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Highlights and analysis: Trump impeachment and 25th Amendment resolutions to get House vote

House Democrats will proceed with Trump's impeachment for "incitement of insurrection" if Pence doesn't agree to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Image: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds news conference at U.S. Capitol a day after violent protests in Washington
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday.Erin Scott / Reuters

House Democrats introduced one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday for "incitement of insurrection" for urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last Wednesday.

The House will vote on the impeachment measure Wednesday morning after considering legislation Tuesday night that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20. The planned votes come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Democrats that the chamber would proceed with Trump's impeachment if Pence doesn't agree to the 25th Amendment process.

Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said the House could delay sending impeachment articles to the Senate until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office to allow the president-elect to get his agenda off and running, including Covid-19 relief legislation and the confirmation of his Cabinet officials.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the soonest his chamber could receive impeachment articles would be the eve of Biden's inauguration unless senators give unanimous consent to doing so earlier.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading news about the reaction to the Capitol riot from Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

Read the highlights:

— After break with Trump, Pence charts a new path forward.

— FBI memo warns law enforcement across U.S. of possible armed protests at 50 state Capitols.

— Nearly three-quarters of voters say democracy under threat, majority say Trump should resign or be removed, poll finds.

— New York State Bar Association moves to oust Rudy Giuliani.

— Melania Trump makes first comments about attack on the Capitol.

690d ago / 6:27 AM UTC

Rep. Jayapal tests positive for Covid after Capitol lockdown

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., has tested positive for Covid-19 after being locked down during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Jayapal in a statement Monday night strongly criticized several Republicans she said "not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one." 

Jayapal is at least the second U.S. representative to test positive after sheltering in place as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress was counting the electoral votes.

Congress' attending physician has said in a letter that House members may have been exposed to Covid-19 when they went into hiding Wednesday. "During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection," Dr. Brian Monahan wrote.

Earlier Monday, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., said she tested positive for Covid-19 and referenced sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks.

690d ago / 4:49 AM UTC

Banks halt business with Trump after U.S. Capitol riots

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Two banks linked to President Donald Trump halted business with him in the aftermath of Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol riots, officials said Monday.

A spokeswoman for Signature Bank, where Trump had $5.3 million, said the business was shuttering two of his personal accounts and calling on him to resign. 

“We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again,” the bank said in a statement.

The spokeswoman added that the bank, which is based in New York, pledged not to do business with other lawmakers “who voted to disregard the Electoral College.”

Deutsche Bank is also refraining from further business with the president and his company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The development was first reported by the New York Times.

690d ago / 1:57 AM UTC

Corporations suspend political donations in wake of Capitol riot

690d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

Trump issues emergency order to bolster inauguration security

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration Monday to support the security of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. 

The declaration gives Washington, D.C., supplemental federal law enforcement assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Secret Service and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies also vowed robust security last week after the violent clash at the U.S. Capitol. 

Trump is facing impeachment in the House for his role in inciting the mob, which resulted in several deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer. The acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, is stepping down from the agency. 

Trump supporters with extremist views are vowing to return to Washington for the inauguration, using online platforms to rally one another. The FBI also warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitols and in Washington leading up to the inauguration. 

690d ago / 12:00 AM UTC

Trump, Pence met for the first time since before riots

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met in the Oval Office on Monday evening, a senior administration official said.

"The two had a good conversation, discussing the week ahead and reflecting on the last four years of the administration's work and accomplishments," the official said. "They reiterated that those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the America First movement backed by 75 million Americans and pledged to continue the work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term."

It was the first contact they have had since before the attack unfolded Wednesday.

690d ago / 11:25 PM UTC

Money talks: Corporate America shuts its wallet in response to Capitol riots

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Corporate America knows money talks — and in the aftermath of last week’s Capitol Hill riot, business leaders are pledging to pay more attention to what it says.

A growing segment of corporate America’s biggest names have denounced last week’s storming of the Capitol, with many saying they will halt or suspend political donations.

Companies including Comcast, Dow Chemical, Marriott International, American Express, Blue Cross, Airbnb, Mastercard and Commerce Bank said they will not donate to lawmakers involved in the push to deny Joe Biden the presidency.

"Whatever good the president did for business now seems to have come at an unacceptable cost, and that cost is anarchy in the streets of Washington,” said one reputation management expert.

Read the story here.

