Hours after a violent mob of President Trump’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol Building, forcing a lockdown and leaving four people dead, Congress reconvened to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the vote count, formally announced the results of Biden’s 306-232 win over Trump in the Electoral College.
The confirmation came nearly 12 hours after hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the Capitol while lawmakers were counting the electoral votes inside. Four people, including a woman who was shot by police, died during the chaos.
For a recap of the day’s events, see the blog below. For the latest on the fallout, visit the Yahoo News homepage.
How the chaos unfolded
• Hundreds of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was convening a joint session to count the certified Electoral College votes affirming Joe Biden’s election victory.
• Some breached hallways, offices and even the Senate chamber, forcing evacuations. Others broke windows to get inside.
• Capitol police were seen with guns drawn in an armed standoff near the door to the House floor. Lawmakers were instructed to put on protective gas masks because police had deployed chemical irritants in Statuary Hall.
• A woman who was shot by police later died. She was identified by local news reports as Ashli Babbit, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter from San Diego.
• Three others who suffered medical emergencies also died, officials said.
• Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6 p.m. ET citywide curfew, and the D.C. National Guard was activated.
• The joint session resumed on Wednesday night after the Capitol was cleared, and Congress formally certified Biden's win in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
• Trump, who had spoken at a rally urging demonstrators to surround the Capitol, reportedly watched the mayhem on TV from the White House dining room.
• Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the vote count, called on those who illegally entered the Capitol Building to leave immediately.
• President-elect Biden called on Trump to “step up” and condemn his supporters who breached the Capitol.
• Trump released a video telling demonstrators to “go home,” but repeated his false claims that the election was “stolen from us.”
• The video was subsequently blocked by Facebook and Twitter, with both platforms temporarily suspending him.
• Meanwhile, the Associated Press projected that Jon Ossoff will win his runoff in Georgia, beating incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue and giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.
Trump statement: 'There will be an orderly transition'
In a statement released by the White House shortly after Joe Biden was certified by Congress as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Trump said: “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. 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!”
Pence presides over the joint session of Congress. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Congress votes to certify Biden's win
After an extraordinary act of violence from a riotous mob forced U.S. legislators to evacuate the Capitol Building during the counting of the Electoral College votes in the presidential election, Congress voted to certify the results showing President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump.
While a group of Republican lawmakers challenged the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, those objections did not withstand a vote in either the House of Representative or the Senate.
In the wake of the attack on the Capitol, fewer Republicans followed through with promises to contest the certification, yet enough did to drag debate on into the early morning hours of Thursday.
At 3:32 a.m. ET, Congress had certified enough electoral votes to surpass the 270 threshold that guaranteed Biden would become the 46th president, effectively ending a futile bid by Trump and his supporters to overturn the results of November’s election.
House rejects challenge to Pennsylvania's electoral count
The House joined the Senate in voting to reject the motion to object to the state of Pennsylvania's electoral votes.
As was the case with the injection to Arizona, a majority of House Republicans (138) voted in favor of objecting to Pennsylvania's vote count.
Congress has now reconvened a joint session — which began at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday — to continue its certification of Joe Biden's victory.
It's 3:15 a.m. ET.
Rep. Connor Lamb (D-Pa.) speaks on the House floor early Thursday.
House shouting match almost leads to 'fist fight'
Tensions ran high in the House Chamber overnight as the House debated the objection raised over Pennsylvania's presidential election results.
"A woman died out there tonight, and you're making these objections," Rep. Connor Lamb, D-Pa., said.
House Republicans objected to Lamb's statement. A shouting match ensued and, according to one Capitol Hill reporter, a fist fight almost broke out between Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Colin Allred, D-Texas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the sergeant-at-arms to restore order and clear the chamber.
Senate rejects objection to Pennsylvania's electoral votes
In all, 92 senators voted against the measure, with seven Republicans voting in favor. The House, meanwhile, continues its debate.
Pro-Trump rioters swarm the U.S. Capitol building during a protest Wednesday. (Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Capitol riot was false-flag operation by leftists, Trump backers claim, with no basis
As an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, vandalizing offices, occupying the House and Senate chambers and sending legislators and staffers running for cover, several of President Trump’s key allies knew just where to cast the blame: on the loose-knit movement of left-wing agitators known as “antifa,” a favorite bogeyman of Trump and the right wing for the last several years.
They were undeterred by video showing rioters in MAGA hats, carrying Trump 2020 flags, descending on the Capitol from a rally near the White House where Trump himself had exhorted them to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes submitted by the states, the final step in certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. To them, that just showed that the insurrection was actually a leftist false-flag operation meant to embarrass the president’s peaceful supporters.
One of the first to push this narrative was Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican and part of a small group of Trump loyalists who’d pledged to challenge the Electoral College results from several states during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress in an ill-fated final attempt to undo Trump’s defeat. “Rumor: ANTIFA fascists in backwards MAGA hats,” Brooks tweeted from the locked-down Capitol where he was taking cover from the mob. “Time will tell what truth is.”
Objection raised by Republicans over Pennsylvania's presidential election results
The objection, which was raised shortly after midnight local time, was signed by Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
Both chambers will now debate the objection to President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Keystone State for up to two hours and then vote on it.
An earlier objection to the certification of Arizona's results failed.