The National Guard descended on the streets in large numbers to help enforce a 6pm citywide curfew while hundreds of protesters remained on the Capitol grounds. As of 11pm 30 people had been arrested for breaking curfew. Fifteen others were arrested earlier for protest-related activities over Tuesday and Wednesday, police said.
Two pipe bombs found near the Capitol grounds at the headquarters for the Republican and Democratic National Committees were removed, along with a truck filled with long guns and Molotov cocktails.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency in the city for the next 15 days until the inauguration.
Earlier in the day, President-elect Joe Biden called for the ‘mob to pull back’ and said the uprising bordered on sedition.
Trump – after remaining silent for much of the afternoon – posted a video telling his ‘very special’ supporters inside the Capitol that he loves them and understands their pain but urged them ‘to go home’.
He had initially encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol after a rally earlier in the afternoon before asking them only to remain peaceful when violence broke out.
After an hours-long recess, members of the House and the Senate who had been whisked to safety when the siege kicked off returned to the Capitol just before 8pm to resume their Joint Session to certify the Electoral College count of the presidential election.
The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way back into chambers.