Protesters storm US Capitol |

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and good afternoon you are watching abc news live we are following breaking news at this hour capitol hill right now at tinderbox we want to go to live images coming in these are pro-trump supporters who have taken to the steps of the capitol right now it is unclear if capitol police are outnumbered at this hour we have a team of correspondents that is following this developing story both inside the capitol and outside i do want to start right now with what we’re seeing in front of our screens right now rachel scott who is at the scene has been watching and following these demonstrations speaking to some of these protesters is there now rachel first question to you we don’t see a lot of the capitol police right now do we know where the capitol police are number one and number two has it stayed largely non-violent at this point i can tell you i am seeing some police officers trying to move in and tom and the situation here is getting a little bit tense people right now are actually screaming at us calling us traitors they’re filming us at this moment i’m watching as people are climbing over at the steps of the capitol breaching the gates there they are saying the time is now they want these results of this election to be overturned i see very few maps in sight we are still in the middle of a pandemic here people are telling us to go home as we speak these are people that are outraged none of the people out here were listening to anything that the republican leadership was saying they were not listening to those words by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell what they have been listening to is the president and they started over there at the white house they were listening to the president could repeat these false claims that the election was rigged that it was stolen from him asking that congress and the vice president do something about now they are marching here to send that message to lawmakers inside but the scene here is getting tense we’ve heard fireworks go off as the sea of protesters thousands of them march towards the capital now climbing over not only the steps of the case as authorities try and get the situation under control tom okay rachel stand by and please you and your crew stay safe as you cover the story for us i want to read a tweet that we just gotten in from axios staff in the senate press gallery just inform reporters sitting at their desk that if protesters storm the capitol building they will usher us all into the senate chamber and lock the door mary bruce from what i understand who covers capitol hill for us is inside the capitol right now mary what is your understanding and are you hearing any of these these security calls happening inside the capitol well tom actually i i’m a couple blocks away from the capitol but police we now know are saying that protesters have broken through into the first floor of the capitol building that is pretty remarkable especially when you consider on a normal day even a day when they’re not braced for protests like this the high intense level of security around this building you know the the office buildings around the capital are public buildings but to actually get into the capitol building itself you usually need some kind of an appointment you need to have a meeting that you’re there for you have to go through an additional layer of security we saw earlier in the day that certain office buildings were shut down some of them now appear to have been back open but shortly before we learned that now the first floor seems to have been been broken into by protesters or breached by by protesters um that they had been shutting down all the entrants and exits to these other capital uh capital office buildings now our team who is in the capital right now are sheltering in place that is the order that has gone out there’s been a message on the loudspeaker out there that has gone out to everyone to shelter in place if you are in the building because it does appear that these large groups of protesters at least some of them have been able to get through that security and into the capitol building itself where of course this debate is ongoing let’s not forget what’s actually happening in the capitol building right now lawmakers are continuing to debate these objections i believe they are still on the state of arizona the first of at least three states we expect them to object to but this is clearly moving at a pretty rapid clip here it’s obviously you know developing quickly we’re trying to figure out exactly where folks have gotten in and of course how because again i just can’t stress enough how secure this building normally is and is supposed to be especially on a day like this and mary not an easy building just to walk into i want to bring in trish turner she’s one of our capitol hill producers she’s inside the capitol right now we have a team of correspondents and producers that are there right now witnessing all of this trish i think we have you on the phone are you there yes i’m here tom okay so tell us what just happened with the vice president uh really surreal moment um i’ve never seen this before i’ve hear i’ve been here for a lot of big events the the vice president who was presiding over the senate chamber was hustled out i didn’t i wasn’t able to see the video because we began to hear the over the loud speaker and i can’t tell you how much that never happened it happened you know during an earthquake a while back i mean it just never happened they said you know it was emergency emergency stay away from exterior windows and doors and then a follow-up um said that uh protesters had protesters had breached the the the building they were in the first floor i tried to go down from our offices which are way up on the first floor first fourth floor of the capitol and really a terrifying scene two cops i know capital policemen shouted at me to run back into my office barricade the doors the overhead announcement at the end to get more urgent barricade the doors if you can’t seek shelter you know barricade the doors wherever you are members were huddled on the floor i could see mitch mcconnell on his phone um when we came back up so it is truly a surreal scene it’s really quite frightening i appreciate anything stay on the phone with me because i just want to update our viewers we are getting alerts from inside the capitol right now that the capital has been breached this is coming from capitol police the staff at the capitol has been notified we understand both houses are now in recess as mary mentioned they were debating the objections to the electoral votes that were going to be ratified usually a symbolic day joe biden will be the next president this was just sort of a symbolic gesture where they ratify the electoral votes in both chambers of congress during this joint session and then this large group of pro-trump demonstrators approached the capital and now that we know they are inside the capital trish you know talk to our viewers who have maybe haven’t had the chance to to go and visit and to really watch democracy in action when you when you enter the capitol you have to go through metal detectors there there are narrow doorways it’s not like you can just storm in with the crowd of people that’s right that’s right tom you can’t get in easily and especially now during the pandemic the public the campus is closed to the public so you know getting in you have to have credentials lately for this particular session they’ve had bike racks up they’ve had cordons all around the capitol there are checkpoints we had to go through i think i counted three then once you make it to the to the senate building or the house you have to like you said you have to go through security you go through a mag you know it’s you can’t bring it’s not easy to get in here there are men men with guns everywhere so um i i just can’t tell you how shocking it is um to to hear i mean colleagues were shouting cops were running you know these people had made it into the capitol and and it’s just really hard to believe we even heard there there might have been a plan for us to hustle everybody onto the senate chamber and and i can’t even imagine what that would have been like but uh but that’s the word that was going out from one of the galleries here who deals with the media and so um you know it’s truly a shocking thing here okay trish stand by first i want to bring in brad garrett brad if you if you know the answer to this question please tell us but in the situation where the capitol police would become overwhelmed and we don’t know if that is the situation just yet what happens in that situation does the d.c metropolitan police department assist do they call other federal agencies i can tell you they already have other people in place now are there fbi and other agencies inside the capitol maybe maybe not but they’re going to be close by the big concern because they’ve allowed so many looks like thousands of people to literally get to the front door or front doors of the capitol they’ve created themselves just sort of a nightmare but be that would it may you now have to look at the vulnerabilities there is one shot i saw where people actually were waiting to come in through a particular door you look for those vulnerabilities and you block them the other thing you’re going to have to do is basically secure everyone that got inside because they may have communications ability to call their people looking for vulnerabilities open windows etc i mean this is sort of potentially a nightmare scenario so that’s it’s a it’s a huge problem as we speak okay brad thank you hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you’d like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts thanks for watching

credit by: morgancenterlibrary and ABC News on youtube

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