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Highlights and analysis: Trump commits to 'orderly transition' after mob storms Capitol

Lawmakers were evacuated during the counting of Electoral College votes after supporters descended on the Capitol at Trump's urging.
Image: District of Columbia National Guard stand outside the Capitol, Wednesday night, Jan. 6, 2021, after a day of rioting protesters.
District of Columbia National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday night.John Minchillo / AP

President Donald Trump early on Thursday committed to "an orderly transition" of power soon after Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election win, and following the storming of the Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.

In a statement released by the White House, the president again made false claims about the outcome of the election. Twitter suspended Trump's account for 12 hours Wednesday after he continued to push conspiracy theories about the election after the chaos at the Capitol.

Overnight, Congress reconvened and counted the electoral votes Biden's victory. After some objections, the count of Biden's 306 votes to President Donald Trump's 232 was finished in proceedings that lasted until 3:40 a.m.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading about the aftermath of the rioting at the Capitol.


Read the highlights:

-The woman shot in the Capitol amid violent breach of the complex has died.

-Biden condemns "insurrection."

-Jon Ossoff defeats David Perdue in Georgia, handing control of the Senate to Democrats, NBC News projects.

-Defying Trump, Pence says he won't overturn the 2020 election.


Trump to address D.C. rally where as many as 30,000 people are expected

Ahead of the counting of the electoral votes on Capitol Hill, Trump plans to address a "Save America Rally" in downtown Washington at 11 a.m. ET.

A National Park Service spokesman told NBC News that organizers expect as many as 30,000 people at the event near the White House. The permit originally was submitted for a crowd size of 10,000, but the group has tripled its estimate based on responses and people already in the D.C. area as of Tuesday, according to the official. 

A number of streets have been blocked off throughout the nation’s capital, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard as a precaution. 

  

Fact check: No, Pence can't overturn the election results

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021.Megan Varner / Getty Images

Trump claimed on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence could singlehandedly reject certain electors during Congress' certification process, turning up the pressure on him to help overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” Trump tweeted.

This is false.

Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, is scheduled to preside over Congress' certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday, as detailed by the 12th Amendment. But he cannot intervene in the process.

Here's why.

Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, though he lacks that power

President Donald Trump turned up the pressure on Tuesday to enlist Vice President Mike Pence in a futile effort to reverse the outcome of the presidential election and keep them in office for another four years.

With a president who has excelled at remaining the focus of Washington during his time in office, Pence has largely played the role of quiet support character, never publicly rebuking his boss and sticking to his script with unwavering consistency.

But Trump's ongoing effort to keep from being evicted from the White House on Jan. 20 has pushed Pence into the limelight and left him in a position one person close to Trump said he is "dreading."

Read the story.

Congress is set to count the Trump-Biden Electoral College votes. Here's the lowdown.

Senate pages lead the procession of the Senate through the Capitol Rotunda into the House chamber with the Electoral College ballot boxes on Jan. 6, 2017.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

It's the final step in certifying the next president of the United States, but the Electoral College vote count in Congress on Wednesday is expected to be a much longer — and more contentious — affair than normal.

Verifying the vote count is constitutionally required, but it has become largely procedural — electors officially cast their votes on Dec. 14, and Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by 306-232, a result Trump referred to as a "landslide" when he won with the same numbers in 2016. Unlike Trump then, Biden also won the popular vote, garnering 7 million more votes than Trump.

Some Republican lawmakers plan to use the congressional vote count to object to Biden's wins in numerous swing states in a Hail Mary-type bid to keep Trump in the White House. The objections are expected to fail, but they could turn the typically short ceremony into an hours- or even days-long event.

Here's what to expect.

Trump allies hope Wednesday's drama will be his last stand — but no one knows what's next

President Donald Trump's allies are hoping Wednesday marks his last stand in a weekslong effort to challenge the November election results, with multiple people close to Trump privately acknowledging that his options will be exhausted once Congress tabulates the Electoral College votes.

"It's hard to see anything beyond tomorrow," a senior administration official said Tuesday, adding that already everyone, including Trump, views efforts by dozens of Republicans in Congress to stop or delay the tabulation as "uphill."

Yet people close to Trump also say he still may not relent after this final step in the election process, given that his determination to overturn the results has only intensified despite its having failed multiple times — including state certifications and the Electoral College meeting last month — and scores of legal defeats.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," one of Trump's allies said. "He's lost re-election. So for somebody who has no sense of shame, there's no downside to him letting all the crazy out."

Read the story.

Fact check: Trump falsely suggests improper 'voter dump' as count continues in Georgia

While the nation waited for the results in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrongly suggested that the normal process of counting votes was a sign of fraud.

“Looks like they are setting up a big 'voter dump' against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?” he tweeted.

His tweet came as state election officials announced that a large number of early, in person votes would soon be reported in Dekalb County, which includes part of Atlanta, hours after polls had closed. Those votes were expected to break heavily for the Democratic candidates, and did so, according to the county results reported after 11 p.m. ET.

Trump has repeatedly ignored the facts when it comes to regular election process, falsely claiming that he was denied a second term in part because of surprise spikes in votes for President-elect Joe Biden, and officials in multiple states from both political parties have sought to counter this misinformation. Election results are always reported in batches, and large cities can sometimes take longer to count and report.

Read the story.

Warnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia, keeping alive Democrats' hopes of taking Senate, NBC News projects

ATLANTA — Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler Tuesday, NBC News projects, in one of two critical runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate and potentially the fate of Joe Biden’s presidency.

“Tonight we proved that with hope, hard works and the people by our side, anything is possible," Warnock told supporters in a video livestream.

Democrats need to win both contests to flip the Senate, but the other race, between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue, remains too close to call, according to NBC News, with 98 percent of the expected vote counted.

If Perdue wins, Republicans will maintain control of the chamber and be able to block President-elect Biden’s Cabinet appointments, judicial picks and legislative agenda — colossal stakes that Biden said Monday would “chart the course not just for the next four years, but for the next generation."

Read the story.