Four people died and fifty two were arrested amid protests and rioting after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
Several others were also arrested on charges related to carrying unlicensed or prohibited firearms, Washington D.C.’s police chief said
In a late-night news conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J Contee said that 52 were arrested over the violence that saw pro-Trump rioters breaking windows, climbing on rafters, ripping down U.S. flags and roaming the Senate chamber.
Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown. Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations.
Security forces fired tear gas in a four-hour operation to clear the Capitol.
Vowing not to be deterred, lawmakers resumed business after dark and voted down the first challenge to Biden’s win, with several Trump loyalists reversing course in the wake of the violence that drew shock around the world.
The chaos at the Capitol came a day after Biden enjoyed a new triumph, with his Democrats projected to win two Senate seats in runoffs in Georgia — handing the party full control of Congress and dramatically increasing Biden’s ability to pass legislation, starting with new Covid-19 relief.
Historians said it was the first time that the Capitol had been taken over since 1814 when the British burned it during the War of 1812.
Trump has only two weeks left in office but, with little on his public schedule for weeks and multiple reports he is losing his grip on reality, several news reports said his cabinet was whispering about removing him as unfit for office under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
Weeks have passed since the states completed certifying that Joe Biden, a Democrat, won the election by 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232. Trump’s extraordinary challenges to Biden’s victory have been rejected by courts across the country.