US Senate and Congress ratify Joe Biden's victory
Republican leaders condemn the violence, which leaves four dead, but do not point to Trump
WashingtonWith a sense of relief, five and a half hours after being suspended due to the assault by Donald Trump's followers, Congress resumed its recount and debate on the Electoral College votes to ratify Joe Biden as the next president of the United States at 2 a.m., Catalan time. This is an administrative procedure that normally goes unnoticed but that Donald Trump has taken advantage of to lead his last challenge to the result of the November elections and the electoral system. Thousands of his supporters, spurred on by his unfounded accusations of fraud, surrounded and stormed the Capitol on Wednesday; the session was called off, the city of Washington decreed a curfew, the National Guard was deployed and the world saw an unprecedented image of the United States.
In the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence has assessed the facts by referring to the attackers. "They didn't win", he said, stressing that "violence never wins, freedom wins". Hours earlier, he had promised that those guilty of the assault would be prosecuted, although there have only been 26 arrests on Capitol Hill grounds out of a total of 52 in Washington, the U.S. capital police have reported. Four people have been killed. One of them was shot, and the other three died in circumstances that have not been clarified.
Pence did not reference Trump. Nor did the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, who has pointed out, however, that the assailants "have tried to disrupt our democracy". More bluntly, the future Senate leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, has called the members of the Trump mob "insurrectionists" and "domestic terrorists", among other labels. Schumer has not hesitated to blame the president: "This violence is largely his responsibility, his eternal dishonour".
Pelosi: "We show the world what America is made of"
An hour later, the House of Representatives has resumed its debate. The Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has assured that "justice will be made". In an attempt to turn events around, Pelosi proposed that the reaction to the assault be part "of a story that shows the world what America is made of". In conclusion, she called for a prayer "that God will continue to bless" the United States.
The Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, one of Trump's faithful allies, has said that "Congress will not be the same after today" and has denounced "the violence, destruction and chaos" as "unacceptable, undemocratic and anti-American". His colleague Matt Gaetz, one of Trump's closest congressmen, has made one of the most regrettable notes of the morning when he noted that among the assailants there were anti-fascists "disguised as Trump supporters".
In response to the events of the day, several Republican senators have reversed their position and declined to participate in the objection to the results of several of the states where Donald Trump claims, without foundation, that fraud existed. Others, however, have continued with their political theater late into the night to delay the inevitable victory of Joe Biden. The outgoing president, blocked by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for hours, has not said a thing.