German minister: Democracy’s enemies will welcome Washington violence
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said democracy’s enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the US Capitol.
In a Tweet posted after protesters stormed the seat of the legislature, where lawmakers were formalizing the election Biden, Maas said the violence had been caused by inflammatory rhetoric.
Amid US Capitol chaos, Ossoff declared winner in Georgia
Democrat Jon Ossoff has won the Senate run-off race in Georgia, giving Democrats control of the chamber, the Associated Press has projected.
The victory comes after Democrat Raphael Warnock was declared victory in his run-off race and as pro-Trump supporters continue to occupy the US Capitol.
Trump blasts the election but tells supporters to ‘go home’
Donald Trump, in a video posted on Twitter, has told supporters he knows how they feel and repeated false claims that he won the presidential election, before urging them to go home in peace.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” he said. “Go home, go home in peace.”
Biden denounces pro-Trump ‘mob’, calls on Trump to ‘step up’
President-elect Biden had harsh words for the violent protesters that descended on the US Capitol Wednesday, calling their actions an “unprecedented assault unlike anything we have seen in modern times.”
Calling the protesters “extremists” and “a mob”, Biden said their violence is “an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assult on the people’s representatives and the Capitol police charged to protect them. An assault on the most sacred undertakings, the doing of the people’s business.”Let me be clear, the scenes at the Capitol do not reflect the true America.”
Biden called on President Donald Trump, who had been tweeting from the White House during the protests, to address the nation on national television and “demand an end to this siege.”
In the address, Biden tells Trump to call on protesters to ‘end siege’ of Capitol
Biden has called on Trump to immediately deliver speech to “demand an end to this siege” at US Capitol.
Biden said Trump should “step up” and end the chaos, saying “it’s not a protest, it’s an insurrection”.
Photo shows Trump protester in House Speaker Pelosi officer
An AFP news agency photo shows a pro-Trump protester inside of Nancy Pelosi’s office.
The New York Times reported that protesters flipped tables and pulled photos off the wall after entering Pelosi’s office suite.
Al Jazeera reporter recounts ‘unprecedented, remarkable’ scene at US Capitol
Reporting from outside the Capitol building, Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane said the demonstration there was an “unprecedented, remarkable scene”.
Trump tweeted that his supporters should remain peaceful and support law enforcement.
“It’s a little late to put the toothpaste back in the bottle, isn’t it?” Culhane said. “We knew this had the potential for violence.”
Regarding the tweet, Culhane said she thought Trump was beginning to realise “this has the potential to cost him a lot of political capital. I think for many, this is a step too far”.
1 hour ago (20:43 GMT)
Authorities say National Guard being deployed to Capitol
The White House and the Governor of Virginia have said the National Guard is being deployed to the US Capitol.
“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,” tweeted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEneny.
Virginia’s governor said he sending 200 state troopers and members of the state National Guard to the US Capitol.
Legislator blames Trump for Capitol chaos
Representative Cori Bush said on Twitter she was safe in an undisclosed location inside the Capitol complex.
Bush blamed Trump for the chaos in DC.
“The President of the United States has incited a riot that has now stormed the Capitol. There are rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol. I saw them with my own eyes. Our country deserves better.”
Bush, a first-term lawmaker, asked for Republicans to respond to the acts of the pro-Trump demonstrators.
“I want a public response from each and every one of my Republican colleagues: do you think this is ok?”
Source tells Associated Press one person shot at US Capitol
A source has told the Associated Press that one person has been shot at the US Capitol as Trump supporters stormed complex.
More details were not immediately available.
Recap: Senate, House evacuated as protesters storm chamber
Police in the US Capitol responded with drawn guns and tear gas protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Trump’s election loss shortly after some of Trump’s fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.
Police evacuated the House of Representatives and the Senate after pro-Trump protesters marched through the halls of Congress, forcing both chambers to suspend deliberations as they were meeting to certify President-elect Biden’s victory in the November 3 election.
One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled, “Trump won that election.”
Legislator: ‘People have been hurt’ on US Capitol
US Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California said ‘people have been hurt’ in the Capitol.
