DC Unrest and Electoral College Certification: Live Updates


12:00 AM, January 7: Electoral College Certification

Congress certified the electoral votes for Joseph R. Biden, Jr., who will be the next president of the United States despite the current President’s continuing voter fraud claims. Multiple objections were made though many were rejected because they did not have a senator’s signature. This is likely because of the reconsiderations made by some of the senators, to refrain from objecting to the electoral college. Arizona’s objection was led by Senator Ted Cruz but was denied, as well as the objection signed by Josh Hawley for the state of Pennsylvania, which was quickly voted away. 

There is also unrest in the White House, as rumors presented on CNN say that the Cabinet, appointed by the President himself, is on the verge of invoking the 25th Amendment. So far, there is not sufficient information to make a claim, but we can get a hint of things. 

Facebook and Instagram have extended a ban on Trump’s account indefinitely over incitement of violence, according to Axios.

11:00 AM, January 7: Footage of Law Enforcement

There are now confirmed amounts of deaths and arrests from yesterday’s storm on the Capitol building. There are four confirmed deaths, and at least 52 arrested. Footages from various special reports show law enforcement going as far as to take selfies with the rioters inside of the building, or even gently holding their hand and helping them down the stairs. Other footage shows law enforcement point guns at the rioters that managed to get inside through windows and doors.

11:00 PM:

At around 8:15, the House and Senate convened after a riot aimed at the Capitol building. It was a large group of people, including groups such as the Proud Boys, who marched onto the capital with Trump flags, as well as a disregard to the CDC guidelines of wearing a mask and social distancing. When reaching the capital, the rioters broke through doors, windows and climbed on the roof. NBC showed pictures of Trump supporters sitting in the desks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many more congressmen and congresswomen. President Trump’s claims of voter fraud which have no evidence backing them are currently being argued in the Senate and House, and could be a reason to burn the midnight oil, even until tomorrow, as the United States waits for a certified election result tonight. Congressman Paul Gosar (R) and Senator Ted Cruz (R) objected to the state of Arizona during the first minutes of confirmation which resulted in the dismissal of both the senators and congressmen/women back to their chambers.

Connecticut Representative Jim Himes spoke on MSNBC this evening, talking about his experiences in the Capitol riot today. He recalls putting on a gas mask, and hearing rioters trying to break through doors into the chamber, with capital security having their weapons drawn. He says that there are many concerns with the security of the Capitol that must be addressed as soon as possible. 

After 2 hours of debate, the senators voted 93 against the objection and 6 voted to support it. Many senators who stated they would object to the results changed their minds such as Kelly Loeffler (R, Georgia) who recently lost a runoff election to Senator-Elect Raphael Warnock, and James Lankford of Oklahoma. The Senate and House will continue voting through the night. The House voted 222 against the objection and 98 for the objection on the state of Arizona. Therefore, the Senate and House rejected the first objection of the night made by Ted Cruz and Paul Gosar according to Axios. “Let’s get this done tonight, and let’s try to end what Donald Trump said to us in the beginning,” said Senator Cory Booker (D, New Jersey).

We’ll bring you more reports tomorrow. Stay connected!

6:15 PM:

Susan Wild speaks on the lack of masks at the breaching, upset that she and many others were unable to visit family because of the virus while others group together forming large mobs, without masks, potentially spreading the virus like a wildfire. 

The D.C. curfew is now in effect. Law enforcement has secured the United states Capitol, which inside is secure. The Republican Senate objectors have met separately since the riot.

6:00 PM: Curfew Hits

CBS reports that rioters released chemical gas on police earlier in the day in attempt to get into the Capitol building.

Just eight minutes until curfew, there are still lingering crowds that refuse to leave the scene. The D.C. curfew is said to go into effect soon. There is no new knowledge on the whereabouts of Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell, and no new statements have been released from then. 

“It’s mostly a while male crowd.” According to CBS reporters. “We’re the good midwestern folks who haven’t been heard,” a Trump supporter says. 

Now just five minutes until the curfew, arrests will be made very soon. The electoral votes have been secured, out of reach from the rioters. 

5:55 PM: First Confirmed Fatality

The woman who was shot in the Capitol just died at the hospital. She is the first confirmed fatality of the riots. It is still unclear who shot the woman and why she was in the building. (MSNBC)

5:50 PM: Silence From Republicans As Riots Continue

With less than 10 minutes to go until the curfew takes effect, more police are arriving to help enforce and arrest people who aren’t obeying. The crowd continues to disperse more rapidly as the deadline approaches, and more and more officers arrive to enforce the deadline.

