SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utahns are gathering in protest at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon.
See the scene at the Utah State Capitol:
Officials with the Utah Highway Patrol ask asking Utahns for help getting ahead of inaccurate information regarding the State Capitol. “The was NO MANDATORY EVACUATION of employees or elected leaders from the Capitol. An early work release was offered at 2:00 pm, and many took advantage of that.”
Utahns started to gather locally as news broke that the U.S. Capitol was being evacuated and put on lockdown due to protestors marching on the capital in support of President Donald Trump.
Utah’s Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson taking to social media saying “The Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s offices have sent staff home.”
An announcement was played inside the Nation’s Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s victory. Officials say due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter shortly after 12:30 p.m. saying, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
Utah Sen. Mike Lee taking to social media saying “Congress was elected to govern. We need to get back on the floor and gavel in the Senate as soon as possible.”
“Whether we get back in the chamber or convene in a different location, the Senate should continue the work of the American people immediately. This outrage cannot be allowed to disrupt that work for a minute longer,” Sen. Lee shares. “The violence at the United States Capitol is completely unacceptable. It is time for the protesters to disperse. My staff and I are safe. We are working to finish our constitutional duty to finish counting votes today. God bless the Capitol Police keeping us all safe.”
Rep. John Curtis says he and his staff are safe. ng “It’s totally inappropriate what’s happening here at the Capitol. This is not who we are, we’re better than this. My plea is that we use all our influence to tone this down & return to reasonable debate.”
Rep. Burgess Owens saying “My team and I are safe and beyond grateful for the service of Capitol Police. I am deeply saddened by what is happening right now. Americans are better than this. Senseless violence is NEVER okay. We have to do better.”
Rep. Chris Stweart says “Watching & hearing what’s going on here continues to make me sick & angry. I’ve spent my life in the military & serving my country in Congress. I understand people’s fears & frustrations over the election. But nothing excuses this behavior. Its selfish & destructive. Stop it now!
The Utah Republican party released the following statement:
“A hallmark of our democratic republic is the peaceful transition of power. What occurred today
as Congress convened to count the electoral votes submitted by the states from the 2020 election
is unacceptable. The Utah Republican Party condemns this intrusion into our electoral process.
Our Constitution protects the right to peacefully protest, and to engage in vigorous debates over
politics and ideas, but violence or destruction in any form are an affront to who we are as
Members of Congress inside the House chamber in Washington D.C. were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas dispersed in Capitol Rotunda.
Just after 3 p.m., an ABC4 News crew on scene spotted armed protestors arriving at the Utah State Capitol.
This is a developing story. ABC4 News has a crew on scene. Information will be updated as it becomes available.