House impeaches Trump for role in deadly Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:54 a.m. ET, January 14, 2021
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3:18 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Security perimeter expands at US Capitol complex after small group of demonstrators shout at police

From CNN's Brian Todd and Greg Wallace

The fence line securing the US Capitol complex is currently expanding after a small but vocal group of anti-fascist demonstrators approached the barricades.  

New eight-foot metal fencing is currently going up on 3rd St. NW. It expands the security perimeter by about 250 yards.  

Earlier today, a group of over a dozen protestors marched with large banners to the fence line, chanting and yelling at police with bullhorns.  

Capitol police carrying a large number of flexible handcuffs moved quickly to push the demonstrators back to 3rd St.  An officer announced on a loudspeaker that the demonstrators were assembled without a permit and needed to leave.

The demonstrators eventually folded their banners and left.  

The street is now lined with dozens of officers. Lined behind them for reinforcement are National Guard troops carrying semiautomatic rifles.  

 After the protesters left, utility vehicles carrying the fencing arrived fencing arrived.  

3:24 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Here's how some states are preparing for potential unrest in the coming days

States across the country are increasing security measures at their capitol buildings ahead of what the FBI warned are "armed protests" being planned at all 50 state capitols.

Online chatter about more violent demonstrations "is off the charts right now," one official told CNN. Facebook has seen online signals indicating the potential for more violence following last week’s insurrection, a company spokesperson said.

Here's how some states are preparing for potential unrest:

  • Multiple state governors are activating the National Guard to secure their capitols – including in Minnesota, Ohio, Washington state, and Wisconsin.
  • A number of states are deploying heavy fencing and additional crowd control measures around their capitol buildings – including in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia and Washington state.
  • Michigan: The mayor has asked the governor to call up the National Guard to protect the capitol. The AG said yesterday that the state's new ban on open-carry firearms there is not enough, tweeting: "The state capitol is not safe."
  • Florida: Lawmakers and staff are being told to work from home this weekend because it is "very likely" there will be protesters in Tallahassee on Sunday.
  • Virginia: A state of emergency has been declared in Richmond and Capitol Square will be closed ahead of anticipated protests at the state capitol building.
  • Wisconsin: Workers at the Capitol in Madison have boarded up their first-floor windows ahead of potential protests.
  • New York: State police say they have taken steps "to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Multiple layers of security are also in place around the US Capitol as the House debates on impeaching President Trump. Heightened security is also planned for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

Today, National Guard members are surrounding the entire grounds of the Capitol. They were just issued weapons, many of them carrying semi-automatic rifles.

3:11 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

GOP Rep. Young Kim says she supports censure, but not impeachment

From CNN's Alex Rogers

California GOP Rep. Young Kim, who narrowly won her seat in November, said she supports censuring President Trump but opposes impeaching him.

"I believe censuring the president is a better option. This would be a strong rebuke of his actions and rhetoric and unite our country and chamber, rather than divide it," she said.

Read her full statement:

“The violence we saw last week was disgusting. Our law enforcement was attacked, lives were lost and more were put in danger. These rioters must be held accountable. Words have consequences and I believe the president should also be held accountable.
The election is over. I announced my intention to certify the electoral votes before these events with the hope that we can move forward, deescalate our rhetoric, and work together to heal our wounds. This violence and division must stop. However, I believe impeaching the president at this time will fail to hold him accountable or allow us to move forward once President-elect Biden is sworn in. This process will only create more fissures in our country as we emerge from some of our darkest days.
 I believe censuring the president is a better option. This would be a strong rebuke of his actions and rhetoric and unite our country and chamber, rather than divide it. That is why yesterday I joined several of my colleagues in introducing a strong resolution censuring the president for his actions on January 6.
Words matter. Both of our parties must set better examples for our constituents, the nation, and the world. We must condemn violence in all forms and be able to peacefully debate issues and have disagreements without being disagreeable or making personal attacks on one another. As Americans, we are better than this violence and must move forward. The first Koreans came to the United States on this day in 1903 in search of a better life, and now 118 years later I am one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress. I know we are the land of opportunity that welcomed me and my family into its fabric and allowed me to realize my American dream by receiving an education, starting a business, raising a family and now giving back to the community I call home as a member of the House of Representatives. This is the America we all know and love. I will do my part and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the betterment of America and the people of California’s 39th Congressional District.”
3:12 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

New Jersey governor says he supports impeaching Trump

From CNN’s Lauren Del Valle

Pool
Pool

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he fully supports lawmakers impeaching President Trump. 

"To those of you who think, well he's only got one week left, this is not about time. It's about doing what's right, it's about setting a higher bar for the presidency of this country, it's about standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law," Murphy said during a news conference Wednesday. 

"It gives me no pleasure to say so but the President must be impeached. And he must be removed from office. And I would hope the Senate would take up the matter with all speed so that President Trump's actions become a cautionary example for future leaders that our Constitution is larger than they are. Otherwise, our democracy already shaken could crumble," he said. 