690d ago / 11:21 PM UTC
690d ago / 11:12 PM UTC

New York lawmaker makes formal request to disbar Giuliani

New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat and the chairman of the state Senate's judiciary committee, formally requested that Rudy Giuliani's law license be revoked "his participation and role in fomenting a violent insurrectionist attack," according to a letter sent to court on Monday and shared with NBC News.

The letter, sent to the grievance committee with the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division in the state Supreme Court, said the attack on the Capitol "was the foreseeable culmination of increasingly outrageous lies and disinformation being peddled by Mr. Giuliani and many of his associates" and urging the grievance committee to disbar the president's personal attorney.

The letter comes after the New York State Bar Association on Monday also announced it was launching an inquiry into whether to remove Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney and the former mayor of New York, from its ranks.

Removal from a voluntary state bar association, before disbarment by the courts, is extremely rare.

"We believe the last time we removed a member who hadn’t been disbarred was 1904," Susan DeSantis, an association spokesperson told NBC News. "We have had our current bylaws that set up the process for removing a member since the 1970s, and we have never used them to remove an attorney who hadn’t already been disbarred."

690d ago / 11:08 PM UTC

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf resigns

Image: Chad Wolf
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, speaks during a news conference to address the protests in Portland, Ore., on July 21, 2020, in Washington.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP file

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday became the latest Cabinet official to step down following last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary," Wolf in a letter to staff obtained by NBC News. "These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power."

Wolf said his resignation will become effective at midnight. Pete Gaynor, the FEMA administrator, will take over as the acting secretary.

The mob attack in Washington as Congress was confirming President-elect Joe Biden's win resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol police officer. His announcement follows the resignations of other Cabinet officials, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who both cited President Donald Trump’s role in egging on the rioters. Wolf did not specifically cite the riots in his explanation for leaving, but he issued a strong statement on Thursday condemning the rioters.

Read the story.

690d ago / 11:00 PM UTC

Republican AG group exec resigns after robocalls urged march on Capitol

The executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association has resigned over robocalls that an arm of the group made encouraging people to march to the U.S. Capitol the day before the building was stormed by a pro-Trump mob.

“At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.

The voluntary resignation of Adam Piper, who was also executive director of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, RAGA's fundraising arm, was accepted on Monday, the group said. 

Piper stepped down after Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the group's policy chairman, said the calls had been sent out without his knowledge. 

In a statement Monday, Marshall said, “Every decision Adam made on behalf of RLDF was with the best of intentions and with the organization’s best interests in mind.”

Piper said in a statement released through the organization, “Serving Republican attorneys general has been the honor of a lifetime and honestly a dream job.” 

Read the story.

690d ago / 10:33 PM UTC
690d ago / 10:31 PM UTC

Facebook bans all 'stop the steal' content

Facebook said Monday that it will begin removing any content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from its platforms, an expansion of its efforts to limit the spread of election misinformation.

The announcement comes two months after the company removed the original group of the same name that fueled voter fraud misinformation after the election.

The move is part of the company’s protective efforts against violence and misinformation in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential inauguration following last week’s events on Capitol Hill, Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity, and Monika Bickert, vice president of global policy management, wrote in a company blog post.

“We began preparing for Inauguration Day last year. But our planning took on new urgency after last week’s violence in Washington, D.C., and we are treating the next two weeks as a major civic event,” they wrote.

Read the story.

690d ago / 10:13 PM UTC

After Capitol violence, Trump brand partners eye dumping toxic asset: The president

From country clubs to entertainment shows, President Donald Trump’s business empire could face heavy pressure after his involvement in last week’s violence at the Capitol.

On Monday, the New York City Mayor’s office told NBC News it was looking at its legal options for ending agreements with Trump Organization properties, which include the Wollman skating rink in Central Park, the famed carousel, and the Trump Golf Links golf course at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

"The attacks on our Capital killed a police officer, left four rioters dead, exposed lawmakers to Covid-19 and threatened the constitutional transfer of power," Laura Feyer, deputy press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told NBC News in an emailed statement. "They were a national abomination. We’re reviewing whether legal grounds exist in light of these new circumstances to terminate concessions with the Trump Organization."

Other lucrative arrangements like this could be at risk if partners follow the lead of the PGA of America, which on Sunday pulled the 2022 PGA Championship tournament from the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Read the story here.

690d ago / 9:39 PM UTC

Wisconsin Republicans want gerrymandered districts to decide electoral college results

In the wake of President-elect Joe Biden's victory, a Wisconsin Republican is proposing changing how the state allocates electors in the presidential contest.

