- Vice-president says it would ‘set a terrible precedent’
- Wyoming conservative’s split with Trump could give cover to others
- President rejects responsibility for Capitol riot he inspired
- Schumer: Trump should not hold office one day longer’
- Ex-Michigan governor set to be charged over Flint water scandal
- Kamala Harris: how will America’s next vice-president wield her power? Join the Guardian and cultural critic Margo Jefferson for a live conversation on 18 January at 4pm ET. Register here
From me and Joan E Greve:
Representative Fred Upton of Michigan has joined three other House Republicans in saying he’ll vote to impeach Donald Trump.
Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking GOP representative has also said she’ll vote to impeach. But her colleagues, Freedom Caucus chair Andy Biggs representative Matt Rosendale are calling on Cheney to step down from party leadership. Rosendale, a freshman congressman of Montana said Cheney is“weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead.”
The House has approved fines for members who don’t comply with a mask-wearing mandate, voting along party lines.
There will be a $500 fine for a first offense and $2,500 for a second offense. The fines are part of the rules of the resolution calling on Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
This is the first abortion case to be decided with anti-abortion Trump-appointee Amy Coney Barrett on the court.
The ruling today reinstates a Food and Drug Administration rule that Mifeprex, a drug used for abortion early in pregnancy, must be administered by medical professionals at clinics or hospitals.
Representative Jamie Raskin will be taking lead, working with Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean.
“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” said Pelosi in a statement. “It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal. They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the constitution. Our managers will honor their duty to defend democracy for the people with great solemnity, prayerfulness and urgency.”
Debbie Lesko, a Republican congresswoman of Arizona has complained about the metal detectors that representatives have to go through to enter the floor, describing them as an additional measure “on top of the security we already go through”.
But lawmakers do not have to go through additional metal detectors to access the Capitol.
For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!
Several Republicans have taken exception to the new metal detectors and safety measures implemented following the deadly attack on the US Capitol last week.
Representative Lauren Boebert refused to comply with a bag check, and Markwayne Mullin and Steve Womack have also reportedly yelled at Capitol police officers enforcing the new protocols.
House GOP furious at new mags outside the chamber. Reps. Markwayne Mullin and Steve Womack erupted at Capitol Police as they were forced to go through the mags. Womack shouted “I was physically restrained!” And Mullin said “it’s my constitutional right” and “they cannot stop me
In the letter to Nancy Pelosi, Pence said he is not willing to declare Trump unfit for office. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he writes.
Invoking the 25th would “set a terrible precedent” he said.
Even as the House works on passing a resolution compelling Pence to do so, the vice president has said he won’t invoke the 25th Amendment or consider removing Trump from office.
Pence has sent a letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi…
Lauren Boebert, a Republican representative of Colorado who subscribes to the QAnon conspiracy, has reportedly held up the line after setting of newly installed metal detectors at Congress.
Boebert, who has expressed enthusiasm about carrying weapons to Capitol Hill, is reportedly refusing to comply with a bag search.
Republicans have introduced a resolution to formally censure Donald Trump for trying to overturn the election and encouraging “lawless action”.
The resolution, from representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, overlaps significantly with Democrats’ impeachment resolution – but rather than impeaching the president, the Republicans backing the resolution say they want to formally tell him off.
Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, has signaled support for GOP representatives who said they’ll vote to impeach Trump.
Hogan has blamed Trump and some Republican leaders for inciting the attack on the Capitol last week. He told CNN that he is “embarrassed and ashamed” by party members who have amplified false claims of election fraud.
I will always be proud of my father for putting our country before party and his own career as the first Republican to support impeaching President Nixon. Shortly after his stand, the president resigned.
The House is now debating a resolution calling on Mike Pence to strip Trump of his powers by invoking the 25th amendment.
Congress is expected to vote on the measure at around 7.30 local time, and it’s expected to pass. It calls on Pence to “immediately” call on the cabinet to declare Trump unfit for office. But Pence is unlikely to do so, having given no signal that he will.
