In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building here and clashed with police, resulting in four deaths and interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the election.
The Electoral College votes of Biden and Harris were finally approved early on Thursday after both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected all objections raised by the Republicans to the votes in the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona.
In the presidential election held on November 3, Biden and Harris received 306 electoral votes, while President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence got 232. The counting of Vermont's three electoral votes put Biden and Harris over the 270-threshold needed to win the presidency.
The 78-year-old Democratic leader and his 56-year-old Indian-origin deputy will be inaugurated on January 20, it was announced after the constitutional process was finally completed by a joint session of Congress.
In the violence on Wednesday, four people died, including one woman who was shot by a police officer, amid protests and rioting on Capitol Hill that resulted in dozens of demonstrators being arrested, police said.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called the rioting by pro-Trump demonstrators "shameful" during a news conference.
One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the rioting. Police said three other people - a woman and two men - died after apparently suffering "separate medical emergencies" near the Capitol grounds.
At least 14 DC Metropolitan Police officers were injured, including one who was hospitalised after suffering serious injuries when he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted, Contee said.
Metro Police made 80 arrests related to unrest this week in downtown DC, including 68 arrests on Wednesday night, according to a mayor's spokeswoman. Most were for violations of the mayor's 6 p.m. curfew.