United States Vice President Mike Pence reopened the Senate condemning Wednesday's violent siege of Capitol Hill "in the strongest possible terms". Pence said that "we grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today." The Vice President said that those who wreaked havoc in the Capitol "did not win." "Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the People's House," he said.
We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today.— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 7, 2021
And we will always be grateful for the men and women who stayed at their post to defend this historic place. To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the People's House. pic.twitter.com/ytErRKnk4O— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 7, 2021
Before the violence, Pence defied President Donald Trump, saying he does not have the unilateral ability to discard electoral votes that will make Joe Biden president on January 20. Pence, in a statement issued minutes before he was to begin presiding over a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes, said, "It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not." Trump has pressured his Vice President to toss electors from battleground states that voted for Biden during the session.
In an "unprecedented assault" on democracy in America, thousands of angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and clashed with police, resulting in casualty and multiple injuries and interrupting a constitutional process to affirm Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election.
The police, outnumbered by the maskless protesters, had a tough time in managing the mob, as hundreds of protesters breached security and entered the Capitol building on Wednesday, where members of the Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes.
Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown. Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations. One woman who was shot inside US Capitol has died, CNN reported, quoting a spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Department. Multiple officers were injured during the mob attack.
President-elect Biden said he was shocked and sad to see the US has "come to such a dark moment". Former Republican president George W Bush, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Mitt Romney and Congressman Steve Womack have condemned the attack on Capitol.
Through war and strife, America has endured much. And we will endure here and prevail now. pic.twitter.com/OvNOV0ogWG— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 6, 2021
(With agency inputs)