The report details testimonials from representatives, including from Jamie Raskin of Maryland, whose daughter and son-in-law were visiting him at the Capitol on the day of the attack:
Representative Jamie Raskin asked his chief of staff to “protect [two of his visiting family members] with her life,” as she stood guard at the door clutching a fire iron. Representative Jason Crow, said that he had not been in a similar situation since serving in Afghanistan and described the chaos on the House floor: “[T]he police weren’t able to get us out so they actually closed and locked the doors and started to take furniture and barricade the doors and the windows with furniture as the mob tried to ram them down and was breaking through the windows.” Representative Susan Wild, described hearing gun shots at approximately 3pm and then Capitol police screaming “Get down! Get down!” as she crawled on her hands and knees through the gallery, witnessing her colleagues making phone calls to loved ones.
Democrats on the House judiciary committee have released a 76-page staff report on the impeachment of Donald Trump, in anticipation of Wednesday’s debate and vote on articles of impeachment.
In it, Democrats point to Trump’s continued shirking of responsibility. “The President publicly denied responsibility for the attack, claiming his words were ‘totally appropriate’,” the report reads.
Another Republican representative, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, has joined GOP members in support of impeachment.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” he said. “He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative.”
Canada has already implemented requirements for negative Covid-19 tests from incoming air passengers, as have other countries.
Right now, only air travelers coming from Britain are required to show negative test results – in order to slow the transmission of a new variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the UK, and found to be circulating in many countries, including the US.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expanded restrictions for air travelers coming into the US, requiring negative Covid-19 test results from all passengers.
“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants,” the CDC said in a statement. “With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”
Political appointees at the US census bureau reportedly made it a “number one priority” to produce data on documented and undocumented immigrants, the Commerce Department’s Inspector General said on Tuesday.
“Career employees informed us that they are under significant pressure to produce this technical report,” Commerce Department Inspector General Peggy Gustafson wrote in the letter to Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham, a Trump appointee.
Cheney, a staunch conservative of Wyoming and a ranking Republican in Congress, could give cover to other Republicans who want to vote to impeach.
While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana – who voted to object to the Electoral College results last week even after the attack on the US Capitol, Cheney has opposed the president and questioned his undermining of the elections.
Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican leader in the House, said she will vote to impeach the president over inciting the attack on the US Capitol last week.
“We take oaths to defend the Constitution because at times, it needs to be defended,” John Katko said. “Without the peaceful transfer of power and the acknowledgment of election results, we can’t sustain our political system. Congress is tasked with holding the executive accountable. As the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, country always comes first.”
Hi there, it’s Maanvi Singh – blogging from the west coast.
John Katko, a Republican representative of New York, has said he would vote to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the attack on the US Capitol last week.
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told colleagues that he believes Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses and he’s glad the House is moving forward with impeachment.
The New York Times reports:
[McConnell] has told associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he ought to call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of last week’s riot at the Capitol, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.
House Democrats are trying to impose fines on members who do not wear masks on the floor, after three lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus in the days since the riot at the Capitol.
A senior House Democratic aide said that the rule for congressman Jamie Raskin’s resolution on the 25th amendment, which will be voted on tonight, would include language implementing the fines.
There are now metal detectors outside the House chamber, which lawmakers will have to pass through before gaining access to the floor.
Federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin said at a press conference moments ago, about the pro-Trump rioters who invaded the US Capitol last week: “We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy”, charges that have prison terms of up to 20 years.
Steven D’Antuono from the Washington field office of the FBI accompanied Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, at the first federal government press conference on the security failures that allowed for the Capitol breach since it happened on 6 January as both chambers of Congress were packed with lawmakers debating the certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in November’s election.
Today’s @FBI (Steven D’Antuono) @TheJusticeDept (Michael Sherwin) update was the 1st since the Jan 6 #insurection.
Thank you for sharing the general re-active work being done.
So, the WARNINGS were shared as typical alerts to other agencies? No follow-up? https://t.co/qsAz4g8W73
Some veterans of the justice department and the FBI questioned why it was not Jeffrey Rosen, the acting attorney general, and Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, who were briefing the press on charges related to the Capitol riot.
From a former federal prosecutor:
How on earth can DOJ call this press conference and not have the acting AG or FBI Director at the podium?
FBI has two modes: Reactive and proactive. We are hearing right now what they have done/are doing REactively. I have no doubt they will be excellent. But the question is: What did they miss in their PROactivity capacity, and why??? (Appear to be avoiding this) 1/
The acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, has indicated that many amid the hundreds of pro-Trump rioters who violently invaded the US Capitol last Wednesday are suspected in a “mind-blowing” range of crimes including felony murder and sedition and conspiracy.
