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House votes to officially call on Pence to remove Trump by invoking 25th Amendment, rebuffing the vice president’s objections

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 1/12/2021 Felicia Sonmez, Donna Cassata, John Wagner, Colby Itkowitz, Kim Bellware

The Democratic-led House voted late Tuesday to officially call on Vice President Pence to remove President Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment, rebuffing the vice president’s objections. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Pence had urged Congress “to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.” The House proceeded with the vote and is on course to consider impeaching Trump on Wednesday on one charge, “incitement of insurrection,” days after a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol.

Four Republicans have said they would vote to impeach Trump, including Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), No. 3 Republican in the House, who said there has “never been a greater betrayal” by a president to his office and his oath to the Constitution.

Trump called the effort by House Democrats to impeach him for a second time a “witch hunt” and offered no regrets for inciting the mob attack on the Capitol last week as he emerged from seclusion Tuesday to travel to Alamo, Tex., to tour a section of the border wall.

Here’s what to know:

  • Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) has become the third lawmaker to announce a positive test for the novel coronavirus after sheltering at close quarters with dozens of members of Congress during last week’s takeover of the Capitol.
  • The attack on the Capitol has done little to upend Biden’s preparations for the beginning of his administration Jan. 20, for the worst of reasons: It is only one of several calamities that the new president and his administration will confront when he takes office.
  • The House’s acting sergeant at arms installed metal detectors outside the chamber in the wake of the Capitol riot, requiring all individuals to undergo security screening. Those who refuse to be screened or who are carrying prohibited items could be denied access to the chamber.
  • Several U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for suspected involvement in or inappropriate support for the demonstration last week that turned into a deadly riot at the Capitol.
  • Here are the nominees Biden has picked to fill his Cabinet.

11:29 PM: House votes to officially call on Pence to remove Trump by invoking 25th Amendment

The House on Tuesday voted to formally urge Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, the chamber’s first step toward seeking to hold the president accountable for last week’s violent siege of the Capitol.

The vote was 223-205. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) joined Democrats in voting for the resolution.

Pence had informed the House he would not take such a step, calling it too divisive and saying “now is the time to heal.” Under the 25th Amendment, Pence could deem Trump unfit for office and wrest control before the end of the president’s term.

The House is poised to move ahead on impeaching Trump on one charge: “Incitement of insurrection.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

10:11 PM: Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) will vote to impeach Trump

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) became the fourth Republican to say he will vote to impeach President Trump.

Upton, a moderate elected to his 18th term last year, underscored that Trump called his words last week as “totally appropriate” Tuesday and offered no contrition for the violent attack on the Capitol despite instigating the mob.

“This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution. I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process,” Upton said in a statement. “But it is time to say: Enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach.”

By: Mike DeBonis

9:57 PM: Rep. Raskin says Capitol rioters desecrated ‘temple of democracy'


Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager, opened Tuesday night’s debate on his resolution to urge Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump by outlining in vivid detail the actions of the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol last week.

“They allowed hundreds or thousands of people to enter the Capitol without metal detector or any kind of security screening at all, not only to desecrate the temple of democracy and to spit in the face of Congress, but actually to interfere with the counting of electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election,” Raskin said.

“They may have been looking for Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi, but every person in this room could have died. As a shaken senator, Lindsey Graham, said: ‘The mob could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all.’ ”

Rep. Tom McClintock rose to respond for the Republicans. He was wearing a black face mask bearing the message, “This Mask is USELESS.”

McClintock accused Democrats of “committing directly the same offense” that they are accusing Trump of committing indirectly — misusing the Constitution — by pressing for the invocation of the 25th Amendment.

The Republican from California also argued that Trump “never suggested rampaging the Capitol and disrupting the Congress.” He warned that if Congress proceeds with taking upthis new role as armchair psychiatrists and a new power to equate intemperate speech with functional disability, the most important pillars of our government’s stability — the rule of law and the separation of powers — will fracture.”

“It won’t affect this president,” McClintock said. “But it will stalk future presidents from this day forward. For their sake, please don’t do this.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Raskin’s language, accusing Trump of inciting “a deadly insurrection against America that targets the very heart of our democracy — this temple of democracy, the United States Capitol.”

“The gleeful desecration of the Capitol and the violence against Congress, our staff and our workers are horrors that will forever stain our nation’s history,” she said.

By: Felicia Sonmez

9:27 PM: In bike ride around the Capitol, Rep. Quigley realized authorities weren’t prepared to repel mob attack

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) a member of the House Intelligence Committee, could tell the night before a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol that authorities weren’t prepared for what was about to happen.

Quigley, who often trades in his suit to bike home in jeans, took a turn around the Capitol grounds and was struck by the conversations he casually overheard.

“The night before [the riots], I rode my bike around the Hill. You could hear these people talking. A fool could have had anybody in plain clothes walking around and realize they’re not here for tea,” Quigley said in an interview. “And then the morning of, I did the same thing — the crowds were bigger, they’re angrier.”

He said he called his chief of staff and said they didn’t have enough security.

“Even if I couldn’t hear them, you could sense this was ugly and tense. But you could hear them,” Quigley said of the rioters, and he offered a sobering prediction.

“This will get worse,” he said, noting that as the rioters said, last week was “a dress rehearsal.”

Just before the mob stormed the Capitol, Quigley had made his way from the House floor to the gallery, unwittingly walking into the most dangerous area — where lawmakers were left to fend for themselves as the crowds attempted to push into the chamber, without the protective Capitol Police presence that existed on the House floor. He found himself crouched near Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) a new congresswoman from Southern California with whom he had been chatting in the opening days of Congress, showing her the ropes. Now, they were both fiddling with gas masks, trying to get them unfolded and on.

They weren’t sure whether the protesters outside had guns, and they feared that the chamber might be breached at any second. So Quigley, a noted jokester, turned to Jacobs to try to make her smile.

“Aside from this, how was your first day in Congress?” he asked.

By: Karoun Demirjian

9:08 PM: House Republicans disregard metal detectors to keep guns off House floor

a group of people standing in front of a building: Metal detectors for lawmakers were installed in the corridor around the House chamber on Tuesday after a mob loyal to President Trump stormed the Capitol last week. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Metal detectors for lawmakers were installed in the corridor around the House chamber on Tuesday after a mob loyal to President Trump stormed the Capitol last week.

A group of House Republicans pushed past newly installed magnetometers put in place to keep firearms out of the House chamber, after one gun-rights activist appeared to set off a metal detector but refused a subsequent bag search.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who came under fire during Wednesday’s riot for tweeting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been removed from the chamber, was seen by photographers around the House chamber refusing to allow Capitol Police to inspect her bag.