There has been complete and utter silence from Republicans on the recent events, and many are still waiting and calling for a statement from Congressmen or Congressional leaders such as Mitch McConnell.

Democrats Come Together On Party Line That Riots Are “Seditious”

Democrats who are making limited media appearances seem to be following the lead of Biden, calling these Riots at the Capitol “seditious” and a “shocking and fundamental attack on our democracy.” Lawmakers are still in a secure and undisclosed location, though from what they are saying during media appearances, all remain determined to finish the count of electoral votes tonight. 

5:35 PM: Some Disperse, But Other Rioters Claim They Have No Intention Of Leaving

The Capitol Police have been successful in moving protesters away from the building. It has been reported that one of the protesters climbing the walls fell and fractured some bones. As other lawmakers like Duckworth have told the CBS reporters, some rioters claim they don’t plan on leaving. 

The crowd has “begun to thin” according to CBS reporters. They state that the protesters are “acting like criminals” and assaulting police officers. Windows have been broken inside the Capitol building, and other damage on the building hasn’t been confirmed nor denied. The CBS reporters explain how this is beyond “exercising your right to protest. That is beyond that, they are putting law enforcement officers in danger and those around them.” All of the rioters are being told to leave. 

5:32 PM: Rioters Linger As Curfew Approaches

There is a city-wide 6 P.M. curfew; however many protesters still linger around and inside the building. Tear gas helped move some of the protesters out of the area, however, there are still mobs of people swarming. With 28 minutes until curfew, it seems like there will be many arrests.

5:25 PM: Hypocrisy Is Pointed Out In Treatment Of Protestors

More questions are being asked about the inequality between these invasions of the capitol and the BLM protests that occurred this summer. It appears that the methods being used at these riots are much less severe than those used on BLM protestors in July. 

There are also people who are locked in rooms in the Capitol, but it is not clear whether they locked themselves in or were locked in by authorities.

5:12: Protestors Continue To Disperse

There is now a major push from law enforcement to remove protestors from the Capitol, as more law enforcement arrives. Mostly all communications are down around the Capitol and surrounding DC area, as lines are very congested. It seems to be the first very significant use of force by law enforcement officers. There are more issues regarding these communications, as nobody currently on the Capitol property would be able to watch the Trump Twitter Video requesting people to stand down, according to an MSNBC reporter on the scene.

5:07: 3-4 Flashbangs and Pepper Bombs As Rioters Retreat
It appears that protestors are starting to disperse, and the crowd is thinning slightly. Flash grenades and pepper spray are cornering protestors on the raised balcony, as people retreat from the steps. There is no significant sign of the national guard yet.

5:00 PM: 6:00 PM Curfew Will Have Strict Arrests

Senator Tammy Duckworth talks about the recordings of Donald Trump pressuring the secretary of state to ‘find’ 11,780 votes. Duckworth says “This is Donald Trump’s fault.” There has also been continued criticism of other lawmakers such as Cruz and Hawley who planned to protest the results of the election. They are being called instigators of this event.

CBS reporters mention that the 6 P.M. curfew will be forced, not ordered. Anyone out after 6 P.M. will be arrested. CBS is reporting that the curfew will be forced, not ordered. People are also sitting down on the capital steps and the capital platforms. Strobe lights are also being flashed at the protestors.

4:53 PM: Congressmen Talk About Evacuation

New information is coming out about how members of congress were trapped on the house floor as the Capitol was infiltrated by protestors. The Capitol Police locked and barricaded the doors as they tried to find a way out and a safe escape route for the lawmakers. When they did, they took them out secretly, and then the house floor was invaded by rioters. The location of all lawmakers is still unknown to the public, though we know that they are all safe.

4:40 PM: Electoral College Confirmation Will Continue Tonight Lawmakers Agree

The Capitol building is locked down. The doors are barricaded however people are climbing through windows attempting to get into the building. People can be seen sitting at desks writing notes claiming ‘We will not back down.’, with their legs kicked up on desks. Trump said in a Twitter announcement that he “loves these people”. Both members of congress agree that they will attempt to finish the count tonight, to confirm Biden as the official President elect.

4:35 PM: MSNBC: “At 5:02 PM, the sun sets in Washington”

Some pundits are hypothesizing that as the sun sets, violence will continue and worsen. A second police line has appeared at the top of the Capitol steps, but it does not appear that they are making an effort to remove the protestors from the steps of the Capitol: “As night falls, I don’t think we can expect this will get any better.”