BREAKING: DOJ says “we’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” charges that have prison terms of up to 20 years.
“You will be charged and you will be found,” acting US attorney in DC Michael Sherwin says. pic.twitter.com/1lj8Bbk01L
Donald Trump’s speech wrapped up after about 22 minutes, marking a rather short speech for the usually loquacious president.
Trump spent much of the speech boasting about his immigration policies and mentioning specific areas where he performed well in the presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden.
Speaking in Texas, Donald Trump briefly addressed the violent riot at the Capitol last week, which he incited by encouraging his supporters to march to the building as lawmakers certified Joe Biden’s victory.
The president lamented that “a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government,” expressing respect for “America’s history and traditions”.
Donald Trump is now speaking in Alamo, Texas, praising himself for his work on the border wall.
At the beginning of his remarks, the president briefly addressed the violent riot at the Capitol and calls for him to be removed from office.
The joint chiefs of staff is preparing a statement to service members reminding them of their duty to support the constitution and reject extremism, according to CNN.
Just in: Joint Chiefs of Staff preparing rare message to entire force of reassurance: reminding them the job is to support & defend Constitution and reject extremism. Its a significant step. JCS have sought to stay out of politics. Statement due to gravity of events.
Rick Snyder, the former governor of Michigan, and other senior officials are reportedly expected to be charged in connection to the Flint water scandal.
The AP reports:
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15, The Associated Press has learned.
Two people with knowledge of the planned prosecution told the AP on Tuesday that the attorney general’s office has informed defense lawyers about indictments in Flint and told them to expect initial court appearances soon. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Extremists move to secret online channels to plan for January 20 in Washington, DC, the day that Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th US president.
Telegram is a Dubai-based messaging service that does little moderation of its content and has a sizable international user base, particularly in eastern Europe and the Middle East.
In the days since the Capitol attack for example, a US Army field manual and exhortations to ‘shoot politicians’ and ‘encourage armed struggle’ have been posted in a Telegram channel that uses ‘fascist’ in its name.
Two House Democrats have introduced legislation that would impose $1,000 fines on members who don’t wear masks on Capitol grounds.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan and congressman Anthony Brown of Maryland argued the measure was necessary after three colleagues tested positive for coronavirus in the days after the Capitol riot.
Members refusing to mask and distance in the Capitol put other Members, aides, support staff and their families at risk
There must be consequences for selfish actions that endanger the lives of others. If Members jeopardize the safety of others they should face fines https://t.co/mKSC2Y5sqk
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute today after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said.
New York Democrat and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is giving a press conference on the street in New York right now and lambasting the Donald Trump for his comments this morning when the US president refused to take responsibility for fomenting the mob attack on the Capitol last week.
Q: “What is your role in what happened at the Capitol? What is your personal responsibility?”
President Trump: “If you read my speech…people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” pic.twitter.com/90Pdt8xFSz
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Donald Trump issued a statement in response to the death of Sheldon Adelson, a prominent Republican donor who was an early supporter of the president.
“Melania and I mourn the passing of Sheldon Adelson, and send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Miriam, his children and grandchildren,” Trump said in the statement.
An FBI office in Virginia reportedly issued an internal warning a day before the violent riot at the Capitol that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington and commit “war”.
The Washington Post reports:
A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.
‘As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,’ the document says. ‘An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.’
Norma Torres, a Democrat of California, gave an emotional account of her experience during the violent riot at the Capitol last week.
Speaking at the House rules committee hearing to debate the 25th amendment resolution, Torres noted she was one of the last people to be evacuated from the House chamber.
“I was 1 of 12 trapped in the House gallery.” — Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) describes her harrowing experience in the Capitol on January 6th.
Take two minutes and watch this from Torres. pic.twitter.com/Fx61uzzbrX
Jim Jordan argued against the resolution calling for the 25th amendment to be invoked, saying the measure would further divide the nation.
The Republican congressman’s comments to the House rules committee came less than a week after Donald Trump incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “Congress needs to stop this, this effort to remove the president from office … These actions will only continue to divide the nation.”
