Protesters have stormed the US Capitol and the building is now closed due to violent clashes between them and the police.
Trump supporters broke barricades during violent clashes between them and police in Washington DC.
A protester broke through the floor of the house and an armed stalemate ensued in which members of the house were asked to get on the floor and under their seats.
Both houses of Congress abruptly withdrew as they discussed the election of the electoral college to give Joe Biden the presidency.
Confusion reigned in the chamber of the house when the Capitol doors locked and the debate broke off.
Speaking from a lectern on the podium, a representative of the Capitol Police urged politicians to remain calm and that more information would be available soon.
An announcement was played at the Capitol when lawmakers met and were expected to vote to confirm Joe Biden’s victory.
Due to an “external security threat”, no one could enter or leave the Capitol complex, the recording said.
The skirmish took place outside exactly where President-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.
Protesters tore down metal barricades at the foot of the Capitol steps and were hit by officers in riot gear.
Some tried to push past the officers holding shields, and officers could see pepper spray shoot into the crowd to hold them back. Some in the crowd shouted “traitors” when officials tried to hold them back.
A suspicious package has also been reported in the area, Capitol Police said.
The skirmishes came shortly after President Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and roused the crowd with unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud at a rally near the White House on the Wednesday before the Congress vote.
“We’re not going to let them silence your voices,” Trump told the protesters who stood in line before sunrise to get a prime position to hear the president.
Members of Congress in the Chamber of the House were ordered by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was distributed in the Capitol rotunda.
Law enforcement ordered politicians to pull masks from under their seats during the clashes.
After apparently instigating the protests, President Trump tweeted his supporters to “stay peaceful” as they forcibly clash with law enforcement and breach the Capitol building.