”

He said more than 50 Capitol and Washington police officers were injured and several Capitol Police officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.

9:35 a.m.

The Defense Department has formally activated roughly 6,200 members of the National Guard from six northeastern states to help support the Capitol Police and other law enforcement in Washington in the wake of the deadly riot Wednesday that rocked the U.S. Capitol.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller signed orders activating the National Guard from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland for up to 30 days. A defense official said the goal is to have Guard members help secure the U.S. Capitol and the surrounding area through the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The Guard members are arriving over the next several days. A total of 6,200 have been activated, but the exact number of troops that will actually get to the city may be less than that, depending on who is available in each state. The Guard won’t be armed, but will have riot gear and protective clothing, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide troop details.

The orders come a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.

Four people died in the melee, including a protester who was shot by police. The vote was later completed after the building was cleared.

8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s former acting White House chief of staff resigned his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Thursday, saying “I can’t do it. I can’t stay.”

Mulvaney joined a growing list of Trump administration officials who are leaving following the violent riot at the Capitol on Wednesday. The riot occurred after Trump addressed a massive rally in Washington fueled by the president’s repeated allegations that he lost the November election because of election fraud, which is not substantiated. A mob breached the Capitol building just as lawmakers were working to certify Electoral College votes in the election, sealing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Mulvaney said he called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday night to tell him that he was resigning. He served as acting White House chief of staff from January 2019 until March 2020. Before that, he was director of the Office of Management and Budget.

3:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump now says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Trump says in a statement tweeted by his social media director Dan Scavino, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

He adds: “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

Trump’s account is currently locked by Twitter.

Trump has spent the last two months refusing to concede the election and making baseless allegations of mass voter fraud that have been rejected by dozens of courts and Republican officials, including his former attorney general.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the formal session that ended early Thursday morning tallying the electoral college vote.

3:41 a.m.

Congress has formally validated Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on a day that saw a time-honored ceremony become a nightmare of unprecedented political terror.

The House and Senate certified the Democrat’s electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police.

The rampage began shortly after President Donald Trump repeated his unfounded claims of election fraud to thousands of rallying demonstrators he’d invited to Washington. Many then surged to the Capitol after he incited them to go there as lawmakers debated the electoral votes.

More than six hours after the violence erupted, lawmakers resumed their session.

Thirteen Republican senators and dozens of GOP representatives had planned to force debate and votes on perhaps six different states’ votes.

The assault on the Capitol made some Republicans squeamish about trying to overturn Biden’s win, and challenges were lodged only against Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both efforts lost overwhelmingly.

Biden defeated Trump by 306-232 electoral votes and will be inaugurated Jan. 20.

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3:25 a.m.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his objection to the Electoral College results as “the right thing to do.”

The Texas senator condemned the violence that erupted as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an extraordinary attack over the election outcome.

Cruz led the first challenge to Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump by objecting to Arizona’s results. He sought to have Congress launch a commission to investigate the election. His effort was roundly defeated in the House and Senate.

Cruz said he was confident the country will have a “peaceful and orderly transition of power.” Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

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3:10 a.m.

The House has joined the Senate in turning aside Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.

Lawmakers in the House voted 282-138 against the objection as the counting of Electoral College votes continued into the early hours of Thursday morning. The Senate shut down the same objection 92-7 just after midnight, and unlike the House, declined to debate before voting.

After a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it was the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.

Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.

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2:20 a.m.

A small group of House lawmakers came close to physically fighting early Thursday morning as the congressional count of electoral votes stretched into the wee hours and a Pennsylvania Democrat charged that Republicans had been telling “lies” about his state’s votes.

Rep. Morgan Griffiths, R-Va., objected after Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., said a breach of the Capitol by an angry mob earlier in the day was “inspired by lies, the same lies you are hearing in this room tonight.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the objection, but a few minutes later Republicans and Democrats streamed to the middle aisle, with around a dozen lawmakers getting close to each other and arguing. But the group quickly broke up when Pelosi called for order on the floor.

