The U.S. Congress reconvened on Wednesday night for proceedings to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, hours after protesters supporting outgoing President Donald Trump breached the Capitol.
“We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms,” said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is presiding over a session in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, also lashed out at the protesters who stormed the Capitol and halted the Electoral College vote counting, while stressing that Congress will finish the certification of the election results.
Members of the House of Representatives have also resumed their session. The chambers were separately debating an objection to the counting of Arizona’s electoral votes before police placed a lockdown on the Capitol due to the breaches.
Trump has refused to acknowledge defeat in the White House race with Biden and is still pushing claims of a “fraudulent” election, which had been dismissed by U.S. courts at different levels due to a profound lack of evidence. A growing number of political figures of both parties have accused Trump of fanning the flames of unrest.
Multiple top officials of the Trump administration have resigned or are reportedly considering resignations following the chaos.
In a video clip posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, Trump urged his supporters to “go home” after demonstrations. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” said the Republican, while again repeating allegations that the election had been “stolen.”
Twitter has temporarily locked Trump’s account and asked him to remove the tweets which the social media company said violated its rules on “Civic Integrity or Violent Threat.” Biden, in remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, condemned what he called “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol.
“This is not protest, it’s insurrection,” the Democrat said. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition.” Confrontations between law enforcement officers and protesters have caused injuries on both sides. A woman who was shot on the Capitol grounds has died, according to police.
A curfew for the District of Columbia is in effect through Thursday morning. Electors in 50 states and the District of Columbia met last month to select Biden as the next president of the United States by awarding him 306 electoral votes versus 232 for Trump. To clinch the White House, a candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes.