Vice President Mike Pence addressed a session of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday evening, praising the resilience of American Democracy and condemning the rioters who stormed the Capitol building amidst the effort to certify the Electoral College vote.
“Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol, but thanks to the swift efforts of U.S. Capitol police, federal, state, and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled, the Capitol is secured, and the people’s work continues,” said Pence after the Senate reconvened for the evening.
Earlier in the day, lawmakers were escorted from the House and Senate chambers after a group of rioters pushed their way into the Capitol building. While it’s unclear how many of them entered, photos show apparent Trump supporters entering an empty Senate chamber, and Capitol security commenced in a stand-off at a barricaded House door. Others entered the offices of lawmakers, and broke windows and Capitol property.
Video from the chamber. pic.twitter.com/UKF7MScHKN
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 6, 2021
Several people got on to a scaffolding outside Senate, took it to second floor, which looked like the area where McConnell’s office is located, and started banging on windows pic.twitter.com/IIZ21nkzFT
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
“We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms,” Pence told the Senate in the evening. “We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today, and we will always be grateful to 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,” he continued. “As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again, on the very same day, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The vice president concluded his remarks: “May God bless the United States of America. Let’s get back to work.” He was met with applause from lawmakers in the Senate chamber, who promptly resumed Senate business.