President Donald Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and other states and Republicans have echoed those claims as they have challenged electoral votes.

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12:55 a.m.

The Senate has quickly killed Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.

Senators voted 92-7 after midnight to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat.

In a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it’s the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes no other states’ votes will be challenged. That means Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s victory could finish quickly once the House votes on the Pennsylvania challenge.

The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.

Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.

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12:15 a.m. Thursday

Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.

The objections come 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.

Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has falsely said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.

Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.

The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election.

11:20 p.m.

The House has voted overwhelmingly to reject an objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Arizona, joining the Senate in upholding the results of the election there.

The objection failed 303-121 on Wednesday night, with only Republicans voting in support.

Earlier Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.

Now that Arizona is out of the way, Congress will reconvene as the joint session and make its way through the rest of the states that have objections.

11:10 p.m.

Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol.

Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”

Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.

The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.

D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.

10:15 p.m.

The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand.

The objection to the results in Arizona -- spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz -- was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favor came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.

The Republicans raised the objection based on false claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona’s courts and by the state’s election officials.

10:10 p.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says a commission to examine the 2020 election is not a proper next step and affirmed that Joe Biden is the “legitimate president of the United States.”

Graham, a South Carolina Republican and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, called it a “uniquely bad idea to delay this election,” referencing the commission idea proposed by his fellow South Carolina Republican, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Graham says, “Count me out. Enough is enough.”

Earlier Wednesday, supporters of Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.

Graham said that “if you’re a conservative,” the idea that Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the results of the election, as President Donald Trump had urged him to do, was “the most offensive concept in the world.”

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10 p.m.

Police have arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington, D.C., after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Officials say the 30 people were arrested Wednesday evening after being found on the streets after the 6 p.m.

The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol, halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were later forcibly removed from the Capitol.

The Metropolitan Police Department said 15 other people had been arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in various protest-related arrests on an array of charges, including weapons possession and assault.

Fire officials also took 13 people to area hospitals on Wednesday from protest-related injuries.

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9:55 p.m.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley says he is going forward with his objection to the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania despite the violent breach at the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

The Missouri senator said he did not support violence but said the Senate should go forward with a legal process that includes his objections.

Hawley says his objections should be debated “peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.” He says he hoped lawmakers would not brush his concerns aside because of the violence earlier Wednesday, including the death of a protester inside the Capitol.

Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.

___

9:45 p.m.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is comparing violence at the U.S. Capitol to protests against racial injustice over the summer after the killing of George Floyd by police.

The U.S. Capitol was overrun by a mob supportive of President Donald Trump on Wednesday as Congress counted electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Trump has falsely said there was widespread fraud in the election to explain his defeat and encouraged his supporters to come to Washington.

McCarthy said, “Mobs don’t rule America. Laws rule America. It was true when our cities were burning this summer and it is true now.”

The comment got loud applause from Republicans. Democrats in the chamber sat silently.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, was killed in May after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he said he couldn’t breathe.

McCarthy, an ally of Trump’s, said Wednesday was the “saddest day” he’s ever had in Congress.

He said: “It is clear this Congress will not be the same after today.”

___

9:15 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win will show the world it won’t back down.

Pelosi made her comments as the House reconvened after being shut down for hours Wednesday by unruly pro-Trump protesters. She said that every four years the ritual provides an example to the world of American democracy.

Pelosi says, “Despite the shameful actions of today, we will still do so, we will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.”

Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, noted that Wednesday is the feast of the Epiphany and prayed that the violence would be “an epiphany to heal” for the country.

___

9:10 pm.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sending 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to Washington, D.C., to help “the peaceful transition of presidential power.”

Cuomo, a Democrat, said 1,000 troops would be sent for up to two weeks at the request of U.S. National Guard officials. It comes after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters rampaged through the U.S. Capitol.

Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday: “For 244 years, the cornerstone of our democracy has been the peaceful transfer of power, and New York stands ready to help ensure the will of the American people is carried out, safely and decisively.”

