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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7:18 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Twitter locks Trump's account for 12 hours

From CNN's Brian Fung

Twitter said Wednesday it has locked President Trump’s account for 12 hours, and warned for the first time that it may suspend him permanently.

The temporary lock reflects Trump’s violation of the Twitter rules, the company said.

“We have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity Policy,” Twitter said. “This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”

Twitter added that “future violations… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

The announcement marks a major escalation by Twitter against Trump’s account and responds to calls by civil rights groups for Trump to be banned from the platform.

7:21 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

House and Senate chambers are being cleaned for session tonight

From CNN's Manu Raju and Kristin Wilson

Papers and other materials litter the chamber after House were evacuated as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington.
Papers and other materials litter the chamber after House were evacuated as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington. Andrew Harnick/AP

The House and Senate chambers are being cleaned so the full Senate and House can resume proceedings as soon as the 8 p.m. hour, Hill sources said.

It’s unclear if the House and Senate plan to go through the night or how long the proceedings will go.

In a letter to colleagues this evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said leaders of Congress have decided to resume the joint session tonight once the Capitol is "cleared for use."

The House clerk is now returning to the chamber, according to pool reports. 

6:57 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Republican congresswoman says she will reverse position on challenging election results

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington state, will reverse her position on challenging the presidential election results.

“We must have a peaceful transfer of power. The only reason for my objection was to give voice to the concern that governors and courts unilaterally changed election procedures without the will of the people and outside of the legislative process. I have been consistent in my belief that Americans should utilize the constitutional tools and legal processes available to seek answers to their questions about the 2020 election. What we have seen today is unlawful and unacceptable," McMorris Rodgers said in a statement today.

McMorris Rodgers added: "I have decided I will vote to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness.”

Read the statement:

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

Twitter removes Trump's tweets

From CNN's Brian Fung

Twitter on Wednesday removed several of President Trump’s tweets reacting to the violence at the US Capitol.

Among the tweets that were removed was a video that Trump posted Wednesday afternoon addressing his supporters. Also deleted was Trump’s tweet saying Vice President Mike Pence lacked the “courage” to do what was necessary.

The removal comes after Facebook and YouTube removed Trump’s video to supporters, and amid calls by the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP for Trump’s social media accounts to be suspended outright.

6:52 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Democratic lawmaker recounts his experience comforting colleague while US Capitol was under siege

The last time Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, experienced the level of violence seen at the US Capitol today was when he was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, he told CNN this afternoon.

Crow was photographed comforting Rep. Susan Wild, a fellow Democrat from Pennsylvania, while rioters entered the Capitol.

"That was a very, very difficult time. I haven't been in a situation like that since frankly I was in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army ranger. We were actually trapped in the House chamber at that time. A mob had descended and broke through the security cordon of the Capitol. They had already evacuated the leadership and the members who were on the floor. But those of us who were up in the gallery watching the debate had been trapped because the mob closed off the stairwells and had surrounded the chamber," Crow said.

CNN's Dana Bash spoke with Rep. Jason Crow. Watch:

6:51 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Top GOP congresswoman says Trump is "abusing the trust of the American people"

From CNN’s Ali Main

Responding to President Trump's tweet calling his supporters who violently stormed the US Capitol earlier Wednesday "great patriots," House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney said the President is "abusing the trust of the American people and abusing the trust of the people who supported him."

"Our job in the Capitol is to count the votes. We will count the votes, but there are serious questions about the President's involvement and responsibility for what happen here tonight, here today at the Capitol and it cannot be tolerated," she said in a phone interview on Fox News.

The No. 3 House Republican said she does expect for lawmakers to return to the House floor Wednesday evening to continue their joint session to count Electoral College votes and affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said the same earlier. 

"I think there is agreement that we must do that," Cheney said, adding it was important to send a message to the country and world that America is "not ruled by mob violence."

"We have this tremendous history of the peaceful transfer of power. Something that we take for granted but Ronald Reagan said it was miraculous. And I think what we've seen today demonstrates how fragile it is. And the obligation and the responsibility of everybody in a position authority to step up, make sure that we are abiding by our oath and make sure that this insurrection is not allowed to proceed and that we are not going to be ruled by the violence," Cheney said. 

She said the fact that members of law enforcement were injured amid the violence was "absolutely unacceptable," and that Trump's response has been "completely intolerable."

 

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

Pelosi: "We have decided we should proceed tonight"

From Phil Mattingly and Clare Foran 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sanitizes the gavel after Vice President Mike Pence walked off the dais during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results on January 6, in Washington, DC.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sanitizes the gavel after Vice President Mike Pence walked off the dais during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results on January 6, in Washington, DC. Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

In a letter to colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced leaders of Congress have decided to resume the joint session tonight to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win once the Capitol is "cleared for use."

"In consultation with Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn and after calls to the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Vice President, we have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use. Leader Hoyer will be sending out more guidance later today," she said.
6:48 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Crowds dwindle at US Capitol following enactment of curfew

The crowds at the US Capitol have started to disperse following the enforcement of a 6 p.m. ET curfew enacted in Washington, DC.

Large crowds of people were seen walking away from the Capitol as of 6:25 p.m. ET.

CNN's Alex Marquardt reports:

Ahead of the 6 p.m ET curfew, CNN reported that police were successfully clearing crowds from the lawn on the West side of the US Capitol, moving them back toward the Capitol reflecting pool.

The CNN team there didn't see any signs of violence, although people in the crowd were yelling at the officers even as they moved back as instructed.

6:28 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Sen. Mitt Romney: "What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President"

From CNN’s Nicky Robertson

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah watches as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, January 6.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah watches as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, January 6. Erin Schaff/The New York Times/AP

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who has condemned GOP attempts to subvert the will of the voters in the presidential election, released a statement Wednesday night containing remarks he would have said in the US Senate before the insurrection in the US Capitol.

“We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy,” Romney said.

Romney went on to say, “I urge my colleagues to move forward with completing the electoral count, to refrain from further objections, and to unanimously affirm the legitimacy of the presidential election.”