* Attorney-General, Barr resigns
Davidson Iriekpen with agency report
The Electoral College last night cast its votes for president, officially electing Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
The announcement coincided with the resignation of the Attorney General, Mr. William Barr, one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies.
All 538 electors met in their respective states to cast their votes for president based on the election results that were recently certified by all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
California’s 55 electoral votes pushed Biden over the 270 threshold needed to win.
Most electors, who were chosen by political parties in each state ahead of the November election, are cast their ballots in state Capitol buildings.
The first states to vote Monday were Indiana, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Vermont, which started to vote at 10 a.m. ET.
President Donald Trump snagged an early lead after Tennessee and Indiana awarded him their 22 total votes while Vermont’s and New Hampshire’s electors cast their combined seven votes for Biden.
Trump’s lead evaporated by noon, though, when electors in several other states cast their votes, including three battleground states that were hotly contested by the president – Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
In Georgia, the vote was presided over by Stacey Abrams, who helped get out the vote for Democrats and served as an elector Monday.
“I cast my vote for President Joe Biden,” Abrams told the assembly.
Abrams was introduced by Rep.-elect Nikema WIlliams, who noted the occasion marked the first time the state had voted for a Democrat for president since 1992.
“Now all the nation knows that Georgia is a blue state,” Williams said.
In Arizona, Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, said the vote normally has much “pomp and circumstance” but this year “unfortunately had an artificial shadow cast over it in the form of baseless accusations of misconduct and fraud, for which no proof has been provided, and which court after court has dismissed as unfounded.”
She said the allegations from the president and his allies have “led to threats of violence against me, my office and those in this room today” despite an “extremely well-run election.”
Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Mills noted the state’s importance in the 2020 election. “We are the state that put Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris over the 270 Electoral College threshold. We are the state that returned the dignity and honor to the United States of America,” Mills said, also noting that Harris was making history as the nation’s first female vice president.
“I’m honoured to stand before you to cast a vote for a woman,” Mills said.
In New York, former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton served as electors. They and 27 others in the state cast their votes for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Around the same time those states voted, the Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit to overturn the vote certification in the state. The court ruled against Trump 4-3, finding some of his allegations were meritless and other challenges were brought too late.
Meanwhile, Attorney General, Barr, yesterday from the President Trump’s government.
Barr, one of President Trump’s staunchest allies, resigned amid lingering tension over the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and the investigation into president-elect, Biden’s son, Hunter.
Barr went to the White House yesterday, where Trump said he submitted his letter of resignation.
“As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family,” Trump tweeted.
Trump has publicly expressed his anger about Barr’s statement to The Associated Press earlier this month that the Justice Department had found no widespread election fraud that would change the outcome of the election.
Trump has also been angry that the Justice Department did not publicly announce it was investigating Hunter Biden ahead of the election, despite department policy against such a pronouncement.
Trump said deputy attorney general, Jeff Rosen, whom he labelled “an outstanding person,” will become acting attorney general.