U.S. Capitol locked down as Trump supporters clash with police

People attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump
People attend a rally in support of President Trump on Wednesday in Washington.
(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Trump and police.

An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s victory. Due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said.

Both chambers abruptly went into recess.

The skirmishes occurred outside in the very spot where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.


The mob tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.

A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said.

President Trump falsely says Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the election result when he presides in Congress on Wednesday, setting Pence up for Trump’s wrath.

Jan. 5, 2021

The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress’ vote.

“We will not let them silence your voices,” Trump told his supporters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear the president.