Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Trump supporters storm US Capitol
(L) Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber. (R) Trump supporters protest inside the US Capitol. (AP)
WASHINGTON, JAN 7 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/7/2021 12:48:03 PM IST


In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building here and clashed with police, resulting in four deaths and interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the election.
The Electoral College votes of Biden and Harris were finally approved early on Thursday after both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected all objections raised by the Republicans to the votes in the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona.
In the presidential election held on November 3, Biden and Harris received 306 electoral votes, while President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence got 232. The counting of Vermont’s three electoral votes put Biden and Harris over the 270-threshold needed to win the presidency.
The 78-year-old Democratic leader and his 56-year-old Indian-origin deputy will be inaugurated on January 20, it was announced after the constitutional process was finally completed by a joint session of Congress.
In the violence on Wednesday, four people died, including one woman who was shot by a police officer, amid protests and rioting on Capitol Hill that resulted in dozens of demonstrators being arrested, police said.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called the rioting by pro-Trump demonstrators “shameful” during a news conference.
One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the rioting. Police said three other people - a woman and two men - died after apparently suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds. In a statement released just after the certification was finalised, Trump acknowledged his election loss. He said that even though he disagrees with the outcome, “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!”
The joint session of Congress, which is normally a ceremonial step, was halted for several hours when supporters of Trump breached the Capitol. Proceedings resumed and continued through the night after the building was cleeared.
Vice President Pence brought the Senate session back into order and proceeded with the verification process.
“The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2021...,” Pence said following the count of all of the state’s Electoral College votes.
World leaders flay storming of US Capitol
World leaders have voiced concern and distress over the storming of US Capitol by a group of Trump’s supporters in an attempt to overturn his election loss. 
“What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a video message on Twitter late Wednesday.  “We believe in the strength of our democracies.  We believe in the strength of American democracy.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “distressed” to see the “rioting and violence” in Washington in a statement issued on his Twitter account. “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
“Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter.  
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, another ally, who had previously voiced support of Trump, described the scenes as “very distressing”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a radio interview said: “We’re following the situation minute by minute as it unfolds.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed anger and sadness over the images from Washington.
All four living former US presidents -- Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter -- condemned the actions of the pro-Trump rioters.

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