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Republican John Weaver Resigns From Anti-Trump Group For Offering Job For Sex To Young Men | The State

John Weaver collaborated with several politicians, including Senator John McCain.

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ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images

The author Ryan James Gindusky launched the first public indictment against a Republican founder of the Lincoln Project, who operated against the president Donald trump, for it to be investigated that he offered work to young men, in exchange for sex.

The point drew more attention when James Girdusky responded to a report that the group assembled a database of advisers and officials who collaborated with Trump so that they were not hired.

“Maybe I should start talking about one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project offering jobs to young men in exchange for sex.”he wrote on Twitter. “Your wife might be interested”.

It turned out that character is John Weaver, who resigned from the group in the face of the allegations.

The portal Axios released a message from Weaver, where he acknowledges the “inappropriate” messages towards various men.

“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that, at the time, I considered consensual mutual conversations: I’m really sorry”, he expressed.

He added that those messages were inappropriate and declared: “The truth is that I am gay.”

Weaver is a renowned political consultant who has collaborated with several high-ranking politicians, including the late John McCain.

“And that I have a wife and two children whom I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led me to this harrowing place “, he expressed.

The accusations began almost two weeks ago, coming from several young people who accused receiving sexual messages, sometimes in exchange for employment or political promotion.

Weaver had left the group for the summer, but barely acknowledged the allegations.

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Trump leaves on all-time low approval rating – but Republicans do NOT blame him for MAGA riot

Donald Trump leaves office on all-time low approval rating – but Republicans do NOT blame him for MAGA riot or accept Joe Biden as legitimate, new polls reveal

  • Two new polls show Donald Trump leaving office at the lowest level of his popularity but with an iron grip on the Republican base
  • SSRS for CNN puts him on 34% approval the lowest of his term
  • But Washington Post / ABC poll shows Republicans refuse to blame him for MAGA riot and say party didn’t do enough to support him
  • 70% of GOP voters  say Biden did not win legitimately, but overall 62% of all voters say his victory was legitimate
  • Republican voters also say he was not to blame for the Capitol riot, should be allowed to self-pardon, and do not want him convicted by Senate 

Two polls Sunday showed Donald Trump leaving office on his lowest approval ratings from Americans but still with the overwhelming backing of his base for his actions in the wake of the MAGA riot.

An SSRS poll for CNN put Trump’s final approval rating at just 34%, the lowest of his presidency, and far behind Barack Obama’s final rating of 60%.

But a separate Washington Post/ABC News poll showed how Republicans refuse to blame Trump for the MAGA riot which caused his second impeachment, and still back his claims that Joe Biden is not a legitimate president.

The polls show some of the task facing Biden in the attempt to ‘unite America’ which will be the theme of his inauguration – an event itself held under unprecedented security, with 25,000 armed National Guard members, razor wire round the Mall and the White House, and crowds banned entirely.

Trump’s approval rating at the end of his single term put him in a minority of post-war presidents leaving office with approval under 40%.

Jimmy Carter left on 34%, Harry Truman had 32%, George W. Bush 31% and Nixon, in the polls before he resigned, 24%.

The CNN poll shows a mixed record for Trump on success versus failure.

A majority – 54% – say he was more of a success than a failure on the economy, but the numbers for race relations (34%), immigration (36%) and the coronavirus (36%) show how he could not capture support beyond his base.

But it is the Washington Post/ABC News results which show the grip he still has on Republican voters ahead of his second impeachment trial and Biden’s inauguration.

It found overwhelming support for Trump among those who say they voted Republican. 

Fifty seven per cent say that the party should follow his leadership when he leaves office, and 51% say that party leaders did not go far enough in attempts to overturn the election results.

The party’s voters do not blame Trump for the MAGA riot for which he is being impeached, with 56%  saying he was not to blame for the Capitol being stormed at all.

And 66% said that his overall conduct since the election had been ‘responsible.’ 

Those findings put the party’s supporters entirely out of step not just with Democrats but with majority opinion.

Just 27% of all voters think Republicans should follow Trump’s leadership. 

The findings underline the difficulties Republican senators face with Trump’s impeachment trial. 

Mob: Republican voters refuse to blame the president for the rioters who stormed the Capitol i his name and wearing his clothing

Mob: Republican voters refuse to blame the president for the rioters who stormed the Capitol i his name and wearing his clothing

Convict or not? Trump's grip on the base presents senators with a crisis

Convict or not? Trump’s grip on the base presents senators with a crisis

Those who face primary elections in 2022 or 2024 would face angry Republican voters and even the possibility of Trump himself campaigning against him, making a vote to convict politically difficult.

But if they vote against conviction to survive a primary, at a general election they would face a Democratic rival determined to hang that voter around their necks as a mark of shame – and a general electorate to whom Trump is a pariah.  

While Democratic voters favor Trump being convicted and banned from running for office again 89 to nine, Republicans oppose it 85 to 12. Among independents, it has 56% backing.

Similarly, Biden’s legitimacy is a matter of deep partisan divide: 62% of voters overall and more than 90% of Democrats say his election was legitimate.

But Trump was so successful in sowing distrust in the election that among Republican voters, 70% say Biden did not win legitimately. 

A similar question in the SSRS/CNN poll saw 58% of Republicans say there was ‘solid evidence’ that Biden’s election win was fraudulent. And 75% of Republican respondents said that they had little confidence that elections reflect the will of the American people.

The possibility of Trump trying to pardon himself before he leaves office on Wednesday also divided opinion: 68% of all voters say he should not, but 59% of Republicans say he should.

A move to self-pardon would bring about a fresh constitutional crisis because it is unknown if it would be valid and many experts believe that new Biden Justice Department would be forced to prosecute him just to get a Supreme Court ruling on whether it is possible – then consider a constitutional amendment to explicitly rule it out if the justices say Trump was allowed to pardon himself. 

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GOP seethes at Eric Swalwell’s role in impeachment hearing after compromising security for spy tryst

Republicans have reacted with outrage after Nancy Pelosi appointed Congressman Eric Swalwell as one of nine impeachment managers – despite his having an alleged affair with a Chinese spy.

Swalwell further angered Donald Trump’s allies by comparing the president to Osama Bin Laden.

The Californian congressman was asked on Wednesday about the difference between Trump whipping the Capitol rioters into a frenzy, and those who actually stormed the Capitol themselves.

‘Osama Bin Laden did not enter U.S. soil on September 11, but it was widely acknowledged that he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country,’ Swalwell told PBS.

Eric Swalwell, a California congressman, on Wednesday appeared on PBS News

Swalwell told host Judy Woodruff that both Trump and Bin Laden inspired acts of violence

Swalwell told host Judy Woodruff that both Trump and Bin Laden inspired acts of violence

‘And the president, with his words, using the word ‘fight’ – that is hate speech that inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol.’

When asked directly whether he was comparing Trump to Bin Laden, Swalwell replied: ‘I’m comparing the words of a individual who would incite and radicalize somebody, as Osama Bin Laden did, to what President Trump did.

‘You don’t actually have to commit the violence yourself, but if you call others to violence, that itself is a crime.’

Swalwell, 40, was named among the nine impeachment managers on Tuesday.

He and his colleagues are in charge of making the case that the president should be impeached for a second time.

On Wednesday the House voted to impeach him. The motion will now pass to the Senate, which will not consider the matter until after Trump leaves the White House on January 20.

Swalwell on December 8 was reported by Axios to have been involved in a lengthy relationship with a woman later discovered to be a Chinese spy.

Swalwell was involved with Chinese spy Fang Fang until 2015, when the FBI told him about her

Swalwell was involved with Chinese spy Fang Fang until 2015, when the FBI told him about her

The operative had sexual relations with a series of American politicians

The operative had sexual relations with a series of American politicians

Swalwell has refused to say whether he was physically intimate with Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, during their friendship, asserting the matter is classified.

A number of top House Republicans signed a letter demanding that Pelosi remove Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee.

Pelosi and Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy were both briefed on the matter in 2015.

Swalwell was tipped off in 2015 that she was a Chinese agent.

She fled the country as the FBI investigated her and her infiltration efforts, which also saw her become friendly with other California politicians and have sex with two mayors from the Midwest, in encounters caught by FBI surveillance.

On Wedesday night, Tucker Carlson used his Fox News show to express astonishment at Swalwell’s appointment.

‘He doesn’t sleep on national security threats, he sleeps with them,’ Carlson said. ‘It’s for the greater good. Today Eric Swalwell, his wild intelligence oats once more.’

Carlson’s guest, conservative author Mark Steyn, described him as being ‘compromised’ and ‘playing for the other team’.

‘Eric Swalwell, the Chinese Politburo’s man on the impeachment management team,’ Steyn said.

Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman for California, spoke out against Swalwell’s appointment, as did Marjorie Taylor Green, the QAnon-promoting Republican congresswoman for Georgia.

‘After China’s #COVID19 virus has killed over 381,000 Americans, @SpeakerPelosi names @ericswalwell 1 of 9 impeachment managers,’ she tweeted.

‘Rep Swalwell had a sexual relationship with a CHINESE SPY!

‘Dems might as well go public on how they are selling out to China!

‘What a betrayal!’

Elise Stefanik, congresswoman for New York, said Swalwell was ‘compromised by the Chinese Communist Party’.

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Donald Trump is impeached for the SECOND TIME after bipartisan vote

The House voted Wednesday 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time for ‘incitement of insurrection,’ exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.  

The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House’s move bipartisan – unlike Trump’s first impeachment less than 13 months ago.  

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. It means that Trump cannot be removed from office before he leaves anyway. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT

Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’ 

Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran

‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’

John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’ 

Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group 

‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’

Jaime Herrera Beutler  – Washington

Five-term rep in deep blue state 

‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’ 

Dan Newhouse – Washington

One of only two GOP reps from state 

‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’ 

Peter Meijer – Michigan 

Holds Gerald Ford’s seat  

‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’ 

Tom Rice – South Carolina 

Still to explain vote 

Anthony Gonzalez  – Ohio 

‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’

Former NFL starting wide receiver 

David Valadao – California 

‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’ 

Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020

McConnell’s move was revealed as the House debated the impeachment article. Then he added to the drama with a statement suggesting he could convict, saying: ‘While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.’ 

Just before he entered history as the first president to be impeached twice, the White House put out a statement from Trump, which called for peace but did not address his impeachment.

‘In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the president’s statement said. 

The call for calm did nothing to quell a Republican rebellion against him, led by the House number three Liz Cheney, which ended with a total of 10 GOP members voting to impeach Trump.

Halfway through the debate another defiant Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, said: ‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option.

‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’ 

‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added. His floor speech got Democratic applause.

The 10 votes make the impeachment the most bipartisan ever, another historical marker which also creates a deep split in the Republican party which is unlikely to end with Trump’s departure. 

The vote ended with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, in the chair, declaring the count of 232 to 197 – but with silence from the Democrats and handful of Republicans still present. Pelosi had warned her members not to celebrate the outcome.

It concluded a day of debate in which Pelosi had called Trump a ‘clear and present danger,’ as Democrats said they were standing in a ‘crime scene’ and demanded that Trump pay a price for a campaign of ‘lies and conspiracy theories’ which had fomented violence.  

Trump’s Republican allies did not defend Trump’s behavior, but instead pitched censuring the president or launching a 9/11-style commission, more fitting punishments they argued for someone who was already leaving office. 

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, went as far to say Trump’s conduct was impeachable, but wouldn’t vote for the article, calling it ‘flawed.’  

The Republican revolt was led by Cheney, the number three in the caucus and party royalty as the daughter of the former vice president Dick Cheney.

She had issued a fiery denunciation of Trump when she announced her vote 24 hours earlier, saying he ‘lit the flame on insurrection’ but did not speak on the floor.

In the Senate, which will have to hold a trial of Trump in the wake of the vote as soon as it receives the article, McConnell’s announcement that he is willing to convict raises new questions about how Republicans will vote when the trial happens.

So far only Sen. Mitt Romney appears certain to back conviction, while on Wednesday Sen. Lindsey Graham accused McConnell of risking more violence by backing impeachment. No other Republican senator has made their position public. 

Impeachment is by a two-thirds majority of the Senate, which in principle means the 50 Democrats have to be joined by 17 Republicans, but in fact it is only a majority of those present, meaning some GOP members could stay away to let a vote go through without actively taking part.  

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued to push McConnell to reconvene the Senate sooner – but said there would be a trial no matter what.

‘A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th,’ Schumer said. 

‘But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.’ 

