WASHINGTON — Congress certified the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence as president and vice president during a joint session Friday afternoon.
Half a dozen Democratic House members raised formal objections to the Electoral College vote count, including Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayal, but they did not have the backing of any senators — a requirement for having their objections heard. Vice President Biden, who presided over the session, repeatedly slammed the gavel on debate, saying the objections could not be entertained.
Jayapal raised an objection to the certificate of Georgia’s electoral votes, but she got no further before Biden shut down her request saying there was no debate.
"It is over," Biden told Jayapal as Republicans applauded.
Trump, tweeting before the session on Friday morning, wrote that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were “never going to beat the PASSION of my voters.”
“THEY SAW A MOVEMENT LIKE NEVER BEFORE,” he wrote in all capital letters.
and knew they were in big trouble - which is why they cancelled their big fireworks at the last minute.THEY SAW A MOVEMENT LIKE NEVER BEFORE— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Even if a bicameral objection to Trump’s election were considered, it would have stood no chance of passing a Republican Congress. It would have only delayed the certification of his 304 electoral votes. The joint session would have been required to break to allow each chamber to debate the objection and vote on whether to count the votes in question.
Still, several House members objected, either on the basis of Russian interference, allegations of voter suppression or what they consider to be illegal votes cast by Republican members of the Electoral College. A group of independent attorneys that researched the results claimed at least 50 electoral votes are invalid because they were cast by dual office holders or electors who don’t live in the congressional district they were representing.
"I object because people are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our election," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., as Biden slammed the gavel.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asked, "Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection? Just one?"
Others who raised objections included Democratic Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and freshmen House member Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Three protesters with "Democracy Spring" were escorted from the House chamber after they shouted from the visitor galleries.
One shouted, "Donald Trump as commander in chief is a threat to American democracy," as he was led out the door.
Trump addressed complaints of Russian interference in the election in a statement released Friday following his meeting with intelligence community leaders. He sidestepped the assessment by 17 intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computers, and said Russia, China, other countries and people consistently try to break through this country's cyber infrastructure.
"There was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines," he said in his statement.
The last time bicameral objections were considered was in 2005, when the late congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and former senator Barbara Boxer of California, both Democrats, objected in writing to the Ohio electoral votes because of reported voting irregularities in the re-election of President George W. Bush.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempted to raise objections in 2001 to the counting of Florida’s electoral votes but no senator endorsed the challenge. That forced Vice President Al Gore, as president of the Senate, to preside over the certification of electoral votes for his opponent, George W. Bush.