Timeline: Electoral Vote Count Descends Into Chaos BY LILLIE DAVIDSON

January 10 2021

The US Congress met Wednesday to recognize the results of the Electoral College. A process usually regarded as a formality, the meeting had been receiving extra attention in recent weeks due to President Trump’s ongoing refusal to concede the election & announcements by many senators and representatives that they would object to the results. Hours before the meeting, rioters began to gather outside of the Capitol building. Soon after the joint session of Congress was gaveled to order, chaos and panic descended upon the National Mall.

1:00pm ET: The Sergeant at Arms enters the House chamber and announces to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the full Senate, and Vice President Pence, have arrived and are ready to begin the process of counting votes. Alabama and Alaska’s votes are counted without objection. Arizona’s votes are objected to, and the joint session splits into its respective houses for debate. Senator Mitch McConnell delivers a scathing rebuke of the objections, saying “It would damage our republic forever.”

1:39pm ET: Capitol police begin to evacuate the area surrounding the Capitol as riots heat up. Crowds of Trump supporters try to breach barricades and push past security. Moments later, Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria tweets that she has evacuated her office due to reports of a pipe bomb left outside.

2:08pm ET: Moments before reports hit national news, a House clerk informs RevNow that House staffers from the Cannon office building are being evacuated via the Capitol tunnel system.

2:15pm ET: The joint session of Congress is slammed to a halt mid-debate as insurrectionists breach barricades and spill onto the Capitol steps. Inside the Capitol, police begin to fan out within the building, telling occupants to stay away from the windows. Vice President Pence is taken out of the chamber to a secure location. An officer on the third floor begins to shout that rioters have entered the building. The Capitol is locked down and all lawmakers evacuated to an undisclosed location. A House clerk tells RevNow

2:38pm ET: President Trump tweets, telling his followers to remain ‘peaceful,’ but does not condemn acts of violence or announce that he is deploying the National Guard to Washington DC. Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over yesterday’s count, later deployed the guard himself. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announces a citywide 6pm curfew

3:48pm ET: The DC Metropolitan Police confirm that they have found pipe bombs at the headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic National Committees. Both bombs are destroyed by the agency.

8:10pm ET: Almost six hours after the vote count is disrupted, Congress returns to the joint session to finish counting votes. Vice President Pence tells the session, “To those who wreaked havoc today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins.” The vote count resumes with one objection to Pennsylvania’s vote.

3:45am ET: A tragic, marathon day comes to a close as Congress affirms Biden & Harris’ victory. Trump acknowledges via Twitter that an ‘orderly transition of power’ will occur, but does not concede that he lost.

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John Minchillo/Associated Press