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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5:55 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Congressional leaders pushing to finish election verification tonight, sources say

From CNN's Manu Raju and Dana Bash

Congressional leaders are pushing to finish the verification process tonight, multiple sources familiar told CNN. 

And as senators wait to get back on the Senate floor and resume the certification process, some senators are using the time to push and cajole the GOP senators who planned to object to states like Georgia and Pennsylvania to back down after they finish debate over Arizona’s election results, two senate sources familiar with the conversations told CNN.

It is unclear whether the efforts would be successful. It would require Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, for example, to back down in a very public way.

5:53 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Man in critical condition after climbing and falling from scaffolding at US Capitol

From CNN's Noah Gray

A 24-year-old male who was climbing the scaffolding on the west front of the US Capitol building fell more than 30 feet.

He is being taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to a source familiar. 

6:05 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Virginia governor announces state of emergency in response to rioting at US Capitol

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he is issuing a state of emergency as well as setting a 6 p.m. ET curfew for the Arlington and Alexandria areas neighboring Washington, DC.

Read Northam's tweet:


5:47 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

First wave of National Guard arriving at US Capitol will be unarmed

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

The first 150 DC Guardsmen are expected to arrive at the US Capitol at any moment, according to a senior Defense official.   

These guardsmen are part of the new Guard forces activated today.

These Guardsmen are wearing protective gear and carrying riot equipment, but they have no lethal or non-lethal weapons, the source said. 

Their sole purpose right now is to back up Capitol police and to help re-establish a perimeter around the Capitol. They will stay as long as is needed, based on the conditions on the street. They are not doing any law enforcement activities – and that will also be true of the remaining Guardsmen as they are ready to head for the Capitol.

There are no plans to bring in active duty troops at this point, the official said.

The original 340 Guardsmen that were requested earlier in the week remain in their positions and on the streets and are also not armed.

5:46 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Capitol Police detain about 20 people

From CNN’s Laura Robinson

Approximately 20 people were seen in plastic hand-ties being put in the back of a Capitol Police van after exiting the Russell Senate Office Building.

Those people were seen being put in the back of a Capitol Police van on Delaware Avenue near Constitution Avenue shortly after 5:30 p.m. this evening.

5:42 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US Capitol building is now secure, Sergeant-at-Arms says

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

A supporter of President Donald Trump holds Trump flags stand outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington.
A supporter of President Donald Trump holds Trump flags stand outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The Sergeant-at-Arms has announced that the US Capitol building is now secure, according to press pool reporters.

5:43 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Lawmakers say they're committed to getting the joint session done tonight

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

While leaving a secure location with other senators, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told CNN there’s a belief that Congress will finish the Electoral College certification tonight.

“These thugs aren’t running us off,” Manchin said.

He said he thinks it will happen in the Capitol but didn’t know for sure.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, one of the Trump allies helping lead the effort to object to the Electoral College votes, tweeted this afternoon that Congress "must get back to work and finish its job."

CNN reported earlier that leadership wants the situation to be brought under control first before making a decision on reconvening.

“The Capitol is being cleared. When it is safe, we will return to complete our Constitutional responsibilities. This is the United States. We will not allow mob rule to undermine the rule of law," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of leadership, told reporters.
6:04 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Police moving on rioters outside US Capitol

From CNN’s Alex Marquardt and Donie O'Sullivan

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

Police are moving rioters away from the west front of the US Capitol and shouting, “move back!”

CNN reporters have witnessed chemical irritants and flashbangs being used.

CNN's Alex Marquardt and Donie O'Sullivan report. Watch:

5:32 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Facebook calls Capitol rioting a "disgrace," but won't block Trump's account 

From CNN's Brian Fung

Facebook condemned the violent riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday, but stopped short of saying President Trump would be blocked from the social media platform.

"The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace," said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone in a statement to CNN. "We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules."

Facebook’s policies on incitement do not carry exemptions or loopholes for elected officials, Stone added. 

In accordance with Facebook’s approach to content labeling, users who attempt to share Trump’s labeled posts must click through an interstitial prompt.

But Facebook’s decision not to suspend Trump, at least for now, is likely to generate more criticism from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League. The group on Wednesday called for Trump’s removal from social media platforms over his role in fomenting violence.

Despite the statement, Facebook has not removed Trump’s post suggesting Vice President Mike Pence lacked the "courage to do what should have been done."

It also has not removed Trump’s latest video message to supporters.