Rhode Island senators, representatives tweet messages of safety from Washington
WASHINGTON D.C. – Congress was forced to place its certification of the election on pause on Wednesday after thousands of protestors stormed the Capitol Building.
Images and messages coming out of Washington D.C. have shown pro-Trump supporters surrounding the Capitol and lining Pennsylvania Avenue, tear gas being used inside the rotunda, and guns drawn on those outside the House and Senate floors.
In the hours since the building was stormed, senators and representatives who had been present have reported that they have been evacuated to an undisclosed location and are safe.
At 3:05 p.m., Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted that “senators have been evacuated to a nearby building.”
He also shared that they are “waiting for Capitol Police to retake Capitol and restore order,” and followed up with an additional tweet to say he was “mad as hell!”
At 3:26 p.m., Sen. Jack Reed tweeted a similar message, letting members of the public know he was safe and “determined to defend our Democracy from these heinous attacks.”
“This violent mob, incited by Trump, breached the Capitol, but our work continues & our principles endure,” Reed wrote. “They will not destroy our Democracy, undo the election, or subvert the will of the American People!”
Rep. Jim Langevin and Rep. David Cicilline also sent out tweets during that half-hour window, sharing their disappointment and outrage at the turn of events on Capitol Hill.
“This is outrageous, and the president caused it,” Cicilline tweeted. “We should impeach and convict him tomorrow.”
Langevin shared that he was “saddened by the turn of events” and that “it did not have to be this way.”
Protestors first broke past barriers around the Capitol around 1 p.m., according to numerous national media outlets. Roughly 90 minutes later, protestors were able to gain entry into the building.
It wasn’t until 4:17 p.m. that Trump shared a message with his supporters, encouraging them to go home. Before this, Trump issued two tweets, asking protesters to remain peaceful and respect law and order, but did not ask them to stand down.
In that same video message, the president repeatedly claims the election had been “a landslide” in his favor, and that the presidency has been stolen from him.
Many politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have assigned blame to the president for inciting violence and creating false hope that Congress could certify results in his favor.
Protestors are still being cleared from the Capitol. This is a developing story.