Rep. Gary Tauchen started circulating the bill among colleagues on Jan. 5, the day before rioters stormed the Capitol to contest the results of the 2020 race, his office said.

If the proposed bill, which Tauchen unsuccessfully tried to pass in 2007, becomes law, one elector would be allocated for every Congressional district a candidate won, with two additional electors allocated to the statewide winner.

Wisconsin currently allocates electoral college votes based on statewide results; in 2020, Biden won Wisconsin, securing 10 electoral college votes. Forty-eight states allocate electoral college votes based on the popular vote; just Maine and Nebraska use congressional district outcomes in their allocation.

It would undoubtedly benefit Republicans, who have gerrymandered the state's congressional district maps in their favor; Republicans are also more spread out through the rural parts of the state, while Democrats are more concentrated in urban areas. 

"Given Wisconsin’s numerous political views and progressive history, this alternative distribution system would better reflect Wisconsin’s diverse political landscape," Tauchen said in a memo seeking cosponsorship.

690d ago / 9:25 PM UTC

First female Congressional chaplain condemns 'deeply disturbing' riot in opening prayer

690d ago / 9:23 PM UTC

Democrats grapple with how to impeach Trump without hindering Biden's agenda

House Democrats are determined to impeach President Donald Trump in his final days for inciting a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol. But some worry that forcing a Senate trial just as Joe Biden is taking office could hinder the president-elect's administration.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking House Democrat, floated a way out over the weekend, telling CNN that the House could impeach Trump and wait 100 days to transmit the articles to the Senate to give Biden the time to "get his agenda off and running."

But others have strongly pushed back on that. One Democratic lawmaker, who asked to speak anonymously to offer a frank assessment of Clyburn's idea, said a delay would be a "terrible idea."

The internal debate highlights the tension between two immediate Democratic priorities: Punish Trump for his role in inciting the mob, and give Biden a Congress on Day One that can confirm his nominees and act quickly on his top priority of an economic relief package.

Read the story.

690d ago / 8:46 PM UTC

Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook has no plans to lift Trump ban

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Monday that the company has "no plans" to lift President Donald Trump's indefinite ban.

Sandberg, who sat for an interview at a Reuters event, said she supported the ban.

"In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban, and I'm glad we did," she said.

Sandberg also claimed that the events lead up to the riot were largely organized on other platforms. NBC News reporting found early warning signs on Facebook and Instagram relating to Wednesday's Capitol mob.

690d ago / 8:06 PM UTC

Trump defender Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to get presidential medal of freedom

Image: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks at a news conference in Washington on Oct. 31, 2019.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks at a news conference in Washington on Oct. 31, 2019.Tom Brenner / Reuters file

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he was awarding the presidential medal of freedom to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a pugnacious Republican ally in Congress who continues to back the president even after the deadly rampage last week by a pro-Trump mob through the Capitol.

Jordan received the nation’s highest civilian award from a lame duck and increasingly isolated president who has just nine days left in office and who faces the humiliation of a possible second impeachment before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

A sharp-elbowed Trump defender, Jordan helped lead the GOP attack on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and his harsh interrogations of witnesses — plus his refusal to wear a jacket while doing so — made him both a national figure and lightning rod for critics.

In announcing the award, the White House praised Jordan for, among other things, his work to "unmask the Russia hoax and take on Deep State corruption" and for his efforts to "confront the impeachment witch hunt."

Read the story.

690d ago / 7:57 PM UTC

FBI memo warns law enforcement across U.S. of possible armed protests at 50 state Capitols

The FBI has sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Jan. 16, and also says an armed group has threatened to travel to Washington, D.C., the same day and stage an uprising if Congress removes President Donald Trump from office, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The memo includes information provided by the ATF, DEA, Defense Department, Park Police, and the U.S. Marshals, among other agencies, according to the official. Some of the information came from social media, some from open source, and some from other sources of information. The memo was first reported by ABC News.

The senior law enforcement official says the FBI’s National Crisis Coordination Center distributed the update to law enforcement agencies as a summary of threat information they’ve received following last Wednesday’s deadly mob attack on the Capitol. While the memo discusses possible threats discussed by online actors for Jan. 16 through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, it doesn’t mean that law enforcement agencies expect violent mass protests or confrontations in every state.

Read the story.