Boebert is a vocal gun-rights activist who has promised to carry her Glock on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and in Washington. While firearms are allowed in House offices, they cannot be brought onto the House floor.

Following the apparent altercation with Boebert, several more House Republicans were seen walking around the magnetometers, pushing their way past security and striding onto the floor for a vote that was underway.

It wasn’t just reporters who noticed the GOP members breaking the new rules about entry onto the House floor. Other members began reporting on the actions of their more reckless colleagues as well.

“Rep. Van Taylor is in front of me as I’m trying to go in to vote, refusing to pass through a metal detector and arguing with U.S. Capitol Police officers about it,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said of the Texas Republican in a tweet.

“Do these people not understand that literally everyone else has to go through metal detectors to get in here?” Beyer continued. “Average people do not get to bring guns into the United States Capitol in normal times. Get over yourselves.”

Later Tuesday night, Boebert defended her actions in a tweet.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” she said. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”

Acting House sergeant at arms Timothy Blodgett informed House members of the new screening procedures in a letter hours earlier.

“Magnetometers are being placed at selected entrances to the Chamber,” Blodgett said in the letter. “Failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber.”

He also reminded lawmakers that “pursuant to the firearms regulations that Members received on opening day, firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office.”

By: Karoun Demirjian and Felicia Sonmez

9:01 PM: U.S. attorney in Georgia: ‘There’s just nothing to’ claims of election fraud

The acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, whose predecessor abruptly resigned one week ago after President Trump complained officials were not doing enough to find election fraud in the state, declared on a call with his staff Monday that “there’s just nothing” to the few claims of fraud the office was examining, according to an audio recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On the call, Bobby Christine, who kept his previous job as top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Georgia, also suggested that he was surprised to learn the office had not found significant election fraud problems.

“Quite frankly, just watching television, you would assume that you got election cases stacked from the floor to the ceiling,” Christine said, according to the Atlanta newspaper. “I am so happy to find out that’s not the case, but I didn’t know coming in.”

Read the full story

By: Amy Gardner and Matt Zapotosky

8:58 PM: The lockdown room was a safe space for lawmakers under siege. Now some say maskless Republicans made it a coronavirus hot spot.

As the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol last week, House members and some staff sheltered in a cramped, windowless room with no more than an arm’s length of distance between them.

The group seemed safe from the violence raging nearby, but inside they faced another threat. Several Republican members hunkered down, maskless, refusing to use the face coverings that their Democratic colleagues and staffers were begging them to wear as protection from the coronavirus that thrives in such low-ventilation indoor environments.

One Democrat, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), grew so angry that she left the secure room, concluding, according to an aide, that “we’re not going to survive a terrorist attack to be exposed to a deadly virus.”

But many stayed behind — and some now think they were exposed. Nearly a week after the riot, three Democratic lawmakers who had sheltered in that room, including Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a 75-year-old cancer survivor, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read the full story

By: Colby Itkowitz

8:50 PM: Backlash to riot at Capitol hobbles Trump’s business as banks, partners flee the brand

In November — as President Trump began his effort to overturn the election he had lost — his longtime friend Tom Barrack called him with advice: Stop, for the sake of your business.

The Trump Organization was already struggling, hurt by political backlash and coronavirus-related closures, facing huge unpaid loans. Barrack told Trump that he could help that business — as well as his aides, and the country itself — by ensuring a peaceful transition, according to person familiar with the conversation.

An “elegant” exit, Barrack said, could preclude what could be a painful future: millions of dollars in legal costs, rampant investigations and more boycotts of his businesses.

Trump did not follow Barrack’s advice.

Now, the Trump Organization is facing the consequences: In the past week, it has lost a bank, an e-commerce platform and the privilege of hosting a world-famous golf tournament, and its hopes of hosting another have been dashed. In the future, the Trump Organization also could lose its D.C. hotel and even its children’s carousel in Central Park, if government landlords in Washington and New York reevaluate their contracts with Trump.

Read the story here.

By: Josh Dawsey, David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell

8:48 PM: Six House Republicans introduce measure to censure Trump for trying to overturn election, ‘violating his oath of office’ during riot

A group of six House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a resolution that would censure Trump for trying to overturn Biden’s victory in the presidential race and “violating his oath of office” during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The measure is not likely to see a vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

Nonetheless, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), one of the lawmakers leading the effort, said in a statement that the move is intended as an alternative to impeachment.

“Both Democrat and Republican Members of the U.S. Senate are convinced that the House’s impeachment efforts will almost certainly result in a second acquittal of President Trump, which would even further divide and inflame tensions in our nation,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

“There are two constitutional purposes of impeachment: 1) removal from office, and 2) barring the future holding of office. The current approach being advanced by House leadership is certain to accomplish neither one of these,” he added.

The resolution would affirm Biden’s victory and state that Trump “has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.” It also would censure and condemn Trump “for trying to unlawfully overturn the 2020 Presidential election and violating his oath of office on January 6, 2021.”

The other Republicans joining Fitzpatrick in introducing the measure are Reps. Tom Reed (N.Y.), Young Kim (Calif.), Fred Upton (Mich.), John Curtis (Utah) and Peter Meijer (Mich.)

By: Felicia Sonmez

8:46 PM: Pelosi names impeachment managers for Senate trial of Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Tuesday named the nine Democrats who would serve as impeachment managers in a Senate trial of President Trump.

The announcement came a day before the House was scheduled to vote on one article of impeachment, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” a week after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attack that left five dead.

The managers would make the House case against Trump in a trial with the president’s lawyers. The Senate is in recess until Jan. 19 and a trial likely wouldn’t begin until Trump is out of office.

“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said. “It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the President’s impeachment and removal. They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.”

Pelosi tapped the following managers: Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), David N. Cicilline (R.I.), Joaquin Castro (Tex.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Del. Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands), Joe Neguse (Colo.) and Madeleine Dean (Pa.).

By: Donna Cassata

8:10 PM: Rep. Liz Cheney’s historic decision Tuesday to vote to impeach President Trump had its roots in a dramatic phone call from her father

Rep. Liz Cheney’s historic decision Tuesday to vote to impeach President Trump had its roots in a dramatic phone call from her father, former vice president Richard B. Cheney, who was watching events unfold on television last week and warned that she was being verbally attacked by the president.

Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, became the most prominent congressional Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement. “I will vote to impeach the president.”

