Washington, Jan 6 (AFP/APP): Donald Trump on Wednesday launched a furious last-minute bid on the streets of Washington to reverse his election defeat, as Joe Biden was set to be certified president with an added triumph of his Democratic Party on track to win full control of Congress.
In a scene unprecedented in US democracy, Trump rallied thousands of supporters outside the White House moments before Congress meets to affirm Biden’s November election victory — traditionally a formality, but one which Trump hopes will overturn the results.
Trump, rambling angrily with the occasional aside lauding his four-year tenure, warned “weak” Republicans not to certify Biden’s victory and put direct pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the session. “We will never give up. We will never concede,” Trump told the cheering crowd, few wearing masks despite a spike in Covid cases. “I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do,” Trump said, describing the US election as less honest than those of “Third World countries.”
But as Trump was still speaking and Congress opened the session, Pence — dutifully loyal to Trump over four years and quiet since the election — said he would not intervene. “The Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence said in a statement.
With political tensions running at a fever pitch, there was a heavy police presence in downtown Washington and many business owners, fearing clashes, have boarded up doors and windows.
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