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
52 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:14 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

McConnell won't have an early Senate trial

From CNN's Manu Raju

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't agree to bring the Senate back early, according to Republican sources, and he communicated as much to Sen. Chuck Schumer today.

That means a Senate trial won't happen now until the early days of the Biden presidency.

McConnell spokesperson Doug Andres confirmed as much on Twitter just moments ago.

Remember: President Trump will stay in office and likely finish out his term because it takes a Senate conviction to remove him even after he’s been impeached.

1:13 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

House Democrat: "Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

House TV
House TV

“Donald Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense. It is what it is,” Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said in his argument in favor of impeachment. 

Jeffries also said that the President incited the deadly Capitol mob and called him "a clear and present danger” to the American people.

“Violence will not win. Insurrection will not win. Sedition will not win. Terror will not win. Lawlessness will not win. Mob rule will not win. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Democracy will prevail,” Jeffries said.  
12:57 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Democrats "want to cancel the President," House Republican says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Criticizing the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said Democrats are trying to “cancel the President.”

“It's always been about getting the President no matter what. It's an obsession, an obsession that is now broadened,” he said. “Stop and think about it. Do you have a functioning First Amendment when the cancel culture only allows one side to talk? When you can't even have a debate in this country?”

He warned that the cancel culture will eventually “come for us all.”

“It needs to stop because if it continues it won't just be Republicans who get canceled, it won't just be the President of the United States. The cancel culture will come for us all.”

Instead of impeachment, the focus should be on “bringing the nation together,” the lawmaker from Ohio added.

“In seven days there will be a peaceful transfer of power just like there has been every other time in our country, but Democrats are going to impeach President Trump again. This doesn't unite the country. There is no way this helps the nation deal with the tragic and terrible events of last week that we all condemn.”

Hear Rep. Jordan's remarks:

12:54 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

McConnell won't weigh in on impeachment publicly until House votes, source says

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

 Drew Angerer/Getty Images
 Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A source familiar with the matter says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not weigh in publicly until the House has officially impeached the President.

As CNN's Manu Raju and Jeff Zeleny have noted, Senate Republicans are in the dark about what will happen next. The expectation is McConnell will send a message to his conference once the House vote is complete laying out the potential timeline.

McConnell is facing a delicate balance – a number of his GOP colleagues have made clear they oppose impeachment and the Kentucky Republican famously loathes anything that divides his conference.

But the source says McConnell is also keenly aware of the moment in history – and the moment for the Republican Party. On the latter issue, the Kentucky Republican knows Trump remains very popular with his base, but is at by far his weakest point.

There’s also nothing left Trump can deliver for McConnell, who largely kept any criticism of Trump to himself the last four years as he pursued career ambitions in terms of overhauling the federal judiciary.

Some context: McConnell’s shift against Trump has been apparent for those watching him closely. He cut off contact with Trump weeks ago and has made clear he has no plans ever to speak to him again.

He carefully crafted his Senate floor remarks on Jan. 6 lambasting the efforts not only of Trump, but also of members of his own conference to push objections to President-elect Biden’s electoral victory.

He did the same when the Senate returned to session after the attack on the Capitol.

His anger over not only what transpired, but Trump’s lack of contrition, led him almost immediately to the conclusion on Trump’s culpability, the source said.

What happens next in terms of the timeline of a trial, as we’ve reported, is still unclear. But make no mistake about where McConnell is positioning himself here. It’s not subtle.  

12:58 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Discussions underway on raising national terrorism threat level as a result of possible new attacks

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Vivian Salama

Discussions are underway about raising the terrorism threat level, according to two sources familiar with the discussions, though one source cautioned no changes are expected as of now. 

The National Terrorism Advisory System – which replaced color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System – falls under the Department of Homeland Security. Advisories are pushed out in the event of an imminent or elevated threat to the public. 

One of the officials said the discussions began following last week’s insurrection and was based on information that a similar attack by “armed militias” could happen at the Capitol or elsewhere 

The latest advisory issued stemmed from an Iran-related terrorism threat to the United States last January. It’s since expired.

According to the DHS website, decisions about issuing an advisory, and what form it takes, are informed by “intelligence assessments and risks to the public and critical infrastructure.” 

The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, along with federal entities, decides whether a NTAS alert should be issued. 

DHS did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

12:56 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Pelosi: Those insurrectionists were domestic terrorists sent by the President's words

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

House TV
House TV

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the case for the impeachment of President Trump on the House floor, saying that those who attacked the US Capitol last week were not patriots, but "domestic terrorists" that were sent by the President's words.

"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," Pelosi said.

"But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the President with words such as a cry 'to fight like hell.' Words matter. Truth matters. Accountability matters," Pelosi continued, adding that "the President saw the insurrectionists not as a foes to freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal, the goal to his personally clinging to power. The goal of thwarting the will of the people. The goal of ending in a fiery and bloody clash, nearly two and a half centuries of our democracy."

Democrats are charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol attack

See the moment:

12:44 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Pelosi calls President Trump a "clear and present danger" to the country

House TV
House TV

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi started the House debate over the article of impeachment against President Trump by saying that Trump is "a clear and present danger" to the country.

"We know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love," Pelosi said.

She added that President Trump has "repeatedly" lied about the outcome of the election in November and cast doubt on democracy.

"Then came that day of fire we all experienced. The President must be impeached," she said.

"I believe the President must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things we hold dear and that hold us together," Pelosi continued. 

Watch Pelosi's remarks:

2:39 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

GOP members want to impeach but "fear for their lives," sources tells CNN

From CNN's Jamie Gangel

Republican leaders are expecting about 10 to 20 House Republicans to vote for impeachment but sources tell CNN there are many more members who "want to vote to impeach but they legitimately fear for their lives and their families’ lives," CNN's Jamie Gangel reports.

"Liz Cheney, these Republicans who have announced, they are showing courage at the same time as I have been told by Republican sources that members, Republican members, have said they are not going to vote for impeachment because they are still scared of Donald Trump," Gangel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"I was told that the White House is continuing to pressure these members, that Trump has not stopped and that members, quote, 'fear for their lives and for their families' lives,'" she continued. "After what we saw on January 6th, a week later, that says a lot that the White House is still pressuring people."

Gangel went on to talk about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's role in the impeachment process, saying his silence "is deliberate".

"He is deliberately being quiet. He is leaking out this information that he favors impeachment. Let's see what he does at the end of the day. But the fact that he leaked out to reporters that he wants to move in this direction shows a split with Donald Trump, a split in the Republican party," she said.

"I was told that unlike Kevin Mccarthy, who thinks Trump may just fade away, that Mitch Mcconnell thinks that the Republican party needs a clean break to move ahead."

12:32 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

CNN’s John King: This is a "day of choosing" for Republicans' future

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

As the House is set to impeach President Trump for a second time, CNN’s John King said Republicans face a fork in the road for the party's future. 

“As…we’re writing the final chapter of the Trump term, we're also writing a beginning chapter of the future of the Republican Party. And this is a day of choosing,” King said.

King brought up how Reps. Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar said that Rep. Liz Cheney should be removed as chair of the House Republican Conference after she announced she'd vote for impeachment.

“Republicans have to choose today … They have to choose about their future. No one man can perpetuate a fraud and can perpetuate a lie, not even the President of the United States,” King said.

King said that more Republicans could’ve stood up and denounced President Trump’s baseless election fraud claims. 

“In some ways, truth is winning. In some ways, facts [are] winning. But there are a lot of open raw wounds,” King added.