Washington, Jan 6 (efe-epa).- Supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump invaded the US Capitol on Wednesday just as lawmakers were debating objections raised by Republican lawmakers to the certification of Democrat Joe Biden as winner of the Nov. 3 election.
Protesters overwhelmed the Capitol Police and entered the building.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives adjourned and Capitol Police told lawmakers and staff to shelter in place while appealing to other law enforcement agencies for assistance.
Television networks said that police used tear gas and flash-bangs in attempts to control the crowd amid reports of bomb-threats.
CNN said that police told members of Congress to be prepared to duck under their desks.
Journalists in the pool allowed inside the House chamber told CNN that police guarding the chamber were holding off would-be intruders with guns drawn.
House members were issued gas-masks in case police needed to deploy tear gas inside the Capitol.
Vice President Mike Pence was present on Capitol Hill to chair the election certification session in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Hours after addressing his partisans in person and urging them to march to the Capitol, Trump tweeted: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
That tweet came 15 minutes after Trump blasted Pence for rejecting the president’s assertion that as vice president, he could reject the electoral votes in favor of Biden.
“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!,” Trump wrote. EFE /dr