Murphy, a Democrat, praised Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for supporting Trump's impeachment.

"I don't think I'll often find myself in agreement with Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, the third highest member of the House Republican leadership but I do here and I give her a huge shout out for being on the right side of this from moment one, never equivocated," he said.

"Representative Cheney said of President Trump's last actions last week and I quote her, 'there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,' and that he hits it on the head," Murphy added.

3:06 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Pelosi lectern carried by rioter rolled out for ceremony tonight

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

A staff member moves Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's lectern on  Wednesday, January 13, in Washington, DC.
A staff member moves Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's lectern on Wednesday, January 13, in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A lectern of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which was seen being held by a rioter as a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol last week, was set up for an enrollment ceremony tonight in the House of Representatives.

Adam Johnson, of Florida, was arrested in the state Friday and booked into the Pinellas County Jail just days after he was allegedly caught on camera carrying the House speaker's lectern.

2:46 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Fact check: Texas Republican falsely claims Democrats refused to condemn riots last year

From CNN's Daniel Dale

House TV
House TV

In opposing the impeachment resolution, Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden said, “And I also want to thank my Democratic colleagues for finally joining Republicans in condemning mob violence after six months of refusing to acknowledge it.” 

Facts First: This accusation is false. Numerous Democrats — including President-elect Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other senior members of the party’s congressional caucus — condemned rioting and looting last year while also supporting peaceful protests against racism and police brutality. 

Republicans are entitled to argue that Democrats should have issued such condemnations more forcefully or frequently, but it’s just inaccurate to say they didn't issue the condemnations at all. 

3:13 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Legal snag arises for DOJ to keep holding defendant who threatened Pelosi

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

The Justice Department appears to be hitting up against the potential limits of the law, as they try to keep people detained who came to Washington last week for a coup attempt.

A judge is already asking for more from the Justice Department on why he should keep one defendant locked up who brought guns and ammo to Washington and wrote in text messages about shooting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

One of the more serious cases so far, against Cleveland Meredith Jr., who is accused of threatening Pelosi and bringing hundreds of rounds of ammo and guns to Washington, DC, is where this came up today. 

Prosecutors had asked for Meredith's detention. Meredith's lawyer countered that keeping him locked up because of perceived "dangerousness" alone is not enough under the law. 

"Congress restricted the government’s ability to request detention," Meredith's lawyer wrote in a court filing Wednesday afternoon, citing the Bail Reform Act limitations that reasons defendants can be kept in jail must be because they are a flight risk, potentially obstructive or charged with crimes of violence, a drug offense, or an offense that could merit a life sentence or death. 

His lawyer argued Meredith should be released while he awaits his trial.

Meredith has not yet been indicted, and was arrested last week on a criminal complaint alleging that he illegally possessed weapons and made the threats.

He was set to have a judge decide whether he should be detained today. That is now being postponed until tomorrow, and DOJ is getting another opportunity to argue for why he should remain in jail.

Meredith is still detained.

He has no prior convictions on his record, his lawyer also argues.

2:21 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Rep. Crow to GOP colleagues: Show a fraction of the courage we ask of our troops, vote to impeach

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

House TV
House TV

Democratic Rep. Jason Crow, a veteran, called on his Republican colleagues to show a fraction of the courage of US troops by voting to impeach President Trump despite their fear of consequences.

"I have dedicated my life to the defense of our nation. And Donald Trump is a risk to all that I love," Crow said.

"Some of my Republican colleagues are afraid of the consequence of an impeachment vote but this Congress sends our men and women to war every day. I'm not asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy but show a fraction of the courage we ask of our troops every day. Leadership is hard. It's time to impeach," Crow said.

See the moment:

2:28 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

TSA increases security measures on DC flights, including some second ID checks

From CNN's Greg Wallace, Pete Muntean and Jeremy Diamond

Heightened airport security measures around inauguration in some cases include a second screening of passengers boarding flights, the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged to CNN.  

The second check at the boarding gate is in addition to the standard screening procedures done at TSA checkpoints.   

“This is a routine practice and represents one of the multiple layers of security that we employ,” agency spokesperson Carter Langston told CNN when asked about an account of TSA officers stopping passengers at the gate of a Washington-bound flight to check identification and bags.  

“It may occur with greater frequency due to recent and upcoming events, but it is a routine practice,” Langston said.   

The screening of DC-bound passengers is in addition to a heightened security and police presence at the three Washington-area airports that has included armored vehicles and a notable number of visible officers in terminals. 

TSA told CNN on Monday that the agency is on “high alert.”  

The developments come after rowdy incidents on airplanes and in airports as the rioters who ransacked the Capitol building traveled to and left Washington.   

The Federal Aviation Administration has warned individuals who "interfere with, physically assault, or threaten to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft face stiff penalties including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment."   

Steven D'Antuono, a senior Federal Bureau of Investigation official in the nation’s capital, said Tuesday that officials are “actively looking at” adding rioters to the federal No Fly List.