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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7:55 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Rep. James Clyburn says "there's a good chance" Trump will be convicted in the Senate

From CNN's Leinz Vales

CNN
CNN

House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Wednesday that "there's a good chance that there will be a conviction in the Senate" of President Trump after he was impeached for the second time in the House.

"I think that Mitch McConnell and a few others recognize that that's the quickest way to get him out of their hair so-to-speak," Clyburn told CNN's Erin Burnett. "So these articles will go over there. There will be people who will conduct the trial. Our managers will do a good job of that. They don't have to do a good job, to tell you the truth. Just put up the videos and bring in the people who are the recipients of these phone calls. I think there will be enough on the record and so, he could very well get a conviction."

On the timing of the impeachment trial, the Democratic lawmaker said that he wouldn't want to see the proceedings interfere with President-elect Joe Biden's first 100 days in office. 

"I do really feel that we ought to do what's necessary for this man not to ever run again," Clyburn said. "But we need to do what is necessary for people's lives to get this stored as soon as possible. I wouldn't want to see an impeachment trial postponed that for too long."

More context: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he's in favor of impeachment, a GOP source says, but he's made it clear that the Senate trial won’t start until Biden is sworn in.

See more:

7:33 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Biden silent on Trump's impeachment so far

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President-elect Joe Biden has made clear he’s not particularly enthusiastic for President Trump’s impeachment. And now, roughly three hours after the House vote was becoming clear, he is still silent on the historic action.

Aides said Biden is still planning to release a statement tonight on the Trump impeachment, but the timing certainly underscores that the Biden team has other priorities today.

The reality is that impeachment will now be one more thing Biden inherits from the Trump presidency.

Biden is still awaiting word on whether the Senate will be able to conduct an impeachment, alongside Cabinet confirmation hearings and Covid legislation he plans to outline in greater detail on Thursday evening.

Aides say Biden and his team are working behind the scenes with Senate Democrats – and House impeachment managers – to keep the impeachment trial as swift as possible, although it remains an open question tonight how successful that might be.

7:28 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Snapchat bans Trump permanently

From CNN’s Brian Fung

President Trump has been permanently banned from Snapchat, according to a statement by the platform. 

 "Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump’s Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community," a Snapchat spokesperson said.

"In the interest of public safety, and based on his attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence, which are clear violations of our guidelines, we have made the decision to permanently terminate his account," the spokesperson added.

Some background: Facebook has suspended Trump's account "indefinitely," while Twitter has banned Trump completely.

On Tuesday, YouTube announced that it was suspending Trump's channel for at least one week, and potentially longer, after his channel earned a strike under the platform's policies.

 

7:01 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Trump was briefed earlier this week on possible threats, official says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Trump was briefed by federal officials on Monday regarding possible threats to Washington, DC, and state capitols ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, an official said.

Trump cited the briefings in his video condemning violence tonight.

An official said the briefings played a role in his decision to record the video. 

7:08 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

CNN's John King on new Trump video condemning Capitol violence: "Where was this one week ago?"

Analysis by CNN's John King / Written by Leinz Vales

Moments after President Trump released a new video Wednesday, denouncing the violence at the US Capitol building last week, CNN's John King said it was a good message, but asked, "Where was that one week ago today?"

"Where was that one week ago today when thousands of his supporters acting on his words went to the United States Capitol and the leader of the House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, others were calling him saying, 'Mr. President, deliver a statement, go public, go on camera, tell your people to back down, tell your people to stand down, tell your people to go home.'"

King added that his message to his supporters was a "strongly worded statement" that left little ambiguity, but fell flat when compared to his past comments about the riot.   

"He says in this statement, 'Like all of you I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week,'" King said. "No. He said nothing about it at the moment when people were begging him to stand down. Then he called them patriots and he said he loved them. He's on the record. That's on camera. In his statements. Those are his own words."

King went on to say it was a responsible statement from the President, but reiterated that the sentiment was too late to have an impact.

"It would have been nice to get it a week ago," King said. "It would have been nice to get it after Charlottesville. It would have been nice to get it at other moments where the President has encouraged his supporters. For this President to say it's time to rise above the rancor and find common ground, he has often caused the rancor and disrupted any efforts at common ground. Again, it is a very welcome statement in a vacuum."

Watch King's remarks:

7:00 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

House impeachment managers begin to map out prosecution against Trump

From CNN's Manu Raju

 Impeachment managers Rep. Madeleine Dean, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. David Cicilline,  and Rep. Jamie Raskin walk through Statuary Hall on Wednesday, January 13.
 Impeachment managers Rep. Madeleine Dean, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. David Cicilline, and Rep. Jamie Raskin walk through Statuary Hall on Wednesday, January 13. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House impeachment managers are just starting to lay out their strategy for the case they plan to bring against President Trump in the Senate and are wary about stepping on Joe Biden's first days of his presidency.

