By LIBBY CATHEY, CATHERINE THORBECKE, MORGAN WINSOR and ROSA SANCHEZ, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 11 days.
Here is how the scene is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Jan 10, 2:29 pm
Rep. Cicilline: ‘Just passed 200 cosponsors’ on article of impeachment
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said on Twitter that an article of impeachment has just passed 200 cosponsors.
House Democrats were circulating the draft, citing “incitement of insurrection” on Friday and said they could introduce it as early as Monday and hold a vote as early as the middle of the week.
On Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to Democrats, asked members to prepare to return to Washington this week — another signal that the House could take up and pass the impeachment article to the Senate after it is formally introduced.
The article charges Trump with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” with his comments at the rally outside the White House that it says “encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Jan 10, 10:58 am
GOP Rep. Kinzinger: Best thing for the country is Trump to resign
While Many Democrats have renewed calls to impeach Trump, following his supporters’ storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said on ABC’s “This Week” that he doesn’t think impeachment is “the smart move” right now.
He did, however, call for the president to resign or be removed by the 25th Amendment.
“I think it victimizes Donald Trump again and I think there’s a moment that we’re in right now where Donald Trump, he’s looking really, really bad,” Kinzinger told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“I’ll vote the right way, you know, if I’m presented with that, I just think it’s probably not the smartest move right now but I think that’s going to be out of my hands,” he added.
Jan 10, 10:53 am
Trump ‘represents a clear and present danger’ to Congress, country: Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. said she believes that a second impeachment of President Donald Trump should be scheduled.
“Our main priority is to ensure the removal of Donald Trump as president of the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “Every minute and every hour that he is in office represents a clear and present danger, not just to the United States Congress but frankly to the country.”
“We’re also talking about complete barring of the president — or rather of Donald Trump — from running for office ever again,” she added. “And in addition to that the potential ability to prevent pardoning himself from those charges that he was impeached for.”
Trump ‘represents a clear and present danger’ to Congress, country: Ocasio-Cortez
Jan 10, 10:49 am
Chris Christie: Trump’s incitement of Capitol siege an impeachable offense
Former New Jersey governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that Trump’s incitement of the Capitol siege is an impeachable offense.
“If inciting to insurrection isn’t, then I don’t really know what is,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Jan 09, 11:36 pm
Pelosi tells House Democrats to be ready to return this week
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a new letter to Democrats on Saturday, asked members to prepare to return to Washington this week — another signal that the House could take up and pass the impeachment article to the Senate after it is formally introduced on Monday.
Pelosi thanked fellow Democratic representatives for speaking with her on a conference call Friday and said she was taking their considerations into account. She did not specifically mention voting on impeachment in the letter, though.
“Since that call, I have received scores of communications from Members expressing your views about how we go forward and regarding a strong presence of our Caucus in the Capitol,” she wrote. “Over the last few days, I have discussed your views with Constitutional lawyers, both inside and outside the Congress, to consider the parliamentary and constitutional options available to us.”
“From what I have heard from Members, and from the deluge that I have received from the public, it is clear that, once again, the Times Have Found Us to save our democracy,” Pelosi added in the letter. “We will be proceeding with meetings with Members and Constitutional experts and others. I continue to welcome your comments. I urge you to be prepared to return to Washington this week.”
While Democrats are hopeful Republicans will back their effort, none have come out and said they would back the charge as drafted.
Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday, “If the Vice President and Cabinet do not act [on the 25th Amendment], the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.”
Some Democrats planned to connect with Republican colleagues this weekend to gauge their support and encourage them to back the effort.
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Jan 09, 9:56 pm
Giuliani, Dershowitz likely to represent Trump in impeachment hearings: Sources
President Donald Trump is leaning toward a legal team led by his current personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as well as longtime ally Alan Dershowitz if he were to face an impeachment trial in the Senate, sources told ABC News.
Dershowitz was one of a number of lawyers who assisted Trump in his first impeachment trial last January. While he was impeached in the House, he was not convicted by the Senate].
Lawyers Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone are not expected to be involved this time around after working on the president’s legal team last year, sources said.
House Democrats discussed impeaching the president in the wake of the siege on the U.S. Capitol, egged on by Trump during a rally hours earlier, on Friday. They circulated the draft of a single article citing “incitement of insurrection” that could be introduced as early as Monday. A full House vote could be held as early as the middle of next week.
