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The Post  
Protesters Storm US Capitol While Congress Counts, Certifies, Debates Electoral College Vote
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 01/06/21 5:35 pm | updated: 01/06/21 5:35 pm
Supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, 1/6, while a joint session of Congress was convened to certify the Electoral College votes. Earlier Wednesday, the crowd had gathered at the Ellipse (between the White House and Washington Monument) for a rally featuring a speech by the President. Trump implored Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the votes. Following that rally, a large group marched to the Capitol.

Meanwhile inside the chambers, Pence went about the count as prescribed in the Constitution and not as Trump wished. In a statement, the VP said, "my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not." Debate over the certification had just begun when the building was breached by the protesters. The session was recessed. Elected members were evacuated from chambers and many wore gas masks. Protesters gained access to the buildings, including the House chambers. One woman was shot inside the Capitol, she has died. The building has been secured. Congress will reconvene at 8 p.m. and resume counting Electoral College votes.

The D.C. National Guard has been called in. There will be a 6 p.m. curfew. President Trump released a short statement telling everyone to go home.

UPDATE: The woman who was shot by Capitol Police has been identified as Ashli Babbitt of San Diego. She was a 14-year veteran who served four tours with the Air Force.

UPDATE: The counting of the votes has gone into early Thursday morning. Pennsylvania's votes were objected to by members of the House and Senate triggering a debate and vote.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said, "This is an absolute disgrace. I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances. I am currently safe as are the few members of my staff that are currently at the Capitol complex."

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey tweeted, "My staff and I are safe and following guidance from Capitol Police. The scene in the Capitol goes against every value we pledge to uphold as a nation. Democracy will prevail."

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