Six days earlier, Cheney was in the House chamber, urging that Republicans reject efforts pushed by Trump and many in her party to challenge the electoral college results that had determined Trump had lost his reelection bid. She did not know that she was being attacked by Trump, who was delivering the speech that would incite a mob to storm the Capitol, until her father reached her by phone in the House cloakroom.

Read the full story

By: Michael Kranish

7:59 PM: In letter to Pelosi, Pence says he does not support invoking 25th Amendment to remove Trump

Pence sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night in which he declared his opposition to invoking the 25th Amendment to relieve Trump of his official duties.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in the letter.

Pence cited his rejection last week of Trump’s efforts to pressure him to unilaterally overturn Biden’s win, suggesting that Pelosi’s request — like the president’s — was a step too far.

“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,” Pence said in the letter.

By: Felicia Sonmez

7:43 PM: Trump defiant and unapologetic about his role in inciting Capitol mob attack

ALAMO, Tex. — President Trump emerged Tuesday from six days out of public view defiant and unapologetic about his incitement of last week's mob attack on the Capitol and warned that his impeachment could lead to more violence.

The president denied any culpability in the violent riot that killed a police officer and threatened the lives of Vice President Pence and members of Congress. He said his remarks encouraging throngs of supporters last Wednesday to march to the Capitol in a show of force to pressure and intimidate lawmakers to overturn the election results were “totally appropriate.”

During a visit to a portion of newly constructed border wall here in the Rio Grande Valley, Trump warned against the effort in Congress to hold him accountable.

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time,” Trump said.

Read the full story here.

By: Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey

7:29 PM: Impeachment ‘is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils,’ House Judiciary Democrats say

Jerrold Nadler sitting at a table: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) asks a question during a hearing on July 28, 2020. © Matt McClain/The Washington Post/POOL House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) asks a question during a hearing on July 28, 2020.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday released a majority staff report on Trump’s impeachment ahead of the chamber’s debate on voting for a second time to remove the 45th president from office.

In its 74-page report, staff for the panel’s Democratic majority lay out their argument for how Trump’s conduct “satisfies the standard for high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” describing the president as “a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our democracy.”

“Impeachment is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils,” the report says. “It is true that the President’s remaining term is limited — but a President capable of fomenting violent insurrection in the Capitol is capable of greater dangers still.”

The report calls on members of the House to “reject this outrageous attempt to overturn the election and this incitement of violence by a sitting president against his own government.”

“President Trump committed a high Crime and Misdemeanor against the Nation by inciting an insurrection at the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election,” it continues. “The facts establish that he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer and warrant the immediate impeachment of President Trump.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

7:23 PM: Biden’s defense secretary pick likely to obtain waiver despite bipartisan concerns

The Senate Armed Services Committee appears poised to approve a waiver allowing retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as the next defense secretary, despite serious concerns on both sides of the aisle that lawmakers risk dismantling the tradition of civilian leadership of the Pentagon in the process.

“We now have a clearly qualified candidate and a declaration by the president-elect that he needs General Austin for the safety and security of the nation,” said Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the committee’s top Democrat, who will soon take over as its chairman.

But after four years in which civil-military relations at the Pentagon “eroded significantly under President Trump,” approving another waiver raises the specter that “future presidents will default to nominating retired general officers to the position of secretary of defense, in lieu of qualified civilians,” Reed added.

Read the full story here

By: Karoun Demirjian

7:16 PM: Senate panel will hold hearing for Biden’s Homeland Security nominee Jan. 19

Alejandro Mayorkas wearing a suit and tie: President-elect Joe Biden's homeland security secretary nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas. © Carolyn Kaster/AP President-elect Joe Biden's homeland security secretary nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Jan. 19 to consider the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s choice for homeland security secretary.

The hearing, announced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Tuesday afternoon, will be the second for one of the president-elect’s nominees.

Later Tuesday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) announced that there will be a third confirmation hearing: The Senate Finance Committee will meet Jan. 19 to consider the nomination of Janet L. Yellen for treasury secretary.

The Senate Armed Services Committee announced last week that it will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the president-elect’s choice for defense secretary. That hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19, as well.

Delays in Congress, caused primarily by runoff elections in Georgia and the arcane procedures needed to get the new chamber up and running, mean that Biden’s incoming administration is in danger of not having a single Cabinet official confirmed on Inauguration Day, upsetting a tradition going back to the Cold War of ensuring the president enters office with at least part of his national security team in place.

By: Felicia Sonmez

6:54 PM: Biden team briefs Congress on emerging stimulus plan, aims for bipartisan deal

President-elect Joe Biden is finalizing his coronavirus relief plan, with aides briefing congressional staffers Tuesday and indicating that the measure will be tailored to get bipartisan support.

The proposal, which Biden intends to unveil on Thursday, is expected to include $2,000 stimulus payments, an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance, money for vaccine distribution and delivery, and funding for cities, states, schools, child care and more.

Transition officials indicated in meetings with Democratic staffers that Biden will try to get bipartisan support for the measure, instead of using a special budgetary tool that could allow him to push legislation through Congress with only Democratic votes, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private.

That’s led to speculation that the price tag of the package could be below $2 trillion — although Biden said last week that it could cost in the multiple trillions of dollars. Republicans are likely to balk at spending too much more after Congress has already devoted around $4 trillion to fighting the ravaging coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout.

Read the full story here

By: Erica Werner and Jeff Stein

6:52 PM: McConnell tells others: Trump probably committed impeachable offenses, but he’s undecided on how he’ll vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told people that Trump probably committed impeachable offenses, a detail first reported by the New York Times, according to an individual who has spoken to the Kentucky Republican.

But McConnell has not decided how he will vote in an impeachment trial in the Senate and wants to hear the case first, the person said. He does not plan to whip votes for or against impeachment, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations.

McConnell has not returned Trump’s calls in weeks — they have not spoken since Dec. 14 — and remains livid with him, an adviser said. “He’s not going to whip the vote,” the adviser said.

McConnell drew Trump’s wrath after he acknowledged Joe Biden’s win when the electoral college certified his victory last month.

McConnell’s office had no immediate response.

By: Josh Dawsey

6:33 PM: U.S. Marshals to deputize thousands of local law enforcement to help with inauguration

The U.S. Marshals Service is planning to deputize between 3,000 and 4,000 local law enforcement officers from across the country, who — at the request of D.C. police — will come to the District to help with security for the inauguration, an official said Tuesday.

Lamont J. Ruffin, the chief deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Columbia, said his office does such deputizations each year and the number of those deputized is similar. Last year, according to the U.S. Marshals Service, more than 3,500 were given law enforcement authority.