690d ago / 7:53 PM UTC

DC AG looking into charging Trump over Capitol riot incitement

Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, said Monday that he's looking into whether he can prosecute President Donald Trump over his role in encouraging the violent storming of the Capitol last week.

"Clearly the crowd was hyped up, juiced up, focused on the Capitol and rather than calm them down or at least emphasize the peaceful nature of what protests need to be, they really did encourage these folks and riled them up," Racine told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, referring specifically to Trump's comments last Wednesday to his supporters that, "you'll never take back our country with weakness."

"Whether that comes to a legal complaint, I think we've got to really dig in and get all of the facts. I know I'm looking at a charge under the D.C. Code of inciting violence, and that would apply where there's a clear recognition that one's incitement could lead to foreseeable violence. We still have more investigation to do, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to work zealously and fully and let the facts lead to where they naturally go," Racine said.

"The [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion says the president can't be prosecuted while the president is in office. As it turns out, the president has about nine more days of office and, of course, the investigation is going to go on much beyond those nine days. It will be another legal question as to whether the president can be prosecuted after his term of office," he continued. "I think the better weight of authority answers that question affirmatively."

690d ago / 7:11 PM UTC

Amid fears of violence at inauguration, Biden says: 'I am not afraid'

President-elect Joe Biden said Monday he was “not afraid” of being sworn into office next week, amid vows from right-wing extremists to return to Washington for the inauguration.

“I am not afraid to take the oath outside,” Biden told reporters during brief remarks after he received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Biden’s inauguration is slated to occur exactly two weeks after a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol at Trump, causing widespread damage and leading to at least five deaths.

Biden added that he wanted rioters who engaged in sedition to "be held accountable."

Asked if Trump had been among those engaging in sedition, he replied, “I’ve been clear that President Trump should not be in office. Period.”

690d ago / 6:52 PM UTC
690d ago / 6:49 PM UTC

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

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Image: President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

President Donald Trump is scheduled to emerge publicly Tuesday in a visit to a stretch of Texas border wall, providing him what could be one of his first opportunities to speak to the American public since losing his social media megaphone.

Over the weekend after the Capitol riot he incited, Trump remained silent inside a White House in tumult, exacerbated by staff leaving, with decisions regarding him and his schedule being made and then canceled.

The final days of his presidency could become the most defining, as Trump is estranged from even his most devout allies in Washington and once again facing impeachment. But Trump remains defiant, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. 

Read the story.

690d ago / 6:32 PM UTC

Poll: Nearly three-quarters of voters say democracy under threat, majority say Trump should resign or be removed

Nearly three-quarters of voters say they believe democracy is under threat and just over half say Trump should be removed or resign from office following the rioting at the Capitol last week, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. 

While 74 percent of respondents said they believe democracy is under threat, another 21 percent said democracy in the U.S. is alive and well. Eighty percent of those surveyed said the pro-Trump supporters who took part in the riot were undermining democracy, while 10 percent said they were protecting it and 10 percent said that they were unsure.

A majority of voters, 56 percent, said they hold Trump responsible for the rioting, while 42 percent said they do not. A slight majority (52 to 45 percent) said Trump should be removed from office, while by a wider margin (53 to 43 percent) said he should resign as president.  

The poll found that Trump's job approval rating has decreased by 11 percentage points to 33 percent, a substantial drop from December, while 60 percent of respondents said they disapprove of his job performance, an increase from 51 percent last month. 

The poll of 1,239 registered voters nationwide between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10 had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

690d ago / 6:31 PM UTC
690d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

Parler sues Amazon Web Services

Social media platform Parler filed an emergency lawsuit Monday against Amazon Web Services alleging the internet services giant violated antitrust laws by shutting down the site over concerns that it enables violent content.

Parler went offline early Monday morning after Amazon Web Services, which hosts the platform, notified the company that it will be shutting down its services.

“AWS decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus” and “designed to reduce competition int he microblogging services market to benefit of Twitter,” Parler said in the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

Parler accuses the web-hosting platform of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaching its contract and “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage” that the microblogging company expected from the rush of users to its site. It is seeking a temporary restraining order against Amazon Web Services in order to bring its service back online.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

690d ago / 6:13 PM UTC

Democratic rep. says she contracted Covid-19 while sheltering in place during riot

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., received a positive rapid Covid-19 test Monday after what she said might have been her exposure to the coronavirus while sheltering in place with lawmakers who did not wear masks during the rioting at the Capitol last Wednesday, her office announced. 

