Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory in the US election was confirmed by the Congress on Thursday, a day after violence and protests saw unprecedented chaotic scenes at Capitol Hill.
The move by the US Congress makes it official and ensures that Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.
As news of the certification broke, a White House statement by President Trump stated that the incumbent president will ensure an “orderly transition” takes place.
The confirmation from Congress is a strong rejection of Trump’s claims that the US Election 2020 was stolen from him via electoral fraud.
The US Constitution requires Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College submitted by the states. Biden won 306 electors to 232 for Trump.
American courts had earlier dismissed dozens of complaints filed by Trump and his camp, alleging vote fraud in the election.
A couple of hours earlier, hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat, battling police in the hallways and delaying the certification of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory for hours. Police said four people died during the chaos – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – and 52 people were arrested.
The invasion also forced lawmakers to abandon the premises and they returned only after Washington’s Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a curfew and declared a 15-day emergency in the US capital.
Chief Contee said police also seized weapons, including pistols, guns and
explosive devices, from the crowd. He said the troubles started at 2:45pm when crowds stormed security barricades at the Capitol building and continued for several hours.
After police removed protesters from the Capitol Hill area, the lawmakers resumed the process of certification.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted twice on Wednesday night, rejecting efforts to overturn election results in the states of Arizona and Pennsylvania. Vice President Mike Pence, who is also the president of the Senate, presided over all joint sessions.
Republican lawmakers had planned to seek reversal of electoral votes in six swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Even after the attack, dozens of Republican House members pushed forward their plan to undo election results but after Wednesday’s mob storming, senators refused to co-sign all but two objection certificates, as required.
Pence declared Biden and Harris the winners of the 2020 election, adding that they should take the oath of their offices on Jan 20, as required.
“When it’s over, it’s over. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States,” said Republican Senator Lindsay Graham while commenting on Thursday’s events.
When the joint session began, Trump was addressing a large crowd of his supporters at the White House, urging them stop the process that would bring in a new president on Jan 20.
“You have to get the people to fight. And if they do not fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight,” he said. “You primary them, we are going to let you know who they are. I can already tell you, frankly.”
Trump encouraged the raid after it became clear that the people he hoped would support his bid to retain the White House — particularly Pence and McConnell — would not support his move as both vowed to follow the constitution and not his instructions.
“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence wrote in a letter to members of Congress before he gaveled in the joint session. “The United States Senate will not be intimidated,” McConnell said on the Senate floor when senators returned to the chamber under police protection. “We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats.”
National Guard troops, FBI agents and US Secret Service were deployed to help overwhelmed Capitol police. Guard troops and police pushed protesters away from the Capitol after the curfew took effect.
It was the most damaging attack on the iconic building since the British army burned it in 1814, according to the US Capitol Historical Society.