WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner early Thursday after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Trump in the White House.
Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power.
They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on alert.
Before dawn Thursday, lawmakers completed their work, confirming Biden won the election.
Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.
“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,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide.
The Capitol was under siege Wednesday, as the nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power.
A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory.
Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.
Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office.
Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 were sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.