Protesters supporting Donald Trump swarmed the US Capitol on Wednesday, putting it on lockdown, as Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed the president's demand to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden and the Senate's Republican leader denounced a bid in Congress to undo the election outcome.
Trump supporters overturned barricades and clashed with police on the US Capitol grounds and streamed inside the building.
The demonstrations flared as lawmakers met inside to formally certify Biden's victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
Law enforcement authorities struggled to maintain order.
The Senate and the House of Representatives, which were weighing objections to Biden's victory brought by a band of pro-Trump Republican lawmakers, abruptly and unexpectedly recessed.
Pence, a loyal lieutenant during the four years of Trump's tumultuous presidency, presided over the opening of the joint session of Congress to formally certify Biden's Nov. 3 victory over Trump.
A band of Republican lawmakers quickly challenged the results, first from the election battleground state of Arizona won by Biden.