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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.


750d ago / 9:35 PM UTC

Trump tells mob at Capitol 'we love you' but 'go home'

President Donald Trump issued a short video to his Twitter account Wednesday urging his supporters to "go home" after a mob bypassed police to enter the Capitol building. 

Trump continued to falsely assert that he won the presidential election by a "landslide" but told his supporters that they must leave. He also reiterated his baseless allegation that the election was "stolen." 

He told his supporters that they are "very special" and that he loved them. 

"It was a landslide election, everyone knows it ... but you have to go home now," Trump said. "We have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anyone hurt." 

Trump spoke to a large crowd of his supporters in front of the White House earlier Wednesday before the beginning of a joint session of Congress to count Electoral College votes, where he encouraged his followers to go to the Capitol. Trump also suggested that he would go himself. 

Twitter added a flag to Trump's tweet saying that it cannot be retweeted, liked or replied to "due to a risk of violence."

The video was posted just moments after President-elect Joe Biden urged Trump to "step up" and called the chaos unfolding at the Capitol an "insurrection." 

750d ago / 9:34 PM UTC

Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger evacuated from state Capitol building

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was escorted out of the state Capitol building Wednesday in Atlanta, his office confirmed. About 150 protesters gathered outside the building, which remained largely empty.

The Legislature is not in session, and much of legislators' work is being done from home because of the pandemic.

Raffensperger spoke with President Donald Trump on Saturday, during which Trump pressed him to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn the results of the presidential election in the state. Raffensperger said Monday that he never thought it appropriate to speak to Trump about the results. 

750d ago / 9:27 PM UTC

U.K.'s Boris Johnson calls scenes in Washington 'disgraceful'

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the images of hundreds of pro-Trump protesters swarming the Capitol "disgraceful."

"The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power," Johnson, an ally of President Donald Trump, wrote Wednesday on Twitter

The events in Washington caused shock and surprise across the world, where many are used to American lectures about orderly transitions of power, not frenzied scenes of chaos in the heart of the American establishment.  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for the outcome of the election to be respected after the Capitol descended into chaos.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak took to social media to call the events a "shaky coup attempt" by a "crowd incited by a defeated president who lost his temper."  

"But the lesson is clear: When those who are in charge are allowed to go wild and those who had to act are paralyzed by fear, even the impossible can happen," he added.

  

750d ago / 9:19 PM UTC

'It's not protest. It's insurrection': Biden condemns violent storming of Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden forcefully condemned the pro-Trump mob inciting violence and causing chaos Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

"The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad it is," Biden said, before calling on President Donald Trump to give a televised address and demand "an end to this siege" by his supporters.

"It's not protest. It's insurrection," Biden said.

Biden, speaking in Delaware on Wednesday afternoon, described the events at the Capitol that disrupted the vote count as "chaos" that "borders on sedition." 

"I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward," Biden said, adding that "the words of a president matter." 

750d ago / 9:13 PM UTC

Lawmakers sheltering in place cheer news that National Guard troops are on the way

Members of both parties who were locked down in a secure location at the Capitol cheered when House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced that the National Guard was on its way, a House member in the room said. 

"We will return to the floor and do our job," the member said. 

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he is sending members of the Virginia National Guard, along with 200 Virginia state troopers, to the Capitol. 

GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced that he was sending troopers to assist D.C. and Capitol police.

750d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

Improvised explosive device found at Capitol

WASHINGTON — At least one improvised explosive device was found on the Capitol grounds, several law enforcement officials told NBC News. 

The explosive device was found outside a building, the officials said.

“Along with our law enforcement partners, FBI Washington Field Office responded to reports of suspicious devices. The investigation is ongoing," a spokesperson for the field office said, 

750d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

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

Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue and Raphael Warnock won over GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Georgia, NBC News projects.

The twin wins for Democrats give the party control of the Senate, which will stand at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, but incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will be able to cast the tie-breaking vote. The Georgia election results are a big boost for President-elect Joe Biden, who would have faced stiff opposition from Republicans had they retained the Senate. 

Read the story.

