Congress finalizes Biden's win after riot disrupts Capitol

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021
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3:17 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

The House just rejected an objection to Pennsylvania's electoral vote

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

The House voted to reject an objection to throw out Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The challenge failed by a vote of 282-138.

The measure was also dismissed in the Senate, with a 92-7 vote tally.

The House and the Senate will now reconvene in a joint session to continue to count the remaining Electoral College votes. Track the electoral vote count here

Pennsylvania will be the last state that will be debated. We expect Wisconsin to be challenged in the House, but there will not be a senatorial signatory to it.

There are 12 states to go.

Remember: Any further objections must be made in writing and backed both by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator, from any state.

Objections that are entertained by the chair — that’s Vice President Mike Pence, whose duties include serving as president of the Senate — will force both the House and Senate to withdraw for debate in each chamber, which will be capped at a maximum of two hours.

3:10 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Congressman announces he's positive for Covid-19 four hours after voting on House floor

From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz

GOP Rep. Jake LaTurner of Kansas has announced via Twitter that he has Covid-19. He is not experiencing any symptoms, according to the tweet.

He voted in person four hours ago on the House floor per this vote tally.

See his tweets:

2:36 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

House is voting now on objection to Pennsylvania's electoral votes

The House just wrapped up its debate over an objection on Pennsylvania's electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

The objection is expected to fail. It already failed in the Senate, the vote was 92-7.

3:07 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

2 House members confronted each other during the Pennsylvania objection debate. Here's what happened. 

From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz

Two members of the House confronted each other on the House floor over a push to strike another members' remarks from the record.

It began when Rep. Morgan Griffith, a Republican from Virginia, objected to what Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb said during the Pennsylvania Electoral College challenge debate.

This is what Lamb said that led to GOP members objecting:

"Enough has been done today here today already to try to strip this Congress of its dignity and these objectors don't need to do anymore. We know that that attack today, it didn't materialize out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies, the same lies that you're hearing in this room tonight. And the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them," he said.

Rep. Andy Harris and Rep. Colin Allred yelled at each other to “sit down” “no, you sit down!” from across the floor.

They both then confronted each other in the aisle. At least a dozen other members bench cleared from their sides. Rep. Al Lawson of Florida, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and a senior Democratic staffer helped break up the confrontation.

According to CNN's Kristin Wilson, who was in the room, the situation diffused fairly quickly but tensions were high.

The deputy Sergeant-at-Arms showed up in the scrum.

Watch the moment:

2:25 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Trump "committed a mortal crime against the republic," former GOP congressman says

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent.
Former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent. CNN

Former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent expressed his disgust Wednesday over rioters who stormed the US Capitol building and President Trump's rhetoric that helped sparked the unrest. 

"He's committed a mortal crime against the republic," Dent said. "He should have resigned over this, but he won't, of course."

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, the former Pennsylvania lawmaker conveyed his anger with a pro-Trump rioter carrying a Confederate flag inside the Capitol building, calling it a "desecration."

"I always proudly took my constituents to a plaque right by the east-front Capitol, right by the front door. It's a plaque dedicated to the honorary first defenders from Allentown, Pennsylvania, in Redding, Pennsylvania ... who went to the Capitol, at the call of Abraham Lincoln, to defend the Capitol during the Civil War. ... The confederates never got there. They were there to protect against the rebellion. And here we are, watching Confederate flags running through the Capitol. To see this desecration to me, it's so upsetting as an American, as a Republican. How could this happen?"

2:14 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Democratic congresswoman joins calls for Trump's removal by the 25th Amendment

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

In this image from video, Rep. Madeleine Dean, of Pennsylvania, speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early on Thursday, January 7.
In this image from video, Rep. Madeleine Dean, of Pennsylvania, speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early on Thursday, January 7. House TV

Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean on Thursday joined calls for President Trump's removal from office by means of the Constitution's 25th Amendment

"I certainly hope it is [possible]," the Pennsylvania lawmaker said speaking on CNN. "...I think this President has proved himself day after day, month after month, year after year to be unstable and unfit."

"In these waning days of this disgraceful presidency I hope we will be able to invoke the 25th Amendment," she continued.

If not now, "when would you do it?" Dean asked.

2:00 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Texas Republican criticizes Trump's rhetoric: "We hit bottom"

From CNN’s Morgan Rimmer


Senator John Cornyn of Texas arrives during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas arrives during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Hannah McKay/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, said that today “we hit bottom,” before suggesting that the President Trump’s rhetoric led to the attack on the Capitol. 

“You get that many people together and get them stirred up, you simply can’t control them,” the Texas Republican said. “And I don’t know what the crowd’s composed of – that’s one reason why you don’t stir people up and say ‘go up and tell the people in the Capitol what you think about it,’ because you’re gonna get some people potentially infiltrating those groups that are gonna do things that you’re not gonna want them to do.”

Asked whether Trump hurt himself among rank-and-file Republicans with today's actions, Cornyn said he doesn't know because of Trump's strong support, but added that he thinks "this will, this will open up, I think, some backlash, because I don’t think anybody accepts this as a satisfactory outcome."

1:43 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

White House deputy national security adviser resigns in wake of Trump’s response to riots

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

White House Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger resigned in response to President Trump’s reaction to a mob of his supporters breaching the US Capitol, a person close to Pottinger confirmed to CNN.

He told people there was very little for him to consider. 

CNN reported Wednesday night that several of President Donald Trump's top aides, including national security adviser Robert O'Brien and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell, were considering resigning.

1:45 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Police say Capitol security threat has been "cleared"

From CNN's Kirstin Wilson

DC National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6.
DC National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6. John Minchillo/AP

The US Capitol Police have sent out a message that the security threat has been cleared for all buildings within the complex following the violent riots.

Here's what they said:

"All buildings within the Capitol Complex: The USCP has cleared the external security threat incident located within the Capitol Complex. The USCP will continue to maintain a security perimeter."

What happened today: Four people are dead — including one woman who was shot — after supporters of President Trump breached one of the most iconic American buildings, engulfing the nation's capital in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden's win.

The stunning display of insurrection was the first time the US Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814, during the War of 1812, according to Samuel Holliday, director of scholarship and operations with the US Capitol Historical Society.