Congress certifies Biden election after 4 die during insurrection

In this image from video, Vice President Mike Pence speaks as the Senate reconvenes after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress certified the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday morning only hours after a violent mob takeover at the Capitol.

As the violence unfolded on Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Biden delivered a speech from Delaware asking President Donald Trump to react to the “insurrection.”

The mob had followed Trump’s incendiary speech outside the White House telling his supporters to go to the Capitol. He later released a video asking them to go home.

Vice President Mike Pence was inside the Capitol when rioters knocked down metal barricades. Some climbed the Capitol’s west wall. Others broke in through broken windows.

U.S. Capitol Police shot and killed a woman and three others died due to medical emergencies, Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said.

“We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today,” Pence wrote on Twitter.

A family identified the woman who died as Ashli Babbitt, 35, a U.S. Air Force veteran from San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Law enforcement secured the Capitol and cleared the area after a 6 p.m. citywide curfew. This allowed Congress to resume certifying election results.

The FBI has since created an online platform to submit tips related to violent activity at the U.S. Capitol building.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her runoff election Tuesday to Raphael Warnock, was among the Republicans in the Senate who changed their minds about challenging the election results.

“We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation.”

The process continued into early Thursday morning and Congress certified the Electoral College votes — 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump — from 50 states. The inauguration of the 46th President of the United States is set for Jan. 20th.


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Torres contributed to this report from Miami.

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