US:-Thousands of flag-waving supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump swarmed over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to evacuate their chambers and delaying by several hours a normally routine procedure clearing the way for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be sworn in as president and vice president on January 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced after hours of chaos around the white-columned edifice that police had secured the area and legislators would reconvene to continue the work of certifying the Electoral College vote that determines the next president.
“Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy,” Pelosi said. “It was anointed at the highest level of government. It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden,” she said.
Hours earlier, U.S. television audiences were riveted by live images of closely packed rioters clambering over the exterior of the building, which includes both the House and the Senate. Hundreds more pushed past Capitol Police and poured into the building.
Some tried to break down the doors of the House of Representatives chamber where lawmakers had been debating the first in a series of objections to vote tallies showing Biden had defeated Trump. The legislators were removed and taken to a secure location where they waited for the building to be cleared.