WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win early Thursday morning in a joint session delayed by violent protesters that breached the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
The joint session ended at 3:41 a.m. EST with the congressional confirmation. After Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Electoral College win was certified, President Donald Trump issued a statement, in part promising an “orderly transition on January 20th.”
Congress first began the joint session at 1 p.m. to count and confirm the Electoral College vote won by Biden, while thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump rallied near the White House before some demonstrators became violent and breached the Capitol building.
The Senate recessed its debate over an objection to the results of the Electoral College after protesters forced police to lock down the building. Lawmakers were forced to hide in a secure location as officers worked to clear the Capitol Complex. The scene was declared a riot by police, and a curfew for DC was in effect until 6 a.m.
Biden addressed Americans from Delaware Wednesday, condemning the violence and asking Trump to go on national television to “fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
Biden called the siege on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”
Trump’s Republican allies in the House and Senate planned to object to the election results, which the president continues to challenge. However multiple Republican senators reversed course in light of the violent protests and did not object to congressional certification.
Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.
Among those who still objected included Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley and Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
Vice President Mike Pence defied the president Wednesday as he maintained that he did not have the power to unilaterally throw out electoral college votes as Trump had wrongly insisted. Pence presided over the formal session certifying Biden’s victory, putting an end to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results.
The joint session was the last official chance for objections, beyond court cases that have so far proven ineffective for Trump and his team. A small group of House lawmakers came close to physically fighting as the vote stretched into the early morning hours.
After Congress certified Biden’s win, Trump issued the following statement:
“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. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification
There was no widespread fraud in the election, as has been confirmed by a range of election officials and by William Barr, who stepped down as attorney general last month.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.