The US Capitol was vandalized by thousands of pro-Trump protesters on Wednesday, disrupting the procedure to certify the election victory of Joe Biden. The unseemly spectacle of angry mobs breaching barricades and marching into the Capitol building unfolded after Vice President Mike Pence told the lawmakers that he will not block the congressional certification of Biden's victory.
Here's what Happened at the Capitol in 10 Points
Rioters in Capitol
The violent protest started after Pence said he did not have the intention to use his powers to block Biden certification. The Trump camp had hoped that the VP would toe the president's line and offer a last minute rescue plan for the President. However, at the beginning of the joint session, Pence said he did not believe he has the "unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted."
Offices of Pelosi, Pence Ransacked
The protesters who marched into the Capitol encroached into the office of Pelosi and vandalized it. Protestors were seen posing for photos inside the Senate and House of Representatives. Protesters took photos of themselves sitting on the chairs of the Vice President and the House Speaker.
Woman was Shot by Police Inside Capitol
The woman who was shot inside the US Capitol during riots died later in the hospital. "Yes, the adult female that was shot inside of the Capitol was pronounced at an area hospital," the Metropolitan Police Department said. The department said additional details will be forthcoming as this remains an active MPD investigation.. The NY Post reported that the woman was apparently shot by Capitol Police.
Twitter Locks President's Account
Twitter locked President Trump's account for 12 hours, and said it would suspend his account permanently in case of further provocation. "We have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity Policy," Twitter said. "This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked."
Foggy Bottom Asks Diplomats to Stay Away from Social Media
The US diplomats have been asked to suspend all social media posts. This is normally a step the government takes when tbere is a terrorist attack or major natural disasters. The Under Secretary for Public Affairs told diplomats to "pause any planned context from your social media accounts". They were also asked to remove any scheduled content set for release on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Removes Trump's Video
After the protests at the Capitol building turned violent, Facebook removed President Trump's video in which he was addressing his supporters. In the video, Trump had asked the Capitol protesters to go home.
Senators Moved to Secure Areas
Lawmakers moved to secure areas after the rioters occupied the chamber. They were ushered into the chamber hours after the violent siege. Footage showed senators from both the parties leaving the secure spaces of the Capitol grounds in order to resume the discussion on the certification of Biden's victory.
Melania's Press Secretary Resigns
Stephanie Grisham, the press secretary and current chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, resigned in the wake of the violent Capitol protests. Grisham is also the former White House communications director. Grisham's resignation became effective immediately. She was one of the longest-serving Trump administration officials.
Lawmakers have returned to the US Capitol after the mobs were evacuated from the building and the premises secured by the law enforcement. More than 20 people have been arrested so far. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the joint session was being reconvened. With Pence refusing to block the certification and many ardent Trump supporters in Congress and the Senate backing down after the violent protests, the certification of Biden's victory will go ahead as per the procedure.