They will join law enforcement from Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey who are also coming to D.C.’s aid.

The president’s supporters incited chaos in a protest over a transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump convinced them that he was cheated out of a victory by rampant, widespread voter fraud, a false claim.

8:55 p.m.

Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Their change of heart came after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday and interrupted their proceedings. One person was fatally shot.

Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana, Steve Daines of Montana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.

Lawmakers gathered to certify the Electoral College votes from each state were forced to evacuate after an angry mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol. Loeffler said that the “violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress” were a “direct attack” on the “sanctity of the American democratic process.”

All three had previously signed on to Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat. Loeffler has just days left in her term. She lost her Senate race to Democrat Raphael Warnock earlier Wednesday.

8:45 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Congress “will not be deterred” in confirming the results of the presidential election hours after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The Republican leader reopened the Senate late Wednesday vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College for President-elect Joe Biden. It was interrupted earlier in the way when rioters breached the security perimeter and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. One person was fatally shot.

McConnell says demonstrators “tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”

McConnell plans to keep the Senate in session Wednesday to finish confirming the results.

Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true. He reiterated the claim in a video filmed as his demonstrators were storming the Capitol.

___

8:35 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump “bears a great deal of the blame” after a mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol.

As the Senate reconvened to count electoral votes that will confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s win, Schumer said that Jan. 6, 2021, will “live forever in infamy” and will be a stain on the democracy.

Schumer said the events “did not happen spontaneously.”

He said Wednesday: “The president, who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs, the president, who exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital, egged them on.”

Trump has falsely claimed that there was widespread fraud in the election to explain away his defeat.

Schumer says the protesters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

___

8:20 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama says history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonor and shame for the nation.

Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power.

Obama say the violence was “incited by a sitting president” who baselessly lied about the outcome of the presidential election. He has convinced his supporters that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden only because Democrats cheated, a false claim.

Obama says it should not have come as a surprise, and that for two months “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth.”

He says “their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”

8:10 p.m.

The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.

Scores of Republican representatives and 13 GOP senators had planned to object Wednesday to the electoral votes of perhaps six states that backed Biden. It was unclear whether those objections would continue in light of the day’s violent events.

President Donald Trump has falsely insisted that the election was marred by fraud and that he actually won. He reiterated those claims in remarks to thousands of protesters outside the White House early Wednesday and goaded them to march to the Capitol, which many of them did.

The mayhem had forced the House and Senate to abruptly end the day’s debates and flee to safety under the protection of police. And it prompted bipartisan outrage as many lawmakers blamed Trump for fostering the violence.

8:05 p.m.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s Syria policies, blamed the president for the violence at the U.S. Capitol.

In a sharp rebuke Wednesday, Mattis said the violence was fomented by Trump, who has used the presidency “to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens.”

His written statement concluded, “Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”

Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general who stepped down as Pentagon chief in December 2018, had an embattled relationship with Trump, but largely remained publicly quiet and avoided direct criticism. Since he left the job, however, he has been more openly derisive of Trump, including a pubilc condemnation of the president’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House last June.

7:55 p.m.

Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Grisham says in a statement Wednesday that it was an “honor” to serve the country in the White House and be part of he first lady’s “mission” to help children.

Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing.

Wednesday’s violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters sparked renewed conversations inside the White House about mass resignations by mid-level aides who are responsible for operations of the office of the president.

Two people familiar with the conversations said the aides were torn between fears of what more would happen if they left and a desire to register their disgust with their boss. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

7:45 p.m.

The Republican National Committee says it strongly condemns the violence at the Capitol, adding that the violent scenes “do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles.”

The RNC is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform. Its statement condemning the violence came hours after Republican President Donald Trump baselessly complained that the election was stripped away “from great patriots.” He went on to tell them to “go home with love & in peace.”

The group’s communications director, Michael Ahrens, says, “What happened today was domestic terrorism.”

He says to see the U.S. flag used “in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it.”

Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over him, citing false claims of voter fraud. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people."

