Late this morning, while Congress was convened to consider (and reject) objections to the certification of the Electoral College results in the 2020 presidential election, right wing terrorists stormed the United States Capitol building, interrupting the proceedings and forcing Representatives, Senators, and staff to evacuate to secure areas and shelter in place while Capitol Police officers struggled to evict the terrorists and reestablish building security.
The insurrection began following a rally held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to protest the 2020 presidential election results, at which Donald Trump urged participants to go to, and enter, the Capitol building.
“We’re going to try and give our Republicans,” he said. “… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
They did so, destroying up to four layers of protective fencing and an additional rushed-together fifth layer to replace torn sections of the original fencing.
The House and Senate chambers were evacuated; some of the terrorists subsequently made onto the floor of each chamber.
Shots have reportedly been fired on the House floor, while photos and video have been posted of Trump fans roaming around the Senate floor and occupying the dais, as well as congressional offices.
Before the worst of these events occurred, Trump tweeted:
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
Tear gas has been released within the Capitol Rotunda, though by who is not known at this point. Several people mounted scaffolding outside the Senate potion of the Capitol building, raised it to the second floor, possibly next to or where McConnell’s office is presently located, and started banging on windows.
The Capitol building is presently in lockdown.
The Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, has declared a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 6 PM on Wednesday, January 6th, until 6 AM on Thursday, January 7th. Private residences on Capitol Hill have been evacuated and family members taken to safety by Capitol Police.
A bomb threat was declared and an actual bomb may have been discovered the Capitol Hill Club. The offices at Cannon House Office Building facing the Capitol Hill Club and buildings immediately surrounding the Club have been evacuated. Vehicles have also been removed from the area.
The Department of Defense has reportedly denied a request by Washington, D.C. officials to deploy the National Guard to secure the United States Capitol.
The individuals involved appear be in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2384:
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
Emphasis is ours.
This story will be updated.