Bringing down the hammer: Nancy Pelosi gavels the end of the voting and declares that Donald Trump has been impeached again 232-197 – 10 of the majority votes coming from Republicans

The article of impeachment against President Donald Trump sits on a table before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an engrossment ceremony after Wednesday's vote

The article of impeachment against President Donald Trump sits on a table before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an engrossment ceremony after Wednesday’s vote 

Photographers lean over the article of impeachment Wednesday on Capitol Hill trying to get a good shot before an engrossment ceremony with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Photographers lean over the article of impeachment Wednesday on Capitol Hill trying to get a good shot before an engrossment ceremony with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

Republican House number three Liz Cheney (right) led 10 of the House GOP into voting for impeachment - but is now facing a backlash from Trump ultra-loyalists. She was see n speaking to Jamie Raskin, one of the key Democrats pushing for Trump's impeachment and removal

Republican House number three Liz Cheney (right) led 10 of the House GOP into voting for impeachment – but is now facing a backlash from Trump ultra-loyalists. She was see n speaking to Jamie Raskin, one of the key Democrats pushing for Trump’s impeachment and removal 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT 

IMPEACHMENT TIMETABLE

Wednesday afternoon: House passed single Article

What happens next? Nancy Pelosi decides when to transmit Article to Senate. When she does, it must begin trial on the next sitting day and sit six days a week until it concludes 

Tuesday January 19:  Earliest date Mitch McConnell has said Senate can begin considering Article. Senate procedures may mean trial will not begin until the following day at 1pm

Wednesday January 20, noon: Trump leaves office

What happens next? If a trial is under way, it can continue. Most legal experts say if it has not begun, it can, but there is a minority who say impeachment cannot continue if the president is not in office

Rep. Tom Cole, the first GOP lawmaker to speak, argued against a hasty impeachment vote ‘not because of the president’s inappropriate and reckless words are deserving of defense but because the presidency itself demands due process.’ Cole had himself voted to overturn the election results.

Republicans also warned impeaching Trump for a second time would only make partisan hostilities worse.  

‘This is a reckless impeachment,’ complained Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri. ‘This will only bring up the hate and fire more than ever before.’ 

Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona charged Democrats with wanting ‘complete destruction of your nemesis.’

‘Instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will go stronger, for you would have made him a martyr,’ Biggs warned. 

Democrats described the terror of last week’s attack. 

‘We are debating this resolution at an actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if not for the president of the United States,’ said Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat.

‘People were sending text messages to their loved ones, telling them they loved them. They thought they were saying goodbye,’ he added.  

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House’s lead impeachment manager, referred to the rioters as a ‘bloodthirsty mob.’   

‘They wounded dozens of people, hospitalizing dozens of people,’ he said. ‘They may have been hunting for Pence and Pelosi to stage their coup, but every one of us in this room right now, could have died.’

Rep. Joaquin Castro echoed Raskin’s description. 

‘Let me ask you a question? What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?’ he asked his fellow members. ‘The most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.’ 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to an InstagramLive audience Tuesday night since she was proxy voting, said, ‘I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.’ 

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,’ the high-profile progressive lawmaker said.  

On the floor Wednesday, the Democrats pointed to the Republicans’ high-profile defection: the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney. 

Cheney, the Republican Conference Chair, laced into Trump in her statement, saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection – and Democrats repeated her words back to the Republicans. 

The House's No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard

The House’s No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard 

Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months

Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT

Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’ 

Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran

‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’

John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’ 

Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group 

‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’

Jaime Herrera Beutler  – Washington

Five-term rep in deep blue state 

‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’ 

Dan Newhouse – Washington

One of only two GOP reps from state 

‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’ 

Peter Meijer – Michigan 

Holds Gerald Ford’s seat  

‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’ 

Tom Rice – South Carolina 

Still to explain vote 

Anthony Gonzalez  – Ohio 

‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’

Former NFL starting wide receiver 

David Valadao – California 

‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’ 

Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she said.

The decision to back impeachment by Cheney, a member of Republican royalty as the daughter of Dick Cheney, and seen as a future contender for the party’s House leadership and the Speaker’s chair, means that impeachment would be bipartisan.  

On the floor Wednesday, Democrats pointed to Cheney’s statement as evidence they were in the right. 

The Democrats’ No. 2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, recited Cheney’s words during his turn to speak. 

‘That is not some irresponsible new member of Congress of the United States,’ Hoyer said. ‘This is the daughter of the former Republican whip and former vice president of the United States of America.’ 

‘She knows of which she speaks,’ Hoyer argued. 

Cheney never gave her own floor speech.  

Reps. Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar, two of Trump’s top GOP House allies, were pushing to have Cheney removed from her leadership position. 

JIM JORDAN SAYS DEMOCRATS WANT TO ‘CANCEL’ THE PRESIDENT 

Jordan gave two fiery floor speeches Wednesday.   

He yelled ’19 minutes!’ into the microphone Wednesday afternoon, charging Democrats with waiting just 19 minutes into the Trump administration to start their impeachment hunt.   

He said Democrats were pursuing removal again because of ‘politics and the fact that they want to, they want to cancel the president.’ 

‘This is about getting the president of the United States,’ Jordan said. 

‘They spied on his campaign before he was elected, 19 minutes into his presidency they started the impeachment push, three year Mueller investigation, 19 lawyers, 40 agents, 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas, $40 million to find nothing,’ Jordan went on. 

The Ohio Republican said impeachment ’round one’ was based on information from a ‘biased’ whistleblower. 

‘Now it’s impeachment round two,’ he said. ‘It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that’s now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore it’s about canceling … canceling the president,’ Jordan argued. 

‘IT BREAKS MY HEART’ SAYS HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI 

Pelosi, who opened the formal impeachment articles debate, said she wasn’t pursuing the measure with glee. 

‘It gives me no pleasure to say this, it breaks my heart. It should break your heart. It should break all of our hearts,’ the top Democrat said. 

Pelosi encouraged the Senate to act, calling the president a ‘clear and present danger.’ 

‘I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional  remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man, that was so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear, and hold us together,’ she said.  

She also slammed those who engaged in the riot. 

‘Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to and managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,’ the House speaker said. 

TOP HOUSE REPUBLICAN SAYS ANTIFA NOT RESPONSIBLE 

Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, let other, more pro-Trump members speak before he took a turn on the floor, where he cleared up some right-wing misinformation. 

‘Some say the riots were caused by Antifa,’ McCarthy said. ‘There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,’ he advised. 

McCarthy said he planned to vote no on impeachment because it was too hasty. 

‘I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,’ McCarthy argued. ‘No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held.’  

‘What’s more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-Elect Biden is sworn in,’ McCarthy added, a nod to the breaking McConnell news. 

TRUMP’S TOP ALLIES POINT FINGERS BACK AT DEMOCRATS 

Most of the Republicans lining up to speak were Trump hard-liners – and pointed to what they considered to be Democratic hypocrisy. 

‘The left in America has incited far more political violence than the right for months. Our cities burned police stations burned or businesses were shattered. And they said nothing,’ Rep. Matt Gaetz yelled. 

‘Well they lit actual flames. Actual fires,’ Gaetz exclaimed. 

That comment cued boos from the Democratic side.  

Rep. Ken Buck compared the capitol assault to Trump administration officials being harassed at restaurants. 

‘The press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant for being a Trump employee, the DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen harassed at her home,’ Buck said on the floor. 

Nielsen was confronted by a crowd at a D.C. restaurant over the Trump administration’s child separation policy.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has openly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, called for ‘accountability on the left.’

‘After encouraging and normalizing violence,’ she said. 

‘I call bull crap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity. Sadly they are only unified in hate,’ she blasted.   

the other ‘QAnon congresswoman,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green gave her floor remarks wearing a ‘CENSORED’ mask.

Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican, used a dramatic pause to make his point. 

‘Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?’ Mast asked. 

He stood unanswered for 30 seconds until his time elapsed. ‘It appears I will receive no answer,’ he said.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, became the sixth GOP member to say he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, became the sixth GOP member to say he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump 

(SOME) REPUBLICANS REVOLT 

Joining Cheney in voting for the Democratic-prepared article of impeachment was Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York,  Fred Upton of Michigan,  Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington,  Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.  

‘My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision,’ Herrera Beutler said during her floor speech. ‘I am not choosing a side I am choosing, it’s the only way to defeat fear.’   

Newhouse announced Wednesday mid-debate that he would vote yes on impeachment. 

‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option,’ Newhouse said.

‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital,’ Newhouse said in a statement. ‘It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’ 

‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added. 

His remarks were applauded on the House floor.

Cheney’s decision came minutes after McConnell was revealed to believe that Trump had committed impeachable offenses.

The New York Times’ bombshell was still echoing in Washington D.C. when the House started its 25th Amendment debate – and as it dragged to a close Tuesday night, Axios reported that McConnell was leaning towards a vote to convict the president and was ‘more than 50/50’ on it.  

Cheney was seen speaking to Raskin on Tuesday night as he led the Democrats arguing for a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment removing Trump from power.

The House passed it late Tuesday despite Pence sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he’ll refuse. 

Hundreds of National Guard troops wer sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden's inauguration

Hundreds of National Guard troops wer sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden’s inauguration 

The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning

The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning

The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday

The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday 

In a vote that wrapped up around 11.30pm Tuesday, the House voted 223-205 to approve the resolution, which can’t actually force the vice president’s hand.   

‘I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,’ Pence said in his letter to Pelosi, refusing to pull the trigger on the 25th. 

‘Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and 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,’ Pence added. 

Pence’s letter came as the House was holding procedural votes on the resolution.   

No Republicans joined on until the final vote – with Rep. Adam Kinzinger joining Democrats in the push to have Pence to use the 25th.  

Trump ultra-loyalist Jim Jordan says he will try to oust Liz Cheney from her position as party’s House number three in revenge for voting to impeach president 

Jim Jordan said he wanted Republicans to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position over her push to impeach President Donald Trump

‘I think she’s, I think she’s totally wrong,’ Jordan said. ‘The conference should have a second vote on that,’ the Ohio Republican told reporters, saying he believed lawmakers should get a say on removing Cheney from her No. 3 position. 

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, another top Trump ally, was circulating a petition to GOP members pushing for Cheney’s removal, C-SPAN and CNN reported.   

The House Republican caucus held leadership elections for the 117th Congress on November 17, two weeks after Election Day. 

Cheney, again, was selected to be the Republican Conference chairman, and ran for the position unopposed. 

On Tuesday she announced she would side the the Democratic majority and vote to impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection.’ 

In an explosive statement, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney laced into Trump saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection. 

‘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.  

Four other GOP House members have said they will vote for Trump’s impeachment: Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, John Katko and Jaime Herrera Beutler. 

Speaking to Capitol Hill reporters, Jordan was unsure if there was a mechanism to push a member out of leadership.

‘I don’t know about that – it’s just where I’m at,’ he told the press.   

When asked if the conservative Freedom Caucus, of which Jordan is a leader, was supportive of pushing Cheney out, Jordan replied sarcastically, ‘What do you think?’ 

‘You know the answer. You know the answer to that question,’ he went on. ‘Of course.’ 

Jordan was also asked if Republicans had a ‘cohesive leaderhip team’ with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Cheney appearing to be in direct conflict. ‘Leader McCarthy and whip Scalise have done a great job,’ Jordan answered.

Rep. Steve Scalise is the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives.  Jordan was recently given a Presidential Medal of Freedom behind closed doors by Trump.  Both voted to overturn the election. 

That set the scene for an impeachment debate and vote Wednesday entirely different from the first impeachment vote on October 31, 2019.

Then the only non-Democratic vote was from Justin Amash, who was essentially forced out of the Republican party before he even cast it.

But after a day in which they feared for their lives, the mood in Congress had changed rapidly.

LINDSEY GRAHAM IN BITTER PUBLIC SPLIT WITH MITCH MCCONNELL OVER IMPEACHMENT

Lindsey Graham slammed Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders in the Senate on Wednesday as the House began debate to impeach President Donald Trump a second time.

In a lengthy statement, delivered the day after Graham traveled to Texas with President Trump to visit a new section of the border wall, the senator argued: ‘The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.’

Graham, a staunch Trump ally, warned another impeachment trial ‘could invite further violence’ and decried Democrats for wanting to do a ‘do-over impeachment.’

Senator Lindsey Graham jumped back on the Trump plane - literally - on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas

Senator Lindsey Graham jumped back on the Trump plane – literally – on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas

‘The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better,’ he said. 

Graham jumped back on the Trump plane – literally – on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas.

Senator Lindsey Graham Statement 

‘Supporting the impeachment of President Trump under these circumstances will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm. If there was a time for America’s political leaders to bend a knee and ask for God’s counsel and guidance, it is now. The most important thing for leaders to do in times of crisis is to make things better, not worse.

‘The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country. The President, who will be leaving office in less than a week, has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence.

‘The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better.

‘The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.

