Universal credit: Labour presses PM for action ahead of benefit vote



Labour says the PM should give millions a helping hand by extending the £20 universal credit uplift.

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ASX drops 0.78%as US stimulus vote looms



Investors have had their biggest loss in a week on the Australian share market and will be hoping US president-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plan is passed after he takes office this week.

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Uganda leader wins vote, rigging alleged


Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office, election officials have confirmed, despite his top challenger Bobi Wine dismissing the results as “cooked-up” and “fraudulent”.

Polling chiefs also struggled to explain how the results of the election were compiled amid an internet blackout.

But 76-year-old Museveni, in power since 1986, dismissed the allegations of fraud in an evening address to the nation, saying Thursday’s election may turn out to be the “most cheating free” in Uganda’s history.

In a generational clash watched across the African continent, the 38-year-old singer-turned-legislator Wine was arguably Museveni’s greatest challenge yet in almost 35 years in power.

The self-styled “ghetto president”, Wine enjoyed strong support in urban centres where frustration with unemployment and corruption is high. He has claimed victory.

In a phone interview from his home, which he said was surrounded by soldiers, Wine urged the international community to “please call General Museveni to order” by withholding aid, imposing sanctions and using Magnitsky legislation to hold alleged human rights abusers accountable.

Wine repeated that all legal options are being considered, including challenging the results in court, and called for peaceful protests.

Uganda’s electoral commission said Museveni received 58 per cent of the vote and Wine 34 per cent, with voter turnout at 52 per cent in a process which the top US diplomat to Africa called “fundamentally flawed”.

Wine has said he is alone with his wife, Barbie, and a single security guard after police told a private security company to withdraw its protection ahead of Thursday’s election.

He said he will not leave Uganda and abandon its 45 million people to the kind of treatment he has faced.

The vote followed the East African country’s worst pre-election violence since Museveni took office in 1986.

Wine and other candidates were beaten or harassed, and more than 50 people were killed when security forces put down riots in November following Wine’s arrest.

Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was detained several times while campaigning but never convicted. He said he feared for his life.

In response to his allegations of vote-rigging, Uganda’s electoral commission said Wine should prove it. Wine says he has video evidence and will share it once internet access is restored.

The commission also deflected questions about how countrywide voting results were transmitted during the internet blackout by saying “we designed our own system”.

Tracking the vote was further complicated by the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to most members of the American observer mission, leading the US to call it off.

Tibor Nagy, the top US diplomat for Africa, tweeted: “Uganda’s electoral process has been fundamentally flawed.”

He called for the immediate and full restoration of internet access, and warned that that “the US response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now”.

Museveni, once praised as part of a new generation of African leaders and a long-standing US security ally, still has support among some in Uganda for bringing stability.

The UK called for the concerns about the election to be investigated.

“It is important these concerns are raised, investigated and resolved in a peaceful, legal and constitutional manner,” Britain’s minister for Africa James Duddridge said.

Uganda’s elections are often marred by allegations of fraud and abuses by security forces.

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Road to Palestinian vote full of obstacles


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that the first presidential and parliamentary elections since 2006 will be held later this year. But the road to the vote — key to advancing Palestinian statehood and mending a rift between Abbas’ Fatah party and the Islamic militant group Hamas — is littered with obstacles.

Parliamentary elections are to be held on May 22, followed by a presidential vote on July 31. The rival factions will meet in Egypt later this month, hoping to work out logistics and settle their differences before election campaigns kick off.

With the aging Abbas at the helm in the West Bank, and Hamas’ rule entrenched in the Gaza Strip, there are many outstanding questions. Here’s a look at the complications surrounding a Palestinian election:

WHY NOW?

The Palestinians endured four tough years under President Donald Trump, who largely sided with Israel, prompting the Palestinians to cut off ties with the administration. Trump also brokered deals to establish ties between Israel and four Arab countries, shattering a longstanding wall of Arab opposition to normalization with Israel until it made major concessions to the Palestinians. The Trump administration cut funding to the Palestinians, further weakening their position.

While President-elect Joe Biden is likely to take a more balanced approach, he is expected to direct his attention first to more urgent foreign policy issues, such as the Iran nuclear deal. Abbas apparently hopes to start the relationship with the Biden administration on good terms by meeting the West’s long-standing demand that he hold overdue elections. Abbas may also have felt pressure from the European Union, one of the most important backers of his self-rule government, the Palestinian Authority. Similar pressure appears to have been exerted by Turkey and Qatar on Hamas.

___

CHALLENGES AHEAD

Hamas and Fatah have spent years trying to reconcile after a split more than a decade ago. Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel and Western countries, won the last parliamentary elections in 2006, but the international community largely refused to deal with any government that included Hamas figures.

After fierce street battles, Hamas routed Fatah forces and seized power in Gaza in 2007. It retained control of the territory despite an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Numerous attempts to bring the factions together have failed, with terms for holding elections a major sticking point. Both sides have been unwilling to cede power and compromise — and it’s not clear whether attitudes have changed. In Gaza, Hamas has created its own government bureaucracy, along with an armed wing and a stockpile of rockets aimed at Israel. Abbas, who oversees autonomous zones in the West Bank, opposes violence as a means of ending more than half a century of Israeli occupation.

An additional roadblock is the uncertainty about holding the vote in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, sought by Palestinians as a future capital. Israel captured east Jerusalem, home to about 300,000 Palestinians, in the 1967 Mideast war, along with Gaza and the West Bank. Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its capital. While Israel permitted voting there under a less hard-line government in 2006, it could now view a vote as undermining its control and block it. Palestinian Central Election Commission chief Hanna Nasser said Saturday that officials have asked Israel about allowing voting in east Jerusalem. Abbas has said it is essential for such voting to take place.

___

QUESTIONS REMAIN

Abbas, 85, has led the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004. While he has repeatedly said he would not seek another term as president, he has not groomed a successor. It’s possible that he will run again. Several senior Fatah members in their 60s and 70s consider themselves as potential candidates, but no clear favorite has emerged. Marwan Barghouti, a leader of the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, has done well in opinion polls, but is serving multiple life terms in an Israeli prison, complicating any candidacy.

A challenger from Hamas is also up in the air. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who led the group’s electoral list in the 2006 vote, left Gaza in 2019 for what was billed a regional tour, never to return.

Haniyeh, who now leads the movement’s decision-making body, was for years the group’s self-styled prime minister, running Gaza during the blockade and three wars with Israel. As a candidate and later head of the territory’s government, Haniyeh portrayed himself as an average person still living in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, but that image did not last long. People in Gaza, many poor and jobless because of the blockade that was imposed in response to Hamas’ policies, whispered about Haniyeh’s rumored wealth. Since he left Gaza, images of his often luxurious stays in hotel suites in Qatar have leaked online, a jarring contrast to the grim reality of Gaza’s 2 million people.

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US politics live updates: House Democrats set to vote to impeach Donald Trump for historic second time



A vote to impeach President Donald Trump is expected mid-afternoon in Washington DC. So here’s an overview in three posts

From the Associated Press: 

President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time with the House planning the unprecedented vote one week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and the US Capitol became the target of a deadly siege.

While the first impeachment of Mr Trump last year brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of politicians are breaking with the party to join the Democrats.

They are unwilling to put American decency and democracy at further risk, even with days remaining in the president’s term. 

The stunning collapse of Mr Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20. 

“If inviting a mob to insurrection against your own government is not an impeachable event, then what is?” said Representative Jamie Raskin, who drafted the articles of impeachment.

Mr Trump, who would become the only US president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Mr Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.

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House Vote Tracker: Live Updates of Impeachment, Trump and The 25th Amendment


Video

transcript

transcript

House Calls on Pence to Remove Trump From Power

The House of Representatives voted, 223 to 205, on Tuesday night to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.

“I think every member in this body should be able to agree that this president is not meeting the most minimal duties of office. He is not meeting the oath that he swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. We are simply asking Vice President Pence to exercise his powers under the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, Section 4, to convene the cabinet and to mobilize the cabinet to state and articulate what is obvious to the American people: This president is not meeting the duties of office and is clearly not capable of it.” The 25th Amendment specifically addresses the incapacity of the president to discharge the duties of his office. It was never intended as a political weapon when Congress doesn’t like the way he discharges those duties. Now, I’ve read that speech. He never suggested rampaging the Capitol and disrupting the Congress.” “The facts are very clear. The president called for this seditious attack Wednesday morning. He participated in a rally to encourage the rioters to March on the Capitol and fight. The president’s actions demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office. Therefore, the president must be removed from office immediately.” “The adoption of this political resolution would be divisive rather than unifying. The vice president has said he has no intention of taking action under the amendment, so this process is pure political theater on the part of the majority.” “On this vote, the yeas are 223; the nays are 205. The resolution is adopted without objection. The motion to reconsider is laid on the table.”

The House of Representatives voted, 223 to 205, on Tuesday night to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The House voted on Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers after he incited a mob that attacked the Capitol, as lawmakers warned they would impeach the president on Wednesday if Mr. Pence did not comply.

Lawmakers, escorted by armed guards into a heavily fortified Capitol, adopted the nonbinding measure just before midnight largely along party lines. The final vote was 223 to 205 to implore Mr. Pence to declare Mr. Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.”

“We’re trying to tell him that the time of a 25th Amendment emergency has arrived,” Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and the author of the resolution, said before the vote. “It has come to our doorstep. It has invaded our chamber.”

Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor of the resolution.

The House proceeded even after Mr. Pence rejected the call in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he wrote. “I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation.”

With Mr. Pence’s rejection in hand, almost all Republicans lined up in opposition. They did little to defend Mr. Trump’s behavior but argued that Congress had no role telling the vice president what to do.

“The vice president has given you your answer, before you asked the question,” said Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina. “Your ultimatum does violence to a core feature of the architecture of the Constitution.”

Democrats planned to reconvene on Wednesday to vote on a single article of impeachment charging Mr. Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” The rioters last week ransacked the seat of American government and killed a Capitol Police officer.

Every single Democrat was expected to vote to impeach, and Republicans were bracing for as many as two dozen of their members to follow suit.




The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one

or more articles of impeachment.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his

term, unless his cabinet

acts to remove him or

he resigns.

The House determines if

and when when to send the

article to the Senate. It

could do nothing further,

effectively holding out the

charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE

SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said

the Senate will not return until

Jan. 19, the last full day of

Trump’s term, making

a trial unlikely before the

inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of

the Senate will flip to

Democrats. Upon receipt of

the article, the Senate must

soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule

and pace of the process.

Afterward, the Senate holds

a vote to convict or acquit

the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of

members present vote to

convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present vote to

convict.

Trump is guilty.

 

Separate votes would

be needed to prohibit

Trump from receiving

benefits given to

ex-presidents and to

bar him from future

political office.

