In the early hours of January 7, members of Congress have certified the electoral college votes cast for Joe Biden confirming his victory as U.S. president. This news comes after an armed mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, in an attempt to halt the counting of electoral votes.
President Trump has acknowledged Biden’s win, though he did not use either of his Twitter channels to do so. “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.
It has been reported that the Capitol building is now secure following yesterday’s invasion, although four people were killed, including Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by Capitol police. Before the Capitol was attacked, several Republican Senators planned to object the results following months of Trump claiming via video, lawsuit and written statement that the election results were fraudulent. After lawmakers reconvened on the night of January 6, GOP senators challenged the votes cast in Pennsylvania and Arizona, to no avail.
In a formal statement released on January 6, Speaker Pelosi wrote, “Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy. It was anointed at the highest level of government. It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.”
In the midst of the invasion, President-elect Biden spoke about the incident in Delaware. Though he had planned to speak about the economy, he used to opportunity to condemn the people behind the attack. “Our democracy is under an unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” he said. The last time the Capitol building had been overtaken was over 200 years ago, in 1812.
The President-elect continued and admonished Trump, saying, “At their best, the words of a president can inspire–at their worst, they can incite.” This was a reference to the impact of a President’s speech, whether through physical or digital means, and how he believes that the past few months have been used to spread untruths that led to violence.
Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney, made statements condemning the riots and Trump as well. “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,” Romney said.
After the restoration of order, the electoral college results reflected that Trump had gotten 232 electoral votes and Biden received 306. This also means Kamala Harris will officially be the first woman, the first South Asian woman and the first Black woman to serve as the vice president.