The Capitol Building came under siege from pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday during a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential race.
The rioters, fresh from a “March for Trump” rally to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, stormed the building, sending the House and Senate into recess and forcing lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters to shelter in their offices before being evacuated.
Protesters sat in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate Chamber, vandalized congressional offices, and looted items like podiums from the building.
CNN Congressional reporter Al Zaslav quoted Capitol Police on Twitter saying that the building is “trashed.” The FBI also released a statement saying they had deployed forces “to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners as requested in protection of federal property and public safety.”
Here’s a look inside the chaos.
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Rioters rifled through desks in the Senate Chamber.
Rioters stormed the Capitol, bypassing security and forcing their way into the building.
A protester sat in the head chair of the Senate Chamber where Vice President Mike Pence had sat shortly before.
Pence was evacuated and called on protesters to leave the Capitol, tweeting “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Trump supporters vandalized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Protesters flipped tables and pulled photos off the walls, according to the New York Times.
A protester left a note in Pelosi’s office reading “We will not back down.”
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged President Trump to order the protesters to leave immediately.
Another protester appeared to steal a podium.
The D.C. National Guard was deployed to the scene, as well as Virginia’s National Guard troops and state troopers.
A Trump supporter climbed on stop of a statue of President Gerald R. Ford with a Trump flag and a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Protesters overwhelmed security forces and entered the Capitol’s Rotunda.
A protester took a riot shield from a member of the Capitol Police.
Capitol Police were overwhelmed by the crowds.
A Trump supporter invaded a congressional office and sat at the desk.
Trump did eventually tell protesters to “go home.”