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Highlights and analysis: Trump impeachment and 25th Amendment resolutions to get House vote

House Democrats will proceed with Trump's impeachment for "incitement of insurrection" if Pence doesn't agree to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Image: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds news conference at U.S. Capitol a day after violent protests in Washington
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday.Erin Scott / Reuters

House Democrats introduced one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday for "incitement of insurrection" for urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last Wednesday.

The House will vote on the impeachment measure Wednesday morning after considering legislation Tuesday night that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20. The planned votes come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Democrats that the chamber would proceed with Trump's impeachment if Pence doesn't agree to the 25th Amendment process.

Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said the House could delay sending impeachment articles to the Senate until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office to allow the president-elect to get his agenda off and running, including Covid-19 relief legislation and the confirmation of his Cabinet officials.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the soonest his chamber could receive impeachment articles would be the eve of Biden's inauguration unless senators give unanimous consent to doing so earlier.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news about the reaction to the Capitol riot from Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

Read the highlights:

— After break with Trump, Pence charts a new path forward.

— FBI memo warns law enforcement across U.S. of possible armed protests at 50 state Capitols.

— Nearly three-quarters of voters say democracy under threat, majority say Trump should resign or be removed, poll finds.

— New York State Bar Association moves to oust Rudy Giuliani.

— Melania Trump makes first comments about attack on the Capitol.

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

Image: President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

President Donald Trump is scheduled to emerge publicly Tuesday in a visit to a stretch of Texas border wall, providing him what could be one of his first opportunities to speak to the American public since losing his social media megaphone.

Over the weekend after the Capitol riot he incited, Trump remained silent inside a White House in tumult, exacerbated by staff leaving, with decisions regarding him and his schedule being made and then canceled.

The final days of his presidency could become the most defining, as Trump is estranged from even his most devout allies in Washington and once again facing impeachment. But Trump remains defiant, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. 

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Poll: Nearly three-quarters of voters say democracy under threat, majority say Trump should resign or be removed

Nearly three-quarters of voters say they believe democracy is under threat and just over half say Trump should be removed or resign from office following the rioting at the Capitol last week, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. 

While 74 percent of respondents said they believe democracy is under threat, another 21 percent said democracy in the U.S. is alive and well. Eighty percent of those surveyed said the pro-Trump supporters who took part in the riot were undermining democracy, while 10 percent said they were protecting it and 10 percent said that they were unsure.

A majority of voters, 56 percent, said they hold Trump responsible for the rioting, while 42 percent said they do not. A slight majority (52 to 45 percent) said Trump should be removed from office, while by a wider margin (53 to 43 percent) said he should resign as president.  

The poll found that Trump's job approval rating has decreased by 11 percentage points to 33 percent, a substantial drop from December, while 60 percent of respondents said they disapprove of his job performance, an increase from 51 percent last month. 

The poll of 1,239 registered voters nationwide between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10 had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Parler sues Amazon Web Services

Social media platform Parler filed an emergency lawsuit Monday against Amazon Web Services alleging the internet services giant violated antitrust laws by shutting down the site over concerns that it enables violent content.

Parler went offline early Monday morning after Amazon Web Services, which hosts the platform, notified the company that it will be shutting down its services.

“AWS decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus” and “designed to reduce competition int he microblogging services market to benefit of Twitter,” Parler said in the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

Parler accuses the web-hosting platform of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaching its contract and “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage” that the microblogging company expected from the rush of users to its site. It is seeking a temporary restraining order against Amazon Web Services in order to bring its service back online.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic rep. says she contracted Covid-19 while sheltering in place during riot

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., received a positive rapid Covid-19 test Monday after what she said might have been her exposure to the coronavirus while sheltering in place with lawmakers who did not wear masks during the rioting at the Capitol last Wednesday, her office announced. 

“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents," Watson Coleman said in a statement. 

The congresswoman is isolating and waiting for the results of a PCR test, which is known to be more accurate than rapid tests. 

