Congress confirms election in Biden after Trump mob invades Capitol
Congress early Thursday morning confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president, the day after a mob entered the Capitol to avoid President Donald Trump being officially recognized as a loser in the race.
Confirmation came after the House and Senate in two separate votes in both houses overwhelmingly opposed efforts by some Republicans to object to the acceptance of electoral college victories for Biden in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Democrat Biden and his colleague, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, won 306 votes in the electoral college, 36 more than necessary to win the White House. Trump, a Republican, received 232 votes.
Vice President Mike Pence read the numbers at around 3:40 a.m.CET after lawmakers welcomed the result. He hammered the meeting around 3:44 a.m.
Shortly after confirmation, Trump issued a statement through deputy chief of staff for communications, Dan Scavino, saying there would be “an orderly transition on Jan. 20.”
Certification of an electoral college win is usually a Congressional formality that is enshrined in the Constitution.
But Trump’s refusal over the past two months to accept that he lost without claiming that he lost due to widespread electoral fraud made that process difficult.
Many of his Republican allies in Congress said they would protest against the acceptance of voters from states that gave Biden his profit margin.
Trump pressured Pence to unilaterally annul Biden’s victory by refusing to approve some ballot papers for the Democrat.
However, in a letter released on Wednesday, Pence declined, saying he did not have the power of the chairman of the joint session of Congress to cast ballots.
Congress began on Wednesday afternoon by counting the votes of the electoral college.
But that trial was interrupted for about six hours by a mob who stormed the Capitol and broke through its buildings in anger over Trump’s loss of the election and their belief that he was the victim of election fraud.
The count resumed around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday after a woman who was part of the invaders was shot dead by Capitol Police during the riot and three other people died from medical emergencies.
The leaders of the Senate Republican and Democratic Assemblies, as they resumed proceedings, swore that Congress would approve Biden’s election “tonight.”
Vice President Mike Pence arrives to chair a joint congressional session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
During the night, the two houses of Congress met separately to discuss and then vote on Republican objections to Biden voters from Arizona and then Pennsylvania.
Only six GOP Senators voted to uphold the objection to the Arizona voters and seven Senators to uphold the challenge to the Pennsylvania plan. In both cases, more than 90 senators voted against the objections.
More than 100 members of the Republican House voted in favor of the objections against voters in both states, but those voters were easily defeated by the more than 280 votes against the measures.
Prior to the uprising, there were concerns that it could take many hours or even days to confirm that Biden won the electoral college by 306 votes against Trump’s 232, as some Republican senators and members of the House of Representatives expected objections to state voters .
These objections were based on allegations by Trump and others that he was defrauded of winning a second term for widespread electoral fraud in a handful of battlefield states, for which there is no credible evidence.
However, there was no expectation that Biden would ever be denied his final victory, as a majority in both houses of Congress would be required to reject any state’s voters.
Democrats control the House of Representatives and guarantee that they would meet any challenge in this Chamber.
In the Senate, efforts were doomed to failure because while Republicans still had a slim majority there, many GOP Senators were against overturning the election results from any state.
Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., Who lost a special election Tuesday night, said ahead of the Senate vote that she would have no objection to the counting of votes for Biden, despite announcing earlier this week that she would do so.
“The events that happened today forced me to think twice, and I can now with a clear conscience have nothing against it,” said Loeffler, referring to the uprising.
After the challenge to Arizona’s constituents failed in the House of Representatives, the Senators went to the House to continue the pence presidency process of opening ballots from individual states and asking if there were any objections to the results.
It only takes a House of Representatives and a Senator to question the results of a state, resulting in up to two hours of debate in the chambers.
MPs’ objection to Biden voters from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, all of which were critical to his victory, failed to get at least one Senator to join the objection in order to force a debate and vote on the challenge .
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said in a letter to colleagues that the decision to resume vote counting quickly after the uprising was made in consultation with political leaders, including Pence.
“Our goal is being achieved,” Pelosi said as she convened the session of the House about an hour after the Senate resumed its own trial.
“Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol,” said Pence as he opened the Senate session.
“We strongly condemn the violence that has taken place here,” said the vice president, who previously served as an Indiana congressman.
“The violence has been suppressed, the Capitol is secured and the work of the people continues,” said Pence.
“For those who wreaked havoc at our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins,” he said.
“Let’s get back to work.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said, “The United States Senate will not be intimidated.”
“We’re back to our posts, we’re going to do our duty,” said McConnell. “We gathered this afternoon to count our citizens’ votes and formalize their election of the president.”
“We will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election,” he concluded.
Minority leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., has beaten Trump, whom he called “undoubtedly our worst president” and whom he described as “much of the blame” for the uprising.
“This mob was largely President Trump’s cause,” said Schumer. “His responsibility, his eternal shame.”
Police guard the US Capitol during a protest against the confirmation of the results of the 2020 US presidential election by the US Congress on January 6, 2021 in Washington.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
Comparing the invasion of the Capitol Complex by a horde of people to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Schumer said January 6, 2021 would be another “day of shame” in American history.
“This temple of democracy has been desecrated,” he said. “This will be a stain on our land that will not be so easily washed away.”
“We’re going to start the hard work tonight to fix the country.”
The pro-Trump mob triggered lockdowns and evacuations in the Capitol and forced lawmakers out of the House and Senate chambers shortly after the trial began at 1 p.m.
Rioters were found to be walking through the halls of the government building, entering the offices of politicians and occupying the Senate Chamber.