Pro-Trump rioters have swarmed the grounds and buildings of Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon following President Donald Trump‘s rally in front of the White House and Vice President Mike Pence‘s refusal to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 victory at the day’s scheduled tallying of Electoral Colleges votes casts by the states.
Congressional offices were first told to evacuate and to head down to the underground tunnels in order to escape the ensuing chaos. The Capitol was later on complete lockdown as rioters have breached the building, broken windows, and enter the Congressional chambers.
The Sergeant at Arms later cleared the Capitol, but the building is reportedly back on lockdown, according to congressional sources.
There are also reports that a woman was shot, a D.C. paramedic source told Fox 5 D.C.’s Lindsay Watts. Officials told the station that the individual was transported to a local hospital, where she was reportedly later pronounced dead.
As the nation and the world watch this situation unfold, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced at 3:29 pm (ET) that he’s sending Virginia National Guard members to the District of Columbia as well as 200 state troopers, per D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) request. Trump will also be deploying the National Guard and other federal law enforcement officers, per White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Bowser has also implemented a 6:00 pm curfew Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, explosive devices were reportedly discovered at the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees and the buildings were evacuated, sources told The New York Times. Both buildings are situated a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.
The Times reports that the device found at the RNC, a pipe bomb, was successfully destroyed by a bomb squad, according to an RNC official.
The device discovered at the DNC, a top Democrat briefed on the situation told The Times, has yet to be identified.
Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said she had evacuated her office and reported that the rioters were assaulting Capitol Police, including a video in her tweet of a clash between them in a congressional building.
The Capitol Police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. The story will be updated if and when one is received.
Jennie Taer contributed to this report.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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