4:32 PM: Chuck Schumer Now Majority Leader As Ossoff Race Is Called

Democrats have officially taken control of the United States Senate, as the Ossoff Perdue race was called in the favor of the Democratic Party. Though this does not immediately take effect, it may have a lot of significance on how the rest of the floor debates continue once the electoral college vote is resumed and the Capitol is cleared.

4:30 PM: Trump Addresses the Nation And More Chaos

Trump is now on live television. He still claims that this is a fraud election and that the protesters are “special.”  He is quoted as telling protestors to “go home” but then also said that he “felt their pain” about having “everything stolen from them”. He then called for law and order and requested that the protestors respect law enforcement.

CBS reporters claim that telling people to “just go home” won’t work. “The protesters seem immovable at this point.” 

 A large bloom of tear gas can be seen after a loud pop noise.

4:23 PM: Former military officials: This is like clearing an active military area

Military officials have been paraphrased as describing how they will have to go through, room by room, the entire Capitol, much like how they clear dangerous buildings in foreign countries during wars. Lawmakers are reported as wearing gas masks and laying face down to avoid potential shots that could come. Pundits on MSNBC and the New York Times are now declaring this a “national security crisis”

4:11 PM: There’s nothing we haven’t been able to do when we do it together

Biden talks about how America is about honor, respect, and decency. He claims that today is a reminder that democracy is fragile. He says that “America is so much better than what we’ve seen today.” He called upon Trump to “step up.” He says that the words of  a president can incite and inspire, no matter how good or bad the president is: “enough is enough.”

4:07 PM: Biden: “An assault on the citadel of liberty”

President-Elect Joe Biden addresses the violent protests outside of the Capitol. He states that our democracy is under assault. He directly called on the protestors to stop, referring to them as a “mob”. He also called on President Trump to “defend the constitution” by going on national television and calling for a stop to the riots: “The world is watching”.

4:05 PM: IED Found Near Capitol Building

MSNBC reports that one IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was found around the Capitol property, and the Secret Service is continuing to search for threats around the area.

4:04 PM: National Guard Deployed

New York Times Reports that 1,100 troops, which makes up the entire D.C. National Guard, has been activated by The Army. They will be sent to places in Washington and the Capitol Building.

3:50 PM:

A person is confirmed shot inside the Capitol building.

According to MSNBC, one person was confirmed to be shot inside the capital building at 3pm EST. Three other people from the Capitol area were taken to nearby hospitals after being exposed to tear gas and pepper spray.

3:45 PM:

More people are attempting to enter the Capitol building; thousands are already inside. 

From what we can see, very few of the protesters are wearing masks. A spike in cases is expected because of the masses of people. Pence is tweeting out for this all to stop, however understandably, people are upset that this is “Leadership by tweet,” according to CBS reporters.

A CBS reporter uses the metaphor that “It’s like lighting a match and setting a house on fire, and then yelling at the house ‘Stop burning! Stop burning.’ You have to go and hose down the fire, you can’t yell for it to stop.”

3:30 PM:

Trump-supporting protesters have breached the Capitol Building. Threats of bombs and a plane threat are being investigated by the FBI. 

The building is currently on lockdown, and there is a standoff between police and protesters outside the Capitol building. 

Pence has been evacuated, and congressmen and women have been encouraged to wear gas masks after tear gas was launched into the building. 

Even with the threats and protesters, Trump has denied sending out the National Guard to the Capitol building. 

Thousands of protesters are now attempting to enter the building, and there are protesters inside. Representative Adam Kinzinger has deemed this as a coup attempt. 

The curfew in Washington D.C. is set for 6 P.M. for safety measures. 

3:30 PM: McCarthy Interview

Capitol police are attempting to handle the situation. Representative Kevin McCarthy states that “Everybody in the nation needs to take a deep breath and realize that we are all Americans, this is not who we are!. We can encourage to disagree, but this is not who we are.” He states that there are “People in here who have plans.” Trump encouraged tens of thousands of people to “stop the steal.” Kevin McCarthy claims that this is more than politics. These protests do not reflect a democracy, so no one should encourage violence or be a part of the turmoil unfolding right now.

Kevin McCarthy believes that the Capitol police need the National Guard’s backup, due to the sheer massive size of the crowd. 

People are currently unsure if anyone is harmed, however Kevin McCarthy reveals that from what he has heard, people are getting hurt and “Are going to get hurt.”