Live Blog: Trump Declassifies Crossfire Hurricane Material
Trump Declassifies Crossfire Hurricane Material
– 4:35 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
In his final full day in office, President Donald Trump says he has declassified information related to the FBI’s investigation into ties between Russia and his 2016 presidential campaign.
He did not reveal what that information was Tuesday, except to say that it was included in a binder of materials that the Justice Department had provided to the White House at his request late last month.
The material being declassified relates to Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s code name for the investigation it began in 2016 into whether the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to tip the election. The declassification move is part of a continuing effort by Trump and his allies, including in Congress, to release information aimed at discrediting the Russia probe.
Trump says he has accepted redactions proposed by the FBI, which had objected to the declassification.
The practical impact of the declassification order was unclear given that Trump leaves office on Wednesday. — Associated Press
– 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
After leaving the White House, President Donald Trump may lose his Screen Actors Guild card, too.
The Screen Actors Guild said Tuesday that the SAG-AFTRA board voted “overwhelmingly” that there is probable cause that Trump violated its guidelines for membership.
The charges, the guild said, are for Trump’s role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, “and in sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members.” If found guilty by a disciplinary committee, Trump faces expulsion.
Trump has been a SAG member since 1989. His credits include “The Apprentice,” “Saturday Night Live” and many cameos in films and TV series including “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Sex in the City.”
Losing SAG membership doesn’t disqualify anyone from performing. But most major productions abide by union contracts and hire only union actors.
A White House spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. — Associated Press
9:20 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is explicitly pointing his finger at President Donald Trump for helping to spur the attack on the Capitol by the outgoing president’s supporters.
The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
McConnell spoke six days after the Democratic-led House impeached Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 attack. A Senate trial on whether to convict Trump and perhaps bar him from ever again holding federal office is expected to begin in coming days.
After years of supporting Trump with little criticism of him, the influential McConnell has said he’s not decided whether he would vote to convict him. His decision may prove critical because in a Senate that will be divided 50-50 between the two parties, it would take 17 Republicans to join all Democrats for the two-thirds margin needed for conviction.
Joe Biden replaces Trump as president at noon on Wednesday. — Associated Press
7:45 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
Three new Democratic senators are set to be sworn into office after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.
The arrival of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California will give Democrats a working majority in the Senate — split 50-50, with the new vice president, Kamala Harris, as the tie-breaking vote.
A person granted anonymity to discuss the planning tells The Associated Press that Harris is set to deliver the oath of office to the three Democrats after she is sworn in during the inauguration as vice president.
Warnock and Ossoff defeated Republican senators earlier this month. The Georgia secretary of state is expected to certify those results Tuesday.
Padilla has been tapped by California’s governor to fill Harris’ remaining term in the Senate. — Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press
7:35 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
Two U.S. Army National Guard members are being removed from the security mission to secure Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. A U.S. Army official and a senior U.S. intelligence official say the two National Guard members have been found to have ties to fringe right group militias.
No plot against Biden was found.
The Army official and the intelligence official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to Defense Department media regulations. They did not say what fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in.
Contacted by the AP on Tuesday, the National Guard Bureau referred questions to the U.S. Secret Service and said, “Due to operational security, we do not discuss the process nor the outcome of the vetting process for military members supporting the inauguration.”
The Secret Service told the AP on Monday it would not comment on if any National Guard members had been pulled from securing the inauguration for operational security reasons. — James LaPorta, Associated Press
6:45 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
Joe Biden will strike a unity theme before his inauguration as president on Wednesday by worshipping with Congress’ top four Republican and Democratic leaders.
The Democratic president-elect has talked throughout the campaign and the post-election period about his goal of uniting a sharply divided country.
Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, on Tuesday retweeted a post that said Biden had quietly extended invitations to Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and to Republicans Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to accompany him to a Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
Spokespeople for Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and McCarthy confirm they are accompanying Biden.
Sen. Chris Coons tells CNN the church service is “an important part of respecting tradition.”
Coons is a Democrat from Biden’s home state of Delaware. He says the service is a “reminder of who Joe is and who we are as a nation that’s hopeful and optimistic.” — Associated Press
Biden’s Inauguration Is Going To Look Very Different. Here’s What To Know
– 10:51 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021
The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States is going to look vastly different than those of his predecessors, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago.
There will be no throngs of people massed beneath a platform at the Capitol. Also absent will be President Trump, who's skipping town early.
Here's what you can expect on Wednesday.
Sunday Protests Quiet; Officials Brace For More
– 3:58 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021
After a small, peaceful protest at the Ohio Statehouse on Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine says security levels will remain high in Columbus for Wednesday’s presidential inauguration.
DeWine praised demonstrators for exercising their free speech rights in a way “that respected our Constitution and our more than 150-year-old state capitol building.”
But he said there remain concerns over potential violence in the coming days.
Low-key protests were common across the U.S. on Sunday as law enforcement braced for big rallies and possible violence from supporters of President Donald Trump who believe his false claims that he won the presidential election.
Many rallies had more law enforcement than demonstrators. In states from Maine to Mississippi to Nevada, there were no far-right demonstrators at all. Protesters in Kentucky, New Hampshire and Utah were armed but peaceful.
State Capitol Protests Quiet, Some Already Over
– 1:39 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021
Some of the protests at statehouses have begun breaking up after drawing only modest crowds — in most places, no more than a couple dozen demonstrators.
Officials had fortified statehouses with extra police, National Guard troops and fencing after the FBI had warned about the possibility of armed demonstrations at all 50 state capitols.
Yet some had no demonstrators at all Sunday. The Nevada Capitol in Carson City was empty except for one person carrying a sign reading “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home."
In Richmond, Virginia, police vehicles, dump trucks and orange barrels blocked streets around the Capitol, but there was no sign of demonstrations.
It was a similar story in Springfield, Illinois. Windows of the Capitol had been boarded up as a precaution amid fears of a gathering similar to the Trump rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when a violent mob tried to stop the Electoral College certification for President-elect Joe Biden.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, only guards and state troopers remained around the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, with the crowds dissipating before kickoff of the Cleveland Browns’ NFL playoff game.
Protesters also cleared out in the afternoon in Lansing, Michigan, where state police estimated they numbered only about 20. There were vastly outnumbered by law enforcement and media.
Pro-Trump Demonstrations Begin At Statehouses
– 10:07 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021
Small groups of pro-Trump demonstrators, some armed, have begun gathering outside statehouses, including in Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina.
In Lansing, Michigan, state police troopers walked around the Capitol grounds as a small group of demonstrators stood near a chain-link fence surrounding the 142-year-old building. Several National Guard vehicles were on a nearby street. One armed man falsely gave his name as Duncan Lemp, a Maryland man who was killed in a no-knock police raid and became a martyr for a loose network of gun-toting, anti-government extremists.
In Columbus, Ohio, about two dozen people, several carrying long guns, gathered outside the Capitol as dozens of state troopers and National Guard members guarded multiple points around the Statehouse, including every entrance. Nearly every business around the downtown capital square was boarded up.
Several dozen people were gathering at the South Carolina Statehouse, some carrying American flags. It was not immediately clear if some in the group were also counter-protesters supportive of the incoming Biden administration.
A heavy law enforcement presence surrounded the government complex in downtown Columbia. The Capitol itself has been surrounded with metal barricades for several days, and state lawmakers have announced they will not hold their scheduled in-person session this week because of the possible unrest.
Man Arrested With Handgun, Ammo At Checkpoint
– 2:03 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021
Police have arrested a man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington set up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Wesley Allen Beeler was stopped at the checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Court documents say Beeler approached the checkpoint but did not have a valid credential for that area. An officer noticed he had “firearms-related stickers” on his vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons inside.
The papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene. They searched his car and found a high-capacity magazine in the 9mm handgun, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington.
Beeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Federal Prisons On Lockdown In Run-Up To Biden Inauguration
– 9:20 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021
All federal prisons in the United States have been placed on lockdown, with officials aiming to quell any potential violence that could arise behind bars as law enforcement prepares for potentially violent protests across the country in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.
The lockdown at more than 120 federal Bureau of Prisons facilities took effect at 12 a.m. Saturday, according to an email to employees from the president of the union representing federal correctional officers.
“In light of current events occurring around the country, and out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to secure all institutions,” the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.
The lockdown decision is precautionary, no specific information led to it and it is not in response to any significant events occurring inside facilities, the bureau said.
To avoid backlash from inmates, the lockdown was not announced until after they were locked in their cells Friday evening.
The agency last put in place a nationwide lockdown in April to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
One reason for the new nationwide lockdown is that the bureau is moving some of its Special Operations Response Teams from prison facilities to Washington, D.C., to bolster security after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Authorities are concerned there could be more violence, not only in the nation’s capital, but also at state capitals, before Trump leaves office Jan. 20.
Azar Condemns Capitol Riot In Resignation Letter
– 6:53 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is condemning the assault on the U.S. Capitol in his formal letter of resignation.
Azar says he will resign at noon on Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
Azar wrote in his letter to President Donald Trump, dated Jan. 12: “The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world.”
He added: “I implore you to continue to condemn unequivocally any form of violence, to demand that no one attempt to disrupt the inaugural activities in Washington or elsewhere, and to continue to support unreservedly the peaceful and orderly transition of power on January 20.”
The two-page letter recited administration accomplishments that Azar said “the actions and rhetoric following the election ... threaten to tarnish.” — Associated Press
TSA Says Some People Could Be Barred From Planes
– 6:50 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
The Transportation Security Administration says some people could face more thorough security checks or be barred from boarding a plane as part of additional security around President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week.
The TSA said in a statement Friday that it’s working with law enforcement agencies to conduct a risk assessment of “hundreds” of people. It did not say what criteria is being used to determine who has been selected.
It comes more than a week after a violent mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from confirming Biden's Electoral College victory. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Trump had falsely said for weeks that the election was stolen from him. He was impeached earlier this week on a charge of incitement of an insurrection.
TSA is also providing officers to help the Secret Service screen people along the parade route and attending Biden's inauguration Wednesday.
The agency, which includes air marshals, also plans to boost security at airports around the country. — Associated Press
Biden Says Inauguration Shows America Is Coming Back
– 3:21 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden says even a scaled-down inauguration with thousands of troops and law enforcement authorities will give the world “a clear sign that America is coming back.”
Biden said Friday at a virtual reception for inauguration donors that he has “complete confidence” in law enforcement's ability to ensure “dignity, peace and security for this event.”
He says his own team is working closely with law enforcement.
Alluding to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric inciting the insurrection at the Capitol last week, Biden said, “What this president has done is sort of a stain on America.”
Biden will be sworn in at noon Wednesday, two weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop Congress from affirming Biden's election victory. Five people died, and Trump was impeached again.
– 2:01 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
An Ohio man who posted videos from the U.S. Capitol riots has been arrested on federal charges of making interstate threats and threatening a witness.
In one video, 40-year-old Justin Stoll, of Wilmington, declared: “D.C.’s a war zone!...You ain’t got enough cops, baby! We are at war at the Capitol…. We have taken the Capitol. This is our country.”
The federal complaint said that when one YouTube viewer said he or she had saved his video, Stoll warned that if the viewer took action to “ever jeopardize me, from being with my family,” then the person would meet his or her maker, and that he would be the one to “arrange the meeting.”
Stoll appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Cincinnati, who released him under restrictions including that he remain in southern Ohio with electronic monitoring, stay off social media, stay away from firearms, obtain mental counseling and not contact potential witnesses or victims.
No other details, including his attorney’s name, were available immediately. There was no answer Friday at a phone number listed to his name.
The U.S. attorney’s office says interstate communication of a threat can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, while tampering with a witness through intimidation carries a potential 20-year maximum sentence. — Associated Press
– 10:13 A.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there may be a need to prosecute members of Congress if any are found to have assisted the pro-Trump rioters in last week’s attack on the Capitol.
The California Democrat says that assault highlighted the need for the U.S. to beware of domestic threats. She says, “We’ve really lost our innocence in this.” Pelosi tells reporters that members of Congress need to be able to trust each other.
Her words underscore some Democrats’ suggestions that some GOP lawmakers helped feed President Donald Trump’s supporters’ belief in Trump’s false charges that his presidential election loss was due to vote fraud.
They also highlight the extraordinary distrust and anger that’s grown in Congress since the attack, which led to this week’s House impeachment of Trump. — Associated Press
– 7:08 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday mobilized 1,000 members of the National Guard amid other security precautions over concerns of civil unrest ahead of President Donald Trump leaving office.
The state also erected a temporary chain link fence around the state Capitol, bolstering other temporary and permanent barriers, and the California Highway Patrol has refused to issue permits for rallies that had been planned there.
The moves come as the FBI and others warn of the potential for nationwide civil unrest before or during next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Newsom said Guard members will “protect critical infrastructure" including the state Capitol while other state officials monitor threats and requests for aid around the clock.
“We’re taking important steps here in California in light of what we saw in our nation’s Capitol just last week,” Newsom said, calling it “an undemocratic and unconscionable assault on our republic and the freedom upon which our nation was founded.”
“We will respond to any potential violent civil unrest leading up to or during the inaugural, if required,” he said in a video message. “We’re treating this very seriously and deploying significant resources to protect public safety, critical infrastructure and First Amendment Rights, but let me be clear: there will be no tolerance for violence.”
Oregon, Washington, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among states that also have deployed the National Guard. The Guard also has been placed at the U.S. Capitol, which was attacked and ransacked last week by Trump supporters. — Associated Press
Prosecutors: Arkansas Man Beat Cop With Flagpole
– 5:10 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
An Arkansas man accused of beating a police officer with a pole flying a U.S. flag during last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol has been arrested.
In an arrest affidavit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, an FBI agent said Peter Francis Stager is shown in video and photographs striking a prone police officer repeatedly with the flagpole after rioters dragged the officer down the Capitol’s west stairs.
The affidavit says confidential informants had recognized Stager in riot video and photographs and alerted authorities, who have charged Stager with interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock, Arkansas, confirmed Stager was in custody Thursday. No attorney was listed for Stager in court records. — Associated Press
Prosecutors: Man Seen On Senate Floor Arrested
– 3:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
Prosecutors say an Alabama man who was photographed on the Senate floor during the riot at the U.S. Capitol and who recorded an anonymous YouTube video days later about the angry crowd has been arrested.
Joshua Mathew Black, of Leeds, was arrested Thursday and charged with entering a restricted building and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
Black said in the video that the “crowd went crazy” over Congress proceeding with certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump and believed Vice President Mike Pence “turned on us and that they had stolen the election.” Election officials, judges and Trump's former attorney general, William Barr, have rejected claims that the election results were fraudulent.
According to investigators, Black said on the recording: “We just wanted to get inside the building. I wanted to get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it. That was my goal.”
It was not immediately clear if Black has a lawyer.
Black said his cheek was pierced by a projectile during the riot while trying to help a law enforcement officer who was being stomped on by members of the crowd. — Associated Press
Prosecutor: Texas Man Meant 'To Take Hostages'
– 2:55 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
A prosecutor says a retired Air Force officer who was part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he meant “to take hostages.”
Retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. appeared at a detention hearing in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday.
The 53-year-old is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
A judge said he would release Brock to home confinement.
Brock’s attorney says there is no evidence that he did anything violent inside the Capitol. — Associated Press
21,000 National Guard Troops Approved For DC
– 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
U.S. officials say Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has approved bringing in 21,000 National Guard members to Washington, D.C., to assist with security surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Army officials have been grappling with requests for assistance from a number of law enforcement agencies who will be providing security across the city and surrounding the U.S. Capitol. Officials said Thursday that in the ongoing discussions with law enforcement, it has been determined that 21,000 Guard members should be enough. Others said requests for assistance at one point totaled as many as 26,000, but officials said those were not formal, official requests.
Officials had initially said up to 15,000 would be needed, but law enforcement had asked for more help locking down the Capitol and the city. Officials also said that the total still may grow.
The U.S. officials weren’t authorized to discuss security details publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
As of Thursday, there are roughly 7,000 Guard members in Washington, with thousands more on the way. — Associated Press
Man Photographed With Confederate Flag Arrested
– 12:00 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
Prosecutors say a Delaware man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag during a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol has been arrested after authorities used the image to help identify him.
Federal prosecutors say Kevin Seefried, who was seen carrying the flag, was arrested in Delaware along with his son Hunter Seefried. Prosecutors say both entered the Senate building through a broken window.
They were charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and degradation of government property.
Court documents say the men were identified after the FBI was told by a coworker of Hunter Seefried's that he had bragged about being in the Capitol with his father.
No one answered the phone Thursday afternoon at a number listed for them. — Associated Press
– 11:15 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
A retired Pennsylvania firefighter has been arrested on suspicion of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three police officers during the siege at the U.S. Capitol.
Former Chester firefighter Robert Sanford was arrested Thursday on charges including assault of a police officer and unlawfully entering the Capitol.
The charges against Sanford are not related to the widely publicized attack on an officer who was hit with a fire extinguisher and died.
Sanford is appearing in federal court in Pennsylvania, but the case will be prosecuted in Washington.
Sanford couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, and it wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney. — Associated Press
– 10:55 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
U.S. officials say the number of National Guard troops pouring into the nation’s capital to assist law enforcement with security for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has grown to about 26,000.
Officials say Guard members from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, are deploying to the city. Officials had initially said up to 20,000 would be needed, but the final number has grown based on additional requests from law enforcement officials.
The U.S. officials weren’t authorized to discuss security details publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
As of Thursday, there are roughly 7,000 Guard members in Washington, with thousands more on the way. Officials say 3,000 to 4,000 of those Guard members are armed.
The length of the missions may vary, but Defense Department officials were authorized to deploy the Guard for up to 30 days for the inauguration and surrounding protests.
Pentagon officials approved requests to have some Guard members armed with either long guns or handguns, particularly those Guard members assigned near the U.S. Capitol. — Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
NY Congressman Latest To Test Positive For Virus
– 10:16 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York says he has the coronavirus. He's the latest House member to report testing positive since dozens of lawmakers huddled together for protection during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Espaillat says in a statement that he's quarantining at home and will keep up his work representing his Upper Manhattan district.
At least three other House members have tested positive after a group of representatives fled to a secure location on Capitol Hill when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed and ransacked the Capitol.
It’s not clear where and when lawmakers caught the virus. But the Capitol’s attending physician has told House members they might have been exposed to someone in the room who had the virus. — Associated Press
Trump's Trial Could Start On Inauguration Day
– 8:22 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial could begin at 1 p.m. on Inauguration Day next Wednesday as President-elect Joe Biden is being sworn into office. That's according to a a timeline of Senate procedure obtained by The Associated Press.
It's the possible schedule if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate soon.
Trump was impeached by the House on Wednesday on a single charge of incitement to insurrection after the deadly Capitol siege last week by a pro-Trump mob. Trump is the only president ever to be impeached twice.
Pelosi, D-Calif., hasn't said when she'll send the impeachment charge to the Senate. Some Democrats have suggested holding back to allow Biden time to be inaugurated and to start working on his priorities first.
Biden has suggested the Senate could divide its time between the impeachment trial and confirming his Cabinet nominees and working on COVID-19 relief and other issues. — Associated Press
Pelosi Wants Fines For Bypassing House Security
– 7:34 p.m, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is proposing fines of up to $10,000 will be imposed on members who fail to abide by the security protocols of the House.
Wednesday's announcement comes after metal detectors were set up outside the House chamber following last week's attack on the Capitol. Some Republican lawmakers have expressed their displeasure about the new protocol and have been bypassing the metal detector entirely or walking through and not stopping when they set it off.
Pelosi says, “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.” She says, "Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions.”
The fine will be $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second offense. The Democratic-led House will vote on the rule change.
Earlier in the week, she imposed fines for those who fail to wear face masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Both fines will be deducted directly from members' salaries. — Associated Press
Biden Hopes Senate Can Balance Trial, Other Work
– 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden says he hopes the Senate can balance a second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with “other urgent business” as the coronavirus pandemic rages.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Biden did not take a position on whether the Senate should convict Trump after a bipartisan House vote that charged the outgoing president with inciting the violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last week as Congress convened to certify Biden’s presidential election.
Biden blamed Trump for the “armed insurrection” by his supporters. The president-elect called it “an unprecedented assault on our democracy ... unlike anything we have witnessed in the 244-year history of our nation.”
Besides considering Trump’s fate, Biden noted that the Senate will be considering his nominations for key leadership posts and additional COVID-19 relief measures. Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday outlining his proposals to spur vaccine distribution and for additional economic aid. — Associated Press
Texas Flower Shop Owner Who Bragged About Pelosi's Office Break-In Arrested
– 5:35 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Federal officials say a Texas flower shop owner who posted a video on Facebook bragging about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office being broken into during the U.S. Capitol riot last week has been arrested.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in San Antonio says the FBI arrested Jenny Cudd and another Midland resident on Wednesday.
They appeared in court Wednesday, and each is charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
Cudd has told The Associated Press that she didn’t personally go into Pelosi’s office and that she didn’t do anything violent or destroy any property. — Associated Press
In Video, Trump Condemns Deadly Riot He Fomented
– 1:13 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
President Donald Trump has released a video condemning the violent insurrection he fomented at the Capitol last week.
The video came out Wednesday after he was impeached by the House for a record second time, this time with Republican votes. Trump also called on his supporters to remain peaceful amid concerns about additional violence in the days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Trump says: “I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.” He says, “Like all of you I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity” and “no true supporter” of his “could ever endorse political violence.”
Trump also said that he had directed federal agencies “to use all necessary resources to maintain order in Washington, D.C.” over the next week.”
Trump made no reference to becoming the first president in the nation's history to be impeached twice. — Associated Press
Schumer Says Trial Likely To Begin After Jan. 19
– 2:45 p.m., Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer vows there will be an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, even if it’s after he leaves office and Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Schumer said Wednesday that the trial could begin immediately if Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell agreed to convene an emergency session.
He says if not, the trial will begin after Jan. 19. That’s the quickest the Senate can start under the existing calendar. Biden is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20.
McConnell said earlier Wednesday that there is “no chance” that the Senate will be able to hold a “fair or serious” impeachment trial before Biden is sworn in.
Trump was impeached Wednesday by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly siege of the Capitol.
Schumer said if Trump is convicted, there will be a vote on barring Trump from ever running again for office. — Associated Press
Olympic Swimmer Charged In Attack On Capitol
– 2:33 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2020
Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller has been charged with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building last week.
An FBI complaint, citing screenshots from the video, asked that a warrant be issued charging Keller with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and attempting to impede an official government function. Keller was charged Wednesday.
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 while lawmakers met to formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
The 38-year-old Keller competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He captured two golds and a silver as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, as well as a pair of individual bronzes in the 400 free.
Messages seeking comments left with Keller and his sister, former Olympic swimmer Kalyn Keller, were not immediately returned. — Associated Press
House Impeaches Trump For An Historic Second Time
– 1:27 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
President Donald Trump has become the first American president to be impeached twice, facing a strong bipartisan rebuke from the House exactly one week after a violent mob of his supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans joining with Democrats to charge him with incitement of insurrection.
The extraordinary second impeachment, just days before Trump is to leave office, comes after the president encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” against the election results in a speech near the White House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will now send the article of impeachment to the Senate, though that timing is unclear. Actual removal seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the Senate back before Jan. 19.
Still, McConnell did not rule out voting to convict Trump. In a note to his fellow Republican senators just before the House was to begin voting, he said he is undecided.— Associated Press
House Records Enough Votes To Impeach Trump
– 1:27 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
A majority of the U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The House vote on an article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection was still underway Wednesday, but the Democratic-led House had secured enough votes to impeach Trump. Some Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president.
During debate before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls.” Trump is the first American president to be impeached twice.
The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died.
Trump has taken no responsibility for the riot. — Associated Press
House Begins Voting On 2nd Trump Impeachment
– 1:12 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Voting is underway in the House on impeaching President Donald Trump over the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol last week by a mob of his supporters.
Lawmakers are voting Wednesday on impeaching Trump on a single charge, incitement of insurrection. If it passes, Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice.
The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died.
The riot has forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.
While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least seven House Republicans were breaking with the party to join Democrats this time.
Trump has taken no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country. — Associated Press
Massachusetts Congresswoman's Husband Positive For COVID-19 After Capitol Riot
– 1:02 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts says her husband has tested positive for COVID-19 following last week’s siege and subsequent lockdown at the Capitol.
Pressley said in a statement that Conan Harris received a positive test Tuesday evening. Pressley says she received a negative test result.
Harris had accompanied Pressley to her swearing-in ceremony last week and was with her in the Capitol complex throughout the Jan. 6 attack. Harris has shown mild symptoms and remains in isolation, along with Pressley and staff who were in close contact.
Pressley said Wednesday: “As my colleagues and I sought shelter from the white supremacist mob that violently attacked our seat of government, we were greeted by a different threat — one posed by my callous Republican colleagues who, in this crowded and confined space, repeatedly refused to wear masks when offered.” — Associated Press
McConnell Is Undecided On Impeachment Vote
– 12:15 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in a note to his fellow Republican senators that he is undecided on whether President Donald Trump should be convicted if the House votes to impeach him.
McConnell said in the letter Wednesday: “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
The House is poised to vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday for a second time after he egged on a violent mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol last week. — Associated Press
Jordan Reads Statement From Trump On House Floor
– 11:35 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
President Donald Trump says he opposes violence in a statement read on the House floor as members debate impeaching him for his role in fomenting the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week.
Trump's message was read Wednesday by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Trump says in a statement: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump adds: “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”
Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in a fast-moving House vote, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
The president falsely claimed widespread voter fraud cost him the election won by Democrat Joe Biden. — Associated Press
AP Count Finds 100-Plus Arrested In Capitol Riot
– 11:29 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
The number of people arrested on criminal charges related to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol has exceeded 100.
The count by The Associated Press resulted from a nationwide review of court records and announcements of arrests issued by law enforcement agencies. The charges range from misdemeanor curfew violations in the District of Columbia to federal felonies related to the assault of law enforcement officers, theft of government property and possessing firearms and explosives.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI said this week they are pursing dozens more suspects who have been identified through photos and videos from the Jan. 6 melee and tips from the public.
Those newly arrested Wednesday include 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer, of Newport News, Virginia. His mugshot appears to match the bearded man photographed at the Capitol wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz” and the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a translation of the German phrase from the gates of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million Jews and others were murdered during World War II. — Associated Press
Another Republican Congressman Adds His Name To Impeach Trump
– 11:27 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington has added his name to the shortlist of Republicans supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
He said Tuesday on the House floor that the article of impeachment is flawed, but he will not use process as an excuse to vote no.
He says, “There is no excuse for President Trump's actions.”
Newhouse says the president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet he says when there was a “domestic threat at the door of the Capitol,” the president “did nothing to stop it.”
He says he will vote for impeachment “with a heavy heart and clear resolve.” — Associated Press
Capitol Police Opens Investigation Into Department's Role In Riot
– 11:16 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
The Capitol Police’s inspector general is opening an investigation into the department to look into events surrounding last week’s riot at the Capitol that resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.
That’s according to a House aide with knowledge of the investigation. The aide was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonynmity.
Michael A. Bolton is the inspector general and he will lead the review. It will focus on security preparations for the Jan. 6 congressional vote to certify the presidential election, as well as the department’s response.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned in the wake of the riot, as did the top security officials in the House and Senate. Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is now the acting chief.
The department is facing intense scrutiny after its lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat drew widespread condemnation. — Matthew Daly, Associated Press
McConnell Rejects Emergency Session For Trial
– 10:31 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.
That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That's the day before Biden’s inauguration.
The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week. — Associated Press
Pelosi Calls Trump A 'Clear And Present Danger'
– 9:53 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.
Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people″ in the presidential election.
She says "we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.″
Pelosi says Trump has “repeatedly lied” about the outcome of the election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and Trump has “sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeat this armed rebellion against our country.″
The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week. — Associated Press
Graham Says Impeachment Would `Do Great Damage'
– 9:38 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the impeachment effort being pushed by House Democrats could “do great damage to the institutions of government” and he's warning his GOP colleagues not to support it.
Graham is a frequent ally of President Donald Trump. Last week, Graham condemned the violent mob of the president’s supporters who invaded the Capitol. After that siege and after Trump had pushed the unconstitutional argument that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election results, Graham said to count him out and that “enough is enough.”
Still, Graham has stayed in touch with the increasingly isolated president.
And Graham's message to fellow Republicans on impeachment is that those “who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party.”
He says the millions of people who have supported Trump and his agenda "should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob.”
At least five GOP House members have said they will support impeachment, and two Republican senators have called on Trump to resign. Another GOP senator has said he will take a look at the articles of impeachment when they are sent to the Senate. — Associated Press
Heated Debate As House Considers Impeachment
– 8:38 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
Democrats and a few Republicans say Trump must be removed immediately after he egged on a violent mob of supporters a week ago who then stormed the Capitol. The insurrection happened as some of Trump’s GOP allies were challenging his election defeat, echoing the president’s false claims that there was widespread fraud in his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Most Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive. They're not mentioning the president.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. Jordan blames Democrats for objecting to previous election results and he's repeating baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
But Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says Democrats haven't pushed conspiracy theories that a president won in a landslide when he actually lost — which is what happened to Trump.
McGovern is looking back at the deadly Capitol siege and saying “people died because of the big lies that were being told.” And he says that's enough to merit impeachment. — Associated Press
Trump On Verge Of 2nd Impeachment After Capitol Siege
– 6:08 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in an unprecedented House vote Wednesday, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results just before they stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly siege.
While Trump's first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.
The stunning collapse of Trump's final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.
“If inviting a mob to insurrection against your own government is not an impeachable event, then what is?” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a drafter of the article of impeachment.
Trump, who would become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.
Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.
“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed by hours the last step in finalizing Biden's victory.
The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”
At least five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, were unswayed by the president's logic. The Republicans announced they would vote to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is said to be angry at Trump, and it's unclear how a Senate impeachment trial would play out. The New York Times reported that McConnell thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense and is glad Democrats are moving against him. Citing unidentified people familiar with McConnell's thinking, the Times reported McConnell believes moving against Trump will help the GOP forge a future independent of the divisive, chaotic president. — Associated Press
House Urges Pence To Remove Trump From Power
– 8:44 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
The House has voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and hold a Cabinet vote to remove President Donald Trump from office — a symbolic action after Pence had already said he would not do so.
The House sent the message to Pence and Trump almost a week after an angry mob of the president’s supporters marched to the Capitol and violently invaded the building. The breach happened as Congress counted the electoral votes that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The legislation was sponsored by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat and former Constitutional law professor who said the amendment was intended to be the “final mechanism for removing a president who is failing to meet the most basic duties of his office and indeed actually harming the Republic with his conduct.”
Raskin said the crisis “is not over yet” in Trump’s final week in office.
In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” but should be reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation.
The House is expected to vote to impeach the president Wednesday. — Associated Press
Pelosi Says Nation Is At 'Unprecedented Moment'
– 7:08 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House must move to impeach President Donald Trump because the country is at “an unprecedented moment in history.”
Speaking Tuesday on the eve of a second vote to impeach him, Pelosi said Trump must be charged because of the “seditious attack” on the Capitol by his supporters one week ago.
“I urge my Republican colleagues to open their eyes and to finally hold this president accountable,” Pelosi told her colleagues on the House floor late Tuesday. “The story of our country, and the future of our very democracy, are at stake.”
The Democratic-led House is expected to vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, with some Republican votes. If so, Trump will be the first American president to be impeached twice. — Associated Press
Pelosi Names Rep. Jamie Raskin Impeachment Manager
– 7:05 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named a Maryland Democrat grieving his son’s recent death as leader of the nine House Democrats who would prosecute President Donald Trump during his expected Senate impeachment trial.
The team includes three women, four people of color and lawmakers from states stretching from Rhode Island to California.
Rep. Jamie Raskin will be lead manager. The 58-year-old has often been an energetic presence during floor debates and taught constitutional law for 25 years. His 25-year-old son died of suicide on New Year’s Eve.
Other managers will be Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California, Ted Lieu of California, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Stacey Plaskett, the Democratic delegate from the Virgin Islands.
Trump is being charged with incitement of insurrection over the attack at the Capitol last week. Democrats plan to push an impeachment resolution through the House on Wednesday, with modest GOP support. — Associated Press
Prosecutors: Man Arrested With Weapon Cache Had Note With Info About Congress Member
– 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Prosecutors say an Alabama man arrested near the Capitol after the attack had a truckload of weapons, including components for 11 explosive devices, guns, smoke devices and machetes, along with a note containing information about a member of Congress.
Federal prosecutors wrote in court documents Tuesday that the note and volume of weapons that 70-year-old Lonnie Leroy Coffman had in his truck suggest he had “an intent to provide them to others” and to attack members of Congress. Coffman was charged with multiple firearms crimes.
In asking for Coffman to remain jailed until trial, prosecutors noted that he had dangerous incendiary mixtures creating napalm and appeared to be motivated to conduct violence against elected representatives.
The note in the truck referred to a judge appointed by President Barack Obama as a “bad guy” and gave the name of a member of Congress, noting the representative is of Muslim faith.
Coffman’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment late Tuesday. — Associated Press
Republican Lawmakers Objecting To Metal Detectors Outside House Chamber
– 6:58 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Republican lawmakers are objecting to new metal detectors outside the House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said Tuesday that the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.
Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois was angry about the metal detectors and said valuable resources were being diverted in order to install the devices.
Several lawmakers simply walked around the devices. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said, “You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to a vote.”
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn’t clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse.
She refused to allow a search of her bag and eventually was let into the House chamber. — Associated Press
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks Won't Apologize For Comments At Rally Before Riot
– 6:52 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
A Republican congressman says he won’t apologize for remarks last week despite a proposed censure resolution accusing him of helping incite the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said Tuesday that his critics are misrepresenting his remarks, which he says were intended as a pep talk for the next election cycle.
Brooks told a crowd at a Donald Trump “Save America” rally that preceded the riot that he wanted them to take a message back home and “along the way stop at the Capitol.”
He said, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He was wearing a hat that said “Fire Pelosi.”
Democratic Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida on Monday introduced the resolution for censure, saying his words “helped spark chaos, destruction, injuries and death.”
Brooks’ office said his remarks were meant to inspire the crowd to fight in the 2022 and 2024 elections. He denied encouraging violence. — Associated Press
Idaho Man Turns Self In, Is Sorry For Riot Role
– 6:48 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
An Idaho man whose photograph was included on a federal list of those considered “persons of interest” in the siege of the U.S. Capitol has been jailed in Boise.
The Ada County sheriff’s office says 34-year-old Josiah Colt turned himself in on Tuesday afternoon and was being held on a U.S. Marshal’s hold.
Colt was among those who stormed the Capitol during a riot by loyalists of President Donald Trump as Congress prepared to certify the results of the election won by Democrat Joe Biden. Five people died.
After the insurgency, Colt posted a video to Facebook erroneously claiming he was the first person in the mob to sit in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair. Photos from the siege show him in the seat normally used by Vice President Mike Pence in the Senate chamber.
Colt later issued an apology for his conduct through Boise TV station KBOI, saying his actions brought shame to himself and his country. — Associated Press
Pence Rules Out Using 25th Amendment On Trump
– 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence is ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power, less than a week after the president fomented the violent insurrection at the Capitol.
In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation. Pelosi has called on Pence to secure the majority of the Cabinet and vote to declare Trump unfit to serve.
As the House appears on the cusp of a bipartisan impeachment of Trump, Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Pelosi has said if Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that. — Associated Press
Third Republican Representative Call For Trump's Impeachment
– 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger has become the third Republican member of Congress to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Kinzinger said in a statement Tuesday that Trump is responsible for whipping up “an angry mob” that stormed the Capitol last week, leaving five dead. He says “there is no doubt in my mind” that Trump “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
The House is set to start impeachment proceedings against Trump on Wednesday.
The president faces a single impeachment charge, incitement to insurrection, for his actions surrounding the mob attack on the Capitol, the worst domestic assault on the building in the nation’s history.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, and Republican Rep. John Katko of New York said earlier Tuesday that they would vote to impeach Trump. — Associated Press
House Races To Oust Trump; He Blames Accusers For US 'Anger'
– 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
With impeachment ahead, the House is first trying to push the vice president and Cabinet to act even more quickly to remove President Donald Trump from office.
Democrats are set to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to oust Trump. Trump said impeachment is causing “tremendous anger” but said he wanted “no violence.”
Democratic lawmakers say Trump is a danger to democracy after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Impeachment proceedings are set for Wednesday. Pence has shown no inclination to invoke the Constitution's 25th Amendment. Trump is to face a single impeachment charge — “incitement of insurrection." — Associated Press
Man Photographed In Nancy Pelosi's Desk Charged
– 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
The man photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office chair during last week’s Capitol insurrection has made his initial federal court appearance in Arkansas.
Sixty-year-old Richard Barnett, of Gravette, Arkansas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Fayetteville on Tuesday to hear the charges against him. Among them is a charge that he unlawfully entered a restricted area with a lethal weapon — in this case, a stun gun.
Barnett also is charged with disorderly conduct and theft of public property. If convicted on all charges, including the new lethal weapon count, he could be sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison.
Barnett’s attorney, Anthony Siano, conceded the validity of the warrant against him. Siano offered no further comment.
Barnett will remain in federal custody at the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville until a virtual detention hearing Friday, when a judge will decide whether to grant him bond. — Associated Press
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney Says She Will Vote To Ipeach Trump
– 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
The Wyoming congresswoman, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said in a statement Tuesday that Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” She says, “Everything that followed was his doing.”
She also notes that Trump could have immediately intervened to stop his supporters, but he did not.
Cheney says, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Trump himself has taken no responsibility for his role in inciting the attackers.
New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach Trump.
— Associated Press
– 2:35 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Though no specific threats have been identified in the San Diego area, the FBI is monitoring the possibility of armed protests and resulting unrest leading up to inauguration day, a local representative of the federal agency said Tuesday.
"While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve," FBI spokeswoman Davene Butler told City News Service. "Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity."
The FBI sent a memo to authorities across the country, warning of the possibility of armed protests at all 50 state capitals starting this week and lasting through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. The memo also stated that the agency had received information about an armed group intending to travel to Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
"The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights," Butler told City News Service. "Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property."
Late this morning, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department reported that it had "no intelligence or information of any (local) threats." – City News Service
Firefighter Photographed In Capitol Is Charged
– 2:19 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
A Florida firefighter who was photographed inside the Capitol during a riot by loyalists of President Donald Trump has been charged with disorderly conduct.
A charge of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds was filed Tuesday in the District of Columbia against Andrew Williams.
Williams has been a firefighter with the Sanford Fire Department since 2016. He was placed on administrative leave from the fire agency last week pending an internal investigation. Sanford is located about 25 miles outside Orlando.
Fire department spokesperson Bianca Gillett said Tuesday that the agency was made aware of the arrest and that an update on his status with the fire department was expected later.
Vincent Citro, an attorney for Williams, didn’t respond to an email inquiry. — Associated Press
House GOP Won't Pressure Members On Impeachment
– 1:04 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Top House Republicans are telling rank-and-file lawmakers they won’t be pressuring them to vote a particular way when the chamber considers impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time.
That word comes as GOP divisions emerge over Democrats’ plan for a House vote Wednesday. It underscores that GOP leaders would likely have little clout anyway to force lawmakers’ hands on what may be a career-defining vote as the party decides where it stands in the post-Trump era.
Most Republicans seem ready to vote against impeachment, but some, perhaps around 10, are expected to approve the move. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes impeachment.
Two GOP leadership aides, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday to describe a private conference call, confirmed the decision to not “whip” the impeachment vote.
The article of impeachment accuses Trump of incitement of insurrection for goading a crowd of his supporters to surge to the Capitol last Wednesday as Congress was affirming Trump’s election defeat by Democrat Joe Biden. Five people died as the mob sieged the building.
Democrats have a 222-211 House majority, and the chamber seems certain to vote to impeach. There are two vacancies. — Associated Press
FBI Says It Warned Law Enforcement About Threats
– 1:04 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
The FBI says it notified other law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Capitol Police, the day before the riot at the Capitol about an online message about a "war” and storming the U.S. Capitol.
The FBI said Tuesday that the warning was issued through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. Capitol Police have members on the task force.
The Washington Post said the bulletin described that people had been sharing maps of the Capitol’s tunnels and discussed rallying points to meet up to travel to Washington. The newspaper reported that the document detailed posts calling for violence, including that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled.”
BLM stands for Black Lives Matter. Pantifa is a derogatory term for antifa, far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events. — Associated Press
Report Says FBI Warned Of Plans For The Assault
– 10:43 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
According to a report in The Washington Post, the FBI had warned that extremists were preparing to come to Washington, attack Congress and engage in “war.”
The report says the warning was issued internally by the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, a day before the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The warning directly contradicts statements from the Justice Department and FBI officials that they had no intelligence to suggest a storming of the Capitol.
The Post says the memo described how people had been sharing maps of the Capitol’s tunnels and discussing rallying points to meet up to travel to Washington. The newspaper reported that the document detailed posts calling for violence, including that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Antifa slave soldiers being spilled.” — Associated Press
Schumer Calls For Speedy Confirmation Of Biden Cabinet Picks
– 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the violence at the Capitol shows the need for the Senate to swiftly confirm Joe Biden’s national security team on the first day of his administration.
Schumer said in a letter to colleagues that the deadly Capitol riot by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump last week was “one of the darkest days in all of American history.”
He said Biden will need “key national security positions on Day One.”
The Senate often confirms some nominees on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, but this year the Senate will also likely be convening Trump’s impeachment trial. The House is set to impeach Trump this week on a sole charge of inciting insurrection in the violent riot.
Schumer wants the chamber to swiftly take up those nominees for secretary of defense, secretary of homeland security, secretary of state, attorney general, and others.
Schumer outlined the party’s agenda, vowing to push ahead on Democratic priorities. — Associated Press
Trump Says Impeachment Push Causing 'Anger'
– 7:49 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House that the prospect of impeachment is causing “tremendous anger” in the nation. But he said he wants “no violence.”
The president spoke as he left for Texas to survey the border wall with Mexico. His remarks were his first to reporters since the Capitol attack.
On impeachment, Trump said it’s “a really terrible thing that they’re doing.” But he said, “We want no violence. Never violence.” — Associated Press
No Public Access To Capitol Grounds Jan. 20
– 7:20 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Police say there will be no public access to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden after a violent riot at the Capitol last week.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman says in a statement Monday that officials have “comprehensive, coordinated plans” in place to ensure the safety and security of both Congress and Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
She says the grounds of the Capitol will be closed to the public. The inauguration is a ticketed event.
The announcement comes after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week as legislators were meeting to vote to certify Biden’s electoral win.
Biden’s team and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser have been asking people not to attend the inauguration in person because of the coronavirus pandemic. — Associated Press
Mayor Gloria Reacts To Violent Pacific Beach Protest
– 6:19 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria released a statement Monday, asking the public for help to identify those responsible for violence that broke out at protests in Pacific Beach.
San Diego Police arrested two adults and one minor Saturday, after pro-Trump protesters clashed with counter-demonstrators.
Five officers were injured after SDPD said bottles and rocks were thrown at police.
“Violence will not be tolerated in San Diego,” Gloria said. “There will be consequences for those who bring that kind of behavior to our city. I am asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who was seen committing acts of violence in Pacific Beach. Please report those incidents and individuals to the San Diego Police Department as soon as possible.”
SDPD said they have no reports of planned protests over President-elect Joe Biden's upcoming inauguration, but they say that could change. — KPBS Staff
Trump Issues Emergency Declaration For Inaugural
– 5:45 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
President Donald Trump is issuing an emergency declaration for the nation’s capital amid growing concern among local and federal authorities about violence in the leadup to and during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as needed.
The declaration from Trump comes five days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify his defeat to Biden. Five people died.
Trump has spent months complaining that he was cheated out of an election victory by widespread voter fraud, which election officials say does not exist.
Earlier Monday, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged people to stay away from inaugural events because of “last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump’s emergency declaration is in effect from Monday through Jan. 24. — Associated Press
Trump, Pence Speak For First Time Since Attack
– 4:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have spoken for the first time since last week's Capitol insurrection, during which Pence was forced to flee the Senate chamber and retreat to a secure location.
A senior administration official says the two met Monday evening in the Oval Office.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting, said the two had a “good conversation,” discussing the week ahead and “reflecting” on the administration’s accomplishments over the last four years.
The official said that during the meeting, both men agreed that “those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the America first movement backed by 75 million Americans” and pledged to continue working on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term.
The person did not mention Trump’s lingering anger over Pence’s refusal to go along with his unconstitutional scheme to try to overturn the results of the November election that he lost. Nor did the person mention whether Pence confronted Trump for using him as a scapegoat and tweeting that he lacked courage while the siege was underway. — Jill Colvin, Associated Press
2 Capitol Police Officers Suspended After Attack
– 2:52 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio says two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended as a result of their actions during last week's attack on the Capitol.
Ryan told reporters on Monday that one of the officers took a selfie with someone and the second officer put on a "Make America Great Again" hat. He says of the latter that the “interim chief determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension.”
Thousands of pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee and hide. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
The congressman says Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated the incursion “at a big level or small level in any way.”
Ryan says they don't want an officer working on President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration "who was not doing the job on the Jan. 6th event.”
Capitol Police did not immediately reply to a request for more details.
Ryan serves as chair of a House subcommittee that oversees funding for Capitol Police. — Associated Press
Acting Homeland Security Chief Wolf Is Resigning
– 2:15 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down from his post, days after criticizing President Donald Trump over the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Wolf said in a message to staff that he would step down at 11:59 p.m. Monday, even though he had earlier said he planned to remain in his job. He said Pete Gaynor, who ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would become the acting homeland security secretary.
The resignation comes a day before Trump is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Last week, Wolf asked Trump and all elected officials to “strongly condemn the violence” that took place at the Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
Wolf said he has condemned violence on both sides of the political aisle, specifically directed at law enforcement. He tweeted “we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends” and called that unacceptable. — Associated Press
Aide: Schumer Considering Convening Senate Early
– 2:02 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is exploring immediately convening the Senate for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as soon as the House votes and sends the article of impeachment to the chamber.
That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of Monday to discuss the private planning.
The aide says Schumer is considering using the authority granted to the two Senate leaders to reconvene the chamber in times of emergency.
The House is set to begin debate Wednesday on a sole charge against Trump — incitement of insurrection — after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said the soonest the chamber could start a trial would be Jan. 20, the day Trump is to leave office as Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated. — Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press
State Department Investigates Website 'Prank'
– 1:20 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
The State Department is investigating what appears to be a “prank” after its website suggested President Donald Trump’s term would end Monday evening.
The change to the department’s bio page for Trump — which displayed the text “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00” — created an internet frenzy Monday afternoon.
The flub comes as Trump is under growing pressure to resign and as he faces a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week in a bid to halt the certification of Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
Two people familiar with the incident say the department is investigating exactly how it happened. While the department hasn’t ruled out the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee, they have yet to reach any conclusions.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The page has since been removed. — Matthew Lee, Associated Press
Homeland Security Boosting Inauguration Security
– 1:10 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
The Department of Homeland Security is setting increased inauguration security measures in motion earlier than scheduled, citing an “evolving security landscape” leading up to the event.
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Monday that he’s moved up the timing of the national special security event for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to Wednesday, instead of Jan. 19. He cited the “events of the past week,” along with an evolving security landscape.
It comes days after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the congressional certification of Biden's victory. Five people died.
The FBI has also issued a bulletin warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. — Associated Press
– 11:55 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Democrats say the House will consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one week after an angry mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call Monday that members should plan to return to Washington on Tuesday evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act.
Hoyer says the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday.
House Democrats have moved quickly to draft an article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection because he egged on thousands of his supporters ahead of the riots by falsely telling them that the election was stolen from him.
One of the Democratic sponsors of the article, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, says they have the votes to pass it. — Associated Press
Boehner Says Trump Should Consider Resigning
– 11:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Former House Speaker John Boehner says President Donald Trump should “consider resigning his post.”
The Republican former Ohio congressman began his remarks during a webinar on health care policy Monday by talking about Trump's baseless claims of widespread election fraud and last week's siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists.
“Here’s the president of the United States, in my view, inciting a riot ... and the Capitol being threatened,” Boehner said. “It’s time for Donald Trump to consider resigning his post. He has violated his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Boehner was speaker from 2011 to 2015, and he has largely steered clear of publicly commenting on Trump. But on Monday he said Trump “has abused the loyalty of the people who voted for him.”
Boehner also took aim at Republicans in Congress who echoed Trump’s “noise” about election fraud claims, despite courts and and election officials repeatedly saying there was no such evidence presented. — Associated Press
“Shame on them," Boehner said. “Leaders lead.”
Impeachment pressure mounting, the House worked swiftly Monday to try to oust President Donald Trump from office, pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.
Trump faces a single charge -- “incitement of insurrection” - in an impeachment resolution that could go to a vote by mid-week. First, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20, when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.
In all, these are stunning final moments for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare that he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that ransacked the U.S. Capitol in a deadly siege on Wednesday.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment bill.
“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it reads.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is recalling lawmakers to Washington for votes as more Republicans say it's time for Trump to resign. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.” — Associated Press
– 4:07 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump, calling him a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.
Pelosi made the announcement in a letter to colleagues. She said the House will act with solemnity but also urgency with just days remaining before Trump is to leave office on Jan. 20.
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” she said.
“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
With impeachment planning intensifying, two Republican senators want Trump to resign immediately as efforts mount to prevent Trump from ever again holding elective office in the wake of deadly riots at the Capitol.
House Democrats are expected to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday and vote as soon as Tuesday. The strategy would be to condemn the president's actions swiftly but delay an impeachment trial in the Senate for 100 days. That would allow President-elect Joe Biden to focus on other priorities as soon as he is inaugurated Jan. 20.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a top Biden ally, laid out the ideas Sunday as the country came to grips with the siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists trying to overturn the election results.
“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn said.
Pressure was mounting for Trump to leave office even before his term ended amid alarming concerns of more unrest ahead of the inauguration. The president whipped up the mob that stormed the Capitol, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five dead.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday joined Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in calling for Trump to “resign and go away as soon as possible."
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”
Murkowski, who has long voiced her exasperation with Trump’s conduct in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out.” A third Republican, Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his final days in office.
Corporate America began to tie its reaction to the Capitol riots by tying them to campaign contributions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's CEO and President Kim Keck said it will not contribute to those lawmakers — all Republicans — who supported challenges to Biden's Electoral College win. The group “will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy," Kim said.
Citigroup did not single out lawmakers aligned with Trump's effort to overturn the election, but said it would be pausing all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said in a Friday memo to employees, “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.”
House leaders, furious after the insurrection, appear determined to act against Trump despite the short timeline.
Late Saturday, Pelosi, D-Calif., convened a conference call with her leadership team and sent a letter to her colleagues reiterating that Trump must be held accountable. She told her caucus, now scattered across the country on a two-week recess, to “be prepared to return to Washington this week” but did not say outright that there would be a vote on impeachment.
“It is absolutely essential that those who perpetrated the assault on our democracy be held accountable,” Pelosi wrote. “There must be a recognition that this desecration was instigated by the President.”
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said an impeachment trial could not begin under the current calendar before Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
Clyburn said that Pelosi "will make the determination as when is the best time” to send articles of impeachment to the Senate if and when they are passed by the House.
Another idea being considered was to have a separate vote that would prevent Trump from ever holding office again. That could potentially only need a simple majority vote of 51 senators, unlike impeachment, in which two-thirds of the 100-member Senate must support a conviction.
The Senate was set to be split evenly at 50-50, but under Democratic control once Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and the two Democrats who won Georgia's Senate runoff elections last week are sworn in. Harris would be the Senate's tie-breaking vote.
House Democrats were considering two possible packages of votes: one on setting up a commission to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office and one on the impeachment charge of abuse of power.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who was part of the weekend leadership call, said he expected a “week of action” in the House.
While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive in a time of unity.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that instead of coming together, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like ‘Let’s impeach a president’" with just days left in office.
Still, some Republicans might be supportive.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he would take a look at any articles that the House sent over. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would “vote the right way” if the matter were put in front of him.
The Democratic effort to stamp Trump's presidential record — for the second time — with the indelible mark of impeachment had advanced rapidly since the riot.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said Sunday that his group had 200-plus co-sponsors.
The articles, if passed by the House, could then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors to acquit or convict Trump. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president. It would be the first time a U.S. president had been impeached twice.
Potentially complicating Pelosi's decision about impeachment was what it meant for Biden and the beginning of his presidency. While reiterating that he had long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden on Friday sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress did “is for them to decide.”
A violent and largely white mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
Toomey appeared on CNN's “State of the Union” and NBC's “Meet the Press.” Clyburn was on “Fox News Sunday” and CNN. Kinzinger was on ABC's “This Week,” Blunt was on CBS' “Face the Nation” and Rubio was on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures.” — Associated Press
Arnold Schwarzenegger Compares US Capitol Mob To Nazis
– 3:09 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol to the Nazis and called President Donald Trump a failed leader who “will go down in history as the worst president ever.”
The Republican said in a video he released on social media on Sunday that “Wednesday was the Night of Broken Glass right here in the United States." In 1938, Nazis in Germany and Austria vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses during an attack that became known as Kristallnacht or “the Night of Broken Glass."
“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted," he said. "They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”
Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria, compared the Proud Boys — a far-right American extremist group — to the Nazis. Some Proud Boys leaders were arrested in the nation’s capital, before and after Wednesday’s riots.
In his video, Schwarzenegger called Trump a failed leader and said he took solace that Trump’s presidency was coming to an end and “would soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”
He called for national unity and vowed his support for President-elect Joe Biden after mobs loyal to Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol, causing a temporary suspension of the electoral count. Members of Congress later returned and certified the results. — Associated Press
Five people died, including a Capitol police officer. Scores of rioters have been arrested and many more are being sought after the brazen attack.
“And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win,” Schwarzenegger said.
During the video, which runs for more than seven and a half minutes, Schwarzenegger likened American democracy to the sword he brandished in his early role as “Conan the Barbarian,” which he said only grows stronger when it is tempered.
Schwarzenegger, best known for his movie role as the Terminator, was elected as California's governor in 2003 during a special recall election. He was later elected to a full term.
“I believe, as shaken as we are about the events of recent days, we will come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost,” he said, adding that those behind Wednesday's riots — and those that fomented them — will be held accountable. — Associated Press
Capitol Police Were Overrun, 'Left Naked' Against Rioters
– 2:33 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
Despite ample warnings about pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington, U.S. Capitol Police did not bolster staffing on Wednesday and made no preparations for the possibility that the planned protests could escalate into massive violent riots, according to several people briefed on law enforcement's response.
The revelations shed new light on why Capitol police were so quickly overrun by rioters. The department had the same number of officers in place as on a routine day. While some of those officers were outfitted with equipment for a protest, they were not staffed or equipped for a riot.
Once the mob began to move on the Capitol, a police lieutenant issued an order not to use deadly force, which explains why officers outside the building did not draw their weapons as the crowd closed in. Officers are sometimes ordered against escalating a situation by drawing their weapons if superiors believe doing so could lead to a stampede or a shootout.
In this instance, it also left officers will little ability to resist the mob. In one video from the scene, an officer puts up his firsts to try to push back a crowd pinning he and his colleagues against a door. The crowd jeers “You are not American!” and one man tries to prod him with the tip of an American flag.
“They were left naked,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Ca. said of the police in an interview with AP. She had raised security concerns in a Dec. 28 meeting of House Democrats and grilled Steven Sund, the Capitol Police chief, during an hourlong private call on New Year’s Eve. “It turns out it was the worst kind of non-security anybody could ever imagine.”
Capitol police leaders, however, had prepared for a free speech demonstration. No fencing was erected outside the Capitol and no contingency plans were prepared for if the situation escalated, according to people briefed.
Waters grilled Sund on exactly these kinds of questions -- about the Proud Boys and other groups coming, about keeping them off the Capitol plaza. The police chief insisted they knew what they were doing.
“He kept assuring me he had it under control they knew what they were doing,” she said. “Either he’s incompetent, or he was lying or he was complicit.”
Those decisions left the officers policing the Capitol like sitting ducks, the officials said, with little guidance and no cohesive plan on how to deal with the flood of rioters streaming into the building. — Associated Press
Schwarzenegger Calls President Trump ‘Worst President Ever’
– 12:25 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling President Donald Trump a failed leader who “will go down in history as the worst president ever.”
In a video posted on social media on Sunday, the Republican took solace that Trump’s presidency was coming to an end and “would soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”
He called for national unity and vowed his support for President-elect Joe Biden.
Schwarzenegger, best known for his movie roles as “Conan the Barbarian,” was elected governor in 2003 of the country’s largest state. During the video, Schwarzenegger likened American democracy to the sword he brandished in his movies. — Associated Press
– 11:45 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
The U.S. flag at the White House is now flying at half-staff after calls for the flag there and at other federal locations be lowered to honor U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had already ordered flags at the Capitol lowered to half-staff in Sicknick’s honor and calls were growing for President Donald Trump to do the same at the White House.
Sicknick joined the U.S. Capitol Police in 2008, serving until his death Thursday after being attacked as rioters seething over Trump’s election loss stormed the U.S. Capitol, believing the president’s false claims of a rigged election. — Associated Press
– 11:30 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
The trade group representing one of the nation’s best known health insurance brands says it’s suspending political contributions to lawmakers who voted last week to reject the Electoral College results that cemented Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the November election.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association represents 36 regional and local insurers who use the brand, together covering about 1 in 3 Americans.
In a statement, Kim Keck, the group’s CEO and president, says it will continue to support lawmakers and candidates in both political parties who “will work with us to build a stronger, healthier nation.” — Associated Press
Possible Virus Exposure For Lawmakers Sheltering During Riot
– 11:22 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
House lawmakers may have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 while they sheltered at an undisclosed location during the Capitol siege by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.
The Capitol's attending physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named.
Dr. Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”
Dozens of lawmakers were whisked to the secure location after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol that day, breaking through barricades to roam the halls and offices and ransacking the building.
Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.
No further details were provided on which person has tested positive for the virus.
Some lawmakers and staff were furious after video surfaced of Republican lawmakers not wearing their masks in the room during lockdown.
Newly elected Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a presidential ally aligned with a pro-Trump conspiracy group, was among those Republicans not wearing masks.
Trump is now facing impeachment after having incited supporters who were rallying near the White House before they marched to the Capitol. The House could vote on impeachment in a matter of days, less than two weeks before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.
Authorities on Sunday announced the death of a 51-year-old Capitol Police officer. Two people familiar with the matter said the officer’s death was an apparent suicide. Officer Howard Liebengood had been assigned to the Senate Division and was with the department since 2005. He is the son of a former Senate sergeant-at-arms.
It was not clear whether his death was connected to Wednesday's events.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. — Associated Press
2 Men In High-Profile Photos Among Latest Charged In DC Riot
– 5:16 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021
Two men accused of joining a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters that stormed the nation’s Capitol — one wearing a horned, fur hat and the other carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern — were charged Saturday, the latest arrests in Wednesday’s mayhem that left five people dead.
The arrests come as more images emerge showing just how violent the riots were: a bloodied officer crushed in a doorway screaming; another tumbling over a railing into the crowd below after being body-slammed from behind; members of the media being cursed, shoved and punched.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, an Arizona man seen in photos and video of the mob with a painted face and wearing a costume that included the horned hat, was taken into custody Saturday and charged with counts that include violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Chansley, more commonly known as Jake Angeli, will remain in custody in Arizona pending a detention hearing that will be scheduled during an initial court appearance early in the coming week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Esther Winne told The Associated Press by email.
A Florida man accused of making off with Pelosi’s lectern during the chaos was arrested Friday night on a federal warrant and was being held Saturday without bail in Pinellas County, Florida. Jail records do not show if Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Florida, has an attorney.
Johnson was charged Saturday with theft, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The married father of five was quickly identified on social media by local residents as the man in a photo smiling as he walked through the Capitol rotunda carrying Pelosi’s lectern, The Bradenton Herald reported.
Johnson posted on social media that he was in Washington, D.C., during Wednesday’s riots and included disparaging comments about the Black Lives Matter movement, according to The Bradenton Herald. Those posts were later deleted or taken down.
By Saturday, prosecutors had filed 17 cases in federal district court and 40 others in the District of Columbia Superior Court for a variety of offenses ranging from assaulting police officers to entering restricted areas of the U.S. Capitol, stealing federal property and threatening lawmakers. — Associated Press
Squelched By Twitter, Trump Seeks New Online Megaphone
– 4:44 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021
One Twitter wag joked about lights flickering on and off at the White House being Donald Trump signaling to his followers in Morse code after Twitter and Facebook squelched the president for inciting rebellion.
Though deprived of his big online megaphones, Trump does have alternative options of much smaller reach, led by the far right-friendly Parler — even if Google removed it from its app store Friday and Apple follow suit Saturday evening.
Trump may launch his own platform. But that won't happen overnight, and free speech experts anticipate growing pressure on all social media platforms to curb incendiary speech as Americans take stock of Wednesday’s violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a Trump-incited mob.
Twitter ended Trump’s nearly 12-year run on Friday. In shuttering his account it cited a tweet to his 89 million followers that he planned to skip President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration that it said gave rioters license to converge on Washington once again.
Facebook and Instagram have suspended Trump at least until Inauguration Day. Twitch and Snapchat also have disabled Trump’s accounts, while Shopify took down online stores affiliated with the president and Reddit removed a Trump subgroup. Twitter also banned Trump loyalists including former national security advisor Michael Flynn in a sweeping purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Capitol insurrection. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers.
In a statement Friday, Trump said: "We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” — Associated Press
State Lawmaker Charged After Entering Capitol With Rioters
– 4:23 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021
A Republican West Virginia state lawmaker has been federally charged for entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol after he livestreamed himself rushing into the building with a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters.
Ken Kohl, a top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the case against state Del. Derrick Evans on a call in which he presented dozens of new charges against members of the crowd that violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
Evans, 35, appeared before a federal judge in Huntington, West Virginia, on Friday afternoon after being arrested. If convicted, he faces up to a year and a half in federal prison for two misdemeanors: entering a restricted area and disorderly conduct.
Federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert released him on his own recognizance. Wearing a hoodie and a face mask to protect against the coronavirus, Evans did not answer reporters’ questions as he left the courthouse and quickly got into a vehicle. — Associated Press
Oakland Vows To 'Root Out' Cops Who Endorse Capitol Takeover
– 12:29 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021
The Oakland Police Department has opened an investigation into allegations that its officers endorsed or participated on social media accounts that contain objectionable content about the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“Whether on or off duty, employees of OPD are prohibited from affiliating with subversive groups, and they are prohibited from doing anything that brings disrepute to the Department and erodes the public’s trust,” the department said in a statement Friday.
Jurell Snyder, who was an Oakland officer from 2006 to 2015, repeated false claims about election fraud and told the station that Democrats should be criminally charged for treason. The online news site Oaklandside said former and current Oakland police officers “liked” Snyder's Facebook posts about the storming of the Capitol.
The department condemned Snyder's remarks and warned that any current employee making such statements would face a disciplinary investigation that could lead to termination.
“OPD will not allow any members to engage in or support this type of content and will root out this conduct,” the statement said. “Hate speech and offensive conduct will not be tolerated; there are clear policies and guidelines that govern this behavior.” — Associated Press
2 Seattle Police Officers Apparently At Capitol Rally
– 9:25 p.m., Friday, Jan. 9, 2021
Seattle’s police chief says two city officers were apparently in Washington, D.C., Wednesday when a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the nation’s Capitol and that an investigation will be launched to find out whether they committed criminal acts.
The officers, who were not identified, have been placed on administrative leave.
In a statement late Friday, Adrian Diaz, the city’s interim chief, said the department supports constitutionally protected free speech, “but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer.”
Diaz said the matter has been forwarded to the Office of Police Accountability, the city’s independent police watchdog, to see if department policies were violated or if illegal activity involving Seattle officers needs to be investigated.
“If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them,” Diaz said. — Associated Press
San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa Defends Objection Vote
– 4:12 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8, 2021
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, D-50, was the sole San Diego-area congressman to vote to overturn election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania Wednesday night. On Friday, he defended that vote in a Facebook post, saying the U.S. Constitution was violated when courts in those two states “changed election procedure without legislative approval.”
“In Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court extended the ballot deadline in violation of state statute. In Arizona, the Federal District Court changed election registration deadlines in violation of the state statute, which allowed tens of thousands of voters to inappropriately cast votes,” Issa wrote. “I recognize the COVID pandemic necessitated some election changes. These election laws, however, should have been changed by state legislatures, consistent with the Constitution… My colleagues and I spoke out in support of ballot integrity and the sacred right to vote.”
The objections failed in both the House and Senate, which certified the election of Joe Biden as president late Wednesday. — KPBS Staff
Democrats Plan Lightning Trump Impeachment, Want Him Out Now
– 3:48 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
Warnings flashing, Democrats in Congress laid plans Friday for lightning-fast impeachment of President Donald Trump, demanding strong, immediate action to ensure an “unhinged” commander in chief can't add to the deep damage they say he's inflicted or even ignite nuclear war in his final days in office.
As the country comes to terms with the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, the crisis that appears to be last of his presidency is deepening like few other periods in the nation’s history. With less than two weeks until he's gone anyway, Democrats want him gone — now — and he has few congressional defenders speaking up for him in his own Republican party.
On Friday, five people, including one intruder and a Capitol police officer, were dead from Wednesday's mayhem that stunned the world and threatened the traditional peaceful transfer of power.
“We must take action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared on a private conference call with Democrats.
And one prominent Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News that Trump simply “needs to get out.”
The final days of Trump’s presidency are spinning toward a chaotic end as he holes up at the White House, abandoned by many aides, top Republicans and Cabinet members. After fighting to overturn Biden's victory ever since November, he has now promised a smooth transfer of power when Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. But even so, he says he will not attend the inauguration — the first such presidential snub since the Civil War. — Associated Press
Twitter Bans Trump, Citing Risk Of Incitement
– 3:02 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
Twitter says it is banning President Donald Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”
The social media giant said Friday: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Trump was locked out of his account on his preferred social medial platform for 12 hours earlier this week after a violent mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump posted a video on Twitter calling them “very special” people and saying he loved them. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer. — Associated Press
Twitter Bans Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell
– 3:02 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
Twitter has banned President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell as part of a purge of QAnon accounts following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.
Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech after Wednesday's attack on the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Jan. 6 in the days leading up to a Washington, D.C., rally for Trump, expressing hope that President-elect Joe Biden's victory would be overturned.
Twitter said in an email statement Friday: “Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
The company says that when it determines a group or campaign is engaged in “coordinated harmful activity,” it may suspend accounts that it finds primarily encourages that behavior.
QAnon is a baseless belief, born on the internet, that Trump has been secretly fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex-trafficking ring. — Associated Press
– 3:01 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has become the first Republican member of the Senate to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation.
The Alaska Republican tells the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Murkowski said in a telephone interview Friday: “I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” She also questioned whether she wanted to remain a Republican.
She says many people felt she became an independent when she lost her Republican primary in 2010 but won the general election by write-in. She has been in the Senate since 2002, replacing her father, Frank Murkowski, who took office in 1981.
“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
She adds, “He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing.” — Associated Press
Biden Calls Trump 'Unfit' But Doesn't Endorse Impeachment
– 1:42 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that President Donald Trump isn't “fit for the job,” but he repeatedly refused to endorse growing Democratic calls to impeach him a second time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to members of her chamber that lawmakers could move as early as next week to impeach Trump for inciting a violent mob that overran the U.S. Capitol if the president didn't “immediately" resign. Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer also have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office — a process for stripping the president of his post and installing the vice president to take over.
Addressing reporters in his home state of Delaware, Biden noted that a key reason he ran for president was because he'd “thought for a long, long time that President Trump wasn’t fit for the job."
“I’ve been saying for now, well, over a year, he’s not fit to serve,” Biden said. “He’s one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America.”
But he refused to back efforts to remove Trump from the White House and insisted that impeachment was up to Congress. Instead, Biden said he was focused on the start of his own administration on Jan. 20, and he said his top three priorities are beating back the coronavirus, distributing vaccines fairly and equitably and reviving the struggling economy.
His comments laid bare the political balance Biden has worked to strike in the months since winning the presidential election. He has continued to sharply criticize Trump and nearly every facet of his administration but also worked to keep the public's attention focused on what the new administration will do rather than indulging recriminations against the last one.
Biden nonetheless conceded that Trump “exceeded my worst notions about him. He’s been an embarrassment” and likened the "damage done to our reputation around the world" to “tin horn dictatorships.” The president-elect also suggested that a key hurdle to removing Trump was that he has less than two weeks remaining in his term.
“If we were six months out, we should be doing everything to get him out of office. Impeaching him again, trying to evoke the 25th Amendment, whatever it took,” Biden said. “But I am focused now on us taking control as president and vice president on the 20th and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can.”
Trump would be the only president to be impeached twice. The House impeached him in late 2019, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him. Removal from office could also prevent Trump from running for president in 2024, or ever holding the presidency again. — Associated Press
Pelosi, Democrats Lay Plans For Swift Trump Impeachment
– 1:32 p.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
Democrats laid plans Friday for impeaching President Donald Trump, even as he's headed out of the White House, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final days.
Pelosi and the Democrats are considering swift impeachment — beginning Monday — after the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that shocked the nation and the world.
“We must take action," Pelosi declared on a private conference call with Democrats.
She said she had also spoken with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes" for nuclear war. She said Milley assured her longstanding safeguards are in place.
The president has sole authority to order the launch of a nuclear weapon, but a military commander could refuse the order if it were determined to be illegal. Trump has not publicly made such threats, but some lawmakers are sounding alarms that he could do great damage on military or other issues on his way out.
The attack on the Capitol left five dead, including a protester and a police officer. Trump is to leave office Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in, and he has said he will not attend the inauguration.
“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous," Pelosi said of the current situation.
If Trump were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he might also be prevented from running again for the presidency in 2024 or ever holding public office again. He would be only the president twice impeached. A person granted anonymity to discuss the private call said Pelosi also discussed other ways Trump might be forced to resign.