‘Democrats have already impeached the President once over a matter which was not worthy of that process. Now they seek to do it again, believing that this effort will wash for history the fact that the first impeachment was based on the thinnest of pretenses: a phone call with the leader of Ukraine. Impeachment should never be a ‘do-over,’ but that is what Democrats are seeking to do today.

‘To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party. The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob. The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable.’

The trip comes after Graham broke with the president last Wednesday, refusing to join a Trump-backed effort to contest Electoral College counts in the hours after the MAGA riot. 

‘All I can say is count me out, enough is enough,’ Graham told his Senate colleagues then. ‘When it’s over it is over.’   

But his tune changed.

Graham on Wednesday called out Republicans who are voting for impeachment. Ten Republican House members supported impeaching Trump under the charge he violated his oath of office by inciting the mob of insurgents that attacked the Capitol on Wednesday.

‘To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party,’ Graham said. 

The House approved the articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday afternoon, 232-197.

Republican leaders in the Senate were weighing whether to launch a trial on Friday to consider removing him from office, a source familiar with the deliberations told Reuters.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ruled it out.

‘Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively,’ he said in a statement after the House vote.

‘Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency,’ he noted.

He said the trial would begin after Biden took the oath of office. 

‘In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,’ McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had pressured McConnell to agree to bring the Senate back sooner under emergency circumstances – to no avail. 

That means the first days of Biden’s presidency will be taken up with impeaching his predecessor. 

If impeached, Trump would not be able to run for president again. Several Republican senators are thought to be considering 2024 presidential bids.

To impeach Trump, a two-thirds majority is needed to convict him.

 

 

 

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats' effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House's new fines for lawmakers who don't wear masks - and the metal detectors outside the House chamber

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats’ effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House’s new fines for lawmakers who don’t wear masks – and the metal detectors outside the House chamber 

HOW TRUMP’S SECOND IMPEACHMENT WILL UNFOLD

The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump for his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.

While the previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week. After the rioting at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘we must take action,’ and Democrats – and some Republicans – share her view ahead of Wednesday’s vote. 

For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.

A look at what will happen as the House moves closer to impeaching Trump in his last week in office:

THE BASICS OF IMPEACHMENT: 

In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.

This time, with so few days to act – and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in – impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.

Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. That’s what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time. 

THE ARTICLES

Democrats will begin debate Wednesday on a single impeachment charge: ‘incitement of insurrection.’

‘President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,’ reads the four-page impeachment article, which was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

‘He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,’ it reads.

The article says the behavior is consistent with Trump’s prior efforts to ‘subvert and obstruct’ the results of the election and references his recent call with the Georgia secretary of state, in which he said he wanted him to find him more votes after losing the state to Biden.

Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election, and the baseless claims have been repeatedly echoed by congressional Republicans and the insurgents who descended on the Capitol. Just before the riots, Trump spoke to the supporters near the White House and encouraged them to ‘fight like hell.’

As the protesters broke in, both chambers were debating GOP challenges to the electoral vote count in Arizona as part of the process for certifying Biden’s election win. 

REPUBLICAN SUPPORT 

On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because ‘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 Trump ‘summoned’ the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, ‘assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.’

New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,’ Katko said. ‘I cannot sit by without taking action.’

Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

SENDING TO THE SENATE 

Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.

Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.

If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the ‘folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.’

SENATE POLITICS

It’s unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Yet some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has said he would take a look at what the House approves, but stopped short of committing to support it.

Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment ‘will do far more harm than good.’

Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

WHAT IMPEACHMENT WOULD MEAN

Democrats say they have to move forward, even if the Senate doesn’t convict.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Friday that some people might ask why they would try to impeach a president with only a few days left in office.

‘The answer: Precedent,’ he said. ‘It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.’     

In the hours after the riot, Pence did his Constitutional duty and certified President-elect Joe Biden, something he had been pressured by Trump not to do. 

‘You can either go down in history as a patriot,’ Trump had told Pence by phone before he headed to the Capitol Wednesday, according to The New York Times. ‘Or you can go down in history as a p****.’   

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening 

Pence was inside when the violent mobbed attacked, with some Trump supporters calling out, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’  

The Times reported that Trump had invited Pence to the Oval Office Monday night to try to smooth things over in the run-up to the House’s 25th Amendment vote. 

The official description of the meeting was ‘good,’ according to the newspaper. 

Unofficially sources called it ‘nonsubstantive’ and ‘stilted.’  

Tuesday night’s vote on the 25th Amendment is considered the appetizer for Wednesday’s main course: the House pursuing impeachment again. 

Nowhere in his letter did Pence say he objected to that move.   

Shortly after Pence sent out his letter, Pelosi sent out the names of impeachment managers. 

She picked Raskin, who introduced the 25th Amendment resolution, as the head manager. 

‘I think every member of this body should be able to agree that this president is not meeting the most minimal duties of office,’ Raskin argued Tuesday night. 

Raskin also warned his fellow lawmakers that Trump could pardon the Capitol Hill attackers during his waning days. 

Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, recently lost his son. 

Additionally, Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean were also chosen.  

Earlier Tuesday, McConnell signaled his support for the impeachment effort that includes an article charging the president with ‘incitement of insurrection.’

The view of the GOP powerbroker emerged shortly before Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House GOP leadership, announced that she would vote for impeaching President Trump.  

‘On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,’ wrote Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president.

‘Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. 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. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she continued.

‘I will vote to impeach the President,’ Cheney concluded.   

Neither Cheney nor McConnell backed Democrats impeachment effort a year ago.  

McConnell worked successfully to scuttle the impeachment effort during a trial last year on different charges. 

His current view follows reports that McConnell never wants to speak to Trump again after the Capitol riots that had Trump supporters invading the Capitol, trashing leadership offices, and endangering the lives of lawmakers.

McConnell backs the effort because it will make it easier to purge Trump from the party, the New York Times reports.

One feature of impeachment – which can grind the Senate to a halt and lead to furious partisan arguments – is that it allows lawmakers to vote to prohibit the person being impeached from ever holding public office with the U.S. government.

Trump may run for president in 2024, and many of his potential rivals happen to hold Senate seats.  

McConnell has made clear in private discussions that ‘now is the moment to move on the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for Republicans losing the Senate,’ according to the report.

Trump ignored McConnell’s advice and launched his election challenge despite two run-off elections in Georgia which the GOP lost – stripping the party of its majority. 

A source told CNN McConnell ‘hates’ Trump and is ‘furious’ with him after the Capitol riots. 

The siege left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was based on the Senate side.  

McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, quit the Trump cabinet after the riots, which included an angry mob getting blocked steps from the door to the Senate chamber that McConnell uses when he normally strolls from his leadership office.  

McConnell’s view emerged as Trump, rather than express contrition, called impeachment a ‘hoax’ and a ‘witch hunt,’ and defended his pre-riot comments that Democrats have already said was incitement. Trump called his speech minutes before the siege ‘totally appropriate.’         

Cheney’s statement denouncing the president comes after Trump told supporters they need to ‘get rid’ of people like her. 

‘We got to get rid of the weak Congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world. We got to get rid of them,’ Trump said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her, amid speculation numerous House Republicans might follow her lead. 

‘Good for her for honoring her oath of us. Would that more Republicans would honor their oaths of office,’ Pelosi said. 

GOP Rep. John Katko also announced he would back impeachment Tuesday night. 

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

During floor debate, Katko said he wasn’t supporting the 25th Amendment resolution because it was ‘non-binding,’ calling it ‘merely a symbolic gesture.’  

Katko confirmed his plans to vote for impeachment. 

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton also told Forbes he would vote to impeach. 

As midnight approached, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler also said she was a yes.   

Convicting Trump on an impeachment article requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 50 votes – a high bar to meet.  

Assuming passage in the House, it has not been determined when Democratic leaders will transmit the impeachment article, or when the Senate might take it up. 

A McConnell memo that emerged over the weekend cited scheduling challenges for impeachment – a trial might not even begin until after Jan. 19th, since the Senate is not in session. 

President-elect Joe Biden said Monday there was the possibility of dual-tracking an impeachment and Senate session that would be needed to get his cabinet confirmed.

Biden phoned McConnell on Monday, according to the Times on the subject of a trial, and McConnell said he would consult the Senate parliamentarian and get back. 

There are Senate rules and precedents governing impeachment, but leaders also might be able to negotiate a way to handle it, with the possibility of a special impeachment committee taking up some of the burden. 

Trump has continued his usual pattern of lashing out at political adversaries when under attack. 

‘Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden Administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,’ Trump said Tuesday, before lawmakers cast their votes Tuesday night.  

Post-riot accounts from last Wednesday reveal that not only did President Trump egg on supporters who wreaked havoc in the Capitol – but he was glued to the television as the events unfolded, incapable of responding to desperate pleas to use influence to stop it and enjoying seeing it unfold. 

There were two major areas where the president fell dramatically short of what was being asked of him: using his personal popularity with his followers to urge them to vacate the Capitol immediately; and using the vast powers of his office to try to speed a federal response. 

But when key current and former aides and family members tried to reach him, he was ‘busy enjoying the spectacle,’ according to a Washington Post account.

What Trump told supporters before they ransacked the Capitol in ‘totally appropriate’ speech

We’re going to have to fight much harder

‘Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder.’

 

We’re going to walk down to the Capitol 

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

 

‘Get tougher’ / You are allowed to go by very different rules  

‘The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight. They want to play so serious. “The United States, the Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the states.” Well, I would say yes, it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country, and you have to protect our Constitution, and you can’t vote on fraud, and fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening toWhen you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.’

 

Takes ‘more courage not to step up’ 

‘I also want to thank our 13 most courageous members of the U.S. Senate …  I actually think, though, it takes, again, more courage not to step up, and I think a lot of those people are going to find that out. And you better start looking at your leadership, because your leadership has led you down the tubes.’

 

Never concede 

‘We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough.’

 

On ‘fake news’ and ‘Big tech’

‘They rigged an election, they rigged it like they have never rigged an election before.’

‘All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by bold and radical left Democrats, which is what they are doing, and stolen by the fake news media. That is what they have done and what they are doing. We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.’

 

‘We will not take it anymore’

‘Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about.’ And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.’

Denied Biden’s vote count

‘He had 80 million computer votes. It’s a disgrace. There’s never been anything like that. You can take Third World countries, just take a look, take Third World countries, their elections are more honest than what we have been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. Even when you look at last night, they were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off with boxes, and nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen.’

[Note: Biden got more than 81 million votes; Trump rounded up his own total to 75 million.]

 

Call for military and law enforcement to join

‘And I would love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed, the military, the Secret Service and we want to thank you — and the police and law enforcement — great, you’re doing a great job. But I would love it if they could be allowed to come up with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them, please?’

 

Pressure on Mike Pence: Says it takes ‘courage’ to do nothing

‘I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election … All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people.’

‘And I actually, I just spoke to Mike. I said, Mike, that doesn’t take courage, what takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage, and then we are stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years. We’re just not going to let that happen.’

 

Won’t stand for Biden win

‘We want to go back, and we want to get this right, because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there, and our country will be destroyed. And we’re not going to stand for that.’

 

‘You’re not the people that tore down our nation’

‘If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country.

But just remember this, you’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and

they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.’

 

March peacefully … we will see whether Republicans stand strong

‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for the integrity of our elections. But whether or not they stand strong for our country — our country, our country has been under siege for a long time. Far longer than this four-year period’

 

‘Ashamed … throughout eternity’ 

‘Today, we see a very important event, though, because right over there, right there, we see the event that’s going to take place, and I’m going to be watching because history is going to be made. We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity. They’ll be ashamed. And you know what? If they do the wrong thing, we should never, ever forget that they did. Never forget.’

 

Calls Republicans who voted not to count certified votes ‘warriors’

‘I want to thank the more than 140 members of the House. Those are warriors.15

They’re over there working like you’ve never seen before, studying, talking, actually going all the way back studying the roots of the Constitution because they know we have the right to send a bad vote that was illegally gotten.’

 

Biden will be ‘illegitimate’

‘But think of this: If you don’t do that, that means you will have a president of the United States for four years with his wonderful son, you will have a president who lost all of these states, or you will have a president, to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these states. You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen.’

 

Call to ‘do something’ about radical left

‘The radical left knows exactly what they were doing. They are ruthless, and it’s time that somebody did something about it.

And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. (APPLAUSE) And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.’

 

Election was ‘stolen’

‘Make no mistake, this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country, and not a single swing state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots.

This should absolutely occur in every single contested state before the election is certified.’

 

Alleges ‘criminal enterprise’

‘So, when you hear — when you hear, “While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing,” this is the most fraudulent thing anybody’s — this is a criminal enterprise. This is a criminal enterprise.’

