A wave of Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC on Wednesday (6 Jan), as Congress met to certify November’s presidential win for Democrat Joe Biden.
Current President Donald Trump told his supporters at a rally near the White House that he would “never concede” the election results, shortly before chaos broke out.
What happened in the Capitol?
Thousands of Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol building, scaling the west wall and breaching barricades, as some forced their way into the building.
The Congress voter certification progress came to a halt as Republican supporters stormed the floor of the Senate chamber in a bid to enter the House chamber. Those already inside the building when chaos ensued were directed to hide under their seats and put on their gas masks.
The office of the Senate Parliamentarian - who is the official adviser to the Senate and interprets the rules and procedures - was also ransacked during the riot.
Two improvised explosive devices were found inside the building, but made safe by the FBI.
National Guard Troops were sent to the Capitol, as well as officers from the Federal Protective Service and US Secret Service, in order to assist US Capitol Police.
As calls for President Trump to condemn the violence rose, he tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the US 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!”
A video of Trump telling rioters to go home was then later broadcast, after President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation and said that democracy is “under an unprecedented assault”, calling for Trump to make a televised address telling his supporters to end the violence.
The riots were condemned by a multitude of US and UK politicians, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing the scenes at the Capitol building as “disgraceful”.
“The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” Mr Johnson said.
Officials later declared the Capitol building “secure”, after heavily-armed police ended hours of rioting, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that Congress would resume the Electoral College proceedings when it was safe to do so.
A total of 52 people have now been arrested and four people have died following the riots, with one woman fatally shot inside the Capitol building, while another three people died after suffering “medical emergencies”.
Ashli Babbitt, aged 35, has been named as the woman shot dead by police in the Capitol. Ms Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, had been in Washington DC protesting the election results.
Congress then reconvened in the early hours of this morning (Thur 7 Jan) and confirmed Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. Mr Biden will be formally inaugurated as the President of the United States on 20 January, but this is expected to take place virtually.