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Jan. 8 Highlights: Pelosi calls for Trump's resignation or face impeachment, Twitter bans him

A growing number of lawmakers calling for removing or impeaching the president. House Speaker Pelosi also makes calls to prevent Trump from launching a nuclear strike.
Image: Navy circles show scenes from the mob at the Capitol, Joe Biden, Donald Trump and newspaper headlines.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Democratic leaders in Congress will move on newly drafted articles of impeachment as soon as next week against President Donald Trump if he doesn't first resign, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

The news comes as Pelosi, D-Calif., reiterated her and presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's, D-N.Y., demand in a letter to her caucus Friday afternoon that Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Pelosi also said she spoke to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley on Friday morning about preventing Trump from launching a nuclear strike. "The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy," she wrote.

This live coverage has ended.

Read the highlights:

— Twitter permanently suspends Trump's personal account.

— Read the full text of draft of new articles of impeachment against Trump.

— Trump says he won't attend Biden's inauguration.

— Clyburn says House should make Trump only president to be impeached twice.

— No evidence of antifa involvement in Capitol mob, FBI says.

— Troubled by Capitol riot, Cabinet officials DeVos, Chao resign.

Trump says he won't attend Biden's inauguration

President Donald Trump said Friday that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, putting to rest any lingering questions about whether he would go.

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," Trump tweeted.

NBC News reported Thursday night that Vice President Mike Pence would likely attend the inauguration if invited.

There have been only a handful of times in American history that an outgoing president did not attend the inauguration of his successor. John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson all skipped the event, while Richard Nixon departed the White House after his resignation and did not attend Gerald Ford's swearing-in.

GOP Sen. Sasse open to impeaching Trump

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska on Friday became the first GOP senator to publicly say he is open to the idea of impeaching and removing President Donald Trump from office following the riot on the U.S. Capitol this week.

Sasse made multiple media appearances Friday morning, first telling CBS News that if members of the House "come together and have a process, I will consider whatever articles they might move.”

“I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office," Sasse aded. "He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked. That said, the question of what the House does now and how the Senate responds to it over the next 12 days is a critically important question."

Later, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Sasse, asked if Trump should be impeached and removed, said: "There are more things that I need to understand before I get to a conclusory judgment about that, but I think that the question of was the president derelict in his duty, that’s not an open question. He was.”

Dejected Trump supporters leave Washington, create new theories for Capitol violence

WASHINGTON — A Trump supporter cried in the lobby of the Capitol Hill Hotel on Thursday as she poured herself a cup of coffee and told her friend that her son had disowned her for joining in Wednesday's chaos at the U.S. Capitol. But minutes later, when the driver of a car yelled at a group of haggard Trump supporters to "get the f--- out of our city," she joined a chorus of others to respond with their own expletives.

While supporters of President Donald Trump checked out of their hotels in Washington on Thursday morning, sharing feelings of sadness, anger, defensiveness and paranoia with one another, residents of the nation's capital said they were glad to see them leave after a day of terror.

A Trump supporter complains of election fraud outside the Capitol on Jan. 7, 2021.John Moore / Getty Images

"As a brown person, I wasn't allowed to go out," said a man who lives near Capitol Hill, who asked to remain anonymous because he is a government employee. "I watched it on television. It's really unbelievable that something like that could happen. When the BLM protests were going on, we saw so much more police presence. I don't know or understand what happened yesterday."

Trump supporters did not have many answers, either, although they provided numerous conspiracy theories.

Read the full story here.

Sen. Manchin asks Twitter to suspend Trump's account in the run-up to Inauguration Day

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Friday called on Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump's account in the run-up to Inauguration Day, saying it would be "in the best interest of our national security and public safety." 

Twitter removed three tweets from Trump's account Wednesday and suspended it for 12 hours after he continued to push conspiracy theories about the election following the riot in the U.S. Capitol. The company also warned that further violations of its rules would result in the "permanent suspension" of Trump's account.

Former first lady Michelle Obama also called on Twitter and other social media networks to permanently ban Trump, in a statement posted to her social media accounts Thursday.

Trump has not tweeted since posting remarks Thursday night in which he condemned the rioters and said there would be a smooth transition of power on Jan. 20, a remarkable about-face that comes amid growing calls for his removal.

Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff after death of police Officer Brian Sicknick

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has ordered the flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the speaker's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said on Twitter.

