WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress on Thursday formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

Immediately afterward, the White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged an “orderly transition” when Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, although he repeated his false claim that he won the November election. Just the previous day, the Republican president had seemingly incited a mob to swarm the Capitol seeking to overturn the election result.

The destructive and shocking images at the Capitol of what other Republicans called an “insurrection” filled television screens in America and around the world, a deep stain on Trump’s presidency and legacy as his tenure nears its end.

In certifying Biden’s win, longtime Trump allies such as Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell ignored his pleas for intervention, while the violence at the Capitol spurred several White House aides to quit.

A source familiar with the situation said there have been discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow a majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unable to perform his duties, making Pence the acting president. A second source familiar with the effort doubted it would go anywhere given Trump has less than two weeks left in office.

After the chaos on Capitol Hill, Congress resumed its work late Wednesday certifying Biden’s Electoral College win – normally a formality but which included efforts by some Republican lawmakers to stall the process. As the sometimes tense debate stretched into the early hours of Thursday, the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College count with Biden receiving 306 votes and Trump 232 votes.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read the full story by Reuters reporters Patricia Zengerie, Jonathan Landay, and Richard Cowan. 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clips shows Vice President Mike Pence in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2020, for the counting of electoral college votes. (Credit: Bloomberg News)


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