Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat. But after hours of chaos in which police battled to regain control, lawmakers returned to Congress to begin certifying Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Rioters overran the United States Capitol building on Wednesday in a chaotic and violent scene that suspended a joint Congressional session to certify the 2020 election results.
In the gravest assault on the symbol of American democracy in more than 200 years, rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, where they roamed the hallways and scuffled with police officers. Police said four people died – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – during the chaos. Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate. Security officers piled furniture against the chamber’s door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape. By Wednesday night, both houses of Congress resumed their debate on the certification of Biden’s Electoral College win, and it quickly became clear that objections from pro-Trump Republican lawmakers to Biden’s victory in battleground states would be rejected overwhelmingly, including by most Republicans.
Earlier Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters demonstrated on the National Mall as Trump gave a speech calling for Congress to object to the certification of the Electoral College votes. That push to delegitimize election results escalated Wednesday afternoon, when rioters breached the Capitol building. Rioters were seen waving flags in the building, storming the floor of the Senate Chamber and sitting in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.