Biden, meanwhile, said he is focused on his job as he prepares to take office. Asked about impeachment, he said, “That’s a decision for the Congress to make."
Conviction in the Republican Senate at this late date would seem unlikely, though in a sign of Trump's shattering of the party many Republicans were silent on the issue. — Associated Press
Pelosi Seeks To Curb Trump's Nuclear Power, Plans To Impeach
– 11:33 a.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing President Donald Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final days in office.
She said she spoke to the top general Mark Milley about "precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
Pelosi said he assured her longstanding safeguards are in place. Democrats are discussing whether to act quickly to impeach Trump as soon as next week. This comes after Trump encouraged loyalists who ransacked the Capitol in a siege that has left five people dead.
One Republican, Kevin McCarthy the minority leader, said impeachment would be divisive. — Associated Press
President Trump Won't Attend Joe Biden's Inauguration
– 8:14 a.m., Friday Jan. 8, 2021
President Donald Trump says he won’t attend President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration on Jan. 20.
He will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson to skip his successors inauguration.
In a Friday tweet Trump said, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” Trump offered no clues for how he would spent his final hours in office. Biden will become president at noon regardless of Trump’s plans.
Vice President Mike Pence is still expected to attend the inauguration. — Associated Press
Education Head DeVos Wuits, Cites Trump Rhetoric
– 6:14 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos' resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate. — Associated Press
Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Quits After Capitol Riot
– 5:21 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has accepted the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger a day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.
The Kentucky Republican said Thursday in a statement that he had earlier requested the resignation and later received it. He says Stenger's resignation is effective immediately.
McConnell says Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Jennifer Hemingway will now be acting sergeant-at-arms.
He says, "I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th.”
Democrat Chuck Schumer had earlier vowed to fire Stenger when Schumer becomes Senate majority leader later this month if Stenger was still in the position. — Associated Press
Trump Condemns Capitol Riot, Concedes To Biden
– 4:36 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters who stormed the nation’s Capitol Wednesday.
In a new video message, Trump says that now that Congress has certified the results, the “new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and his “focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power.”
He is also speaking out against the violence, calling it a “heinous attack” that left him “outraged by the violence lawlessness and mayhem.”
Trump did not address his role in inciting the violence. But he is telling his supporters that, while he knows they are “disappointed,” he wants them to know “our incredible journey is only just beginning.” — Associated Press
Former Ambassador Huntsman Criticizes Trump For Putting Self-Interest Over Nation
– 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. is criticizing President Donald Trump for prioritizing his own interests over the nation’s following the deadly siege of the Capitol by the president’s supporters.
In a statement Thursday, the Trump-era ambassador called on Americans to join together and push through this “anguishing period of history.” His comments come a day after violent protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.
Huntsman says, “Our light has been dimmed by repeated reckless behavior encouraged by our President, who has shown time and again he cares more about his own ego and interests than in building trust in our ever-fragile institutions of democracy.”
Huntsman resigned from his role as ambassador to Russia in 2019 after two years. He joined other former Trump officials in condemning Wednesday’s attack, including former Attorney General William Barr and former White House chief of staff John Kelly. — Associated Press
Capitol Police Chief Resigning After Mob Attack
– 3:21 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign effective Jan. 16 following the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.
He resigned Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down. His resignation was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Protesters stormed the building and occupied for hours. The lawmakers eventually returned and finished their work. — Michael Balsamo, Associated Press
Democratic House Chairs Want FBI Riot Briefing
– 3:17 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Democratic leaders of five House committees are seeking an immediate briefing from the FBI on its investigation of Wednesday’s violent breach of the Capitol, which left four people dead and disrupted a congressional proceeding to confirm the results of the presidential election.
In a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the lawmakers called the riot “a deadly terrorist attack” incited by President Donald Trump and his supporters.
The lawmakers wrote, “Given the incendiary environment caused and exacerbated by President Trump’s rhetoric, along with the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, it is imperative that the FBI leverage all available assets and resources to ensure that the perpetrators of this domestic terrorist attack and those who incited and conspired with them are brought to justice, and that this domestic terrorist group is disrupted from further actions against our government.”
The letter was signed by Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson, Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff and Armed Services Chair Adam Smith. — Associate Press
McEnany Says Trump's Administration Found Capitol Siege 'Appalling'
– 3:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump’s administration found the siege of the U.S. Capitol to be “appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way.”
But while McEnany’s statement to the press Thursday broke the White House’s silence a day after the violence, Trump himself remained quiet.
McEnany, for the first time, said that the White House was committed to the “orderly transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. She also took pains to try to draw a distinction between the “violent rioters” and other Trump supporters who attended the president’s rally in Washington just before the siege of the Capitol.
But McEnany took no questions. And the impact of the statement would likely be muted, as Trump has long said that only he speaks for his White House.
The president has yet to condemn the violence that was meant to stop the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. — Associate Press
State Lawmakers, Police Taken Extra Precautions At State Capitol Building
– 3:10 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
State lawmakers and police are taking extra precautions at state capitol buildings as legislatures in most states return to session.
Pro-Donald Trump demonstrators have rallied outside numerous capitols since the Nov. 3 election, and some groups have said they want a large presence when lawmakers return. Trump has falsely claimed that widespread voter fraud cost him the election and has convinced many of his supporters that President-elect Joe Biden will be illegitimate.
Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol has heightened concerns.
In Washington state, a pro-Trump group has said it will try to get inside the capitol building in Olympia when lawmakers return to work on Monday.
In Oregon, the state police said it is aware of rumors that armed groups are considering taking over the capitol and warned that anyone attempting that would be arrested.
In Michigan, where several men were charged last fall in separate plots to kidnap the governor and storm the statehouse in hopes of inciting a civil war, police briefly closed the capitol on Thursday after a man called to make a bomb threat. — Associated Press
Head Of Capitol Police Union Calls For Chief Resignation
– 3:05 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2020
The head of the union representing U.S. Capitol Police is calling on the department’s chief to resign, saying the Capitol riot “should never have happened.”
Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement Thursday that a lack of planning led to officers exposed to violent protesters storming the Capitol. He says officers lacked the backup and equipment needed to control rioters and argues that Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund must be replaced to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Police have been criticized for not immediately arresting many people who stormed the Capitol. Papathanasiou said, “Once the breach of the Capitol building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety.”
Papathanasiou is chair of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee. — Associated Press
Sen. John Danforth Says He Was "Bamboozled" By Sen. Josh Hawley
– 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2020
A longtime U.S. senator who has been a staunch supporter of Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri says he was “bamboozled” and no longer backs him.
Three-term Republican Sen. John Danforth of St. Louis told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he first met Hawley when Hawley was a third-year student at Yale Law School and was immediately impressed by his intelligence. Now, he calls his support of Hawley “the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
Danforth cited Hawley’s decision to challenge the legitimacy of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory in November. Danforth says telling people the election was fraudulent “is very, very destructive to the country,” and the attack at the Capitol building on Wednesday “was the culmination of that whole approach to politics.”
Danforth says he would no longer support Hawley’s political future, whether it be for a reelection bid or a run for president in 2024.
Asked if he believes Hawley bears some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol, Danforth says simply, “Yes, I do.” — Associated Press
Biden Says Use Of 25th Amendment Not Up To Him
– 2:20 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden is leaving it up to the current Cabinet to decide whether to remove President Donald Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.
Transition aide Andrew Bates says in a statement Thursday that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are “focused on their duty” - the transition work in preparation for their inauguration on January 20 - “and will leave it to Vice President Pence, the Cabinet and the Congress to act as they see fit.”
The 25th Amendment allows for a majority of the Cabinet to vote to transfer the powers of the presidency to the vice president in cases where the president is unable to perform his duty. Trump officials are facing growing calls to consider the move after pro-Trump protesters, egged on by the president himself, broke into the Capitol on Wednesday in a violent melee that forced lawmakers to evacuate.
Biden avoided weighing in on whether Trump should be impeached again, a move already gaining traction among House Democrats in an attempt to remove the president from power before he leaves office later this month. — Associated Press
Founder Of Social Media Site Trumparoo Among Dead At Capitol
– 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
One of the people who died of a medical emergency during the storming of the Capitol was the founder of a pro-Trump social media site called Trumparoo and had coordinated transportation for several dozen people from Pennsylvania to Washington.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 50-year-old Benjamin Philips drove there in a van along with Trump-related memorabilia he had produced. The Inquirer and the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise both spoke with Phillips before the rally.
He was a web developer and founder of Trumparoo, a social media site for supporters of President Donald Trump. His profile on the site said he was organizing a bus from the Bloomsburg area to go to the rally and expressed anger at Democratic officials and moderate Republicans.
The Inquirer reports that members of his group say they last saw Phillips around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and that he did not show up to meet them for a 6 p.m. departure. They learned from police that he had died and had a somber ride back to Pennsylvania.
Phillips told the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise on Tuesday that people from other states were staying at his home. He said, “My ‘hostel’ is already full." — Associated Press
This item has been corrected to show the victim's last name is spelled Philips, not Phillips, as police had initially said.
Prosecutor: Sedition Charges Possible For Mob
– 1:23 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia says “all options are on the table” for charges against the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, including sedition.
Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for D.C., says prosecutors plan to file 15 federal cases on Thursday for crimes including unauthorized access and theft of property, and investigators are combing through scores of evidence to bring additional charges.
He says 40 other cases had already been charged in a District of Columbia superior court.
The announcement comes a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.
Police say more than 90 people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday morning. — Associated Press
Mike Pence Set To Attend Inauguration
– 1:04 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
That’s according to two people — one close to Pence and one familiar with the inauguration planning. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the plans had yet to be finalized.
The news comes a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the congressional confirmation of Biden's victory, with some angrily shouting that they were looking for Pence.
Trump had told his supporters that Pence had the power to reject electoral votes and make him the president instead of Biden, even though he didn’t have that authority. The pressure campaign created a rare public rift between the men after years of Pence’s uncheckered loyalty.
Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley tweeted Thursday: “You can’t attend something you haven’t received an invitation to....”
But it is customary for an outgoing vice president to attend the inauguration. Outgoing President Donald Trump has not said whether he plans to attend.
Biden will be inaugurated in Washington on Jan 20. — Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller, Associated Press
Sen. Lindsey Graham Says Trump's 'Actions Were The Problem'
– 12 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s top congressional allies, says the president must accept his own role in the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.
The South Carolina senator said Thursday that Trump “needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution.”
Graham was a foe of Trump's during the 2016 campaign and questioned his mental fitness for office. Once Trump was in office, however, Graham became one of his closest confidants and often played golf with him.
Graham added that he had no regrets of his support of Trump but that “it breaks my heart that my friend, a president of consequence, would allow yesterday to happen.”
Graham complimented Vice President Mike Pence’s decorum during the Electoral College vote certification process, saying that any expectation that Pence could have overturned the results was “over the top, unconstitutional, illegal and would have been wrong for the country.” — Associated Press
DC Police Identify 3 Who Died During Capitol Breach
– 11:58 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
District of Columbia police have identified the three people who had medical emergencies and died during the storming of the Capitol.
They are 55-year-old Kevin Greeson, of Athens, Alabama; 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland, of Kennesaw, Georgia; and 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania.
Police Chief Robert Contee would not go into detail about the exact causes of their deaths and would not say if any of the three was actively involved in breaching the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Contee would only say that all three “were on the grounds of the Capitol when they experienced their medical emergencies.”
Greeson’s family says he had a heart attack. They described him as a supporter of President Donald Trump's but denied that he condoned violence.
The Capitol Police say a fourth person, identified as Ashli Babbitt, was shot by an employee of Capitol Police while the rioters were moving toward the House chamber. She died at a hospital.
The siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists came as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.— Associated Press
Pelosi Wants Capitol Police Chief To Resign
— 11:47 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
The California Democrat also said Thursday that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. He reports directly to Pelosi, while Sund answers to both House and Senate.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll fire the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.
Lawmakers have mixed praise for the Capitol Police with harsh criticism for the outfit, which was overwhelmed by Wednesday’s mob and unprepared for it. — Associated Press
Pelosi Calls For Using 25th Amendment On Trump
— 11:26 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump should immediately be removed from office or Congress may proceed to impeach him.
Pelosi on Thursday joined those calling on the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. It came a day after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the building into lockdown. Trump called them “very special” people and said he loved them.
She said at the Capitol: “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.”
Pelosi says he could do further harm to the country: “Any day can be a horror show for America."
Democrats and some Republicans want Trump removed before his term ends on Jan. 20 with Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president. — Associated Press
Biden Places Blame For Capitol Violence On Trump
– 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden is calling the violent group that descended on the U.S. Capitol “domestic terrorists” and laying the blame for the violence squarely at President Donald Trump’s feet.
During remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, Biden says people should not call the hundreds of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol protesters. Rather, he says, they are “a riotous mob — insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.” Biden said Trump is guilty of “trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million Americans” who voted in November.
Biden says the president has “made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of claw clear in everything he has done” and unleashed an “all-out attack” on the country’s democratic institutions that ultimately led to the violence Wednesday. — Associated Press
Transportation Secretary Chao Resigns After Riot
– 10:45 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning effective Monday, becoming the highest-ranking member of President Donald Trump’s administration to resign in protest after the pro-Trump insurrection at Capitol.
In a statement Thursday, Chao, who is married to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, said the violent attack on the Capitol “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
She said her department will continue to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s designated nominee to head the department, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. — Associated Press
Schumer Calls On Cabinet To Invoke 25th Amendment
– 9:33 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to remove him from office following Wednesday’s violent assault on the Capitol by the president’s supporters.
In a statement Thursday, Schumer said the attack on the Capitol “was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” He added, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”
Schumer said Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and immediately remove Trump from office. He added, “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.” — Associated Press
– 9:09 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
The United States Capitol Police has identified the woman who was shot and killed by one of its officers during the pro-Trump rioting on Wednesday as Ashli E. Babbitt of San Diego, Calif.
Babbitt, 35, was one of four people who died during Wednesday’s chaotic events, says Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). MPD Police Chief Robert Contee said the three others who died experienced unspecified “medical emergencies.”
