Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning despite a riot by President Donald Trump’s supporters that forced a mass evacuation at the Capitol, The Washington Post reports.
Congress soundly rejected two Electoral College challenges brought by over 130 Republican lawmakers to affirm Biden’s win.
The joint session lasted more than 20 hours after a group of Trump supporters who attended his speech at the National Mall marched on Congress and overran Capitol Police. The rioters broke into congressional chambers and offices, vandalized property, and stole lawmakers’ belongings before law enforcement was able to retake the complex.
Vice President Mike Pence gaveled the session over at around 3:40 am after declaring Biden the winner.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins,” Pence said when he reopened the session Wednesday night. “Freedom wins. This is still the people’s house.”
A challenge to Arizona’s election results brought by Sen. Ted Cruz and a group of House Republicans was overwhelmingly rejected. More than half of the senators who vowed to join the plot changed their minds after the riot.
Sen. Josh Hawley joined a House GOP objection to Pennsylvania but declined to defend or speak about it. The Senate rejected the objection without even debating it. House Republicans also attempted to block results in Georgia and Nevada but had no support from Senators.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans like Lindsey Graham strongly opposed the attempt to overturn millions of legal votes based on fraudulent allegations of election rigging.
“We gather due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” said Sen. Mitt Romney. “What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States.”
Trump agrees to go:
Trump was locked out of his social media accounts for his role in fomenting the riots so he issued a 4 am statement through White House social media director Dan Scavino’s Twitter account.
“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,” he said. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”