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“We will certify the winner of the 2020 election,” added Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, calling the attack by Trump supporters a “failed insurrection.”
Lawmakers were debating a last-ditch effort by pro-Trump lawmakers to challenge the results, which was unlikely to be successful. But some who planned to object said they would shorten their efforts and perhaps only challenge results in one state, rather than several states.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6pm. National Guard troops, FBI agents and US Secret Service were dispatched to assist the overburdened Capitol police, and Guard troops and police removed the Capitol protesters after the curfew.
“This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not in our democratic republic. I am shocked by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election, ”said former President George W. Bush, a Republican, in a statement, without mentioning Trump’s name.
Trump supporters smashed windows and the police poured tear gas inside the building. Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said members of the crowd used irritating chemicals to attack the police and several were injured.
It was the most damaging attack on the iconic building since the British army burned it in 1814, according to the US Capitol Historical Society.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, who before the election refused to commit himself to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost, addressed thousands of supporters near the White House, repeating baseless claims that the election was stolen from him due to fraud and widespread irregularities.
Trump told supporters that they should march on the Capitol to express their anger in the voting process and pressure their elected representatives to reject the results, urging them to “fight”.
Biden, a Democrat who defeated the Republican president in the November 3 election and is due to take office on January 20, said the demonstrators’ activity “borders on sedition”.
The former vice president said that for protesters to invade the Capitol, break windows, occupy offices, invade Congress and threaten the security of duly elected officials: “It is not a protest, it is an insurrection.”
He urged Trump to demand “an end to this siege” on national television.
In a video posted on Twitter, Trump repeated his false allegations of electoral fraud, but urged protesters to withdraw.
“You have to go home now, we have to have peace,” he said, adding: “We love you. You are very special. “