The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one

or more articles of impeachment.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his

term, unless his cabinet

acts to remove him or

he resigns.

The House determines if

and when when to send the

article to the Senate. It

could do nothing further,

effectively holding out the

charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE

SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said

the Senate will not return until

Jan. 19, the last full day of

Trump’s term, making

a trial unlikely before the

inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of

the Senate will flip to

Democrats. Upon receipt of

the article, the Senate must

soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule

and pace of the process.

Afterward, the Senate holds

a vote to convict or acquit

the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of

members present vote to

convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present vote to

convict.

Trump is guilty.

 

Separate votes would

be needed to prohibit

Trump from receiving

benefits given to

ex-presidents and to

bar him from future

political office.

The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

A majority of House members

vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House

votes to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his term, unless his

cabinet acts to remove him or

he resigns.

The House determines if and when to

send the article to the Senate. It could

do nothing further, effectively holding

out the charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said the Senate

will not return until Jan. 19, the last full

day of Trump’s term, making a trial

unlikely before the inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of the Senate will

flip to Democrats. Upon receipt of the article,

the Senate must soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule and pace of the

process. Afterward, the Senate holds a vote

to convict or acquit the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of members

present vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of members

present vote to convict.

Trump is guilty.

 

Separate votes would be needed

to prohibit Trump from receiving

benefits given to ex-presidents

and to bar him from future

political office.


Breaking with Mr. Trump, Republicans were not formally pressuring lawmakers to oppose either vote. Their leaders were treading carefully, navigating an extremely complex and fast-moving political environment that threatened the cohesion of the party and that could inflict lasting damage on the country.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, had told associates that he was fine with the House moving forward with impeachment and that Mr. Trump had committed impeachable offenses, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Trump met with Mr. Pence on Monday for the first time since their falling out last week over the president’s effort to overturn the election and the mob assault, which had put the vice president in danger. The two spoke for an hour or more in the Oval Office in what amounted to a tense peace summit meeting with the remainder of the Trump presidency at stake.

The impeachment drive came as President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. signaled more clearly that he would not stand in the way of the impeachment proceeding, telling reporters in Newark, Del., that his primary focus was trying to minimize the effect that an all-consuming trial in the Senate might have on his first days in office.

He said he had consulted with lawmakers about the possibility that they could “bifurcate” the proceedings in the Senate, so that half of each day would be spent on the trial and half on the confirmation of his cabinet and other nominees.

Vice President Mike Pence at the joint session of Congress at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

[Read more on Trump and Pence’s blowup.]

Vice President Mike Pence late Tuesday rejected the possibility of stripping President Trump of his powers through the 25th Amendment, rebuking a resolution in the House calling on the vice president to do so.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Mr. Pence wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”

Mr. Pence privately indicated last week that he did not support invoking the 25th Amendment, and his public rejection of the resolution all but ensured that the House would vote to impeach Mr. Trump on Wednesday.

“I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation,” the vice president wrote.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, walks to the Senate Chambers in the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that 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 on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

While Mr. McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to Mr. McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Mr. Trump for his conduct. In private, Mr. McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out.

Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically challenging and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces after the assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory.

As more violent images from the mayhem wrought by the rioters emerged on Tuesday, including of the brutal attack that ultimately killed a Capitol Police officer, and as lawmakers were briefed about threats of more attacks on the Capitol, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers grew angrier about the president’s role in the violence.

Yet as they tried to balance the affection their core voters have for Mr. Trump with the now undeniable political and constitutional threat he posed, Republican congressional leaders who have loyally backed the president for four years were still stepping delicately. Their refusal to demand the president’s resignation and quiet plotting about how to address his conduct highlighted the gnawing uncertainty that they and many other Republicans have about whether they would pay more of a political price for abandoning him or for continuing to enable him after he incited a mob to storm the seat of government.

Making their task more difficult, Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.”

Mr. McConnell has indicated that he wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday, and hear the eventual arguments in the Senate. The House is expected to pass the single charge on Wednesday, and a senior administration official said the White House expects about two dozen Republicans to support it. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 in the House, announced on Tuesday that she would be among them.

But the Senate Republican leader has made clear in private discussions that he believes now is the moment to move on from the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for causing Republicans to lose the Senate. Mr. McConnell has not spoken to Mr. Trump since mid-December, when the senator told the president that he would be recognizing Mr. Biden as president-elect after the Electoral College certified Mr. Biden’s victory.

On Monday, Mr. Biden telephoned Mr. McConnell to ask whether it was possible to set up a dual track that would allow the Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s cabinet nominees and hold a Senate trial at the same time, according to officials briefed on the conversation who disclosed it on condition of anonymity. Far from avoiding the topic of impeaching Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell said it was a question for the Senate parliamentarian, and promised Mr. Biden a quick answer.

David Popp, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell, declined to comment, pointing a reporter to a speech the senator made from the floor after the attack on the Capitol.

“This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic,” Mr. McConnell said as the Senate reconvened on Wednesday to finish the electoral count disrupted by the siege. “Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.”

In the days since the attack, Mr. McCarthy has veered from asking Republican colleagues if he should call on Mr. Trump to resign to privately floating impeachment to his current posture, opposed to impeachment but open to a censure. He even approached Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, about a censure vote, saying he could deliver a large number of Republican votes for a formal rebuke if Democrats backed off impeachment.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming outside the Capitol last month. Ms. Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Tuesday that she would vote to impeach President Trump.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, announced on Tuesday that she would vote to impeach President Trump, saying there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States” than Mr. Trump’s incitement of a mob that attacked the Capitol last week.

In a stinging statement that drove a fissure through her party, Ms. Cheney dismissed fellow Republicans arguing that the impeachment was rushed, premature or unwarranted. Her words were unequivocal and likely to give cover to two dozen or so other House Republicans looking to break ranks and join an effort that was also said to have the tacit support of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.

“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough,” said Ms. Cheney, the scion of a storied Republican political family. “The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president.”

She added: “The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”

[Here is a list of Republicans supporting Trump’s impeachment.]

Ms. Cheney’s announcement came a short time after Representative John Katko of New York became the first House Republican to commit to voting to impeach.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Mr. Katko said in a statement to Syracuse.com. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Illinois, all Republicans, followed them.

If Mr. Trump’s actions “are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?” Mr. Kinzinger said in a statement.

“The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in a statement.

House Republican leaders have decided not to formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach Mr. Trump, making an implicit break with him as they scrambled to gauge support within their ranks for a vote on Wednesday to charge him with inciting violence against the country.

Not a single Republican voted in favor of impeachment during the 2019 proceedings.

This time, Mr. Trump’s encouragement of the mob “cannot be ignored,” said Mr. Katko, a moderate who represents a district in upstate New York that voted for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement and division,” Mr. Katko said. “When this manifested in violent acts on Jan. 6, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger.”

Mr. McConnell of Kentucky has told associates that he believes Mr. Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he approves of the House moving forward with the Constitution’s most severe punishment.

If the impeachment charge were to result in a Senate conviction, the Senate could vote to bar the president from holding public office again. Two Senate Republicans had already called on Mr. Trump to resign, and advisers privately speculated that an additional dozen or so could ultimately favor convicting him at trial.

If all senators were voting, 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats to convict Mr. Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors; if they did so, only a majority would be required to disqualify him from being elected again.

Among the other House Republicans who were said to be considering voting to impeach were stalwart moderates from swing districts, like Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, as well as newly seated freshmen, like Peter Meijer of Michigan.

Many tech companies have moved to curtail President Trump online since he urged on a violent mob of his supporters at the Capitol last week.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

YouTube said on Tuesday that it had suspended President Trump’s channel over concern about “ongoing potential for violence,” in the latest move by one of the large tech companies to limit the president online.

In a tweet on YouTube’s official account, the Google-owned video site said it had suspended Mr. Trump’s account after one of his recent videos violated its policy banning content that spreads misinformation about widespread election fraud. YouTube said Mr. Trump would not be able to upload new content for at least seven days to his channel, which had about 2.8 million subscribers. YouTube also said it was indefinitely disabling comments on the video in question.

It was not immediately clear which video resulted in the suspension of the president’s account.

Many tech companies have moved to curtail Mr. Trump online since he urged on a violent mob of his supporters, who stormed the Capitol last week. In the aftermath, Facebook suspended the president from its core social network as well as on Instagram, at least until the end of his term. Twitter followed suit by permanently barring Mr. Trump’s account on its service, depriving him of his favorite social media platform, where he had 88 million followers. Other sites such as Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch also curtailed Mr. Trump.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the impeachment managers.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday named nine Democrats as managers of the impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of inciting a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol, where rioters ransacked the seat of American government and killed a Capitol Police officer.

The nine managers, all lawyers, have expertise in constitutional law, civil rights and law enforcement. They will serve as the new faces of the impeachment drive after Americans last year grew accustomed to seeing Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, as the leaders of Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

The managers come from across the country and represent different ideological wings of the party. Of the nine, seven are people of color, L.G.B.T.Q. or women.

With Democrats controlling the House, Mr. Trump is likely to become the first American president to be impeached twice.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Ms. Pelosi said of the impeachment managers. “They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.”

Ms. Pelosi named Representative Jamie Raskin, a constitutional lawyer from Maryland who drafted the impeachment article, as the lead manager of Mr. Trump’s trial. Mr. Raskin, who lost his 25-year-old son to suicide on New Year’s Eve and then survived the mob attack, is a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law.

“I’m honored to be on a team with extremely distinguished lawyers and representatives,” Mr. Raskin said. “We have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders right now.”

The other impeachment managers are: Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, a lawyer with a civil rights background; David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a former public defender; Joaquin Castro of Texas, a lawyer; Eric Swalwell of California, a former prosecutor; Ted Lieu of California, a former Air Force officer and prosecutor; Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, a former prosecutor; Joe Neguse of Colorado, a lawyer; and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, also a lawyer.

Most Democrats are expected to support the impeachment of Mr. Trump after he spent weeks spreading baseless falsehoods about widespread election fraud and then held a large rally where he encouraged a mob to march on the Capitol as he sought to pressure lawmakers to overturn the results of a democratic election. Four Republicans have announced that they, too, will vote to impeach the president.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Tuesday that she would vote to impeach Mr. Trump, adding that there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States” than Mr. Trump’s incitement of the mob.

“Good for her for honoring her oath of office,” Ms. Pelosi said of Ms. Cheney, before adding that she wished “more Republicans would honor their oaths of office.”

President Trump asserted that it was the impeachment charge, not the violence and ransacking of the Capitol, that was “causing tremendous anger.”
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president, saying that his remarks to a rally beforehand were “totally appropriate” and that the effort by Congress to impeach and convict him was “causing tremendous anger.”

Answering questions from reporters for the first time since the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday, Mr. Trump sidestepped questions about his culpability in the deadly riot that shook the nation’s long tradition of peaceful transfers of power.

