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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.

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

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.

Biden plans 'America United' inauguration theme

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.

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

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.”

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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. 

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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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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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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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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