Congress suspends debate on Biden’s certification as mob storm capitol
Vote to certify Joe Biden’s victory has been suspended as mob of supporters loyal to Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, in an uprising to overturn the results of the November election before Congress finalize Biden’s victory.
As required by the constitution, the joint session of Congress meets to count the electoral votes. The votes will be delivered to the chamber in mahogany boxes and read aloud in alphabetical order of the states, with Mike Pence presiding over the meeting.
At the conclusion of the count, it is the vice-president who finally, formally declares the winner.
The protests interrupted a futile effort by Republicans to reject the certification of the electoral college votes affirming Trump’s defeat, forcing the building to be placed on lockdown.
Hundreds of protesters, many wearing red Maga caps and waving American flags, barreled past security barricades and marched into the Capitol, the seat of American government, where they roamed the halls shouting “we will not back down”.
Outside the building, they clashed violently with police.
In remarks from Wilmington, the president-elect called on Trump to “step up” and “demand an end to this siege”.
“It’s not protest, it’s insurrection,” Biden said. “The world is watching.”
In a video taped from the White House, Trump instructed his followers to “go home”.
In an extraordinary scene unprecedented in modern memory, officers drew their guns on the floor of the House, where just outside an armed protest faced off with Capitol police. Members of Congress were instructed to wear gas masks as they were escorted from the Capitol to their offices nearby. Staffers were advised to stay in place
After four years of defending and emboldening Trump, Republicans in Congress were facing their most consequential test of loyalty yet: to indulge the president’s attempt to overturn the results of an election he lost, or to uphold the democratic process and certify Biden as the next president of the United States.
In his increasingly desperate bid to cling to power, Trump, who has not conceded, has spent the last several weeks attempting to enlist allies and pressure public officials to overturn Biden’s 306-232 election win.
In the House, where the effort is led by the Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, Republicans said the plan was to voice objections to Biden’s wins in six swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
To succeed, an objection must come from both a member of the House and the Senate. Hawley has said he planned to object to the results from Pennsylvania, while Cruz plans to object to the results in Arizona.
All 50 states have certified the election results after a number of closely contested states conducted post-election audits and recounts to ensure their accuracy.
Courts at every level, including the supreme court, have rejected dozens of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies to challenge the results.