National Guard deployed to Capitol Building amid protests, unrest

The National Guard and "other federal protective services" were deployed to the Capitol Building on Wednesday during a breach and violent protests amid a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Wednesday that he and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley spoke "separately with the Vice President and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol." 

"We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation," Miller said. "We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly."

Multiple defense officials told Fox News that the Pentagon authorized the mobilization of the entire D.C. National Guard, which is approximately 1,800 troops, which will take several hours to mobilize. The sources said that federal law enforcement would be in the lead. 

Before the president's direction, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested that the National Guard be deployed to the Capitol. Sources told Fox News that the Defense Department did not want troops in uniform on the Capitol, and instead wanted to back up police to give them the ability to shore up forces and clear out the building. 

Bowser also ordered a city-wide curfew in Washington D.C. beginning at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning. 

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed Bowser's request earlier in the week for the National Guardsmen to assist D.C. police "in preparation for possible protests today" was "approved." 

"Today, the mayor requested the full activation of the D.C. Guard to support local and federal law enforcement as they respond to the situation at the Capitol," the Pentagon spokesman said. "That request was approved.  There have been no other requests from the D.C. government."

A defense official stressed that the U.S. Military should not be used to determine the outcome of elections. 

Meanwhile, a Justice Department official told Fox News that Acting Attorney General Rosen is coordinating with law enforcement partners to add additional Federal support to the Capitol Police.  

Rosen condemned the violence as "an intolerable attack on a fundamental institution of our democracy. " 

"From the outset,  the Department of Justice has been working in close coordination with the Capitol Police and federal partners from the Interior Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard, as well as the Metropolitan Police and other local authorities," Rosen said, adding that the Justice Department "sent hundreds of federal law enforcement officers and agents from the FBI, ATF, and the U.S. Marshals Service to assist the Capitol Police in addressing this unacceptable situation, and we intend to enforce the laws of our land."

And the FBI Washington Field Office also told Fox News that they have been responding to "reports of suspicious devices." 

"The investigation is ongoing," the FBI told Fox News. "The FBI has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners as requested in protection of federal property and public safety."

In addition to the federal response, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said that at the request of Bowser, he is "sending members of the Virginia National Guard along with 200 Virginia State Troopers." 

And Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan directed members of the Maryland State Police "to assist" D.C. police and U.S. Capitol Police. 

"I have instructed the Adjutant General of the @MDNG to call up a rapid response force to support law enforcement and restore order," Hogan tweeted. "All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation’s Capitol. This is a heinous and violent assault on the heart of our democracy. I will not stand for this, and neither should any American." 

And New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday said that "at the request of DC officials, I am deploying the @NJSP to the District of Columbia to facilitate the peaceful transition of power & protect our democracy."

"We are prepared to deploy the @NJNationalGuard upon request," Murphy tweeted. "May God Bless America and our brave men and women in uniform." 

Meanwhile, the president, in a taped video posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, told protesters to "go home," while maintaining that the election "was stolen from us" and that it was a "landslide." 

"We had an election that was stolen from us," Trump said from the White House. "It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side."

He added: "But you have to go home now. We have to have peace, we have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt."

Earlier, the president urged protesters to "stay peaceful" on Twitter.

"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!" Trump tweeted.

Minutes later, he said he was "asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful."

"No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!" He tweeted.

The president’s tweets come as pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol, sending Congress into recess as they attempted to certify the results of the presidential election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

The president spoke earlier in the day in Washington D.C., to supporters, who later marched to the Capitol, and mounted further pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to act on his own to decertify the results of the election and send them back to the states for recertification.

Pence, before the joint session of Congress began, said he did not believe, under the Constitution, that he had the authority to "unilaterally" accept or reject electoral votes.

The president slammed Pence, saying he "didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify." 

"USA demands the truth!" Trump tweeted. 

Protesters from the pro-Trump rally descended on the Capitol, clashing with police and leading authorities to lockdown the buildings.

Pence was rushed out of the House chamber. 

Fox News has learned that a shooting victim was transported from the U.S. Capitol, as windows and doors were broken, and guns were drawn on the House floor. The victim, Metropolitan Police confirmed to Fox News, has died. 

Meanwhile, Pence demanded that "the violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building." 

"Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Pence said. 

And former Attorney General Bill Barr slammed the protests, calling the violence "outrageous and despicable. Federal agencies should move immediately to disperse it."

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson, Jake Gibson, David Spunt, and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.