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Highlights and analysis: House passes resolution to demand Pence invoke 25th Amendment, remove Trump

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation."
Image: illustration of President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a red background that shows the Capitol exterior, with navy bubbles showing words like \"Impeachment,\" \"Congress,\" \"President\"
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The House approved a resolution on a late Tuesday night to encourage Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office before his term ends on Jan. 20, a largely symbolic gesture that precedes a vote on impeachment Wednesday.

Pence said earlier Tuesday evening that he will not heed these calls.

Then, on Wednesday morning, House Democrats are planning to take up an article of impeachment against Trump for "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last week.

The planned votes come as the FBI sent a warning to law enforcement agencies across the country about possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Saturday as well the threat of an uprising in Washington that day if Congress removes Trump.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news on the response to the Capitol riot from Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

Read the highlights:

— At least five Republican House members have said they will vote to impeach Trump.

— Pence said Tuesday evening in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he does not believe invoking the 25th Amendment "is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

— Trump enters final week as president with few allies, no Twitter and an impeachment effort.

— What we know about the people arrested after the Capitol riots.

— After Capitol violence, Trump brand partners eye dumping toxic asset: the president.

House Dems briefed about threats to the Capitol following attack

House Democrats have been briefed on security concerns including specific threats to the Capitol following the attack last week, three sources familiar with the briefing told NBC News. 

It was "chilling and horrific," said one member of Congress on the briefing call, which was conducted by the acting U.S. Capitol Police chief, acting U.S. Capitol deputy chief, acting House sergeant at arms and other security officials, including those directly involved with the Jan. 20 inauguration planning.

Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., provided some details on the briefing to CNN on Tuesday morning, saying, "They're talking about 4,000 armed patriots to surround the capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in. They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don't." 

"So, this is an organized group that has a plan," he said. "They are committed to doing what they're doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they're talking about 1776, and so this is now a contest of wills. We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately that includes the president. Which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office."

The officials in the briefing also provided updates about the newly constructed perimeter around the Capitol and the increasing number of National Guard troops securing it. They also answered questions regarding security for lawmakers traveling from their districts but also their travel within Washington, D.C., to the Capitol, according to a source on the call. 

There were also questions about increased threats that members may face as a result of the upcoming impeachment vote on Wednesday. Democratic members were reminded by the House Administration Committee that they can use government money to protect themselves, which is included in the Members' Congressional Handbook. "The purchase of a bulletproof vest is a reimbursable expense,” the guidance reads. 

Read the story.

 

Comey says FBI warning about possible violence at 50 state capitols is 'very, very unusual'

Former FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that an FBI bulletin about potential violence at 50 state capitol buildings is "very, very unusual."

"Law enforcement definitely can handle these kinds of riots, attacks and civil disturbances, if they have the information they need and they prepare. This is something law enforcement was built for," he said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show.

Reacting to the storming of the Capitol last Wednesday, Comey said, "I was also really angry about the failure to secure in the face of a threat that was obvious on a date that's been marked for 130 years, Jan. 6. You knew it was coming. You knew it was literally coming to you from the president's rally walking down Pennsylvania Avenue — very, very upsetting to watch it happen anyway."

Asked whether the Jan. 20 inauguration should be changed so that Biden doesn't do the traditional walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, Comey said, "I don't think it should be changed. It was important for all of us as Americans after 9/11 not to let terrorists win, an expression I'm sure you remember, by altering our lives, our national life, in a fundamental way."

'Several' Capitol police officers suspended over pro-Trump riot

"Several" U.S. Capitol Police officers were suspended and at least 10 more are under investigation over the deadly pro-Trump insurrection last week, officials said Monday.

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said the suspensions occurred amid an internal probe. Video and other evidence appears to show that some officers and officials violated department policies, Pittman said.

Pittman did not provide additional about the inquiry or specify how many people had been suspended.

Earlier Monday, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who chairs one of the committees that oversees the Capitol Police, told reporters that one of the suspended officers appeared to have taken a selfie with members of the mob. Another officer was suspended after he was seen wearing a Make American Great Again hat and directing people inside the building, Ryan said.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he won't accept Presidential Medal of Freedom

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday after last week's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a statement, Belichick said he was flattered to be offered the medal, the country's highest civilian honor, but he said the "tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award."

Belichick, who has coached the Patriots for 21 years and has won six Super Bowls, said that "above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy."

He said "conversations" and "actions" about "social justice, equality and human rights" earlier in the season were among the most rewarding in his career.

Read the story.

Capitol police officer praised as hero for diverting mob from Senate chamber

A Capitol Police officer is being praised as a hero for his actions during last week's unrest at the U.S. Capitol after a viral video showed him diverting rioters from the Senate chamber, where lawmakers were taking cover.

The mob, which formed to protest President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump, was steps from the Senate doors when an officer, who is Black, confronted the group's leader and walked the other way, prompting a chase when all of them followed him.

The officer received widespread praise on social media, some of it from lawmakers and journalists caught in the fray.

Read the story.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam accuses West of hypocrisy after Capitol riot

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam chided Western politicians on Tuesday for condemning the Capitol riots but not protests in the territory.

"Some overseas commentators or politicians were sort of condoning or encouraging these sorts of activities under the guise of democracy, but when the same thing seemed to happen in their own country, they immediately took a very different approach to condemn the violence," Lam told reporters at a weekly press conference.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets in 2019 to protest against a controversial extradition bill. The sustained protests then became more general pro-democracy demonstrations.

That July, pro-democracy protesters broke into Hong Kong's legislative building, spraying graffiti on the walls and hoisting the flag that the city used before it was governed by China. 

Last week, Hong Kong police arrested over 50 pro-democracy figures for allegedly violating a stringent new national security law in a sweeping crackdown on opposition.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been a critic of Hong Kong’s crackdowns on opposition figures, and said in December a new national security law "makes a mockery of justice.”

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting.

FBI has received more than 70,000 tips after Capitol riot

The FBI on Monday said it has received more than 70,000 tips and other information as it seeks to arrest those who took part in a pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

The storming of the Capitol after President Donald Trump encouraged supporters to march there has evoked widespread outrage and calls for the president's impeachment.

The 70,000 tips include, photos and video, the FBI said.

In addition to the violence at the Capitol, two pipe bombs were left at the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which is nearby. They did not explode. The FBI released more photos Monday seeking to find those responsible.

More than 90 arrests of people allegedly connected to Wednesday's events in the capital had been made as of Sunday, according to NBC News' count. 

Twitter has suspended 70,000 accounts since riot

Twitter has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday in the wake of the deadly riots by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol, the social media company said Monday.

The company said many of the people who had accounts suspended had multiple accounts, which drove up the numbers.

"These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service," Twitter said in Monday's statement.

Twitter last week permanently suspended President Donald Trump's Twitter account after it said he used language that was "being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol" and other issues. Five people died as a result of the violence at the Capitol, including a Capitol Police officer