Sheltering inside the Capitol complex, McCarthy said he heard on a Capitol police radio at approximately 2:45pm(1945 GMT) ‘shots fired’ but could not say who may have fired and where, he told US broadcaster Fox News.
“This is The People’s house,” he said. “I watched barriers being broken, I watched people breaking windows, people breaking into a building. This is not who we are, this is not how we act. People have taken this too far,” he said.
McCarthy said he had spoken to President Trump and that he needed to make a statement.
Asked if Trump should appear on camera Wednesday he said “I think that would be appropriate.”
Trump, Republicans try to calm protest too late
President Trump and some of his Republican supporters in Congress resorted to Twitter to try to calm protestors and ask for respect for law enforcement as fear coursed through the Capitol.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay Peaceful!” Trump tweeted as protestors stormed the Capitol.
In a speech near the White House earlier to protestors and supporters, Trump had said he refused to concede the election and encouraged them to march on the Capitol.
A furious Republican Senator Mitt Romney told a New York Times reporter as lawmakers and press arrived at a secure location, “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection.”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who is leading the pro-Trump faction of senators objecting the Electoral College count, urged the protestors to stop in tweets.
“Violence is always unacceptable. Even when passions run high,” Cruz said, adding “anyone engaged in violence – especially against law enforcement – should be prosecuted”.
2 hours ago (20:08 GMT)
Armed standoff in House Chamber: Pool report
Reuters news agency has reported a armed standoff in the House chamber, citing a pool report from within the chamber.
Representative Dan Kildee tweeted that US police in the chamber drew their weapons as supporters of Donald Trump tried to break in.
“Chamber security and Capitol Police have their guns drawn as protesters bang on the front door of the chamber,” tweeted from inside the chamber.
“We have been instructed to lie down on the floor and put on our gas masks.”
2 hours ago (19:53 GMT)
Members of Congress inside House chamber told by police to put on gas masks
Members of Congress inside House chamber told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas dispersed in Capitol Rotunda.
The tear gas had been used after protesters entered the Capitol building.
Protesters broke windows looking into the House chamber, with images from inside the chamber showing security with guns drawn.
Police use tear gas in rotunda of US Capitol
Police have used tear gas in the rotunda of the US Capitol, according to a reporter on the scene.
Jonathan Tamari, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, tweeted the tear gas had been used.
2 hours ago (19:50 GMT)
DC Mayor orders 6 PM curfew as clashes, confusion continue at capital
The mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser, has ordered a 6 PM curfew as protesters who gathered in support of Trump clashed with police on the US Capitol.
The protesters entered the Capitol building where the Senate and House were meeting to debate the certification of electoral votes.
Legislators were told to shelter in place and doors were locked as protesters entered parts of the complex. Several legislators took to Twitter to say they were safe.
Video posted online by Slate senior politics writer Jim Newell showed protesters breaking the glass of a door at the Capitol.
Protesters march through Statuary Hall in the Capitol
Protesters have marched through Statuary Hall in the US Capitol, just feet away from where House members were meeting, after forcing their way into the complex.
US Capitol locks down with legislators inside
The US Capitol has locked down with legislators inside as pro-Trump protesters attempted to gain access to the building.
Reporters on scene report that some protesters have entered the complex. The House and Senate have gone into recess.
A video from the Senate chamber shows Senator James Lankford being notified that “protesters have entered the building”.
Republican legislators decry clashes between protesters and police on Capitol Hill
Protesters and police have clashed on Capitol Hill, with evacuations of some buildings reported.
Hundreds of demonstrators, who had gathered to support Trump’s claims of election fraud, pushed through a fence behind the Capitol building, where they clashed with police. Reporters on site said some were trying to enter the buildging where Congress was meeting.
“To those storming the Capitol – I am on the House floor and I will not be deterred from upholding my oath, under God, to the Constitution by mob demand,” wrote Republican Representative Chip Roy on Twitter.
“Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby threat. Now we’re seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Polic,” wrote Republican Representative Nancy Mace. “This is wrong. This is not who we are. I’m heartbroken for our nation today.”
