The US Congress has certified Joe Biden as the next president of the US, hours after an insurgent mob loyal to Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in what lawmakers condemned as an attempted insurrection aimed at overturning the results of an American election.
After weeks of speculation and uncertainty, US Congress has formally validated Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on a day that saw a time-honored ceremony become a nightmare of unprecedented political terror.The House and Senate certified the Democrat’s electoral college win early in the hours of Jan. 7thafter a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours running rampant through the Capitol.
After claiming he would “never concede” during a rally hours earlier, President Donald Trump admitted defeat in the November 3 election for the first time, following the vote count.A statement from Trump following the certification said there would be an “orderly transition” to a Biden administration “even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out.”
Congress voted down challenges to reject Biden’s wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania, based on spurious claims of widespread voter fraud. The House rejected the challenge to the Arizona result by a vote of 303-122 and the Senate voted it down 93-6. The Pennsylvania challenge was voted down 282-138 in the House and 92-7 in the Senate.
A majority of House Republicans voted to overturn the Pennsylvania result, despite no evidence of significant voter fraud in the state and multiple failed court challenges in past weeks. Attempts by House Republicans to object to the electoral slate in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin failed to garner support from a senator and were not considered.
Earlier in the day, rioters for hours roamed the marbled halls of Congress shouting: “We want Trump.” Amid the bedlam, one woman was fatally shot, DC police confirmed. The building was placed on lockdown, and the DC mayor imposed a rare 6pm curfew, as national guard troops were activated.The outcome had never been in doubt, but had been interrupted by rioters who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol building.
Vice-President Mike Pence, in declaring the final vote totals behind Mr Biden’s victory, said this “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice-president of the United States”.
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