“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents," Watson Coleman said in a statement. 

The congresswoman is isolating and waiting for the results of a PCR test, which is known to be more accurate than rapid tests. 

This comes a day after the Capitol physician warned members and congressional staff that they could have have been exposed to someone infected with the virus when they were sheltering in place. A video circulated last week that showed a House Democrat in a secure room offering face masks to a group of her fellow Republicans, who were seen turning them down. 

690d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Wielding Conan sword, Schwarzenegger blasts 'spinelessness' of fellow Republicans after Capitol riot

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shared words of hope Sunday in the aftermath of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, and denounced President Donald Trump and the "spinelessness" of his fellow Republicans.

Schwarzenegger drew parallels to his upbringing in post-World War II Austria while discussing Wednesday's pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In a video statement released Sunday, he compared the riot in Washington to Kristallnacht — the 1938 assault by Nazis in Germany who began destroying Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues as thousands of people were rounded up to be sent to concentration camps — saying Wednesday was the "day of Broken Glass here in America."

"The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol," Schwarzenegger said. "But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted. They didn't just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded."

Read the story.

690d ago / 5:38 PM UTC
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690d ago / 5:31 PM UTC

Father of slain Capitol officer hopes son's death brings end to 'lunacy'

The father of slain Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick is speaking out, saying that he hopes his son's killing at the Capitol riots will stop the "lunacy."

“I’m supposed to die first,” said Charles Sicknick, 81. “Not my son.”

In an interview with Reuters, the surviving Sicknick said that becoming a Capitol Police Officer was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for his son, Brian.

"He loved his job," Sicknick said. "I'll never get over this."

Brian Sicknick died last Thursday at age 42, a day after he was injured while defending the U.S. Capitol from the violent mob that stormed the building after President Donald Trump delivered a speech encouraging supporters to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's election win.

Read the story.

690d ago / 5:29 PM UTC

Two men seen carrying restraints during Capitol riot charged with federal crimes

Two men seen carrying zip tie-style restraints when supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol were charged Sunday in federal court, authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia identified the men as Larry Rendell Brock of Texas and Eric Gavelek Munchel of Tennessee.

Brock and Munchel were charged with one count of entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the office said in a statement.

The men, who were identified by researchers at the University of Toronto, were seen inside the building with the restraints, authorities said.

Read the story.

690d ago / 5:04 PM UTC

New York State Bar Association moves to oust Rudy Giuliani

Image: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather for a rally in Washington
Rudy Giuliani speaks as Trump supporters gather by the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.Jim Bourg / Reuters

The New York State Bar Association on Monday announced it was launching an inquiry into whether to remove Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney and the former mayor of New York, from its ranks following the insurrection at the Capitol last Wednesday.

Saying blame for the violence "lies first and foremost with" Trump, the association added that the president "did not act alone," pointing to Giuliani's comments from the pro-Trump rally held blocks from the Capitol just prior to the riot. Giuliani made a slew of false claims about election fraud as well as Vice President Mike Pence's role in the Electoral College vote-counting process.

Claiming that evidence of election fraud was a mere 10 days away from finally becoming public, Giuliani said, "if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of."

"But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail," he added. "So, let’s have trial by combat. I’m willing to stake my reputation, the president is willing to stake his reputation on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there."

Read the story.

690d ago / 5:00 PM UTC

Democratic lawmakers call for news conference, briefing from DOJ, Homeland, FBI heads

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Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding answers from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol. 

In a letter Monday, a pair of lawmakers on the committee asked acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and FBI Director Christopher Wray to hold a news conference and briefing to Congress on the events that transpired.

“It has been five days since the most significant attack on a branch of the United States government since British forces set fire to the U.S. Capitol in 1814,”  Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, wrote in the letter. “And yet the American public has not heard from federal law enforcement authorities regarding an official account of the events of that day or the steps being taken to prevent further acts of domestic terrorism in the coming weeks.”

“After an attack of this magnitude, it is beyond necessary for the American public — and members of Congress — to be well informed and be provided with the facts,” the lawmakers added.

Other members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are calling for similar immediate action to investigate the situation.

690d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

Biden plans 'America United' inauguration theme

Image: US President Barack Obama (L) walks down
President-elect Joe Biden's inaugural theme will be "America United" and will partake in several activities alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and all of their spouses, to display a message of unity, his inaugural committee said Monday.Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file

President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural theme will be “America United” and he will partake in several activities alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to underscore that message of unity, his inaugural committee said Monday.

