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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.

At least two Dems in Congress say rioters stole computers

At least three Democrats in Congress said that the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday stole computers from their offices, raising cybersecurity concerns.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had a laptop stolen, as did Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who tweeted about the theft. 

It wasn't immediately clear what protections were on those devices, though Congress generally lags behind the federal government in implementing cybersecurity measures. Not all Senate computers automatically encrypt their hard drives or require a password to log in if they're unused for a few minutes. Emails were visible on a desktop computer left running in Pelosi's office.

While experts say most congressional laptops shouldn't provide easy access to classified material, both the Senate and House connect to a centralized email server, and staffers' computers likely contain months or years of emails and other sensitive material.

“There’s a very good chance that a lot of sensitive and possibly secret information could have been leaked by those people being in there and taking stuff,” said Lou Rabon, the CEO of Cyber Defense Group, a cybersecurity consultancy based in Los Angeles.

Extremists made little secret of ambitions to 'occupy' Capitol in weeks before attack

A digital flyer made public on Instagram and Facebook in December made little secret of the ambitions of some of the people planning to visit Washington on Jan. 6: “Operation Occupy the Capitol.”

That call to arms is just one of the many warning signs on extremist sites and mainstream social media platforms that extremism experts say were easy to spot but ultimately disregarded by law enforcement in the runup to Wednesday's riot at the Capitol, which led to the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was reportedly hit with a fire extinguisher during the melee.

On the fringe message board 8kun, which is popular with QAnon followers, for example, users talked for weeks about a siege of the Capitol, some talking about it like a foregone conclusion. Others simply debated how violent the uprising should be, and if police should be exempt.

Read the full story here.

Clyburn: House should make Trump only president to be impeached twice

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said that the House must impeach President Donald Trump, musing that doing so would give the president another opportunity to be part of something unprecedented.

“He's always wanting to do stuff that has never been done before. There's never been a president impeached twice before. So, let's impeach him and give him what he wants," Clyburn said during a Zoom call with reporters.

“This is bad stuff. And it's time for everybody to call it what it is," he said. "It is time for the Republican leadership to invoke the 25th Amendment. They need to do it. Pence needs to do it. But if he doesn't, we need to impeach. We need to impeach."

Hope Hicks plans to leave the White House next week, two sources say

Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's most loyal aides, is planning to leave the White House next week, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News' Peter Alexander.

The sources said that Hicks decided to exit the West Wing after Trump's election defeat, and that the decision was made before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Hicks joins a growing list of people in Trump's orbit who are planning to leave the administration following the violent riots.

Speaker Pelosi called military chief about ‘unhinged’ Trump’s access to nuclear launch codes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House members Friday that she called Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley to ask what was being done to prevent President Donald Trump from accessing nuclear launch codes, calling the president “unhinged.”

The California Democrat's move comes after calling for the vice president and Cabinet to remove Trump from office in the wake of his inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol on Wednesday in a deadly assault.

"This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike," she said in a letter to House Democrats.

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RNC Chairwoman condemns violence on Capitol Hill at RNC Winter Meeting, thanks Trump for his support

This morning, at the RNC Committee meeting in Amelia Island, FL, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel condemned the actions that happened at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. 

“Violence does not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles. Our founding fathers established a nation of laws, not a nation of anarchy," she said. 

McDaniel was unanimously re-elected to her position as RNC chair though she ran unopposed.

Thursday during a private breakfast at the RNC Winter Meeting, President Trump called into this smaller and more private event. He was met with a warm and enthusiastic reaction from the members in attendance.

Trump was originally meant to address the larger group in a video message during evening festivities. However, due to the violence at the Capitol, the plan changed. 

The newly re-elected chairwoman didn’t discuss the mob or Trump's role. Instead, she said the Republican Party can “do things peacefully. And that is the path we need to take.”

McDaniel then went on this morning to thank Trump for his support in her nomination. 

Family of fallen Capitol Police officer recall their 'hero'

The U.S. Capitol Police officer who died after being injured in clashes with pro-Trump rioters in the Capitol was a veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield and "a hero," his family said in a statement Friday.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, 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. He was taken to a hospital, where he died about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

In a statement released on behalf of Sicknick's family and close friends, Ken Sicknick said his brother, a New Jersey native, was the youngest of three siblings and had "wanted to be a police officer his entire life."

Sicknick said his brother joined the New Jersey Air National Guard "as a means to that end," and "served his country honorably in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Desert Shield, of which my family is very proud."

He joined the Capitol Police in 2008, "serving there in support of our country for the past 12 years," Sicknick said.

The family said it was still in the dark about what happened, but they don't want Sicknick's death to become "a political issue."  

"Many details regarding Wednesday's events and the direct causes of Brian's injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian's passing a political issue," the statement said. "Please honor Brian's life and service and respect our privacy while we move forward in doing the same. Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember.” 

Federal investigation underway into death of Capitol Police officer

A senior Department of Justice official confirms to NBC News that there is a federal death investigation into the events surrounding the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

The investigation will be conducted jointly by the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department with supervision by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sicknick was injured while physically 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 about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Sicknick, who joined the Capitol Police in 2008, is the fifth person to die from Wednesday's violent clash in Washington.

In a statement Friday, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and fellow officers of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick."

He added that the Justice Department would "spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible.”

Senate to hold joint hearings on Capitol security failures

The bipartisan leaders of two Senate committees announced Friday that they would hold joint hearings on the security failures that allowed to the Capitol to be overrun by rioters earlier this week. 

"It is our duty as bipartisan leaders of the Senate committees with jurisdiction over homeland security, oversight and Capitol operations to examine the security failures that led to Wednesday’s attack," Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman R-Ohio, leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., leaders of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, said in a joint statement.

"An attack on the Capitol Building is an attack on every American," the said. "We plan to conduct oversight and hold bipartisan hearings on these horrific events, and work together to make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again.”