Republican lawmakers condemned pro-Trump protesters Wednesday night, hours after they invaded the Capitol following an incendiary speech from the president urging them to march on Congress.
“Today was a dark day in the history of the U.S. Capitol,” Vice President Mike Pence, who presided during an 8 p.m. session, said. “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms.”
Pence added, “Let’s get back to work.”
Pence, who received a standing ovation, condemned the actions of dozens of protesters who forced their way past barricades and the U.S. Capitol Police.
Other Senate leaders did the same.
“Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said.
McConnell called the invader “thugs” and promised the Senate would resume certifying the election of Joe Biden, who protesters believe won the election through voter fraud.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York who is set to run the Senate beginning Jan. 20, said Wednesday “will live forever in infamy” and said, “I have never lived through, or even imagined an experience, like the one we have just witnessed in the Capitol.”
He blamed President Trump, who he called the worst president in history, and said the protesters were “incited by his words, his lies.”
The Senate will continue certifying the election by affirming the results provided by electors from all 50 states.
The House and Senate were forced to adjourn earlier Wednesday, when protesters breached the Capitol. At the time, they were debating an objection, likely the first of several, to the election results from Arizona.
They’ll vote against that objection and move on to the next states after reconvening in a joint session with the House.
Lawmakers lined up to condemn the siege.
“Rioters and thugs don’t run the Capitol we are the United States of America,” Rep. James Lankford, a Oklahoma Republican, said.
“We do not encourage what happened today. Ever.”
Lankford is among senators who want a commission to examine election fraud.
“People in my state of Oklahoma want their questions answered, but they don’t want what happened today.”
One woman, a protester, was shot in the neck inside the Capitol and died. Another protester had a heart attack.
Protesters smashed the historic glass doors to the House chamber at one point, forcing law enforcement inside to point their guns at the group.
The startling image captured by the media went viral and became a symbol of the violence that punctuated the breach.