Biden win confirmed after pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Wednesday, disrupting the process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner early Thursday after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Trump in the White House.

Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power. They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on alert.

Before dawn Thursday, lawmakers finished their work, confirming Biden won the election.

Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.

Trump, who had repeatedly refused to concede the election, said in a statement immediately after the vote that there will be a smooth transition of power on Inauguration Day.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide.

The Capitol was under siege Wednesday, as the nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.

The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.

Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 were sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.

Congress reconvened in the evening, with lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election, even if it took all night.

Pence reopened the Senate and directly addressed the demonstrators: “You did not win.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of" with the outcome.

The president gave his supporters a boost into action Wednesday morning at a rally outside the White House, where he urged them to march to the Capitol. He spent much of the afternoon in his private dining room off the Oval Office watching scenes of the violence on television. At the urging of his staff, he reluctantly issued a pair of tweets and a taped video telling his supporters it was time to “go home in peace” — yet he still said he backed their cause.

Hours later, Twitter for the first time time locked Trump’s account, demanded that he remove tweets excusing violence and threatened “permanent suspension.”

A somber President-elect Biden, two weeks away from being inaugurated, said American democracy was “under unprecedented assault, ” a sentiment echoed by many in Congress, including some Republicans. Former President George W. Bush said he watched the events in “disbelief and dismay.”

The domed Capitol building has for centuries been the scene of protests and occasional violence. But Wednesday’s events were particularly astounding both because they unfolded at least initially with the implicit blessing of the president and because of the underlying goal of overturning the results of a free and fair presidential election.

Tensions were already running high when lawmakers gathered early Wednesday afternoon for the constitutionally mandated counting of the Electoral College results, in which Biden defeated Trump, 306-232. Despite pleas from McConnell, more than 150 GOP lawmakers planned to support objections to some of the results, though lacking evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.

Trump spent the lead-up to the proceedings publicly hectoring Pence, who had a largely ceremonial role, to aid the effort to throw out the results. He tweeted, “Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority” to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.

In the aftermath of the siege, several Republicans announced they would drop their objections to the election, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her bid for reelection Tuesday.

Earlier, protesters had fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, many without masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Lawmakers were told to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., told reporters he was in the House chamber when rioters began storming it. Security officers “made us all get down, you could see that they were fending off some sort of assault."

He said they had a piece of furniture up against the door. "And they had guns pulled,” Peters said. Glass panes to a House door were shattered.

The woman who was killed was part of a crowd that was breaking down the doors to a barricaded room where armed officers stood on the other side, police said. She was shot in the chest by Capitol Police and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. City police said three other people died from medical emergencies during the long protest on and around the Capitol grounds.

Staff members grabbed boxes of Electoral College votes as the evacuation took place. Otherwise, said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the ballots likely would have been destroyed by the protesters.

The mob’s storming of Congress prompted outrage, mostly from Democrats but from Republicans as well, as lawmakers accused Trump of fomenting the violence with his relentless falsehoods about election fraud.

“Count me out,” said Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “Enough is enough.”

Several suggested that Trump be prosecuted for a crime or even removed under the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which seemed unlikely two weeks from when his term expires.

“I think Donald Trump probably should be brought up on treason for something like this,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., told reporters. “This is how a coup is started. And this is how democracy dies.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who has at times clashed with Trump, issued a statement saying: “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.

Punctuating their resolve, both the House and Senate soundly rejected an objection to election results from Arizona, which had been raised by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and another from Pennsylvania brought by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. Still, most House Republicans supported the objections. Other objections to results from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin fizzled.

The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol. Dozens of people were arrested.

———

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Zeke Miller, Kevin Freking, Alan Fram, Matthew Daly, Ben Fox and Ashraf Khalil in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

(26) comments

MRS M

The four years of the Trump presidency are predictably ending as they began: dark, hate-filled,divisive, and now, deadly. Those Republicans now miraculously "woke" and self-rightously standing up as of last evening at 8 pm in the Capitol (and that includes Pence) have looked the other way, with complete cowardice, for 4 years as they allowed each and every one of Trump's aberrancies to take hold, UNCHALLENGED..

REPUBLICAN SILENCE when Trump spewed the racism of birtherism. SILENCE when Trump attacked and denigrated the service of McCain, Vindaman, Comey, Sessions, and others. SILENCE when he was impeached by the House over the coercion of the Ukraine. SILENCE as we listened to Trump attempting to coerce the PA Secretary of State to "find votes". SILENCE, for 5 years, as Trump continued his attacks on the media, and set up his own election "fix" that if "he lost".......the election was rigged. REPUBLICAN SILENCE, giving tacit approval and their own complicity, from 2015 ..............to yesterday.

Talk about the embarassment of "too little- too late" Pence, the Republican Senate and House members, and those voters who find Trump's aberrant behavior, lack of leadership, desertion of his post, and failure to honor his oath of office, should be ashamed, and shamed. Particularly shameful for those continuing to defend Trump, the terrorism he and Giuliani have incited, and the havoc this sick and incompetant indiviual has wreaked on our nation. Trump should be removed, now. The man is sick, dangerous, and unable to perform the duties of the office. Who needs more proof, than to observe what has transpired in our country since November 3rd?