Sicknick was injured while engaging with protesters Wednesday and returned to his division office, where he collapsed, Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said in a statement Thursday night. He was taken to a hospital, where he died at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

George W. Bush, others criticized for comparing Capitol unrest to 'banana republics'

As mobs stormed the building at the heart of American democracy Wednesday, stunned U.S. officials, among them a former president, reached for the same phrase to draw comparisons: "banana republic."

"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic," former President George W. Bush said in a statement.

His sentiment more colorfully echoed on Twitter by Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.: "We are witnessing absolute banana republic crap in the United States Capitol right now."

While Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a former presidential candidate, tweeted, "This is 3rd world style anti-American anarchy."

But American comparisons of the violent and frenzied pro-Trump mobs who plunged the Capitol into chaos, leaving at least five dead, with events in countries in the so-called Third World, have been met with derision and offense by many who live and work in developing countries.

Read the full story here

Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building after a Save America Rally.Joel Marklund / Bildbyran via ZUMA Press

House Democrats looking at impeachment vote next week, senior Democrat says

House Democratic leaders are eyeing a vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as early as the middle of next week, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark said Friday.

"We know that we have limited time, but that every day that Donald Trump is president of the United States, is a day of grave danger. So we can use procedural tools to get articles of impeachment to the floor for a House vote quickly," Clark, D-Mass., said on CNN’s "New Day."

Asked how early the House Judiciary Committee could bring the articles to the floor, Clark said, "That will be ... as early as mid-next week."

Democratic leaders met Thursday evening to discuss how to remove the president from office, according to a member of Congress who was in the room. They discussed how to expedite the process and could call the House back into session as soon as Monday.

Read the story.

U.S. foes like China and Iran see opportunity in the chaos

LONDON — For America's adversaries, there was no greater proof of the fallibility of Western democracy than the sight of the U.S. Capitol shrouded in smoke and besieged by a mob whipped up by their unwillingly outgoing president.

Already ChinaIran and Russia have pointed to the tumult in Washington as evidence that the much-vaunted U.S. system of government is fundamentally flawed and riddled with hypocrisy.

Across Europe there is grave concern, too. Not just at the division and instability rocking their powerful trans-Atlantic ally, but also at what it means for their relationship with Washington after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in two weeks.

Many question how the U.S. can ever again lecture other countries about democratic values or how it can tell other countries that they aren't internally stable enough to have nuclear weapons.

Read the full story here

A Capitol Police officer stands with members of the National Guard behind a crowd control fence surrounding Capitol Hill.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

More Trump administration resignations

Five officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the entire non-career political staff except the agency's administrator, have resigned, according to an email sent by the FAA's chief-of-staff to senior managers on Thursday evening and obtained by NBC News.

"This evening, the Secretary and the Administrator received resignation letters from all our non-career staff members here at FAA. These resignations will be effective Monday evening. Our colleagues’ decisions, given the gravity of yesterday’s events, are understandable. Like all of us, they are outraged by the brazen and violent attack on one of the sacred institutions of American democracy," said Angela Stubblefield. 

The assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, Elinore F. McCance-Katz, at the Department of Health and Human Services also resigned on Thursday, according to a statement she released. She said that she had planned to stay on until Biden became president but her plans "abruptly changed" after she saw the violent takeover of the Capitol.

"I believe that this behavior was totally unacceptable and, in my own heart, I simply am not able to continue," she wrote, and then subtly implied that Trump is to blame. "Because I believe that the mental health of our people has suffered so greatly under the stresses of COVID-19, the social justice issues that have been so painful for so many, and now with the rending of our nation over questions raised about the presidential election, I cannot support language that results in incitement of violence and risks our very existence."

More than 200 lawmakers support removing Trump from office

More than 200 members of Congress are calling for Trump to be removed from office either through the 25th Amendment, impeachment or the president resigning. That's up from 100 lawmakers on Thursday morning, hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

The group of lawmakers includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who publicly urged Vice President Mike Pence yesterday to meet with the president's Cabinet and invoke the 25th Amendment. Pelosi made clear that the House is prepared to move forward with impeachment if Pence decides not to take action. He said Thursday he opposes using the 25th Amendment. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., is the lone Republican explicitly calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, though Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said in a local TV interview Thursday, "If the Cabinet decided to do that, I would not oppose it."