CONGRESS is set to complete the confirmation of Joe Biden as the next president after troops secured the Capitol building.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues that the decision to “proceed tonight” had been taken after consulting with “the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President”.
Police dressed in riot gear confronted protestors outside the Capitol building[/caption]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would ‘proceed tonight’ despite the riot at the Capitol building[/caption]
Thousands of people stormed the Capitol building in Washington DC[/caption]
No time when Congress would reconvene was given.
Violent scenes erupted in Washington DC as supporters of Donald Trump fought with police and armed guards, eventually storming the Capitol building and running riot.
Police responded by firing tear gas at the rioters.
During the disturbing scenes, one woman was shot and later died at a nearby hospital.
Pelosi described the riot as a “shameful assault on our democracy,” adding it was “anointed at the highest level of government”.
But despite the outbreak of violence she said: “It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden”.
“We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night,” Pelosi wrote. “We also knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way today, despite ill-founded objections to the Electoral College vote.
“We now will be part of history, as such a shameful picture of our country was put out to the world, instigated at the highest level.”
Violence broke out Washington DC on Wednesday afternoon following a Save America March in the capital.
President Donald Trump had addressed the crowd earlier, once again claiming the presidential election had been rigged, but offered no evidence to back up his claims.
A mob of supporters then battled cops and forced their way into the Capitol building, halting Congress’s counting of the electoral votes.
Police ushered lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence, to safety as the rioters took over the building.
For a while, senators and members of the House were locked inside their respective chambers.
Nancy Pelosi’s letter to colleagues saying Congress would reconvene[/caption]
Staff members grabbed the boxes of Electoral College votes as the evacuation took place.
Otherwise, said Sen. Jeff Merkley, the ballots likely would have been destroyed by the protesters.
The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
More than a dozen people were arrested.
As darkness began to set in, law enforcement officials worked their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to try to clear the area around the Capitol.
Big clouds of tear gas were visible. Police in full riot gear moved down the steps, clashing with demonstrators.
The sergeant-at-arms, the top security official at the Capitol, announced that the building had been secured at around 5.40pm.
Washington mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a curfew across the city lasting from 6pm to 6am Thursday morning.
A woman, who appeared to be part of the mob that stormed the building, can be seen in a video posted on social media being shot in the neck.
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Senator Mitt Romney later said: “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection.”
Trump posted a video at around 4pm calling on the members of the mob to “go home” but also restated his belief the “election was stolen” and appeared to show support for the mob’s actions by saying “we love you”.
In an earlier Twitter message he wrote: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building[/caption]
Members of the FBI tactical team guard the doors at the Dirksen Senate Office Building[/caption]
Pro-Trump protesters wave banners during clashes with Capitol police[/caption]