WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump police. An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s victory.
The skirmishes occurred outside the building, in the very spot president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks. Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back.
Gas is being used inside of the Capitol building to clear protesters. Lawmakers, journalists and others have inside are being told to use gas masks that are provided inside.
Around 2:20 p.m. ET, images shared on social media show protestors inside the Capitol building.
Watch the video above to see live coverage.
Reporters stationed outside of the Capitol report a chaotic scene where pro-Trump protesters were attempting to gain access to the proceedings, forcing police to hold them back.
“Protesters are charging toward the Capitol steps,” tweeted The Washington Post’s Rebecca Tan. “Some tried to scale the construction structures and have been tackled by police.”
President Donald Trump tweeted that those at the capitol should support the police and law enforcement there, asking protesters to remain peaceful.
Social media postings from the scene show crowds moving forward on police and officers attempting to hold the line.
Moments before, Vice President Mike Pence had broken with the president, saying he would not reject the electoral votes, like Trump wanted him to do. He said his thorough understanding of the constitution kept him from unilaterally overturning the election.
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