This comes a day after the Capitol physician warned members and congressional staff that they could have have been exposed to someone infected with the virus when they were sheltering in place. A video circulated last week that showed a House Democrat in a secure room offering face masks to a group of her fellow Republicans, who were seen turning them down. 

Wielding Conan sword, Schwarzenegger blasts 'spinelessness' of fellow Republicans after Capitol riot

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shared words of hope Sunday in the aftermath of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, and denounced President Donald Trump and the "spinelessness" of his fellow Republicans.

Schwarzenegger drew parallels to his upbringing in post-World War II Austria while discussing Wednesday's pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In a video statement released Sunday, he compared the riot in Washington to Kristallnacht — the 1938 assault by Nazis in Germany who began destroying Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues as thousands of people were rounded up to be sent to concentration camps — saying Wednesday was the "day of Broken Glass here in America."

"The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol," Schwarzenegger said. "But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted. They didn't just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded."

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Father of slain Capitol officer hopes son's death brings end to 'lunacy'

The father of slain Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick is speaking out, saying that he hopes his son's killing at the Capitol riots will stop the "lunacy."

“I’m supposed to die first,” said Charles Sicknick, 81. “Not my son.”

In an interview with Reuters, the surviving Sicknick said that becoming a Capitol Police Officer was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for his son, Brian.

"He loved his job," Sicknick said. "I'll never get over this."

Brian Sicknick died last Thursday at age 42, a day after he was injured while defending the U.S. Capitol from the violent mob that stormed the building after President Donald Trump delivered a speech encouraging supporters to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's election win.

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Two men seen carrying restraints during Capitol riot charged with federal crimes

Two men seen carrying zip tie-style restraints when supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol were charged Sunday in federal court, authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia identified the men as Larry Rendell Brock of Texas and Eric Gavelek Munchel of Tennessee.

Brock and Munchel were charged with one count of entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the office said in a statement.

The men, who were identified by researchers at the University of Toronto, were seen inside the building with the restraints, authorities said.

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New York State Bar Association moves to oust Rudy Giuliani

Image: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather for a rally in Washington
Rudy Giuliani speaks as Trump supporters gather by the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.Jim Bourg / Reuters

The New York State Bar Association on Monday announced it was launching an inquiry into whether to remove Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney and the former mayor of New York, from its ranks following the insurrection at the Capitol last Wednesday.

Saying blame for the violence "lies first and foremost with" Trump, the association added that the president "did not act alone," pointing to Giuliani's comments from the pro-Trump rally held blocks from the Capitol just prior to the riot. Giuliani made a slew of false claims about election fraud as well as Vice President Mike Pence's role in the Electoral College vote-counting process.

Claiming that evidence of election fraud was a mere 10 days away from finally becoming public, Giuliani said, "if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of."

"But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail," he added. "So, let’s have trial by combat. I’m willing to stake my reputation, the president is willing to stake his reputation on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there."

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Democratic lawmakers call for news conference, briefing from DOJ, Homeland, FBI heads

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding answers from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol. 

In a letter Monday, a pair of lawmakers on the committee asked acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and FBI Director Christopher Wray to hold a news conference and briefing to Congress on the events that transpired.

“It has been five days since the most significant attack on a branch of the United States government since British forces set fire to the U.S. Capitol in 1814,”  Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, wrote in the letter. “And yet the American public has not heard from federal law enforcement authorities regarding an official account of the events of that day or the steps being taken to prevent further acts of domestic terrorism in the coming weeks.”

“After an attack of this magnitude, it is beyond necessary for the American public — and members of Congress — to be well informed and be provided with the facts,” the lawmakers added.

Other members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are calling for similar immediate action to investigate the situation.

Biden plans 'America United' inauguration theme

Image: US President Barack Obama (L) walks down
President-elect Joe Biden's inaugural theme will be "America United" and will partake in several activities alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and all of their spouses, to display a message of unity, his inaugural committee said Monday.Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file

President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural theme will be “America United” and he will partake in several activities alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to underscore that message of unity, his inaugural committee said Monday.

“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” Biden’s inaugural committee said in a statement.

