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.
Capitol rioter who put feet on Pelosi's desk got PPP loan
Richard Barnett, the Capitol rioter photographed with his feet on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, received a $9,300 forgivable loan under the Paycheck Protection Program last April, records show.
An independent glass and glazing contractor in Gravette, Arkansas, Barnett was an early participant in the federal program that aimed to help small businesses survive COVID-related shutdowns and continue paying their employees. In his PPP application, Barnett, 60, said the loan would preserve one job, presumably his own, and was based on total payroll costs of $44,640 at his enterprise.
Barnett did not mention receiving government assistance when he bragged to The New York Times about breaking into Pelosi's office and leaving her a nasty note.
Efforts to reach Barnett were unsuccessful.
Deputy national security adviser Pottinger resigns
Deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger has resigned, his boss said Thursday.
"Asking Matt Pottinger to serve as my deputy was my first act as NSA and it turned out to be one of my best decisions. As he heads West to rejoin his family in beautiful Utah, Matt does so with my appreciation for a job well done and with my enduring friendship," O'Brien wrote in a pair of tweets.
O'Brien added that Pottinger's work led "to a great awakening in our country and around the world to the danger posed by the Chinese Communist Party."
O'Brien didn't offer an explanation on the timing of the resignation, which came after Trump-supporting rioters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Numerous other officials, including former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, have resigned from the administration in the wake of Wednesday's violence, and Mulvaney told CNBC he expected there would be others following suit.
D.C. mayor says Trump 'must be held accountable' for Capitol riot, demands control of Nat'l Guard
Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., said Thursday that President Donald Trump instigated the storming of the U.S. Capitol and “must be held accountable for this unprecedented attack on our Democracy.”
“What happened yesterday, he wanted to happen,” Bowser said at a new conference. “What happened yesterday is textbook terrorism.”
Bowser said that Wednesday’s assault by a mob of Trump supporters was enabled by “catastrophic security failures” and called on Congress to “immediately transfer command” of the District of Columbia National Guard from Trump to her office to prevent a repeat of the violence that shocked the country and resulted in the deaths of four people.
“We will be looking very closely at what we learned,” Bowser said, when asked how the district is preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden in less that two weeks. Among other things, the 7-foot “nonscalable fencing will be in place around the Capitol until after the inauguration” and there will be a much bigger security contingent on hand, the mayor said.
Bowser noted that the federal police response to the George Floyd demonstrations over the summer was much swifter. “I’m upset by what this president has done to this city and our democracy,” she said. “I’m upset that my police officers were put in harm’s way, when they were just doing their jobs.”
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who also spoke to reporters, said when asked why no troops were deployed to the Capitol ahead of Tuesday’s electoral vote counting that “no request of the D.C. National Guard was made to come onto the grounds.”
D.C. police release photos of people from Capitol riot they want to identify
The Metropolitan Police Department released photos Thursday of rioters at the Capitol that they want to identify.
Among the photos is one of a notorious QAnon supporter, who goes by Q Shaman, whose attire had people on Twitter likening him to Chewbacca.
An unidentified rioter was fired from his job due to "demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others," Navistar Direct Marketing said in a tweeted statement. The Maryland company did not name the employee.
Here are the rest of the photos the department released.
Police are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to arrests and indictments of one or more of the rioters.
Ocasio-Cortez calls on Cruz and Hawley to resign
Capitol police were hit in the head with lead pipes, congressman says
Rep. Tim Ryan — who chairs a key subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Capitol — just told reporters that as many as 60 Capitol Police officers were injured yesterday, including 15 hospitalized and one in critical condition.
Many were hit in the head with lead pipes, the Ohio Democrat said.
Ryan said he is "livid" over the "strategic blunder" that left the Capitol police without a solid plan and adequate reinforcements.
He said he does not understand, and plans to investigate, why the mob was allowed to get so close to the Capitol when he was assured by police officials that could not happen, adding that there was an “intelligence failure,” to anticipate the scope of the threat.
While praising the heroics of most rank and file Capitol Police, he said he was concerned about videos showing police officers appearing to act with passivity, and in one case posing for a selfie with a rioter.
Hoyer says rioters stole a tribute to late Rep. John Lewis
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday that rioters that stormed the Capitol stole a poster that was a tribute to the late civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who died last year.
Before the violence began Thursday, many Democrats were alluding to Lewis and his civil rights efforts after the victories of Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in their Georgia Senate runoff elections.
Trump yanks Chad Wolf's Homeland Security nomination
The White House announced it was withdrawing acting Homeland Security chief's Chad Wolf's nomination to the permanent post on Thursday, shortly after he issued a statement critical of the of the president.
The White House did not say why it was withdrawing Wolf's nomination, but the announcement, came about one hour after Wolfissued a statement that said, "Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans."
White House spokesman Judd Deere said the timing was coincidental. “The withdrawal occurred yesterday and was not related at all to Wednesday’s events or the Acting Secretary’s comments this morning. Acting Secretary Wolf remains the acting secretary and continues to perform the duties of his office,” Deere said in a statement.
Wolf's statement called Wednesday's riot "unacceptable. These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the president and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday."
Trump's withdrawal of the nomination has little real impact. Wolf would not have been confirmed before the start of the Biden administration, and Biden would have no intention of keeping him on the job.
In his statement, Wolf said, "I will remain in my position until the end of the administration to ensure the department’s focus remains on the serious threats facing our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team."
Acting AG Rosen: Capitol rioters will 'face the full consequences of their actions'
Reacting to the violence that gripped the Capitol on Wednesday, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said Thursday that the Department of Justice "is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law."
"Our criminal prosecutors have been working throughout the evening with special agents and investigators from the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, ATF, Metropolitan Police Department and the public to gather the evidence, identify perpetrators, and charge federal crimes where warranted," he said in a statement.
"Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law," added Rosen, who succeeded Bill Barr as head of the Justice Department after his resignation last month.
FBI Director Christopher Wray also said in a statement, "Let me assure the American people the FBI has deployed our full investigative resources and is working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6."
"Our agents and analysts have been hard at work through the night gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges," he continued.
The public can help by providing tips, information, and videos of illegal activity, he said, adding, "We are determined to find those responsible and ensure justice is served."
Schumer calls on Pence to use 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office
“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president," Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement on Thursday. "This president should not hold office one day longer."
Schumer joins a growing contingent of lawmakers from both parties to call for Trump's removal, either by using the 25th amendment or through impeachment.