Trump would have just nine days left in office on Monday and it’s legally murky whether an ex-president can be impeached after leaving the presidency.
-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and John Santucci
Jan 09, 7:32 pm
Pence to attend Biden’s inauguration: Source
Vice President Pence will attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a person familiar with his decision.
This comes the day after President Donald Trump tweeted he would not be attending.
On Friday morning, as Pence departed the White House, his press secretary, Devin O’Malley, said, “Vice President Pence and the second lady have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance.”
Biden said Friday he would welcome Pence’s attendance, though he hadn’t spoken to him about it.
“He’s welcome. I think it’s important that as much as we can stick to what have been the historical precedence of how and the circumstances of which an administration changes, should be maintained,” Biden said. “And so … the vice president is welcome to come, we would be honored to have him there, and to move forward in the transition.”
-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders
Jan 09, 5:47 pm
Senate Democrat says Cruz, Hawley should resign or ‘the Senate must expel them’
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called on the U.S. Senate to expel Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., if the senators refuse to resign in the aftermath of this week’s siege on the Capitol.
“Both @HawleyMO and @SenTedCruz have betrayed their oaths of office and abetted a violent insurrection on our democracy,” Brown wrote on Twitter. “I am calling for their immediate resignations. If they do not resign, the Senate must expel them.”
Both Republican senators have faced bipartisan condemnation for their roles in opposing the ratification of Electoral College votes.
-ABC News’ Trish Turner
Jan 09, 5:39 pm
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump ‘committed impeachable offenses’
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Saturday that he believes the president “committed impeachable offenses” after the violent siege on the Capitol this week by a pro-Trump mob.
“I have to say I do think the president’s behavior this week does disqualify him from serving,” Toomey said on Fox News.
“I don’t know what they are going to send over,” he said of the House effort to draw up an article of impeachment. “And one of the things I am concerned about frankly, is whether the House would completely politicize something. I do think the president committed impeachable offenses, but I don’t know what’s going to land on the Senate floor, if anything,” he added.
The Republican senator voted against the objections to counting the electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania this week.
While the senator did not explicitly call for Trump’s removal from office, Toomey’s comments come amid increased calls by Republicans to hold the president accountable for Wednesday’s riot. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., have both called for Trump to vacate the presidency.
Jan 09, 4:15 pm
West Virginia lawmaker resigns after being charged in Capitol siege
West Virginia Delegate Derrick Evans resigned Saturday after being charged for his involvement in the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol this week.
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans said in a statement.
The West Virginia Republican was taken into custody Friday and charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds,” according to the criminal complaint.
Evans had recorded himself and other supporters of Trump rushing into the Capitol after breaching the security barrier Wednesday. He has since deleted the video from his social media accounts.
-ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman and Joshua Hoyos
Jan 09, 2:36 pm
Trump asked Georgia election investigator to ‘find the fraud’: Source
In December, while a signature match audit was ongoing in one Georgia county, President Donald Trump phoned the chief investigator in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office asking the official to “find the fraud” and telling this person they would be a “national hero” for it, an individual familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.
The Washington Post was first to report on the lengthy phone call, which occurred before Trump’s stunning, hourlong phone conversation with Raffensperger in which the president ranted about baseless allegations of election fraud and pressured Georgia’s top elections official to “find” enough votes to deliver him a win in the Peach State.
That call, which took place on Jan. 2, is cited in the draft article of impeachment against the president that Democrats could introduce as early as Monday.
Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs confirmed the call between Trump and the chief investigator took place without offering details, saying only: “The secretary and the secretary of state’s office can confirm that the call did happen.”
The White House declined to comment.
-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan
Jan 09, 1:33 pm
Bill O’Reilly: Trump has ‘destroyed his legacy’
Bill O’Reilly publicly rebuked President Trump, his longtime friend, in the wake of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“President Trump’s failure to tamp down the angry protestors supporting him in Washington has destroyed his legacy,” the former Fox host tweeted Saturday. “Our divided nation turns to you, @JoeBiden. Defuse it. As best you can.”
In a follow-up tweet, O’Reilly said that he didn’t believe that Trump “encouraged” Wednesday’s violent riots, as many Democratic and Republican leaders have charged.
“The President is smart enough to understand that a calculated violent attack on Congress in his name would destroy him,” the “No Spin News” host said.