(A right-wing insurrection based on election fraud lies really divides the nation.) pic.twitter.com/HWukqGwD9K
The House rules committee is now debating a resolution calling on Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment and remove Donald Trump from office.
Congressman Jamie Raskin, who crafted the resolution, said the violent riot at the Capitol last week, incited by the president, justified the measure.
Rep. Jamie Raskin on House resolution calling for Trump’s removal: “The time of 25th Amendment emergency has arrived. It has come to our doorstep. It has invaded our chamber.” https://t.co/fOyKRem7Wc pic.twitter.com/QOJ1OJwouM
House members have been warned that one terrorist plot ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration involves thousands of people surrounding the US Capitol, according to CNN.
Congressman Conor Lamb, one of the lawmakers briefed on security concerns last night, said that the threats the government is receiving are “very specific”.
As the FBI warns about “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, DC, Rep. Conor Lamb says the threats are very “specific.”
“We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped.” pic.twitter.com/JG5tqGljYk
Two Democratic lawmakers who participated in the briefing told CNN that they were walked through several scenarios on a call Monday and officers were sober about the threats. An effort was made to emphasize how different security is right now, the members said.
‘They are very strong when we are weak. That is when the mob psychology takes hold and they are emboldened, but when met with actual determined force, I think a lot of these fantasy world beliefs about what will happen when they come to Washington will melt away,’ one of the members said.
A third member of the House of Representatives has tested positive for coronavirus after lawmakers were forced to shelter in place together during the violent riot at the Capitol last week.
Brad Schneider, a Democrat of Illinois, announced his diagnosis in a statement that specifically called out Republicans who refused to wear masks during the lockdown.
Unfortunately, I received a positive COVID-19 test this morning following being tested yesterday on the advice of the House Attending Physician.
Donald Trump refused to take responsibility for his role in the riot at the Capitol, claiming his words to supporters shortly before the violence were “totally appropriate”.
Speaking to reporters shortly before leaving for Texas to champion his work on the border wall, the president was asked about a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol last week.
Q: “What is your role in what happened at the Capitol? What is your personal responsibility?”
President Trump: “If you read my speech…people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” pic.twitter.com/90Pdt8xFSz
Harvard University has announced it is removing Elise Stefanik, a Republican congresswoman of New York, from an advisory committee over her role in promoting baseless claims of widespread fraud in the presidential election.
Doug Elmendorf, the dean of Harvard Kennedy School, said Stefanik would no longer serve on the school’s Senior Advisory Committee, following a review by school leaders.
James Comey said he was “sickened” by the attack on the Capitol last week, emphasizing that all of the rioters involved should face federal charges.
“It’s important that every last person who entered that Capitol be found and charged.”
Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, would not say whether the 25th amendment should be invoked to remove Donald Trump from office.
Speaking to ABC News this morning, the cabinet secretary also would not say whether he has discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment with other senior officials.
HHS Sec. Alex Azar won’t say if he’d vote to remove Trump: “The rhetoric last week was unacceptable. I’m not going to get into or discuss the 25th Amendment here. I’ve wrestled with this, I’m committed to see this through in my role as Health Sec. during a pandemic…” pic.twitter.com/yD1vwwPBMv
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
Republican politicians are offering their condolences to the family of Sheldon Adelson, the prominent party donor who has died at 87.
By the way, here’s what we’ve got in the diary for later today.
President Donald Trump departs the White House at 10am ET (3pm GMT) to head for Alamo in Texas where he is expected to give remarks about immigration and visit the southern US border wall.
Donald Trump Jr appears to be the first member of the Trump family to pay public tribute to Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican and Trump donor, whose death has just been announced.
Sheldon was a true American patriot and a giant among men. He treated his employees like family. His philanthropic generosity changed countless lives. The US-Israel relationship is stronger today because of him. My heart goes out to the Adelson family. https://t.co/AjZHPVsD1e
J Oliver Conroy looks for us today at the role of Sen. Josh Hawley in last week’s assault on the Capitol, and what the future may hold for the 41-year-old US senator from Missouri, who has positioned himself as a more polished successor to Donald Trump, who can unite rightwing nationalism with populist economic policies.
