With impeachment pressure mounting, the House on Tuesday sped ahead to try to oust President Donald Trump from office. Late in the evening, the House approved a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote.
The FBI has warned ominously of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump's loyalists ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police have also warned lawmakers to be on alert. The inauguration ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol will be off limits to the public.
Scroll below for the latest developments:
Acting AG Rosen Addresses Capitol Riot Response, Future Security Threats
Rep. Scanlon Says Rioters Beat, Injured Several Officers
A state representative offered new details of violence she says transpired during the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
In a speech on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Penn., alleged that rioters used stun guns on police officers and beat them with pipes, leaving many with head injuries. She also says one rioter tried to shoot an officer.
Citing this violence, Scanlon called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from the White House.
NJ Rep. Sherrill: Lawmakers Held ‘Reconnaissance' Tours Day Before Pro-Trump Rioters Attacked
Ahead of New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill's vote on Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to activate the 25th Amendment, the Democratic claimed she witnessed lawmakers giving "reconnaissance" tours just a day before last week's attack on Capitol Hill that left five people dead, NBC New York reports.
Vowing to not only impeach the president and making sure he never runs for office again or receives access to classified materials, Sherrill said in a Facebook Live video she also intends to take action against members of congress who she saw taking groups through the Capitol on Jan. 5. She described it as "a reconnaissance for the next day."
The congresswoman didn't name any colleagues who were allegedly involved.
"Those members of congress who incited this violent crowd, those members of congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy. I am going to see that they are held accountable and if necessary ensure they don’t serve in congress," she said.
Read the full story here
Fifth GOP House Member Backs Impeachment
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wa., tweeted Tuesday night that she believes President Trump acted against his oath of office and that she will vote Wednesday to impeach him — making her the fifth Republican to sign on to the Democratic effort to remove the president from office before his term ends.
YouTube Bans Uploads to Trump's Channel for at Least One Week
The Google-owned company said Tuesday night that Trump uploaded content that violated its policies, giving it an automatic one-strike, which leads to a minimum seven-day suspension from uploading new content. It said it is also disabling the comments section.
The company did not specify which videos violated its policies but said that it was "content" that included comments Trump made at a press conference Tuesday morning. YouTube said it violated policies that prohibit content for inciting violence.
Donald J. Trump's YouTube account has 2.77 million subscribers and it typically posts several videos a day from himself and from right-wing media stations.
Read the full story here
House Approves Resolution Calling on Pence to Invoke 25th Amendment
The U.S. House rushed ahead Tuesday toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice president to push him out first. Trump showed no remorse, blaming impeachment itself for the “tremendous anger” in America.
Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.
The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote and “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.” The resolution passed, It was approved 223-205.
Read the full story here
Maryland's Raskin Will Be Lead Manager of Impeachment
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.
GOP Lawmakers Object to House Metal Detectors
Republican lawmakers on Tuesday objected 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.
Idaho Man Turns Self in, Sorry for Riot Role
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.
Feds: Man Arrested Near US Capitol Had Truckload of Weapons
Prosecutors say an Alabama man arrested last week near the U.S. Capitol after the rioting there had a truckload of weapons, including components for 11 explosive devices, guns, smoke devices, machetes and a note with information about a member of Congress.
Prosecutors wrote in a Tuesday court filing that the note and volume of weapons Lonnie Leroy Coffman had in his truck suggest he planned to distribute them and to attack members of Congress.
Another Alabama man, who was out on bond on drug charges, was taken into custody Monday after being accused of participating in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Middlebury College Revokes Rudy Giuliani's Honorary Degree
Middlebury College has revoked an honorary degree it awarded to President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The school announced Tuesday it revoked the degree in the wake of the violent uprising against the nation’s Capitol last week.
The school awarded the degree to Giuliani in 2005, after his response to 9/11 as mayor of New York City. Middlebury President Laurie Patton said in a Facebook post Sunday that the school was considering the action “in light of the role that presidential attorney Rudolph Giuliani played in fomenting the violent uprising."
Liz Cheney, John Katko Become First House Republicans to Support Impeachment
House Republicans John Katko and Liz Cheney on Tuesday announced they intend to vote for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, both citing the U.S. Capitol riot.
