I’m watching CNN “live” and listening to the voice of Manu Raju, Senior Congressional Corespondent, as Vice President Pence is being escorted from the building.
The Trump protesters have breached the building and the Vice President of the United States has been evacuated.
Both chambers are now in recess and one U.S. female representative said she had been told to evacuate her office because of a pipe bomb. You can see the protesters inside Statuary Hall, carrying their Trump flags and draped in American flags. They are just walking through, carrying their cell phones, but soon they begin breaking windows and climbing into the interior of the Capitol building.
“This is an incredibly dangerous situation that is unfolding.” (Jake Tapper) Trump is on Twitter complaining about Pence’s unwillingness to go along with his plans to wrest control of the election process.
One yo-ho is waving a U.S. flag outside of the roped-off walkway. The CNN commentators are remarking that “this is beyond anything I’ve seen in covering the Capitol for 20 years.” One tweet: Shame on POTUS for not doing anything to stop it. Jim Acosta says that, like Nero fiddling while Rome burns, the current president is “pouring fuel on the fire.” This is “a bonfire of the insanities” that has been going on for weeks now. “And now, this is what we’re left with.”
Acosta: “And, Jake: what is the plan to get these people out of there? This is just bedlam. What is Trump’s plan to get these people out of there?”
Manu Raju: “Very very tense. There is an armed stand-off at the front door of the Capitol. The D.C. Mayor is ordering a 6 p.m. curfew.”
House members are sheltering in place in their offices, but they are being told to evacuate. Pence has been evacuated. The protesters are all over this building.”
The protesters all look like yo-hos. They are attired in MAGA hats and plaid that makes them look like they’ve all just wandered in from plowing the north 40. The members of Congress are being given gas masks because tear gas was used in the Rotunda of the Capitol. Chief Ramsey (P.D.) is being asked how the members of Congress can perform their Constitutional duties today? He says, “You’ve gotta’ force them out. This is absolutely ridiculous.” Transit police can be seen walking outside, on the steps of the Capitol. There are people climbing up walls and tromping around. The president is stirring the pot and has unleashed something he cannot control. The Chief of Police says: “It never should have gotten this far.”
Charles Ramsey, the former D.C. Police Chief, says “He stirred them up. This is as close to a coup attempt as this country has ever seen. This is sedition. This is attempting to undermine the rule of law by using force.”
An unattractive man has just given the middle finger to the cameraman while shouting obscenities.
Jake Tapper is asking why more steps were not taken to insure that the Capitol would be safe. It seems pretty clear that the man in charge (Trump) has encouraged this. “I haven’t seen anything like this. This is the United States of America. This is the American Capitol!”
Tapper points out that this is Charles Ramsey’s “worst nightmare” and he mentions “major demonstrations in the city.” But, he said, “We never had anything that came close to coming this far. They’ve got to take the gloves off and maintain control.” Ramsey seems quite perturbed that more force is not being used against the protesters who are storming the Capitol.
Tapper: “I don’t know if anything has happened like this since the days of the Vietnam War.”
I lived through the days of the Vietnam War. There was no disrespect shown to the Capitol during the anti-war protesters. “I haven’t seen anything like it since then. It doesn’t go that far even then,” said Charles Ramsey. (Very true).
The real question is when law enforcement is going to show up, in force.
There is at least one woman in critical condition after being shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds.