WASHINGTON: Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress on Thursday formally certified Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.
Immediately afterward, the White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged an "orderly transition" when Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, although he repeated his false claim that he won the November election. The Republican president on Wednesday fired up his supporters to overturn the election result before a mob swarmed the Capitol.
The destructive and shocking images at the Capitol of what other Republicans called an "insurrection" filled television screens in the United States and around the world, a deep stain on Trump's presidency and legacy as his tenure nears its end.
The FBI asked the public for tips on people involved in the violence.
In certifying Biden's win, longtime Trump allies such as Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell rejected Trump's pleas for intervention, while the violence at the Capitol spurred several administration officials to quit.
Among them was Mick Mulvaney, a former White House chief of staff who resigned his post as a special envoy to Northern Ireland. "I wouldn't be surprised to see more of my friends resign over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours," he said on CNBC. A source familiar with the situation said there have been discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow a majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unable to perform his duties, making Pence the acting president. A second source doubted the effort would go anywhere given Trump has less than two weeks left in office.
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