Cheney, 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.”
Cheney's full statement:
"On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.
"Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
"I will vote to impeach the President."
New York Rep. Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach Trump.
“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president," Katko wrote in a statement.
Last week, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., became the first Republican to say the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove Trump from office.
Firefighter Photographed in Capitol is Charged
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.
'Mind-Blowing' Number of Crimes Committed During Capitol Riot, 160 Case Files Opened: Officials
FBI agents are scouring more than 100,000 digital media files, and federal prosecutors have spent hours presenting felony cases to a Washington, D.C. grand jury, as they seek to bring to justice those who committed crimes in the riot at the Capitol, authorities said Tuesday.
In a telephone briefing with reporters, Acting D.C. U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin and Steven D'Antuono, head of the FBI's Washington field office, discussed the sprawling criminal investigation designed to catch those who broke the law, but said little about the intelligence and security failures that allowed the Capitol to be overrun.
They said the FBI had opened 160 case files, and "this is only the beginning," as Sherwin put it, outlining a large number of serious crimes at issue that carry decades-long prison terms The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating, for example, who put two pipe bombs outside the Capitol with timers and detonators.
Report Says FBI Warned of Plans for the Assault
The FBI had warned that extremists were preparing to come to Washington, D.C., attack Congress and engage in “war,” according to a report in The Washington Post.
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.”
It also said to “go there ready for war.”
The Associated Press and NBC News has not obtained the document. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It comes as Capitol security officials are warning House Democrats on specific armed threats, including one involving Trump supporters surrounding the Capitol building to prevent Democrats from entering, three sources familiar with the briefing told NBC News.
One lawmaker briefed on the call called "chilling and horrific."
"They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don't," said Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., during an interview Tuesday on CNN. "So, this is an organized group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they're doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they're talking about 1776, and so this is now a contest of wills. We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately that includes the president. Which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office."
Democratic members were reminded by the House Administration Committee that they can use government money to protect themselves, which is included in the Members' Congressional Handbook. "The purchase of a bulletproof vest is a reimbursable expense,” the guidance reads.
Schumer Urges FBI to Place Capitol Rioters on Federal No-Fly List
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the FBI to add anyone identified breaching the Capitol during last week’s violent riot to the federal no-fly list.
Schumer sent a letter Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the attack on the Capitol as Congress was voting to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win was “domestic terrorism.” He said those who stormed the Capitol should qualify as “insurrectionists for the No-Fly List.”
Schumer told Wray that they must also be fully prosecuted to the full extent of federal law. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
The federal no-fly list is part of the U.S. government’s Terrorist Screening Database and prohibits anyone who “may pose a threat to civil aviation or national security” from boarding a commercial aircraft. Generally, in order to be placed on the list, the government must have information that the person presents “a threat of committing terrorism” to the aircraft or the U.S. homeland or U.S. facilities.
The no-fly list is one of the government’s most controversial post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism programs.
Trump: Impeachment Is a 'Continuation of Greatest Witch Hunt in History'
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that it was dangerous to the United States for Congress to seek to impeach him for inciting a deadly riot of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol last week.
In his first public comments since Wednesday's siege, Trump told reporters at the White House the prospect of impeachment is causing “tremendous anger" in the nation. But he said he wants “no violence.”
He called efforts by the Democrats to oust him from office "a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics" and said it's “a really terrible thing that they're doing."
Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — in the impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday, a week before Democrat Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated, Jan. 20.
The unprecedented events, only the first U.S. president to be twice impeached, are unfolding in a nation bracing for more unrest.
Trump to Showcase Border Wall in First Public Appearance Since Riot
After days out of sight following the Capitol siege, President Donald Trump travels to Texas to trumpet one of the pillars of his presidency: his campaign against illegal immigration.
Trump will be flying Tuesday to Alamo, Texas, a city in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S-Mexican border. The city is named after the San Antonio mission where a small group of Texan independence-fighters fended off Mexican forces during a 13-day siege. Most of them died but the mission became a symbol of resistance for Texans, who eventually defeated the Mexican army.
