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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.

Michael Cohen says he's cooperating with agencies looking into Trump and family

Flashback: Harris called on Twitter to suspend Trump's account in Oct. 2019 debate

Back when she was still a presidential candidate, Vice president-elect Kamala Harris had called on Twitter to suspend President Trump’s Twitter account, saying he violated their terms of service.

Her stance made headlines in the October presidential debate in Ohio when she called on Elizabeth Warren to join her and Warren denied. Harris’ stance, for the most part, was questioned and called a debate stunt.

She also had penned a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explaining her stance and Twitter at the time responded with a blog post explaining their position.

Twitter permanently suspends president's @realDonaldTrump account

Twitter on Friday permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account, citing his recent comments ahead of a mob of his supporters that stormed the Capitol.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," Twitter's official "Safety" account tweeted.

Read the full story here.

Right-wing extremists vow to return to Washington for Joe Biden's inauguration

After Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol, Trump supporters with extremist views feel emboldened and are vowing to return to Washington for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, using online platforms to rally each other.

“Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich the world will never forget!!! We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match,” wrote a popular Parler user who frequently posts about QAnon, and is being tracked by the Anti-Defamation League.

Parler, Telegram chat rooms and the platform TheDonald.win were all used to plan and coordinate the rally on Wednesday that turned into a riot. Posters explicitly stated their intentions to “occupy” the Capitol. QAnon conspiracy theorists and people associated with militia groups had a visible presence in the crowd.

“Round 2 on January 20th. This time no mercy. I don’t even care about keeping Trump in power. I care about war,” an anonymous person posted on the platform TheDonald.win, which is filled with comments posted by people who lauded those who rioted Wednesday as “heroes.”

Read the story.

Feds announce charges against 13 in Capitol riot

Thirteen people have been hit with federal charges stemming from Wednesday's storming of the Capitol, the Department of Justice said Friday, and additional criminal complaints are pending. 

Another 40 have been charged in state court, the DOJ said in a statement.

“My office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol," said Washington's acting U.S. Attorney, Michael Sherwin. 

Among those facing federal charges are Richard Barnett of Arkansas, who was photographed with his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk; Cleveland Meredith, who allegedly made threats against Pelosi; Mark Leffingwell, 51, who's accused of striking a law-enforcement officer in the head and chest; Christopher Alberts of Maryland, who allegedly had a 9 mm handgun and ammunition on the Capitol grounds; and Lonnie Coffman of Alabama, whose truck allegedly had guns and 11 Molotov cocktails.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the charges against Coffman, Coffman allegedly told police the explosive devices contained "melted Styrofoam and gasoline.”

"An explosive enforcement officer with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives has advised that melted Styrofoam and gasoline are an explosive mixture that has the effect of napalm insofar as it causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits upon detonation," the affidavit noted.

Most of the others accused of are charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Pelosi says if Trump doesn't resign, House will look to 25th Amendment, impeachment

House Speaker Pelosi in a statement following a meeting with House Democrats called on President Trump to resign or the House will enact the 25th Amendment or start new impeachment proceedings

“It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign," she said. "But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment.

"Accordingly, the House will preserve every option — including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment," she said.  

Click here for the full story

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.