Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021.
Donald Trump's supporters on Wednesday stormed a session of Congress held to certify Joe Biden's win, as a desperate last-minute bid by the president to overturn his election loss sparked chaos and accusations of a "coup" attempt.
This article contains live updates from our coverage on Wednesday and Thursday in chronological order.
Overview of what happened
Hundreds of protesters broke down barriers and doors to invade the seat of the US legislature on Wednesday, an unprecedented act that played out on live television. Trump and his supporters maintain, without evidence, that Biden's win was rooted in massive fraud. At least five people have been killed, including four protestors and one police officer.
Over 50 people have been arrested, most of them for not respecting curfew hours.
US President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday that Donald Trump had incited one of the "darkest days" in US history, a day after pro-Trump rioters smashed their way into the Capitol.
Biden assailed the record of the outgoing president, saying the Republican had "unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset" of his four years in office.
The attack on the Capitol, where Biden formerly served for decades as a senator, took place two weeks before he is to take office, following his November 3 election victory over Trump.
Two cabinet members quit
Two members of Donald Trump's cabinet resigned Thursday with days left in the administration in protest over the storming of the Capitol.
The education secretary and transportation secretary -- the only two women in Trump's inner cabinet -- both said they could no longer remain in office after the violent rampage on a ceremonial session of Congress that certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
"That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me," said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a conservative stalwart who had served throughout the administration.
"Impressionable children are watching all this, and they are learning from us," she said in a letter to Trump.
"They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday."
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Republican Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell, earlier said it was "a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed."
"It has deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside," she added.
Several Democratic lawmakers dismissed her resignation as posturing. "Rats leaving a sinking ship," as Jackie Speier, a California congresswoman, said on Twitter.
Democrats said that the secretaries should have instead worked to remove Trump from power under the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows a majority of the cabinet to vote to remove the chief executive if he is deemed unfit to serve.
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney -- who had predicted Trump would give up power graciously -- said he was quitting his diplomatic position as US envoy for Northern Ireland.
"I can't stay here, not after yesterday. You can't look at that yesterday and think I want to be a part of that in any way, shape or form," Mulvaney told CNBC television.
"Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in," he said.
Trump in a video later Thursday finally acknowledged that he would be leaving office on January 20 and condemned the violence but did not congratulate Biden.
Calls mount for Trump's immediate removal from office
"What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president," Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. "This president should not hold office one day longer."
The senator from New York said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for a majority of the cabinet to replace a president deemed unable to discharge his duties.
"If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," he said.
Thursday morning update
A lot has happened since our last update. An update from DC Police Chief Robert Contee confirms that four people died in the violent clashes between Trump-supporting protesters and police, including a woman shot by US Capitol Police as a mob attempted to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol. The three others were said to have died in "medical emergencies."
Lindsay Watts of Fox 5 DC confirmed on Twitter that the woman shot and killed was one Ashli Babbit.
Both sides of the conflict - the Trump-supporting mob and law enforcement - are understood to have used chemical irritants. Police also found two pipe bombs and a contained of Molotov cocktails during their response to the days events. The latest information suggests that 52 people were arrested. This we know thanks to Heather Caygle of Politico.
The mob was there to protest the stop the certification of the election results, which saw the democratic defeat of President Donald Trump to his Democratic rival, President Elect Joe Biden. The election has been subject to unfounded claims of electoral fraud, spurred on by President Trump. The certification continued once the situation had been contained, with Nancy Pelosi making it very clear indeed that the process would not be halted by the violence
Similarly, House majority whip Jim Clyburn said he would not be deterred by the mob.
Not everyone was on the same page however. Matt Gaetz, a representative from Florida, took to the floor to point a finger not at Trump supporters, but Antifa. Needless to say, there is no evidence at the moment to support this statement.
Final evening update
Officials at the US Capitol declared a lockdown, and lawmakers said on Twitter that they were sheltering in place in their offices, as protesters -- some of them holding Trump flags -- were seen walking through the building.
US police in the chamber of the US House of Representatives drew their weapons as supporters of Donald Trump tried to break in, a congressman said.
"Chamber security and Capitol Police have their guns drawn as protesters bang on the front door of the chamber," Representative Dan Kildee tweeted from inside the chamber.
"We have been instructed to lie down on the floor and put on our gas masks."
As of 23:15 CET, National Guard troops are attempting to clear the Capitol buildings and its grounds ahead of a 6 p.m. Eastern Time curfew.
President-elect Joe Biden addressed the media at around 4 p.m. Eastern Time, branding the event an 'insurrection' and calling on President Trump to make a TV appearance to tell the rioters to back down.
Trump subsequently tweeted the following message:
There are reports that a women is in a critical condition with gunshot wounds, with graphic videos circulating online.
Multiple police officers have been injured, according to media sources.
In the midst of the insurrection, news emerged that Jon Ossoff has won the special election in Georgia, giving Democrats control of the Senate.
Events as they happened
US Vice-President Mike Pence called on protesters to leave the building.
Pence had been presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify Democrat Joe Biden's election victory when protesters who had attended a Trump rally nearby swarmed the Capitol.
"The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now," Pence said in a tweet.
US Representative Karen Bass was one of many declaring the incident a coup attempt.
NBC News shared a picture of a protester sitting in US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.
Protesters are still roaming around the US Senate chamber, with Capitol Police and the National Guard trying to remove them.
A clip posted on Twitter by a Trump supporter depicted the moment protesters broke through police barricades:
House representative Michael McCaul posted a clip from inside the Capitol building, depicting the chaos caused by the protesters:
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. / © Saul LOEB / AFP
Capitol Police sent orders for Congressional staff to leave the Cannon building and other large offices after Trump called on his followers to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory inside the legislature.
"Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby threat. Now we're seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Police," said Representative Nancy Mace in a tweet.
"This is wrong. This is not who we are. I'm heartbroken for our nation today," she wrote.
National Guard summoned
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that National Guard are on the way to the Capitol.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is also sending support.
Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan said the entire 1,100-strong Washington DC guard had been called up to support federal law enforcement while neighbouring Virgina and Maryland announced they were deploying guard troops and state police.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew Wednesday after angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.
Bowser set a 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) curfew after thousands of protesters descended on the US Congress, forced lawmakers to go into recess as they began the process of confirming Joe Biden as the next US president.
The curfew is to remain in place until 6:00 am Thursday.
Trump's weak response
President Donald Trump called for "peaceful" protests after his supporters stormed the Capitol.
"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement," Trump said on Twitter more than an hour after protesters breached a security cordon.
"They are truly on the side of our Country," Trump said. "Stay peaceful!"
Thirty-five minutes later, Trump sent a follow-up tweet arguing 'WE are the Party of Law and Order.'
"Shocking scenes in Washington, DC," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, as images of protesters supporting US President Donald Trump storming the US Capitol sped around the world.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday called on supporters of President Donald Trump to "stop trampling on democracy".
"Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of American voters and stop trampling on democracy," Maas tweeted.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the "disgraceful scenes" at the US Congress.
"Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power," Johnson said on Twitter.
A sobering thought
U.S. Representative Bobby Rush questioned how the situation may have developed had Black Lives Matter protesters invaded the Capitol building.