Congress finally certified the results of the 2020 presidential election Thursday morning, confirming the Electoral College’s outcome and cementing in place Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States.
The certification process, ordinarily a tedious and uninteresting exercise that takes place with little-to-no fanfare, was disrupted as a mob of thousands of ardent loyalists to President Donald Trump descended upon the Capitol, violently forcing their way inside the building on Wednesday afternoon, disrupting the counting of the electors’ votes.
Because of the delay — and because several Republican lawmakers continued to make unwarranted objections to a number of states’ certified electoral votes throughout Wednesday night — Biden and Harris were not certified as winners until around 3:40 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday morning.
Immediately following the announcement that the results had been certified, Trump, who has fought tooth and nail against the results of the presidential election, said in a statement that he would grudgingly accept the outcome, and cited repeatedly debunked claims of voter fraud.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump’s statement was shared to the Twitter account of his deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino due to the president being temporarily suspended from the platform.
Trump also suggested in his statement that his was “the greatest first term in presidential history,” and that his tenure in the White House was “only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”
During a rally scheduled to take place outside the White House before the certification process in Congress, Trump told his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” after once again falsely describing the election as fraudulent.
“We are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them — because you will never take back our country with weakness,” Trump added.
Shortly afterward, Trump’s loyalists walked to the Capitol building, forced their way past police security, causing the Capitol to be placed on lockdown after an armed standoff ensued. Lawmakers were then evacuated from the building.
Due to the tumultuous and unprecedented events on Wednesday, at least six Trump administration officials have resigned from their positions, according to reporting from Vox. Several other White House officials are also considering submitting their resignations following yesterday’s events.
Several lawmakers have said that Trump’s incitement of his base of loyalists to break into the Capitol warrants his immediate expulsion from office.
“I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment. Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
“We must impeach Trump, or have the 25th Amendment execute, or have @realDonaldTrump resign,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) also said on Wednesday night. “Congress cannot just go home like nothing happened.”
Reports have detailed that some members of the administration have discussed removing the president through the rules set forth in the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the president’s cabinet to begin the process, requiring consent of two-thirds of Congress if the president objects to those measures.
If successfully impeached by the House and removed from office, the Senate could vote to bar Trump from holding an elected federal post ever again.
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