This story has been updated.
Joe Biden early Thursday was recognized formally by Congress as the next U.S. president, a day after riotous Donald Trump supporters opposed to the electoral process surged into the U.S. Capitol at midday, putting the building on lockdown and forcing the electoral college vote count to be paused.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over certification of Biden’s 306 Electoral College votes.
President Trump, through tweets released by his social-media director, pledged there would be an orderly transition on Jan. 20, when Biden will be inaugurated.
The U.S. Congress resumed counting the presidential electoral votes Wednesday evening, hours after a mob inspired by President Trump invaded the U.S. Capitol.
In a 93-to-6 vote, the Senate rejected efforts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election win in Arizona. Several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, said they changed their minds and would vote to uphold the Electoral College results. By 11 p.m. the House of Representatives also rejected the Arizona challenge. The votes were followed resumption of the joint session of Congress to count of the electoral college votes.
According to media reports, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was still planning to object Wednesday night to Pennsylvania’s electors, forcing the Senate and House back to their respective chambers for up to two more hours.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the opening of the session that the vote count would be completed Wednesday night. Vice- President Mike Pence opened the session calling Wednesday's events "a dark day in the history of the U.S. Capitol."
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Riotous Trump supporters opposed to the electoral process surged into the U.S. Capitol at midday, putting the building on lockdown and forcing the electoral college vote count to be paused. Multiple police officers have been injured. One woman who was shot on the capitol grounds has died, according to media reports.
Late Wednesday evening, protesters and law enforcement remained at the Capitol, several hours after a curfew was imposed in Washington, D.C.
CNN's Jim Acosta reported that a GOP source said some Cabinet members were holding preliminary discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment to force Trump’s removal from office. The discussions are ongoing but it’s unclear if there will be enough Cabinet members to result in Trump’s removal, Acosta said, adding that the conversations have reached the Hill where some senators have been made aware of the discussions.
President-elect Joe Biden Wednesday afternoon condemned the mob attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol, saying "our democracy is under unprecedented assault."
In a video statement released shortly after Biden's comments, President Trump addressed his supporters, repeating his false claims that the presidential election was stolen, and saying: "Go home, we love you. Go home in peace."
Facebook (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report VP of Integrity Guy Rosen later tweeted, "we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."
About 7 p.m., Twitter froze Trump's account for 12 hours, announcing that "As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy." The company also said, "Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension" of Trump's account.
U.S. senators and representatives were gathered in the House chamber to count the electoral votes from the November election, a traditionally ceremonial event that finalizes the election process.
The Trump supporters gained entry shortly after Pence and McConnell indicated they would not go along with Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen.
Trump had urged his supporters to come to Washington in opposition to Wednesday's electoral vote count, and addressed a crowd earlier near the White House urging them to march on the Capitol.
Biden said the mob's actions "border on sedition." He called on the crowds to "pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward." Biden also urged Trump to go on national television immediately to "fulfill his oath of office," and demand that the mob leave.
Earlier, Trump posted a tweet that failed to urge the mob to stop, saying they should support the capitol police and stay peaceful.
Police in the House chamber drew guns and barricaded the main entrance as rioters sought to break in. Other Trump supporters gained access to the Senate, photographing themselves sitting in the presiding officer's chair. Another gained entrance to House Speaker Pelosi's office.
Lawmakers were told to shelter in place or evacuate the building.
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Former President George W. Bush condemned the "insurrection" in a statement.
Congressman Mike Gallagher, a republican from Wisconsin who has supported Trump, told CNN that the president “needs to call it off.”
Congressman Adam Kinsinger, a republican from Illinois, told CNN, "Anywhere else, we would call this a coup attempt."
National Guard troops from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia were called in to assist capitol and D.C. police.
In a statement, Pence condemned the "attack" and demanded that the mob leave the capitol.