“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” Mr. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, en route to Alamo, Texas, where he was set to visit the wall along the Mexican border. Instead, Mr. Trump claimed that protests against racial injustice over the summer were “a real problem.”

“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s defiance came despite near universal condemnation of his role in stoking the assault on the Capitol, including from within his own administration and some of his closest allies on Capitol Hill.

Earlier, he asserted that it was the impeachment charge, not the violence and ransacking of the Capitol, that was “causing tremendous anger.”

Mr. Trump had been largely silent since Friday, when Twitter permanently suspended his account. When asked directly on Tuesday morning if he would resign with just nine days left in office, Mr. Trump said, “I want no violence.”

He did not address his own role in inciting the mob of his supporters. Instead, Mr. Trump framed himself as a victim, calling impeachment a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”

“I think it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.

The aim of the trip to the border with Mexico is to promote the partially built border wall, which the Trump administration views as an accomplishment. He visited a portion of the border wall in nearby Alamo, along the Rio Grande, where he gave a brief speech before heading back to Washington.

“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me,” he said. “But it will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”

Reading from a script, Mr. Trump briefly addressed the mob attack on the Capitol, noting “we believe in respecting America’s history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting.”

Across the street from the McAllen airport, pedestrian fences were placed where the president’s motorcade was expected to travel. Vehicles from the McAllen Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as unidentified unmarked vehicles, patrolled the area ahead of Mr. Trump’s arrival.

At the Aztek Barber Shop in Alamo, Alejandro Silva, 27, said he held nothing against Mr. Trump and did not have an opinion about the border wall.

“But he shouldn’t be visiting now,” said Mr. Silva, a mechanic. “He should leave office and leave everyone alone.”

The president’s supporters were planning two parades on Tuesday in Harlingen and McAllen, but a coalition of anti-border wall activists, led by La Unión del Pueblo Entero, circulated a petition to urge politicians to cancel Mr. Trump’s trip to Alamo.

“We cannot allow Trump to bring his racist mob to the Rio Grande Valley,” said John-Michael Torres, a spokesman for the organizers.

In response to fears, Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen said in a statement: “I understand that emotions are high on both sides, for or against the President and I hope that if there are demonstrations for or against, that they are peaceful with respect to our law enforcement personnel.”

National Guard troops protecting the Capitol from a mob of Trump supporters on Wednesday.
Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an unusual message to the entire American armed forces on Tuesday reminding them that their job is to support and defend the Constitution, and to reject extremism.

“As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” said the one-page internal memo signed by the eight military chiefs.

That the chiefs found it necessary to remind their rank-and-file members of the oath to the United States was extraordinary. But the memo came as federal law enforcement authorities were pursuing more than 150 suspects, including current or former service members, involved in the mob that assaulted the Capitol last week.

“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation,” the memo continued. “We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”

Defense Department officials have expressed concern that some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol are former military members. While the department has not announced a specific search for deployed National Guard troops with sympathies for the pro-Trump mob, officials said they were reviewing photographs and videos from Capitol Hill.

“We do not tolerate extremists in our ranks,” Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Monday. Capt. Emily Rainey, an Army officer who told The Associated Press that she had transported more than 100 people to Washington for the Trump rally, is being investigated by the Army for any connection to the riots, according to a military official. Ms. Rainey had resigned from her post in October but was not set to leave until this spring.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving the department with many of its diplomats and staff members expressing outrage at his behavior.
Credit…Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

The State Department is canceling all planned travel by department officials this week, including what would have been Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s last foreign trip to Europe, as part of a departmentwide effort to ensure a smooth transition to the incoming Biden administration, Morgan Ortagus, a department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The cancellation order would also include a three-day trip to Taiwan planned by Kelly Craft, the ambassador to the United Nations. It would have been the first official visit by an American official after the State Department relaxed restrictions on such meetings — and it would almost certainly have angered the Chinese government, which views Taiwan as its sovereign territory.

Beijing has so far responded with characteristic bluster. The Xinhua state news agency ran an editorial this week calling Mr. Pompeo “the worst secretary of state in history,” while The Global Times, a state-backed tabloid, said he was pushing the Taiwan issue “deeper down the road of no return.”

The abrupt order comes as United States allies are making clear that they believe that Mr. Pompeo and President Trump presided over the most far-reaching damage in decades to America’s traditional role as an exemplar of democracy.

Mr. Pompeo’s itinerary for the Europe trip had already been shortened, with an initial cancellation of a planned stop in Luxembourg after its foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, called Mr. Trump a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac” in an interview for feeding the riot at the Capitol.

Mr. Pompeo has not acknowledged Mr. Trump’s role in inciting the rioters who laid siege to the Capitol last week. And just weeks before, Mr. Pompeo had suggested that Mr. Trump won an election that he lost.

Elizabeth Neumann, who served as a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, will help lead the Republican Accountability Project.
Credit…Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

[Read more on Trump and Pence’s blowup.]

A group of former administration officials and anti-Trump Republicans said they would make a $50 million commitment to support the re-election of Republican lawmakers who join Democrats in supporting impeachment of the president.

The financial commitment by the group, the Republican Accountability Project, is designed to incentivize Republicans who have appeared open to voting in favor of the new article of impeachment that is expected to be considered by the House on Wednesday.

“Donald Trump has made it clear he is going to try and politically punish anyone who stands against him,” said Sarah Longwell, a prominent Never Trump Republican who is behind the new group. “His ability to to do that is diminishing by the minute, but we want to provide a counterweight to say there is real money to back people who do the right thing.”

No House Republicans supported the president’s first impeachment in 2019. But as many as a dozen Republicans were said to be considering joining Democrats this time around, including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican.

If Ms. Cheney “continues to push for accountability,” Ms. Longwell, said, “she’s exactly the kind of person we would want to defend.”

The Republican Accountability Project will be headed up by two former Trump administration officials: Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, who served on the coronavirus task force, and Elizabeth Neumann, who served as a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. During the election, both Ms. Troye and Ms. Neumann became outspoken critics of the administration. The group will operate under the umbrella organization of Defending Democracy Together, an advocacy group aimed at fighting Trumpism within the Republican Party.

Ms. Longwell said the group would even consider backing Mr. Pence in his future political endeavors if he “endorses the idea that the president should resign, be subject to the 25th Amendment, or support impeachment.”

The new group also planned to release a letter signed by over 100 Republicans and former national security officials calling for Mr. Trump’s removal from office. The list included Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general who directed both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency under President George W. Bush; and two former acting attorneys general: Peter D. Keisler and Stuart M. Gerson.

Rep. Jamie Raskin listening to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s speech in the House chamber on the opening day of the 117th Congress, Jan. 3.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

A day after Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, buried his 25-year-old son, he survived the mob attack on the Capitol. He is now leading the impeachment effort against President Trump for inciting the siege.

Mr. Raskin’s son, Tommy Raskin, a 25-year-old Harvard University law student, social justice activist, animal lover and poet, died by suicide on New Year’s Eve. He left his parents an apology, with instructions: “Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.”

As he found himself hiding with House colleagues from a violent mob, Mr. Raskin feared for the safety of a surviving daughter who had accompanied him to the Capitol to witness the counting of electoral votes to seal Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

Within hours, Mr. Raskin was at work drafting an article of impeachment with the mob braying in his ear and his son’s final plea on his mind. (It was introduced in the House on Monday.)

“I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to live up to those instructions,” the Maryland Democrat said in an interview on Monday, reading aloud the farewell note as he reflected on his family’s grief and the confluence of events. “But what we are doing this week is looking after our beloved republic.”

The slightly rumpled former constitutional law professor has been preparing his entire life for this moment. That it should come just as he is suffering the most unimaginable loss a parent can bear has touched his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

“I’ve been in awe of the personal strength and character he has shown through all of this, and we’re all supportive of him as a person and his family,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the House Rules Committee, who voted with 146 other Republicans to block certification of Mr. Biden’s victory.

Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s nominee for secretary of homeland security, spoke in Wilmington, Del., in November.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s transition team hopes to persuade Senate Republicans to help him quickly confirm his top national security nominees with the goal of having them confirmed on Inauguration Day, next Wednesday.

Mr. Biden is particularly eager to see the confirmation of his nominee to run the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, given the department’s important role in monitoring and defending against extremist threats, including right-wing groups threatening violence against political leaders.

The transition team’s plan to lobby Republicans both publicly and privately was first reported on Tuesday, and confirmed by a transition official.

Republicans currently control the Senate, its committees and floor schedules. Democrats will take control of the chamber on Jan. 20 once Mr. Biden is sworn in, thanks to their two newly-elected senators from the Georgia runoffs and the tiebreaking vote ensured in a 50-50 Senate by incoming Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr. Biden and his aides also hope to win quick confirmation for his nominee to lead the Department of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III — an effort that will also require winning over Democrats who are reluctant to grant Mr. Austin a waiver that is required for recently-retired members of the military from leading the Pentagon. (Mr. Austin is a former four-star Army general who retired in 2016.) While it is the Senate that confirms cabinet nominees, both the House and Senate must approve the waiver for Mr. Austin.

Some national security analysts are concerned that foreign adversaries might take advantage of the unusually chaotic presidential transition — and the depleted leadership of national security departments in the waning days of Mr. Trump’s term — either to challenge the United States or take actions with relative impunity.

Mr. Biden’s other top national security nominees are Avril D. Haines to be director of National Intelligence, Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state, and William Burns to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Lloyd J. Austin III retired within the past seven years, creating the requirement of a Congressional waiver for him to serve as secretary of defense. 
Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday expressed skepticism that Lloyd J. Austin III, a retired four-star Army general who is President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s pick for secretary of defense, should be given a Congressional waiver needed to serve in that role.

The waiver, the subject of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, is required for any Pentagon chief who has been retired from active-duty military service for fewer than seven years. Mr. Austin, who would be the nation’s first Black defense secretary, retired in 2016.

Congress approved a similar measure four years ago for President Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, a retired four-star Marine officer. But many Republicans seem reluctant to grant that to Mr. Biden’s pick, and Democrats, long skeptical of the practice, did not seem uniformly moved by the case to do it again either, in spite of the historic nature of Mr. Austin’s nomination.

“This is a very deep and difficult issue,” said Senator Angus King, independent of Maine. “General Austin is well qualified,” Mr. King said, “but on the other hand the whole idea of civilian control of the military is a fundamental part of who were are.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, suggested that two presidents in a row have created “a new rationale” for such a waiver, creating a bad precedent. Senators Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois and a Iraq war veteran, and Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, said they would reject the waiver with Ms. Warren saying, “I believe in this principle.”

While the outgoing chairman of the committee, Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, has made it clear that he will support the waiver and doesn’t really believe in the requirement, other Republicans seemed unconvinced.

