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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.

Durbin, Schumer pledge quick Judiciary Committee hearings on right-wing extremist groups

Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is going prioritize investigations into right-wing extremist groups and whether law enforcement agencies have adequately addressed the growing threat, NBC News has learned.  

Durbin expects to begin holding hearings shortly after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20 and says the focus will include extremist groups including The Proud Boys, QAnon, white nationalist groups and boogaloo. 

Durbin and incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the groups “a disturbing cancer that has grown exponentially since President Trump took office.”

“Senate Democrats, along with the Biden administration, will work together to investigate, expose, and hold accountable domestic terrorism threats in our country,” Durbin and Schumer said in a joint statement to NBC News. 

Pro-Trump rioters associated with those groups stormed the Capitol in the insurrection on January 6, the day the Congress met to count the Electoral College votes. 

Democrats will gain majority in the Senate after the Inauguration because Democrats won two runoff Senate races in Georgia.

'Extremely complex': DOJ declines to rule out charges against speakers at rally that preceded riot

The Justice Department has again recalibrated its answer on whether charges could be filed against any of the speakers at the Wednesday rally that preceded the assault on the Capitol.

After declining Thursday to rule out incitement charges, a DOJ official said Friday that "we don't expect any charges of that nature."

A few hours later, a Justice Department spokesman issued the following statement, which again leaves the door open: "Our focus is on the events at the Capitol. As of now, we have not charged anyone with incitement or insurrection. This is an extremely complex and ongoing investigation and we will continue to follow the facts and the law."

Full text: Draft of articles of impeachment against Trump

A copy of the draft, provided to NBC News by Cicilline's office, charges: "Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States."

The articles, if approved, seek to ban Trump from running for president again. The Constitution limits a president to two terms, even if they are not consecutive.

It says Trump has demonstrated he would be a "threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office." And it concludes: "President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."

Read the full text here

Proud Boy leader charged in connection to Capitol riot

Federal authorities issued an arrest warrant Thursday for a Proud Boy leader from Hawaii who was allegedly among rioters who stormed into the U.S.Capitol.

Nicholas "Nick" Ochs  is wanted on one count of entry into a restricted building or grounds, according to an affidavit written by FBI special agent Roger Dean and signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Harvey.

Ochs should be arrested based on a photo he posted on his own Twitter feed and footage him on cable news inside the building, Dean wrote. Ochs is "the leader and founder of  a Hawaii chapter of the 'Proud Boys' organization," a far right extremist group, and has "PROUD BOY" tattooed on his right forearm, according to the FBI agent.

Ochs could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon using phone numbers and an email address listed in public directories. Ochs ran for a seat in the Hawaii state House of Representatives as a Republican in November, and lost to Democrat Adrian Tam, 63 percent to 29.7 percent.

Behind the viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after riots

Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., was in his office in a separate federal building when President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. So he didn’t actually see the damage live until nearly midnight, after the House had voted down the last challenge to the presidential election result.

When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot.

“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. When he finished cleaning up the rotunda, he began working on the adjacent rooms, including the National Statuary Hall and the Capitol crypt downstairs.

Read the whole story here. 

Can Trump be tried in the Senate on impeachment charges even after he leaves office? Some experts say yes.

Donald Trump talks to the media outside the White House on Oct. 11, 2019.Mark Peterson / Redux

Some legal experts on the congressional power of impeachment believe President Donald Trump could be impeached and tried in the Senate even after he leaves office at noon on Jan. 20.

As House Democratic leaders consider a vote on articles of impeachment as early as the middle of next week, here's a look at how the procedure would work.

The House can bring an impeachment resolution to the floor for an immediate vote, bypassing the process of committee hearings, which were held when Trump was impeached in 2019 and acquitted in by the GOP-controlled Senate. In the normal course, skipping hearings would deprive impeachment proponents of the opportunity to build credibility and support by calling witnesses.

But in the current circumstances, supporters may consider that unnecessary.

Read the story.

GOP Sen. Murkowski calls on Trump to resign

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is widely seen as one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate, said in an interview Friday that President Donald Trump should resign immediately after the riots at the Capitol.

"I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage," Murkowski said in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News.

"He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing," the lawmaker said, adding that she believed the president was responsible for the deadly riots in the nation's capital.

Murkowski, asked whether she intended to remain a Republican, said her party registration depends on the trajectory of the GOP.

"I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” Murkowski told the newspaper.

'Traitor!': Trump supporters harangue Sen. Lindsey Graham at airport

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump's top Republican allies during his four years in office, was swarmed by Trump supporters blasting him as a "traitor" at a Washington, D.C., airport on Friday. 

"Lindsey Graham, you are a traitor to the country! You know it was rigged!" one of the Trump supporters screamed as Graham, who was flanked by police officers, briskly walked through the airport. "You garbage human being! It's going to be like this forever, wherever you go!" the woman yelled as other supporters recorded the encounter on their phones and laughed.

Video of the encounter — which went viral on social media — showed at least six Trump supporters circling around the South Carolina senator. 

During the electoral vote count that was delayed because of the Capitol riot on Wednesday, Graham pushed back at allegations that Democrats had "rigged" the presidential election and that the results should be overturned.

"All I can say Is count me out, enough is enough," Graham said. "I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words, but I will tell you by my actions, that maybe I — among, above all others in this body — need to say this: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on January the 20th."

ADL calls for Trump's removal from office

The Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that combats bigotry and tracks extremist groups, called on Friday for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.

“In our over 100 years of history, ADL has never called for the President of the United States to be removed from office, but what occurred on Wednesday was inexcusable," the group's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement. "It will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days of American democracy and it makes unambiguously clear: President Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed." 

Greenblatt said Trump should be removed "either by the means afforded by the U.S. Constitution or through his own resignation."

“Violence and sedition. Confederate flags being proudly displayed by rioters in the United States Capitol. White supremacists and far-right extremists marauding through the hallowed halls of one our nation’s most sacred institutions. This was incited by President Trump and organized on social media for all the world to see,” Greenblatt said. “The horrific events of this week are a culmination of years spent denigrating our democratic institutions, months of delegitimizing the electoral process, and innumerable tweets demonizing his perceived enemies, with zero regard for the consequences of his actions.”

U.S. diplomats ask State Dept. to denounce Trump's incitement of Capitol riot

Dozens of U.S. diplomats have signed on to a dissent cable asking for the State Department to publicly denounce President Donald Trump's incitement of a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, several State Department officials tell NBC News. Foreign Policy Magazine first reported on the cable.

"The Department of State should explicitly denounce President Trump's role in this violent attack on the U.S. government. Just as we routinely denounce foreign leaders who use violence and intimidation to interfere in peaceful democratic processes and override the will of their voters, the Department's public statements about this episode should also mention President Trump by name," a draft of the cable obtained by NBC News reads. "It is critical that we communicate to the world that in our system, no one — not even the President — is above the law or immune from public criticism."

The language of the dissent cable may change before being formally submitted to State Department leadership, according to the officials. A draft of the cable was first shared by the Washington Post.