O’Reilly recently wrote a book on the president. “The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America,” published in 2019, was an “intimate” look at Trump “from a writer who has known the president for thirty years,” publishing materials said.
Trump defended O’Reilly amid sexual misconduct allegations in 2017, before the conservative commentator was ousted from the Fox News Channel.
Jan 09, 1:29 pm
Trump quiet after Twitter permanently suspends his account
Trump has been quiet Saturday after Twitter announced Friday evening that it had permanently suspended the president’s account.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter wrote in a statement.
Trump’s final tweet said he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration.
After Twitter’s announcement, Politico reported that the president went “ballistic” and “[scrambled] to figure out what his options [were].”
Hours after his suspension, Trump released a statement criticizing the ban and teasing a possible new platform.
“I predicted this would happen,” he wrote in part. “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!”
“Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely,” he added.
Trump had attempted to post the same statement on Twitter using the official @POTUS account, but the platform deleted the thread, saying users who are banned cannot post from other accounts.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Twitter Saturday, comparing the ban of the president to something that would happen in China.
“Silencing speech is dangerous. It’s un-American. Sadly, this isn’t a new tactic of the Left. They’ve worked to silence opposing voices for years. We cannot let them silence 75M Americans. This isn’t the [Chinese Communist Party,]” he wrote on Twitter.
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also took to the platform to draw a comparison to China writing, “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country. #Unbelievable”
The White House announced Thursday that the president planned to spend the weekend at Camp David before notifying reporters that the trip was canceled. The president has nothing on his schedule Saturday.
-ABC News’ Mark Osborne and Conor Finnegan
Jan 09, 12:51 pm
More resignations following Capitol riot
Two more senior Trump administration officials resigned following the president’s remarks Wednesday and the violent assault on Capitol Hill that ensued, ABC News confirmed Saturday.
Anthony Ruggiero, the senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council, resigned Thursday, a source familiar with the situation confirmed. He joins deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger and other senior NSC officials who quit over Trump’s comments.
The State Department lost its first assistant secretary over the week’s events, too. Dr. Chris Ford, the top diplomat for arms control, resigned Friday, a second source familiar with the situation confirmed.
The Washington Post reported that Ford originally announced his departure Wednesday morning but sent a follow-up note to staff Friday resigning immediately and condemning those in the administration who “are willing to condone, or even to incite, violent insurrection against the country I hold dear and whose Constitution I have taken a sacred oath to support and defend” — a tacit reference to Trump.
-ABC News’ Conor Finnegan
Jan 09, 12:18 pm
Former Republican senator calls on Trump to resign
Republican former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe has called on the president to resign following Wednesday’s violent storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
“President Trump should resign from office now to allow our nation to begin to heal and prepare for the transition to the Biden presidency,” Snowe tweeted Saturday.
The former senator joins other Republicans, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., in calling for the president to leave his post or for his removal before his term ends on Jan. 20.
Known as a moderate, Snowe served as senator from Maine between 1995 and 2013.
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Jan 09, 12:11 pm
Statehouses advised to increase security after Capitol riot
Federal law enforcement officials have advised police agencies in state capitals to increase their security posture at statehouses around the country following the riot at the US Capitol, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The concern, the sources said, is an emboldened right-wing that considered Wednesday a success and may next turn to locations in closer to home.
Like the U.S. Capitol, statehouses are often backdrops for demonstrations that law enforcement officials now fear could turn violent.
“The safety of the Massachusetts State House, its employees and its neighbors is of utmost importance. As we witness the events in Washington, DC and across the nation, we are aware of the need to ensure the safety of this building and those who work within it. We continually assess our security needs and will adjust as necessary,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano in a joint statement.
Across the country in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee activated the National Guard to patrol the Capitol Campus when the state legislature convenes Monday.
“As legislators begin their work on behalf of the people of the state of Washington, we must do whatever we can to ensure that they can do that work without fear, intimidation or harassment. The actions we saw in both Washington, D.C. and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state capital again,” Inslee said.
Security was also increased around the statehouse in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
“Maryland State Police as well as Maryland Capitol Police, some of which you see around here, have increased security around the Maryland State House complex, since there’s been a number of incidents at state capitols and governor’s mansions around the country,” Hogan said.
-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Josh Margolin
Jan 09, 11:02 am
Capitol rioter seen in photo carrying lantern arrested
Florida authorities say on Friday night they arrested one of the alleged Capitol rioters who was seen in a viral photograph carrying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the halls.
Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Florida, is being held in Pinellas County Jail and charges are pending after federal marshals picked him up, according to arrest records.
Jan 08, 7:10 pm
Army reviewing whether to arm National Guardsmen for inauguration
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday the Army will soon determine whether to allow Guardsmen to be armed for the inauguration based on a review of threat intelligence.
“We’ll be looking at the intelligence and make a determination over the next day or so,” McCarthy told the Associated Press. “It’s just going to require us to get better intel, and then we’ll have to make a risk assessment.”
Jan 08, 7:08 pm
Pelosi remains noncommittal on impeachment but urges Dems to ‘be prepared’
After an hours-long phone call earlier Friday with the entire Democratic caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a new statement is walking a fine line on next steps and remaining noncommittal on moving forward with impeachment.
Pelosi said it’s still Democrats’ hope that Trump will “immediately resign.”
“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 in the statement.
This comes after nearly 160 Democrats have signed on to legislation in support of a single article of impeachment against the president — which it is expected that they still plan to introduce as early as Monday — but Pelosi does not definitively say she will support it or that the chamber will move forward with impeachment.
– ABC News’ Mariam Khan and Benjamin Siegel
Jan 08, 5:15 pm
White House says impeaching Trump will ‘further divide our great country’
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere has issued a statement in response to movement on Capitol Hill to impeach Trump for a second time.
“As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one Nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a President, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country,” the statement read.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson
Jan 08, 5:00 pm
Murkowski wants Trump to resign, questions her place in the GOP
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign and questioned whether she would remain a part of the Republican party.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said.
She attributed the violence at the Capitol Wednesday to Trump and said that if the Republican Party cannot separate itself from the president she questions her place in it.
“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin
Jan 08, 4:46 pm
Biden says it’s a ‘good thing’ Trump is not going to his inauguration
After directing questions on impeachment to Congress, Biden said he thinks the “quickest way” for Trump to be removed from office is with his own inauguration on Jan. 20 and it’s a “good thing” Trump isn’t showing up.
“One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It’s a good thing, him not showing up,” Biden said. “Because he has clearly demonstrated — he’s exceeded even my worst notions about him. He’s been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed us around the world — not worthy, not worthy to hold that office.”
“If we were six months out, we should be moving everything to get him out of office — impeaching him again, invoke — trying to invoke the 25th amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office, but I am focused now on us taking control,” he added.
Biden said he hasn’t spoken with Vice President Mike Pence but that he’d be “honored” to have him at the inauguration.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle and John Verhovek
Jan 08, 4:01 pm
House Dems expected to introduce article of impeachment against Trump
House Democrats are expected to charge Trump with inciting insurrection in an impeachment article that will be released on Monday, according to the latest draft of the charge obtained by ABC News.
A single article of impeachment, “incitement of insurrection,” charges Trump with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” with comments at the rally outside the White House that “encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—imminent lawless action at the. Capitol,” according to a draft.
It also makes note of Trump’s threatening call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger.
At least 153 Democrats planned to co-sponsor the measure, as of Friday afternoon.
-ABC News’ Mariam Khan and Benjamin Siegel
Jan 08, 3:13 pm
Biden says he’s focused on pandemic, not impeachment
Asked at a transition event in Wilmington, Delaware, about whether House Democrats should introduce articles of impeachment against Trump as soon as Monday — just over a week from when Biden is slated to take office, Biden had a lengthy answer about how he’s focused on the pandemic and leaving that decision to Congress.
“Look, I’ve thought for a long, long time that President Trump wasn’t fit to hold the job. That’s why I ran. And my job now, in 12 days — God willing, I’ll be President of the United States of America. And I’m focused on the urgency of three immediate concerns,” Biden said, “the virus, the vaccine and economic growth.”
“What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide, but I’m going to have to — and they’re going to have to be ready — to hit the ground running, because when Kamala and I are sworn in, we’re gonna be introducing immediately significant pieces of legislation to deal with the virus, deal with the economy and deal with economic growth,” he continued. “So we’re going to do our job, and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs.”
Asked what he would say if a Democratic member of Congress were to ask his advice about whether they should proceed, Biden said he’d deflect.
“I’d tell them that’s a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job,” he said.