Mr. Biden had not provided “logic or full explanation as to why he has asked us to once again step away from what was established law,” said Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, who has previously approved such a waiver for President Trump’s nominee. “I am torn on this.”

Several other senators from both parties made similar comments, though Ms. Warren and others have said that a vote against a waiver did not mean they would vote against Mr. Austin’s confirmation.

Transition officials for the incoming Biden administration have expressed repeated confidence in his confirmation and waiver approval, and have urged members to speed up confirmation proceedings for their national security nominees generally.

Mr. Austin did not attend the hearing, and the vote on the waiver issue — required in both the House and the Senate — will likely not happen until after his Senate confirmation hearings begin next week.

Six thousand troops from six states have already arrived in Washington, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

With the resignation of Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary for the Homeland Security Department, on Monday, the task of coordinating the security of the upcoming inauguration, will now fall to Peter T. Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who will replace Mr. Wolf for the remaining days in the Trump administration.

The Secret Service, which falls under the Homeland Security Department, is leading the security operations for the event on Jan. 20, and officials are bracing for heightened threats of violence.

Before his resignation, Mr. Wolf announced that enhanced security measures would begin on Jan. 13 instead of Jan. 19 as initially planned.

Mr. Wolf said he did so “in light of events of the past week and the evolving security landscape leading up to the inauguration.”

On Saturday, the mayor of Washington, Muriel E. Bowser, sent a firmly worded letter to the Department of Homeland Security, asking officials to move up security operations and requesting a disaster declaration, which would free federal funding for the inauguration. President Trump granted the request on Monday night.

Ms. Bowser’s call to action came as law enforcement officers in several states made arrests related to the assault on the Capitol.

Security experts have warned that some far-right extremist groups have now started to focus attention on Inauguration Day and are already discussing an assault similar to the one on the Capitol last week. Sixteen groups — some of them armed and most of them hard-line supporters of Mr. Trump — have already registered to stage protests in Washington.

The National Guard plans to deploy up to 15,000 troops to the nation’s capital for the inauguration.

Six thousand troops from six states have already arrived, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson. Defense officials have not made a decision on whether the troops will be armed, but they indicated that even if they were initially unarmed, the troops would not be far away from their weaponry.

Exterior view of the White House.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

With just days remaining in his term, House Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment in Congress charging President Trump for a second time with committing “high crimes and misdemeanors,” this time for his role in inciting a mob that stormed the Capitol last week.

Impeaching a president with less than two weeks left in his term presents an extraordinary challenge. But if Mr. Trump is impeached in the House and subsequently convicted by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and removed from office, the Senate could then vote to bar him from ever holding office again.

The Constitution says that the Senate, after voting to convict an impeached president, can consider “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” This would be determined by a second vote, requiring only a simple majority of senators to successfully disqualify him from holding office in the future. Such a vote could be appealing not just to Democrats but also possibly to many Republicans who have set their sights on the presidency.

Mr. Trump, who is said to be contemplating another run for president in 2024, has just eight days remaining in office, presenting an impeachment timeline for congressional Democrats that is tight, but not impossible. As soon as the House votes to adopt an article of impeachment, it can immediately transmit it to the Senate, which must promptly begin a trial.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has said that an impeachment trial could not be convened before Mr. Trump leaves office, but Constitutional scholars say that a Senate trial and a vote for disqualification could happen after Jan. 20.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, suggested that the Senate trial be delayed several months into President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidency. And Mr. Biden said he had spoken to House and Senate Democrats about whether it would be possible to “bifurcate” Congressional business, splitting days between impeachment and confirming his nominees and passing his agenda.

But because of the stakes and the lack of a precedent for disqualifying a president from future office, the matter would probably go before the Supreme Court.

“We have to make sure the message is clear that you cannot be a sitting Congress member and incite an insurrection,” Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, said.
Credit…Whitney Curtis for The New York Times

Progressive House Democrats on Monday introduced legislation that would allow a committee to investigate and potentially expel Republican lawmakers who had participated in efforts to subvert the results of the November election.

The legislation would direct the House ethics committee to “investigate, and issue a report on” lawmakers who had sought to overturn the election, and to determine if they “should face sanction, including removal from the House of Representatives.”

House lawmakers can be expelled from their seats under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies elected officials who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.

Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, began drafting the bill as she and other House lawmakers sheltered in place during the storming of the Capitol last week. The resolution, which has 47 co-sponsors, names Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama and Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri as leaders of the effort by 147 Republicans to overturn the results of the election.

Ms. Bush said in an interview that she did not know ultimately how many members of Congress should be expelled, but expected to learn the number from an investigation of the Ethics Committee.

“Even if it’s just a few, we have to make sure the message is clear that you cannot be a sitting Congress member and incite an insurrection and work to overturn an election,” she said.

The disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment was originally enacted to limit the influence of former Confederates in the Reconstruction era.

Representative Jamaal Bowman, Democrat of New York called out one of his Republican colleagues, Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, in a post on Twitter on Sunday supporting the legislation.

“We didn’t come to the United States Congress to tolerate calls for insurrection from our colleagues,” Mr. Bowman wrote. “We need to pass @CoriBush’s resolution calling for their expulsion, and we need to do it immediately.”

James Ivialiotis received his second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a nursing home on Staten Island, N.Y., on Monday.
Credit…Christopher Occhicone for The New York Times

The Trump administration will recommend providing a wider distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, just days after aides to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said his administration would make a similar adjustment by using more of the already procured vaccines for initial doses.

Mr. Biden’s team has said it would aim to distribute the doses more quickly at federally run vaccination sites at high school gyms, sports stadiums and mobile units to reach high-risk populations.

The Trump administration plans to release the shots that had been held back and aims to make the vaccine available to everyone over 65 in an attempt to accelerate lagging distribution.

The doses had been held back to ensure that those who receive a first dose had the second and final inoculation available when it was needed. The change means all existing doses will be sent to states to provide initial inoculations. Second doses are to be provided by new waves of manufacturing.

The idea of using existing vaccine supplies for first doses has raised objections from some doctors and researchers, who say studies of the vaccines’ effectiveness proved only that they worked to prevent illness when using two doses.

The agency is expected to announce the new guidelines at a briefing at noon Eastern on Tuesday, according to an official briefed on the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly about the change. Axios earlier reported the new guidelines.

More than 375,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic. In recent days, the number of daily deaths in the country has topped 4,000.



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All The Republicans Who Say They’ll Vote To Impeach Trump


Topline

A small but growing group of Republicans in Congress say they will vote to impeach President Donald Trump for his alleged role in last week’s brutal assault on the U.S. Capitol – an unprecedented loss of control for the president at a time when he is at his most vulnerable.

Key Facts

Anywhere from 10 to 20 Republicans have indicated privately that they will back impeachment, according to multiple reports.  

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the chair of the Republican conference and third-ranking GOP House member, said Tuesday she will back impeachment: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement.

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) became the first Republican to publicly back impeachment on Tuesday, according to a statement the congressman relayed to Syracuse, New York-based Post-Standard.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a vocal opponent of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, alleged in a statement that the president “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” asking, “if these actions… are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement will vote to impeach Trump, calling for a “clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power.”

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said there is “indisputable evidence” that Trump’s conduct was impeachable, arguing that the GOP is “best served when those among us choose truth.”

Most House Republicans are opposed to the move, including the two top-ranking GOP leaders in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Key Background

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced one article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, moving to charge the president with “incitement of insurrection” after he riled up a crowd that later infiltrated the Capitol. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the Democrats who has helped draft the impeachment article, said Monday Democrats “have the votes to impeach.” Although there are just days left in Trump’s presidency, Congress could restrict him from running for office in the future if the House impeaches Trump and the Senate votes to convict. The Constitution is somewhat unclear about this process, but in the past, the Senate has voted by a simple majority to disqualify them from public office.

Surprising Fact

A group of House Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory asked the incoming president to help block the effort “in the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution” in a letter Saturday.

Not-So-Big Number

0. That’s how many House Republicans supported impeaching Trump the first time around. 

Chief Critic

“I don’t think anybody can look and say an impeachment of this president is the thing that’s going to help unite and bring our country together,” Scalise said Saturday.  

Tangent

In a letter to Congress sent out Monday, 22 former Republican lawmakers called for Trump to be impeached. 

What To Watch For

While Trump’s impeachment in the House is a foregone conclusion, conviction in the Senate is a far murkier question. A handful of senators have advocated Trump’s resignation or removal without explicitly voicing support for impeachment, but Democrats may struggle to muster the 17 GOP votes needed to get the necessary two-thirds majority. Additionally, McConnell has signaled a Senate impeachment trial likely wouldn’t occur until after Trump has left office.

Further Reading

House Democrats Introduce Article Of Impeachment Against Trump (Forbes)

Leading House Democrat Says Republicans Have ‘Confidentially’ Signaled They’ll Vote To Impeach Trump (Forbes)

House Republicans Ask For Biden To Help Stop Trump Impeachment (Forbes)



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Democrats will force vote tomorrow demanding Mike Pence use the 25th Amendment


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders formally accused Donald Trump of incitement to insurrection Monday morning as part of an attempt to shame him out of office at breakneck speed.

Democrats introduced their impeachment resolution, first floated Friday, accusing Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection’ as the House met and later announced there would be a vote on it on Wednesday starting at 9a.m.

Top Democrats say it has enough support to pass the House – and that they expect Republicans to sign on to it.

And they set up fast-moving floor votes that that will force House Republicans to cast votes this week both on President Trump‘s fitness for office and on whether to remove him during his final days in power.

On Monday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) sought to call up a resolution that would instruct Pence to convene cabinet members to declare Trump ‘incapable of executing the duties of his office’ under the terms of the 25th Amendment.

But he failed to get ‘unanimous consent’ when a House Republican objected. Pelosi says she will respond by bringing the 25th amendment resolution to the floor Tuesday – meaning Republicans will have to vote on the record on whether they believe Trump is fit for office.

That vote will be later on Tuesday with members ordered back to D.C. in a message from Democratic leadership which said the impeachment vote would take place Wednesday. 