Ruffin said he has been asked to prepare to possibly deputize members of the National Guard to give them law enforcement authority, too, but those plans have not been finalized. He said the Marshals Service had deputized some National Guardsmen in June in response to civil unrest during racial justice demonstrations.

Ruffin said the officers who come to the District hail from across the country — “all 50 states,” he said. They are required to fill out a form attesting that they meet certain requirements, including that they are not under active internal affairs investigations, and that their departments are up to date with their certifications on using deadly and nonlethal force. He said he was unaware of any additional requirements being imposed this year.

Some law enforcement officers who participated in the pro-Trump rally that preceded last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol have found themselves under investigation by their own departments, and the FBI has been investigating whether any military or law enforcement members broke any laws.

“To my knowledge, we’ve never had any issues,” Ruffin said.

Ruffin said regular deputy U.S. Marshals also will be on hand to respond to potential issues across the city at the request of law enforcement.

By: Matt Zapotosky

6:18 PM: Rep. Kinzinger to vote to impeach Trump, third House Republican to break with the outgoing president

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Tuesday he will vote to impeach Trump later this week, becoming the third House Republican to break with the outgoing president.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection," he said in a statement. “He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions — the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch — are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?"

”I will vote in favor of impeachment,” he said.

Kinzinger has been sharply critical of Trump’s effort to subvert the November election for months. After Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol, he called for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment but did not immediately back impeachment.

His announcement follows those of Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the Republican conference chairwoman, and John Katko (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee.

By: Mike DeBonis

6:15 PM: Hogan calls GOP delegate who attacked Pence a ‘Q-Anon conspiracy theorist’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday that a Republican state delegate who organized buses to the #stopthesteal rally in Washington — and called Vice President Pence a traitor during the breach of the Capitol — was a “Q-Anon conspiracy theorist.”

Hogan told reporters that the Maryland General Assembly may seek to censure or take some other formal action against first-term Del. Daniel L. Cox (R-Frederick), who tweeted “Mike Pence is a traitor” as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The legislature could consider disciplinary action when it returns to Annapolis on Wednesday for its 90-day session. Such deliberations are confidential, however, and a spokeswoman for House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) declined to say whether an ethics investigation has been launched.

House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel), the leader of Cox’s party in the chamber, also declined to comment.

Cox’s Twitter account is no longer active, and he did not return calls Tuesday.

Read the full story

By: Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox

5:43 PM: Rep. Liz Cheney, No. 3 House Republican leader, says she will vote to impeach Trump

Liz Cheney wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, said Tuesday that she will vote to impeach Trump for inciting last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence,” Cheney said in a statement. “He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States to his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

“I will vote to impeach the President,” she said.

Cheney is the highest-ranking Republican member of Congress to announce that she will vote to impeach Trump. The Wyoming Republican has largely supported Trump and his agenda over the past four years but also has delivered stinging criticism of some of his actions, including his recent efforts to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s win in the state.

In her statement Tuesday, Cheney cited the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday and said Trump had “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”

“Everything that followed was his doing,” she said.

Freshman Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) called on Cheney to step down as conference chairwoman.

“When Representative Cheney came out for impeachment today, she failed to consult with the Conference, failed to abide by the spirit of the rules of the Republican Conference, and ignored the preferences of Republican voters. She is weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

5:38 PM: New York Rep. Katko is first Republican to announce he will vote to impeach Trump

Rep. John Katko (N.Y.) became the first Republican to announce that he would join Democrats in voting to impeach President Trump.

Katko is a moderate who was elected to a fourth term last November in a swing district that encompasses Syracuse. His vote will allow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to cast the results as a bipartisan vote to impeach, and other Republicans are expected to join Katko.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection — both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day,” Katko added. “By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger.”

By: Mike DeBonis

5:24 PM: Bureau of Prisons ‘making plans’ to send officers to help with inaugural security

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is “is making plans to send specially trained officers” to D.C. to assist with security during the Jan. 20 inauguration, a spokesman said Tuesday, potentially taking a posture similar to that which it did during the civil unrest during racial justice protests in June.

Justin Long, a Bureau of Prisons spokesman, said the department would only send personnel “if and as determined to be needed,” and declined to comment on a timeline or other details. In June, the department deployed its riot teams to D.C. — some of whom did not bear any identifying markings — and drew some criticism for a heavy-handed response.

Long said the bureau had also sent 100 officers to D.C. last week “to supplement existing Justice Department facility security personnel.”

“The BOP officers were trained to respond to public safety issues and were deputized under the authority granted the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce federal criminal statutes and protect federal property and personnel,” Long said. “These officers wore clothing that identified them as BOP staff and included numerical markings unique to each officer.”

By: Matt Zapotosky

5:21 PM: Justice Dept. investigating sedition and conspiracy charges and any terror links to violent storming of U.S. Capitol

The Justice Department and FBI have created a sedition and conspiracy task force to pursue charges against participants in the storming of the U.S. Capitol and are investigating any links to domestic or foreign instigators, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation, one of the largest ever undertaken by the department, includes counterterrorism and counterterrorism facets and has charged 70 individuals and identified 170 suspects to date, acting U.S. attorney Michael R. Sherwin of D.C. said. Those arrest figures are expected to increase into the hundreds, if not “exponentially.”

Of the dozens who have already been arrested, many face charges for minor offenses such as unlawful entry or breaking curfew. But Sherwin and Steven D’Antuono, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said any impression that prosecutors are bringing mainly misdemeanor trespassing counts based on cases charged to date is flawed. They said the cases are only the beginning and that U.S. authorities are investigating everything including the plundering of congressional offices and digital devices, assaults on law enforcement officers, theft of national security and defense information, in addition to felony murder and excessive use of force.

Read the full story

By: Spencer S. Hsu, Keith L. Alexander and Shayna Jacobs

5:12 PM: Joint Chiefs of Staff issue military-wide memo condemning Capitol riot, confirming Biden will become next commander in chief

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon body comprising the military’s top leaders, issued a memo to the entire U.S. military on Tuesday condemning the Capitol riot and confirming Biden will become the 46th commander in chief of the armed forces on Jan. 20.

In the memo, the top Pentagon brass characterized the violent riot as “a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building and our Constitutional process,” and said the military remained fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution “against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

Read the Joint Chiefs of Staff memo

“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation,” the top brass said. “We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”

Read the full story

By: Paul Sonne

4:55 PM: Former head of U.S. Capitol Police says he never was made aware of FBI’s bulletin warning of threats of an armed ‘war’ on the Capitol

The recently departed head of the U.S. Capitol Police said Tuesday he never received nor was made aware of the FBI’s field bulletin warning of threats of an armed “war” on the Capitol before Wednesday’s deadly attack.

