Donald Trump

Chicago Officials Prepare Security After Rioters Storm US Capitol, Clash With Police

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Illinois officials announced security preparations have begun after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, clashing with police officers.

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications, along with other public safety departments for the City of Chicago, said they are prepared to take protective action should a problem arise.

"At this time, OEMC is not aware of activity in Chicago related to the protests in our nation’s capital, and we anticipate the City of Chicago will remain peaceful," OEMC said in a statement.

The OEMC added that the office remains prepared to mobilize assets to maintain neighborhood and business safety "in the event of any incidents."

On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the Illinois State Police to increase security around the state Capitol and the Bank of Sprinfield center.

"The National Guard and State Police are in constant communication with their counterparts around Illinois and in other states to monitor activity and any threats," Pritzker's office said in a statement.

Pritzker said he was "disgusted" to see the events play out.

"This violence is abhorrent and is nothing like what the founders envisioned for this nation," Pritzker wrote on Facebook. "The peaceful transition of power is a bedrock of our democracy. It is sacred and must be protected."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged all officials inside the building to stay safe.

"I am in disbelief with what is unfolding in D.C. right now," she tweeted. "President Trump and his enablers incited this violence. Shame on every elected official in Congress and elsewhere who fomented this anti-democratic insurrection by extremists. This is not democracy. This is a disgrace."

Both city and state officials said they are closely monitoring the violence in Washington D.C. and are prepared for any problems in Illinois.

Representatives inside the U.S. Capitol meeting for a joint session to count and confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden were ushered to various locations following a lockdown and evacuation as protesters breached the capitol building.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger called the events that unfolded Wednesday "madness."

One of several Illinois members of Congress to react to the chaos at Capitol Hill, Kinzinger said "anybody that calls themselves a Republican like myself should be very ashamed right now." 

"I don't know if this has ever happened in history," he told NBC News in a live interview. "This is disgusting, this is not how democracy and how politics works."

Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley, who was on the House floor and was evacuated, reported that he and his staff were "safe and following the directions of Capitol Police."

“This clear act of domestic terrorism may have succeeded in delaying President Elect-Biden’s certification, but there should be no doubt that he will indeed be President on January 20th," Quigley said.

Thousands of Trump supporters descended upon Washington, D.C., and began rioting on Wednesday, forcibly breaching the Capitol building as the House and Senate met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she "will not yield to those who seek to harm our democracy."

"I have spent my entire adult life defending our Constitution and people’s rights to peacefully demonstrate. I never thought I’d need to defend democracy from an attempted, violent overthrow in our own nation’s Capitol," she tweeted Wednesday.

Duckworth said she was on her way to the Senate floor when Capitol police turned her around.

Duckworth, Quigley and Kinzinger placed blame on President Donald Trump, who urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s win. Several Republican lawmakers also backed those calls, despite there being no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.

Trump, who for months has told supporters that any presidential election result other than him winning would be fraudulent, encouraged supporters occupying the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to “remain peaceful,” but he did not immediately call for them to disperse. He later tweeted a video urging supporters to "go home," but continued to repeat false claims about the election.

"As Donald Trump continues to lie about attacks on our democracy and fan the flames of debunked conspiracy theories, his supporters carrying Confederate flags are literally breaking into the U.S. Capitol to prevent elected representatives from casting their votes," Duckworth tweeted.

"Make no mistake: President Trump and his enablers are personally responsible for inciting this violence and he must immediately and unequivocally condemn it and urge his followers to stand down," Quigley said in his statement.

The National Guard and other federal agencies are being deployed to the U.S. Capitol, the White House said. One person was shot inside the U.S. Capitol by a member of law enforcement, according to two law enforcement agencies.

Members of Congress were given gas masks and Vice President Mike Pence was brought to a secure location as chaos descended on the nation's capital during what is typically a routine part of a peaceful transfer of power.

Illinois House Republic Leader Jim Durkin said the "actions do not represent our Republican party."

“The events unfolding at the United States Capitol today, and the inflammatory remarks by members of the Republican Party, are a disgrace to the core values and beliefs of our great nation," he said in a statement. "These actions do not represent our Republican party, and are against everything we stand for as Americans. I am sickened and deeply saddened by what I have witnessed today. Any public officials who condone these actions have no place in the Republican party or in our democracy.”

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