The moves came on a day when:  

  • Melania Trump issued a statement condemning the violence of last week but naming the dead rioters before the dead police then lashing out at ‘salacious gossip’ about her, an apparent reference to the revelation she continued with a photoshoot while the Capitol was desecrated;
  • Trump tried to give an impression of business as usual, giving a Medal of Freedom at the White House to Jim Jordan, the ‘freedom caucus’ Republican House member who was all-in on overturning the election results;
  • The FBI warned of armed protests being planned in all 50 states between now and Joe Biden taking office;
  • More MAGA rioters were swept up by police around the country, but questions mounted over the police failures which let them storm the Capitol;
  • 10,000 National Guard were ordered to be in Washington D.C. for Biden’s inauguration in a sign of how concerned the FBI and other agencies are about more MAGA rioting; 
  • Biden unveiled more of his plans for his inauguration, including laying a wreath at Arlington with former presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama in a very public demonstration that Trump is an outcast;
  • The Supreme Court declined to fast-track Trump’s one-time attorney Sidney Powell’s ‘Kraken’ compendium of discredited voter fraud claims, while the New York Bar Association started investigating Rudy Giuliani over his ‘trial by combat’ speech to the MAGA rally before they desecrated the Capitol;
  • Josh Hawley was told to hand back a $5,000 donation by Hallmark as big business, led by the biggest banks, JP Morgan and Bank of America, turned off the cash spigot to him and the so-called GOP ‘treason caucus.’ 

In Congress, Democrats escalated their rhetorical attack on Trump in their article of impeachment.

The latest text of the impeachment resolution cites the post-Civil War 14th amendment, noting it ‘prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States from ‘hold[ing] any office . . . under the United States’. 

The text can be amended between now and Wednesday, but is close to previous drafts released Friday. 

Its formal introduction in the House came in a brief session where Hoyer stood to introduce the demand for Pence to use the 25th Amendment, asking that Republicans assent to it without objection.

IMPEACHMENT: WHAT HAPPENS NOW 

Tuesday: House votes on telling Pence to use the 25th Amendment in the next 24 hours; majority support certain

Wednesday: If Pence has not acted, House will vote on single article of impeachment

Tuesday January 19: First date Senate can take up impeachment, according to Mitch McConnell 

Wednesday January 20, noon: Joe Biden inaugurated  

Wednesday January 20, 1pm: Earliest possible start to impeachment trial, according to McConnell 

But Democrats could hold back the Article for as much as 100 days to let Joe Biden have his cabinet picks confirmed. 

And Chuck Schumer, who becomes Senate leader on January 20, has offered no indication of how he plans to proceed.

In swift parliamentary action, West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney immediately objected to the request to bring up the resolution. 

He posted a statement on Twitter explaining his reasons, which were entirely procedural and expressed opposition to bringing it up ‘without any debate on the floor,’ although he also said it could ‘imperil our Republic.’ 

Mooney was one of 139 House Republicans who voted to overturn the election even after the MAGA riot.

Pelosi’s plan is to first try to bring up the resolution formally requesting Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment through the request, then follow up by bringing it before the full House.

The amendment provides either for the cabinet to meet to assess the president, or a special committee to be established by Congress – although Congress has never created such a body. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) began developing 25th amendment legislation months ago, and has examined the issue for years. 

The move puts pressure on Pence – who Trump publicly sought to strong-arm at the rally that proceeded the Capitol riots. 

Crowd members at the Capitol also screamed out calls to ‘hang’ Pence. Trump reportedly has not spoken with Pence since the stunning events of last week. 

The resolution would not carry the force of law, but it would be the first test for House Republicans, many of whom served with Pence, since a vote hours after the riot split the conference on whether to count votes where Trump has claimed fraud. 

A majority of Republicans voted not to count the ballots just hours after many of them had been hiding in undisclosed locations while the mob rampaged the Capitol building. 

Democrats believe they will get some House Republicans to sign up to impeachment, such as Adam Kinzinger, who has been outspoken in his attacks on Trump. 

Their biggest prize would be Republican number three Liz Cheney, who slammed members of the GOP caucus who voted against certifying the elections.

House move: Democrats brought a ‘unanimous consent’ measure to the floor calling for Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment but Republicans objected, meaning Democrats will force a vote on it Tuesday which would be likely to be followed by an impeachment vote Wednesday

Blocked: Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic leader, brought the unanimous consent measure but Republican Alex Mooney registered an objection, forcing a vote on it Tuesday

Blocked: Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic leader, brought the unanimous consent measure but Republican Alex Mooney registered an objection, forcing a vote on it Tuesday

READ DEMOCRATS’ ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT

Their two-pronged attack on Republicans and Trump also separates question of Trump’s fitness from some practical considerations about impeachment, since the move would take effect immediately. 

There is however no doubt Democrats will persist with impeachment even if Trump resigns or is removed – neither of which appear likely to happen as of Monday.

They believe the constitution allows for impeachment to continue after Trump has left office. They also believe they could secure more Republican senators’ support for conviction and disqualification for office after Trump leaves office than before. 

The backdrop for Monday’s move was a House chamber still scarred by the violence of last week. The violent clash that resulted in broken windows and the shooting of a Trump supporter took place just feet away, outside the Speaker’s lobby.

The weekend brought fresh video footage of vicious attacks on Capitol Police officers, new clips that revealed just how close the Senate chamber was to being overrun while in session, arrests of more alleged perpetrators across the country, and the tragic suicide of a Capitol Police officer who was there for the siege. 

Even if the House votes Wednesday to impeach, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote colleagues a trial would not likely begin until January 19th – missing the opportunity to remove Trump from office, and also complicating the start of President-elect Joe Biden’s tenure. 

Unlike through impeachment, if Pence and a majority of the cabinet officers were to vote that Trump was unfit for office, Pence would immediately become acting president for a period of days that would run out Trump’s term.  

The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Monday on setting the terms of debate for the impeachment vote that would likely come Wednesday.

The impeachment vote itself would also split Republicans. More than 200 Democrats have already gotten behind the effort.

Since Wednesday’s riots, a few prominent Republicans have called for Trump to resign or be subject to impeachment. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Sunday that Trump ‘committed impeachable offenses.’ 

Pelosi, having conferenced with fellow Democrats by phone, and whose office was invaded by Trump supporters who damaged her office and stole property, is demanding swift action.   

‘We will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both,’ she wrote Sunday. ‘The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.’ 

The impeachment vote will once again put GOP leaders on record as well. Both Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise voted not to seat electors certified in states that Joe Biden won.

The House votes will test Republican support for Donald Trump following a Capitol riot carried out by his supporters that resulted in five deaths

The House votes will test Republican support for Donald Trump following a Capitol riot carried out by his supporters that resulted in five deaths

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) backed Trump's claims to overturn election results after the president's supporters overran the Capitol

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) backed Trump’s claims to overturn election results after the president’s supporters overran the Capitol

But McCarthy was reportedly on a call ‘screaming’ at Trump trying to get him to publicly demand his supporters leave the Capitol at a time when lawmakers and Pence were in physical danger.   

Retired Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN Monday those in party leadership positions in Congress ‘who went along with the president’s falsehoods … ought to face consequences in terms of their own reelection and obviously immediately in terms of leadership positions that they might hold. 

‘So i hope that the party has a reckoning here,’ he said. 

The effect of the procedural moves, even if they don’t result in Trump’s removal from office, will be to put House Republicans on record.

It could also flush out any House Republicans who have decided to break with Trump after opposing the first Democratic impeachment effort.

Meanwhile, some pro-Trump House Republicans are already are already telegraphing they would seek to use impeachment against Joe Biden. 

‘We never think about the consequences. It’s going to be like: Game on. Let’s impeach [Biden] 12 times in a week,’ one Democrat opposed to impeachment told Politico. 

The desire for action against Trump escalated over the weekend. 

On Sunday night. Nancy Pelosi fought to contain her emotions as she told 60 Minutes how her staff cowered under desks in the dark for two hours, as a frenzied mob of Trump supporters smashed through her office.

‘I think there was, universally accepted, that what happened…’ she said, pausing to compose herself.

‘Was a terrible, terrible violation of what – of the Capitol, of the first branch of government, the legislative branch, by the president of the United States.’

Pelosi’s door was smashed down, and rioters stormed her private office.

I SUFFERED TOO: MELANIA BREAKS SILENCE TO CONDEMN RIOT 

Melania Trump on Monday broke her silence on last week’s mob attack on the Capitol, saying she ‘absolutely condemns the violence’ incited by her husband and calling for ‘healing’ as the couple prepares to leave office. 

Five days after the attacked that resulted in five deaths, the first lady published a statement that acknowledged the deaths of her husband’s supporters before the deaths of two Capitol Police officers – and lashed out extensively at ‘gossip’ about her.

‘My heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbit, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Rosanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time,’ she wrote.

But in her 600-word essay published by the White House, she quickly turned the situation to herself, slamming the ‘salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me’ – a reference to reports she was conducting a photo shoot in the White House during the MAGA mob scene. 

‘I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain,’ she wrote in the message entitled Our Path Forward. 

The essay is filled with spelling errors – Babbit’s name was spelled wrong – it was Babbitt – and grammatical mistakes. 

It also cast no blame for Wednesday’s riot on her husband, who, at a rally earlier that day had encouraged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill. 

Melania Trump broke her silence on last week's mob attack on the Capitol, saying she 'absolutely condemns the violence' incited by her husband

Melania Trump broke her silence on last week’s mob attack on the Capitol, saying she ‘absolutely condemns the violence’ incited by her husband

The first lady issued a 600-word statement called Our Path Forward which was published on the White House website early on Monday

The first lady issued a 600-word statement called Our Path Forward which was published on the White House website early on Monday 

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator John McCain and a frequent critic of the president, blasted Melania Trump for her statement.

‘Five people died in a domestic terror attack on our own republic last week incited by her husband but Melania Trump is the victim in this?! Every morning I think I can’t get more disgusted….,’ Meghan McCain tweeted.  

While Melania has largely stayed quiet during Donald Trump’s attempts to illegally reverse the election results, she has echoed the president’s misleading language of ‘counting legal votes’ and has not publicly acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory. 

But she wrote in her latest message that ‘it has been the honor of my lifetime to serve as your first lady’, a tacit acknowledgement that her term is nearly over.  

Biden takes the oath of office on January 20th. 

It’s unclear what’s in store for Melania Trump after life in the White House. She has been reportedly looking at schools for son Barron in Florida but has made no indication she plans to keep up her ‘Be Best’ campaign or her work with the military once her husband leaves office. 

The first lady has been spending her final days in the White House behind closed doors. She and her husband have rarely been seen since their return from Florida on December 31st, where they were spending the holidays at Mar-a-Lago. 

Melania’s message was published early on Monday morning, three days after the president was permanently banned from Twitter – with Trump not showing his face since promising an orderly transition in a video message on Thursday.   

And while Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump had appeared at a campaign rally Wednesday morning where the president whipped his supporters into a frenzy shortly before they besieged the Capitol, the first lady stayed out of sight during the day of chaos. 

Two of her staff quit in protest of the president’s handling of the riots: her chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham and social secretary Anna Cristina ‘Rickie’ Niceta.

As a White House source told The Mail on Sunday that during Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol, the first lady was in the East Wing of the White House overseeing a photoshoot for a new coffee table book about presidential artifacts.