Cruz speaks on objection in Senate floor
Senator Ted Cruz, who objected to Arizona’s electoral votes, called for a “10-day emergency audit” of the election results.
Cruz again referenced the doubt sown by the president over the election to justify calling for the audit.
“Let me be clear, I’m not arguing for setting aside this election. All of us are faced with two choices. One choice is vote against the election and tens of millions of Americans will see a vote against the objection as a statement that voter fraud doesn’t matter, isn’t real and shouldn’t be taken seriously,” he said.
“On the other hand, most, if not all of us, believe we should not set aside the results of an election just because our candidate may not have prevailed. And so I endeavor to look for door number three, a third option…” he said, an electoral commission to conduct a “10-day emergency audit” of the election.
Schumer: Election challenge ‘sad comment on our times’
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said it is a “sad comment on our times that merely accepting the results of an election is considered an act of political courage”.
“By the end of the proceedings today, it will be confirmed once again something that is well known and well settled – the American people elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be the next president and vice president of the United States,” Schumer said as the chamber met to debate an objection to electoral votes in Arizona by a Republican legislator.
“And yet, a number of our colleagues have organized an effort to undermine and object to that free and fair election. They are in the minority. They will lose. They know that.”
“It is a very sad comment on our times that merely accepting the results of an election is considered an act of political courage,” Schumer said.
“Sadder and more dangerous still is the fact that an element of the Republican Party believes their political viability hinges on the endorsement of an attempted coup that anyone, much less an elected official, would be willing to tarnish our democracy in order to burnish their personal political fortunes.”
McConnell: ‘The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during a meeting to discuss a Republican objection to the electoral votes in Arizona, decried attempts to overturn the results of the election.
“The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,” McConnell said. “The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”
“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of fact and separate realities,” McConnell said. “President Trump claims the election was stolen… Nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale … that would have tipped the entire election.”
A group of Republicans in both the House and Senate plan to object to electoral votes in at least three states, in a plot that is all-but-assured to fail.
Protesters push past barriers at Capitol building: Reports
Protesters supporting Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud have pushed past a fence and have attempted to enter the Capitol building where Congress is meeting to certify the victory of president-elect Biden.
Hundreds of protesters, who had gathered in the capital in support of Trump, pushed past a fence behind the Capitol building, according to a video posted online by a Washington Post reporter.
The protesters, many carrying flags and pro-Trump signs, some then attempted to “scale the construction structures and have been tackled by police” Post reporter Rebecca Tan wrote on Twitter.
“They want to enter the building and are making attempts at intervals. Capitol police trying to hold them back,” she wrote.
Congressional Republicans lodge first objection to election result
Republicans have objected to the election tally in Arizona, forcing votes in House and Senate on Biden’s victory in the state.
Republican Representative Paul Gosar and Senator Ted Cruz submitted the objections.Each chamber will now debate the objection before voting on whether to accept or reject it for up to two hours.
Both chambers would need a majority to approve the objection. That is highly unlikely as the House is controlled by Democrats and several Senate Republicans have said they will not join their colleagues plot.
Pence says he can’t block vote certification as Congress begins joint session
Vice President Pence has said he cannot block the certification of the Electoral College results.
Pence, arriving at the joint session of Congress on Wednesday, defied Trump, saying he can’t claim “unilateral authority” to reject electoral votes that will make Biden president.
He said he welcomes and will oversee any challenges from legislators.
Pence has been the subject of a pressure campaign by the president in recent days, who has repeatedly, and falsely, claimed the vice president can block the certification’ of Biden’s victory.
Biden selects Judge Merrick Garland for attorney general
President-elect Biden intends to nominate federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland, who was once President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, to serve as the next US attorney general, a Biden transition official said on Wednesday, according to Reuters news agency.
Garland serves as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Obama, a Democrat, nominated him to the Supreme Court while Biden was vice president, but the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings on the nomination.
Trump tells supporters to remember legislators who don’t support bid to overturn election
Trump urged supporters to “never ever forget” Republicans in Congress who do not support his attempts to overturn the results of the election.
He said the certification will show “whether we have great or courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders who should be ashamed of themselves”.
He then listed off Republican senators who plan to object to the certification, including Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Kelly Loeffler.