“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” Biden’s inaugural committee said in a statement.

The ceremony is slated to occur two weeks to the day after a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol at Trump’s urging.

Read the story.

690d ago / 4:01 PM UTC

Trump's voter fraud lies encouraged a riot. GOP allies are still giving them oxygen.

Image: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, front, followed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., walk from the House Chamber following a Senate procession carrying boxes holding Electoral College votes to the House Chamber for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence.

In almost the same breath as he condemned the rioters who temporarily disrupted Congress' normal process of affirming President-elect Joe Biden's win, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, the first Republican to announce his intention to object to the certification, suggested that Biden's victory was illegitimate.

“We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud,” Hawley said before staring directly into the camera in a video that his office would promptly upload to YouTube and saying: “We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.”

In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, condemned the violence, too. Still, he said, his calls for an investigation into voter fraud were the “right thing to do" before adding, “I very much wish Congress had not set aside these concerns.”

Read the story.

690d ago / 3:57 PM UTC
690d ago / 3:31 PM UTC

Whitehouse calls on Senate Ethics Committee to consider whether to punish Cruz, Hawley

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a statement Monday that the Senate Ethics Committee should consider whether to expel, censure or punish Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and potentially others, for their role in objecting to the counting of some of Joe Biden's electoral votes and the riot in the Capitol last Wednesday. 

“The Senate needs to oversee federal investigation of the attack and ransacking of our national Capitol, through the Judiciary and perhaps Homeland Security Committees," Whitehouse, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. "We may also be the client in federal civil suits for damages and for restraining orders, likely also under Judiciary purview." 

“The Senate will need to conduct security review of what happened and what went wrong, likely through the Rules, Homeland, and Judiciary Committees. The Senate Ethics Committee also must consider the expulsion, or censure and punishment, of Senators Cruz, Hawley, and perhaps others," he said. 

The Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

690d ago / 3:19 PM UTC

Stripe payment processor boots Trump campaign after Capitol riot

Stripe, which processes online payments for President Donald Trump's campaign, cut ties with him for violating its policies during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol, the company said Sunday.

The San Francisco-based company said Trump encouraged violence Wednesday, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, in violation of user policies that prohibit "high risk" activities.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the move, which came after other companies began turning on Trump over the attack, which left five people dead, including a police officer.

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690d ago / 2:53 PM UTC

Melania Trump makes first comments about attack on the Capitol

First lady Melania Trump made her first comments Monday about the violence at the Capitol when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building last week.

In a lengthy written statement posted to the White House website and shared on her Twitter account, she said that her heart goes out to the six people who have died since the attack, including two Capitol police officers.

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda," she said. "This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."

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690d ago / 2:27 PM UTC
690d ago / 2:26 PM UTC

FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say

The FBI and the New York City Police Department passed information to U.S. Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the protests last Wednesday against the counting of the Electoral College vote, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials said.

The previously unreported details undercut the assertion by a top FBI official that officials had no indication that violence was a possibility, and they add to questions about what intelligence authorities had reviewed before the Capitol riot, which led to the death of an officer and four other people, including a rioter who was shot and killed by police.

"Social media is just part of a full intelligence picture, and while there was First Amendment-protected activity on social media to include some people making threats, to this point, investigators have not found that there was an organized plot to access the Capitol," a senior FBI official said.

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690d ago / 2:23 PM UTC

Many Republicans agree Trump went too far but remain divided over consequences

With a second possible impeachment of President Donald Trump on the horizon, some Republicans are saying his conduct in egging on a mob that rioted at the Capitol last week is worthy of impeachment or removal. Others, however, say taking action against Trump could inflame tensions further.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that he believes Trump should resign immediately, joining a handful of Republican colleagues calling for him to go. Toomey said that he believed Trump's conduct is impeachable but that the appropriate step is for him to leave office before his term ends Jan. 20.

"The best way for our country," Toomey said, is "for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible. I acknowledge that may not be likely, but that would be best."

Toomey's remarks reflect a growing momentum in Washington to hold Trump accountable for Wednesday's unrest. The riots prompted a number of Republicans, including Cabinet members and longtime allies, to speak out.

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690d ago / 2:21 PM UTC
690d ago / 2:19 PM UTC

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

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 Democrats consider bringing up articles of impeachment as early as this week, here's a look at how the procedure would work.

690d ago / 2:10 PM UTC
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