Tear gas was fired inside the House as armed pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol.
An armed standoff occurred in the House chamber and a rioter even got into the Senate chamber to sit in the presiding officer’s chair, where Mike Pence had been earlier.
Capitol police locked down the Capitol as the president’s right-wing supporters breached security lines and entered the building to reject his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.
The violent crowd clashed with police on the steps of the Capitol Building during the joint session before they stormed and overran the Capitol Building.
Neighbouring congressional office buildings were under evacuation orders as confrontations become increasingly violent with tear gas being deployed and punches being thrown.
Vice president Mike Pence was quickly evacuated by Secret Service agents as officials quickly lost control of the shocking situation.
Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6pm curfew in the city as the situation spun wildly out of control and Capitol Police asked for additional law enforcement support.
Earlier Mike Pence refused to overturn the election for Donald Trump as supporters of the outgoing president became embroiled in fights with police outside the Capitol.
Moments before the joint session the vice president broke with his boss and issued a statement saying he did not have the constitutional authority to intervene, as demanded by Mr Trump.
Congressional Republicans made the first objection of the joint session of Congress, challenging Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes going to president-elect Joe Biden.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also refused to help Mr Trump overturn his election defeat, telling the high chamber that if Joe Biden’s victory was overturned “by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”
Source: The independent