Photos show damage to historic Capitol building

U.S. Capitol Riot

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: A Capitol police officer looks oout of a broken window as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Pro-Trump rioters who breached the Capitol building Wednesday left what appears to be minor damage to the 19th-century neoclassical structure.

Photos show a series of broken windows throughout the building. The door to the congressional chambers was also damaged in the chaos, as was a framed photo in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

The Capitol building is the seat of the legislative branch of government.

The original building was finished in 1800, though it was unusable for five years following the 1814 burning of Washington. In later years, the building was enlarged and its characteristic dome added.

The Capitol building is dotted with impressive frescos, artworks and statues — none of which appeared to be damaged Wednesday evening.

Earlier in the day, a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.

The nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and donned gas marks, while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.

The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington Wednesday to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.

Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 are sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers were resuming the counting of electoral votes Wednesday evening after the Capitol was cleared of the pro-Trump occupiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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