7:40 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton says the attack on the U.S. Capitol was fueled over four years of “poison politics” and lit by President Donald Trump.

Clinton said in a statement Wednesday night that the riot at the Capitol resulted from a combination of deliberate disinformation that created distrust in the system and pit Americans against one another.

He wrote, “The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost.”

His wife, Hillary Clinton, lost a bitter election to Trump in 2016 and conceded to him immediately. Trump has refused to accept his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in November and is trying to cast him as an illegitimate president.

Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”

7:20 p.m.

A West Virginia lawmaker took video of himself and other supporters of President Donald Trump rushing into the U.S. Capitol after they breached the security perimeter.

In the video by Republican Del. Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, he is shown wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door to breach the building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

“We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags and complaining of being pepper sprayed. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelled, “No vandalizing!"

State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”

He said he has not spoken to Evans yet about his involvement.

The delegate from Wayne County said in a statement later on Facebook that he was heading back to West Virginia and “was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”

6:55 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use.

Pelosi said she made the decision Wednesday in consultation with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice president, who will preside.

She noted the day would always be “part of history,” but now it would be “as such a shameful picture of our country was put out into the world.”

Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”

Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.

6:45 p.m.

Dozens of pro-Trump protesters remain on the streets of the nation’s capital in defiance of the curfew imposed after rioters stormed the Capitol.

The mostly maskless crowd was forcibly removed from the Capitol on Wednesday after breaking into the building and halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were pushed out of the immediate area and moved down the hill, where they taunted law enforcement and moved barricades.

Police said anyone found on the streets after the 6 p.m. curfew would be arrested. Officers in full riot gear with shields lined the streets near the U.S. Capitol.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said their debate on affirming Biden’s victory would continue after the Capitol was secured.

___

6:40 p.m.

The head of the nation’s largest union of flight attendants says people who took part in the violent protest at the Capitol must be banned from flying.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said in a statement Wednesday that “some of the people who traveled in our planes (Tuesday) participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today.”

She says, “Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”

Nelson and the union endorsed President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump before the November election.

Trump supporters on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Washington heckled Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the lone Republican senator to vote to oust Trump after he was impeached. On an American Airlines flight from Dallas, a large contingent of Trump supporters got in an angry yelling match with other passengers after one of the president’s supporters projected “Trump 2020” on the cabin ceiling and walls.

6:30 p.m.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “insurrection” at the Capitol.

Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee and a frequent critic of Trump's, said the violent breach of the Capitol on Wednesday was “due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months.″

The Utah senator said those who continue to support Trump’s “dangerous gambit” by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election “will forever be seen as complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.″

Romney ridiculed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans who want an “audit” of the election results: “Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the president will continue to claim the election was stolen.”

The simple truth, Romney said, “is that President-elect (Joe) Biden won this election. President Trump lost.″

6:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump has appeared to justify the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

In a tweet Wednesday night, Trump said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.

Trump has faced mounting criticism from Republican lawmakers to do more to condemn the violence being perpetrated in his name.

6:20 p.m.

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says the violent pro-Trump protest at the U.S. Capitol was an “intolerable attack on a fundamental institution” of democracy.

Rosen said Wednesday that the Justice Department has been working with U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies to secure the Capitol. He says hundreds of federal agents from Justice Department agencies were sent to assist.

He called it an “unacceptable situation” and said federal prosecutors “intend to enforce the laws of our land.”

Dozens of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.

Police declared the Capitol to be secure about four hours later.

6:10 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush says he and his wife, Laura, are sickened and heartbroken over the “mayhem” in Washington and have watched in “disbelief and dismay” as events unfolded.

Bush said the “assault” on the Capitol on Wednesday and the disruption of a constitutionally mandated meeting to affirm Democrat Joe Biden's victory was “undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”

The Republican said in a statement that he is “appalled” by what he described as “reckless” behavior by some political leaders since the election and the lack of respect for U.S. institutions, traditions and law enforcement.

