Congress finalizes Biden's win after riot disrupts Capitol

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021
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4:29 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

CNN reporter describes debris and smell of tear gas inside Capitol while being evacuated

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN's Manu Raju described the scene while being evacuated at the US Capitol after rioters breached the building.

There are police officers in riot gear and gas masks, and the smell of tear gas is throughout the building, Raju reported.

"These rioters have clearly ... breached all elements of this building. You're seeing debris, trash, all in the elevators, things knocked down, posts knocked down, and this is clearly a sign of how they are gone into all parts of this building," he said.

He did not see any rioters currently inside of the building, he said.

See Manu Raju's report:

4:26 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Trump's former chief of staff: "Many of these folks are nothing but domestic terrorists"

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Trump's first chief of staff Reince Priebus is one of several former staffers speaking out more forcefully about the pro-Trump riots taking place at the US Capitol than Trump. 

"Many of these folks are nothing but domestic terrorists," he tweeted. "And many are criminals and trouble makers all acting in a manner opposite of patriotism. These violent people have no respect for democracy. Pure insanity and disgusting."
4:22 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Smoke grenades being deployed on Senate side of the US Capitol

From CNN's Kristin Wilson, Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, Ali Zaslav and Sarah Fortinsky 

Smoke grenades are being deployed on the Senate side of the US Capitol, as Capitol police work to clear the building of rioters.

Windows on the west side of the Senate have been broken, and hundreds of officers are amassing on the first floor of the building. 

CNN reporters working in the US Senate, have been told by the Capitol Police that they are being evacuated from the Senate, to an undisclosed location. 

The Capitol Police also say the Senate won’t be in session in the Capitol building today or anytime soon, saying the building was “trashed.”

While the officers appear to be speaking with authority, CNN has not independently confirmed that the Senate leadership has made that decision. 


4:22 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Rioters want to "occupy the Capitol through the night," source says

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

A source close to the White House who is in touch with some of the rioters at the Capitol said it's the goal of those involved to stay inside the Capitol through the night. It's a potential disruption that would further delay the constitutional process that was interrupted by the violence on the Hill.

"Their goal is to occupy the Capitol through the night," the source said of some of the rioters.

As reported earlier, a White House adviser said some aides around President Trump are becoming furious that the President won't do more to stop the insurrection at the Capitol. The adviser said aides have been all but begging Trump to come out and make a statement to begin to calm the situation. 

"He doesn't want to," to do more than what he is doing right now, the adviser said. 

"If we could throw him to the angry mob, we'd throw him to the angry mob now," the adviser said. 

4:35 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

The work of the next four years will be restoring democracy, Biden says

President-elect Joe Biden addressed the pro-Trump riots happening right now at the Capitol, saying the work of the next four years will be rebuilding democracy.

"The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy – of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law. Just plain, simple decency," Biden said.

The President-elect said he is "shocked and saddened" that the country has come to "such a dark moment," but added that like other moments in history, America will prevail.

"Through war and strife, America's endured much. And we will endure here and we will prevail again and we'll prevail now," Biden said.

"Today's reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it requires people of good will," he said.

Rioters stormed the US Capitol building earlier today while members of Congress were meeting to certify Biden's win.


4:17 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

DC police officer taken to the hospital after being pepper sprayed

From CNN's Pervaiz Shallwani 

At least one officer was pepper sprayed and taken to an area hospital, according Douglas Buchanan, chief of communications for the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Buchanan also said others have been treated and taken to hospitals throughout the day – ranging from cardiac arrest to someone who suffered multiple fractures after falling from scaffolding on the West end of the U.S. Capitol. 

4:26 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Biden calls on Trump to go on TV to order end to Capitol mob

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Susan Walsh/AP

President-elect Joe Biden called on President Trump to appear on national television and condemn his supporters who breached the US Capitol.

“The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite. Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,” Biden said in an address to Americans.

Biden called the mob an “insurrection.”

“Threatening the safety of elected officials, it’s no protest. It's insurrection,” Biden said. “The world's watching. Like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.” 

"President Trump: Step up," Biden added.


4:14 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Republican National Committee headquarters cleared after officials found pipe bomb outside

From CNN's Dan Merica and Mike Warren

The headquarters for the Republican National Committee were cleared Wednesday after a suspicious device was found nearby, committee communications director Michael Ahrens told CNN.

The headquarters are just a few blocks from the US Capitol. The evacuation happened roughly an hour ago, Ahrens said.

An RNC official told CNN that a pipe bomb was found on the ground outside, along the wall of the headquarters. The device was safely detonated by the police, the RNC official said.

The Democratic National Committee was also evacuated on Wednesday after a suspicious package was being investigated nearby, a Democratic source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

The party preemptively closed the building ahead of the protests, the source said, but a few security and essential personnel were evacuated.

4:26 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Biden: "Our democracy is under unprecedented assault"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

President-elect Joe Biden addressed the riots that erupted at the US Capitol building, calling it an "assault" on democracy.

"At this hour, our democracy's under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we've seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic... Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now," Biden said.