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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11:50 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Congress reconvenes for joint session to certify Biden's win

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Manu Raju

House TV
House TV

The House and Senate has reconvened the joint session and will resume counting the electoral ballots.

According to a Senate GOP leadership aide, when the Senate returns to the chamber to debate the objection to Pennsylvania, expected to be triggered by GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, they will not hold two hours of debate but will go straight to a roll call vote on the objection. 

This will allow many senators to leave the Capitol while the House debates, possibly for two hours, and then votes on the Pennsylvania objection. 

It’s unclear right now if the House would yield back time and not use the full two hours.

There will not likely be any more objections but after Pennsylvania is dealt with, the joint session will have to reconvene and complete counting of the ballots.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has more:

11:37 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

3 people died from medical emergencies near Capitol grounds during riots

From CNN's Adrienne Winston

DC Police Chief Robert Contee announced this evening that three people died from medical emergencies during today’s insurrection at the Capitol.

Contee did not specify if these people were involved in any way with the overtaking of the Capitol building.

“One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies, which resulted in their deaths. Any loss of life in the District is tragic and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss," he said.

DC Fire and Emergency Medical services transported people to area hospitals with injuries ranging from cardiac arrest to multiple fractures after falling from scaffolding on the West front of the Capitol building. However, city officials did not say whether any of these people are the ones now deceased.

11:35 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Pelosi's office damaged during Capitol riot

From CNN's Manu Raju

Pro-Trump rioters -- who overtook the Capitol Wednesday and stormed past police barricades -- took the nameplate from above the door to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. 

Aides also said the rioters shattered a big mirror in her office. 

CNN reported earlier that a photo from inside her office suite shows a folder with the words "we will not back down" written on it. 

The folder was found after rioters stormed the US Capitol as members of Congress were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win.

It also appears that the Office of the Senate Parliamentarian was ransacked during today's violence.

2:30 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

The House just rejected an objection to Arizona's electoral vote. Here's what comes next.

House TV
House TV

The House voted to reject an objection to throw out Arizona's Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The measure was also dismissed in the Senate.

The effort failed in the House by a final vote of 303 to 121. A majority of Republicans voted to reject the electors, 121-83.

The House and the Senate will now reconvene in a joint session to continue to count the Electoral College votes. 

Remember: Any further objections must be made in writing and backed both by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator, from any state.

Objections that are entertained by the chair — that’s Vice President Mike Pence, whose duties include serving as president of the Senate — will force both the House and Senate to withdraw for debate in each chamber, which will be capped at a maximum of two hours.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley still plans to object to Pennsylvania's results, a spokesman said, which would force a second round of debate and votes on the objection.

11:30 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

DC police arrest 52 people amid Capitol violence, chief says

From CNN's Rashard Rose

Source: WJLA
Source: WJLA

Metropolitan police made in excess of 52 arrests as a result of the violence at the US Capitol today, said Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference.

Twenty-six of the 52 arrests were made on US Capitol grounds, Contee said.

Here's a breakdown of the arrests, according to the chief:

  • 47 arrests were elated to curfew violations and unlawful entry
  • Four people were arrested for carrying pistols without licenses
  • One person was arrested for possession of prohibited weapon

Authorities also recovered a pipe bomb from the Democratic National Committee and another pipe bomb from the Republican National Committee. A cooler from a vehicle along with a long gun that also included Molotov cocktails on the grounds of the United States Capitol were also recovered.

11:24 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Riot at Capitol building was "beyond awful," former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Source: CNN

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said that Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol building was "beyond awful." 

"It was the most awful feeling I have had a long time," Flake told CNN's Don Lemon. "I was on Capitol Hill during 9/11. I was on the baseball field being shot at. I can tell you, neither of those experiences would have been like this."

Flake, a CNN political commentator, who endorsed Joe Biden for president, went on to call on Congress to move certify the election results without objection. 

"Congress is doing exactly what they should be doing right now, certifying the results and then waiting for January 20th," Flake said. "I hope that Congress will take up some of the nominees that the President-elect has put forward and hold those hearings so that we can hit the ground running on January 20th." 

Watch the moment:

11:16 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Two GOP senators explain why they changed their minds in objecting to the electoral votes

From CNN’s Manu and Ali Zaslav

Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Sen. Mike Braun.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Sen. Mike Braun. Getty Images

Two GOP senators who had initially planned to object to the Electoral College vote counts with Sen. Ted Cruz explained why they didn't, pinning the blame on the riots that took place at the US Capitol today.

Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said: "I didn't feel comfortable with today's events even though I do believe that election integrity is still a valid issue. Many of us can still pursue it. ... When today's events unfolded, I could not dignify it even by withholding something I objected to."

Asked why she didn't vote to throw out Arizona's election results, freshman Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis pointed to "the activities of the day."

But both Braun and Lummis declined to blame Trump for the violence and destruction in the Capitol.

The other senators who had initially signed onto Cruz's effort but voted to reject the objection to Arizona: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Steve Daines of Montana and James Lankford of Oklahoma.

GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, who didn't sign on to Cruz's effort and opposed the efforts to throw out the results, said of Trump's rhetoric: “He most certainly did not help.”

The South Dakota senator added: “If anything, he urged in a very emotional situation very inappropriate action by people that appear to be his supporters."

11:13 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

GOP congresswoman: "I'm disgusted and I'm angry... this needs to stop"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Rep. Nancy Mace said the last few days quickly transformed from the greatest in her political career to the worst. 

Mace said her excitement from being sworn in on January 3, as the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from South Carolina, quickly turned to horror as pro-Trump mob descended on the US Capitol.

"This has been the best and worst week of my life as an elected official," she told CNN's Don Lemon this evening.

 "My worst fears came true today, this is a sad day for our nation," she continued. "I'm heartbroken, I'm disgusted and I'm angry and enough is enough."

"This needs to stop," she added. "It needs to stop right now tonight. We need to end it."

Watch the interview:

11:01 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US Secret Service bringing in every available agent to White House and Naval Observatory

From CNN's Betsy Klein

The US Secret Service is significantly ramping up coverage and bringing additional agents from the region to the White House, Naval Observatory, and USSS headquarters after today’s unrest, a source familiar with the situation said.

A USSS official also told CNN that Secret Service was the first federal agency deployed when the US Capitol Police asked for assistance from local and federal law enforcement.

The agents on detail for Vice President Mike Pence and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were present today and worked in their roles focused on securing their protectees, but when Capitol Police put out the call for assistance, USSS sent additional uniformed division and special agents to Capitol Hill to assist. They were subsequently joined by other law enforcement agencies, the official said.