Bush addressed those who are disappointed by the election result, saying, “Our country is more important than the politics of the moment.”

Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting. They fought with officers both inside the building and outside.

6:10 p.m.

A woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the violent pro-Trump protest has died.

That’s according to two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the shooting investigation. Police did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.

Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.

5:50 p.m.

Officials have declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump.

An announcement saying “the Capitol is secure” rang out Wednesday evening inside a secure location for officials of the House. Lawmakers applauded.

The occupation interrupted Congress’ Electoral College count that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.

Lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations around the Capitol complex and Washington, D.C. after thousands of Trump supporters breached the building and skirmished with police officers.

Lawmakers have signaled that they would resume the constitutionally mandated count as soon as it was safe to do so.

5:40 p.m.

Police are using tear gas and percussion grenades to begin clearing pro-Trump protesters from the grounds of the U.S. Capitol ahead of a curfew in Washington.

Police donned gas masks as they moved in Wednesday evening with force to clear protesters from the Capitol grounds shortly before a curfew took hold. In the moments before, there were violent clashes between the police and protesters, who tore railing for the inauguration scaffolding and threw it at the officers.

Police used tear gas and percussion grenades to break up the crowd, which began dispersing.

Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.

Police said at least one person was shot inside the Capitol; their condition was not immediately known.

The district’s police chief said at least 13 people were arrested, and five firearms had been recovered during the pro-Trump protests on Wednesday.

5:30 p.m.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse is directly blaming President Donald Trump for the storming of the Capitol by huge, angry crowds of pro-Trump protesters.

The Nebraska lawmaker and frequent critic of Trump said Wednesday evening that the Capitol “was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”

Sasse says in a written statement, “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

The protesters broke into the building as Congress was beginning the formal process of certifying the electoral votes that gave Democratic President-elect Joe Biden a victory over Trump in November. Vice President Mike Pence has the ceremonial role of overseeing that certification and resisted Trump efforts to pressure him to overturn the election results.

Trump has continued to fallaciously claim that the voting was marred by fraud and that he actually won. Earlier Wednesday Trump addressed a huge crowd of protesters outside the White House and urged them to gather at the Capitol.

___

5:25 p.m.

The Washington, D.C., police chief says at least five weapons have been recovered and at least 13 people have been arrested so far in pro-Trump protests.

The mostly maskless crowd stormed the Capitol earlier Wednesday as lawmakers were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. One person was shot; their condition is unknown.

Police Chief Robert Contee called the attack a riot.

As darkness began to set in, law enforcement officials were working their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to try to clear the area around the Capitol. Big clouds of tear gas were visible.

Police were in full riot gear. They moved down the West steps, clashing with demonstrators.

Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier declared a 6 p.m. curfew.

5:05 p.m.

Pro-Trump demonstrators have massed outside statehouses across the country, forcing evacuations in at least two states. In St. Paul, Minnesota, cheers rang out from demonstrators in reaction to the news that supporters of President Donald Trump had stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Hundreds of mostly unmasked people people gathered outside capitols on Wednesday with Trump flags and “Stop the Steal” signs. In Georgia and Oklahoma, some demonstrators carried guns.

New Mexico state police evacuated staff from a statehouse building that includes the governor’s and secretary of state’s offices as a precaution shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback. A spokesperson for the governor´s office says there was no indication of threats at the statehouse.

The staff of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox was sent home as several hundred pro-Trump demonstrators rallied outside the Capitol, though the demonstration remained relatively calm. A brief scuffle between pro-Trump demonstrators, who included members of the Proud Boys, and counterprotesters broke out in Columbus, Ohio, but there was no immediate threat to the Capitol.

5:05 p.m.

The police chief of Washington, D.C., says pro-Trump protesters deployed “chemical irritants” on police in order to break into the U.S. Capitol.

Police Chief Robert Contee says officials have declared the scene a riot. One civilian was shot inside the Capitol on Wednesday. Thirteen arrests were made of people from out of the area.