Babbitt’s social media profiles indicate that she had most recently worked at a pool service company in Southern California. The military confirmed to NPR that she was also a veteran of the United States Air Force, where she most recently achieved the rank of Senior Airman. Babbitt entered active duty with the military in 2004, serving until 2008. After that, she served with the Air Force reserve from 2008 to 2010, and the Air National Guard from 2010 to 2016.
“She saw first hand through her multiple deployments overseas how others were treated and was grateful to have the freedoms we have in America,” her ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, told NPR by email.
Babbitt was a Libertarian and supporter of President Trump, according to social media posts, as well as far-right conspiracy sites. She was among those who stormed the Capitol building Wednesday. Capitol police say an officer fired as protesters forced their way to the House chamber where members of Congress were sheltering in place.
The police said officers began immediate medical aid to Babbitt at the scene. She was taken to a hospital where she later died. – NPR
Facebook Bans Trump Through Biden Inauguration, Maybe Longer
– 8:32 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Facebook will bar President Donald Trump from posting on its system at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the platform said Thursday.
In a post announcing the unprecedented move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great following the president's incitement of a mob that touched off a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Zuckerberg says Trump’s account will be locked “for at least the next two weeks” but could remain locked indefinitely.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden," Zuckerberg wrote.
Trump has repeatedly harnessed the power of social media to spread falsehoods about election integrity and the results of the presidential race. Platforms like Facebook have occasionally labeled or even removed some of his posts, but the overall response has failed to satisfy a growing number of critics who say the platforms have enabled the spread of dangerous misinformation.
In light of Wednesday's riot, however, Zuckerberg said a more aggressive approach is needed. — Associated Press
Trump Promises 'Orderly Transition' On Jan. 20
– 12:55 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
President Donald Trump now says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Trump says in a statement tweeted by his social media director Dan Scavino, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
He adds: “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.” — Associated Press
Congress Validates Biden's Presidential Victory
– 12:41 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Congress has formally validated Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on a day that saw a time-honored ceremony become a nightmare of unprecedented political terror.
The House and Senate certified the Democrat’s electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police.
The rampage began shortly after President Donald Trump repeated his unfounded claims of election fraud to thousands of rallying demonstrators he’d invited to Washington. Many then surged to the Capitol after he incited them to go there as lawmakers debated the electoral votes.
More than six hours after the violence erupted, lawmakers resumed their session.
Thirteen Republican senators and dozens of GOP representatives had planned to force debate and votes on perhaps six different states’ votes.
The assault on the Capitol made some Republicans squeamish about trying to overturn Biden’s win, and challenges were lodged only against Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both efforts lost overwhelmingly.
Biden defeated Trump by 306-232 electoral votes and will be inaugurated Jan. 20. — Associated Press
Ted Cruz Says Vote Objection Was 'Right Thing To Do'
– 12:15 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his objection to the Electoral College results as “the right thing to do.”
The Texas senator condemned the violence that erupted as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an extraordinary attack over the election outcome.
Cruz led the first challenge to Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump by objecting to Arizona’s results. He sought to have Congress launch a commission to investigate the election. His effort was roundly defeated in the House and Senate.
Cruz said he was confident the country will have a “peaceful and orderly transition of power.” Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20. — Associated Press
House Shuts Down GOP Objections To PA Vote
– 12:15 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021
The House has joined the Senate in turning aside Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
Lawmakers in the House voted 282-138 against the objection as the counting of Electoral College votes continued into the early hours of Thursday morning. The Senate shut down the same objection 92-7 just after midnight, and unlike the House, declined to debate before voting.
After a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it was the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.
Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. — Associated Press
Tempers Flare As House Debates PA Electoral Vote
– 11:54 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
A small group of House lawmakers came close to physically fighting early Thursday morning as the congressional count of electoral votes stretched into the wee hours and a Pennsylvania Democrat charged that Republicans had been telling “lies” about his state’s votes.
Rep. Morgan Griffiths, R-Va., objected after Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., said a breach of the Capitol by an angry mob earlier in the day was “inspired by lies, the same lies you are hearing in this room tonight.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the objection, but a few minutes later Republicans and Democrats streamed to the middle aisle, with around a dozen lawmakers getting close to each other and arguing. But the group quickly broke up when Pelosi called for order on the floor.
President Donald Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and other states and Republicans have echoed those claims as they have challenged electoral votes. — Associated Press
Senate Knocks Down GOP Objections To PA Vote
– 9:54 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Senate has quickly knocked down Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Senators voted 92-7 after midnight Thursday morning Eastern Time to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat.
In a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it was the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believed no other states’ votes would be challenged. That means Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s victory could finish quickly once the House votes on the Pennsylvania challenge.
The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.
Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. — Associated Press
Congress Splits Up To Debate PA Vote Count
– 9:33 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.
The objections come 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.
Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has falsely said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.
Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.
The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election. — Associated Press
House Rejects Objection To Biden's Arizona Win
– 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The House has voted overwhelmingly to reject an objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Arizona, joining the Senate in upholding the results of the election there.
The objection failed 303-121 on Wednesday night, with only Republicans voting in support.
Earlier Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.
Now that Arizona is out of the way, Congress will reconvene as the joint session and make its way through the rest of the states that have objections. — Associated Press
4 Died As Trump Supporters Stormed Capitol
– 8:21 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.
The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds. — Associated Press
Senate Rejects Challenge To Biden Arizona Win
– 7:24 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand.
The objection to the results in Arizona -- spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz -- was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favor came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.
The Republicans raised the objection based on false claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona’s courts and by the state’s election officials. — Associated Press
Graham Voices Rejection Of Election Commission
– 7:16 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Sen. Lindsey Graham says a commission to examine the 2020 election is not a proper next step and affirmed that Joe Biden is the “legitimate president of the United States.”
Graham, a South Carolina Republican and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, called it a “uniquely bad idea to delay this election,” referencing the commission idea proposed by his fellow South Carolina Republican, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Graham says, “Count me out. Enough is enough.”
Earlier Wednesday, supporters of Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.
Graham said that “if you’re a conservative,” the idea that Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the results of the election, as President Donald Trump had urged him to do, was “the most offensive concept in the world.” — Associated Press
30 People Arrested For Violating DC Curfew
– 7:08 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Police have arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington, D.C., after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Officials say the 30 people were arrested Wednesday evening after being found on the streets after the 6 p.m.
The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol, halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were later forcibly removed from the Capitol.
The Metropolitan Police Department said 15 other people had been arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in various protest-related arrests on an array of charges, including weapons possession and assault.
Fire officials also took 13 people to area hospitals on Wednesday from protest-related injuries. — Associated Press
Sen. Hawley Will Proceed With Election Objection
– 7:05 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley says he is going forward with his objection to the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania despite the violent breach at the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The Missouri senator said he did not support violence but said the Senate should go forward with a legal process that includes his objections.
Hawley says his objections should be debated “peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets." He says he hoped lawmakers would not brush his concerns aside because of the violence earlier Wednesday, including the death of a protester inside the Capitol.
Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn't any. — Associated Press
Pelosi: Biden Certification An Example For World
– 6:37 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win will show the world it won’t back down.
Pelosi made her comments as the House reconvened after being shut down for hours Wednesday by unruly pro-Trump protesters. She said that every four years the ritual provides an example to the world of American democracy.
Pelosi says, “Despite the shameful actions of today, we will still do so, we will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.”
Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, noted that Wednesday is the feast of the Epiphany and prayed that the violence would be “an epiphany to heal” for the country. — Associated Press
Some GOP Senators No Longer Plan Biden Objection
– 6:14 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Their change of heart came after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday and interrupted their proceedings. One person was fatally shot.
Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.
Lawmakers gathered to certify the Electoral College votes from each state were forced to evacuate after an angry mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol. Loeffler said that the “violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress” were a “direct attack” on the “sanctity of the American democratic process.”
All three had previously signed on to Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat. Loeffler has just days left in her term. She lost her Senate race to Democrat Raphael Warnock earlier Wednesday. — Associated Press
San Diego Reps Respond To Trump Supporters Storming US Capitol
– 6:12 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
San Diego County politicians, including members of Congress sheltering in place at the U.S. Capitol, took to social media today to respond to the throng of Trump supporters who stormed the building and clashed with police.
Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, tweeted at 12:39 p.m., "I am sheltering in place due to multiple threats from suspicious packages and Trump supporters storming the Capitol, but I am safe. I am incredibly grateful for the brave Capitol Police officers trying to keep us safe."
Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, sent out a brief message at 12:16 p.m. that read, "I'm safe. Thanks for the texts. More later."
Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, wrote, "I am here today to fulfill my constitutional duty and certify President-elect Biden's historic victory. My staff and I are safe. We are asking Americans to stand together for the rule of law and integrity of our nation's democracy."
In a video posted along with his written statement, Vargas said, "We've had people now breach the security here in the Capitol. We are prepared here. We are going to defend democracy. The people voted. The people voted for Joe Biden to be president. Joe Biden will be president."
Pointing off camera, Vargas said, "As soon as they breach that wall, we will fight back. We're ready to fight. This is not democracy you're seeing. That's anarchy out there. We're here to fight for democracy. God bless America."
By late afternoon, Levin was still being told by Capitol Police to shelter in place. He said he could hear the protests going on as the Capitol was being breached by insurrectionists. Because of COVID-19, many Congressional staffers stayed at home, though rank and file congressmen and senators remained behind locked doors inside the Capitol complex.
Levin called what happened Wednesday an act of terror.
“You can participate in the process. We can affiliate with a different party,” he said “Whatever it is we don’t resort to violence and that’s what we saw today is domestic terrorism. The people who did this need to be held accountable. They need to answer for this.”
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, in a Twitter post, wrote: "Ok. Honestly. What if the protesters charging the Capitol, armed, were mainly Black and brown men? What do you think would happen then?"
In another tweet, she questioned the terminology used to describe those storming the building, writing, "At what point do we call `armed protestors storming the Capitol' what they are ... terrorists."
Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-San Diego, tweeted at 5:45 p.m.:
I stand with my colleagues calling for the immediate impeachment of President Trump and the expulsion of those Members of Congress who continue to stand in the way of the certification of our free and fair election.— Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (@RepSaraJacobs) January 7, 2021
My full statement is below: pic.twitter.com/2kxAtI2nI4
Representatives of San Diego-area law enforcement agencies reported taking no special staffing or tactical measures as of mid- afternoon in response to violence in the nation's capital.
"There nothing for us to do in our city right now," Takeuchi said around 1 p.m., adding that his agency was monitoring the situation in Washington, D.C., for any local ramifications.
About 10 a.m., a group of roughly 150 pro-Trump demonstrators gathered outside the bayside County Administration Center to protest the presidential election results, sheriff's Lt. Jim Emig said. The event was proceeding peacefully and was expected to continue into the late afternoon, the lieutenant said.
There were no other reports of local demonstrations or law enforcement operations related to the unrest at the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers were barricaded in their offices and other locations after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building as Congress prepared to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election. – City News Service, KPBS Staff
Obama Says Violence At Capitol A Moment Of Shame
– 5:49 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Former President Barack Obama says history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonor and shame for the nation.
Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power.
Obama say the violence was “incited by a sitting president” who baselessly lied about the outcome of the presidential election. He has convinced his supporters that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden only because Democrats cheated, a false claim.
Obama says it should not have come as a surprise, and that for two months “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth.”
He says “their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.” — Associated Press
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Blames Trump For Capitol Violence
– 5:41 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s Syria policies, blamed the president for the violence at the U.S. Capitol.
In a sharp rebuke Wednesday, Mattis said the violence was fomented by Trump, who has used the presidency “to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens.”
His written statement concluded, “Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general who stepped down as Pentagon chief in December 2018, had an embattled relationship with Trump, but largely remained publicly quiet and avoided direct criticism. Since he left the job, however, he has been more openly derisive of Trump, including a pubilc condemnation of the president’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House last June. — Associated Press
Congress Reconvenes To Count Electoral Votes After Pro-Trump Mob Breaches US Capitol
– 5:36 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.
Scores of Republican representatives and 13 GOP senators had planned to object Wednesday to the electoral votes of perhaps six states that backed Biden. It was unclear whether those objections would continue in light of the day’s violent events.
President Donald Trump has falsely insisted that the election was marred by fraud and that he actually won. He reiterated those claims in remarks to thousands of protesters outside the White House early Wednesday and goaded them to march to the Capitol, which many of them did.
The mayhem had forced the House and Senate to abruptly end the day’s debates and flee to safety under the protection of police. And it prompted bipartisan outrage as many lawmakers blamed Trump for fostering the violence. — Associated Press
Melania Trump Chief Of Staff Quits After Riots
– 5:06 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Grisham says in a statement Wednesday that it was an “honor” to serve the country in the White House and be part of he first lady’s “mission” to help children.
Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing.
Wednesday’s violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters sparked renewed conversations inside the White House about mass resignations by mid-level aides who are responsible for operations of the office of the president.
Two people familiar with the conversations said the aides were torn between fears of what more would happen if they left and a desire to register their disgust with their boss. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. — Zeke Miller, Associated Press
RNC Says Violence At Capitol Is Not 'Patriotism'
– 4:39 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Republican National Committee says it strongly condemns the violence at the Capitol, adding that the violent scenes “do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles.”
The RNC is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform. Its statement condemning the violence came hours after Republican President Donald Trump baselessly complained that the election was stripped away “from great patriots.” He went on to tell them to “go home with love & in peace.”
The group’s communications director, Michael Ahrens, says, “What happened today was domestic terrorism.”
He says to see the U.S. flag used “in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it.”
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over him, citing false claims of voter fraud. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people." — Associated Press
– 4:39 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden's win, waving signs saying “Stop the steal” and “Four more years.” Most of them didn't wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some carried guns in places like Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona and Washington state.
There were some scuffles in states like Ohio and California, with some instances of journalists or counterprotesters being pepper-sprayed or punched, but most demonstrations were peaceful — some of them quite small — and only a few arrests were reported.
New Mexico police evacuated staff as a precaution from a Statehouse building that includes the governor’s office and the secretary of state’s office, shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback.
Demonstrators sang “God Bless America,” honked horns and wrongly announced on a megaphone that Trump was the rightful election winner — though Biden won the vote in New Mexico by a margin of roughly 11%. — Associated Press
West Virginia Lawmaker Among Rioters In Capitol
– 4:33 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
A West Virginia lawmaker took video of himself and other supporters of President Donald Trump rushing into the U.S. Capitol after they breached the security perimeter.
