In the early hours of Thursday morning (Jan. 7), Congress resumed their Electoral College vote counting process after the U.S. Capitol was secured from pro-Trump rioters. CBS reports that by 3:33 a.m. EST, Biden had received the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the election and by 3:39, the count was finished. The final results were 306-232 for Biden, and Vice President Mike Pence announced the president-elect’s victory just after 3:40.
In a statement, Trump said that he “totally disagrees with the outcome of the election,” but claimed “there will be an orderly transition” on Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The statement was tweeted by White House Senior Official Dan Scanvio, since Trump was locked out of his Twitter and Facebook accounts amidst Wednesday’s insurrection (Jan. 6).
Congress had been in the process of certifying Biden’s victory on Wednesday afternoon when a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, causing a city-wide curfew, area lockdown and several Capitol buildings to be evacuated. Congress had to recess for almost six hours amidst the chaos, which left four people dead.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to “walk over” to the Capitol and, after they had breached the building, addressed the rioters and said they were “special,” but “need to go home now.”
According to D.C. Metro police, three people died from medical emergencies and one woman was shot by cops. Over 52 people were reportedly arrested; however, 47 of them were arrested for breaking the city-wide curfew.
Once Congress was able to return to the Capitol Building, the joint session resumed with arguments from Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Paul Gosar, who objected to Arizona’s electoral results. The Senate ended up rejected their objection 93-6, and the House rejected it 303-121.
Dozens of Republican lawmakers had vowed to object to the electoral results in key states; however, after Wednesday’s panic, no senators objected to the results in Michigan or Nevada. Sen. Josh Hawley did object to Pennsylvania’s results, but the Senate rejected his objection.
Ahead of the count, Mitch McConnell surprised many with a searing condemnation of Trump and Republicans for trying to “disenfranchise American voters” by alleging massive voter fraud in the election.
“The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “If we overrule them all, it would damage our republic forever... If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again.”
“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes... with separate facts and separate realities ... with nothing in common except hostility toward each another and mistrust for the few national institutions that we still share,” he added. “It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this thin basis. And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.”