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LIVE VIDEO: Explosive device found at US Capitol during violent protest

The Associated Press

At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.

Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.”

Previous: The Pentagon says about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members are being mobilized to help support law enforcement as violent supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol.

Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership.

A defense official said all 1,100 of the D.C. Guard were being activated and sent to the city’s armory. The Guard forces will be used at checkpoints and for other similar duties and could also help in the enforcement of the 6 p.m. curfew being implemented tonight in the city.

The officials said the D.C. request for National Guard was not rejected earlier in the day. Instead, according to officials, the Guard members have a very specific mission that does not include putting military in a law enforcement role at the Capitol. As a result, the Guard must be used to backfill law enforcement outside the Capitol complex, freeing up more law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.

Hoffman said the law enforcement response to the violence will be led by the Justice Department.

Previous story: One person has been shot at the U.S. Capitol as dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building and violently clashed with police.

That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity amid a chaotic situation.

The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear. The person said the victim had been taken to a hospital. Their condition was not known.

The shooting came as dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters and entered the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. Trump has riled up his supporters by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to explain his loss.

Previous story: WASHINGTON — Protesters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, clashing with police and forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's win.

Dozens of people breached security perimeters at the Capitol and lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. 

A chaplain prayed as police guarded the doors to the chamber and lawmakers tried to gather information about what was happening, and an announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Biden's victory.

Due to an "external security threat," no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said. 

Protesters were also seen inside the Senate chamber. One got up on the dais and yelled "Trump won that election."

Several dozen are roaming through the halls, yelling "Where are they?" according to a pool report. 

Congressional leaders were whisked to safety. Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, who was attending the joint session, and was also said to be safe.

At an earlier rally, Trump had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters clashed with law enforcement and breached the Capitol building, Trump tweeted to his supporters to "stay peaceful." 

"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement," Trump tweeted, as tear gas was deployed in the locked-down Capitol. "They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!"

"We're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," Trump said.

Both chambers abruptly went into recess. The District of Columbia's Mayor, Muriel Bowser, issued a curfew for 6 p.m. 

The skirmishes occurred outside in the very spot where president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol's steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting "traitors" as officers tried to keep them back.

A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said. 

The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress' vote. 

"We will not let them silence your voices," Trump told the protesters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear the president.