Mayor Muriel Bowser says the behavior of the Trump supporters was “shameful, unpatriotic and above all is unlawful.” She says, “There will be law and order and this behavior will not be tolerated.”

Metropolitan police have been sent to the Capitol, and authorities were coming in from Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey to help out. The National Guard was also deployed, as were Homeland Security investigators and Secret Service.

Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”

4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump, in a video message, is urging supporters to “go home” but is also keeping up false attacks about the presidential election.

The video was issued more than two hours after protesters began storming the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Trump opened his video, saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now.”

He also went on to call the supporters “very special.” He also said, “we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”

Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials had begged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence. The statement came as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.

4:35 p.m.

At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.

Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.”

4:10 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”

Biden also demanded President Donald Trump to immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence that he described as an “unprecedented assault’ as pro-Trump protestors violently occupy U.S. Capitol.

Biden's condemnation came after violent protesters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm the president-elect’s victory in the November election.

Biden addressed the violent protests as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.

4:05 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is calling on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than President Donald Trump who merely called for his supported to “remain peaceful.”

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Pence said, “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Pence, long a loyal aide to the president, defied Trump earlier Wednesday, tell him he didn't have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20. Trump had publicly called on Pence to overturn the will of the voters, but Pence's constitutional role in the process was only ceremonial.

Angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting the peaceful transfer of power. Trump later issued a restrained call for peace but did not ask his supporters to disperse.

4 p.m.

The Pentagon says about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members are being mobilized to help support law enforcement as violent supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol.

Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership.

A defense official said all 1,100 of the D.C. Guard were being activated and sent to the city’s armory. The Guard forces will be used at checkpoints and for other similar duties and could also help in the enforcement of the 6 p.m. curfew being implemented tonight in the city.

The officials said the D.C. request for National Guard was not rejected earlier in the day. Instead, according to officials, the Guard members have a very specific mission that does not include putting military in a law enforcement role at the Capitol. As a result, the Guard must be used to backfill law enforcement outside the Capitol complex, freeing up more law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.

Hoffman said the law enforcement response to the violence will be led by the Justice Department.

3:55 p.m.

The top Democrats in Congress are demanding that President Donald Trump order his supporters to leave the Capitol following a chaotic protest aimed at blocking a peaceful transfer of power.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement on Wednesday after violent protesters stormed the Capitol. They said, “We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

Trump earlier encouraged his supporters occupying the U.S. Capitol to “remain peaceful,” but he did not call for them to disperse. He held a rally earlier Wednesday in which he repeated his false claims that President-elect Joe Biden had won the election through voter fraud.

He urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”

___

3:50 p.m.

The White House says National Guard troops along with other federal protective services are en route to the Capitol to help end an violent occupation by President Donald Trump’s supporters who are seeking to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that “At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.”

She added, “We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.”

Republican lawmakers have publicly called for Trump to more vocally condemn the violence and to call to an end to the occupation, which halted a joint session of Congress where lawmakers were beginning to count electoral votes.

Trump lost the November election to Democrat Joe Biden. He has refused to concede and has worked over the last two months to convince his supporters that widespread voter fraud prevented his own victory.

3:40 p.m.

Republican lawmakers are increasingly calling on President Donald Trump to act to deescalate the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by his supporters angry about his election loss.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he spoke with the president earlier Wednesday and told him to make a statement to “make sure that we can calm individuals down.”

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that “it is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.”

Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey told The Associated Press that while he sympathizes with the protesters’ position, they shouldn’t get violent, and it would be “nice” if Trump called on them to “protest in a peaceful way in an appropriate spot, where you belong, where you should be.”

Many Republicans had backed Trump’s false claims of widespread voter spread to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, of Wisconsin, posted a video message urging Trump to “call it off.”

“This is Banana Republic crap that we’re watching right now,” said Gallagher, who had spoken out against objections from fellow Republicans to certifying President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College vote.

3:35 p.m.