‘The heart of US government was under siege, our very democracy on the line, but Mrs Trump was calmly arranging porcelain figurines for the photographer,’ the source said, saying even the most loyal remaining Trump staffers were left ‘dumbfounded’ by her actions.

Aides even asked Melania to intercede on Wednesday, to force her husband to publicly decry the insurgency, but she refused.

‘She said nothing. She remained silent and carried on arranging a vase for the shoot. She checked out of this presidency and her marriage a long time ago.’ 

Additionally, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who worked in the East Wing in the early days of the administration and then wrote a memoir of her time there that painted Melania in an unflattering light, wrote in The Daily Beast over the weekend that she is ‘ashamed’ to have ever worked for the first lady.

‘I can’t believe how blind I was to the depth of her deception and lack of common decency,’ Wolkoff wrote.

Without mentioning those claims directly in her statement on Monday, Melania condemned what she said were ‘false misleading accusations on me’ from ‘people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda’.  

The first lady said she was praying for the families of the four protesters and two Capitol Police officers who died in the hours and days after the attack. 

She added that ‘our nation must heal in a civil manner’, after President Trump initially praised the mob as ‘very special’ but later condemned the violence. 

‘Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable,’ she wrote. 

Police casualties: Officer Brian Sicknick was murdered, allegedly by being hit with a fire extingusisher.

Officer Howard Liebengood took his own life on Saturday morning

Police casualties: Officer Brian Sicknick was murdered, allegedly by being hit with a fire extinguisher. Officer Howard Liebengood took his own life on Saturday morning

Dead rioters: Ashli Babbitt was shot by a Capitol Hill officer as she tried to smash her way into the Speaker's Lobby.

Rosanne Boyland died in the Rotunda; she may have been trampled to death by the mob

Dead rioters: Ashli Babbitt was shot by a Capitol Hill officer as she tried to smash her way into the Speaker’s Lobby. Rosanne Boyland died in the Rotunda; she is thought to have been trampled to death by the mob

Dead rioters: Benjamin Philips organized a bus trip of MAGA fanatics from Bloomsburg, PA, and died, possibly of a stroke, having posted that it was'the first day of the rest of our lives.'

Kevin Greeson had a heart attack. In recent days he posted on Parler: 'Let's take this f***ing country back,' posed with two AR-15-style rifles and a handgun and spewed abuse about Nancy Pelosi

Dead rioters: Benjamin Philips organized a bus trip of MAGA fanatics from Bloomsburg, PA, and died, possibly of a stroke, having posted that it was’the first day of the rest of our lives.’ Kevin Greeson had a heart attack. In recent days he posted on Parler: ‘Let’s take this f***ing country back,’ posed with two AR-15-style rifles and a handgun and spewed abuse about Nancy Pelosi

 

Nancy Pelosi closed her eyes and took a minute to compose herself, speaking about the riot

Nancy Pelosi closed her eyes and took a minute to compose herself, speaking about the riot

Nancy Pelosi, in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, showed Stahl the destruction in her office

Nancy Pelosi, in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, showed Stahl the destruction in her office

Pelosi's employees cowered under this table in the dark for two hours as the mob roamed

Pelosi’s employees cowered under this table in the dark for two hours as the mob roamed

Rioters draped in Trump flags are pictured rampaging through Pelosi's office

Rioters draped in Trump flags are pictured rampaging through Pelosi’s office

One man is seen photographing a picture from Pelosi's office, having broken into the room

One man is seen photographing a picture from Pelosi’s office, having broken into the room

Trump supporters in their MAGA caps played with Pelosi's office furniture

Trump supporters in their MAGA caps played with Pelosi’s office furniture

The mob of Trump supporters chanted Pelosi's name as they rampaged through the building

The mob of Trump supporters chanted Pelosi’s name as they rampaged through the building

‘The staff went under the table, barricaded the door, turned out the lights, and were silent in the dark,’ Pelosi said, showing 60 Minutes interviewer Lesley Stahl the damage. 

‘Under the table for two and a half hours.’

During this time in hiding, they listened to the invaders banging on that door. 

Pelosi’s team cowered, praying the mob did not find them. 

‘You see what they did to the mirror there? The glass was all over the place,’ said Pelosi. 

‘They took a computer and all that stuff. 

‘And then the desk that they actually were at was right there that they defamed in that way, feet on the desk and all that.’

One of the rioters, Richard Barnett, 60, was pictured putting his feet up on her desk.   

The MAGA rioter who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi 's desk was arrested at home in Arkansas

The MAGA rioter who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi ‘s desk was arrested at home in Arkansas

Barnett, who proudly referred to himself as a white nationalist on social media, was federally charged with unlawful entry. He was taken into custody at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Richard Barnett, 60, has been charged with unlawful entry

Richard Barnett, 60, has been charged with unlawful entry

Another, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr, allegedly wrote in a text to a friend that he was thinking of ‘putting a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV’.

Another text allegedly reads: ‘I’m gonna run that c**t Pelosi over while she chews on her gums.’ 

According to officials, a third text from Meredith, who is a married, father-of-two, says he has ‘a sh*t ton of … armor piercing ammo’.

Meredith is one of 13 people who have been charged with federal crimes. 

Pelosi told Stahl: ‘The evidence is now that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction. And the direction was to go get people.

‘They were vocally saying, ‘Where’s the speaker? We know she has staff. They’re here someplace. We’re going to find them.”  

Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr (pictured) allegedly texted friends that he wanted to shoot or run over Nancy Pelosi

Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr (pictured) allegedly texted friends that he wanted to shoot or run over Nancy Pelosi

While the mayhem was unfurling, Pelosi and other Congressmen had been taken to a safe location.

She was unaware until later what had happened in her office. 

‘When the protesters were making the assault on the Capitol, before they even got to these doors, the Capitol Police pulled me from the podium,’ she said. 

‘And I was concerned because I said: ‘No, I want to be here.’ 

‘And they said: ‘Well, no, you have to leave.’ 

‘I said: ‘No, I’m not leaving.’ 

‘They said: ‘No, you must leave.”

Pelosi said that she was disgusted that some Congressmen still voted to overthrow the election results, when the session resumed.  

‘After the violence. Shame on them,’ she said. 

‘And shame on two-thirds of the Republican caucus in the House supporting… so these people are enablers of the president’s behavior.’

Pelosi wrote to her Democrat colleagues on Sunday night to explain the next steps

Pelosi wrote to her Democrat colleagues on Sunday night to explain the next steps

On Sunday night Pelosi wrote to her Democrat colleagues to say that, unless Mike Pence invokes the powers of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, they will proceed with impeachment.  

Trump could become the only president to be impeached twice.

‘In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,’ she said, and added: ‘The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.’

She, and other Democrats, further fear the president could pardon those involved in the storming of the Capitol in his final days. 

With impeachment planning intensifying, two Republican senators said they want Trump to resign immediately as efforts mounted to prevent Trump from ever again holding elective office in the wake of deadly riots at the Capitol.

House Democrats were expected to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday. The strategy would be to condemn the president’s actions swiftly but delay an impeachment trial in the Senate for 100 days. That would allow President-elect Joe Biden to focus on other priorities as soon as he is inaugurated on January 20. 

Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a top Biden ally, laid out the ideas on Sunday as the country came to grips with the siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists trying to overturn the election results.

‘Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,’ Clyburn said.

Pressure was mounting for Trump to leave office even before his term ended amid alarming concerns of more unrest ahead of the inauguration. 

The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to 'fight' on his behalf

The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf

Police try to hold back protesters pushing into a doorway at the Capitol on Wednesday

Police try to hold back protesters pushing into a doorway at the Capitol on Wednesday

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress

Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress

Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his ‘Save America’ rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him ‘weak’

A man in a QAnon hoodie is seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday

A man in a QAnon hoodie is seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday

A protester, who has since been identified, is pictured carrying Pelosi's lectern through the Capitol

Another protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate chamber on Wednesday

Lawmakers and law enforcement are pursuing all available avenues to find and prosecute those involved in the Capitol riot – using picture and video evidence to do so

A protester struggles with a riot police officer outside the Capitol building after the 6pm curfew went into effect

A protester struggles with a riot police officer outside the Capitol building after the 6pm curfew went into effect

The president is accused of whipping up the mob that stormed the Capitol, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five dead.

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday joined his fellow Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in calling for Trump to ‘resign and go away as soon as possible.’

‘I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,’ Toomey said. ‘I don’t think he is electable in any way.’

Murkowski, who has long voiced her exasperation with Trump’s conduct in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply ‘needs to get out.’ 

A third Republican, Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be ‘very careful’ in his final days in office.

Corporate America began to tie its reaction to the Capitol riots by tying them to campaign contributions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s CEO and President Kim Keck said it will not contribute to those lawmakers — all Republicans — who supported challenges to Biden’s Electoral College win. 

The group ‘will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy,’ Kim said.

Citigroup did not single out lawmakers aligned with Trump’s effort to overturn the election, but said it would be pausing all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said in a Friday memo to employees, ‘We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.’

Lisa Murkowski, senator for Alaska, has said she is considering quitting the Republicans

Lisa Murkowski, senator for Alaska, has said she is considering quitting the Republicans

Murkowski said that Trump should resign, saying he had done enough damage

Murkowski said that Trump should resign, saying he had done enough damage

Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

House leaders, furious after the insurrection, appear determined to act against Trump despite the short timeline. 

Mike Pence ‘has not ruled out the 25th Amendment’ 

Mike Pence and Donald Trump have not spoken since Wednesday’s uprising, CNN reported, during which pro-Trump rioters charged through the Senate looking for Pence and threatening to ‘hang’ him.

Trump was angered by Pence telling him he was not constitutionally able to overturn the election, and lashed out at his vice president on Wednesday, telling supporters: ‘Mike Pence has to come through for us. If he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country.’ He later tweeted: ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.’

Pence has finally ‘gotten a glimpse of POTUS’s vindictiveness,’ one source told CNN.

It is the first time the normally-loyal Pence has publicly broken with the president.

CNN said that Pence has not ruled out the 25th Amendment. 

Invoking the 25th Amendment would require Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office due to his inability to ‘discharge the powers and duties of his office’ – an unprecedented step. 

On Thursday, sources close to the VP said it was ‘highly unlikely’ Pence would attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment. He has not ruled it out, however.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has said an impeachment trial could not begin under the current calendar before Inauguration Day.

While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive in a time of unity.

Senator Marco Rubio said that instead of coming together, Democrats want to ‘talk about ridiculous things like ‘Let’s impeach a president’ with just days left in office.

Still, some Republicans might be supportive.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he would take a look at any articles that the House sent over. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would ‘vote the right way’ if the matter were put in front of him.

The Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record — for the second time — with the indelible mark of impeachment had advanced rapidly since the riot.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said Sunday that his group had 200-plus co-sponsors.

The articles, if passed by the House, could then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors to acquit or convict Trump. 

