Calls grow for Trump's removal after Capitol riot

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

Updated 12:01 p.m. ET, February 8, 2021
5 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:48 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

These are the senators who voted against certifying some Electoral College results

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley gestures toward supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the Capitol on January 6.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley gestures toward supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the Capitol on January 6. Francis Chung/E&E News and Politico/AP

Congress has now certified President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, despite a chaotic and deadly scene that erupted after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and delayed the proceedings.

The joint session of Congress, which is normally a ceremonial step, was halted for several hours when rioters breached the Capitol.

Proceedings resumed at about 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, with Vice President Mike Pence bringing the Senate session back into order.

The Senate and House rejected objections to throw out Georgia and Pennsylvania's electoral votes for Biden. Republicans also objected to Arizona, Nevada and Michigan's electoral votes, but the motions failed before they reached debate.

The Senate voted 93 to 6 to dismiss the objection raised by Republicans to Arizona's results, and 92 to 7 to reject the objection to Pennsylvania.

These are the senators who voted to object to some of the results of the election (and the states they objected to):

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
  • Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
  • Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
  • Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
  • Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
  • Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy (Arizona)
  • Florida Sen. Rick Scott (Pennsylvania)
  • Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis (Pennsylvania)

The House ultimately voted to reject an objection to throw out Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, but over half of the House Republicans backed the effort. The challenge failed by a vote of 282-138.

The GOP House minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, and his deputy, Steve Scalise, were among those seeking to overturn the results.

5:19 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Trump pledges an "orderly" transfer of power to Biden

Following a formal affirmation of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, President Trump said the decision "represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history."

"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 20th," Trump said in a statement.

"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," Trump said while repeating false claims about the election that incited a mob to storm the Capitol.

5:04 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Biden will introduce his attorney general nominee today as impacts of Capitol riot continue to unfold

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Merrick Garland walks into Federal District Court in Washington, DC on November 17, 2017.
Merrick Garland walks into Federal District Court in Washington, DC on November 17, 2017. Andrew Harnik/AP

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to introduce Merrick Garland as his choice for attorney general, along with other senior members of the Justice Department leadership team, during an announcement at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware, aides say.

The timing of the event has taken on even greater significance, given the violent breach of the Capitol yesterday, along with the rest of the mob-fueled insurrection.

Following Biden’s strong denunciation of the violence yesterday, Garland is also poised to speak for the first time, offering a window into his thinking on what the role of the Department of Justice is in the post-Trump era.

Some background on the nominee: Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court after a vacancy was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, refused for months to hold confirmation hearings or the required vote in the chamber.

When Trump took office, Garland's nomination expired and he returned to his position as chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The court is charged with reviewing challenges to administrative agencies. He stepped down from the position as chief judge in February 2020, but still serves on the court. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the court in 1997.

5:00 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

All four living former US presidents decried the Capitol breach

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

All four living former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter — derided the rioters who forced an evacuation of the House and Senate chambers of the US Capitol in strongly worded statements that stressed the need for a peaceful transfer of power.

"History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise," Obama said of his successor and the chaos that engulfed the nation's capital Wednesday.

Supporters, spurred by President Trump, breached the Capitol complex on Wednesday and threw into question when Congress would resume counting Electoral College votes and declare President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the election.

"Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy," Obama, a Democrat, said. "They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America."

Bush, the last previous Republican president, said that "this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic."

"I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol —and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes," he added.

12:01 p.m. ET, February 8, 2021

Rioters stormed the halls of Congress yesterday to block Biden's win. Here's how it all unfolded.

From CNN's Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Peter Nickeas

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, in Washington, DC.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump breached the Capitol yesterday, engulfing the building in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.

A woman, who is yet to be identified, died after being shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds, DC police confirmed to CNN. 

Here's how key events unfolded throughout the day:

  • Shortly after 1 p.m. ET, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers "traitors" for doing their jobs.
  • About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the chamber, he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.
  • An armed standoff took place at the House front door as of 3 p.m. ET, and police officers had their guns drawn at someone who was trying to breach it. A Trump supporter was also pictured standing at the Senate dais earlier in the afternoon.
  • The Senate floor was cleared of rioters as of 3:30 p.m. ET, and an officer told CNN that they had successfully squeezed them away from the Senate wing of the building and towards the Rotunda, and they were removing them out of the East and West doors of the Capitol.
  • The US Capitol Police worked to secure the second floor of the Capitol first, and were seen just before 5 p.m. pushing demonstrators off the steps on the east side of the building. With about 30 minutes to go before Washington, DC's 6 p.m. ET curfew, Washington police amassed in a long line to push the mob back from the Capitol grounds. It took until roughly 5:40 p.m. ET for the building to once again be secured, according to the sergeant-at-arms.
  • Lawmakers began returning to the Capitol after the building was secured and made it clear that they intended to resume their intended business — namely, confirming Biden's win over Trump by counting the votes in the Electoral College.
  • Proceedings resumed at about 8 p.m. ET with Pence — who never left the Capitol, according to his press secretary — bringing the Senate session back into order.