Update 8:00 p.m.:
Officials have announced the U.S. Capitol is finally secure. One woman has been fatally shot, and the circumstances of the shooting have yet to become clear.
Update 3:50 p.m.:
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced that the National Guard is on the way.
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.
We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 6, 2021
McEnany’s announcement came after a source told The Washington Post‘s Aaron Davis that the Defense Department denied a request from D.C. officials to deploy the National Guard at the Capitol.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) announced that he was working with Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to respond. He said he is sending members of the Virginia National Guard along with 200 Virginia State Troopers.
On Wednesday afternoon, while Vice President Mike Pence presided over the reading of Electoral College votes in a joint session of Congress, supporters of President Donald Trump broke through the barricades at the U.S. Capitol and spilled into the building, even reaching the House floor. At least one person has been shot, paramedics told the press.
Thousands of pro-Trump protesters gathered for a Stop the Steal rally where Trump himself spoke this morning. Many of them hoped that Pence would abuse his authority by refusing to count Electoral College votes from some states, but the vice president did not do so.
Townhall’s Julio Rosas captured footage of protesters throwing items at Capitol Police and pushing them back. He also captured pictures of Trump supporters in the Capitol Rotunda.
Trump supporters inside the Capitol Rotunda. pic.twitter.com/Run5MwPnTx
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 6, 2021
HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic shared a photo of a Trump supporter taking the dai in the Senate chamber.
They’re in the chamber. One is up on the dais yelling “Trump won that election!” This is insane pic.twitter.com/p6CXhBDSFT
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber at about 2 p.m. Eastern, Axios reported. Authorities told reporters to “be prepared to get down” in their chairs just after 2:30 p.m. Members bolted the door and Capitol Police drew their guns and pointed toward the door to the House chamber. At 2:31 p.m., everyone was evacuated from the floor.
“EVERYONE OUT, RIGHT NOW … WE’RE EVACUATING,” a police officer in the Cannon House Office Building shouted, Axios’ Alayna Treene reported. Police ushered staffers and congressmen to the Longworth House Office Building.
A paramedic told Fox 5 reporter Lindsay Watts that one person had been shot in the Capitol. Paramedics were engaged in CPR.
While President Trump’s rhetoric — insisting that he won the 2020 election and blaming Republican election officials for working with Democrats to orchestrate a “steal” — certainly enflamed the protesters, the president urged his supporters to remain peaceful and to respect law enforcement.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” Trump tweeted. “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
In response to reports of protesters breaching the Capitol, Donald Trump Jr. declared, “This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.”
This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone. https://t.co/3oUAPxuwi9
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 6, 2021
While the 2020 election involved irregularities, the Trump campaign’s efforts to contest it in court failed, and conservatives will only damage the cause by engaging in this kind of horrific attack. Storming the United States Capitol is an act of rebellion, and the authorities should expel these protesters as soon as possible, with force if necessary.
Trump is correct, Republicans need to remain the party of law and order, and that means they must oppose and condemn these heinous tactics.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.