 

Fight like hell
 

‘And again, most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life.

But I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened, and we fight. We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’

 

As the historic mob invasion of the U.S. seat of legislative government unfolded, a variety of people with influence over Trump sought to get to him to urge action.

The routes they took were typical of the loosely organized web of influence within the Trump White House. 

Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham – who only after the riot firmly declared Joe Biden the winner of the election – reached out to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. 

‘It took him a while to appreciate the gravity of the situation,’ Graham told the Post. ‘The president saw these people as his allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen,’ Graham said of the rioters who took the Capitol. 

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who Trump believes is so much under his wing that he has publicly called him ‘My Kevin,’ was pleading for action. 

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

McCarthy phoned Trump directly to try to plead for assistance – but also called the president’s son in law, Jared Kushner, who was returning form a trip to the Middle East.

Former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who doesn’t even work for Trump anymore, tried to get through to him to urge action. 

She phoned an aide she knew was in close proximity to Trump. 

The office of the Mayor of Washington, desperate to get more National Guard forces amid logistical and jurisdictional hurdles, also reached out to Conway.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows urged Trump to speak out after an aide told him: ‘They are going to kill people,’ in reference to the rioters. 

A primary area of the pleas related to something Trump was capable of doing on his own without engaging with the bureaucracy: issuing simple Twitter or video pleas for protesters to get out of the Capitol.

The appeals he finally made either lacked a direct call to fall back, or sprinkled in approving language even as the riot that would become deadly unfolded.

At 2:30 pm, about half an hour after the Capitol breach, Trump told his supporters to ‘Please support our Capitol Police’ and to ‘Stay peaceful!’ 

His next message was more explicit, writing ‘No violence!’ – but claimed ‘WE are the Party of Law & Order.’

After he finally put out a video at about 4 pm, Trump finally told his backers to ‘go home.’ But he also called them ‘very special,’ called the election ‘fraudulent,’ and said: ‘You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.’

Trump himself had egged on his supporters with demands that they ‘fight,’ calling the election fraudulent, and putting pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, whose only role was ceremonial and involved opening and reading from envelopes containing electoral votes.

Trump was glued to the television as the storming of the Capitol was broadcast. 

Prior reporting has revealed that the Washington D.C. government had requested a National Guard presence, but Guard were assigned to traffic and other assistance and weren’t issued ammo or riot gear. 

The now resigned chief of Capitol Police says he wanted more Guard support in advance of Wednesday but had been told by superiors to ask for it informally. The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, says there were delays getting approval to send Guard forces from the Pentagon.

But it wasn’t mere distraction that kept Trump from springing into action. It’s not atht he was too busy because he was so consumed, which he was,’ the New York Times reported.

‘He was pleased because it was people fighting on his behalf. He was pleased because he liked the scene. And he was pleased because it was delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote,’ the New York Times reported. ‘He knew what was happening… He just didn’t want to do anything.’

Although McCarthy told colleagues on a call Monday Trump had accepted ‘some responsibility’ for the riot, on Tuesday the president was back to his defiant posture familiar from impeachment and the Russia probe. 

Trump said a second impeachment Democrats are lining up is a ‘continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.’

House Democrat accuses Republican lawmakers of leading MAGA rioters on Capitol ‘reconnaissance’ before riot as Stop the Steal organizer revealed to have boasted of help from three GOP congressmen

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be 'a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

A Democratic representative revealed Tuesday she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.

Mikie Sherrill, who represents New Jersey’s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks. 

‘I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’

At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.

Sherrill's comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.

She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.

‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.

It is now known that Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.

Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol lawn Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’

All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.

In the video to Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

WHO IS ALI ALEXANDER?

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, is a far-right activist who who goes by Ali Alexander. He identifies as black and Arab, according to Politico. 

He helped organize ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, which oppose Joe Biden’s election win and is pushing to prove that President Donald Trump won reelection on November 3.

Ali also takes responsibility for organizing the January 6 rally that convened outside the Capitol before it was stormed by thousands of pro-Trump protesters. He said in a live-streamed video that GOP Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks assisted with the effort to disrupt the join session of Congress moving to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.  

‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs,’ Ali said in the now-deleted video.  

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ he continued.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Mugshot of Ali in January 2007 in a case where he pleaded guilty to  felony property theft

Ali also pleaded guilty a year later to a credit card abuse felony. This mugshot was taken August 2007

Ali Alexander pleaded guilty to two  separate felony charges in 2007 and 2008 in Forth Worth Texas

The activist runs with with Trump’s circle. In the summer of 2019 he gathered at the White House for the president’s ‘social media summit’ to bash platforms for their supposed anti-conservative and anti-Trump bias. 

This week, following reports of his involvement in the storming of the Capitol, Ali was banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and his accounts were removed. 

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali raised questions during the Democratic primary race over then-candidate Kamal Harris’s ‘black-ness’, sparking speculation he was waging a ‘birther’-like campaign against her. The now vice president-elect is half Indian and half Jamaican. 

‘Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,’ he wrote on Twitter in June 2019. ‘She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.’ Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted the post, asking if it was true, and helping it go viral.  

Ali resides in Forth Worth, Texas. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to felony property theft in the Lone Star state and the next year also pleaded guilty to to a credit card abuse felony – also in Texas. 

Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’

Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.

Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.

‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.

‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’

Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.

Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.

While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.

The six-hour riot resulted in hundreds of injuries and five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer and a female Trump supporter.

The House voted Tuesday evening on a non-binding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office now. The vote passed 223-205, with Sherrill voting in favor of it, even though Pence notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday that he would not comply with the measure.

With the 25th Amendment off the table, and no hope of Trump resigning before his last seven days are up, House Democrats are likely to move forward Wednesday on impeaching the president for the second time.

Sherrill said in her video that she intends to support the effort.

She also voiced the sharp divide, which is widening in Congress, claiming those who do not agree with Democratic ideals of democracy are ‘now on different sides of this line.’

Categories
Georgia Headline USA Politics

US Capitol riots: Congressmen accused of ‘abetting’ protesters

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

A Democratic representative revealed Tuesday she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.

Mikie Sherrill, who represents New Jersey’s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks. 

‘I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’

At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.

Sherrill's comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Alexandria Ocasi-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week ¿ she did not name who she thought would do so

Alexandria Ocasi-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week – she did not name who she thought would do so

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.

She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.

‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.

It is now known that Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.

Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol lawn Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’

All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.

In the video to Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

National Guard members get some shut eye on the floor of the Capitol as they cradled their weapons and huddled together

National Guard members get some shut eye on the floor of the Capitol as they cradled their weapons and huddled together

Troops were called in following the Capitol breach last week and by the end of the week there will be 10,000 National Guard members in Washington D.C. Some are shown spreading out inside the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning

Troops were called in following the Capitol breach last week and by the end of the week there will be 10,000 National Guard members in Washington D.C. Some are shown spreading out inside the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning

Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’

Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.

Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.

‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.

‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’

Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.

Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.

While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.

The six-hour riot resulted in hundreds of injuries and five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer and a female Trump supporter.

The House voted Tuesday evening on a non-binding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office now. The vote passed 223-205, with Sherrill voting in favor of it, even though Pence notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday that he would not comply with the measure.

With the 25th Amendment off the table, and no hope of Trump resigning before his last seven days are up, House Democrats are likely to move forward Wednesday on impeaching the president for the second time.

Sherrill said in her video that she intends to support the effort.

She also voiced the sharp divide, which is widening in Congress, claiming those who do not agree with Democratic ideals of democracy are ‘now on different sides of this line.’

Categories
Headlines UK

House passes resolution urging Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

The House passed a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment removing President Donald Trump from power despite Pence sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday saying he’ll refused.   

In a vote that wrapped up around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, the House voted 223-205 to approve the resolution, which can’t actually force the vice president’s hand.  

Then, on Wednesday, the House Democrats will try to impeach Trump for a second time over his role in last Wednesday’s Capitol Hill riot. At least five House Republicans are expected join.   

‘I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,’ Pence said in his letter to Pelosi, refusing to pull the trigger on the 25th. 

‘Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and 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,’ Pence added. 

Pence’s letter came as the House was holding procedural votes on the resolution.   

No Republicans joined on until the final vote – with Rep. Adam Kinzinger joining Democrats in the push to have Pence to use the 25th. Kinzinger also said he’ll vote for impeachment. 

The House voted 223 to 205 in favor of a resolution that urges Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office after he incited Wednesday’s Capitol Hill riot. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger voted alongside Democrats 

Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter Tuesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power with eight days left in the Trump-Pence administration

Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter Tuesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power with eight days left in the Trump-Pence administration 

Vice President Mike Pence released the letter he had sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the House was taking its first vote on the resolution that pressures him to invoke the 25th Amendment

Vice President Mike Pence released the letter he had sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the House was taking its first vote on the resolution that pressures him to invoke the 25th Amendment 

The House of Representatives was taking procedural votes on a resolution that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from power after he incited last Wednesday's Capitol Hill riot

The House of Representatives was taking procedural votes on a resolution that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from power after he incited last Wednesday’s Capitol Hill riot  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was informed by Vice President Mike Pence that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office as the House was taking its first vote Tuesday night on a resolution that urges him to do so

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was informed by Vice President Mike Pence that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office as the House was taking its first vote Tuesday night on a resolution that urges him to do so

Rep. Jamie Raskin (left), who penned the 25th Amendment resolution the House voted in favor of Tuesday night speaks with Rep Liz Cheney (right), who didn't vote in favor of the resolution but has said she supports the president's impeachment

Rep. Jamie Raskin (left), who penned the 25th Amendment resolution the House voted in favor of Tuesday night speaks with Rep Liz Cheney (right), who didn’t vote in favor of the resolution but has said she supports the president’s impeachment 

The House of Representatives voted late into the night Wednesday on a resolution that encourages Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from power

The House of Representatives voted late into the night Wednesday on a resolution that encourages Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from power 

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats' effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House's new fines for lawmakers who don't wear masks - and the metal detectors outside the House chamber

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats’ effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House’s new fines for lawmakers who don’t wear masks – and the metal detectors outside the House chamber 

The resolution blamed Trump for the violent MAGA mob that broke into Capitol Hill Wednesday, laying out how he ‘broadly encouraged’ his supporters to come to Washington on January 6, saying that the day would be ‘wild.’  

‘Donald Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, continuously, and spectacularly his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office, including most recently the duty to respect the legitimate results of the Presidential election, the duty to respect the peaceful transfer of democratic power under the Constitution, the duty to participate in legally defined transition activities, the duty to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States, including the counting of Electoral College votes by Congress, the duty to protect the people of the United States and their elected representatives against domestic insurrection, mob rule, and seditious violence, and generally the duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ the resolution says. 

Despite being targets in the violent incident, House Republicans lined up against passing the resolution.  

Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, called the resolution ‘an attempt to pressure the vice president into performing a duty he clearly does not believe is necessary at this time.’ 

As exasperated Rep. Pat Fallon, a new GOP lawmaker from Texas, said Trump held a ‘permitted, legal and peaceful rally,’ refusing to blame him for the group of Trump supporters who mobbed the Capitol. 

And Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who recently was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump, lambasted the effort – and also the new fines for not wearing masks in the House chamber and the metal detectors that were installed Tuesday outside the doors of the House floor.  

In his letter to Pelosi, Pence argued that the 25th Amendment was supposed to address ‘incapacity or disability.’ 

The vice president pointed to the Democrats own effort to create a 25th Amendment Commission, which said a president’s fitness must be determined by ‘science and facts’ and ‘[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.’   

Pence also pledged that the administration’s energy was dedicated to ‘ensuring an orderly transition.’  

The vice president repeated an argument being pushed by a number of Capitol Hill Republicans – that pursuing removal of Trump would only make things worse.

‘I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment,’ Pence said. ‘Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inauguration President-elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.’  

HOW TRUMP’S SECOND IMPEACHMENT WILL UNFOLD

The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump for his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.

While the previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week. After the rioting at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘we must take action,’ and Democrats – and some Republicans – share her view ahead of Wednesday’s vote. 

For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.

A look at what will happen as the House moves closer to impeaching Trump in his last week in office:

THE BASICS OF IMPEACHMENT: 

In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.

This time, with so few days to act – and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in – impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.

Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. That’s what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time. 

THE ARTICLES

Democrats will begin debate Wednesday on a single impeachment charge: ‘incitement of insurrection.’

‘President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,’ reads the four-page impeachment article, which was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

‘He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,’ it reads.

The article says the behavior is consistent with Trump’s prior efforts to ‘subvert and obstruct’ the results of the election and references his recent call with the Georgia secretary of state, in which he said he wanted him to find him more votes after losing the state to Biden.

Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election, and the baseless claims have been repeatedly echoed by congressional Republicans and the insurgents who descended on the Capitol. Just before the riots, Trump spoke to the supporters near the White House and encouraged them to ‘fight like hell.’

As the protesters broke in, both chambers were debating GOP challenges to the electoral vote count in Arizona as part of the process for certifying Biden’s election win. 

REPUBLICAN SUPPORT 

On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because ‘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 Trump ‘summoned’ the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, ‘assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.’

New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,’ Katko said. ‘I cannot sit by without taking action.’

Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

SENDING TO THE SENATE 

Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.

Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.

If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the ‘folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.’

SENATE POLITICS

It’s unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Yet some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has said he would take a look at what the House approves, but stopped short of committing to support it.

Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment ‘will do far more harm than good.’

Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

WHAT IMPEACHMENT WOULD MEAN

Democrats say they have to move forward, even if the Senate doesn’t convict.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Friday that some people might ask why they would try to impeach a president with only a few days left in office.

‘The answer: Precedent,’ he said. ‘It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.’     

In the hours after the riot, Pence did his Constitutional duty and certified President-elect Joe Biden, something he had been pressured by Trump not to do. 

‘You can either go down in history as a patriot,’ Trump had told Pence by phone before he headed to the Capitol Wednesday, according to The New York Times. ‘Or you can go down in history as a p****.’   

Pence was inside when the violent mobbed attacked, with some Trump supporters calling out, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’  

The Times reported that Trump had invited Pence to the Oval Office Monday night to try to smooth things over in the run-up to the House’s 25th Amendment vote. 

The official description of the meeting was ‘good,’ according to the newspaper. 

Unofficially sources called it ‘nonsubstantive’ and ‘stilted.’  

Tuesday night’s vote on the 25th Amendment is considered the appetizer for Wednesday’s main course: the House pursuing impeachment again. 

Nowhere in his letter did Pence say he objected to that move.   

Shortly after Pence sent out his letter, Pelosi sent out the names of impeachment managers. 

She picked Rep. Jamie Raskin, who introduced the 25th Amendment resolution, as the head manager. 

‘I think every member of this body should be able to agree that this president is not meeting the most minimal duties of office,’ Raskin argued Tuesday night. 

Raskin also warned his fellow lawmakers that Trump could pardon the Capitol Hill attackers during his waning days. 

Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, recently lost his son. 

Additionally, Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean were also chosen.  

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for the impeachment effort that includes an article charging the president with ‘incitement of insurrection.’

During Tuesday night's debate of the 25th Amendment resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced her impeachment managers, saying Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland would be leading the charge. Raskin tragically lost his son to suicide just days ago

During Tuesday night’s debate of the 25th Amendment resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced her impeachment managers, saying Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland would be leading the charge. Raskin tragically lost his son to suicide just days ago 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO WILL VOTE ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT

Rep. Liz Cheney – Wyoming

Rep. Adam Kinzinger – Illinois 

Rep. John Katko – New York 

Rep.  Fred Upton – Michigan 

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler  – Washington 

The view of the GOP powerbroker emerged shortly before Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House GOP leadership, announced that she would vote for impeaching President Trump.  

‘On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,’ wrote Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president.

‘Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. 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. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she continued.

‘I will vote to impeach the President,’ Cheney concluded.   

Neither Cheney nor McConnell backed Democrats impeachment effort a year ago.  

McConnell worked successfully to scuttle the impeachment effort during a trial last year on different charges. 

His current view follows reports that McConnell never wants to speak to Trump again after the Capitol riots that had Trump supporters invading the Capitol, trashing leadership offices, and endangering the lives of lawmakers.

McConnell backs the effort because it will make it easier to purge Trump from the party, the New York Times reports.

One feature of impeachment – which can grind the Senate to a halt and lead to furious partisan arguments – is that it allows lawmakers to vote to prohibit the person being impeached from ever holding public office with the U.S. government.

Trump may run for president in 2024, and many of his potential rivals happen to hold Senate seats.  

McConnell has made clear in private discussions that ‘now is the moment to move on the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for Republicans losing the Senate,’ according to the report.

Trump ignored McConnell’s advice and launched his election challenge despite two run-off elections in Georgia which the GOP lost – stripping the party of its majority. 

A source told CNN McConnell ‘hates’ Trump and is ‘furious’ with him after the Capitol riots. 

The siege left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was based on the Senate side.  

McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, quit the Trump cabinet after the riots, which included an angry mob getting blocked steps from the door to the Senate chamber that McConnell uses when he normally strolls from his leadership office. 

It was not immediately clear how McConnell might vote on impeachment. 

McConnell’s view emerged as Trump, rather than express contrition, called impeachment a ‘hoax’ and a ‘witch hunt,’ and defended his pre-riot comments that Democrats have already said was incitement. Trump called his speech minutes before the siege ‘totally appropriate.’         

Cheney’s statement denouncing the president comes after Trump told supporters they need to ‘get rid’ of people like her. 

‘We got to get rid of the weak Congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world. We got to get rid of them,’ Trump said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her, amid speculation numerous House Republicans might follow her lead. 

‘Good for her for honoring her oath of us. Would that more Republicans would honor their oaths of office,’ Pelosi said. 

GOP Rep. John Katko also announced he would back impeachment Tuesday night. 

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

During floor debate, Katko said he wasn’t supporting the 25th Amendment resolution because it was ‘non-binding,’ calling it ‘merely a symbolic gesture.’  

Katko confirmed his plans to vote for impeachment. 

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton also told Forbes he would vote to impeach. 

As midnight approached, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler also said she was a yes.   

Convicting Trump on an impeachment article requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 50 votes – a high bar to meet.  

Assuming passage in the House, it has not been determined when Democratic leaders will transmit the impeachment article, or when the Senate might take it up. 

A McConnell memo that emerged over the weekend cited scheduling challenges for impeachment – a trial might not even begin until after Jan. 19th, since the Senate is not in session. 

President-elect Joe Biden said Monday there was the possibility of dual-tracking an impeachment and Senate session that would be needed to get his cabinet confirmed.

Biden phoned McConnell on Monday, according to the Times on the subject of a trial, and McConnell said he would consult the Senate parliamentarian and get back. 

There are Senate rules and precedents governing impeachment, but leaders also might be able to negotiate a way to handle it, with the possibility of a special impeachment committee taking up some of the burden. 

Trump has continued his usual pattern of lashing out at political adversaries when under attack. 

‘Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden Administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,’ Trump said Tuesday, before lawmakers cast their votes Tuesday night.  

Post-riot accounts from last Wednesday reveal that not only did President Trump egg on supporters who wreaked havoc in the Capitol – but he was glued to the television as the events unfolded, incapable of responding to desperate pleas to use influence to stop it and enjoying seeing it unfold. 

There were two major areas where the president fell dramatically short of what was being asked of him: using his personal popularity with his followers to urge them to vacate the Capitol immediately; and using the vast powers of his office to try to speed a federal response. 

But when key current and former aides and family members tried to reach him, he was ‘busy enjoying the spectacle,’ according to a Washington Post account.

What Trump told supporters before they ransacked the Capitol in ‘totally appropriate’ speech

We’re going to have to fight much harder

‘Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder.’

 

We’re going to walk down to the Capitol 

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

 

‘Get tougher’ / You are allowed to go by very different rules  

‘The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight. They want to play so serious. “The United States, the Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the states.” Well, I would say yes, it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country, and you have to protect our Constitution, and you can’t vote on fraud, and fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening toWhen you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.’

 

Takes ‘more courage not to step up’ 

‘I also want to thank our 13 most courageous members of the U.S. Senate …  I actually think, though, it takes, again, more courage not to step up, and I think a lot of those people are going to find that out. And you better start looking at your leadership, because your leadership has led you down the tubes.’

 

Never concede 

‘We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough.’

 

On ‘fake news’ and ‘Big tech’

‘They rigged an election, they rigged it like they have never rigged an election before.’

‘All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by bold and radical left Democrats, which is what they are doing, and stolen by the fake news media. That is what they have done and what they are doing. We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.’

 

‘We will not take it anymore’

‘Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about.’ And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.’

Denied Biden’s vote count

‘He had 80 million computer votes. It’s a disgrace. There’s never been anything like that. You can take Third World countries, just take a look, take Third World countries, their elections are more honest than what we have been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. Even when you look at last night, they were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off with boxes, and nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen.’

[Note: Biden got more than 81 million votes; Trump rounded up his own total to 75 million.]

 

Call for military and law enforcement to join

‘And I would love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed, the military, the Secret Service and we want to thank you — and the police and law enforcement — great, you’re doing a great job. But I would love it if they could be allowed to come up with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them, please?’

 

Pressure on Mike Pence: Says it takes ‘courage’ to do nothing

‘I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election … All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people.’

‘And I actually, I just spoke to Mike. I said, Mike, that doesn’t take courage, what takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage, and then we are stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years. We’re just not going to let that happen.’

 

Won’t stand for Biden win

‘We want to go back, and we want to get this right, because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there, and our country will be destroyed. And we’re not going to stand for that.’

 

‘You’re not the people that tore down our nation’

‘If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country.

But just remember this, you’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and

they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.’

 

March peacefully … we will see whether Republicans stand strong

‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for the integrity of our elections. But whether or not they stand strong for our country — our country, our country has been under siege for a long time. Far longer than this four-year period’

 

‘Ashamed … throughout eternity’ 

‘Today, we see a very important event, though, because right over there, right there, we see the event that’s going to take place, and I’m going to be watching because history is going to be made. We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity. They’ll be ashamed. And you know what? If they do the wrong thing, we should never, ever forget that they did. Never forget.’

 

Calls Republicans who voted not to count certified votes ‘warriors’

‘I want to thank the more than 140 members of the House. Those are warriors.15

They’re over there working like you’ve never seen before, studying, talking, actually going all the way back studying the roots of the Constitution because they know we have the right to send a bad vote that was illegally gotten.’

 

Biden will be ‘illegitimate’

‘But think of this: If you don’t do that, that means you will have a president of the United States for four years with his wonderful son, you will have a president who lost all of these states, or you will have a president, to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these states. You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen.’

 

Call to ‘do something’ about radical left

‘The radical left knows exactly what they were doing. They are ruthless, and it’s time that somebody did something about it.

And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. (APPLAUSE) And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.’

 

Election was ‘stolen’

‘Make no mistake, this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country, and not a single swing state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots.

This should absolutely occur in every single contested state before the election is certified.’

 

Alleges ‘criminal enterprise’

‘So, when you hear — when you hear, “While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing,” this is the most fraudulent thing anybody’s — this is a criminal enterprise. This is a criminal enterprise.’

 

Fight like hell
 

‘And again, most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life.

But I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened, and we fight. We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’

 

President Donald Trump called his pre-riot remarks 'totally appropriate'

President Donald Trump called his pre-riot remarks ‘totally appropriate’

As the historic mob invasion of the U.S. seat of legislative government unfolded, a variety of people with influence over Trump sought to get to him to urge action.

The routes they took were typical of the loosely organized web of influence within the Trump White House. 

Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham – who only after the riot firmly declared Joe Biden the winner of the election – reached out to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. 

‘It took him a while to appreciate the gravity of the situation,’ Graham told the Post. ‘The president saw these people as his allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen,’ Graham said of the rioters who took the Capitol. 

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who Trump believes is so much under his wing that he has publicly called him ‘My Kevin,’ was pleading for action. 

Trump had told supporters to 'fight' and encouraged them to march to the Capitol

Trump had told supporters to ‘fight’ and encouraged them to march to the Capitol

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

Senator Lindsey Graham reached out to Ivanka Trump during the chaos

Senator Lindsey Graham reached out to Ivanka Trump during the chaos

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pleaded with Trump during the riot

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pleaded with Trump during the riot

Chief of staff Mark Meadows urged Trump to speak out after an aide told him 'They are going to kill people' in reference to the rioters

Chief of staff Mark Meadows urged Trump to speak out after an aide told him ‘They are going to kill people’ in reference to the rioters

McCarthy phoned Trump directly to try to plead for assistance – but also called the president’s son in law, Jared Kushner, who was returning form a trip to the Middle East.

Former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who doesn’t even work for Trump anymore, tried to get through to him to urge action. 

She phoned an aide she knew was in close proximity to Trump. 

The office of the Mayor of Washington, desperate to get more National Guard forces amid logistical and jurisdictional hurdles, also reached out to Conway.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows urged Trump to speak out after an aide told him: ‘They are going to kill people,’ in reference to the rioters. 

A primary area of the pleas related to something Trump was capable of doing on his own without engaging with the bureaucracy: issuing simple Twitter or video pleas for protesters to get out of the Capitol.

