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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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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."

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.”

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

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.

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.