PurplePickles aka L&M

My deepest apologies to any "white people" I may have offended with my comments. If you see yourself in my comments perhaps it is you that should remove yourself from the FNP comment section? My truth is hard to take sometimes..I understand

PurplePickles aka L&M

Also if the "white people" had told Trump the TRUTH, and not allowed Trump to live in the world of lies, yesterday would not have happened..am I correct?

I am correct....

threecents

Well, I am a white person, by most standards, so I think you were including me. I am not really offended, but I think you called me an idiot.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@three

I’m white also, don’t forget that! I think I should be able to call out white stupidity/idiots when I see them.

I am trying to see past my white privileges, and speak the truth about white people/white privilege. I don’t understand why that bothers white people so much, but it does and that’s not my fault, I can’t help how “you” chose to react?

If you think I called you an idiot then maybe I did? I guess you are just exercising your white privilege?

threecents

I assumed you were purple, so there you go. My bad. As for Blueline, well you get it.

Blueline

Purple - I'm not offended. I consider the source, & then understand that limited capacity leads to limited output. Keep trying.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@Blueline

I'm not offended, I consider my audience & then I understand that their limited capacity for critical thinking skills leads to limited input into their brains. Keep trying though...

Greg F

Blue...we consider you and realize it’s just a nincompoop talking out his rear.

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vodalone

As a white man what's funny to me is how the far right has been warning of minorities taking over the nation in 20-30 year demographically and then destroying it. If you turn on the news seems they're beating those minorities to the punch, wouldn't you agree?

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PurplePickles aka L&M

@Butch

Did you think I was referring to you? Do you consider yourself an idiot? You must or else you would not have responded with such venom..lol

I can't help if you see yourself in my comments...

jth7100

Rats are jumping off the sinking USS Trump now. He was enabled until the writing was on the wall. Fundamentally this is all based on racism. Some white people are terrified that their "white country" is being given away to the darker people. Archie Bunker combined with cosplayers. Funny how a number of Republican members of congress quickly accepted Biden won and want nothing more to do with Trump.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@jth7100

Yeah it is funny to see the cowards cower....this is what happens when you don't stand up to a bullying lunatic. But I doubt they have learned anything from any of this?

phydeaux994

That is exactly right jth, that is what this is and has always been about. Racism, the fear of America becoming a Majority MINORITY Country. Trump was the Savior of White Supremacy. That is the ONLY reason the RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans) love him. Nothing else matters. That is why when you ask them why they support Trump they will NEVER answer. They won’t say what they believe because they can’t admit that they are Racists. Now you will listen to them vilify me as they always do when I hit that sore spot

CD, are you up to answering why you support a vile, disgusting, incompetent, lying Trump?

PurplePickles aka L&M

@Butch

It's been two hours and not a peep, did you take a nap maybe? As i type this post it's 4:35... Hopefully when Butch wakes up awteam2000 he will answer your question?

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PurplePickles aka L&M

Capitol invasion was a desperate stand for the white privilege slipping away from Trump supporters: columnist

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-riot/

Nevertheless, despite the mobsters’ extraordinary disregard for the rule of law, for agents of law enforcement, and for social norms regarding government, government property, and government processes, a near-mythical graciousness was shown to the insurrectionists. They were allowed in after the fences were breached. And they were free to wantonly roam the United States House and Senate hallways, entering offices, intimidating elected officials and their staffers, and taking a selfie on a cell phone, at times with willing Capitol Police.

threecents

I wonder what Mike Pence has been going through. I never thought I would feel sorry for him.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I don't feel a teeny tiny bit sorry for Pence, he has placated and enabled a lunatic for 4 years knowing full well that the lunatic was a lunatic...so no I don't feel sorry for Pence, he has had plenty of opportunities to stop the lunacy of the lunatic.

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PurplePickles aka L&M

@butch

Pence could have removed Trump from office via 25th Amendment, Section 4 at any time his heart desired.

Like for example this past Saturday when Trump was committing election fraud by begging Georgia's Sec of State to find him more votes..do you really need to me to list all of Pence's opportunities? I can if you really want me to?

newspostreader

I can't feel sorry for him. He is an evil man. He has supported Trump's behavior for 4 years. Prior to this he spewed hate across Indiana. He supports conversion therapy for gay people. This is not a normal person. He earned what he is receiving.

Piedmontgardener

I'm profoundly appreciative that Mike Pence, in the end, rediscovered his constitutional oath and did his job yesterday. However, he and the Republican leadership that refused their duty in January of last year to remove a criminal sitting President own everything that happened yesterday.

Hayduke2

Piedmont - agree. Even if they just censored him and let him know that there are consequences to posting lies, conspiracy theories and that his "power" has limits, it may have tempered this. Still laugh at how Susan Collins said this will teach Trump a lesson. All those super enablers and kiss ups need to be called out as well.

Greg F

You realize they had bombs, weapons and zip ties, right? They were looking as something far more nefarious...this is sedition...should all hang.

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