Reaction from ex-Rep. Trey Gowdy and law professor Jonathan Turley on 'The Story'
From Georgia to New Mexico, hundreds gathered in state capitals to oppose President-elect Joe Biden's win, waving signs saying "Stop the steal" and "Four more years." In Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona and Washington state, some protesters carried guns.
There were scuffles in Ohio and California, where journalists or counterprotesters were pepper-sprayed or punched. Most demonstrations, however, were peaceful and only a few arrests were reported.
People take part in a rally at the Legislative Plaza, Jan. 6, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP)
New Mexico police evacuated staff as a precaution from a state building that includes the offices of the governor and the secretary of state shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback.
Demonstrators sang "God Bless America," honked horns and shouted on a megaphone that Trump was the rightful election winner. Biden won the vote in New Mexico by a margin of roughly 11%.
"It's the first time in the history of the United States that the peaceful transfer of power has been slowed by an act of violence," said New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf, a Democrat. "It is a shameful moment, and I hope that the Congress can recover soon."
Meanwhile, violent protests broke out in Washington, D.C. as Congress tried to affirm Biden's Electoral College victory. News that protesters breached the U.S. Capitol set off cheers at pro-Trump demonstrations in Minnesota and Arizona, where armed protesters marched at the Capitol in Phoenix and several men displayed a guillotine.
In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff were evacuated from their office at the Capitol as about 100 protesters gathered outside, some armed with long guns. Gabriel Sterling, a top official with Raffensperger's office, told the Associated Press that Raffensperger and his team decided to leave.
"We saw stuff happening at the Georgia Capitol and said we should not be around here, we should not be a spark," Sterling said.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp called the U.S. Capitol "a disgrace and quite honestly un-American." Kemp said he was extending an executive order from protests over the summer activating the National Guard in case it is needed to protect the state Capitol on Monday when the legislative session begins.
In Washington state, protesters broke through a gate at the governor's mansion and dozens gathered on the lawn. The crowd, some of whom were armed, repeated allegations of election fraud. The State Patrol said authorities were responding and that Gov. Jay Inslee "and his family are in a safe location."
In Utah, the staff of Gov. Spencer Cox was sent home as several hundred people gathered in Salt Lake City, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson tweeted.
Salt Lake Tribune photographer Rick Egan said he was pepper-sprayed by a demonstrator who taunted him for wearing a mask and shoved him as he was shooting video of the protest. It wasn't immediately clear if anyone was arrested.
At least one person was arrested at the Oregon Capitol in Salem on suspicion of harassment and disorderly conduct as police in riot gear tried to get protesters to leave.
Protesters attended a rally in support of President Donald Trump on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. (Star Tribune via AP)
Video showed protesters and counterprotesters clashing and riot police moving in. But by midafternoon, only a few dozen people remained, their American flags and Trump banners drooping in the rain.
In Topeka, Kan., chants of "Stop the steal" and "No more masks" faded as a rally ended and Trump supporters filed peacefully into the statehouse building through security checkpoints.
In Honolulu, about 100 protesters lined the road outside the state Capitol waving American and Trump 2020 flags at passing cars. Sheryl Bieler, a retiree in the blue state, said she came out to "support our president and support the integrity of the elections."
Trump supporters circled the state Capitol building in Madison, Wis., in cars and trucks adorned with Trump and U.S. flags for several hours Wednesday, blaring their horns.
In Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered city agencies to close buildings after hundreds gathered in front of the Capitol for a protest against the election results. And in South Carolina, protesters supporting Trump came to the Statehouse, but left before the U.S. Capitol was breached.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.