U.S. Congress certifies Biden’s win hours after Capitol Hill assault

U.S. Congress certifies Biden’s win hours after Capitol Hill assault

The US Congress on Thursday certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy.

The outcome of the certification proceedings had never been in doubt, but was interrupted by rioters who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol.

Police said four people died during the chaos - one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies - and 52 people were arrested.

Some besieged the House chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate.

Security officers piled furniture against the chamber's door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.

The assault on the Capitol was the culmination of months of divisive and escalating rhetoric around the Nov. 3 election, with Trump repeatedly making false claims that the vote was rigged and urging his supporters to help him overturn his loss.

Congress resumed its work certifying Biden's Electoral College win late in the evening after the chaotic scenes on Capitol Hill.

After a debate stretching into the early hours of Thursday, the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Biden receiving 306 votes and Trump 232 votes.

Vice President Mike Pence, in declaring the final vote totals, said this "shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States."

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take office alongside Biden.

Following Thursday's certification by Congress, Trump issued a statement via White House "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 20,”.

Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the November contest, in which Biden won 7 million more votes than Trump.