Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, the nation’s Congress has formally certified Democrat candidate and President-elect, Joe Biden’s election victory.
Congress had resumed its work certifying Biden’s Electoral College win late on Wednesday after the chaotic scenes on Capitol Hill, with debate stretching into the early hours of Thursday.
After debate, the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Biden receiving 306 votes and Trump 232 votes.
Vice President, Mike Pence, in declaring the final vote totals behind Biden’s victory, said this “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons’ elected president and vice president of the United States.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would take office alongside Biden on Jan. 20.
Immediately after the certification, the White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged an “orderly transition” on Jan. 20 when Biden will be sworn into office.
The outcome of the certification proceedings had never been in doubt but had been interrupted by rioters – spurred on by Trump – who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows, and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol.
Police said four people died during the chaos – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – and 52 people were arrested.
Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate. Security officers piled furniture against the chamber’s door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.
The assault on the Capitol was the culmination of months of divisive and escalating rhetoric around the Nov. 3 election, with the Republican president repeatedly making false claims that the vote was rigged and urging his supporters to help him overturn his loss.