Unlike Donald Trump, Hawley did not directly encourage the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol last Wednesday. But his move to muddy the legitimacy of the election undoubtedly fanned the flames. Now, with five people dead, human excrement smeared on the walls of a building many Americans regard as close to sacred, and widespread calls for Trump to resign or face impeachment, Hawley may have succeeded in casting himself as a mini-Trump – and is facing an accordingly fierce backlash.
Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz writes for us today, asking whether Donald Trump an aberration or a symptom of a deeper US malady?
The immediate task is to remove the threat Trump still poses. The House of Representatives should impeach him now, and the Senate should try him some time later, to bar him from holding federal office again. It should be in the interest of the Republicans, no less than the Democrats, to show that no one, not even the president, is above the law.
But we should not sleep comfortably until the underlying problems are addressed. Many involve great challenges. We must reconcile freedom of expression with accountability for the enormous harm that social media can and has caused, from inciting violence and promoting racial and religious hatred to political manipulation.
Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire mogul and power broker who built a casino empire spanning from Las Vegas to China and became a singular force in domestic and international politics has died after a long illness, his wife said this morning.
Associated Press report that both Miriam Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. released statements confirming Adelson’s death. He was 87.
“Mike Pompeo is tweeting again” appears to have become the new “the president is awake and tweeting” on this blog.
Pretty much every day since 1 January the secretary of state has been using his official US government account to
outline what he sees as his legacy of his time in office
publish his CV for his 2024 run for the presidency
If we can’t fix it, we won’t keep wasting time or US taxpayer money. Our good faith efforts to reform @WHO, @UNESCO, @UNRWA and other corrupt organizations were rejected, so we left & found better ways to put #AmericaFirst. #CommonSense pic.twitter.com/574MdGUCzr
Straight from the “Well, this is awkward” files, Charlie Kirk has been denying that the attack on the Capitol was an insurrection. Ewan Palmer reports for Newsweek:
Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative student group Turning Point USA, has dismissed any suggestion that the attack on the Capitol last week was an insurrection and that many of those taking part were merely expressing “bad judgment.”
A video of Kirk downplaying the deadly attack in which far-right extremists and QAnon conspiracy theorists stormed Congress, was shared on Twitter. During the clip, Kirk said while it was “not wise” to climb the Capitol steps and storm the corridors of the building, it is wrong to compare those who did to terrorists such as the Oklahoma Bomber.
A number of people on social media suggested that Kirk was attempting to distance himself from the violence which erupted in the nation’s capital after previously claiming that Turning Point Action, the political action committee arm of Turning Point USA, would be sending “80+ buses full of patriots” to attend the capital in a since deleted-tweet.
“The historic event will likely be one of the largest and most consequential in American history,” Kirk tweeted two days before January 6. “The team at @TrumpStudents & Turning Point Action are honored to help make this happen, sending 80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight for this president.”
So, if the Senate is unlikely to ultimately find Donald Trump guilty in an impeachment trial, given that a two-thirds majority is required and that the chamber will be balanced 50-50, what next? John Nichols writes for the Nation on how a 14th Amendment strategy could bar Trump from ever holding office again.
To imagine that Trump will fade away after January 20 requires the denial of everything Americans know about the president’s massive ego, his aversion to being seen as a loser, and his determination to avenge his defeat in the 2020 election.
Added to the Constitution after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment is a blunt instrument, which mandates in its third section: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who … shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
We fully expect the House to carry a vote today demanding that Mike Pence use his powers to remove Donald Trump from office using the 25th amendment. We also fully expect Pence to decline to do so. That will mean that efforts to prise Trump from office will move to impeachment.
Yesterday, lawmakers introduced an impeachment article charging Trump with “high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States” and thus having violated his oath of office. The House will debate this charge on Wednesday. Jan Wolfe at Reuters has put together a handy little guide to how that might play out – although you may feel you are already familiar with the process. After all, it is less than a year since Trump was last impeached.
Deutsche Bank became the latest major company to cut ties with Donald Trump, with the firm that has propped up the Trump Organization for two decades reportedly announcing it would no longer do business with the disgraced president.
The German bank’s move – reported by the New York Times – follows Wednesday’s deadly attack on the US Capitol building by a mob of Trump supporters. The number of corporations disassociating themselves from Trump is now turning into an avalanche.