750d ago / 9:04 PM UTC

Capitol Police request backup; Secret Service, FBI, Maryland National Guard responding

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U.S. Secret Service, FBI and the Maryland National Guard will support Capitol police as officers attempt to detain and disperse President Donald Trump's supporters as they roam the halls of Congress. 

Both uniformed and specials agent division of Secret Service are responding, a senior law enforcement source confirmed to NBC News. The official called the situation at the legislative office "extremely concerning." 

The FBI also confirmed that it will assist U.S. Capitol Police "in protection of federal property and public safety." Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he ordered the state's National Guardsmen to set up a rapid response force to support police officers in the city. 

750d ago / 9:01 PM UTC

Photo shows GOP Sen. Hawley, who led effort to contest vote, greeting protesters

750d ago / 8:57 PM UTC

Federal officials with ATF uniforms are clearing the Capitol

Federal law enforcement officers are moving through the U.S. Capitol clearing out protesters.

Reporters barricaded in a workspace in the Capitol greeted the officers — who had uniforms from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — as a sign that the building may soon be safe. 

A security system inside the Capitol had alerted everyone to shelter in space. Police have continued to say that those inside are safest waiting where they are. 

"Thank you for what your doing," the reporters who remained locked inside said.

750d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Pelosi, Schumer call on Trump to demand that protesters leave the Capitol

In a joint statement directed at Trump, Pelosi and Schumer said just before 4 p.m. ET, “We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

 

750d ago / 8:53 PM UTC

GOP lawmakers call on Trump to take action, call off the violence at the Capitol

Multiple Republicans are calling on Trump to step in and call for an end to the violence that pro-Trump protesters engaged in at the Capitol on Wednesday. 

"Mr. President @realDonaldTrump the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down," tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., tweeted, "We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the United States Capitol right now. @realdonaldtrump, you need to call this off."

"I am appalled at what is occurring in the US Capitol right now. President Trump needs to call for an end to this violence and permit Congress to facilitate a peaceful transition of power," tweeted Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio.

A number of other Republicans condemned the violence on Twitter, but did not call on the president to take action. Democrats, meanwhile, accused Trump of inciting it.

The tweets came after Trump called on protesters at a rally in downtown D.C. to march to the Capitol. Well after the violence and chaos erupted at the Capitol, Trump tweeted, "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!"

750d ago / 8:52 PM UTC

'It was predictable': Extremism experts point to signs well ahead of riots

As pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol, online extremism researchers expressed frustration and disappointment with the inevitability of the movements they’ve tracked online coming to fruition in real life. 

“It would only be shocking if they hadn’t been saying for years they were going to do this,” said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who tracks white nationalists and other extremist groups online. “And the role of the online platforms in fomenting this entire debacle can not be overstated. They consistently ignored advice from experts to remove the loudest voices pushing the most deranged conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric. They chose time and time again to look the other way."

Similar breaches by Trump supporters occurred in several different states recently including Oregon and Michigan, noted Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“Tactics are contagious and spread quickly,” Donovan said. “It was predictable.”

Donovan said the strong QAnon presence in the riots was also to be expected.

“For years, they believed they were the digital soldiers led by General Flynn,” Donovan said. “For weeks, Flynn, Powell, and Wood were priming people for action. When all legal options were exhausted, it became proof of their beliefs.”

750d ago / 8:45 PM UTC

Aide says White House staffers 'disgusted and disappointed' by Trump's behavior

Most White House aides didn’t go into work on Wednesday because of road closures and protests. One staffer, who has been at the White House for all four years and worked on the re-election, said they are completely “disgusted and disappointed” by President Trump’s behavior in these final days.

“Never did anyone think it would turn out like this,” said the White House aide. “The blame for this lies squarely with the President. And whatever support he has among members has vanished. As wild as it sounds, he could be impeached in the final days.”

The aide believes Trump has lost support for the objection of the vote certification in the House because of Wednesday's unrest.

"I don’t know for a fact, no one does, because many are sheltering in place, but I would certainly anticipate that," the staffer said.

750d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Trump authorizes National Guard to Capitol protests

750d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

Virginia National Guard, state troopers are heading to the Capitol

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced this afternoon that the state National Guard and 200 state troopers are heading to the Capitol to help police the protests and rioting happening there.

The sun will set shortly in Washington, and the city has ordered a 6 p.m. curfew. 

750d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

1 person shot inside Capitol, law enforcement officials confirm

One person was shot and several others were injured amid the frenzy at the Capitol, law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC News Wednesday. 

Police did not know details regarding the circumstances of the shooting, who fired the shot, or the nature of the person’s injuries. That person is in critical condition, according to D.C. Fire and EMS. 

A woman was seen on video being treated for an unknown injury as paramedics moved her on a stretcher out of the Capitol Wednesday. The building remains on lockdown.

Five people have been transported transported to the hospital, including one officer, according to the city's emergency medical services. 

750d ago / 8:35 PM UTC

McCarthy says he heard police say 'shots fired' inside Capitol

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Fox News on Wednesday that overheard police saying there were shots fired inside Capitol.

"People are being hurt. People are being, people are being hurt, there's been shots, this is unacceptable," McCarthy said.

Asked whether he could confirm "that shots have been fired inside the capitol or outside," McCarthy said he was with Capitol Police officers and that he "heard on the radio, 'shots fired.'"

McCarthy came moments after a bleeding woman was rushed from the Capitol on a stretcher with medical personnel tending to her. It's unclear how the woman was injured.

750d ago / 8:32 PM UTC

Photo: Protester sits at Capitol desk

Image: US-POLITICS-ELECTION-TRUMP
A supporter of President Donald Trump sits at a desk after invading the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
750d ago / 8:26 PM UTC

Georgia election official: 'This is an insurrection'

Gabriel Sterling, an election official in Georgia who has spent weeks condemning the false attacks on the validity of the U.S. election as dangerous and inflammatory, called the chaotic mob of pro-Trump protesters who breached the U.S. Capitol an "insurrection."

He laid the blame squarely on the president's shoulders: "I said several weeks ago that the words and actions of the President were going to get someone shot, hurt, or killed. Shots were just fired in the U.S. Capitol. Let that link in for a moment."

One person was shot this afternoon inside the U.S. Capitol building by a member of law enforcement, several law enforcement officials said. No other details are known, including what law enforcement officer fired the shot, or the circumstances of the shooting, or the nature of the person's injuries.

750d ago / 8:25 PM UTC

Pelosi, VP-elect Harris both safe, officials say

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is "safe," a spokesperson for her told NBC News. The aide would not comment on her whereabouts. 

She had previously been inside the House chamber. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who was on the Capitol grounds today, is also “safe,” a transition official told NBC News. But they will not comment further on her current location. 

750d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

750d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

Pelosi, Washington Mayor call for National Guard help

750d ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Protesters are on the Senate floor

750d ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Photos: Protesters breach the Capitol

Image:
Capitol Police try to hold back protesters outside the east doors to the House side of the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021.Andrew Harnik / AP
Image: US-POLITICS-ELECTION-TRUMP
Supporters of President Donald Trump enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
A protester holds a Trump flag inside the Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.Win McNamee / Getty Images
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Protesters gesture to Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Members of Congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session on Jan. 6, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 .Drew Angerer / Getty Images
750d ago / 8:05 PM UTC

Protesters breach the Senate chamber, House door barricaded

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Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Pro-Trump supporters have entered the Senate chamber as others are in a standoff at the door of the House chamber. 

A protester who was able to get into the Senate chamber stood on the dais and yelled, "Trump won that election," according to a press pool reporter inside the room. Officers are also in an armed standoff with protesters at the House chamber door, which was barricaded. 

The gallery door in the House was broken, and members have been evacuated. Members that are up top in the gallery area above the floor with press were sheltering as the door was barricaded. 

750d ago / 7:57 PM UTC

D.C. Mayor Bowser imposes 6 p.m. curfew

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a curfew on the city as protesters stormed the Capitol building during the Electoral College certification Wednesday. 

The 12-hour curfew will begin at 6 p.m. and continue into Thursday morning after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building as members of both congressional chambers debated the certification of Arizona's electoral votes.

"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," Bowser's press release said.

750d ago / 7:50 PM UTC

Trump's online base sours on Pence

As some supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol, members of the president’s largest internet communities immediately turned on Vice President Mike Pence, as it became clear he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Supporters in “watch party” threads on some extremist websites pushed elaborate, QAnon-style conspiracy theories about Pence, claiming that he was part of an elaborate plot by Satanists to take over the world. Others simply expressed feelings of betrayal, and encouraged others to storm the Capitol.

Pro-Trump online forums had planned online for days to storm the Capitol if the election was not overturned in favor of Donald Trump.

750d ago / 7:44 PM UTC
750d ago / 7:38 PM UTC

After escalating attacks, Trump urges 'peaceful' protest

Minutes after posting an escalating attack on Vice President Mike Pence, Trump sent a second missive urging peaceful protest.

 

The tweet does not acknowledge that Trump has incited the protest by advancing baseless conspiracy theories about the results of the election.

750d ago / 7:20 PM UTC

Pro-Trump protesters breach Capitol, Pence whisked away

The House and Senate suddenly recessed Wednesday afternoon around 2:15 p.m. ET as pro-Trump protests escalated.

Vice President Mike Pence was ushered quickly out of the Senate chamber as it recessed and the debate between senators had to stop mid-speech. A member of the Senate told NBC News that Pence and Sen. Charles Grassley, the president pro-tempore, have been taken to a secure location.  

This came as pro-Trump demonstrators breached the barricades and crowded on the Capitol steps, which is normally only accessible to lawmakers. People jumped the barricades surrounding the Capitol and police began running down hallways inside, telling people to get away from the windows.

A police officer on the third floor began shouting that protesters had gotten inside the building and that people should take shelter.  

All visitors and staff must go through metal detectors every time they enter any part of the Capitol complex, including nearby House and Senate office buildings. While the entrances that the protesters were crowding near have metal detectors inside, it's easier to circumvent them as it's normally only entrances for lawmakers. 

Senators were locked inside their chamber on the second floor of the Capitol building and protesters wearing Trump "Make America Great Again" hats and carrying flags were seen gathering outside the chamber doors. Senate chaplain Barry Black ran down the hallway, away from the Senate chambers, to his office.

"Immediately seek shelter in the closest office," an announcement over a loudspeaker said across the Capitol, which told people to lock doors as well, amid the security threat. “Remain quiet and await further directions.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., told MSNBC that he's "never experienced anything like this."

750d ago / 7:15 PM UTC

Trump continues his attacks as protesters storm the Capitol

President Donald Trump continued to escalate his attacks and allegations of voter fraud, even as protesters have breached the locked-down Capitol amid security concerns.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump says.

Trump's claims are false. Vice President Mike Pence legally has no power in this process. 

Pence was rushed from the Senate chamber earlier today amid growing security concerns.

750d ago / 7:10 PM UTC

Democratic lawmaker evacuates office as protesters storm Capitol grounds

750d ago / 7:09 PM UTC

Cruz proposes Civil War-era solution, Klobuchar burns him for it

Sen. Ted Cruz in a rambling address intended for the purpose of objecting to Arizona’s electoral votes, proposed an “emergency audit” that he said would be modeled after one created after a contentious election in the years after the Civil War.

Citing the aftermath of the contentious 1876 election between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, Cruz called for Congress to “appoint an electoral commission to examine claims of electoral fraud,” specifying that he’d prefer that such a commission “conduct a 10-day emergency audit, consider the evidence and resolve the claims.”

In 1876, after a contentious election full of accusations of improprieties, Democrats, in a deal known as the Compromise of 1877, conceded the race to Hayes in exchange for the end of Reconstruction — a notorious pact that included the withdrawal of federal troops from former Confederate states who'd been sent there to protect the rights of newly emancipated Black people.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaking next, exposed Cruz’s hypocrisy, pointing out that the Texas Republican had not sought such audits in the races of the many Republican candidates who won House seats and who were sworn into Congress last week — even though whatever objections Cruz raised in the presidential election should have theoretically applied to other federal races as well. 

"I did not see Senator Cruz over at the swearing in at the House of Representatives last Sunday asking for an audit,” she said. “He did not stop their swearing in because there was no fraud.”

