In Defiance Of Trump, Mike Pence Oversees Certification Of Biden Election Win After Day Of Violence
The confirmation vote on January 6 was the final step to ensure Biden’s election before the inauguration on January 20. Vice President Mike Pence formally accepted Biden’s win at 3:32 a.m. Thursday morning.
The violence at the Capitol was fueled by President Donald Trump who previously urged his followers to march to the building and pressure lawmakers to overturn the results from votes he thought were fraudulent. Thousands finally complied, rushing Capitol Police and disrupting the ceremonial proceedings set to occur Wednesday. Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders were brought to safety as the mob entered the building, shutting down proceedings for hours.
Rioters broke windows, accessed secure areas and hammered on the doors of the House chamber. The police and National Guard finally restored the Capitol, but not before one woman was shot dead by police and other deaths and injuries were reported in connection with the riots.
Lawmakers tweeted urgently at Trump to call off his supporters due to the violence they witnessed over the election results. “Enough is enough,” declared Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had encouraged Trump to pursue lawsuits for the results, until Wednesday night.
Although their goal was to prolong and overturn the election results, the pro-Trump mob caused Congress to forge ahead with certifying Biden’s win. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) voted in favor of the objection to Arizona’s electors, while eight previous supporters of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims changed their votes, preventing House Republicans from objecting to results in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.
The House shot down the challenge even though 121 Republicans, more than half of the GOP conference, supported it.
Pence refused to advocate for Trump’s position, telling Trump that he will not continue to support the claim to overturn the election results. After the riots, he returned to the Capitol with a forceful message for the mob that acted out.
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,” Pence said.
Congressional leaders delivered similar remarks when returning to the Capitol. “We must and will show the country, and indeed to the world, that we will not be diverted from our duty,” Pelosi said. “To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy, justice will be done.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed the violence on Trump’s incitement and said January 6, 2021 will “live in infamy” as he compared the riots to Pearl Harbor and labeled them a “failed insurrection.”
“We’re going to go back and do our business,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told reporters. “Whatever it takes. These thugs are not running us off.”
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) spoke out on the riots. “A woman died out there tonight, and you’re making these objections,” he said, gesturing at Republicans and accusing them of “lies” that he said were the same ones that inspired Wednesday’s riot. His comments led to a shouting match in the chamber as Republicans asked Pelosi to strike his words.