A day before rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence, according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post.

Steven Sund said he and his staff would have taken seriously an FBI alert about online forums discussing storming the Capitol and urging specific violent acts. The Post reported on an internal FBI memo Jan. 5 which reported information gathered from an online forum by its Roanoke office. The online thread cited in the FBI report was associated with a planned pro-Trump protest of the vote. It read: “Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

This conflicted with the claim from Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, who told reporters last week that “there was no indication” of anything planned Wednesday “other than First-Amendment protected activity.”

On Tuesday, D’Antuono said the Jan 5 memo was shared with all law enforcement partners before Wednesday’s

siege. Sund said it was entirely new to him.

“This is not information I was privy to prior to January 6,” Sund said. “I’ve only heard about it since the media report” Tuesday. “I did not have that information, nor was that information taken into consideration in our security planning.”

Asked if lower level staff may have received the FBI report, Sund said he believed that very unlikely. “I’m pretty confident our representatives, if they became aware of this, they would have pushed it up to me rather quickly,” he said. Sund also said that in a video conference with the FBI to discuss security planning in the days before Wednesday’s demonstration, “no one mentioned it.”

By: Carol D. Leonnig

4:48 PM: House acting sergeant at arms installs metal detectors outside chamber in wake of Capitol riot

Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant at arms, said Tuesday that metal detectors are being installed outside “selected entrances” to the chamber in the wake of last week’s storming of the Capitol.

All individuals will be required to undergo security screening before entering the chamber, Blodgett said in a letter to all House members and staff. Those who refuse to be screened or are carrying prohibited items could be denied access to the chamber, he said.

“Members are reminded that pursuant to the firearms regulations that Members received on opening day, firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office,” Blodgett added.

He noted that lawmakers must also wear face masks while in the House chamber, and those who refuse to “will be removed from the Floor.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

4:31 PM: Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks defends inflammatory remarks at pro-Trump rally as a ‘pep talk’ to the president’s supporters

A defiant Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is defending his inflammatory remarks made during Wednesday’s pro-Trump rally that preceded a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, which left five people dead.

In a lengthy statement Tuesday, Brooks characterizes the speech in which he said, “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking a--” as a “pep talk.”

Brooks added that those in the mob who behaved illegally should be ashamed because their actions set back “two months of debate and work” by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the November election. Brooks has embraced the president’s debunked claims of widespread voter fraud and insisted that Trump was reelected.

“No one at the rally interpreted my remarks to be anything other than what they were: A pep talk after the derriere kicking conservatives suffered in the dismal 2020 elections,” Brooks wrote.

After the scene turned violent, with the mob damaging the Capitol and in some cases, beating police officers trying to thwart them, Brooks and other Republicans made baseless claims that the chaos was the work of antifa, Democrats and socialist agitators.

In his statement, the Alabama congressman suggested the outcome of the riot absolved him and claimed it was implausible to think he would have argued for an action that ultimately undermined Republicans’ efforts to stop Congress from formalizing Biden’s presidential win.

“I take great offense at anyone who suggests I am so politically inexperienced as to want to torpedo my honest and accurate election system effort I spent months fighting on,” Brooks wrote.

The congressman also attempted to use his personal habits and ancestry as a shield from criticism, touting his clean driving record, teetotaling and relatives’ work in law enforcement as evidence of good moral character.

By: Kim Bellware

4:03 PM: A former Olympian was among the mob that stormed the Capitol. His Team USA jacket gave him away.

Klete Keller, a five-time Olympic medalist and former teammate of Michael Phelps, was among the throng of President Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, according to video footage posted online.

Keller, a decorated swimmer who represented the United States at the Summer Olympics in 2000, ’04 and ’08, is seen towering over other Trump supporters inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, wearing a Team USA jacket. The video was taken by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas, and Keller’s participation was first reported Monday by SwimSwam, a popular swimming website.

Keller, 38, has made no public comments about his presence at the Capitol. He did not return phone messages or emails seeking comment Monday, and his telephone was no longer accepting messages Tuesday.

Read the full story here

By: Rick Maese

4:00 PM: With a big budget but little accountability, long-troubled Capitol Police face questions after siege

It was the spring of 2015, and the U.S. Capitol Police had suffered a string of embarrassing incidents.

Officers who protected Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and then-House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had left their guns in bathrooms in the Capitol in January and March. Another unattended gun was found by a janitor cleaning police headquarters in April. That same month, a Florida postal worker protesting the influence of money in politics was able to land a small aircraft on the West Lawn in broad daylight.

By May, members of the House Administration Committee were asking pointed questions. The police chief said he was addressing the problems.

And then, Congress moved on.

Read the full story

By: Beth Reinhard, Rosalind S. Helderman and Neena Satija

3:59 PM: Maryland Gov. Hogan (R) to attend Biden inauguration

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to attend Biden’s inauguration in person next week, saying that it’s critical Republicans uphold the country’s traditions.

“I’m going to be joining a number of other governors, I think, on both sides of the aisle who will be there to witness, on behalf of our states, a peaceful transition of power,” Hogan told reporters Tuesday.

He added: “We must recognize that our democracy remains at a crisis point. And all of us who have been granted the privilege of holding elective office have a duty to do all that we can to restore trust and fairness to our political system.”

Hogan has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024.

By: Erin Cox

3:52 PM: Trump says 25th Amendment ‘will come back to haunt’ Biden, tells president-elect to ‘be careful what you wish for’

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump tours a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall under construction Jan. 12 in Alamo, Tex. President Trump tours a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall under construction Jan. 12 in Alamo, Tex.

At an event in Alamo, Tex., on Tuesday afternoon, Trump warned Democrats not to press for the invocation of the 25th Amendment, declaring that such a move would “come back to haunt” Biden.

“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Trump said. “As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”

The president’s remarks came hours after a House Rules Committee debate over a resolution that urges Vice President Pence to seek Trump’s removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

The full House is expected to pass the measure Tuesday night.

Shortly before beginning his remarks, Trump signed a “Donald Trump” plaque mounted at the bottom of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. He toured the wall with local Customs and Border Protection agents.

Trump continued to pressure Democrats not to impeach him for a second time, claiming that such a move would further divide the country.

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time,” Trump said.

And he mentioned last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol, noting that “millions of our citizens watched on Wednesday as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government.”

“As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America’s history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting,” Trump said, adding: “Respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement … is the foundation of the MAGA agenda.”

Videos of last week’s siege show rioters attacking law enforcement officers. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died of injuries sustained while fighting off the mob, and dozens of other officers were beaten and injured.

