Congress formally confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president, a day after a mob invaded the U.S. Capitol (CNBC’s Eamon Javers reports).
Joe Biden was formally recognized by Congress as the next U.S. president early Thursday, January 7, 2021, after police regained control of the Capitol complex and secured the space for lawmakers. Congress returned to work about 8:00 p.m. ET Wednesday in the House Chamber, holding two rounds of votes that culminated in affirmation of Biden’s win early Thursday. The Joint Session of Congress certified Joe Biden as the next U.S. president (#46) after voting to reject objections to the Pennsylvania and Arizona electoral votes.
The Democratic president-elect’s victory was sealed after House and Senate members rejected a final round of objections to the November 3, 2020 election results, allegedly corrupted by mail-in ballot fraud, manipulated voting machines, and lack of bipartisan oversight of the vote-counting process.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the certification of Biden’s 306 Electoral College votes and at 3:41 a.m. ET read the results acknowledging that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. Biden won the same Electoral College vote total that Trump won in the 2016 election year, 306 to 232.
The proceedings in the House Chamber were disrupted for several hours Wednesday afternoon as pro-Trump demonstrators overran police lines, and attempted to enter the House chamber where lawmakers had left to another safe area. Rioters also accessed the Senate chamber and other areas of the U.S. Capitol, while lawmakers fled to safety. A woman was shot in the upper chest or neck region by plainclothes police officer as she crawled through a window opening where the glass had been shattered. She quickly lost consciousness and was transported by paramedics to a nearby hospital where she died.
“The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will certify the winner of the 2020 election.”
— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
The siege of the U.S. Capitol resulted in Republicans diminishing their planned objections, with senators forcing debate on only two states’ electors (Arizona and Pennsylvania) instead of the six they originally planned.
Shortly after the votes for Joe Biden were certified, Trump said in a statement there would be an “orderly transition” of power to Biden on January 20, noting that he continued to “disagree with the outcome of the election.” The Twitter account and Facebook account for President Trump were both suspended Wednesday evening.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer placed the blame on Trump for the mob action at the U.S. Capitol, but stated that Congress wasn’t deterred.
“These images were projected to the world,” Schumer said. “This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away.”
Schumer also said, “In the end all this mob has really accomplished is to delay our work by a few hours.”
Joe Biden, born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and raised in Delaware, spent decades pursuing the presidency. Biden ran for president in 1988 and 2008, and considered running in 1984 and 2016.
Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, and served 36 years. He chaired the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees before his selection as Barack Obama’s vice president for the 2008 election.
Biden entered the race for 2020 in April 2019, saying he felt a sense of obligation to oust Trump. During the race for Election Year 2020, Biden endured criticism that he was too old, possibly showing signs of dementia, and too moderate for younger Democrats.
Biden’s run for president survived a scandal involving his son, published by the New York Post in October 2020, that brought renewed attention to allegations during the presidential election campaign that then-Vice President Biden withheld loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to prevent a corruption investigation into Burisma and his son, Hunter Biden. E-mails discovered on an unclaimed MacBook Pro at a Mac repair shop that was allegedly owned by Hunter Biden, suggested Hunter Biden provided an “opportunity” to Vadym Pozharskyi, an advisor to the board of Burisma, to meet “the big guy” — believed to be then-Vice President Joe Biden. The New York Post article was suppressed on Facebook and Twitter. Hunter Biden’s extraordinary salary for a job he was unqualified was another talking point that alluded to corruption.
In December 2020, Hunter Biden made a public announcement via his attorney that his tax affairs are under federal criminal investigation. The investigation, related to potential violations of tax and money laundering laws and Hunter Biden’s business dealings in foreign countries, especially China, began in late 2018. The investigation was revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice after the 2020 election. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign office confirmed awareness of the investigation after the election.
A Coronavirus-cautious Joe Biden and his campaign criticized Trump’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated crash in the economy. Concurrently, the Trump Administration held events that were less cautious regarding the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 compared to Biden’s campaign events. Trump ridiculed Biden as operating out of his basement, while many who attended Trump Administration events and Trump rallies became infected. Republican Herman Cain died of a COVID-19 infection at age 74 in July 2020, after attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma in mid-June 2020. At the rally, Cain was observed not adhering to social distancing guidelines and was not always wearing a mask. On Friday October 2, 2020, news broke that Donald Trump and Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19, and that Trump had mild symptoms. Days later he was hospitalized and officials reluctantly disclosed he required oxygen treatment. He survived the infection, but Trump rallies were curtailed.
President Trump’s infection occurred soon after a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden that introduced his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Many people that were attending the event were not wearing masks, and were not socially distancing in the outdoor space. Some were also photographed together indoors. Besides positive COVID-19 tests for Donald Trump and Melania Trump, there were positive tests in this time frame for Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina; presidential aide Hope Hicks; Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien; Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins; and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Only Hope Hicks had not attended the Rose Garden event because she was sick before the event and was isolating. Gov. Chris Christie was photographed hugging a woman — both maskless with their mouths less than 12 inches apart. Gov. Christie tested positive one day after President Trump, and was hospitalized for one week.
According to the certified votes, Biden gained the confidence of voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to convert these states to wins for the Democrat presidential candidate.
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Congress completes Electoral College vote count after day of chaos at Capitol https://t.co/ZyILYDERUL
— 360MediaX (@360mediaX) January 7, 2021
Live Updates: Congress affirms Biden's win after assault on U.S. Capitol https://t.co/SkVDfT5AjJ
— 360MediaX (@360mediaX) January 7, 2021