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Highlights and analysis: House passes resolution to demand Pence invoke 25th Amendment, remove Trump

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation."
Image: illustration of President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a red background that shows the Capitol exterior, with navy bubbles showing words like \"Impeachment,\" \"Congress,\" \"President\"
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The House approved a resolution on a late Tuesday night to encourage Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office before his term ends on Jan. 20, a largely symbolic gesture that precedes a vote on impeachment Wednesday.

Pence said earlier Tuesday evening that he will not heed these calls.

Then, on Wednesday morning, House Democrats are planning to take up an article of impeachment against Trump for "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last week.

The planned votes come as the FBI sent a warning to law enforcement agencies across the country about possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Saturday as well the threat of an uprising in Washington that day if Congress removes Trump.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news on the response to the Capitol riot from Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

Read the highlights:

— At least five Republican House members have said they will vote to impeach Trump.

— Pence said Tuesday evening in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

— Trump enters final week as president with few allies, no Twitter and an impeachment effort.

— What we know about the people arrested after the Capitol riots.

— After Capitol violence, Trump brand partners eye dumping toxic asset: the president.

Acting AG: More than 500 law enforcement officers rushed to Capitol during riot

House approves resolution calling on Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

The House voted late Tuesday to encourage Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, a largely symbolic gesture that precedes a vote on impeachment Wednesday.

The measure passed along largely partisan lines 223 to 205.

Pence sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday saying he will not use the provisions of the 25th Amendment to depose Trump.

Read more on the story here.

Citing potential for violence, YouTube bans uploads on Trump's page for a 'minimum of 7 days'

Debate ends ahead of vote to invoke 25th Amendment

Debate on the House floor has ended ahead of a vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to remove President Trump from office. 

Republicans largely defended the president and criticized their Democratic colleagues. Prior to the vote tonight, Pence already sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling her that he does “not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation.”

GOP Rep Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., referenced the Pence letter on the floor, saying, “they may be calling on the vice president, but based on his letter, he's not answering. Everybody in this country knows that they wanted to impeach president trump on his first day in office — looks like they want to impeach him on his last day.”

House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said on the floor that “this is not necessary” because Pence’s answer is no and that Democrats are just trying to “pour gas on the fire.”

During the floor debate, newly-named impeachment manager Rep Neguse, D-Colo., responded to a GOP colleague, “Who summoned the mob? Who encouraged the mob? Who incited the mob? You know as well as I do that the president did.”

Rep. Sherrill claims fellow members led 'reconnaissance' groups through Capitol before riot

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., alleged in a Facebook video on Tuesday that some members of Congress led people through the Capitol on a "reconnaissance" tour of the building one day before Wednesday's riots.

She was not clear which members she saw leading such groups on tour, or whom those groups were composed of.

"And so not only do I intend to see that the president is removed, and never runs for office again and doesn't have access to classified material," she said speaking in support of President Donald Trump's impeachment for his conduct in relation to the riot.

"I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol on Jan. 5, reconnaissance for the next day. There's members of Congress who incited this violent crowd," Sherrill said.

"I'm going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don't serve in Congress," she added.

 

Rep. Fred Upton becomes fourth Republican to say they'll vote to impeach Trump

Michigan GOP Rep Fred Upton becomes the fourth Republican to say they will vote to impeach President Donald Trump tomorrow.

Upton's full statement:

“Today the President characterized his inflammatory rhetoric at last Wednesday’s rally as 'totally appropriate,' and he expressed no regrets for last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 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. I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. 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.

Swalwell priases Capitol custodial staff, who've had to clean up after rioters

In speaking on why President Donald Trump should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., hailed Capitol custodial staff, who had to clean up after the Wednesday riot.

In speaking about what Americans should unite around as the president faces his second impeachment, Swalwell said, "let's unite against Donald Trump who inspired terrorists to carry a Confederate flag into this Capitol, display a noose and desecrate the people's house."

"And let's unite for the custodial staff, largely people of color, who cleaned up after those white supremacists because they still believe in this democracy as imperfect as it was that day," he added.

Rep. Biggs, who voted to overturn election results, accuses Dems of 'stoking the fire'

Pelosi assails Trump for 'defiling the genius of the Constitution'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tore into President Donald Trump from the House floor as it considers whether to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Pelosi said Trump "incited a deadly insurrection against America" in egging on the crowd that rioted at the Capitol Wednesday and that, by doing so, he was "defiling the genius of the Constitution."

She said "the gleeful desecration of the Capitol" will "forever stain our nation's history," later praising law enforcement at the Capitol for the "valor they showed in protecting" members and staff.

Pelosi took aim at the president's conduct leading up to, during, and following the riot, first saying he "called for this seditious attack" by urging supporters to travel to Washington, march on the Capitol as it counted the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, and "fight."

As it was ongoing, Pelosi said Trump wouldn't say anything to call off the mob for hours and then said Tuesday that he was not responsible for the violence. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Trump said, "Everybody to a 'T' thought it was totally appropriate," in reference to his speech at a Wednesday rally.

Pelosi said that if Trump's conduct amounts to an "absolute inability to discharge" his duties, and therefore He "must be removed from office immediately" via the 25th Amendment to prevent additional "deranged acts of sedition."

Pence wrote to Pelosi earlier Tuesday saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment having assessed that he did not find it to be constitutional. The House plans to vote on impeaching Trump over his conduct on Wednesday.