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US Congress certifies Joe Biden win after Capitol 'insurrection'

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By Euronews with AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence officiate as a joint session of the House and Senate on January 6, 2021.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence officiate as a joint session of the House and Senate on January 6, 2021.   -   Copyright  Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool
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The US Congress certified Joe Biden's election victory early on Thursday, hours after a mob stormed the US Capitol in what the Senate Majority leader called a "failed insurrection".

“We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“We are back at our posts. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution for our nation. And we are going to do it tonight."

The typically routine and ceremonial certification had already been set to last hours after a group of Republicans in the House and Senate said they would issue objections in certain battleground states.

They claim, along with President Donald Trump, that there were irregularities in the election despite no evidence that there was any fraud.

Each time a member of the House and the Senate jointly issues an objection, it triggers two hours of debate on the topic in both chambers.

The Republican effort is not supported by the Senate majority leader and is likely only going to hold up certification as objections will not pass in either chamber of Congress.

Already the House and Senate overwhelmingly rejected an objection to Joe Biden's win in Arizona. The Senate and House voted early on Thursday to reject an objection to Biden's win in Pennsylvania.

There were no objections from Senators however for the states of Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to dismiss House Republican objections.

That was after several Republican Senators including Senator Kelly Loeffler who lost an election in Georgia on Tuesday withdrew their objections after the storming of the Capitol.

Loeffler said that the “violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress” were a “direct attack” on the “sanctity of the American democratic process.”

Outgoing President Donald Trump has alleged widespread fraud in the November 3 election but has failed to produce any evidence to support his claims.

Trump also falsely claimed his Vice President, Mike Pence, had the power to delay the confirmation by sending Electoral College votes back to the states to be re-certified.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us," Trump said, "and if he doesn’t it’s a sad day for our country."

Trump also criticised members of his party who have not supported his attempt to overturn the results as "weak".

Pence, however, refuted Trump's claim in a letter: "it is my considered judgment 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.

Republicans have attempted to overturn the results in several key states through the courts but been have been unsuccessful.

Democrat Joe Biden won the Electoral College 306-232 and is to be inaugurated on January 20.