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Biden Slams Trump, Says Democracy Prevailed

 PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE Biden Monday delivered a passionate defense of America's democracy and his bluntest take-down yet of what Biden said was President Donald Trump's effort to subvert it, saying Trump had lost on every level and needed to move on.

"In America, politicians don't take power. People grant power to them," Biden said, with the backdrop "office of the President-elect" behind him. The flame of democracy burns bright, Biden said, and "nothing – not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame."

Biden's prime-time remarks came on the day he formally secured victory with the usually pro forma vote by members of the Electoral College in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Trump administration – though not Trump himself – has grudgingly acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the election but has not worked closely with the Biden transition team to secure a smooth handover.

Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, have mounted a lengthy and fierce effort to overturn the election results, failing at every turn. Biden's frustration and anger at that showed on Monday night.

"In America, when questions are raised about the legitimacy of any election, those questions are resolved through the legal process – and that's precisely what happened here," Biden said. But despite "dozens and dozens" of lawsuits and a series of recounts – including three in Georgia alone – the evidence showed that Trump had lost in the popular vote, by more than 7 million votes, and in the Electoral College, which had Biden winning the same number of electoral votes Trump did in 2016 when the then-president-elect declared himself the victor in a "landslide."

"By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then. And I respectfully suggest they do so now," Biden said.

The president-elect attacked the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and joined by 17 other states and 126 GOP members of Congress as an unprecedented assault on the rights of more than 20 million voters in four states.

The suit sought to undo the results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin on baseless claims of voter fraud. The Supreme Court rejected the case with a brief and icy order, saying Texas had no standing to even bring the case.

Biden has largely avoided addressing the ongoing effort to keep him from taking office, instead of focusing on building his cabinet and staff. But on Monday, it was clear that the president-elect – after more than a month of post-election tantrums, tweets, lawsuits, and outright lies about alleged election fraud – was running out of patience.

Team Trump wanted the high court to "hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse," Biden said. "It's a position so extreme, we've never seen it before. A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution."

Biden finished with a plea to work together and said he would work for the betterment of all Americans, even those who did not vote for him. "In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed," Biden said. The subtext, in Biden's remarks, was that it was time for Trump to get ready to leave the office.

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