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.
More than 200 congressional lawmakers now calling for Trump's removal
More than 200 members of the U.S. Senate and House support the removal of President Donald Trump, according to an NBC News' count.
The calls are in reaction to Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, which followed months of Trump claiming the election he lost was fraudulent or stolen, claims for which there is no evidence, and a rally Wednesday. Trump has been accused of inciting the violence.
The measures discussed include a possible second impeachment or the 25th Amendment. Almost all are Democrats or Independents; Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, is the only Republican.
Trump will leave office in a little less than two weeks, on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden is inaugurated. On Thursday, Trump in a video acknowledged a new administration would be inaugurated and he called Wednesday's chaos "a heinous attack" and condemned the violence.
Pro-Trump militia, conspiracy theorists rioted in Capitol, not antifa
Another Trump administration official quits
Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, the assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, resigned Thursday following Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
McCance-Katz wrote in a statement that she had planned to stay on until the next administration, "but my plans abruptly changed last evening when, on my way back from visiting an excellent residential treatment program in New York, I saw the violent takeover of the Capitol building."
McCance-Katz did not mention President Donald Trump by name but said "I cannot support language that results in incitement of violence and risks our very existence."
Trump has been accused of inciting some in the crowd to violence with his baseless claims of voter fraud or a fraudulent election. McCance-Katz is the latest Trump administration official to quit following the riot, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is an agency under Health and Human Services and was headed by McCance-Katz.
U.S. diplomats to tell world 'order will be restored, those responsible will be held to account'
After public outcries of shock and dismay from U.S. democratic allies around the world, the State Department has sent talking points to U.S. diplomats abroad on how to address the pro-Trump riots that broke out at the U.S. Capitol.
The note makes clear that the State Department’s official position is that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next president of the United States. Till now, guidance to posts about the presidential transition has been limited, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been reticent to publicly acknowledge Biden’s victory.
“As is being called for by representatives from across the political spectrum, order will be restored, those responsible will be held to account, and the democratic process will continue,” the communication reads. “President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20.”
The State Department memo ended with a list of hand-chosen “bipartisan quotes” from President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and Biden.
Sen. Ted Cruz says Trump 'bears some responsibility' for Capitol riot
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who joined a doomed effort to "audit" the election results that was criticized as a publicity stunt, has said that President Donald Trump "plainly bears some responsibility" for Wednesday's riot at the Capitol.
"Look, I think he plainly bears some responsibility," Cruz said. "At the end of the day, criminals are responsible for their own conduct and the terrorists who conducted that attack, they bear the responsibility. But I think his angry rhetoric was reckless, and I think it was harmful."
Cruz joined a handful of senators to support Republican objections to counting the electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, neither of which succeeded. Cruz had called for Congress to “appoint an electoral commission to examine claims of electoral fraud." There has been no evidence of the voter fraud Trump has baselessly claimed. Cruz has argued his efforts were to give Americans "confidence" in the election.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is second Cabinet member to resign
On Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos became the second Cabinet member to resign after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.
In her resignation letter to President Donald Trump, DeVos said her boss played a direct role in the violence.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it’s the inflection point for me,” she wrote.
“Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us,” she wrote. “… they must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation earlier in the day.
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.