The appeals he finally made either lacked a direct call to fall back, or sprinkled in approving language even as the riot that would become deadly unfolded.

At 2:30 pm, about half an hour after the Capitol breach, Trump told his supporters to ‘Please support our Capitol Police’ and to ‘Stay peaceful!’ 

His next message was more explicit, writing ‘No violence!’ – but claimed ‘WE are the Party of Law & Order.’

After he finally put out a video at about 4 pm, Trump finally told his backers to ‘go home.’ But he also called them ‘very special,’ called the election ‘fraudulent,’ and said: ‘You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.’

Trump himself had egged on his supporters with demands that they ‘fight,’ calling the election fraudulent, and putting pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, whose only role was ceremonial and involved opening and reading from envelopes containing electoral votes.

Trump was glued to the television as the storming of the Capitol was broadcast. 

Prior reporting has revealed that the Washington D.C. government had requested a National Guard presence, but Guard were assigned to traffic and other assistance and weren’t issued ammo or riot gear. 

The now resigned chief of Capitol Police says he wanted more Guard support in advance of Wednesday but had been told by superiors to ask for it informally. The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, says there were delays getting approval to send Guard forces from the Pentagon.

But it wasn’t mere distraction that kept Trump from springing into action. It’s not atht he was too busy because he was so consumed, which he was,’ the New York Times reported.

‘He was pleased because it was people fighting on his behalf. He was pleased because he liked the scene. And he was pleased because it was delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote,’ the New York Times reported. ‘He knew what was happening… He just didn’t want to do anything.’

Although McCarthy told colleagues on a call Monday Trump had accepted ‘some responsibility’ for the riot, on Tuesday the president was back to his defiant posture familiar from impeachment and the Russia probe. 

Trump said a second impeachment Democrats are lining up is a ‘continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.’

Categories
Headline USA Politics

Sheldon Adelson, Casino Tycoon Who Financed Republicans, Dies | The State

Republican politicians lost one of their biggest donors on Monday.

Sheldon Adelson, a casino mogul and one of the country’s most influential Republican donors, has died at age 87 of complications related to cancer, his company reported Tuesday Las Vegas Sands.

Adelson, the son of a taxi driver, built a global gambling empire with casinos in Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas.

“His impact on the industry will last forever (…) He transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company that founded and reimagined tourism,” the company, with more than 50,000 employees, said in a statement.

Adelson was considered one of the richest men in the world with an estimated fortune of $ 40 billion.

He was one of the first major American donors to support the 2016 candidacy of Donald Trump, of whom he was a close friend, and his influence in the Conservative movement spanned years.

The White House issued a statement on Tuesday in which Trump and his wife, Melania, conveyed their condolences to Adelson’s wife and family.

“Sheldon was a strong supporter of our great ally, andl State of Israel. He relentlessly advocated for moving the US embassy to Israel, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights and the search for peace between Israel and its neighbors. Sheldon gave himself to his family, his country, and everyone who knew him. The world has lost a great man. We will miss him, ”the statement said.

One of his main causes was the defense of Israel, and he was among the main guests in 2018 at the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, promoted by Trump.

The Venetian, the emblem of his empire

The casino The Venetian, in Las Vegas, will remain as one of the great exponents of Adelson’s concept of combining gambling and tourism: a congress, hotel and gambling center on the Las Vegas Strip adorned in the Venetian style, full of restaurants along canals and papier-mâché monuments.

Adelson, born in Boston in 1933 and who started out selling newspapers, was the owner of Las Vegas Review-Journal, the only major newspaper that endorsed Trump’s candidacy in 2016.

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Categories
Headline USA Politics

Big Businesses Will Suspend Donations To Republicans Opposed To Confirm Biden | The State

Three large US companies, including the well-known Marriott hotel chain, are suspending their donations to Republican lawmakers who this week tried to stop Joe Biden’s confirmation as the next president.

The three communicated their decision to the digital newsletter Public Information, which contacted 144 companies who have donated to one of the eight senators who opposed the appointment of Biden for alleged electoral fraud on the same day as those complaints, repeated without evidence by Donald Trump, led supporters of the outgoing president to storm the Capitol.

Marriott, medical insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Commerce Bancshares banking group They assured that they will suspend their donations to those politicians, according to an information published this Sunday by Public Information.

A Marriott spokesman told the outlet that the decision takes into account “the destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election.”

The action of Blue Cross Blue Shield

Meanwhile, the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kim Keck, said that her company will suspend any financial support to the 147 Republican legislators who voted to “subvert the results of the November elections by objecting to the results of the Electoral College.” .

Other large companies such as Bank of America, Ford or AT&T told Popular Information that they will take recent events into account when deciding on future donations, while some like CVS, Exxon Mobil and Target They said they were re-evaluating their policies.

Most of the companies consulted, however, preferred not to comment, with 127 of the 144 not answering the questions in the political bulletin, including some such as Comcast / NBCUniversal who donated tens of thousands of dollars in 2020 to lawmakers who objected to the election results.

Chase gets off too

For its part, JPMorgan Chase -the largest bank in the country- has chosen to stop for six months all its political contributions, both Republicans and Democrats, after what happened in recent days and due to the ongoing economic and health crisis, as reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

“The attention of business, political and social leaders should be right now to govern and help those who desperately need it,” he said in an interview with the Peter Scher diary, the head of corporate responsibility of the entity.

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Categories
Chicago Headline USA New York Politics

Stay-at-home dad, 36, with history of drugs is arrested for stealing Nancy Pelosi’s lectern

Adam Johnson, 36, was arrested by federal marshals in Florida on Friday and is currently being held at the Pinellas County Jail, according to arrest records. The Parrish, Florida, resident’s charges are pending

The stay-at-home dad who looted and smiled for a photo as he made off with a lectern has been arrested in Florida, a day before the QAnon Shaman was also detained for his role in Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol.

Adam Johnson, 36, was arrested by federal marshals in Florida on Friday and is currently being held at the Pinellas County Jail, according to arrest records. 

The Parrish, Florida, resident was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or ground without lawful authority, one count of theft of government property and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the 33-year-old heavily-tattooed Trump supporter who sported horns, a fur hat and face paint as he occupied the Senate dais, was also arrested on Saturday. 

He was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

According to court documents, Chansley called the FBI field office in Washington and confirmed to an agent that ‘he was the male in the face paint and headdress in the Vice President’s chair in the Senate.’  

Chansley told the agent that he and other ‘patriots’ had come from Arizona at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on Jan 6, the documents state.

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the heavily-tattooed Trump supporter who sported horns, a fur hat and face paint as he occupied the Senate dais, was also arrested on Saturday

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the heavily-tattooed Trump supporter who sported horns, a fur hat and face paint as he occupied the Senate dais, was also arrested on Saturday

Angeli often known as the QAnon Shaman, became a fixture at recent right-wing rallies while decked out in his signature attire. 

Angeli has previously admitted his belief in QAnon started after reading conspiracy theories on the internet

 Angeli has previously admitted his belief in QAnon started after reading conspiracy theories on the internet

One of his tattoos is said to show the symbol of Wotanism, an acronym for ‘Will of the Aryan Nation.’  

Johnson, a psychology graduate turned furniture maker from Bradenton, Florida, was seen parading through the Capitol on Wednesday with Pelosi’s lectern.

Johnson is a stay-at-home dad to five children; his wife is a doctor, according to The Bradenton Herald. He has previously faced possession of marijuana and violation of probation charges, the paper reports. 

Photos on his now-deleted social media accounts show him posing next to a sign reading ‘closed to all tours’ inside the building. 

Johnson, who was pictured inside the Capitol making off with a lectern, appears to have removed his social media platforms in the aftermath of the siege. 

Court documents reveal that the FBI consulted with members of the Speaker’s staff to determine that the lectern was store in the Speaker’s Suite, located under a staircase to the third floor on the House side of the building. 

The lectern was found on January 7 by a member of the Senate staff in the Red corridor of the Senate wing off the Rotunda in the Capitol building. It is worth more than $1,000, according to the House of Representatives’ curator.  

Johnson, who was pictured inside the Capitol making off with a lectern, appears to have removed his social media platforms in the aftermath of the siege

Johnson, who was pictured inside the Capitol making off with a lectern, appears to have removed his social media platforms in the aftermath of the siege

Photos on his now-deleted social media accounts show him posing next to a sign reading 'closed to all tours' inside the building

Photos on his now-deleted social media accounts show him posing next to a sign reading ‘closed to all tours’ inside the building

In addition to the 2, a newly sworn-in West Virginia delegate, the CEO of a Chicago data analytics company and a man sentenced to eight years for attempted murder are among 16 people federally charged so far following Wednesday’s riots at the Capitol. 

The Justice Department named in a conference call on Friday 13 people charged in the unrest, and Republican West Virginia State House member Derrick Evans, 35, was later charged. 

Evans was was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds. Evans was taken into custody Friday. 

They also include a handyman whose daughter claimed had been ‘radicalized’ and a white supremacist who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s office to sit at her desk. 

Richard Barnett, 60, was pictured putting his feet up on her desk.   

Pictures from his social media show him arriving in D.C.

Pictures from his social media show him arriving in D.C. 

Johnson shared images of himself sporting MAGA hats and sinking beers as he wrote that he had 'made it to DC' Tuesday - the day before the siege

Johnson shared images of himself sporting MAGA hats and sinking beers as he wrote that he had ‘made it to DC’ Tuesday – the day before the siege 

Barnett, who proudly referred to himself as a white nationalist on social media, was charged with unlawful entry. He was taken into custody at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s unclear where he now is or if he’ll be extradited but he is in custody.  

Among them was also Michael Curzio, of Summerfield, Florida, who spent eight years in prison for attempted murder.

Curzio was released in February 2019.  

Of the 13 – 11 men, two women – ten are charged with entering a restricted public building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.  

The 13 included a Chicago CEO, Brad Rukstales, who issued a groveling apology for his ‘extremely poor judgement’ in joining in the chaos.

He said it was the ‘single worst decision of my life’. 

Brad Rukstales, a CEO, has been federally charged for storming the Capitol on Wednesday

Brad Rukstales, a CEO, has been federally charged for storming the Capitol on Wednesday

Rukstales heads up Chicago-based data analytics firm Cogensia

Rukstales heads up Chicago-based data analytics firm Cogensia

Douglas Sweet from Hudgins, Virginia, was held in jail for eight hours and then released.   

He told WKTR he traveled to Washington because ‘Trump asked all the patriots to show up, so I did.’

He said: ‘I didn’t go with any malice or intention of malice of those that committed those the fights – the tear gas and just, you know, throwing stuff at police. 

‘That wasn’t in my game plan at all.’

Asked if he has any regret, being involved in a riot where four people died, Sweet said: ‘From our actions, come reaction.’  

Sweet had also attended the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, his daughter, Robyn Sweet, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday.

Robyn said that her father had disowned her because she fought against racism and bigotry while he had been ‘radicalized by conspiracy underground websites and groups.’ 

‘I am completely ashamed and disgusted of him,’ Robyn said of her father’s actions at the Capitol.

Those charged also include Cleveland Meredith, charged with making threats against Nancy Pelosi; Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama, charged with firearms and explosives offenses and Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, who is charged with carrying a firearm at the Capitol. 

Evans, the politician, broadcast his participation in a Facebook Live video he took of himself as he entered the Capitol building during the riots, shouting: ‘We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!’

Douglas Sweet, asked if he regretted being there, replied: 'From our actions, come reaction'

Douglas Sweet, asked if he regretted being there, replied: ‘From our actions, come reaction’

West Virginia delegate Derrick Evans is facing federal charges for his role in the riots

West Virginia delegate Derrick Evans is facing federal charges for his role in the riots

West Virginia delegate Derrick Evans is pictured being arrested at his home in West Virginia Friday. He's facing two federal charges in connection with Wednesday's Capitol riot

West Virginia delegate Derrick Evans is pictured being arrested at his home in West Virginia Friday. He’s facing two federal charges in connection with Wednesday’s Capitol riot

A woman claiming to be Evans' grandmother 'thanked' Trump for inciting the riot

A woman claiming to be Evans’ grandmother ‘thanked’ Trump for inciting the riot

West Virginia Republican state Del. Derrick Evans exits the Sidney L. Christie U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building after being arraigned, Friday

West Virginia Republican state Del. Derrick Evans exits the Sidney L. Christie U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building after being arraigned, Friday

The affidavit, obtained by the news station, notes that during the live video, Evans can also be heard chanting to people in the doorway and the front of the of the crowd of rioters saying, ‘Move! Move! Move!’

FBI agents were spotted arriving at Evans home in Prichard, West Virginia, Friday afternoon and taking him into custody. 