Trump's visit — no doubt a symbol of the president's defiance — comes as he spends the final days of his presidency isolated, aggrieved and staring down the prospect of a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week in an effort to halt the peaceful transition of power.
Aides have been urging the president to instead use the days he has left in office to highlight what they see as the chief accomplishments of his presidency: a massive tax cut, his efforts to roll back federal regulations and the transformation of federal courts with the appointment of conservative judges. But Trump has repeatedly resisted their efforts as he has remained ensconced in the White House, behind closed doors, consumed by baseless allegations of voter fraud and conspiracies.
Indeed, the trip will mark the first time Trump has been seen in public since the speech he delivered to his supporters Wednesday, egging them on to “fight” before the Capitol violence.
Trump is expected to deliver remarks highlighting his administration's efforts to curb illegal immigration and the progress made on his signature 2016 campaign promise: building a “big, beautiful wall” across the length of the southern border — an imposing structure made of concrete and reinforced steel. Over time, Trump demanded modifications that have been largely rejected: He wanted it painted black to burn the hands of those who touched it; he wanted it adorned with deadly spikes; he even wanted to surround it with an alligator-filled moat.
Twitter Blocks 70,000 QAnon Accounts After US Capitol Riot
Twitter says it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts associated with the far right QAnon conspiracy theory following last week’s U.S. Capitol riot.
The social media company said Tuesday that given the events last week in Washington, D.C., it was taking action against online behavior “that has the potential to lead to offline harm.”
The company says in a blog post that in many cases, a single individual operated numerous accounts, driving up the total number of affected accounts. It says the accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale.
“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” the company said.
Second Lawmaker Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Lockdown at US Capitol
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ, both announced Monday they have tested positive for the coronavirus, just days after the U.S. Capitol riot forced them to remain in lockdown with fellow House members who were not wearing masks.
In her statement, released early Tuesday morning, Jayapal called for "serious fines" to be issued to members who refused to wear masks in the U.S. Capitol.
"This is not a joke," the statement read. "Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy."
Watson Coleman is experiencing some mild symptoms while Jayapal said she is in quarantine and will continue to work.
Public health officials started raising the alarm while the riot was still happening about the possibility that so many people gathered in such close quarters could lead to a new outbreak.
Trump and Pence Finally Speak After Capitol Riot
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appear to have come to a détente after nearly a week of silence, anger and finger-pointing.
The two met Monday evening in the Oval Office and had a “good conversation,” according to a senior administration official. It was their first time speaking since last Wednesday, when Trump incited his supporters to storm the Capitol building as Pence was presiding over certification of November's election results. Pence and his family were forced into hiding.
During their conversation, the official said, Trump and Pence pledged to continue to work for "the remainder of their term" — a seeming acknowledgement that the vice president will not pursue efforts to try to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office with nine days left in his term.
Pence allies have expressed outrage over what they have described as a malicious attempt by the president to try to scapegoat the vice president by pressuring him to take the impossible step of trying to block certification of the November election results by invoking powers he did not posses. After days of behind-the-scenes arm-twisting, Trump repeatedly singled out Pence during his pre-riot rally, wrongly insisting the certification could be halted as it got underway.
Trump then continued to tweet that Pence “lacked courage" as the president's supporters stormed the Capitol. Trump never bothered to check on the vice president's safety as Pence spent hours in a secure holding area with his staff and family as the rioters chanted about wanting to hang him outside the Capitol doors.
FBI Has Received More Than 70,000 Tips After Capitol Riot
The FBI on Monday said it has received more than 70,000 tips and other information as it seeks to arrest those who took part in a pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The storming of the Capitol after President Donald Trump encouraged supporters to march there has evoked widespread outrage and calls for the president's impeachment.
The 70,000 tips include, photos and video, the FBI said.
In addition to the violence at the Capitol, two pipe bombs were left at the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which is nearby. They did not explode. The FBI released more photos Monday seeking to find those responsible.
More than 90 arrests of people allegedly connected to Wednesday's events in the capital had been made as of Sunday, according to NBC News' count.
Trump Issues Emergency Declaration for Inaugural
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.