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Democratic senators say electoral ballots saved from Senate floor

Senators are crediting a "quick thinking" staffer for securing the 2020 Electoral College ballots while people were evacuated from the Capitol as rioters entered the building on Wednesday.

A joint session of Congress descended into chaos as supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE who were protesting the Electoral College vote to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE's win swarmed the Capitol.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Flags, signs and other items left behind in Capitol riot to be preserved as historical artifacts Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during Capitol riots MORE (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that the Electoral College certificates contained inside a trio of mahogany boxes would've been destroyed "by the mob," had they not been saved as lawmakers, aides and journalists were evacuated from the Senate chamber.

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Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthBiden taps Atlanta mayor for senior DNC role The best way to handle veterans, active-duty military that participated in Capitol riot Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Ill.) also praised the aide for being able to "grab and secure" the ballots.

"We have them with us," Duckworth said in an interview with CBS News, "and we will be able to proceed as long as [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE [R-Ky.] calls us back into session."

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