Trump spent the remainder of his speech touting the $15 billion border wall and taking aim at migrants who have joined caravans headed toward the United States.

“Change the name from the ‘caravans,’ which I think we came up with, to the ‘gravy train,’ because that’s what they’re looking for — looking for the gravy,” Trump said.

By: Felicia Sonmez

2:56 PM: Former FBI and CIA director William Webster, a ‘lifelong Republican,’ says Trump must be censured or impeached

William H. Webster wearing a suit and tie: William H. Webster speaks during a news conference Aug. 3, 2010. © Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP William H. Webster speaks during a news conference Aug. 3, 2010.

William H. Webster, a self-described “lifelong Republican” and the former director of the FBI and the CIA, on Tuesday threw his support behind the effort to censure or impeach Trump, arguing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “a strong American line in the sand must be drawn.”

“We are a land of laws and our United States president, above all others, is expected to revere and protect them,” Webster, 96, wrote. “Through four years in office, Trump has crossed this line multiple times in countless disturbing and tumultuous ways. But this latest insurrection demands that our country, through its elected officials, strongly and unmistakably declare that the man who has offered no apologies and still doesn’t think he did anything wrong must be censured, at the very least.”

Webster said that he backs those who support “censure, impeachment or removal” of Trump from the office of the presidency. He also pushed back against Republican critics who have claimed that impeaching Trump would further divide the country.

“While there is talk that such actions are politically motivated, I submit that in this instance, a condemnation from both sides of the aisle would be America-motivated,” Webster said. “A censure should not divide our country further. Instead, it should unite us behind the laws and values that have kept us together for over two centuries.”

Webster was director of the FBI under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and led the CIA under Reagan and President George H.W. Bush.

In his op-ed Tuesday, Webster also took particular aim at Sen. Josh Hawley (R), who represents his home state of Missouri.

“I am especially enraged that one of those who would continue to support the president’s deceptions, Sen. Josh Hawley, hails from my revered home state,” Webster said. “He, the Trump children, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, lawyer Rudy Giuliani, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and others should be ashamed.”

By: Felicia Sonmez

2:15 PM: Reps. Dingell, Brown want to fine members $1,000 a day for not wearing masks in Capitol

Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) have proposed a $1,000 fine on members who refuse to wear masks while in the U.S. Capitol complex.

The legislation would amend House rules to add that lawmakers are required to wear masks in the complex. If the Ethics Committee “determines that any Member, Delegate or Resident Commissioner” is in violation, the committee “shall fine such individual $1,000 for each day that such violation occurs,” according to the text of the bill.

The proposal comes after three Democratic lawmakers revealed that they have tested positive for the coronavirus after sheltering with other lawmakers, including some who refused to wear masks, during the lockdown at the U.S. Capitol last week.

“It is not brave to refuse to wear a mask, it is selfish, stupid, and shameful behavior that puts lives at risk,” Dingell said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Days ago, a colleague of ours died from this virus and left behind a beautiful, young family to mourn his loss. Yet still, in the midst of a deadly assault on our United States Capitol, a number of our Republican colleagues laughed off rules designed to keep not just their colleagues safe, but to protect the lives of the teams of workers keeping things going, law enforcement, and staff throughout the Capitol.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced late Monday night that she had tested positive, hours after Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a 75-year-old cancer survivor, announced her diagnosis.

The announcements from Jayapal and Watson Coleman came after the attending physician to Congress warned lawmakers over the weekend that those who sheltered in a large committee room together as rioters stormed the Capitol may have been exposed to someone with the virus.

A third lawmaker, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), said Tuesday morning that he, too, had tested positive after spending “several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress.”

“We can no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them,” Schneider said in a statement.

In her Monday statement, Jayapal said she was “also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol.”

Dingell and Brown’s legislation would require mask-wearing in the Capitol complex until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspends its recommendations for wearing masks inside buildings.

Read the full story

By: Paulina Firozi

2:12 PM: Northrop Grumman halts political donations over U.S. Capitol violence

Defense industry giant Northrop Grumman says it has halted all campaign donations from its political action committee, the first defense manufacturer to join a growing corporate backlash against the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol that many believe was incited by Trump as part of his campaign to overturn the November election. Two other large government contractors, Leidos and BAE Systems, later followed suit with halting campaign donations.

In the days since Trump supporters temporarily halted the counting of electoral votes certifying Biden’s election win with violence that left a police officer and four others dead, many well-known brands have rebuked the president and members of Congress seen as enabling him.

AT&T, Marriott, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and American Express were among many that said they would withhold donations from their political action committees to congressional Republicans who objected to the electoral votes from some states that Biden won. Others — including Google, Microsoft and BlackRock — said they were halting all political donations from their PACs.

Read the full story

By: Aaron Gregg

1:37 PM: Schumer says those who breached Capitol belong on no-fly list

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol last month. © Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol last month.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday called for the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration to place those who breached the Capitol last week on the nation’s no-fly list, arguing they could commit violent acts again in Washington or elsewhere.

“We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more damage and cause more violence,” Schumer said during a news conference in New York. “The threats to violence cannot be allowed to fly and neither can these individuals.”

Schumer used the same news conference to respond to Trump’s assertions earlier Tuesday that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were making the country more dangerous by seeking Trump’s impeachment.

Schumer said Trump’s remarks show “how despicable a president he is” and argued that Trump was seeking to blame others for problems he’s caused.

Schumer called that “a pathological technique used by … the worst dictators the world has ever seen.”

He also urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to work with him as soon as possible to hold a trial after the House’s expected impeachment of Trump on Wednesday.

“Get him out of office now before any further damage is done,” Schumer said.

By: John Wagner

1:21 PM: Americans across the political spectrum fear what the Capitol attack portends

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Clinton Lynn, a retired fire captain, firmly believes the widespread conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from President Trump, and he says that those who share his views are finding an ever-narrowing path to express their outrage, losing at the ballot box, the jury box and now the soapbox. If you take away those things, he says, what is left?

“I’m so mad, I see red about the [expletive] steal,” said Lynn, 64, sitting in his Kansas farmhouse over the weekend. “I believe with all my heart that the Democratic Party stole the election, and I will never believe otherwise as long as I draw breath. Liberals, you’re driving us to civil war.”

As authorities raise alarms about the potential for more extremist violence in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Americans across the political spectrum are also bracing for more and grappling with the realization that Jan. 20 — Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day — may not be the end of the Trump era, but the beginning of a new dark chapter in American history.

