Congress on Lockdown, Lawmakers Shelter in Place as Protesters Breach Capitol

U.S. President Donald Trump is seen making remarks on a television monitor from the White House Briefing Room.
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen making remarks on a television monitor from the White House Briefing Room. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The congressional debate over certifying the Electoral College abruptly halted Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers went into lockdown after the Capitol Building was breached by protesters.

The U.S. Senate went to an emergency recess after demonstrators were seen breaking the barricades, then entered the building and started pounding on the door of the U.S. House Chamber.

President Trump tweeted, "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. Thank you!"

Police attempted to regain control of the building while Vice President Pence and multiple senators were seen being evacuated.

Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, "Those storming the Capitol need to stop now. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence—from Left or Right—is ALWAYS wrong. And those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support."

President Trump immediately called for peace on Capitol Hill.

Condemnation of the violence has been swift from every sector of society. Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, denounced today's storming of the Capitol:

The right to protest is sacrosanct in American life. But the very values and rights bestowed by our democracy are degraded and diminished when police officers have to draw their guns to protect our duly elected officials in heart of our nation by violent protesters who, by their reckless and dangerous behavior have inflicted grievous wounds on our nation. Nothing, not even the emotional charges of voter fraud in a presidential election, can ever legitimize or excuse such behavior. For as the Talmud warns, 'Pray for the welfare of the government, for man would swallow his fellow.' Today is a dark day for America."

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