If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president. 

It would be the first time a U.S. president had been impeached twice.

Potentially complicating Pelosi’s decision about impeachment was what it meant for Biden and the beginning of his presidency. While reiterating that he had long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden on Friday sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress did ‘is for them to decide.’  

While some Democrats are pushing for the impeachment route, the House Speaker told 60 Minutes that she prefers invoking the 25th Amendment because it gets Trump out of office immediately.

‘There is a possibility that after all of this, there’s no punishment, no consequence, and he could run again for president,’ Stahl said to Pelosi in a clip released ahead of airing the full interview.

‘And that’s one of the motivations that people have for advocating for impeachment,’ Pelosi explained.

She is, however, concerned that if Trump is not booted from the White House right now, he will use his last 10 days in office to pardon those part of the mob who descended on the Capitol Wednesday – or even himself and other allies. 

‘I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him – he’s out of office,’ Pelosi said. ‘But there is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time.’

‘What if he pardons himself?’ Stahl asked.

‘What if pardons these people who are terrorists on the Capitol?’ Pelosi shot back.

Congress is moving to prosecute or punish any and all they can find who were involved in the riots at the Capitol – and have already found some who were pictured prominently.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s ‘This Week’ that half of the members of the House were at risk of dying during the riots.

'Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday of the pro-Trump mob descending on the Capitol

‘Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday of the pro-Trump mob descending on the Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday that Democrats will vote on impeachment this week, but said the party might wait until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office to move the articles to the Senate

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday that Democrats will vote on impeachment this week, but said the party might wait until after Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office to move the articles to the Senate

WHAT DOES THE 25TH AMENDMENT SAY? CAN TRUMP’S CABINET REALLY TOPPLE HIM?

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution deals with presidential authority in the event of death or removal from office, and was ratified in 1967, in the wake of John F Kennedy’s assassination.

What does the 25th Amendment say?

It is in four sections, all dealing with the president leaving office during his or her elected term. 

The first section states that the vice president takes over the Oval Office if the president dies or resigns – or is removed – something which the original Constitution did not clearly state.

Presidents of course can be removed by impeachment, a feature of the constitution from the start. They can also be removed through the 25th Amendment – of which more below.

Section II states that if the vice president dies, or resigns – or is fired – both the House and Senate have to confirm a new vice president. Until 1967, presidents could change vice presidents mid-term on their own if they got the vice president to agree to resign – not something that actually happened, but which was possible in principle.

Section III makes clear that a president can temporarily delegate his powers to the vice president, and later reclaim them when he – or she – is capable of serving. This is most often invoked if a president is under the influence of surgical anesthetic for a short period of time. 

Section IV is the amendment’s most controversial part: it describes how the president can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave on his own.

The vice president and ‘a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ must write to both the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, saying that ‘the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’

The term principal officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.

So at least eight of the president’s 15 most senior Cabinet members together with the vice president must agree that a president should be removed before any plan can move forward.

Notifying the House Speaker and the Senate president pro tempore is the act that immediately elevates the vice president to an ‘acting president’ role.

The deposed president can contest the claim, giving the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims to the House and Senate. 

Congress then has two days to convene – unless it is already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is incapable of serving. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required to make that determination.

As soon as there is a vote with a two-thirds majority, the president loses his powers and is removed, and the vice president stops acting and is sworn in as president.

But if 21 days of debate and votes ends without a two-thirds majority, the president gets back his powers.

What could happen to trigger the 25th Amendment?

Vice President Mike Pence and eight of the 15 ‘principal’ Cabinet members would have to agree to notify Congress that President Donald Trump was incapable of running the country.

That group is made up of the Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Interior Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Commerce Secretary, Labor Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretary, Transportation Secretary, Energy Secretary , Education Secretary, Veterans Affairs Secretary and Homeland Security Secretary.

Their formal notification would go to the House Speaker and, in the senate, to the ‘president pro tempore’, the Senate’s most senior member. As soon as the letter is sent, Pence would become ‘acting president.’

Alternatively, Congress could set up its own mechanism to decide if he is fit for office – maybe a commission, or a joint committee. Pence would still have to agree with its conclusion and then write formally to the Speaker and president pro tempore.

Or another possibility is that the pool of ‘principal officers’ is considered to be bigger than the 15 and a majority of that group call Trump incapable.

What if Trump does not agree?

If Trump claims he is capable of holding office, he would write to the House Speaker and the president pro tempore of the Senate within four days, setting up three weeks of intense debate in both houses of Congress.

Trump would be removed from office if both two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate agreed with Pence and his cabal. 

If either of both chambers fell short of that mark, Trump would retain his powers and likely embark on a wholesale housecleaning, firing Pence and replacing disloyal Cabinet members.

Are there any loopholes?

The 25th Amendment allows Congress to appoint its own panel to evaluate the president instead of relying on the Cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide on  a course of action.

It specifies that some ‘other body as Congress may by law provide’ could play that role, but Pence would still need to agree with any finding that the president is incapable of discharging his duties.

That commission could hypothetically include anyone from presidential historians to psychiatrists, entrusted to assess the president’s fitness for office. 

Another loophole is that it does not spell out that the Cabinet is needed to agree, but says that the ‘principal officers’ of the departments are needed. That term is undefined in the constitution. In some departments legislation appears to name not just the secretary but deputies and even undersecretaries as ‘principal officers’, so many more people could be called in to the assessment of Trump’s fitness. 

But Trump’s cabinet has a swathe of ‘acting’ cabinet officer – and it is unclear if they could therefore take part in removing him. 

Could Trump fire Pence if he rebelled?

No. The vice president can resign or be impeached and removed – but he does not serve at the pleasure of the president.  

Is there any precedent for this?

No.  Only Section III, the voluntary surrender of presidential powers, has ever been used – and only very briefly.

In December 1978, President Jimmy Carter thought about invoking Section III when he was contemplating a surgical procedure to remove hemorrhoids. 

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both voluntarily relinquished their powers while undergoing procedures under anesthetic. 

Section IV has also never been invoked, although there have been claims that Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff Donald Regan told his successor, Howard Baker,  in 1987 that he should be prepared to invoke it because Reagan was inattentive and inept.

The PBS documentary ‘American Experience’ recounts how Baker and his team watched Reagan closely for signs of incapacity during their first meeting and decided he was in perfect command of himself.  

‘If another head of state came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say that that should not be prosecuted? Would we say that there should be absolutely no response to that?’ the New York congresswoman told ABC host George Stephanopoulos.

‘No,’ Ocasio-Cortez asserted. ‘It is an act of insurrection. It’s an act of hostility. And we must have accountability, because, without it, it will happen again.

‘Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,’ she said.

Hakeem Jeffries, a fellow New York Representative, agreed with AOC’s points in an interview with NBC on Sunday, claiming: ‘Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the American people, as well as our democracy’ 

The representative, as well as the handful of members of her progressive ‘squad’, are fully on board with plans to again impeach President Trump.

Clyburn said Sunday that articles have already been drawn and he is expecting a vote in the lower chamber in the coming day. 

‘I think that will come – probably Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday, but it will happen this week,’ the No. 3 House Democrat told ‘Fox News Sunday’ when asked about the House taking action to impeach Trump. ‘The rest of the articles have been drawn up.’

‘If we are the people’s House, let’s do the people’s work and vote to impeach this president,’ Clyburn continued in his interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace. ‘And then we’ll decide later — or the Senate will decide later — what to do with that impeachment.’

Ocasio-Cortez said ‘every minute’ Trump is still in office, there is a looming threat.

‘I absolutely believe that impeachment should be scheduled for several reasons,’ she said on Sunday.

‘Our main priority is to ensure the removal of Donald Trump as president of the United States,’ AOC added. ‘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.’

While Democrats pursue impeachment, many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for Trump to step down on his own volition to prevent Congress from having to intervene.

Lawmakers were forced to evacuate the House and Senate chambers and shelter in offices or other locations on Wednesday after thousands of Donald Trump's supporters breached the Capitol and rioted through the halls

Lawmakers were forced to evacuate the House and Senate chambers and shelter in offices or other locations on Wednesday after thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol and rioted through the halls

There are also talks of banning Trump from running for president again in the future – as speculation mounts he will pursue another run for the White House in 2024.

‘In addition to removal, we’re also talking about complete barring of the president – or, rather, of Donald Trump from running for office ever again,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC. 

‘And, in addition to that, the potential ability to prevent pardoning himself from those charges that he was impeached for.’

Jeffries also wants immediate action against Trump, expressing concern that the president still has ‘access to the nuclear codes.’

‘The goal at the present moment is to address the existential threat that Donald Trump presents at this time. Every second, every minute, every hour that Donald Trump remains in office presents a danger to the American people,’ the Democrat representative said on Sunday during an interview on ‘Meet the Press’.

‘You know, Donald Trump may be in the Twitter penalty box, but he still has access to the nuclear codes,’ Jeffries said, referencing Trump’s indefinite ban from Twitter. 

‘That’s a frightening prospect.’

He added: ‘Donald Trump is completely and totally out of control, and even his longtime enablers have now come to that conclusion.’

Clyburn, however, said Sunday that House Democrats are weighing if they should hold off on sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until after Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office.

This way, Democrats would allow the new president to install key members of his team and would have a new 50-50 split Senate to work with.



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Congress resumes after vote incursion


Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters have stormed the US Capitol in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat, forcing Congress to suspend a session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, where they roamed the hallways and scuffled with police officers.

Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors. Security officers piled furniture against the chamber’s door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers escape.

Police struggled for more than three hours after the invasion to clear the Capitol of Trump supporters before declaring the building secure shortly after 5.30pm on Wednesday.

One woman died after being shot during the mayhem, Washington police said, although the victim was not named and the circumstances were unclear. The FBI said it had disarmed two suspected explosive devices.

The assault on the Capitol was the culmination of months of divisive and escalating rhetoric around the November 3 election, with Trump repeatedly making false claims that the vote was rigged and urging his supporters to help him overturn his loss.

The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump addressed thousands of supporters near the White House and told them to march on the Capitol to express their anger at the voting process.

Trump came under intensive fire from some prominent Republicans in Congress, who put the blame for the day’s violence squarely on his shoulders.

“There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney said on Twitter.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a leading conservative from Arkansas, called on Trump to accept his election loss and “quit misleading the American people and repudiate mob violence.”

A source familiar with the situation said there have been discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow the majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unable to perform his duties and remove him.

Both houses of Congress resumed their debate on the certification of Biden’s Electoral College win on Wednesday evening.

It quickly became clear that objections from pro-Trump lawmakers to Biden’s victory in battleground states would be rejected overwhelmingly, including by most Republicans, and that the election results would be certified.

