A joint session of the United States Congress attempted to certify the Electoral College vote results and affirm the election of Joe Biden on Wednesday (Jan. 6) before being interrupted by the storming of the US Capitol.
Demonstrators entered the Capitol by breaking through windows and doors, amid pro-Trump protests, forcing lawmakers to halt the meeting and leave the building immediately, with some of them having to hide in a shelter. The process to certify Electoral College results resumed shortly after 8 p.m. that evening and continued to its conclusion the following morning.
Five people have been confirmed dead from the events, others were seriously injured and dozens of arrests were made. The attacks were condemned by leaders around the world and within the US.
“Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” US President Trump said in a video address on Thursday. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.”
His address marked the very first since Twitter locked his account for 12 hours. Facebook and Instagram blocked his profiles for 24 hours. The Capitol dome is known worldwide as a political symbol. Questions swirled over how the rioters were able to get so far with such little resistance in contrast to the heavy handed crackdown on Black Lives Matter marchers last summer.
The FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department are looking for information about people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. The incident was the first time the Capitol had been overrun since 1814 in the Burning of Washington by the British Army during the War of 1812.
Trump also pledged an "orderly" transfer of power to Biden. "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," he said in a statement.