Giovanni Russonello wrote the New York Times On Politics newsletter today, and he had these observations about the departure of Chad Wolf from his role as acting US homeland security secretary:
Far from taking a bold political stand after the attack last week by domestic extremists, Wolf didn’t mention the assault on the Capitol in the resignation letter he sent to staff members. Instead, he pointed to recent court rulings that had cast doubt on his authority to run the agency by saying he might not have been appointed lawfully by the president.
But it was difficult not to see his resignation as related to those of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, and Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, who resigned after the Capitol riot — effectively sidestepping calls from Trump’s critics to help remove him by using the 25th Amendment.
Washington DC isn’t the only area of concern for next week’s inauguration. Pro-Trump activists have threatened action at state capitols, including an “armed march” which is planned for the weekend before president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Elaine S. Povich and Alex Brown report for USA Today at concerns that state capitols will have security issues.
State capitols around the country remain on high alert following the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and as new threats surface online, but with less than two-thirds of them employing metal detectors, and about 20 statehouses specifically allowing guns inside, there are many security gaps that rioters could exploit.
Demonstrators at previous statehouse events spouted the same pro-Trump rhetoric and carried the same kinds of inflammatory banners as their counterparts in Washington, DC.
US officials have moved to ramp up security throughout Washington and across the country as the FBI said far-right groups – many using social media – were continuing to threaten plots before Joe Biden’s inauguration as president on 21 January.
As the National Park Service closed the Washington Monument, and the grounds of the US Capitol – which were stormed by a mob of pro-Trump extremists last week – were closed to visitors, with some 10,000 national guard being deployed across DC, the FBI said far-right extremist groups were planning armed protests in all 50 state capitals and in Washington, DC.
Outgoing president Donald Trump will be making his first public appearance today since his supporters stormed the Capitol last week. Steve Holland tees the visit up for Reuters, reporting that Trump agreed to the trip as members of his staff encouraged him to undertake events highlighting his legacy.
Bitter and upset with little more than a week until he hands over power to Biden, Trump has been closeted in the White House with close advisers since Wednesday. His team insist there is no symbolism to the choice of Alamo for Trump’s visit. The Alamo mission in San Antonio, Texas, was the scene of a famous 1836 battle when Texans were routed by Mexican forces.
Facebook is cracking down on content using the ‘stop the steal’ phrase behind false US election claims and the firm’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has said she’s “glad” Donald Trump was blocked.
In this moment the risk to our democracy was too big. We felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban, and I’m glad we did. We’ve said at least through the transition, but we have no plans to lift it. There’s obviously so much happening, and this is such a big step. We will definitely let people know and be very transparent about any changes to that.
Until it was taken offline, Parler was one refuge of those fleeing Twitter and Facebook in the wake of their suspensions of Donald Trump’s accounts. Malaika Jabali writes for us this morning about the service, saying: I’ve been on Parler. It’s a cesspit of thinly veiled racism and hate:
I joined Parler in November, before various tech companies announced plans to take it offline. It didn’t take long to find a bevy of hashtags and posts romanticizing civil war. By late November, there were over 10,000 posts that included the hashtag #civilwar and its variants. The person who posted “Civil war is coming” was replying to a post by Wayne Root, a conservative media personality with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. Root leveled the same unproven accusations of voter fraud as Donald Trump, using the same calls for battle that white power groups heeded in their storming of the US Capitol the first week of 2021.
While some on the far right will probably retreat into the shadows cast by polling booths and hidden by exit polling data that obscures Trump’s popularity, many have not. Any perception of progress for Black people, even if this progress does not substantively exist, perpetuates violence against us and our perceived allies like leftists, Marxists and Democrats – all named by Parler posters as opposing parties in this hypothetical civil war).
Twitter has said it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content as the social media site continued to crack down on content after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.
“Given the violent events in Washington DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said in a blog late on Monday.
Neil Young has called for empathy towards those who stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC, arguing they had been “manipulated” into doing so.
In a message posted to his website, Young writes:
I feel empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons. I may be among them. I wish internet news was two-sided. Both sides represented on the same programs. Social media, at the hands of powerful people – influencers, amplifying lies and untruths, is crippling our belief system, turning us against one another. We are not enemies. We must find a way home.
