Congress Votes Down Attempt to Subvert Election

People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (CN) — Hours after the U.S. Capitol was breached by violent throngs of President Donald Trump’s supporters and four people died, Congress continued its count to name Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States with all objections in a chaotic night rejected. 

The Senate reconvened shortly after 8 p.m., with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the body would not be intimidated, nor bow to lawlessness or intimidation when counting state-certified electoral votes. 

“We’ve fulfilled the solemn duty every four years for more than two centuries,” he said. “Whether our nation has been at war, or in peace, under all manner of threats, even during an ongoing armed rebellion and Civil War; the clockwork of our democracy has carried on. The United States and the United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.” 

An hour later, the Senate voted 93-6 to brush aside objections issued only by Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. 

Their objections followed outrage from New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier Wednesday night. He was bowled over by the heinous acts spurred by individuals he described unequivocally as “goons,” “domestic terrorists” and “thugs.”

Like Dec. 7, 1941, before it, Schumer said, Jan. 6, 2021, would live forever as a “day of infamy.”. 

The ceremony initially began at 1 p.m. as lawmakers met to sort out the last steps of a process the nation has anticipated since the rigorous counts and recounts throughout November. 

In the House, as midnight fast approached and the president’s supporters continuing to prowl outside, a handful of Republican lawmakers including Representatives Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Lee Zeldin of New York, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama were some of the more than 100 lawmakers who continued to demand a stop to the tabulation of electors. 

The final vote was 303-121. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said few could have imagined the assault on democracy made seven hours earlier. Those who engaged in “gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy,” would not disrupt the democratic process, she said. 

There were harsher words still for President Trump directly from former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. 

“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump,” Mattis wrote. “His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice. Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump, will deservedly be left a man without a country.”

U.S. Capitol police initially grouped together outside of federal grounds for nearly four hours after Trump supporters overwhelmed officers and stormed the building for the first time since the War of 1812 — when British forces set the building aflame. Police have now repelled the mob beyond Capitol grounds.

A woman who was shot in the chest — later identified as 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit — died hours after a violent clash with police. 

The Senate continued to hear Republican objections to the count in Pennsylvania, which like all other states, already certified weeks ago. 

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania took the floor to reject the premise outright.

“We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans. Let’s not abet such deception. Let’s reject this motion,” he said.

Biden’s was an “honest win,” he remarked, citing an opinion from Third Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee who slammed the Trump campaign’s pursuit to throw out votes as meritless. 

“Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” Bibas wrote for a three-judge panel in November. 

Around the nation Wednesday night, hundreds of people descended on state capitols through the United States, rallying behind Trump’s unprecedented call to overturn an election he has insisted, without evidence, was fraudulent. The Department of Justice has found otherwise, as have the wide swath of intelligence agencies and state election officials. 

After the insurrection on Capitol Hill, it was reported that West Virginia Republican delegate for District 19, Derrick Evans, was among those arrested. The infiltration of the federal grounds knew little bound. 

Shortly after Pelosi was confirmed safe, a photo surfaced of one unmasked man photographed with his feet on the California Democrat’s desk.

Explosive devices were found at the offices of both the Republican and Democratic National Committees, following building evacuations. The device found at the RNC office was a pipe bomb, officials have reported. 

Democrats repeated their calls for Trump’s impeachment. 

At last count, over three dozen lawmakers said they would support or consider supporting impeaching Trump. Trump was convicted by the House for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power on Dec. 18, 2019. 

At the time, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said of Trump before impeaching him: “The votes we are about to take concern the rule of law and democracy itself.”

Then Hoyer quoted philosopher John Locke. 

“Whenever law ends, tyranny begins,” he recalled last December.

After the burning of the Capitol, the damage and destruction, Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator for South Carolina, close ally of Trump and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sounded exasperated. Just as Hoyer once did. 

“I cannot convince certain people of my own words, but I will tell you of my actions,” Graham said. “I above all others say, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president of and vice president of the United States on Jan. 20.”

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