In a HuffPost poll Friday, about a third of Trump voters said they sympathized with the Capitol mob, and a majority of respondents said they did not believe Wednesday’s riot was an isolated incident.

Read the full story

By: Jenna Johnson, Annie Gowen and Holly Bailey

1:17 PM: Sen. Graham accompanies Trump on visit to Texas border wall days after declaring ‘enough is enough’

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) joined Trump aboard Air Force One on Tuesday for a visit to Alamo, Tex., less than one week after declaring on the Senate floor that he and the president had had “a hell of a journey” but that it was time to count him out of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the November election.

“Enough is enough,” Graham said on the Senate floor on Wednesday, after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an abortive but violent insurrection.

Whatever distance the senator sought to put between himself and Trump proved short-lived: By Monday, Graham had rejected talks of impeachment as harmful and divisive, arguing that Trump had committed to a peaceful transition of power.

And on Tuesday, Graham was back at the president’s side, joining a handful of Trump allies accompanying him to Texas. According to pool reports, Trump’s entourage included Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Tom Homan, the former acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and White House advisers Dan Scavino and Brooke Rollins.

After Graham criticized the idea of launching a congressional commission to review the election’s integrity, in response to Trump’s baseless voter fraud claims, hecklers confronted him at Reagan National Airport on Friday. They peppered Graham with insults, calling him a “traitor” and a “garbage human being”; others vowed that such harassment will follow him wherever he goes.

By: Kim Bellware

12:53 PM: Rep. Jordan acknowledges Biden won but says election had ‘serious problems’

Jim Jordan wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appears during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington in June. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE) Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appears during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington in June. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump on Monday, acknowledged Tuesday under persistent questioning by Democrats that Biden had won the election but continued to insist that there were “serious problems” with it.

Jordan’s comments came during a House Rules Committee debate over a resolution that urges Vice President Pence to seek Trump’s removal from office under the 25th Amendment. The full House is expected to pass the measure Tuesday night.

During committee debate, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) pressed Jordan to say Biden had won the election “fair and square,” arguing that he could help unify the country by acknowledging that.

“Mr. Chairman, I said Joe Biden won the election, but there were problems with how it was done,” Jordan said.

Jordan, who was among the Republicans who contested some of Biden’s electoral votes last week, cited one of the same arguments that was made during that debate: that several states did not follow their own rules in changing voting procedures.

Jordan also spoke out against the resolution seeking Trump’s ouster.

“Rushing this resolution to the floor will do nothing to unify or heal the country,” Jordan said. “These actions, again, will only continue to divide the nation.”

By: John Wagner

12:17 PM: FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence

A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.

A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.

“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

Read the full story here.

By: Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett

12:07 PM: Former Republican Virginia congressman backs impeachment

Former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman has joined the chorus of lawmakers calling for President Trump to be impeached for his role in orchestrating last week’s melee at the U.S. Capitol.

In a string of tweets Tuesday, the Virginia Republican said impeachment was necessary for both holding Trump accountable and undermining conspiracy theories like the QAnon hoax, which has been embraced by several prominent GOP figures and amplified by Trump.

“Impeaching President Trump for his grotesque use of power and language to incite riots, based on coordinated disinformation, will aid in dousing the fire of conspiracy grifters and to show QAnon believers that WWG1WGA was a horrific lie,” Riggleman said, using the shorthand for “where we go one we go all,” a phrase used among QAnon adherents to signify a call for mass insurrection.

Impeachment, Riggleman said, “destroys the mirage.” He rejected arguments by some of his fellow Republicans who claim impeachment would be divisive and potentially stoke more violence.

Riggleman, whose congressional term ended three days before a pro-Trump mob descended on the Capitol, has for months voiced concerns over the growing pull of conspiracies like QAnon on his fellow Republicans.

In October, he told the Virginia Mercury newspaper that a move by the National Republican Congressional Committee to financially back or otherwise endorse candidates who espouse QAnon beliefs left him questioning his ties to the party.

“For me, it does call into question whether I even want to be a Republican,” Riggleman said at the time.

QAnon adherents back the baseless theory that Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs that worships Satan and traffics children for sex. The FBI has labeled the group a domestic terrorism threat.

By: Kim Bellware

12:02 PM: House committee readies resolution calling on Pence to seek Trump’s removal


Six days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, formal debate over sanctions for Trump began in the House Rules Committee on Tuesday.

The panel readied a measure authored by Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) calling on Vice President Pence to rally the Cabinet to remove Trump under the provisions of the 25th Amendment.

“This is a solemn day, and I had hoped to begin this Congress tackling covid relief, infrastructure or legislation to combat climate change,” began Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the Rules Committee. “But the words and actions of Donald Trump make that impossible.”

“Donald Trump led the country to a place we have never seen any president take us before. He called together an angry mob. He filled them with falsehoods and false hope. And then he sent them to the United States Capitol,” McGovern continued, adding that he hopes a “strong bipartisan vote” would encourage Pence and the Cabinet to act.

Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), the top Republican on the panel, said Wednesday “was a horrific day, an unacceptable day in American history and a sobering day and one full of tragedy that will cast a long shadow over the Congress.”

But he called the Raskin measure “misguided and inappropriate,” noting that Congress has no direct role in initiating the 25th Amendment removal process.

“We should call this resolution what it is: a transparent attempt to pressure the vice president into performing a duty he does not believe is necessary at this time,” Cole said. “Should he believe that the 25th Amendment needs to be invoked, I have faith that Vice President Pence, both as a leader and as a former House colleague, would exercise good judgment with respect to performing that duty.”

The House is expected to vote on the Raskin resolution late Tuesday night.

By: Mike DeBonis

11:58 AM: In briefing, law enforcement describes security threats to Biden’s inauguration

House Democrats were briefed by the new U.S. Capitol Police leadership Monday night about threats to the inauguration from groups supporting President Trump and the new security measures they are putting in place to avoid a repeat of last Wednesday’s riots.

According to members who were on the briefing call, the threats include everything from planned Inauguration Day protests to promises to execute members, with the most dangerous coming from a handful of groups like the Proud Boys, the “boogaloo” movement and militias promising to dispatch a million “MAGA” devotees to Washington on Jan. 20.

For the most part, members are taking the threats seriously, especially when it comes to the personal security of members of Congress and the president-elect. But they also caution that threats be taken with a grain of salt, warning that while the groups may be able to cause chaos, the security steps in place make it all but impossible they will be able to stage anything akin to an actual coup.

“We’re not talking about a 90-person ISIS cell that is somewhere in Baltimore; we’re talking mainly about a bunch of yahoos — who, yes, are very dangerous, people could wind up dead,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) said in an interview. “But there’s no danger that they’re going to overthrow the United States government.”

