ST. PAUL — As Congress gaveled into a joint session on Wednesday, Jan. 6, to certify the 2020 presidential election results, thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters violently charged the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., forcing lawmakers to recess from the floor and police to lock down the Capitol complex.

Minnesota's congressional delegation all reported in safe via social media, or through staff contact with Forum News Service. Several buildings on the Capitol complex were evacuated, and lawmakers from across the country said they were sheltering in place.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Lawmakers were gathered for the regular certification process of Electoral College votes, which have been counted — in some cases recounted — and certified at the state level, delivering a decisive win for President-elect Joe Biden. Dozens of Republican lawmakers pledged to challenge the certification of several key states' votes in order to overturn the election in Trump's favor.

U.S. representatives and senators were debating in their respective chambers whether to certify Arizona's electoral votes for Biden when both chambers abruptly recessed, as protesters overran Capitol police and penetrated the grounds.

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Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

"They've asked us to take cover on the House floor and get our gas masks ready. This is insane," Rep. Dean Phillips, D-District 3, tweeted.

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber described the insurrection attempt inside the U.S. Capitol as “unacceptable.”

“It’s unacceptable that this protest, or rally, got out of hand, storming the Capitol and putting so many people at risk,” Stauber told Forum News Service Wednesday. “I think President Trump had the opportunity to tell the people, specifically, ‘You must remain peaceful,’ because that’s who we are and it spiraled out of control. I for one am extremely disappointed in what President Trump said, and also extremely disappointed in the behavior of many people today."

The Hermantown, Minn., Republican representing the 8th Congressional District has been a self-described "fierce" supporter of Trump and his administration. Stauber said he didn't think the day's event was an attempt to overthrow the government.

"I wouldn't go that far," he said.

RELATED: Pro-Trump protesters swarm Capitol amid challenge to his election loss

Later Wednesday afternoon, Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted, "I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment. Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate. We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath."

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Leah Millis

In Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that up to 500 Trump supporters had protested outside the State Capitol in St. Paul Wednesday, and had planned to protest later at Gov. Tim Walz's mansion.

A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Confederate flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Confederate flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses in Washington on Jan. 6. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Shortly before the protesters overran the Capitol, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., gave a speech on Congress' duty to certify the election results and uphold the will of the people. She encouraged her colleagues not to vote in their own partisan interests, but for democracy and the people's will.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 encouraged her colleagues to uphold the electoral vote of the American people on the Senate floor. Shortly after, supporters of President Donald Trump breached Capitol grounds, forcing lawmakers and staff to shelter in place. Screenshot via CSPAN.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 encouraged her colleagues to uphold the electoral vote of the American people on the Senate floor. Shortly after, supporters of President Donald Trump breached Capitol grounds, forcing lawmakers and staff to shelter in place. Screenshot via CSPAN.

“What matters now is our futures, not our own short-term destinies. What matters is our democracy’s destiny," Klobuchar said. "I think many of us know the people will not know who we are 100 years from now or 200 years from now. But what they will know is this: They will know what we did today, how we voted today and that is more important than who we are. It’s a republic if we can keep it.”

In the lead-up to Congress' Wednesday floor session, all of Minnesota's Democratic members of Congress pledged to uphold states' certified election results when challenged by Republican colleagues. On Wednesday, Stauber said he would vote to certify the results, while U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., said she would vote against the certification.

Minnesota's two other Republican Representatives Jim Hagedorn and Tom Emmer did not answer to repeated questioning on how they would vote.

Forum News Service reporter Brady Slater in Duluth contributed to this report.

Gallery: Sights from the protests in the U.S. Capitol