The Slatest

Pence Taken Into Secret Service Protection During Lockdown as Trump Denounces Him for Refusing to Overturn Election

A man carries a large Trump flag up a staircase in front of a large painting.
A protester near the U.S. Senate chamber on Wednesday. Win McNamee/Getty Images

At noon, Donald Trump began giving a speech near the White House that lasted for more than an hour. During the speech, he promised never to concede defeat in the presidential election and claimed that Vice President Mike Pence, in his capacity presiding over the counting of Electoral College votes in Congress, could order states to hold new elections. At around 1 p.m., Pence released a statement acknowledging he does not have the authority to do so. Shortly thereafter, separate proceedings began in both the House and the Senate.

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After the president finished speaking, the crowd listening to him moved down the National Mall toward the Capitol building. A number of individuals—it’s still not clear how many—then forced their way past Capitol Police and inside the building. Here’s a video taken by Slate’s Jim Newell of an attempt to break down one door:

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Both chambers of Congress subsequently adjourned. According to a report on MSNBC, the Secret Service took Pence out of the building via tunnel. While this was going on, Trump denounced him on Twitter:

As of now, there are a number of protesters inside the Capitol; police reinforcements are arriving and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has reportedly asked the National Guard to clear the building, though it’s not clear whether it will agree to do so. Pence’s whereabouts have not been disclosed.

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