Several managers told CNN that decisions have not been made over whether to seek witnesses and attempt to subpoena documents for the trial; doing so could prolong the trial.

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicating he's in no rush to bring the Senate back early into session, House managers have more time to begin their strategy sessions, which will be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin.

Raskin told CNN that they are still assessing whether to seek witnesses.

One possible witness: Brad Raffensperger, Georgia secretary of state, given that the article of impeachment references Trump's pressure campaign against the official to "find" the votes necessary to overturn Biden's win in the state.

Asked if Raffensperger would be called as a witness, Rep. Madeleine Dean, the impeachment manager, said she didn't "want to preview" the case and they were only just beginning organizational meetings.

Democrats, though, seem to be wary about starting the trial on the same day Biden is sworn into office. 

"Certainly not," she said when asked if it would be a good idea to start on Jan. 20. "The president and vice president deserve [their day].. We have to restore a peaceful transfer of power which Donald Trump deliberately incited people against."

6:51 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

FBI and DHS chiefs tell law enforcement leaders they remain concerned extremists may attend planned protests

From CNN's Josh Campbell

FBI Director Chris Wray, Deputy Director David Bowdich, and other federal officials held a call Wednesday with nationwide law enforcement leaders to provide a briefing on the national threat picture relating to planned protests around the country, according to a person briefed on the call. 

The source said the FBI briefed their law enforcement partners on intelligence reporting indicating protesters planned to conduct “peaceful, armed demonstrations” in Washington, DC, and at state capitols around the country on Jan. 17 to protest the results of the 2020 election. The FBI indicated federal law enforcement is currently working to identify any suspected extremists who may pose a threat at the planned armed demonstrations. 

On the call, FBI officials said they remain concerned about the prospect of extremists appearing at planned rallies and conducting violence, the source said.

As previously reported, an internal FBI bulletin disseminated to law enforcement warned that "armed protests" were being planned at all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol in Washington in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

An FBI spokesperson did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

10:29 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Trump isolated and wallowing in self-pity in the White House, sources say

From CNN's Pamela Brown and Jamie Gangel

As President Trump made history tonight as the only US president to be impeached twice, one White House adviser said “everybody’s angry at everyone” inside the White House, with the President being upset because he thinks people aren’t defending him enough.

“He’s in self-pity mode,” the source said.

The view among many close to Trump is “his actions led to here, no one else,” adding, “he instigated a mob to charge on the Capitol building to stop decertification, he’s not going to find a lot of sympathetic Republicans.”

During the last impeachment effort, Trump allies in and out of the White House publicly defended him and sent out talking points throughout the impeachment proceeding. 

Today, it was the President who was left to fend for himself at the White House, releasing a statement first given to Fox News denouncing further violence, followed by a five-minute video that struck a very different tone than his first message following the attack on the Capitol last week. Aides scrambled to find a way to release the video, worried that even a contrite Trump might have his videos taken down. 

Also, there was no organized effort to send out talking points, unlike his first impeachment. 

Many White House staffers have left or resigned since the riots, including Trump’s once longtime confidante Hope Hicks. Another person close to the White House said “he’s been holed up in the residence, that’s never a good thing.

"He’s by himself, not a lot of people to bounce ideas off of, whenever that happens he goes to his worst instincts. Now that Twitter isn’t available God only knows what the outlet will be," the source said.

One outlet Trump is focused on is wielding what power he has left: pardons. Multiple sources told CNN the next batch of pardons could come as soon as Thursday, in part to distract from the current narrative.

One of the sources also noted that Trump was planning to give New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor tomorrow, but Belichick refused. Announcing some pardons could replace that, especially if there are some high-profile ones.

Moving forward: Another question that lingers is whether Trump will pardon himself and his children. 

One person close to Trump believes it’s a bad idea for him to pardon himself and his kids in the wake of the riots, but that he wants to exercise what remaining power he has.

6:44 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Trump releases video condemning violence, doesn't comment on his impeachment

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

The White House
The White House

President Trump in a video message Wednesday did not acknowledge his second impeachment, instead calling for peace and claiming that those who mobbed the Capitol last week are not his “true” supporters. 

“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump said in the video, without taking any responsibility for his own actions that led to last week’s events.

“No true supporters of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement- you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it,” Trump said of those who mobbed the Capitol last Wednesday wearing his name on their shirts and waving MAGA flags.

Trump also claimed there was an “unprecedented assault” on free speech, referencing social media companies that have banned him in recent days.

Some context: The video comes in stark contrast to his first message about the riots which he released hours after the incursion.

He addressed the protesters in that video saying, "We love you" and "You're very special."

Later, he seemed to justify the actions in a tweet, writing, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away."

Many social media companies have since banned the President from using their platforms and his personal Twitter account has been taken down permanently. 

Watch: