WASHINGTON – Congress formally confirmed Joe Biden’s presidential election victory after an overnight joint session was delayed by violent protests. Shortly after the certification, President Trump issued a statement promising an “orderly transition on January 20th.”
Law enforcement officers secured the U.S. Capitol building after pro-Trump supporters breached the perimeter and entered the building as Congress met Wednesday afternoon.
Lawmakers reconvened late Wednesday evening, intending to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The Senate recessed its debate over an objection to the results of the Electoral College after protesters forced police to lock down the building. The scene was declared a riot by police, and a curfew for DC is in effect.
One woman was shot inside the Capitol and taken to the hospital; she has died from her injuries. Officials said late Wednesday she was killed when an officer discharged their service weapon. Lawmakers reconvened Wednesday evening shortly after 8 p.m. EST.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said three other people died in “medical emergencies.”
Congress first began the joint session at 1 p.m. ET to count and confirm the Electoral College vote won by Biden, while thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump rallied near the White House before some demonstrators became violent and breached the Capitol building.
Trump’s Republican allies in the House and Senate had planned to object to the election results, which the president continues to challenge. The effort will likely fail and be defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress who are prepared to accept the election results.
Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.