Several senior Trump administration officials resigned Thursday after rioting and bloodshed by violent Trump supporters at the Capitol on Wednesday left four people dead and drew calls from members of Congress for an investigation into security measures around the complex.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was the first of Trump's Cabinet secretaries to announce she was resigning, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos followed hours later.
A police officer died Thursday night from injuries suffered during the pro-Trump mob's breach of the Capitol.
Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election victory early Thursday morning — more than 14 hours after the tally began — after members were whisked away just after the proceedings had started when a mob of Trump supporters overran the building. Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news from Jan. 8, 2021 about the backlash over the riots.
Read the highlights:
— 'Deeply troubled' by Capitol riot, Transportation Secretary Chao resigns.
— What happened after Trump told supporters to swarm the Capitol.
— Law enforcement officials across U.S. shocked by police failure to stop rioters.
— Trump loyalists push evidence-free claims that antifa activists fueled mob.
— How an ordinary Congress vote devolved into disarray.
Wall Street Journal editorial calls on Trump to resign rather than be impeached
The Wall Street Journal's editorial board condemned President Donald Trump for Wednesday's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, and said he should resign rather than face the prospect of a second impeachment.
"It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly," the board, which is generally seen as conservative, wrote in the editorial published online Thursday. The Journal is owned by a company controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
It says the president of the United States "incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch" and called it "an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election." They say Trump was also to blame for waiting too long to call off the rioters and for hedging when he did, and was accused of betraying his supporters by lying to them about the election.
"If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign," the editorial board wrote.
"We know an act of grace by Mr. Trump isn’t likely. In any case this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure," the editorial reads. Thursday evening Trump in a video address acknowledged a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Joaquin Castro wants to ban Trump's name from ever going on a federal building
Secret Service, congressional panel vow safe inauguration
The U.S. Secret Service and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies vowed Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will be safe following the violent clash at the U.S Capitol.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service said for more than a year the agency has been working "tirelessly" to ensure Inauguration Day is "safe and secure." The agency plan, the spokesperson said, prepares for all contingencies "at every level."
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which was created in 1901 to plan and host the inaugural ceremonies, also said in a statement that the ceremony will be safe and that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20.
"The outrageous attack on the Capitol, however, will not stop us from affirming to Americans — and the world — that our democracy endures," the bipartisan committee said in a statement. “The great American tradition of an inaugural ceremony has occurred in times of peace, in times of turmoil, in times of prosperity, and in times of adversity."
Senate sergeant at arms resigns
The Senate sergeant at arms has resigned following Wednesday's violence at the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
“Today I requested and received the resignation of Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, effective immediately," McConnell said in a statement Thursday evening.
Deputy Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway will fill the position.
"I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th," McConnell said.
The sergeant at arms serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer and is the principal administrative manager for most support services in the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had previously said that said if Stenger had not vacated his position by the time Schumer becomes majority leader, he would fire him.
Judiciary chair Nadler supports Trump's 'immediate impeachment'
House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Thursday he supports "the immediate impeachment of the president and his removal from office" following the riot at the Capitol.
"The president called his supporters to Washington, D.C. and told them to go to the Capitol itself. Unsurprisingly, these seditious calls to action by a desperate man and his allies achieved their intended result — violent insurrection. Donald Trump lit the match, and his allies and enablers fanned the flames of rebellion," Nadler said.
"There must be consequences. Those consequences must be commensurate with the offense, and they must begin with the president of the United States," said Nadler, who's also calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
Articles of impeachment against the president would have to go through Nadler's committee, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Thursday "the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus, and the American people, by the way."
In his statement, Nadler said, "We have a limited period of time in which to act. The nation cannot afford a lengthy, drawn out process, and I support bringing articles of impeachment directly to the House floor."
Trump's term expires on Jan. 20.
FBI now has 4,000 online tips to help identify rioters
After asking for information from the public, the FBI Washington Field Office has received more than 4,000 tips including digital media that are now being analyzed. That includes photos and video of suspects rioting at the Capitol.
And that’s just online tips and doesn’t include tips given over the phone.
Intelligence analysts are triaging the information, sorting out and prioritizing the best leads, getting rid of duplicates. Then any credible leads are forwarded to teams of agents working the case.
Facial recognition software is being used, with some of the analysis being parceled out to the Criminal Justice Information Services Unit in West Virginia.
Prosecutors looking at Trump's role in riot
Washington's Acting U.S. Attorney Mike Sherwin said his office will consider bringing charges against anyone who played a role in the mob attack on the Capitol.
When asked if that could include President Trump for encouraging the mob to move on the Capitol, Sherwin would not rule it out.
Ex-White House chief of staff: I would vote to remove Trump
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly told CNN Thursday that he would vote to remove President Trump from office using the 25th Amendment if he were still a member of the Cabinet.
Kelly characterized Trump as a "laughingstock" following his election loss. The Cabinet should meet regarding a possible removal of Trump from office, Kelly said, though he doubted it would happen.
"The behavior yesterday — and in the weeks and months before that — has just been outrageous from the president," Kelly said. "What happened on Capitol Hill yesterday as a direct result of him poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds."
When asked whether he would vote to remove Trump if he was still in the Cabinet, Kelly said he would.
"The one thing we have going for us here, Jake, it's only 13 more days," Kelly said.
Trump's legal team drops baseless Georgia election lawsuit, Raffensperger's office says
President Donald Trump's legal team voluntarily dropped a baseless lawsuit challenging the election process there on the eve of their court date, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Thursday.
The withdrawal came after Raffensperger sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday refuting the false claims made by the president and his supporters about widespread election fraud. President-elect Joe Biden won the state, becoming the first Democrat to do so in nearly 30 years.
While counting the electoral votes late Wednesday night into the early hours of Thursday, Congress accepted Georgia’s electors without objection.
However, Raffensperger said the president and his legal team continue to spread disinformation about the election. They also falsely characterized the withdrawal of the suit as “due to an out of court settlement agreement,” even though there is no such agreement, Raffensperger said in a statement.
“Rather than presenting their evidence and witnesses to a court and to cross-examination under oath, the Trump campaign wisely decided the smartest course was to dismiss their frivolous cases,” Raffensperger said. “Spreading disinformation about elections is dangerous and wrong."