The Department of Homeland Security is sending additional federal agents to the U.S. Capitol to help quell violence from supporters of President Donald Trump who are protesting Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

A spokesperson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that officers from the Federal Protective Service and U.S. Secret Service agents are being sent to the scene. He says they were requested to assist by U.S. Capitol Police.

Dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.

Trump has riled up his supporters by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to explain his loss.

2:50 p.m.

Members of Congress inside the House chamber were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda amid skirmishes by supporters of President Donald Trump

Pro-Trump protestors breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, violently clashing with law enforcement as lawmakers were gathered inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election.

Law enforcement instructed lawmakers to retrieve masks from under their seats amid the clashes. The Capitol building was placed on lockdown, as Trump supporters marched through evacuated public spaces in the building.

After egging on protests, Trump tweeted to his supporters to “stay peaceful” as they violently clash with law enforcement and breached the Capitol building.

2:45 p.m.

Lawmakers are being evacuated from the U.S. Capitol after protesters breached security and entered the building.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators were led out, escorted by staff and police on Wednesday afternoon. Members of the House were also being evacuated. Both chambers had been debating the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.

The skirmishes came shortly after President Donald Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.

Protesters could be seen marching through the Capitol’s stately Statuary Hall shouting and waving Trump banners and American flags.

Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.

2:40 p.m.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., has ordered a curfew in the nation’s capital beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday after protestors seeking to overturn the election results stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

Mayor Muriel Bowser issued the order as protestors supporting President Donald Trump breached the Capitol, where lawmakers were meeting to formally count the electors that will make Joe Biden president on Jan. 20.

The order extends through 6 a.m. Thursday.

The skirmishes came shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.

2:30 p.m.

Protesting supporters of President Donald Trump have breached the U.S. Capitol.

There was confusion in the House chamber as the Capitol doors were locked and the debate over the electoral count was suspended.

A representative from the Capitol police spoke from a lectern on the dais and told lawmakers to remain calm, and that more information would be available soon.

House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern of Massachusetts told the crowd that the House expected to go back into session soon. Meanwhile, members milled around the floor and looked at their phones.

Reporters and others outside the chamber were told to go their seats inside and not leave.

The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.

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2:20 p.m.

The Senate has recessed its debate over an objection to the results of the Electoral College after protesters forced police to lock down the building.

Reporters were told to stay in the Senate’s press gallery as the doors were locked.

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back.

The skirmishes came just shortly after President Donald Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud.

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2:20 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says American “democracy is in crisis” with polls showing that large numbers of voters “believe the election that just occurred was rigged."

Cruz, a Republican, objected to the certification of election results in Arizona, saying the Senate has a responsibility to acknowledge the profound threat posed by widespread disbelief in the legitimacy of the election.

He called for the creation of a commission to conduct a 10-day “emergency audit” to investigate any irregularities, citing a similar commission created after the 1876 presidential election.

Cruz urged lawmakers not to “take the easy path, but instead act together″ and create a “credible and fair tribunal. Consider the claims, consider the facts, consider the evidence and make a conclusive determination whether and to what extent this election complied with the Constitution.’’

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1:55 p.m.

The U.S. Capitol Police are evacuating some congressional office buildings due to “police activity” as thousands gather outside the Capitol to protest the electoral vote.

Police told congressional staff members they should evacuate the Cannon House Office Building and the building that houses the Library of Congress. It wasn’t immediately clear what specifically sparked the evacuation.

A police spokeswoman did not immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Thousands of people have descended on the U.S. Capitol as Congress is expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win. Videos posted online showed protesters fighting with U.S. Capitol Police officers as police fired pepper spray to keep them back.

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1:55 p.m.

The Senate’s top Republican has told his colleagues that Congress should not override the voters’ verdict in electing Democrat Joe Biden president, saying, “If we overrule them we will damage our republic forever.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made his remarks as the Senate weighed a challenge by a handful of GOP lawmakers to the 11 electoral votes Arizona cast for Biden.