Pressed on whether he spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before taking this stance, Biden said they will be speaking later on “about my agenda as well as whatever they want to talk to me about.”
Jan 08, 3:04 pm
Biden says he considered Sanders to lead Labor Dept.
Biden, in announcing Cabinet nominees for key economic and jobs positions, confirmed he gave “serious consideration” to nominating Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for secretary of labor, but he said the two agreed they couldn’t risk Republicans gaining control of the Senate.
“He could have done a fantastic job. I can think of no more passionate and devoted ally to working people in this country. But after Tuesday’s results in Georgia, giving Democratic control of the United States Senate in a tie vote, Bernie and I agreed — as a matter of fact, Bernie suggested — we can’t put control of the Senate at risk on the outcome of a special election in Vermont,” Biden said.
Biden also reiterated in his remarks he supports raising the minimum wage to $15, passing more coronavirus relief legislation to small business owners and releasing more COVID-19 vaccine doses immediately to Americans to administer as many shots as possible.
Jan 08, 2:56 pm
No. 3 Senate Dem calls on Cruz, Hawley to resign
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has called on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to resign in the aftermath of the violent siege on the Capitol, accusing the Republican senators of inciting the pro-Trump mob that stormed into the building.
“As a Senator, I respect every member who disagrees with my ideas. I reserve my right to use my voice to fight for what I believe in. But at the end of the day, our job is to keep this country a democracy where voices win, not brute force,” Murray wrote in a statement.
“Any Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office. Senators Hawley and Cruz should resign,” she added.
Hawley and Cruz led challenges to Wednesday’s Electoral College ratification, which repeated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election
Murray is the highest-ranking Senate Democrat to urge for the senators’ resignations. Her statement echoes similar calls for Cruz and Hawley to step down from Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Jan 08, 2:34 pm
Pence arrives at White House, plans to meet with staff, after spending Thursday at home
Vice President Mike Pence arrived at the White House Friday afternoon, after spending Thursday away from the White House complex.
Pence will be participating in meetings and calls at the White House and planned to stop by his office’s weekly staff meeting, according to his office.
The vice president’s office did not respond to questions about whether Pence planned to meet with Trump amid calls from Democrats for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Pence remained at his residence at the Naval Observatory grounds in Washington all day Thursday, according to a senior administration official, and received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, his office said Thursday.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson and Elizabeth Thomas
Jan 08, 1:36 pm
McCarthy plans to talk to Biden Friday
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he has reached out to Biden and plans to talk to him later Friday about uniting the country — as he expresses opposition to the idea of impeaching Trump again.
“Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more,” McCarthy wrote in a statement Friday. “I have reached out to President-elect Biden today and plan to speak to him about how we must work together to lower the temperature and unite the country to solve America’s challenges.”
McCarthy also confirmed he spoke with Trump on Wednesday to urge him “to intervene to quell the mob.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, told colleagues on a caucus call Friday afternoon she is planning to speak with Biden later in the day about how she wants to move forward regarding Trump after publicly calling for his removal from office.
Jan 08, 1:34 pm
Pelosi tells Dems Milley assured her ‘safeguards’ are in place
In a caucus call with House Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley assured her “safeguards” are in place when she expressed her concerns about Trump having access to nuclear codes in the last days of his presidency, sources on the line told ABC News.
She said she is planning to talk to Biden later in the day about how to move forward regarding Trump, according to sources on the call, after publicly calling for Trump’s immediate removal through the 25th Amendment or through impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials refuse to proceed.
“The president chose to be an insurrectionist,” Pelosi said on the call, according to sources.
“Impeachment encourages conversation on the 25th Amendment. That’s picked up a lot of steam,” she said.
Pelosi, according another source, said she is “emotionally” devastated by Wednesday but remains “dispassionate” about how to move forward.
More than half the caucus — or 130 House Democrats — are calling for Trump’s immediate impeachment and have co-sponsored a resolution from Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. The House could take it up and pass it to the Senate as soon as next week.
But some Democrats are urging caution, wary of derailing Biden’s agenda. Pelosi wanted to take the temperature of her members before discussing her options with the president-elect.
Jan 08, 1:11 pm
Reddit ‘has taken action’ to ban ‘Donald Trump’ chat forum
Reddit has banned the subreddit r/donaldtrump for what it calls repeated recent violations over the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
“Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed. We have also taken action to ban the community r/donaldtrump given repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol,” the platform said in a statement.
