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.
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."
Fencing going up near White House complex
The Secret Service last night asked the U.S. Park Service put fencing up around the White House for at least a week, according to a government official familiar with the request.
The official expects the fence to remain up through President-elect Biden's inauguration.
55 charges so far from Capitol riot, one suspect had 11 Molotov cocktails
The acting U.S. attorney in Washington, Mike Sherwin, says his office has now charged 55 suspects with various offenses, including unlawful entry, assault, theft and weapons charges.
Eight suspects face gun charges. One suspect had a military style semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails.
Sherwin says federal and local investigators — "hundreds of people" — are now searching social media for photos and video clips of suspects engaged in unlawful activity. Those people are being arrested as quickly as possible. Department of Justice expects this search for suspects to last all year.
-The department also says it is looking at whether sensitive material or national security items may have been stolen from the desks of members of congress, including electronic equipment and documents.
-When asked if the failure of Capitol Police to arrest people was making the job harder for federal officials, he said that is has.
Sherwin also says the DOJ had flooded the rally area with agents and officers along with D.C. Metropolitan Police. "There was no violence in the crowd at that point," noting that "the tipping point occurred when they breached the capitol."
White House fires State Dept official who called on Trump to resign
The White House has fired the State Department official who on Wednesday called for President Trump to step down, declaring him “entirely unfit to remain in office,” after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in protest of Biden’s election victory, a source close to the official tells NBC News.
Gabriel Noronha has served as a political appointee in the State Department’s Iran office for almost two years, first as a special assistant and then later as the Director of Communications and Congressional Relations. Before coming to the agency, he worked as a congressional aide for the Senate Armed Services Committee under Chairmen John McCain and Jim Inhofe.
Noronha issued a series of tweets Wednesday that increased in fervor as events at the Capital unfolded. First calling the riots “beyond shameful” and “possibly seditious,” he soon declared, “Those who invade the Capitol or encourage those who do doesn’t just “border” on sedition. It *is* sedition, plain and simple.”
"President Trump fomented an insurrectionist mob that attacked the Capitol today. He continues to take every opportunity to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power," Noronha finally tweeted Wednesday night. "These actions threaten our democracy and our Republic. Trump is entirely unfit to remain in office, and needs to go."
Biden transition team: Pence, Congress decide whether to remove Trump from office
In response to growing calls for Vice President Pence to move to invoke the 25th Amendment, and from Democrats to consider impeachment, the Biden transition team issued a statement that essentially leaves the issue to Pence and to Congress.
From Andrew Bates, transition spokesperson: “An unprecedented number of Americans voted Donald Trump out of office because they wanted new leadership that would act decisively to bring the country together, defeat the pandemic, and put Americans back to work. Donald Trump disqualified himself long ago, and his actions to foment a violent mob in a vain attack on our democracy, which overwhelmingly failed, were repugnant."
"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are focused on their duty — preparing to take office on January 20th — and will leave it to Vice President Pence, the Cabinet and the Congress to act as they see fit. In the meantime, Donald Trump must stop blocking cooperation with the transition that could harm the readiness of the United States government to overcome the pandemic and the other crises he has worsened."
If invited, Pence expected to attend Biden's inauguration
People around Vice President Pence are encouraging him to attend President-elect Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 — and if he is invited, it’s expected he’ll attend.
This is yet another apparent break between the president and vice president in the wake of the president refusing to concede and stoking violence. Still no word on when Trump and Pence last spoke.
Over 100 lawmakers are calling for Trump's removal. Here's who they are.
More than 100 members of Congress, almost exclusively Democrats, are calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office after a violent mob of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol hours after he spurred those supporters on.
NBC News is tracking those calls. Read the full list of lawmakers here.
One of the four dead in DC riots suffered heart attack, family says
Kevin Greeson, one of the three people who died of a medical emergency at the Capitol yesterday, suffered a heart attack, his family said.
Greeson, a resident of Athens, Alabama, was 55-years-old.
“Kevin was an advocate of President Trump and attended the event on January 6, 2020, to show his support,” Greeson’s family said in a statement. “He was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”
Greeson is survived by his wife, Kristi, and children. His family said he had a history of high blood pressure.