US Congress reconvenes to certify Biden win
Congress resumed the session after authorities secured the Capitol. Both chambers were forced into recess earlier as they were debating the objection by some Republicans to the Electoral Vote count in Arizona, a swing state that voted for Biden.
Lawmakers of both parties reentered their chambers under heavy security escorts hours after the unrest, which saw protesters breach barricades and push past police into the House and Senate.
Security agents drew weapons inside the House chamber during a dangerous standoff that left lawmakers fearing for their lives.
A number of senators who said they had intended to support the objection reversed course following the violence.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks as the House comes back into session (Credits: AFP)
Senate rejects challenge to Biden Arizona win
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.
Trump supporters are seen from behind scaffolding (Credits: AFP)
PM Modi calls for orderly peaceful transfer of power in US
Condemning the violent situation that unfolded at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests and called for an orderly and peaceful transfer of power.
“Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. An orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests,” he tweeted.
Trump supporters destroy media equipment (Credits: AFP)
Thirty arrested for violating DC curfew
Police have arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington DC after rioters stormed the US Capitol.
The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President 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.
A Trump supporter is arrested inside the US Capitol (Credits: AFP)
Twitter, Facebook muzzle Trump
President Trump’s personal Twitter account has now been locked for 12 hours as he violated the platform’s violent threats policies and will be permanently suspended if he continues to do so, the micro-blogging site said.
Among Trump’s tweets that were deleted was a video addressed to his supporters who violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency quoted the social media giant as saying on Wednesday.
In the video, the outgoing President said that he “loved” them, and called them “very special”. Twitter also warned of permanent suspension.
Facebook followed up in the evening, announcing that Trump wouldn’t be able to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies.
Note found in the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Credits: AFP)
Protesters barge US Capitol
Rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, where they roamed the hallways and scuffled with police officers.
The protesters were looking for lawmakers, staff members and more–people who were involved in the counting process of electoral votes. Completion of the count would formalize the President-elect Joe Biden’s victory but the protesters wanted to halt the process as they believed that Donald Trump won the presidential elections.
As per an AP report, the pro-Trump mob took over the presiding officer’s chair in the Senate, the offices of the House speaker and the Senate dais, where one yelled, “Trump won that election.”
As the mob went about disrupting the Senate, lawmakers both Republicans and Democrats along with staff members had hide under their tables.
Biden denounces storming of Capitol as ‘Dark Moment’ in US history
President-elect Joe Biden denounced the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday as the violent expression of President Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat, calling it “an assault on the citadel of liberty” and saying the president had stoked the mob with his brazen and false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen.
Biden called the scenes of chaos in the halls of Congress “a dark moment” in the nation’s history, appealed for calm and made clear that he held Trump accountable for instigating violence that left members of both parties and allies around the world appalled.
Congress staffers barricade themselves (Credits: AFP)
Authorities eventually regained control as night fell
Heavily armed officers brought in as reinforcements started using tear gas in a coordinated effort to get people moving toward the door, then combed the halls for stragglers, pushing the mob farther out onto the plaza and lawn, in clouds of tear gas, flash-bangs and percussion grenades.
Video footage also showed officers letting people calmly walk out the doors of the Capitol despite the rioting and vandalism. Only about a dozen arrests were made in the hours after authorities regained control. They said a woman was shot in the chest inside the building during the chaos, was taken to a hospital and died.
Police evacuated the chamber at 2:30 pm, grabbing boxes of Electoral College certificates as they left.
National Guard and Washington DC police secure Capitol (Credits: AFP)
Remember this day forever: Trump to his supporters
Trump, who had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers’ actions, expressed empathy for the mob, which violently forced its way inside, clashed with police and forced lawmakers into hiding.
“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,” Trump wrote in a message that was later deleted by Twitter. He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
In an earlier video, he had praised the protesters as “special” people and said he understood their pain.
Former US Presidents condemn violence
Former President Barack Obama said that violence at Capitol incited by a sitting President “to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election” is a matter of great shame but not surprising.
Former President Bill Clinton said the assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics “spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another.” He urged for a peaceful transfer of power.
Former President George W Bush expressed his disbelief and dismay and said, “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic.”
(With inputs from agencies)Watch Capitol Hill violence: PM Modi calls for orderly peaceful transfer of power in US