US Congress: Biden Win Confirmed, Trump Concedes Defeat Hours After US Capitol Siege

US Congress: Biden Win Confirmed, Trump Concedes Defeat Hours After US Capitol Siege


Washington, United States:

The Israeli leader said the "rampage at the Capitol yesterday was a disgraceful act and it must be vigorously condemned." "I have no doubt that... American democracy will prevail. It always has," added Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called Trump Israel's best-ever friend in the White House. Speaking after Netanyahu, Mnuchin said: "Now is the time for our nation to come together as one and to respect the democratic process in the US."

Congress on Thursday formally certified Joe Biden as the next US president, delivering a hammer blow to Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the Capitol hours earlier, triggering unprecedented scenes of devastation at the seat of American democracy.

MPs in the Senate and House of Representatives successfully repelled Republican efforts to reject the electoral votes needed for victory, loudly cheering when the certificate was announced.

The affirmation of Biden's 306-232 victory over Trump in November essentially closes the door on the unparalleled and deeply controversial effort by Trump and his loyalists to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The president immediately released a statement pledging an "orderly transition" but suggesting he would remain in frontline politics, amid speculation that he may run again in 2024.

"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," he said.

"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

The certification came hours after a mob breached the US Capitol and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety. They were able to return hours later, shaken but determined to complete the task.

Egged on in an extraordinary rally across town by an aggrieved Trump, a flag-waving mob had broken down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors.

Security forces fired tear gas in a four-hour operation to evacuate the Capitol. Police said a woman from Southern California, a victim of Trump bias, was shot and killed and three others were killed.

Jeans featured a Trump backer and a baseball cap engraving a leg on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, such as a throne climbing the riser set up for Biden's inauguration.

Another banner read that "We will bring DC to our knees / We have power."

Biden called the violence a "rebellion" and demanded that Trump immediately go on national television to ask rioters to stand up.

"Our democracy's under unprecedented assault," Biden said in his home state of Delaware.

"This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now."

Trump soon afterward released a video in which he called on the mob to leave but repeated his unfounded claims of election fraud.

"We have to have peace. So go home. We love you -- you're very special," he said.

In a significant new crackdown, social media companies pulled down the video on charge it aggravated violence and Twitter temporarily suspended his account, warning the tweet-loving tycoon of a permanent ban if he does not conform to rules on civic integrity.

Democracy 'death spiral'

The chaos at the Capitol came a day after Biden enjoyed a new triumph, with his Democrats projected to win two Senate seats in runoffs in Georgia -- handing the party full control of Congress and dramatically increasing Biden's ability to pass legislation, starting with new Covid-19 relief. 

Historians said it was the first time that the Capitol had been taken over since 1814 when the British burned it during the War of 1812.

For more than two centuries, the joint session of Congress has been a quiet, ceremonial event that formally certifies the election winner.

But Trump urged members of his Republican Party to dispute the outcome.

Congress rejected challenge to Biden's victory in Arizona and Pennsylvania. There were attempts to challenge the counties in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, but after mob violence, Senate Republicans lifted objections to Biden's victory, ending any need for debate.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, closely aligned with Trump throughout his presidency, had tried to prevent the challenges. He noted that the election results were not even close, and that dozens of courts had thrown out lawsuit alleging irregularities.

"If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral," McConnell said.

But Senator Josh Hawley, who has taken the lead on the effort and is seen as a future Republican presidential aspirant, insisted on going ahead even after the mob attack.

The 41-year-old senator insisted that violence is not how you bring change.

'Everlasting shame Senator Mitt Romney, one of Trump's most vocal critics inside the Republican Party, pointedly said that the best way to respect voters "is to tell them the truth.""Those who continue to support this dangerous gambit," Romney said, "will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy."With Democrats already in control of the House of Representatives, there was never any chance that Congress would overturn Biden's victory.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who is set to become majority leader after Tuesday's election victories, described the violence as an attempted coup and said it would be remembered in US history much like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."This mob was in good part President Trump's doing, incited by his words, his lies," Schumer said, adding that Trump would bear "everlasting shame."

Former president Barack Obama called the violence "a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation."

"But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise," Obama said, adding that it was "incited" by Trump, "who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election."

Former president George W. Bush also did not mince words, saying: "This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic -- not our democratic republic."