It was the first of several challenges to states’ electoral votes that some Republicans are mounting, encouraged by President Donald Trump’s groundless charges that the election was riddled with fraud. Congress seems certain to reject all those challenges on Wednesday and formally certify Biden’s victory.

McConnell says while all elections have irregularities, they weren’t “anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election.” He says Congress should not declare itself “a national board of elections on steroids,” and says reversing the election results would push the country’s democratic institutions toward “a death spiral.”

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1:15 p.m.

Republicans from the House and Senate have objected to the counting of Arizona’s electoral vote, forcing votes in both chambers on Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

The objection was made by Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and was signed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Both are Republicans. The two chambers now have two hours to debate the challenge.

Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes. In all, eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s Arizona win have failed, in part over a lack of evidence.

The state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of an election challenge, because the plaintiff lacked the right to bring the suit in the first place. The woman wasn’t a registered voter when she sued.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has said there were no irregularities with the vote in her state.

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1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking aim at Republican members of Congress who have refused to join him in his effort to contest the results of the November election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday told a large crowd of supporters gathered on the Ellipse that they needed to vote these Republicans out of office by putting up challengers in primary elections to push them out.

“If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight,” Trump said, calling the Republicans who aren’t siding with him “weak.”

Earlier, he named and praised Republicans who have pledged to contest the electoral votes of some states when they come up for approval on Capitol Hill.

His supporters, who braved chilly, windy conditions, chanted “Fight for Trump!”

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1:10 p.m.

Congress has begun a joint session to count and confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden.

With supporters of President Donald Trump gathering around the Capitol, more than a dozen Republican senators and more than 100 Republican House members have said they will object to the count from as many as six battleground states. They are echoing Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud.

Their efforts are almost certain to fail as many Republicans have said they will oppose the objections. But the session is expected to last into the night on Wednesday as the House and Senate must consider each objection separately and vote on whether to sustain it.

Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the session. He has no power to overturn the results, despite pressure from Trump to do so.

Biden won the Electoral College 306-232. He is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

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1 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is defying President Donald Trump, saying he does not have the unilateral ability to discard electoral votes that will make Joe Biden president on Jan. 20.

Pence, in a statement issued minutes before he was to begin presiding over a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes, said, “It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

Trump has pressured his vice president to toss electors from battleground states that voted for Biden during the session.

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12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is continuing his pressure-campaign against Vice President Mike Pence, telling thousands of supporters falsely that all Pence has to do to stay in office is send Electoral College votes back to the states to be recertified.

Pence has no such unilateral power under the Constitution and congressional rules that govern the count. It is up to the House and Senate to voice objections, and in any case the states’ electors were chosen in accordance with state law, not fraudulently.

The demonstrators on the Ellipse, south of the White House, cheered Trump on and planned to march to Capitol Hill where Congress will vote to affirm or contest the Electoral College results. The president said he’d be walking with the crowd.

“All Mike Pence has to do is send it back to the states,” Trump said, urging his loyal vice president to join lawmakers who are protesting President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump said, “and if he doesn’t it’s a sad day for our country.” Trump said it would take courage for Pence not to contest the results.

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12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is vowing that “we will never concede” as he speaks to supporters shortly before Congress is to convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump took the stage at the Save America rally, which drew thousands of supporters who swamped the nation’s capital as the president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to his November election loss to Biden.

Trump urged Vice President Mike Pence, who will play a largely ceremonial role in the process, to block certification of Biden’s win. Pence does not have this power.

“Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.”

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11 a.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney says President Donald Trump’s election challenge has “disgraced the office of the presidency."

Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill ahead of Wednesday’s joint session to confirm Joe Biden’s Electoral College win that he was certain of the outcome.

“I’m confident that we’ll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth — whether or not they want to hear it,” Romney said.

Republican lawmakers are picking up Trump’s demands to challenge the results from several states. But they are not expected to have enough votes in Congress to change the results. Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Romney said, “President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency.”

He called the “gambit” of the challenges in Congress “very disappointing.”

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