Washington, Jan 6 (EFE-EPA).- Donald Trump occupied the seat of Congress on the day lawmakers were set to certify Democrat Joe Biden as winner of the Nov. 3 election.
MSNBC television broadcast images of the woman bleeding profusely as she was being carried away on a stretcher. CNN reported that multiple law enforcement officers had been injured.
After calls from President-elect Biden, Democratic leaders in Congress and some Republicans, Trump exhorted his supporters to “go home” while repeating his baseless claim that the election was stolen.
“I know your pain, I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now,” he said. “We have to have peace, we have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order, we don’t want anybody hurt.”
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people, we have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you’re very special,” the former reality TV star said in a video posted on Twitter at 4:17 pm, hours into the siege at the Capitol.
Trump’s message followed a demand from Biden that the current occupant of the White House go on national television and tell his supporters to end “this siege.”
“It’s not protest, it’s insurrection,” Biden said some four years after he, as vice president under Barack Obama, presided over the joint session of Congress that certified Trump’s 2016 election victory.
By 5:00 pm, large contingents of police from neighboring Maryland and Virginia had arrived at the Capitol to assist the small Capitol Police force and units of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department.
The presence of reinforcements was enough to persuade protesters to retreat down the Capitol steps and allow cops to establish a security perimeter ahead of a 6:00 pm curfew ordered by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The 1,100-strong DC National Guard was said to be on its way.
Hundreds of Trump partisans invaded the Capitol shortly after mid-day, clashing with Capitol Police and besieging lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives.
A photojournalist inside the House chamber captured an image of plain-clothes security guards facing the door with their guns drawn.
Once officers secured the areas immediately outside the respective chambers, the lawmakers were evacuated to a location elsewhere in the Capitol complex.
Also removed to safety was Vice President Mike Pence, present at the Capitol on Wednesday to preside over the election certification session in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Pence, notably, offered a firm denunciation of the assault on the Capitol well before Trump posted his video.
“The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building,” the vice president said on Twitter.
In his first public comment on the mayhem at the Capitol, the outgoing president appeared to attribute the violence to Pence’s rejection of Trump’s claim that as vice president, he had the authority to 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.
Participants in what Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger described as a “coup attempt” stormed the Capitol just as the House and Senate had retired to their respective chambers to debate Republican objections to certifying Arizona’s 12 electoral votes for Biden.
To be successful, an objection must be approved by both chambers. The Democratic-controlled House is certain to vote down the objections and several members of the Republican majority in the Senate oppose the effort to overturn the election outcome.