As Evans, wearing a Tolsia Rebels high school sweat suit, was escorted to a car and driven away by authorities, a woman emerged from the house and told WSAZ that she was his grandmother. 

She said that ‘He’s a fine man,’ referring to Evans. 

‘And thank you, Mr. Trump, for invoking a riot at the White House,’ she added. 

Evans was taken to a federal courthouse in Huntington, West Virginia, for a hearing Friday and released on a personal recognizance bond. Evans is charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, WV Metro News reported.

West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans filmed himself entering the Capitol building

Evans

West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans filmed himself entering the Capitol building (left). Evans is also pictured at right

The federal affidavit against Evans noted that prior to Wednesday’s riots, Evans had a meme stating: ‘A storm is coming, and there is nothing the left can do to stop it!’ on his Facebook page on New Year’s Eve. 

On December 30, 2020, Evans was also said to have posted a meme with a picture of President Trump and the statement: ‘Take America back. Be there. Be Wild. D.C., January 6th 2021.’

Richard Barnett, 60, has been charged with unlawful entry

Richard Barnett, 60, has been charged with unlawful entry

In the video, the affidavit noted, Evans could be heard telling other rioters not to vandalize anything, WSAZ reported.  

On Wednesday, after the riot, Evans posted a statement on his Facebook page which read: ‘I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement, nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred.’

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has said that Evans should resign from his delegate position. 

Evans’ lawyer has said that Evans will not do that in a statement on Thursday.  

The charge of entering a restricted government building is a misdemeanor offense, which could lead to fines. The penalty could increase, however, ‘the offense results in significant bodily harm,’ according to WV Metro News. 

The second charge against Evans is also a misdemeanor and could result in six months of jail time if he’s convicted.   

The DoJ announced on a call with reporters on Friday afternoon that 13 people had been charged including Barnett, who had also left a threatening note on Pelosi’s desk Wednesday.   

Coffman has also been arrested after police found his red GMC pick-up truck near the RNC – where a pipe bomb was left. He has not been charged over the pipe bomb but cops found two handguns, 11 Molotov cocktails and an M4 carbine assault rifle in his vehicle. 

He has been charged with possession an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. 

Officials on Friday called what he had produced ‘homemade napalm’ and said the Molotov cocktails  

The MAGA rioter who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi 's desk was arrested along with a man who brought 11 Molotov cocktails, two handguns and an assault rifle to the Capitol on Wednesday

The MAGA rioter who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi ‘s desk was arrested along with a man who brought 11 Molotov cocktails, two handguns and an assault rifle to the Capitol on Wednesday

More than 80 people have been arrested in total and 55 are being pursued on federal charges, officials said on the call. 

THE RIOTERS AND THEIR FEDERAL CHARGES

Adam Johnson  –  entering a restricted building, violent entry, and one count of theft

Jacob Anthony Chansley – entering a restring building, violent entry

Cleveland Meredith – making interstate threats to Nancy Pelosi

Richard Barnett – breaking into Pelosi’s office

Lonnie Coffman – possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying without a license. He had 11 Molotov cocktails in his truck.

Mark Leffingwell – entering a restricted building, punching a cop

Christopher Alberts – carrying a 9mm gun

Joshua Pruitt – entering a restricted building

Matthew Council – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Cindy Fitchett – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, violent entry

Michael Curzio – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Douglas Sweet – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Bradley Ruskelas – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Terry Brown – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Thomas Gallagher – entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct

Derrick Evans – entering a restricted public building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds

Dozens more remain free and the FBI is scrambling to catch them with public appeals for help and rewards for information after Wednesday’s disastrous attempts by law enforcement to control the crowd. 

Their failure to arrest the rioters – many of whom had guns and overpowered them – has outraged millions of Americans who compared the soft touch to the harsh crackdown by police on BLM protesters during the summer. 

The cops found Coffman’s vehicle and searched it after securing a perimeter in the area surrounding the DNC and RNC, where two pipe bombs had been left. 

The bomb squad had been called in to help with that. 

It was during a sweep of the area that they found Coffman’s van. 

‘One black handgun was recovered from the right front passenger seat of the vehicle. 

‘After locating the black handgun, officers proceeded to search the rest of the pickup truck, including the bed of the truck, which was secured under a fabric top. 

‘During the search of the cab of the truck, officers recovered, among other things, one M4 Carbine assault rifle along with rifle magazines loaded with ammunition,’ the affidavit supporting his arrest says. 

Coffman was arrested after approaching cops in a female friend’s car, asking if he could access his vehicle again. 

He asked them: ‘Did find the bombs?’ which the cops thought was a reference to the materials in his car but he says was in reference to those left outside the DNC and RNC.  

The cop who Leffingwell is accused of punching signed his arrest affidavit. 

In it, he describes how he attacked him in the Capitol building. 

‘In the course of this effort and while inside the Capitol building, I encountered an adult male who later identified himself to me as Mark Jefferson Leffingwell. 

‘Leffingwell attempted to push past me and other officers. 

‘When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. 

‘I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest. 

‘Working with other officers, I was able to gain control over Leffingwell, who attempted to struggle while being detained. 

‘I transported Leffingwell to United States Capitol Police headquarters for processing,’ the cop, Daniel Amendola, wrote. 

Another cop described seeing a ‘bulge’ in Christopher Alberts’ pocket which he recognized to be a handgun at 7.25pm, more than an hour after the curfew had been put in place.

‘While pushing Alberts towards the line, I tapped the bulge with my baton and felt a hard object that I immediately recognized to be a firearm. At the time, Alberts was also wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying a backpack,’ officer Dallan Haynes wrote. 

The DoJ announced on a call with reporters on Friday afternoon that 13 people had been charged including Richard Barnett, 60

Police have also arrested 70-year-old Lonnie Coffman man whose car was found near the RNC, where a pipe bomb was left . It's unclear if this Coffman. The FBI released this image on Thursday in pursuit of the pipe bomber. Coffman had 11 Molotov cocktails, an assault rifle and two handguns with him

The DoJ announced on a call with reporters on Friday afternoon that 13 people had been charged including Richard Barnett, 60

Pruitt was among a group of people who refused to leave the Capitol after the 6pm curfew. Council was among the group that pushed a barricade down to get into the building.  

Cindy Fitchett, Terry Brown, and Thomas Gallagher are also charged in the same complaint for refusing to leave. 

No one has been arrested yet in connection with the death of Capitol cop Brian Sicknick, 42, who died in the hospital after being hit, allegedly in the head, with a fire extinguisher.  

‘This is an ongoing investigation we’re working this with our partners to ascertain what happened in that situation. 

‘We are 100 percent on it and are getting to those answers,’ FBI Washington Field Office ADIC Steven D’antuono said. 

Metro North employee Will Pepe, 31, was recognized by both colleagues and management from a photo distributed by law enforcement. He has since been suspended from the MTA

Metro North employee Will Pepe, 31, was recognized by both colleagues and management from a photo distributed by law enforcement. He has since been suspended from the MTA

Sicknick was himself a Trump fan who posted on social media about his support of the President. 

A transportation worker from New York who called out sick in order to take part in the mob has been suspended from his job with MTA Metro-North. 

Will Pepe who worked at Metro-North’s Brewster rail yard in upstate New York is now being investigated by the FBI who are looking into what role he played during the rally. 

Pepe, 31, from Beacon, New York, had been with the MTA for seven years earning $74,000-a-year but decided to call out sick to head to the event which in itself is a ‘false use of sick leave’.

He has now been suspended as the agency looks to fire him in the coming days. 

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Lindsey Graham begs Joe Biden to order Nancy Pelosi not to impeach Donald Trump again

Lindsey Graham has begged Joe Biden to call off a second impeachment, insisting that Donald Trump should be given credit for having made a ‘helpful’ statement, and pleading with Biden that impeachment ‘will destroy the country even further.’ 

The South Carolina senator appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Friday night, hours after the articles of impeachment were unveiled.

House Democrats are planning to impeach Trump with a single impeachment article charging him with ‘incitement of insurrection’. 

The move is on a hyper-fast track after Wednesday’s Capitol riot – with the article set to be introduced Monday.  

A draft of the article prepared by Reps. David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, and Jamie Raskin states that, ‘Incited by Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol,’ injured law enforcement, menaced lawmakers and the vice president, and interfered with the count of the Electoral College.  

But Graham, looking shaken, urged Biden to call his colleagues and tell them not to proceed. 

Lindsey Graham on Friday night appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, after a day spent with Donald Trump

Graham pleaded with Joe Biden to call Nancy Pelosi, and ask her to end plans to impeach the president for a second time

Graham pleaded with Joe Biden to call Nancy Pelosi, and ask her to end plans to impeach the president for a second time

‘I wanted President Trump to win so badly,’ Graham admitted.

‘Now, tonight, I am calling on President-elect Biden to pick up the phone and call Nancy Pelosi and the squad to end the second impeachment.

‘President Trump gave a statement last night that was helpful. It hit the mark. He wants to move on to a peaceful transfer of power. He wants this to end.’

Graham, a regular golfing partner of the president’s, said he had spent the day with the increasingly-isolated Trump, who since Wednesday has had two Cabinet members and a series of officials resign in disgust at his incitement of the rioters.

On Friday evening had his Twitter page deleted permanently, which will likely add to his fury. 

‘I’ve been with him most of the day; he’s going to focus on his agenda and his successes for the American people, in the next few days,’ said Graham, attempting to hold out an olive branch on behalf of Trump.

‘Joe Biden said it’s up to Congress regarding impeachment. 

‘No, President-elect Biden, it’s up to you. 

‘Pick up the phone and call Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the squad and tell them: stand down; this will destroy the country even further.

‘You have the power to do that. The question is, do you have the courage to do it.’ 

Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, is pressing ahead with plans to file articles of impeachment on Monday if Trump does not resign

Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, is pressing ahead with plans to file articles of impeachment on Monday if Trump does not resign

Biden seems unlikely to be inclined to do Trump any favors, but has not responded to Graham’s plea. 

The impeachment document cites Trump’s false claims that ‘We won this election’ and ‘We won it by a landslide, and cites his effort to ‘subvert and obstruct the certification of the results.’

With the Capitol still cleaning up broken windows, smashed historic doors, and mourning a deceased Capitol Police officer, the article states that he ‘gravely endangered the security of the United States.’

Trump ‘betrayed his trust as president,’ it reads, calling his conduct ‘grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.’ 

It calls for him not just to be removed but to be banned from public office – which would prevent a 2024 presidential run, and potentially make the idea more attractive to Republicans than simple conviction.

But the White House said that a ‘politically motivated impeachment against a president with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.’

House Democrats hashed out the plan for hours on a conference call. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi provided a Friday afternoon update on plans – with several options in the mix.

‘It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign,’ Pelosi said. ‘But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment. Accordingly, the House will preserve every option – including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.’

She was referencing separate legislation by Raskin to establish a commission as outlined in the 25th Amendment, which allows for such a commission to determine whether a president is fit for office. But it would have to clear the Senate and require the president’s approval to become law. 

Her comment about a privileged resolution suggests the move could happen rapidly, setting off a chain of events that are still difficult to predict. 

If the House passes and impeachment article, Pelosi could quickly transmit it to the Senate – although she stalled late last year. The terms of a Senate impeachment trial are governed by the standing rules of the Senate, so Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have major say in how quickly the effort might proceed and under what terms. 

What was unknown Friday afternoon was the extent of Senate Republican support.

The last impeachment featured public committee hearings and a long investigatory process, but Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler said he supports bringing articles ‘directly to the House floor.’

Voting them forward would make him the first president to be impeached twice. No president has even been convicted. 

The articles were published just after Pelosi demanded that Trump resign his office ‘immediately’ or face impeachment.

