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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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.

2:54 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

GOP senator says Pence is "very upset" with Trump's criticism of him

From CNN's Sarah Fortinsky

Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate reconvenes to confirm the Electoral College votes at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6.
Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate reconvenes to confirm the Electoral College votes at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6. Erin Schaff/The New York Times/AP

Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, said he talked to Vice President Mike Pence about President Trump's criticisms of him, and Pence "was very upset with him."

Inhofe also called Trump's comments "regrettable."

Pence on Wednesday publicly broke with Trump, saying he cannot submit to demands he overthrow the results of the election.

Pence formalized his views in a letter to lawmakers, declaring he has no "unilateral authority to decide presidential contests" and could not change the results of the election.

"It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," he wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.

1:20 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Michigan congressman condemns colleagues who tried to undermine election

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Michigan Democrat Rep. Dan Kildee tonight issued a strong condemnation of his Republican colleagues whose rhetoric helped foment the attack the US Capitol on Wednesday, saying their names should be remembered forever. 

This was "whipped up by politicians... the President of the United States himself and some of my colleagues who know better," said Kildee, speaking on CNN this morning.

"Those members of Congress who supported this specious attack on the Electoral College vote will have their names permanently written in ink and everyone should know those names," said Kildee. 

 "I will never look at my colleagues who voted for these challenges, who fueled this insanity... the same, and that includes some of my Michigan colleagues who I could not look in the eye today when we were huddled in a safe place," he said.

"I hope we remember those names forever," he concluded.

Watch the moment:

12:47 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

These 7 senators voted to sustain the objection against Pennsylvania's electoral votes

An objection to certify Pennsylvania's electoral votes failed in the Senate tonight, with a 92-7 vote.

Here are the seven Republican senators who voted to sustain the objection:

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley
  • Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis
  • Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall
  • Florida Sen. Rick Scott
  • Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville
  • Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith
12:36 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Senate is voting now on Pennsylvania objection

From CNN’s Ted Barrett

The Senate is voting on the objection of Pennsylvania’s Electoral College vote count now.

Lawmakers yielded their time allocated for debate, and are expected to reject the attempt to throw out the state's votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

The objection was presented by Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry and Sen. Josh Hawley.

12:34 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

GOP objection to Pennsylvania's electoral results is now under deliberation

GOP Rep. Scott Perry.
GOP Rep. Scott Perry. House TV

Vice President Mike Pence has accepted Pennsylvania's objection to its electoral results.

"I have a written objection, signed by a senator and 80 members of the House of Representatives," GOP Rep. Scott Perry said early Thursday morning in his objection.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley joined the objection as well.

Because the objection has been signed by both a congressman and a senator, the Senate will now reconvene and both it and the House will debate the objection. Each chamber will then vote on whether to sustain the objection.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has more:

2:55 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

GOP objection to Nevada's electoral results rejected due to senator not joining their effort

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks. House TV

Vice President Mike Pence rejected an objection presented by Republican Rep. Mo Brooks to Nevada's electoral votes after their bid failed to include a signature from a senator.

The congressman said they objected to Nevada's electoral votes "in order to protect the lawful votes of Nevada and all other American citizens."

He noted, however, that "unfortunately" no senator had joined in their effort.

Nevada's votes were certified for President-elect Joe Biden.

Remember: Each objection must be put in writing and signed by both a congressman and senator in order for the joint session to be paused and the House and Senate adjourn to separately consider it.

Watch the moment: