US Capitol secure, lawmakers return to validate Biden election

Lawmakers returned to the US Capitol to continue counting Electoral College votes • Four dead after rioters stormed the halls of Congress

Chaos erupted inside the Capitol building on Wednesday as thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators charged the complex and eventually made their way onto the Senate floor
Chaos erupted inside the Capitol building on Wednesday as thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators charged the complex and eventually made their way onto the Senate floor

Lawmakers returned to the US Capitol to continue counting Electoral College votes, hours after angry rioters overran the building and sent members of Congress fleeing, in what is being described and an "assault on the pillars of American democracy." 

The Senate was debating an objection to Arizona's election results when the rioters stormed the Capitol. When they returned nearly six hours later, the debate continued, but the Senate ultimately voted 93-6 to reject it. The House voted 303-121 to reject the objection. 

Many of the planned objections were withdrawn, including Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler's planned objection to Georgia's results. No senators signed onto House objections to results Michigan and Nevada, so those went nowhere. But Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri signed onto Pennsylvania's objection, leading to a 92-7 vote to reject it. The House took up the debate.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had vowed to resume the interrupted proceedings Wednesday evening after the Capitol breach. Senators returned to the Capitol under heavy guard, carrying with them the certificates of electoral votes that were rescued from rioters who broke into the chamber earlier in the day.

"The United States and the United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today. We've never been deterred before. And we'll not be deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after returning to the Senate. "This failed insurrection only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our republic."

Chaos erupted inside the Capitol building on Wednesday as thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators charged the complex and eventually made their way onto the Senate floor halting the congressional count of Electoral College votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The president fomented thousands of supporters in a speech by the White House before they marched to the Capitol, vowing to "never concede" the election.

Both the House and Senate had recessed abruptly when it became clear that the rioters had breached the Capitol. As the intruders made their way inside the complex, senators and members of the press were evacuated from the Senate chamber, and armed officers inside the House chamber aimed firearms at those attempting to breach the barricaded doors. Lawmakers remained in hiding for hours as hundreds of law enforcement officers worked to clear the building and control the crisis.

One woman was shot inside the complex and later succumbed to her injuries, police said. Three others died as a result of medical emergencies, Metro D.C. police said. 

Talks on enacting 25th Amendment ongoing

While President Trump only has two weeks left in office, after an assault by rioters on the US Capitol, which many say he fomented some Republicans are actively considering whether to remove him in these final weeks of his administration.

However, experts say there is likely no time to impeach and try the President again in the next two weeks. Trump was already impeached by the House over his Ukraine activities but was not removed from office by the Senate.

A second option is invoking the 25th Amendment, which has been discussed as a means of last resort to remove a rogue or incapacitated president.

Il-jum it-tajjeb. Ixxukkjat fis-sieghat li ghaddew insegwi l-attakk li sar il-bierah fuq Capitol Hill minn dawk li ma...

Posted by Evarist Bartolo on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

'Saddened and shocked' by recent events - Foreign Minister 

In a Facebook post on Thursday morning, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo said he was shocked by the series of events on Wednesday in the US. 

Bartolo said that late last night, he contacted the Ambassador to the US Keith Azzopardi, who assured him that he closed the embassy early after seeing the unfolding events, and sent everyone home to keep them out of harm's way. 

"The violent scenes we saw were shocking: they happen, but you certainly do not expect it to happen in the US capital," Evarist said. 

Evarist said that the attack which took place was not an attack on buildings, but an attack on the heart of American democracy. "They wanted to overturn the choice made by American citizens with their vote," he said.  

Evarist said shortly after President-elect Joe Biden was elected a meeting took place among Foreign Ministers of EU member states to discuss what his election would mean for the rest of the world. 

Evarist said that the meeting was hopeful. "Hopes were raised, that the US would be a force for good, taking the necessary steps to combat climate change, reduce tensions with many other countries, and to conduct reasonable negotiations on disputes instead of confrontation. In short, expecting the US may be able to help solve many problems the world is facing," he said.  

Evarist said that American's must use yesterday's events to examine their collective conscious and ask what happened, "this must be done for them to be able to heal," he said.  

READ MORE: Police draw weapons in US Senate as Trump protesters storm building

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