And it came on a day that: 

  • Trump said he would snub Joe Biden’s inauguration, in yet another rejection of tradition and norms; 
  • Biden responded saying it was ‘one of the few things we’ve ever agreed on’ but said impeachment and removal were up to Congress, not him; 
  • Pelosi revealed she has asked General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, how he is stopping a ‘deranged president’ from using the nuclear codes or launching military action – but did not say how he responded; 
  • The prospect of the 25th Amendment being deployed appeared to fade. Pence was reported to be ‘reluctant’ to use it, if only because of the legal chaos which would ensue over whether the cabinet has enough members to vote to invoke it – partly because Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary and Betsy DeVos, the education secretary have resigned in disgust and partly because Trump had filled the cabinet with acting secretaries whose legal authority to invoke it is unclear;
  • Republican senator Ben Sasse said he was willing to impeach and remove Trump, making him the first of the GOP caucus who had voted against convicting the president last year to change position – but so far no others have followed; 
  • After his cabinet was rocked by resignations, one of his closest aides Hope Hicks announced she would resign next week – although she claimed it was her plan all along – and White House counsel Pat Cipollone was reported to be on the brink too; 
  • Washington D.C.’s district attorney Karl Racine hinted that he is investigating Trump, Don Jr, and Rudy Giuliani over inciting the riot at the wild rally held just outside the White House where the president demanded ‘strength’ and said he would lead a march on the Capitol and Giuliani demanded ‘trial by combat’;
  • The FBI launched a murder hunt to find the MAGA rioters who killed Officer Brian Sicknick during the storming of the Capitol, apparently hitting him over the head with a fire extinguisher;
  • Cops across the country began rounding up suspected rioters after putting out wanted pictures, with those arrested including the self-proclaimed white supremacist who was pictured with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk.
A draft impeachment article charges Donald Trump with 'incitement of insurrection'

A draft impeachment article charges Donald Trump with ‘incitement of insurrection’

Scene of the crimes: Nancy Pelosi inspects the Rotunda of the Capitol with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes. A massive clean-up effort in the wake of the MAGA riots has been under way

Scene of the crimes: Nancy Pelosi inspects the Rotunda of the Capitol with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes. A massive clean-up effort in the wake of the MAGA riots has been under way 

Room where it happened: MAGA rioters rampaged through the Rotunda and one of the four who died was apparently trod on there. She had been carrying a 'don't tread on me' flag

Room where it happened: MAGA rioters rampaged through the Rotunda and one of the four who died was apparently trod on there. She had been carrying a ‘don’t tread on me’ flag

High-profile interview: Nancy Pelosi will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday

High-profile interview: Nancy Pelosi will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday 

Seeking answers: Nancy Pelosi is facing questions on the details of how she impeaches Donald Trump for a second time

Seeking answers: Nancy Pelosi is facing questions on the details of how she impeaches Donald Trump for a second time

She issued the demand as her separate push to have Vice President Mike Pence seek to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip away power from Trump appears to be collapsing. 

Pelosi made the demand in a letter to colleagues released just minutes before House Democrats joined on a conference call discuss whether to go ahead with a second impeachment of Trump, after the death toll in the Capitol riot rose to give, including a Capitol Police officer. 

‘If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,’ she said, referencing the impeachment power without naming it.

She issued the call after members of her leadership team said an impeachment effort would move forward within days.

‘As you know, there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the President for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses,’ she told lawmakers.

‘Yesterday, Leader [Charles] Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people,’ she said. 

Schumer said Thursday the joint call resulted in them waiting for 25 minutes and Pence being unwilling to come to the phone.

Pelosi pointed to the key role senior Republicans played in getting Richard Nixon to resign. 

‘Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue President, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go. Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately,’ she wrote.

House Democrats held a conference call Friday to discuss a plan to rush through articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the final 13 days of his presidency – with leaders saying the votes are likely there for it.

Pelosi blasted Trump on the call.  ‘The President chose to be an insurrectionist,’ a source told The Hill. ‘Impeachment encourages conversation on the 25th Amendment. That’s picked up a lot of steam,’ she said.  

Leaders of both chambers, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Charles Schumer – said they would support impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence fails to act with the Trump cabinet under the 25th amendment to strip him of authority following the Capitol riot on Wednesday.

Pence appears not to be interested in that route – rebuffing a call from the two leaders Thursday morning. Yesterday, two Trump cabinet members who would vote in a 25th Amendment scenario, Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, announced their resignations – taking them out of the mix of cabinet members who could vote to strip away power. 

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has said if Mike Pence and the cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment the House will likely go forward with impeachment. She says Trump cited 'sedition' against the U.S. 'If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,' she said

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has said if Mike Pence and the cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment the House will likely go forward with impeachment. She says Trump cited ‘sedition’ against the U.S. ‘If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,’ she said

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), the assistant speaker, said the House 'will move forward with impeachment' if Mike Pence fails to act under the 25th Amendment

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), the assistant speaker, said the House ‘will move forward with impeachment’ if Mike Pence fails to act under the 25th Amendment

Assistant House Speaker Rep. Katherine Clarke (D-Mass.) said a floor vote could come next week.

‘Donald Trump needs to be removed from office. And we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that that happens to protect our democracy,’ she said. 

‘If the reports are correct, and Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that,’ she told CNN.

Top Democrats say they must act to prevent Trump from doing anything dangerous in his final days in office – but the move is fraught with political implications during an unstable period.  

Trump tweeted Friday morning that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration, hours after finally releasing a video where he called for a ‘seamless’ transition despite curing up a volatile post-election period.

Even getting impeachment articles through the House in an expedited fashion should be a manageable lift for Democratic leaders.

The role of the Senate, where a trial would be held, is less certain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke with Trump over his demands that Congress throw out electors in states he lost, and his wife, Chao, quit the cabinet on Thursday.

But during Trump’s impeachment trial in January just one GOP senator, Utah’s Mitt Romney, voted for an impeachment article to remove Trump from office. 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he would ‘consider’ impeachment articles against Trump. 

‘The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,’ he told CBS, after public comments denouncing aspects of Trump’s conduct and voting to count certified electors for Biden.  

He said an ‘insurrectionist mob’ tried to ‘disrupt the people’s house’ after Trump ‘told them to go to the Capitol and go wild.’ He said Trump was ‘flagrantly disregarding his oath of office’ – but said it was open what was the ‘best thing’ for the country. He said what Trump did was ‘wicked’ – but still stopped short of saying going ahead with impeachment was the right call.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said party members believe Trump needs to be ‘held accountable.’ 

‘I think we’re probably getting ready to go down that path next week,’ she said of impeachment.  But she told CNN there is a risk of causing further division.

‘How do you hold somebody accountable for the damage that they have done to our democracy? That is a real question. And how do you manage this without causing further division to this country?’ she asked. 

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska discusses a possible second impeachment of President Donald Trump

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska discusses a possible second impeachment of President Donald Trump

It is unclear how many House Republicans might go along with an effort following the riot in the Capitol. Scores of House Republicans voted to reject electors for Joe Biden from states that had certified the results, backing Trump’s false claims of massive fraud. 

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy blasted the idea as divisive, following a report he engaged in a screaming phone call with Trump as Trump supporters besieged the Capitol, with the lawmaker pleading with Trump to tell them to stop.

McCarthy and a majority of his conference nevertheless voted to back Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud by rejecting Electoral College votes certified in two states.  

‘Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more,” McCarthy said. “I have reached out to President-elect Biden today and plan to speak to him about how we must work together to lower the temperature and unite the country to solve America’s challenges,’ McCarthy said in a statement.

Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office on Wednesday night, according to a report, but ultimately decided against it.

The Secretary of State and Treasury Secretary’s deliberations were reported as the two top Democrats in Congress, Sen. Charles Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reached out directly to Vice President Mike Pence Thursday to try to push him to act immediately to remove Trump from office, only to be rebuffed.

Pompeo and Mnuchin held discussions with their aides and staff, CNBC reported on Thursday.

Both men concluded that the 25th Amendment was not the right course of action for three main reasons, four sources told the channel.

Firstly, it would take longer than a week, which made it not worth the effort given there remain only 13 days of the Trump presidency.

Secondly, it was unclear whether the three acting Cabinet members, not yet confirmed by the Senate, would be able to cast a vote.

And finally, it was likely to pour further fuel on the fire, and enrage Trump’s supporters. 

‘The general plan now is to let the clock run out,’ said one former senior administration official aware of the discussions. 

‘There will be a reckoning for this president, but it doesn’t need to happen in the next 13 days.’ 

The State Department denied the discussions had taken place; the Treasury did not comment. 

Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State (pictured December 11), reportedly considered invoking the 25th Amendment

Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State (pictured December 11), reportedly considered invoking the 25th Amendment

Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, on Wednesday night reportedly considered whether to push for the 25th Amendment

Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, on Wednesday night reportedly considered whether to push for the 25th Amendment

Their deliberations came as the two leaders called Pence hours after he had overseen a Joint Session of Congress to count the electoral votes to make Joe Biden the next president, despite intense pressure by President Trump that Pence move against it.

Late Thursday sources told CNN that Trump’s mental state was deteriorating and he was ‘ranting’ and ‘raving’ as he watched the 25th Amendment being discussed on television – with Pelosi and Schumer’s demand being played repeatedly. 

But if they had hopes that Pence might join in a speedy potential effort to seize the reins of power from a volatile Trump in his final days in office, the reception they got may provide an answer.

‘Speaker Pelosi and I tried to call the vice president this morning to tell him to do this,’ Schumer told reporters in New York Thursday. ‘They kept us on hold for 25 minutes and then said the Vice President wouldn’t come on the phone.’

‘So we are making this call public because he should do it and do it right away,’ Schumer said, explaining why both he and Pelosi are calling on Pence and the Trump cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unfit and install Pence as president in an acting capacity.

The call preceded furious comments from Pelosi charging Trump with fomenting ‘insurrection’ and inciting ‘sedition.’

‘Yesterday the President of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,’ Pelosi said at a Capitol press conference a day after Trump supporters stormed the building after attending a rally where Trump spoke.

She used stark language beyond even the tough talk of impeachment in last December and January, accusing him of crimes against the nation he leads. 

‘In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people,’ said Pelosi.

Unlike 2019 and 2020 she has just days to force through an impeachment, but this time has a far greater chance that 12 Republican senators join the Democrats to convict after some openly expressed disgust for the president or his actions. Among those Democrats would target are Pennsylvania’s retiring Pat Toomey and ultra-conservative Tom Cotton, Utah’s Mike Lee and Ohio’s Rob Portman. 

 

Nancy Pelosi reveals she asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley today how he is keeping ‘unhinged president’ from using the nuclear codes or starting military action – and does NOT reveal his answer

Pelosi told colleagues Friday that she phoned the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss ‘precautions’ to prevent Trump from starting a war or accessing nuclear launch codes.

She said she had asked Army General Mark Milley how to keep a ‘deranged president’ away from the nuclear codes and stop him from launching a unilateral military action. 

Pelosi released the letter just minutes before House Democrats were to meet on a conference call to discuss whether to go ahead with a second impeachment of Trump, after he egged on his supporters in their march to the Capitol that led to a riot and multiple deaths – including of a Capitol Police officer.   

She headed her comment: ‘Preventing an Unhinged President From Using the Nuclear Codes’ in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.

‘This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,’ she informed them.

Notably, she did not reveal what response Milley provided, or whether any security guardrails have been established.  

‘The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,’ she wrote.  

She also revealed that Vice President Mike Pence has not returned her call seeking to discuss the 25th Amendment, whereby he and a majority of the Trump cabinet might move to strip Trump of power and make Pence the ‘acting president.’

A White House military aide and member of the US Navy carries a briefcase known as the "football," containing emergency nuclear weapon codes, as US President Barack Obama departs on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, September 30, 2012

Pelosi says she spoke with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army US Army General Mark Milley, but provided no information on his response

A White House military aide and member of the US Navy carries a briefcase known as the ‘football,’ containing emergency nuclear weapon codes. Pelosi says she spoke with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army US Army General Mark Milley, on their use but provided no information on his response

‘As you know, there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the President for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses,’ she wrote.

‘Yesterday, Leader [Charles] Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people,’ she said.  

Pelosi referenced impeachment in a letter to colleagues

Pelosi referenced impeachment in a letter to colleagues

She said she spoke about preventing an 'unhinged' president from using the nuclear codes

She said she spoke about preventing an ‘unhinged’ president from using the nuclear codes

‘Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue President, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go. Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately. If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.’ 

Under current procedures, a military aide travels with the president wherever he goes with the nuclear ‘football’ containing the nuclear codes.

The executive as commander in chief maintains control over the entire U.S. military – and has the ability to order strikes, subject to War Powers Act consultation requirements with Congress.

All military members have all sworn oaths to the constitution, and the Code of Military Justice states that members of the military must fall ‘lawful orders of his/her superior.’

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?

Yes, in principle.  If Trump smelled a whiff of trouble – if Pence and a cabal of Cabinet members, or Pence and a panel assembled by Congress seemed ready to judge him incapacitated – he could dismiss his vice president with the stroke of a pen to stop the process.

But installing a more loyal VP could be problematic since the 25th Amendment includes its own poison pill: Both houses of Congress must vote to approve a new vice president.

That means Trump would find himself up against the same Congress that would vote on his fitness for office, unless the process were to unfold in the weeks before a new Congress.

Theoretically, a Democratic-controlled Congress could make life dramatically more difficult for the president if it came into power in the midst of the constitutional crisis. 

One scenario has appeared to stump presidential historians, however: Firing Pence before the process is underway, and then leaving the vice presidency vacant, would give Congress no practical way forward. That would present its own constitutional crisis.

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.