Trump supporters storm Congress as Pence and lawmakers run for safety:
In an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capitol, protesters supporting President Donald Trump rushed the stairs of the building and smashed windows as they pushed their way inside.
In a massive security breach, the protesters, waving blue Trump flags, made it to the doors of the Senate and House chambers as U.S. Capitol Police locked lawmakers inside for their own saf
They were heard banging on the doors of the House chamber and yelling outside as police officers rushed lawmakers out of the chamber and to safety.
There were reports of gun shots outside of the House as an armed stand off took place at the doors of the chamber.
‘We’ve been given gas masks on the House floor. Tear gas has been used in the Rotunda,’ wrote Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly on twitter.
Vice President Mike Pence, presiding in the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presiding in the House, were removed from their respective chambers at the first hint of the breach for their own safety.
The protesters filled the rotunda, which sets below the dome of the Capitol and is filled with paintings depicting important scenes in the founding of the nation. They also were seen marching through Statuary Hall, the room off the House chamber that is filled with statues of the nation’s founders and used for special ceremonies.
There are more than 2,000 Capitol Police officer with jurisdiction over Capitol grounds. But footage from inside the building did not show an immediate effort to make mass arrests.
When the building is open, as it was before the pandemic, members of the general public are not allowed to walk unescorted on the second floor where lawmakers enter and exit the legislative chambers.
The protesters were aided by scaffolding constructed for the upcoming inauguration.