In the video by Republican Del. Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, he is shown wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door to breach the building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
“We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags and complaining of being pepper-sprayed. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelled, “No vandalizing!"
State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”
He said he has not spoken to Evans yet about his involvement.
The delegate from Wayne County said in a statement later on Facebook that he was heading back to West Virginia and “was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.” — Associated Press
Pelosi Says Congress To Resume Once Capitol Safe
– 4:13 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use.
Pelosi said she made the decision Wednesday in consultation with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice president, who will preside.
She noted the day would always be “part of history,” but now it would be “as such a shameful picture of our country was put out into the world.”
Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”
Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true. — Associated Press
Pro-Trump Protesters Remain Out After DC Curfew
– 3:49 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Dozens of pro-Trump protesters remain on the streets of the nation’s capital in defiance of the curfew imposed after rioters stormed the Capitol.
The mostly maskless crowd was forcibly removed from the Capitol on Wednesday after breaking into the building and halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were pushed out of the immediate area and moved down the hill, where they taunted law enforcement and moved barricades.
Police said anyone found on the streets after the 6 p.m. curfew would be arrested. Officers in full riot gear with shields lined the streets near the U.S. Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said their debate on affirming Biden's victory would continue after the Capitol was secured. — Associated Press
Romney Blames Trump For Inciting 'Insurrection'
– 3:41 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “insurrection” at the Capitol.
Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee and a frequent critic of Trump's, said the violent breach of the Capitol on Wednesday was “due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months.″
The Utah senator said those who continue to support Trump’s “dangerous gambit” by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election “will forever be seen as complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.″
Romney ridiculed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans who want an “audit” of the election results: “Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the president will continue to claim the election was stolen.”
The simple truth, Romney said, “is that President-elect (Joe) Biden won this election. President Trump lost.″ — Associated Press
Acting AG Says Capitol Riot 'Intolerable Attack'
– 3:29 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says the violent pro-Trump protest at the U.S. Capitol was an “intolerable attack on a fundamental institution" of democracy.
Rosen said Wednesday that the Justice Department has been working with U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies to secure the Capitol. He says hundreds of federal agents from Justice Department agencies were sent to assist.
He called it an “unacceptable situation” and said federal prosecutors “intend to enforce the laws of our land.”
Dozens of President Donald Trump's supporters breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
Police declared the Capitol to be secure about four hours later. — Associated Press
Ex-President Bush Sickened By Mayhem At Capitol
– 3:20 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Former President George W. Bush says he and his wife, Laura, are sickened and heartbroken over the “mayhem” in Washington and have watched in “disbelief and dismay” as events unfolded.
Bush said the “assault” on the Capitol on Wednesday and the disruption of a constitutionally mandated meeting to affirm Democrat Joe Biden's victory was “undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
The Republican said in a statement that he is “appalled” by what he described as “reckless” behavior by some political leaders since the election and the lack of respect for U.S. institutions, traditions and law enforcement.
Bush addressed those who are disappointed by the election result, saying, “Our country is more important than the politics of the moment.”
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting. They fought with officers both inside the building and outside. — Associated Press
Woman Shot Inside Capitol During Riot Has Died
– 3:12 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
A woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the violent pro-Trump protest has died.
That’s according to two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the shooting investigation. Police did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
Hours later, police had declared the Capitol was secured. — Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long, Associated Press
Capitol Complex Secure After Violent Occupation
– 2:59 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Officials have declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump.
An announcement saying “the Capitol is secure” rang out Wednesday evening inside a secure location for officials of the House. Lawmakers applauded.
The occupation interrupted Congress’ Electoral College count that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.
Lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations around the Capitol complex and Washington, D.C. after thousands of Trump supporters breached the building and skirmished with police officers.
Lawmakers have signaled that they would resume the constitutionally mandated count as soon as it was safe to do so. — Associated Press
Police Use Tear Gas To Clear Capitol Grounds
– 2:49 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Police are using tear gas and percussion grenades to begin clearing pro-Trump protesters from the grounds of the U.S. Capitol ahead of a curfew in Washington.
Police donned gas masks as they moved in Wednesday evening with force to clear protesters from the Capitol grounds shortly before a curfew took hold. In the moments before, there were violent clashes between the police and protesters, who tore railing for the inauguration scaffolding and threw it at the officers.
Police used tear gas and percussion grenades to break up the crowd, which began dispersing.
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.
Police said at least one person was shot inside the Capitol; their condition was not immediately known.
The district’s police chief said at least 13 people were arrested, and five firearms had been recovered during the pro-Trump protests on Wednesday. — Associated Press
GOP Sen. Sasse Blames Trump For Capitol Storming
– 2:40 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse is directly blaming President Donald Trump for the storming of the Capitol by huge, angry crowds of pro-Trump protesters.
The Nebraska lawmaker and frequent critic of Trump said Wednesday evening that the Capitol “was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”
Sasse says in a written statement, “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
The protesters broke into the building as Congress was beginning the formal process of certifying the electoral votes that gave Democratic President-elect Joe Biden a victory over Trump in November. Vice President Mike Pence has the ceremonial role of overseeing that certification and resisted Trump efforts to pressure him to overturn the election results.
Trump has continued to fallaciously claim that the voting was marred by fraud and that he actually won. Earlier Wednesday Trump addressed a huge crowd of protesters outside the White House and urged them to gather at the Capitol. — Associated Press
5 Weapons Recovered, 13 Arrests At DC Protests
– 2:34 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Washington, D.C., police chief says at least five weapons have been recovered and at least 13 people have been arrested so far in pro-Trump protests.
The mostly maskless crowd stormed the Capitol earlier Wednesday as lawmakers were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. One person was shot; their condition is unknown.
Police Chief Robert Contee called the attack a riot.
As darkness began to set in, law enforcement officials were working their way toward the protesters, using percussion grenades to try to clear the area around the Capitol. Big clouds of tear gas were visible.
Police were in full riot gear. They moved down the West steps, clashing with demonstrators. — Associated Press
Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier declared a 6 p.m. curfew.
Pro-Trump Demonstrators Swarm Capitals Across US
– 2:12 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Pro-Trump demonstrators have massed outside statehouses across the country, forcing evacuations in at least two states. In St. Paul, Minnesota, cheers rang out from demonstrators in reaction to the news that supporters of President Donald Trump had stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Hundreds of mostly unmasked people gathered outside capitols on Wednesday with Trump flags and “Stop the Steal” signs. In Georgia and Oklahoma, some demonstrators carried guns.
New Mexico state police evacuated staff from a statehouse building that includes the governor’s and secretary of state’s offices as a precaution shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback. A spokesperson for the governor´s office says there was no indication of threats at the statehouse.
The staff of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox was sent home as several hundred pro-Trump demonstrators rallied outside the Capitol, though the demonstration remained relatively calm. A brief scuffle between pro-Trump demonstrators, who included members of the Proud Boys, and counterprotesters broke out in Columbus, Ohio, but there was no immediate threat to the Capitol. — Associated Press
Trump Tells 'Very Special' Protesters To Go Home
— 1:46 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
President Donald Trump, in a video message, is urging supporters to “go home” but is also keeping up false attacks about the presidential election.
The video was issued more than two hours after protesters began storming the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Trump opened his video, saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now.”
He also went on to call the supporters “very special.” He also said, “we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”
Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials had begged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence. The statement came as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers. — Associated Press
Explosive Device Found Near Capitol Amid Protest
— 1:37 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.” — Associated Press
President Donald Trump Releases Taped Statement
— 1:22 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Biden Denounces Protesters' Violence At Capitol
— 1:17 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.”
Biden also demanded President Donald Trump to immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence that he described as an “unprecedented assault’ as pro-Trump protestors violently occupy U.S. Capitol.
Biden's condemnation came after violent protesters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm the president-elect’s victory in the November election.
Biden addressed the violent protests as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers. — Associated Press
Pence Calls On Protesters To Leave Capitol
— 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence is calling on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than President Donald Trump who merely called for his supported to “remain peaceful.”
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Pence said, “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Pence, long a loyal aide to the president, defied Trump earlier Wednesday, tell him he didn't have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20. Trump had publicly called on Pence to overturn the will of the voters, but Pence's constitutional role in the process was only ceremonial.
Angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting the peaceful transfer of power. Trump later issued a restrained call for peace but did not ask his supporters to disperse. — Associated Press
1,100 DC National Guard Members Being Mobilized
— 1:03 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The Pentagon says about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members are being mobilized to help support law enforcement as violent supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership.
A defense official said all 1,100 of the D.C. Guard were being activated and sent to the city’s armory. The Guard forces will be used at checkpoints and for other similar duties and could also help in the enforcement of the 6 p.m. curfew being implemented tonight in the city.
The officials said the D.C. request for National Guard was not rejected earlier in the day. Instead, according to officials, the Guard members have a very specific mission that does not include putting military in a law enforcement role at the Capitol. As a result, the Guard must be used to backfill law enforcement outside the Capitol complex, freeing up more law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.
Hoffman said the law enforcement response to the violence will be led by the Justice Department. — Associated Press
Schumer, Pelosi To Trump: Make Protesters Leave
— 12:59 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
The top Democrats in Congress are demanding that President Donald Trump order his supporters to leave the Capitol following a chaotic protest aimed at blocking a peaceful transfer of power.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement on Wednesday after violent protesters stormed the Capitol. They said, "We are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”
Trump earlier encouraged his supporters occupying the U.S. Capitol to “remain peaceful,” but he did not call for them to disperse. He held a rally earlier Wednesday in which he repeated his false claims that President-elect Joe Biden had won the election through voter fraud.
He urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.” — Associated Press
1 Person Shot As Trump Backers Storm Capitol
— 12:38 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
One person has been shot at the U.S. Capitol as dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building and violently clashed with police.
That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity amid a chaotic situation.
The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear. The person said the victim had been taken to a hospital. Their condition was not known.
President Trump tweeted a short while ago, asking protestors to remain peaceful.
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Vice president Mike Pence also tweeted "The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop" and also called the protest an "attack."
Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 6, 2021
The shooting came as dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters and entered the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. Trump has riled up his supporters by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to explain his loss. — Michael Balsamo, Associated Press
As demonstrators swarmed the U.S. Capitol, Congress was forced to abruptly halt deliberations Wednesday over Republican challenges to Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
President Donald Trump’s relentless effort to overturn the election results and cling to the White House drew a massive crowd to the White House, and then Trump sent them to the Capitol.
Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results but protests erupted outside the Capitol and government office buildings were being evacuated.
Though fellow Republicans were behind the challenge to Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against it. He warned the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes” with “separate facts.”
McConnell declared, “The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken."
But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump's allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to “fight for Trump.”
“We have to fix this,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.
The last-gasp effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the November results. Biden i s to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
Still, Trump vowed to he would “never concede” and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.
“We will never give up,” Trump told his noontime rally.
Vice President Mike Pence was closely watched as he stepped onto the dais to preside over the joint session in the House chamber.
Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud. But he was under growing pressure from Trump to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favor, despite having no legal power to affect the outcome.
“Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority" to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.
Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.
Arizona was the first of several states facing objections from the Republicans as Congress took an alphabetical reading of the election results.
Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes, and eight lawsuits challenging the results have failed. The state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of an election challenge.
The joint session of Congress, required by law, convened before a watchful, restless nation — months after the election, two weeks before the inauguration’s traditional peaceful transfer of power and against the backdrop of a surging COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers were told by Capitol officials to arrive early, due to safety precautions with protesters in Washington. Visitors, who typically fill the galleries to watch landmark proceedings, were not allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.
The session also came as overnight results from Georgia's runoff elections put Democrats within reach of a Senate majority.
With the Senate results from Georgia streaming in and Democrats within reach of controlling the chamber, Trump amplified his pleas to stay in office as a veto check on the rival party. At the rally he said he had just talked to Pence and criticized Republicans who are not willing to fight for him as “weak.”
While other vice presidents, including Al Gore and Richard Nixon, also presided over their own defeats, Pence supports those Republican lawmakers mounting challenges to the 2020 outcome.
It's not the first time lawmakers have challenged results. Democrats did in 2017 and 2005. But the intensity of Trump's challenge is like nothing in modern times, and an outpouring of current and elected GOP officials warn the showdown is sowing distrust in government and eroding Americans' faith in democracy.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters on Capitol Hill that Trump’s election challenge has “disgraced the office of the presidency."
“We'll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth -- whether or not they want to hear it,” Romney said.
Still, more than a dozen Republican senators led by Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, along with as many as 100 House Republicans, were pressing ahead to raise objections to individual states' reports of Biden's wins.
Under the rules of the joint session, any objection to a state’s electoral tally needs to be submitted in writing by at least one member of the House and one of the Senate to be considered. Each objection will force two hours of deliberations in the House and Senate, ensuring a long day.
House Republican lawmakers are signing on to objections to the electoral votes in six states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Hawley has said he will object to the election results from Pennsylvania, almost ensuring a second two-hour debate despite resistance from the state's Republican senator, Pat Toomey, who said the tally of Biden's win is accurate.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler may challenge the results in her state of Georgia. She was defeated in Georgia's runoff to Democrat Raphael Warnock, but was welcomed by crowds of lawmakers in the chamber. She can remain a senator until he is sworn into office.
The other Senate runoff race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff remained too early to call Wednesday, though Ossoff declared he won. Perdue, who was seeking reelection, is ineligible to vote in the Senate because his term expired with the start of the new Congress Sunday.
The group led by Cruz is vowing to object unless Congress agrees to form a commission to investigate the election, but that seems unlikely.
Those with Cruz are Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
Many of the Republicans challenging the results said they are trying to give voice to voters back home who don't trust the outcome of the election and want to see the lawmakers fighting for Trump.
Hawley defended his role saying his constituents have been “loud and clear” about their distrust of the election. “It is my responsibility as a senator to raise their concerns," he wrote to colleagues.
As criticism mounted, Cruz insisted his aim was “not to set aside the election” but to investigate the claims of voting problems. He has produced no new evidence.
Both Hawley and Cruz are potential 2024 presidential contenders, vying for Trump's base of supporters.