Reddit had previously banned a similar subreddit, r/the_donald, which was a factory of toxic pro-Trump memes and narratives until the site took it down last year.
The president himself is not involved with these forums, though it’s not unheard of for memes to begin life there and in similar online forums before making their way into the president’s media diet.
Jan 08, 12:51 pm
Biden to push for immediate release of available COVID-19 vaccine doses
Biden will move to release more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when he takes office, a departure from the country’s current procedure of withholding 50% of the supply to ensure second doses of the two-shot vaccine are available, a transition official said Friday.
“He supports releasing available doses immediately, and believes the government should stop holding back vaccine supply so we can get more shots in Americans’ arms now. He will share additional details next week on how his Administration will begin releasing available doses when he assumes office on January 20th,” Biden spokesperson TJ Ducklo said in a statement.
A transition official told ABC News they have faith manufacturers can produce enough vaccines to ensure people can get their second doses in a timely manner, while also getting more people their first doses.
The official also noted the Biden administration has long pledged to use the Defense Production Act as needed to help produce materials to ensure supply.
Jan 08, 12:41 pm
Milley spokesperson confirms calls with Pelosi on nuclear authority
In a short statement, Col. Dave Butler, spokesperson for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed the nation’s top Gen. Mark Milley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the phone.
“Speaker Pelosi initiated a call with the chairman. He answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority,” Butler said.
Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in a letter earlier Friday she reached out to discuss “available precautions” for preventing Trump “an unstable president” from accessing the nuclear launch codes or initiating military hostilities before he is out of office in 12 days.
Jan 08, 12:41 pm
Twitter says any more violations by Trump will result in permanent suspension
A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement Friday: “In line with our statement yesterday, any future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
The social media platform on Wednesday removed a video of Trump telling Capitol Hill rioters “we love you” and to “go home,” requested the removal of three of Trump’s tweets and slapped a 12-hour lock on Trump’s account by Wednesday night.
“If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the company added in a Tweet on its verified safety account at the time.
A Twitter spokesperson told ABC News on Thursday morning that Trump’s tweets were deleted.
Jan 08, 12:02 pm
Pelosi spoke to Milley about preventing Trump from nuclear access
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter to her Democratic colleagues said she reached out to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley Friday morning to discuss “available precautions” for preventing Trump — “an unstable president” — from accessing the nuclear launch codes or initiating military hostilities before he is out of office in 12 days. She doesn’t elaborate further on their discussion.
“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering 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 said in the letter.
Pelosi said she is also still waiting to hear back from Vice President Mike Pence as to whether or not he intends to invoke the 25th Amendment ahead of House Democrats holding a call on their options on removing Trump from office at noon.
“If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,” she wrote.
Jan 08, 11:57 am
Senior State adviser fired after tweeting Trump ‘needs to go’
After tweeting the president must go, citing the insurrection at the Capitol, Gabriel Noronha was fired from the State Department on Thursday, he has confirmed.
Noronha, who served as a senior adviser and spokesperson for Iran policy, is the first Trump administration official fired for speaking out against the president over the week’s events.
“President Trump fomented an insurrectionist mob that attacked the Capitol today. He continues to take every opportunity to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power. These actions threaten our democracy and our Republic. Trump is entirely unfit to remain in office, and needs to go,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
Jan 08, 11:52 am
Overview: Trump retreats in wake of insurrection, Biden presses forward with transition
Biden is pressing forward with his inauguration on Jan. 20 — and Trump won’t be there, the president announced in a tweet Friday morning.
After Trump tweeted he wouldn’t attend, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Devin O’Malley, told ABC News, “Vice President Pence and the Second Lady have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance.”
Earlier Friday, Trump took to Twitter to call his supporters “American Patriots” who “will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future” and “not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!
The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
The tweets come hours after Trump, for the first time, said he would focus on an “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.” In the video posted Thursday evening, he also rebuked those who vandalized the Capitol.
“To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay,” Trump said.
While Democrats are looking at options for removing Trump from office, Biden has so far declined to comment on his stance for impeaching Trump or invoking the 25th Amendment with a spokesperson for his transition team saying Thursday he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are focusing on their duties.
