WQASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory early Thursday morning.
The certification came after Capitol Hill was locked down and a woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol on Wednesday during chaotic protests which saw pro-Trump protesters inside the Senate chamber and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Police may have shot the woman, according to various reports.
Both chambers certified Biden’s win over President Donald Trump in the early morning hours.
The storming of Congress prompted a curfew in D.C. and temporarily stopped Congress’ certification of Biden’s 2020 win.
Maryland lawmakers condemned the Capitol protests which came after Trump held a big rally in front of the White House disputing Biden’s win.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said he has sent 200 Maryland State Police troopers to D.C. along with 500 National Guard troops in response to the unrest in D.C.
U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Maryland Democrats, condemned the overrunning of the Capitol and faulted Trump for his fiery rhetoric saying the election was “rigged” and “stolen.”
“This violent behavior and blatant disregard of the law can never be normalized in the United States of America. Never,” said Cardin in a statement.
Van Hollen pointed to some of the dramatic images of the protests.“One image at the Capitol captured the essence of the mob attack on our democracy: a rioter replacing an American flag with a Trump flag. This attack must be a wake-up call to GOP senators who have been complicit in Trump’s contempt for our Constitution,” Van Hollen said.
Biden also condemned the protests. “Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile. To preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good,” Biden said Wednesday.
Trump said Thursday evening he would work to insure a peaceful transition to a Biden administration later this month.
Thursday’s speech marked the first time Trump has acknowledged Biden’s victory. Trump had previously kept up contentions Biden won battleground states because of voter fraud and the counting of illegal mail-in voters.
“This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Trump said.
Earlier on Thursday, Biden condemned the storming of Congress by pro-Trump protesters who earlier on Wednesday attended a larger rally held by Trump outside the White House.
“What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent — it was disorder. They weren’t protesters — they were rioters, insurrectionists and domestic terrorists,” Biden said.
Biden also said if the pro-Trump protesters who stormed the Capitol had been Black Lives Matter advocates there would have been very different reactions from police.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol.” Biden.
Capitol and local police as well as National Guard troops including from Maryland along with Maryland State Police were dispatched to respond to the unrest and enforce a nighttime curfew that will extend until Biden’s inauguration.
Trump’s video speech was posted by the White House after Facebook, Instagram and Twitter suspended Trump’s account after the Wednesday unrest in Washington.
With Biden’s inauguration still a couple weeks away, Van Hollen and Cardin Trump immediately removed from office.
“Early this morning, our democracy prevailed,” Van Hollen said Thursday referring to Congress’ certification of Biden’s Electoral College win. “Despite President Trump’s calls for insurrection, his contempt for the Constitution, and his lawless conduct, our institutions and the will of the American people held firm. But every day Trump remains in office presents a grave danger to our republic.”
Van Hollen said Trump incited the protests and the storming of Congress.
“While there are only thirteen days left of his presidency, each day Trump remains a ticking time bomb aimed at the heart of our democracy. Moreover, we must establish a clear precedent that this kind of seditious conduct is unacceptable. That is why I support his immediate removal from office,” the Maryland Democrat said.
Cardin echoed the same sentiment.
“We cannot wait 13 days. President Trump must resign or be removed from office quickly — either through the 25th Amendment or by impeachment — before he does even more damage to our nation,” Cardin said.