US CAPITOL INVASION: Senate Reconvenes to Certify Biden Win
The US Senate reconvened late Wednesday and resumed the process of certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, after a mob protesting Donald Trump’s defeat violently invaded the Capitol building.
“As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy,” Vice President Mike Pence said as he brought the Senate into session.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins, freedom wins,” Pence added. “And this is still the people’s house.”
It should have been one of the most straightforward days of the US presidential transition, with Congress certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory — a procedure so routine it usually merits little if any news coverage.
Instead the world watched in shock and horror on Wednesday as a mob of Donald Trump supporters, encouraged by the president, stormed the US Capitol in a bid to thwart lawmakers from their constitutional duty.
Capitol attack incited by Trump – Obama
Former US president, Barack Obama has lamented the attack on the United States Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
He said this in a statement following violence by supporters of Donald Trump where one person was killed and many injured.
Obama implored Republicans to “choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames.”
He said, “History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treat it as a total surprise.
“I’ve been heartened to see many members of the President’s party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably.
“We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It’s up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal.”
Thousands of Trump supporters, fueled by his spurious claims of voter fraud, were flooded the nation’s capital on Wednesday to protest the certification of Biden.
Trump was scheduled to address his backers at 11:00 am (1600 GMT) at an outdoors event in chilly Washington, two hours before Congress meets in a joint session to certify the Electoral College results that determine the winner of the White House race.
With political tensions running at fever pitch, there was a heavy police presence in downtown Washington and many business owners, fearing clashes, have boarded up doors and windows.
“They stole our election,” said Katherine Caldwell, a 61-year-old woman from Oregon wearing a white cowboy hat that read “Trump Is My President.”
Certification of the Electoral College vote at a ceremony presided over by the vice president is usually just a formality.
But more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives and at least a dozen Republican Senators have said they plan to lodge objections to certification at the joint session of Congress which opens at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT).
Trump, 74, has refused to concede defeat in the November 3 election and has been ramping up the pressure on fellow Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence to back his baseless claims of election fraud.
“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency.”
The vice president has no legal authority to reject the results, however, and Pence has given no public indication of what he will do at the joint session.
The Republican objections appear doomed to fail in any case when brought to a vote in the Democratic-controlled House and also in the Republican-majority Senate, where most Republicans have refused to sign on to the challenge to Electoral College certification.
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