The ceremony is slated to occur two weeks to the day after a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol at Trump’s urging.

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Trump's voter fraud lies encouraged a riot. GOP allies are still giving them oxygen.

Image: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, front, followed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., walk from the House Chamber following a Senate procession carrying boxes holding Electoral College votes to the House Chamber for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence.

In almost the same breath as he condemned the rioters who temporarily disrupted Congress' normal process of affirming President-elect Joe Biden's win, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, the first Republican to announce his intention to object to the certification, suggested that Biden's victory was illegitimate.

“We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud,” Hawley said before staring directly into the camera in a video that his office would promptly upload to YouTube and saying: “We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.”

In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, condemned the violence, too. Still, he said, his calls for an investigation into voter fraud were the “right thing to do" before adding, “I very much wish Congress had not set aside these concerns.”

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Whitehouse calls on Senate Ethics Committee to consider whether to punish Cruz, Hawley

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a statement Monday that the Senate Ethics Committee should consider whether to expel, censure or punish Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and potentially others, for their role in objecting to the counting of some of Joe Biden's electoral votes and the riot in the Capitol last Wednesday. 

“The Senate needs to oversee federal investigation of the attack and ransacking of our national Capitol, through the Judiciary and perhaps Homeland Security Committees," Whitehouse, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. "We may also be the client in federal civil suits for damages and for restraining orders, likely also under Judiciary purview." 

“The Senate will need to conduct security review of what happened and what went wrong, likely through the Rules, Homeland, and Judiciary Committees. The Senate Ethics Committee also must consider the expulsion, or censure and punishment, of Senators Cruz, Hawley, and perhaps others," he said. 

The Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Stripe payment processor boots Trump campaign after Capitol riot

Stripe, which processes online payments for President Donald Trump's campaign, cut ties with him for violating its policies during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol, the company said Sunday.

The San Francisco-based company said Trump encouraged violence Wednesday, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, in violation of user policies that prohibit "high risk" activities.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the move, which came after other companies began turning on Trump over the attack, which left five people dead, including a police officer.

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Melania Trump makes first comments about attack on the Capitol

First lady Melania Trump made her first comments Monday about the violence at the Capitol when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building last week.

In a lengthy written statement posted to the White House website and shared on her Twitter account, she said that her heart goes out to the six people who have died since the attack, including two Capitol police officers.

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda," she said. "This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."

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FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say

The FBI and the New York City Police Department passed information to U.S. Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the protests last Wednesday against the counting of the Electoral College vote, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials said.

The previously unreported details undercut the assertion by a top FBI official that officials had no indication that violence was a possibility, and they add to questions about what intelligence authorities had reviewed before the Capitol riot, which led to the death of an officer and four other people, including a rioter who was shot and killed by police.

"Social media is just part of a full intelligence picture, and while there was First Amendment-protected activity on social media to include some people making threats, to this point, investigators have not found that there was an organized plot to access the Capitol," a senior FBI official said.

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Many Republicans agree Trump went too far but remain divided over consequences

With a second possible impeachment of President Donald Trump on the horizon, some Republicans are saying his conduct in egging on a mob that rioted at the Capitol last week is worthy of impeachment or removal. Others, however, say taking action against Trump could inflame tensions further.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that he believes Trump should resign immediately, joining a handful of Republican colleagues calling for him to go. Toomey said that he believed Trump's conduct is impeachable but that the appropriate step is for him to leave office before his term ends Jan. 20.

"The best way for our country," Toomey said, is "for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible. I acknowledge that may not be likely, but that would be best."

Toomey's remarks reflect a growing momentum in Washington to hold Trump accountable for Wednesday's unrest. The riots prompted a number of Republicans, including Cabinet members and longtime allies, to speak out.

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Can Trump be tried in the Senate on impeachment charges even after he leaves office? Some experts say yes.

Some legal experts on the congressional power of impeachment believe President Donald Trump could be impeached and tried in the Senate even after he leaves office at noon on Jan. 20.

As House Democrats consider bringing up articles of impeachment as early as this week, here's a look at how the procedure would work.

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