Hours after hundreds of president Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol, a shaken Congress formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
The houses of Congress resumed their work on certifying Mr Biden’s Electoral College win late on Wednesday, with the debate stretching into the early hours of Thursday.
After the debate, the House of Representatives and Senate rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Mr Biden receiving 306 votes and Mr Trump 232 votes.
The outcome had never been in doubt, but had been interrupted by rioters – spurred on by Mr Trump – who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol.
Minutes after Congress certified Mr Biden’s Electoral College Victory, Mr Trump pledged there would be “an orderly transition”.
“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,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter by his aide Dan Scavino.
The comments came as some of his staff resigned and as congressional allies abandoned him in the aftermath of the siege at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Mr Trump had repeated his pledge that he would never concede at a rally earlier Wednesday, which was followed by his supporters storming the Capitol.
Police said four people died during the chaos – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – and 52 people were arrested.
Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while elected members were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate.
Security officers piled furniture against the chamber’s door and drew their pistols before helping members of the house and others escape.
Thirteen Republican senators and dozens of party representatives had planned to force debate and votes on the ballots in up to six states.
The assault on the Capitol made some Republicans squeamish about trying to overturn Mr Biden’s win, and challenges were lodged only against Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both efforts lost overwhelmingly. – Agencies