750d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

McConnell’s calls for 'shared commitment to the truth' after not acknowledging Biden's win for weeks

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell  gave a powerful speech on the floor demanding that members return to “a shared commitment to the truth” that keeps American democracy in working order.

"Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect to the ground-rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes, with two different sets of facts and separate realities,” he said.

It’s a remarkable statement, but it doesn’t come in a vacuum and ignores how McConnell has operated as a legislative leader while working with the nation's most mendacious president in U.S. history. 

In fact, McConnell has often kept mum while the president made repeated and sweeping false claims. Just this fall, Trump spent six weeks claiming victory in the 2020 election before McConnell congratulated Joe Biden on his presidential victory on Dec. 15.

750d ago / 6:59 PM UTC

In strongest words yet, McConnell rejects effort by Trump, GOP to overturn the election

In his strongest words yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and made clear he will not approve the objections raised by his GOP colleagues over the counting of electoral votes from key battleground states.

"Our Democracy would enter a death spiral" if election were overturned, McConnell said on the Senate floor.

"Mr. Trump claims the election was stolen," he said. "The assertions ranged from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the president's right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country. But over and over, the court rejected these claims, including all-star judges" nominated by Trump himself.

McConnell spoke on the floor as the chamber began two hours of debate on a motion to object to the certification of Arizona's electoral votes, which were awarded to Biden in November. The majority leader used his remarks to reprimand members of his own party who are challenging the official results of the election.

"We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. Voters, courts and the states have all spoken. If we overrule them, It would damage our republic forever. This election actually was not unusually close," McConnell said. 

"It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis," he said. "And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it." 

750d ago / 6:51 PM UTC

'We will never concede': Protesters march to Capitol as Congress meets to count electoral votes

Hundreds of protesters who massed in the nation's capital to support President Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud descended on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as Congress convened to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

The protesters marched en masse to the Capitol after Trump, speaking to a large crowd in front of the White House, vowed that he would never concede to Biden.

"We will never give up, we will never concede. You don't concede when there's theft involved," Trump said to a crowd of supporters, some of whom chanted "USA!" or waved anti-Biden banners.. He later falsely claimed Biden would be an "illegitimate" president.

Trump's groundless claims of voter fraud have been widely debunked, and his legal team's efforts to challenge the election results in court have been rejected by a succession of judges. Trump has claimed Wednesday's joint session of Congress represents a chance to overturn the election, even though state electors have already certified the results and the event inside the Capitol is ceremonial.

Read the story.

750d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

Obama congratulates Warnock: Democrats 'should feel good today'

Former President Barack Obama congratulated Democrat Raphael Warnock Wednesday for his election victory in a statement posted to his Twitter.

“Georgia’s first Black senator will make the chamber more reflective of our country as a whole and open the door for a Congress that can forgo gridlock for gridlock’s sake to focus instead on the many crises facing our nation — pandemic relief for struggling families, voting rights, protecting our planet, and more,” Obama said.

“Democrats in Georgia and across the country should feel good today,” he added.

750d ago / 6:43 PM UTC

Fact check: No evidence for claims Arizona's results were marred by fraud

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., joined by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, objected to Arizona's election results on Wednesday, kicking off up to two hours of debate in both chambers over a claim that those results were "not regularly given."

Gosar has alleged on Twitter that 200,000 votes were changed in the state, contributing to Biden's win. There is no evidence of this.

Arizona counties completed hand count audits of the vast majority of the ballots in the state. The audits found either a handful of discrepancies or no discrepancies. Several lawsuits in the state alleged fraud and were dismissed or withdrawn.

750d ago / 6:41 PM UTC

Photos: Trump supporters converge on Washington to protest election

See more photos from the protest in Washington.

750d ago / 6:39 PM UTC

Police evacuate area near Capitol as pro-Trump protesters storm barricades

The U.S. Capitol Police said they were evacuating areas near the Capitol as pro-Trump protesters attempted to storm barricades set up outside the perimeter of the complex and law enforcement were seen trying to push them back. 

The Library of Congress, located directly across the street from the main Capitol building, was evacuated and people were told to remain calm and move in a safe manner to the exits. 

Hundreds of protesters, some carrying large Trump flags, were seen on the East Front of the Capitol trying to move past security. 