Axios are on a roll this morning as they have another piece they’ve labelled ‘scoop’, in this case that the Trump administration is about to make three changes to the rules around Covid vaccination roll-out in the US which should speed it up. Sam Baker writes:
The federal government is making three big changes, according to a senior administration official:
Recommending that states open the vaccination process to everyone older than 65 and to adults of all ages who have a pre-existing condition that puts them at greater risk for serious infection.
Expanding the venues where people can get vaccinated to include community health centers and more pharmacies.
Husbands and wives, twin brothers in their 20s, parents and their children. Family members are turning up one after another at Martin Luther King Jr community hospital (MLKCH) in South Los Angeles. The deaths have been piling up.
Patients have been arriving at MLKCH terribly sick, and at higher rates than anywhere else in the region – the impoverished Latino and Black neighborhood is one of the worst Covid hotspots in America. Inside the hospital, staff face a dire scramble to ensure they have the supplies, the healthcare workers and the physical space needed to take care of the overwhelming crush of Covid victims.
According to figures from the Johns Hopkins university, yesterday the US recorded a further 204,652 new coronavirus cases, and there were 1,731 more deaths. This takes the total death toll over 375,000.
According to the Covid Tracking Project, there are 129,748 people currently hospitalized in the US with Covid. This marks the 41st day in a row where over 100,000 people have been in this position.
“This is what we were afraid of – people letting their guard down over Christmas and New Years,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday while announcing the spread of the virus was increasing across the state.
Arizona’s hospitalization numbers are at all-time highs due to a surge that the state’s top health official said earlier this month followed the Christmas holiday.
A further concern after events in Washington last week has been that huddled together for safety, lawmakers and staff were exposed to the transmission of the coronavirus – a fear that has proved correct. Phil Helsel and Rebecca Shabad report for NBC News:
Overnight, a second lawmaker said she had tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering in place with lawmakers who refused to wear masks during the violent rioting at the US Capitol last week.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat, said in a statement early Tuesday that she had been quarantining since the attack and learned of her positive test result Monday night.
A judge has granted another stay in what was slated to be the US government’s first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades.
Judge Patrick Hanlon granted the stay late on Monday, citing the need to determine Lisa Montgomery’s mental competence, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Jonathan Swan at Axios has what they are labelling a scoop, that Donald Trump on a phone call falsely blamed “Antifa” for the riot at the Capitol last week. Swan reports in their email newsletter that House minority leader Kevin McCarthy pushed back on it:
Despite facing an impeachment vote for an assault he helped incite, the outgoing president is still sticking with his tried-and-true playbook of deflecting and reaching for conspiracies
In a tense, 30-minute-plus phone call with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Trump trotted out the Antifa line. McCarthy would have none of it, telling the president: “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there,” according to a White House official and another source familiar with the call.
President Trump acknowledged that he bears some blame for the Capitol riot last week during a conversation with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, a source familiar told Fox News.
Two sources say McCarthy, relayed the president’s sentiment on a call Monday with the House GOP Conference. McCarthy, on the call Monday with Republicans, agreed that Trump bore blame for the unrest which sent Congress into lockdown as they tried to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election last week.
Helen Sullivan reports for us on a very different picture of police behaviour during last week’s insurrection – an officer who is being hailed as a hero.
A police officer is being hailed for his role steering an angry mob away from the Senate chambers during Wednesday’s deadly storming of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
As you can imagine there is still plenty of fall-out from last week’s storming of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. This morning the Washington Post have been reporting on some consequences within the Capitol police force:
Several US Capitol Police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for suspected involvement with or inappropriate support for the demonstration last week that turned into a deadly riot at the Capitol, according to members of Congress, police officials and staff members briefed on the developments.
Eight separate investigations have been launched into the actions of Capitol officers, according to one congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the status of the internal review.
Here’s a reminder that president-elect Joe Biden yesterday was asked, while taking his second dose of the Covid vaccine, if he was worried about taking his presidential oath in the open at the inauguration. He said no.
Biden also said:
I think it’s critically important that there be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatened people’s lives and caused great damage that they be held accountable, and I think that is a view held by the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in the Congress.
Welcome to our live coverage of US politics for Tuesday. Here’s a catch-up on where we are, and a little of what we can expect to see today…