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Protesters overrun US Capitol as vote counting is stopped

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

WASHINGTON — Protesters, mostly supporters of President Donald Trump, stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, pushing past officers in riot gear and breaking windows to enter the building.

A woman is reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds, according to two sources cited by CNN.

Video showed protesters marching through Statuary Hall at the Capitol where windows were broken as the crowd climbed over broken glass to gain access to the building.

US Capitol Police called for re-enforcement to push back the unruly crowd.

The certification of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States was halted and Congress recessed as the chaos escalated outside and inside the Capitol building.

“If Mike Pence does the right thing we win the election,” Mr. Trump told thousands of supporters who rallied Wednesday just south of the White House, an hour before the count in Congress was to begin tallying the electoral votes. Pence did not attend the event, according to the Associated Press.

“All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people,” President Trump said, repeating a lie he has been promoting leading up to the congressional session, according to the AP.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, it’s a sad day for our country,” the president told the crowd.

Pence said in a statement just before he was to begin presiding over a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes that it was “my considered judgment that 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.”

“The American people choose the American president and have every right under the law to demand free and fair elections and a full investigation of electoral misconduct,” the vice president said. “As presiding officer, I will do my duty to ensure that these concerns receive a fair and open hearing in the Congress of the United States.”

To which Mr. Trump tweeted:

 

According to former Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice found no evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

Election officials at the Department of Homeland Security said “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” Voter fraud of any type is incredibly rare, reported The Associated Press and Reuters.

 

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