Trump vows to ‘never concede’
President Trump told cheering supporters that he would never concede the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Biden while continuing to cite unproven claims of fraud.
“We will never give up, we will never concede,” Trump said during a campaign-funded rally at the Ellipse park area near the White House, claiming without evidence that “hundreds of thousands” of people were attending the event.
“We will stop the steal,” he added.
Trump again pressures Pence, decries ‘weak’ Republicans
President Donald Trump, addressing thousands of supporters in Washington, DC, again pressured Mike Pence to have the “courage” to block the certification of the electoral college vote.
The president falsely asserted that Pence has the power to unilaterally send the electoral votes back to states. Legal experts say the vice president does not have that power. Pence reportedly told the same to Trump on Tuesday.
“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.”
He called the Republicans who have not supported his attempts to overturn the results “weak” and “pathetic”.
5 hours ago (17:09 GMT)
Trump addresses DC crowd, declaring ‘we will stop the steal’
President Trump has begun to address the supporters gathered in Washington, DC, repeating baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and declaring “we will stop the steal”.
Donald Trump Jr: ‘This isn’t their Republican Party anymore’
President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, has decried elected Republicans who did not support his father’s baseless claims that the election was rigged.
Speaking to supporters of Trump gathered in Washington, DC, Trump Jr said: “This gathering should send a message to them. This isn’t their Republican party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican party.”
“This is the Republican party that will put America first,” he added.
The Congressional certification of the Electoral Vote has separated Republicans into two camps, those who have bought all in to the president’s claims of fraud and those who have accepted Biden as the victor. Many observers expect that inter-party divide to persist long after Trump is out of office.
Biden congratulates Warnock
President-elect Biden has congratulated Raphael Warnock on his projected victory in Georgia, adding he is “hopeful that when the count is complete, Jon Ossoff will also be victorious”.
“I also congratulate the twin powers of Georgia, Stacey Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms, who have laid the difficult groundwork necessary to encourage turnout and protect the vote over these last years,” Biden said in a statement, referencing influential Democratic organiser Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Bottoms.
Biden said the Georgia races show the electorate supports his agenda, adding he would move ahead with the confirmation of some key posts before the new senators are sworn in.
6 hours ago (15:44 GMT)
Video shows Trump supporters heckling Mitt Romney on flight
A viral video shows Republican Senator Mitt Romney, one of the few vocal critics of the president in the party, heckled by a group of Trump supporters on a flight.
The group of Trump supporters, who reportedly on their way to the protest in Washington, DC, chanted “Traitor! Traitor! Traitor” at Romney on the flight from Salt Lake City, Nevada to the US capital.
Romney, who has criticised a Republican plot to object the certification of the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, was also approached by Trump supporters in the airport before the flight took off, video shows.
Trump supporters gather near White House awaiting the president
As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people line up before sunrise to show their support for Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.
The president was expected to address his supporters at an 11am (16:00 GMT) rally on the Ellipse, just south of the White House.
Lou Murray, a life insurance salesman from Boston, told The Associated Press news agency he and many others still hoped Congress and Vice President Mike Pence would not certify the vote.
“I hope Vice President Pence has courage today and I hope any politician who thinks he has a future shows courage to stand up and do what’s right,” he said.
Organisers planned an afternoon march to the Capitol, where Congress will be voting to affirm the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute without evidence. Prominent Trump supporters – including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone – were expected to attend the protest.
Trump spends the morning calling on Republicans to overturn election
With Democrats on track to take a majority in the Senate, Trump has spent his morning urging congressional Republicans – and his vice president – to overturn the results of the presidential election when they convene for a joint session.
In one tweet, Trump, who has refused to concede defeat and continues to push unfounded fraud claims, said the “Republican party and, more importantly, our country, needs the presidency more than ever before” while saying “stay strong”.
In a tweet, Trump falsely claimed Mike Pence can send electoral votes back to state officials. “All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, and we win. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!” he wrote.
Politifact rated Trump’s claims that Pence has the power to act outside of his ceremonial role on Wednesday false. Meanwhile, Twitter labelled the tweets as disputed.