U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence defies Trump, says he will not reject electoral college vote
By ICH & Agencies
Minutes before joint congressional session, Pence speaks of 'my oath to support and defend the Constitution'
Congress convened Wednesday for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the electoral college vote won by Joe Biden, in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump's relentless effort to overturn the election and cling to the White House.
The typically routine proceeding was anything but, as Trump mounts his desperate attempt to stay in office. Trump's Republican allies in the House and Senate planned to object to the election results, heeding supporters' pleas to "fight for Trump" as the president himself staged a huge rally outside the White House. The fight is tearing the Republican Party apart.
The last-gasp effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the November results. Biden, who won the electoral college 306-232, is to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Still, Trump vowed he would "never concede" and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.
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"We will never give up," Trump told the noontime rally.
The current majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who warned his Republican Party off this challenge, delivered early remarks, telling his colleagues that overruling the presidential election would "damage our republic forever."
Pence's letter saying he lacks authority to decide election