Image: Supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Leah Millis / Reuters
750d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

GOP registers first objection after joint session of Congress gets underway

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The joint session of Congress got underway at 1 p.m. ET as Pence and lawmakers read the number of electoral votes that were awarded to Biden and Trump from each state. 

Both members of the House and Senate began in the House chamber with Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the top of the dais. 

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., along with 60 of his Republican colleagues, quickly objected to the electoral votes that were awarded to Biden by the state of Arizona. He was joined by at least Sen. Ted Cruz, who stood and was applauded, in signing the first objection to the Arizona electors.

The joint session then retired. There will now be up to two hours of debate in both the House and Senate, because both a House member and a senator submitted a written objection.

750d ago / 6:14 PM UTC

750d ago / 6:11 PM UTC

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

Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter released to Congress just before it started counting the electoral votes handing Joe Biden the presidency that he won't try to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which President Donald Trump had been demanding he do. 

"I do not believe that the founders of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral voters should be counted during the Joint session of Congress, and no vice president in American history has ever asserted such authority," he wrote in a three-page letter released by his office. 

"Instead, vice presidents presiding over joint sessions has uniformly follow the Electoral Count Act, conducting the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy," he added.

750d ago / 6:02 PM UTC

750d ago / 5:49 PM UTC

Sens. Tillis, Young to oppose GOP colleagues' electoral vote count objections

GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and Todd Young said Wednesday that they oppose the planned effort by members of their party to object to the counting of states' electoral votes by Congress on Wednesday. 

"The framers of our Constitution made it clear that the power to certify elections is reserved to the states, not Congress. Refusing to certify state election results has no viable path to success, and most importantly, it lends legitimacy to the left’s stated policy objectives of completely federalizing elections and eliminating the Electoral College," Tillis, who won re-election in November after a close race in North Carolina, said in a statement. "Congress should not overstep its Constitutional authority by overturning the results of states and the will of American voters, especially absent legitimate requests from states for Congress to intervene."

Both he and Young of Indiana warned that the GOP objections would set a dangerous precedent. 

"For Congress to supplant the will of a state’s certified electors for its own would be unconstitutional and set a dangerous precedent, damaging the integrity of and future respect for the Electoral College. This is not an empty warning," Young said in a statement. 

750d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Trump supporters mass on the National Mall in protest of electoral count

Image: Supporters rally for President Donald Trump near the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021.
Supporters rally for President Donald Trump near the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021.Jacquelyn Martin / AP
751d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

Manchin: 'I’m the most bipartisan member of Congress'

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said he has no interest in switching parties and becoming a Republican.

“I’m the most bipartisan member of Congress,” Manchin told NBC News in the Capitol on Wednesday as he walked to get his second coronavirus vaccine injection. “I’m staying the most independent, bipartisan member of Congress,” he said, adding, “I am a Democrat.”

Manchin, who has at times sided with Republicans in the Senate, could become one of the most powerful members of the chamber should the power be divided 50-50 if Jon Ossoff prevails in the Georgia Senate race he currently leads.

 

751d ago / 5:26 PM UTC

Photo: Proud Boys march at Capitol

Image: Members of the the far-right group Proud Boys march to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington
Members of the Proud Boys march to the Capitol on Wednesday. A self-described "Western chauvinist" organization, the Proud Boys is considered a violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic hate group, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that tracks extremist groups.Leah Millis / Reuters
751d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

Schumer says $2,000 stimulus checks will be top priority

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that, if Ossoff wins his Senate race, one of his first priorities as majority leader would be to bring legislation for $2,000 Covid-19 relief checks to the floor.

"The Senate Democratic majority is committed to delivering the bold change, and help that Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know America is hurting. Help is on the way. And we have two new senators coming to help. One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families," Schumer said. 

Democrats won't be able to pass the bill without support from some Republicans since such a funding measure requires 60 votes to advance.

Schumer said he spoke to President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday morning and pledged to him that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris "will have a partner in me and my caucus, who is ready, willing and able to help achieve a forward-looking agenda and deliver bold change to the American people. For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate, and President Trump, that will change with a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Democratic president."