But some are not so sure. While most members on the call indicated they intend to be present for the inauguration, others who endured the worst of Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol are concerned that the security plans, though comprehensive, may not be enough to hold back a determined, riotous crowd.

The Capitol Police put great stock in the “unscalable” eight-foot fence that has been erected around the Capitol building, according to multiple members on the call. But some members pointed out that eight feet was not an unsurmountable height, even if there were Capitol police lining the perimeter.

Police are also asking members to apprise them of their travel plans, so they can plan to have a law enforcement presence to greet lawmakers who fly into the Washington region within days of the inauguration.

By: Karoun Demirjian

11:21 AM: City of Alamo said it had no advance notice of Trump’s visit

City officials in Alamo, Tex., said they were left in the dark about Trump’s plan to visit the U.S. border town Tuesday and that his trip comes as a surprise.

“The City of Alamo’s City Commission and City Administration has NOT been officially contacted regarding this visit and therefore, have NO DETAILS regarding his itinerary,” city officials said in a statement Tuesday.

The city indicated that no preparations were in place for any potential pro- or anti-Trump demonstrations.

“We ask that all demonstrations are peaceful and respectful toward our law enforcement personnel and our surrounding communities,” the city said.

The White House told reporters of Trump’s intention to visit Alamo on Saturday, amid a particularly bruising news cycle for the president following a wave of anger for his role in inciting a deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol last week.

White House Spokesman Judd Deere said at the time Trump’s visit was to highlight the administration’s immigration reform efforts. Construction of fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a signature issue for the president, whose legacy on immigration includes a family separation policy for asylum seekers at the border and a ban on travel from majority-Muslim countries.

By: Kim Bellware

11:12 AM: Third Democratic House member tests positive after lockdown in room with some maskless Republicans

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) is the third Democratic House member in 24 hours to reveal he has tested positive for the coronavirus after being among the dozens who went into lockdown together in a committee room where several Republicans refused to wear masks.

“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,” Schneider said in a statement. Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask … Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) have also tested positive after being held in the crowded room while a violent mob stormed the Capitol.

On Sunday, the Capitol attending physician alerted lawmakers who sheltered in that room that they may have been exposed to the virus and urged them to get tested.

Several lawmakers are calling for the Republicans who refused to wear a mask, even when offered one by a Democratic colleague, to be fined and the House to take a more firm stance enforcing mask-wearing inside the Capitol.

“We can no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them,” Schneider said. “Those that flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the Sergeant at Arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues.”

By: Colby Itkowitz

10:56 AM: Trump calls second impeachment effort a ‘witch hunt,' says Democrats are ‘causing tremendous danger to our country’


Trump on Tuesday called the effort by Democrats to impeach him for a second time a “witch hunt” and accused them of “causing tremendous danger to our country” by moving forward.

Trump, who spoke to reporters as he left the White House en route to Texas, used the same term he employed repeatedly to describe investigations into possible coordination between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 election and in his first impeachment, which involved possible overtures to Ukraine that could help him in the 2020 election.

In the wake of last week’s takeover of the Capitol by a mob of his supporters, Trump told reporters at the White House, “We want no violence, never violence.”

But he decried the efforts of Democrats — particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) — to hold him responsible.

“On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing.”

“For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.

A few minutes later, after arriving by helicopter at Joint Base Andrews, Trump asserted that his speech Wednesday in which he urged supporters to head to the Capitol had received good reviews.

“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody just thought it was totally appropriate,” Trump said.

Trump claimed that racial justice protests over the summer were “the real problem.”

“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem,” he said.

Trump also took aim at Twitter and other social media platforms that have banned him in recent days.

“They are making a catastrophic mistake,” he said. “They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time.”

By: John Wagner

10:36 AM: Simone Gold, noted hydroxychloroquine advocate, was inside the Capitol during the riot

a woman standing in front of a building: California doctor Simone Gold reads from her speech criticizing the U.S. government response to the coronavirus pandemic while inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. © John Strand/John Strand California doctor Simone Gold reads from her speech criticizing the U.S. government response to the coronavirus pandemic while inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.

A physician who has been an outspoken critic of the coronavirus vaccine was among those who entered the Capitol building last week during the siege that disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Simone Gold gained national attention in July when she and other physicians appeared in front of the Supreme Court for a sparsely attended news conference to blast pandemic lockdowns and criticize government efforts to stop the spread of the disease. Video of the event, organized by conservative activists, was retweeted by the president and viewed by millions before social media platforms took it down.

Gold confirmed to The Washington Post that she is the person pictured carrying a bullhorn on the Capitol grounds Wednesday in FBI and D.C. police bulletins seeking more information about individuals at the Capitol.

Read the full story

By: Neena Satija

10:29 AM: Harvard Institute of Politics removes alum GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik from advisory board over baseless voter fraud claims

Elise Stefanik looking at the camera: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) © Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)

The dean of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School has removed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) from her role on a senior advisory committee over her baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Stefanik later called her removal a “badge of honor.”

Doug Elmendorf, in a letter to the other members of the committee, said he had asked Stefanik, a 2006 Harvard graduate, to voluntarily step down, but she refused, so he removed her. The decision, he said, came after consultation with students, alumni and other Harvard faculty.

“My request was not about political parties, political ideology, or her choice of candidate for president,” Elmendorf wrote. “Rather, in my assessment, Elise has made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect. Moreover, these assertions and statements do not reflect policy disagreements but bear on the foundations of the electoral process through which this country’s leaders are chosen.”

Stefanik, a tepid critic of Trump at first, became one of his staunchest defenders during his first impeachment.

“As a conservative Republican, it is a rite of passage and badge of honor to join the long line of leaders who have been boycotted, protested and canceled by colleges and universities across America,” Stefanik said in a statement following her removal, adding that Harvard’s “intolerant liberal views demonstrates the sneering disdain for everyday Americans and will instill a culture of fear for students who will understand that a conservative viewpoint will not be tolerated and will be silenced.”

By: Colby Itkowitz

9:34 AM: Biden plans no public appearances on Tuesday

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: President-elect Joe Biden arrives at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday. © Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post President-elect Joe Biden arrives at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday.

As Trump heads to Texas and House members return to Washington, Biden plans to stay out of public view on Tuesday, according to his transition team.

Biden has advertised no public events, and shortly after 9 a.m., his office called a “lid,” a signal to the press that he has no plans to travel or be in a position to be photographed for the rest of the day.

By: John Wagner


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