Meanwhile, Trump has suggested to advisers that he wants to grant himself a pardon before leaving office, sources familiar with the discussions told ABC News.
Keeping on message, Biden is pressing forward with his transition and is expected to announce more picks for his economic and jobs team Friday afternoon including Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his choice for secretary of commerce and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his pick to serve as his secretary of labor. Walsh would be the first union member to serve in the role in almost half a century. Biden also named Isabel Guzman as his pick for small business administrator and Don Graves as his choice for secretary of commerce.
Jan 08, 11:01 am
Biden, Harris announce more members of the National Security Council
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have announced 21 additional members of the White House National Security Council including Yohannes Abraham as the chief of staff and executive secretary and Emily Horne as a senior director for press and NSC spokesperson.
The vast majority of the nominees previously served under the Obama administration. The positions do not require Senate confirmation.
Jan 08, 10:51 am
62 Dems sign letter to immediately reconvene House
Sixty-two Democrats have signed on to a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling on House leaders to immediately reconvene the House of Representatives to reckon with the “assault on our democracy” that took place at the Capitol this week.
“We could take up the question of whether President Trump should be censured or impeached for encouraging a violent attack on the United States Congress, as well as Representative Raskin’s proposal that Congress appoint a body, as provided by the 25th Amendment, to determine whether the President is fit to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the letter reads.
It comes ahead of House Democrats convening by phone at noon to discuss a path forward on getting Trump out of office.
Jan 08, 9:20 am
GOP senator says he’d consider articles of impeachment against Trump
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said Friday morning he would consider moving on articles of impeachment if the House brought charges against the president to the Senate.
“The House, if they come together and have a process, I will consider whatever articles they might move because as I’ve told you, I believe the president has disregarded his oath of offic,” Sasse told CBS This Morning.
“He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked,” Sasse said.
Sasse is the first GOP senator to publicly express an openness to impeachment since Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol. In the president’s impeachment trial last year, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican to vote to remove Trump from office.
Jan 08, 9:13 am
DC AG pledges to investigate instigators of Capitol insurrection, including Trump
Attorney General for the District of Columbia Karl Racine faulted Capitol Hill Police for failing to contain Wednesday’s insurrection but said his office will also investigate those who incited the violence — including the president.
”Clearly, the Capitol was ground central in the mob’s behavior. Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, even the president were calling on supporters and hate groups to go to the Capitol, and in Rudy’s words, ‘exercise combat justice,"” Racine told ABC News’ Good Morning America Anchor Cecilia Vega in an interview Friday morning. “We’re going to investigate not only the mob, but those who incited the violence.”
Racine also said authorities would use the Internet to identify the rioters who violated the Capitol and noted, “More people died at the Capitol of the United States than in Benghazi.”
Jan 08, 9:01 am
House Dems move closer to second Trump impeachment
House Democrats are moving closer to launching a second impeachment effort against President Trump in the wake of insurrection at the Capitol — an expedited push that could be voted out of the House as early as next week.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., signaled the speed at which the process could work in a statement late Thursday.
“We have a limited period of time in which to act. The nation cannot afford a lengthy, drawn out process, and I support bringing articles of impeachment directly to the House floor,” he said, suggesting that impeachment effort would bypass the House Judiciary Committee entirely.
Democrats are expected to introduce a privileged impeachment resolution in the House as soon as Monday, which could tee up debate and a floor vote by Wednesday, if House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reconvenes the chamber.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will convene Democrats for their first caucus call since events at the Capitol at noon Friday, where impeachment is expected to be a topic of discussion.
Jan 08, 6:50 am
At least 10 Trump staffers, including five White House officials, have resigned
In the wake of Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol siege, at least 10 Trump administration officials have resigned.
Among them are five White House officials. These are Matthew Pottinger (deputy national security adviser), Tyler Goodspeed (acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers), Stephanie Grisham (Melania Trump’s chief of staff and spokeswoman), Rickie Niceta (White House social secretary) and Sarah Matthews (White House deputy press secretary).
Other officials who have resigned following President Donald Trump’s encouragement of Capitol protests, include Elaine Chao (secretary of transportation), John Costello, (deputy assistant secretary of commerce for intelligence and security) and Mick Mulvaney (U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland and former White House chief of staff).
Ryan Tully, the senior director for Europe and Russian affairs on the White House National Security Council has also willingly left his post, as has Betsy Devos, the secretary of education.
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