Thousands of Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol around 1 p.m. hoisting Trump flags and shouting “Stop The Steal.”
Some stood outside of the Capitol helping peers climb over a stone hedge and walk across the front lawn. “Don’t just stand there, march forward,” one woman shouted.
The House and the Senate began a joint session to formalize Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory at 1 p.m.
Dozens of Trump supporters climbed an elevated platform that stood more than 20 feet high directly across from the Capitol, waving flags at the top while others shouted into a microphone, “march forward!”
One man walked through the crowd yelling “guys with medical conditions, stay away from the front.”
While most in the crowd were relatively peaceful, groups donned in camouflage and helmets also marched through the crowd yelling profanities at news reporters.
President Trump stoked tensions during a rally near the White House on Wednesday.
“We will never concede,” he said to thousands of supporters who came to protest the results of the election, in which President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. got more than seven million votes more than Mr. Trump did and received 306 electoral votes.
Hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered on the Capitol’s west steps when, at 1:20 p.m., police began firing what appeared to be flash-bang grenades into the air to disperse the crowd.
Rather than disperse, the protesters cheered and shouted, “push forward, push forward.”
One protester shouted, “That’s our house,” meaning the Capitol.
Hundreds of protestors began pressing against a barrier separating the police from the crowd on the Capitol steps, as a half-dozen protesters exhorted the crowd to press toward the building.
The crowd grew larger, many of them chanting, “1776, 1776.”
Amid the turmoil, an older man from Alabama collapsed. Medical personnel rushed to his aid, starting chest compressions. His condition is unknown.
A man in his 60s, from Atlanta, Ga., identifying himself as Emory, was rinsing his eyes with milk and water.
“They pepper sprayed me, and I wasn’t doing anything,” said Emory, his eyes and face puffy and red.
“They’re doing tear gas up there on the steps,” said Emory’s son, Vance. “It was a police officer. He said, ‘Get away from the barrier,’ but we weren’t even touching it.”
Inside, Representative Haley Stevens, Democrat of Michigan, reported on Twitter that she was sheltering in place, while other buildings in the Capitol complex have been evacuated.