“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today – you did not win,” Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the session, said as it resumed. “Let’s get back to work,” he said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has remained silent while Trump has sought to overturn the election result, called the invasion a “failed insurrection” and promised that “we will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation.”

The Senate rejected by a 93-6 vote Republican objections to the certification of Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Arizona.

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost her re-election bid in one of two Georgia runoffs on Tuesday that secured Democratic control of the Senate, said she had planned to object to Biden’s certification but had changed her mind after the rioting.

“I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors,” she said.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6pm.

National Guard troops, FBI agents and US Secret Service were deployed to help overwhelmed Capitol police.

Biden said the activity of the protesters was “not a protest, it’s insurrection.”

In a video posted to Twitter Trump urged the protesters to leave.

“You have to go home now, we have to have peace,” he said, adding: “We love you. You’re very special.”

Twitter later restricted users from retweeting Trump’s video, and Facebook took it down entirely, citing the risk of violence.

Twitter said later it had locked the account of Trump for 12 hours.

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Electoral College Vote Count: Live Updates


Vice President Mike Pence taking part in a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Credit…Erin Schaff/Pool, via Reuters

A lobbying group for the manufacturing industry — an entity once aligned with the Trump administration — urged Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday to utilize powers within the constitution to remove President Trump from office after Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

In a lengthy statement, the National Association of Manufacturers termed the violent incursion at the Capitol complex as “mob rule” that it said was fueled by Mr. Trump.

The 14,000-member group, which last year honored Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, said that Mr. Trump was not fit for office.

“This is sedition and should be treated as such,” the group said. “The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy.”

The association called on Mr. Pence to use a constitutional mechanism that provides the vice president and a majority of the cabinet — the officials who lead executive agencies — with the ability to declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Both the Senate and House would be required to approve such a measure by a two-thirds vote.

“Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy,” the group said.

Most of those calling for Mr. Trump’s removal as president 14 days before he is slated to leave office were Democrats, but there were some exceptions.

Governor Phil Scott, Republican of Vermont, said on Twitter that Mr. Trump should be ousted.

“The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the president,” he said. “Enough is enough. President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.”

President Donald Trump’s taped message from the White House was removed by Twitter.
Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Twitter on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of locking President Trump’s account, depriving the president of his favorite means of communication after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and swarmed the streets of Washington.

Twitter took the harder line after removing three of Mr. Trump’s tweets, which it said had violated a company policy that forbids using the platform “for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.”

Twitter said it was acting “as a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.”

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets,” the company said on Twitter. “If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”

The tweets that were removed repeated Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud and expressed praise and sympathy for those who had forced their way into the Capitol and disrupted Congress’s certification of the election results. Twitter also removed a video in which Mr. Trump repeated his baseless claim that “the election was stolen” and advised the mob to “go home,” while adding, “We love you.”

A supporter of President Trump struggles with a riot policeman after the protester pushed a line of police outside the Capitol building.
Credit…Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Credit…Leah Millis/Reuters
Credit…Michael Reynolds/EPA, via Shutterstock
Credit…Olivier Douliery/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Credit…Jim Bourg/Reuters

Sen. Mitt Romney at the Capitol before the protestors arrived.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, condemned President Trump on Wednesday night for the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, saying that the president bore direct responsibility for the violence that disrupted the counting of electoral votes by Congress.

“What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States,” Mr. Romney said in a statement. “Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.”

Mr. Romney, the lone Republican in the Senate who voted to convict Mr. Trump last year on one of two articles of impeachment, has been the target of verbal attacks by Mr. Trump’s supporters in recent days. Videos showed one of the president’s followers confronting Mr. Romney before a flight at Salt Lake City International Airport earlier this week. He was later heckled by Mr. Trump’s supporters aboard a flight.

In his statement, Mr. Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, said that the objections to the counting of Electoral College votes for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was because of “a selfish man’s injured pride.” He said that Mr. Trump had misinformed his supporters and stirred their outburst.

“They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history,” he said of Mr. Trump’s supporters. “That will be their legacy.”

Former President George W. Bush, the only living Republican former president, also denounced the actions of those who stormed the Capitol. He did not mention Mr. Trump by name.

“It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,” Mr. Bush said. “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions and our law enforcement.”

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Some of the protesters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday came in costume — dressed like Vikings, pioneers or soldiers in camouflage. Many had faces painted with American flags and others carried elaborate signs.

Credit…Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Credit…Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Credit…Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
Credit…Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol on Wednesday morning.
Credit…Pool photo by Erin Schaff

Lawmakers will resume counting Electoral College votes on Wednesday after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said, as she vowed that the attack could not “deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.”

Ms. Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues, said she had reached that decision after consulting with her leadership team and a series of calls with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and Vice President Mike Pence. She made no mention of the president.

‘We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. “We also knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, despite ill-founded objections to the Electoral College vote. We now will be part of history, as such a shameful picture of our country was put out to the world, instigated at the highest level.”

President Trump sent a tweet in which he reiterated the false claim that the election was stolen.
Credit…Will Oliver/EPA, via Shutterstock

In what could be interpreted as an attempt to stoke the flames of a Capitol mob which has begun to disperse, President Trump sent a tweet at around 6 p.m. in which he reiterated the false claim that the election was stolen and encouraged his supporters to “remember this day” going forward.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he tweeted. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

Twitter later took down the tweet, saying that it had violated the company’s rules.

Mr. Trump also posted a video in which he repeated his baseless claims of widespread election fraud on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. All three social media sites removed the video.

Police officers in riot gear lined up in front of the Capitol after it was overrun by a mob.
Credit…Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A woman who was shot inside the Capitol building after it was overrun by a pro-Trump mob has died, Washington D.C. police officials said on Wednesday.

The woman has not been identified and no information has been released about who may have shot her. Chief Robert J. Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department said earlier that she was a “civilian” and that his officers were leading the investigation.

The woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the police department, said in an email. Mr. Sternbeck said he did not yet know who shot her or have any other details.

A video posted to Twitter earlier on Wednesday appeared to show a shooting in the Capitol.

The woman in the video seemed to climb onto a small ledge next to a doorway inside the building immediately before a single loud bang is heard. The woman, draped in a flag, fell to the ground at the top of a stairwell. A man with a helmet and a military-style rifle stood next to her after she fell, and shouts of “police” could be heard as a man in a suit approached the woman and crouched next to her.

“Where’s she hit?” people yelled as blood streamed around her mouth.

The House gallery was evacuated during the invasion.
Credit…Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Within minutes of the mob breaching the Capitol complex, rioters were pounding on the doors of the House gallery, where a group of lawmakers were trapped.

“I thought we’d have to fight our way out,” said Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq.

Mr. Crow said he moved other members away from the barricaded door inside the gallery, helped them don gas masks, told them to take off the lapel pins assigned to all House members and took out his only possible weapon — a pen.

After 15 minutes, he said, Capitol Police and SWAT team members on a rescue mission hustled the members out by clearing a path outside the gallery, above the House floor.

With police in the lead, guns drawn, the lawmakers entered a scene of chaos and mayhem, Mr. Crow said. Some police rushed to barricade doors to block rioters. Others pinned protesters to the ground to allow the lawmakers to pass.

“We heard yelling through the halls,” said Mr. Crow, who described bringing up the rear to ensure all the members made it to safety. As police led the members down stairwells and into the subterranean maze of tunnels to a secure location, Mr. Crow said he called his wife, who had been watching the terrifying scene on television from Colorado.

Mr. Crow said lawmakers were determined to resume their work in the Capitol on Wednesday night, if possible, once the buildings were cleared of remaining threats. “We want to go back and finish the business of the people to show that we are a democracy, and that the government is stronger than any mob,” he said.

Trump supporters clashing with the police as they stormed the Capitol.
Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Police seized five guns and arrested at least 13 people during the violent protests involving supporters of President Trump at the Capitol on Wednesday, Chief Robert J. Contee of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said on Wednesday.

Chief Contee said the firearms included handguns and long guns. He also noted that none of the people arrested were residents of the District of Columbia.

At the same news conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called the violent protests, where Trump supporters looted and vandalized congressional offices, “shameful” and “unpatriotic.”

And she pledged that “anyone who has engaged in these activities” will be held accountable. “There will be law and order and this behavior will not be tolerated,” she said.

Law enforcement officers in the Capitol building on Wednesday. 
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The sergeant-at-arms, who is responsible for Congress’s security, has told lawmakers and reporters that the Capitol is now secure, though lawmakers, staff and reporters continue to shelter in much of the Capitol complex.

Lawmakers in both parties have called for the certification process of the Electoral College votes to resume with the securing of the building. No word yet if and when that will begin.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, vowed that Congress would continue the counting on Wednesday night.

“I have faced violent hatred before,” Mr. Clyburn said on Twitter. “I was not deterred then, and I will not be deterred now. Tonight, Congress will continue the business of certifying the Electoral College votes.”

Mr. Clyburn, an instrumental early supporter of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., condemned the breach of the Capitol.

“This authoritarian menace will not succeed in his attempts to overthrow our democratically elected government,” he said, apparently referring to President Trump. “I am praying for the safety and security of the public servants who are dedicated to making this country a ‘more perfect union.’ ”

Credit…Adam Goldman/The New York Times

One of the members of the mob that breached the Capitol was seen outside the building displaying part of the sign that marked the entrance to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Multiple photos haven been tweeted out from inside Ms. Pelosi’s offices, which were vacated so quickly that some staffers left their email programs up on their screens.

Senator Ben Sasse before Congress met on Wednesday.
Credit…Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, was unsparing in his criticism of President Trump as the instigator of the day’s events.

“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his vice president for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution,” he said in a statement.

“Lies have consequences,” he continued. “This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the president’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

He added: “Americans are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americans aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades.”

The deployment of federal agents signaled the growing alarm with which federal officials viewed the chaos swirling around the Capitol building.
Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A column of F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security agents in riot gear entered the Dirksen Senate Office Building around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and officers from Washington’s police force headed to the Capitol in a show of force to end violent protests, looting and vandalism.

A Metropolitan Police commander instructed his officers to stay calm because “it could get crazy in there.”

The F.B.I. had previously considered sending officers to patrol Washington streets in the wake of protests last June, but ultimately decided not to deploy the agents for the planned rally.

“The F.B.I. has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners, as requested, in protection of federal property and public safety,” the F.B.I. statement said.

The F.B.I. would not say how many of its agents were deployed to the Capitol. But a former government official said that earlier on Wednesday all F.B.I. agents in the Washington region were alerted that they could be called to Downtown Washington.

Chris Miller, the acting secretary of defense, also pledged support, saying he had spoken to Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders and has “fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation.”

He continued, “Our people are sworn to defend the Constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.”

The pro-Trump mob scaled walls, knocked over barriers and occupied the Capitol for hours. The unrest continued, even as President Trump asked for protesters to remain peaceful, and Vice President Mike Pence asked for the group to disperse.



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