Despite the unrest on Capitol Hill, Joe Biden was finally certified as the winner, making him the new president of the United States.
Congress certified the election of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the early hours of Thursday, January 7, hours after President Trump’s loyalists stormed and occupied the Capitol, interrupting the final electoral count in a shocking display of violence. that shook the core of American democracy.
Trump, who spent months fanning the ire of his supporters with false claims that the elections were stolen and that he refused to condemn the violent protests on Wednesday, said early Thursday that there would be an orderly presidential transition this month.
“Although I totally disagree with the outcome of the elections, there will be an orderly transition on January 20,” he said in a statement.
Mike Pence announced Biden as winner
The statement, which had to be issued through surrogates since Trump’s Twitter account was suspended, came moments after Vice President Mike Pence affirmed Biden as the winner of the presidential election shortly before 4 a.m. after of the final electoral votes being counted in a joint session of Congress.
There was no parallel in modern American history, with insurgents acting on behalf of the president vandalizing the office of President Nancy Pelosi, smashing windows, looting art, and briefly taking control of the Senate chamber, where they took turns posing for photographs. fists raised on the dais where Mr. Pence had just presided.
Biden, speaking as scenes of destruction in the halls of Congress horrified lawmakers from both parties, blamed Trump for fomenting the insurrection.
At their best, a president’s words can inspire. At worst, they can incite, ”Biden said.
Donald Trump’s allies spoke out
Allies around the world, accustomed to the chaos that has marked Donald Trump’s tenure, struggled to find the words to describe what they were witnessing.
“These photos made me angry and saddened,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
In Russia, by contrast, the violence fits perfectly into the Kremlin’s narrative of an American democracy in shambles. The Kremlin did not issue any official comment, but state television did provide extensive evening coverage of the attack on the Capitol, with footage of the violence set to dramatic orchestral music.
As we have reported in Somagnews, the turmoil unfolded on a day when Democrats won a pair of impressive second-round victories in Georgia, gaining effective control of the Senate and the levers of power in Washington.
The siege of the Capitol was the climax of a weeklong campaign by Trump, filled with unsubstantiated claims of fraud and outright lies, to try to reverse a democratically decided election that he lost.
When the Senate reconvened Wednesday night, hours after lawmakers had been evacuated from a Capitol invaded by a mob carrying pro-Trump paraphernalia, one of the nation’s most polarizing moments had generated an unexpected window of solidarity. . Republicans and Democrats joined arms in denouncing the violence and expressing their determination to carry out what they called a constitutionally sacrosanct function.
“For those who wreaked havoc on our Capitol today, you didn’t win,” Pence said on a sharp break from Trump, who had posted messages condoning the actions of the mob. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s home. ”
Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and Majority Leader, said the “failed insurrection” had only clarified the purpose of Congress.
“They tried to disrupt our democracy,” he said. “They failed.”
After the vote was certified early Thursday morning, Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, said a prayer in the chamber in an emotional close to a chaotic day in which a woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol.
“These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is on the tongue,” he said. “We deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life and the quagmire of dysfunctions that threaten our democracy.”