The House voted today to impeach President Trump for a second time in a swift and bipartisan condemnation of the President’s role in inciting last week’s riot at the US Capitol.
In case you missed today’s events, here’s what you need to know:
About the vote: The House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump exactly one week after rioters forced lawmakers to flee from the very chamber in which they cast ballots in during the fourth presidential impeachment in US history. This is the first time a President has been impeached twice. See a full breakdown of the vote here.
Republicans also voted to impeach Trump: Ten Republicans, including the House’s No. 3 Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined all Democrats to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Cheney’s statement was cited by impeachment supporters and detractors alike Wednesday after she charged that Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”
Trump delivers remarks about the Capitol attack: After the House vote, Trump released a video statement calling for calm as the threat of new riots — which the President said he’d been briefed on by the Secret Service — casts a pall over Washington. Trump did not mention the historic impeachment that had occurred a few hours earlier.
President-elect Joe Biden’s message to Congress: In a statement, the President-elect noted that “it was a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience,” before turning to the pandemic. “This nation also remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy,” Biden said. “I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.”
What’s next: While impeachment won’t force Trump from office — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not planning to bring the Senate back for a trial before Jan. 19, meaning the trial won’t begin until Trump is out of office and Biden has been sworn in. The majority leader said in a statement following the vote that a trial could not be completed ahead of Biden’s inauguration even if it started beforehand, and he wanted Congress and the executive branch to spend the next week focused on “facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power.”
Irritated over a second impeachment, President Trump has told people to stop paying Rudy Giuliani’s legal fees, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN, though aides were not clear if the President was serious about his instructions.
Trump has been blaming his longtime attorney and many others for the predicament he now finds himself in, though he has not personally accepted any responsibility in public or in private, people familiar with his reaction told CNN. Giuliani is still expected to play a role in Trump’s impeachment defense but has been left out of most conversations thus far.
Another source of Trump’s ire is Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who incensed Trump further today by saying he bears responsibility for last week’s riot. The President had already been upset with McCarthy after the left the option of censuring Trump on the table in a letter to colleagues earlier this week.
The details about Giuliani’s legal fees were first reported by the Washington Post.
US intelligence officials have warned that last Wednesday’s attack on the US Capitol by supporters of President Trump will likely motivate additional follow-up attacks by extremists throughout 2021, according to an intelligence bulletin dated Wednesday and obtained by CNN.
Warning that the people who attacked the Capitol largely viewed their efforts as a success, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the attack “very likely will serve as a significant driver of violence” for a diverse set of domestic extremists, according to the bulletin.
The bulletin added follows reporting this week that extremists were emboldened by the attack and that “chatter is off the charts right now,” the bulletin said.
More details: The range of potential future targets of attack was varied, with intelligence officials warning in the bulletin that extremists could zero in on government officials and institutions, as well as racial and religious minorities, journalists, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The bulletin also indicated that the Jan. 6 attack may have served as a venue for extremists of differing ideological motivations to foster connections.
In addition to the perceived success of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, intelligence officials warned that the response by law enforcement could also motivate extremists to respond with violence, including at the upcoming Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“Since the [Capitol attack], violent online rhetoric regarding the [inauguration] has increased, with some calling for unspecified ‘justice’” for a rioter shot by police inside the Capitol, the bulletin said.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam castigated rioters who stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 and said their actions were “egged on from conspiracy theories and lies from a president who could not accept losing.”
Northam thanked state troopers and the Virginia National Guard, both of which were among the first law enforcement agencies to respond to the riots.
“These men and women dropped everything and raced to defend our country’s temple of democracy,” he said. “While others hesitated, Virginians were first on the scene. It made me proud to see that line of state police cars racing across the 14th Street Bridge.”
Northam also took a moment of silence to honor the memory of Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, both of whom died in the aftermath of the riots.
Despite the incident, Northam expressed optimism for the country as it moved forward from the incident.
“Americans are better than this and I pray that we all can summon the better angels of our nature in this new year,” he said.
President-elect Joe Biden released a statement Wednesday night in reaction to the House’s impeachment of President Trump, reiterating his expressed hope that the Senate will be able to carry out their regular legislative duties while dealing with impeachment responsibilities.
While not stating his position either way, Biden stated that the violence at the Capitol was incited by the President, saying it “was carried out by political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump.”
Biden added: “From confirmations to key posts such as Secretaries for Homeland Security, State, Defense, Treasury, and Director of National Intelligence, to getting our vaccine program on track, and to getting our economy going again. Too many of our fellow Americans have suffered for too long over the past year to delay this urgent work.”
Jonathan Fahey is resigning as acting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement director just weeks after assuming the post, according to a Department of Homeland Security official.
Fahey’s departure is the latest in a string of leadership changes at the Department of Homeland Security and the most recent acting ICE director to step down.
Last month, Fahey’s predecessor, Tony Pham, departed. Pham had assumed the post last August.
It’s unclear what prompted Fahey’s departure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Rep. Peter Meijer, just one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump a second time, said it’s not too late for his colleagues to come clean with their constituents about President Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
“We need to get past this big lie that this was a stolen election,” he continued.
“This wasn’t a landslide re-election for Donald Trump. This wasn’t a stolen election. None of those claims played out in court and it’s time we settle that once and for all because unless we come to that shared reality then we’re not going to be able to fully heal from this moment,” Meijer said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi briefly addressed reporters before she signed the article of impeachment against President Trump, for a second time, following the bipartisan House vote.
Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, told CNN it was still uncertain how many witnesses they would seek and how long of a trial it would be.
House Democratic impeachment managers are now meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Former FBI Director James Comey today said the evidence he has seen so far suggests the attack on the Capitol was an organized conspiracy.
“There’s no doubt there were at least some conspiracy,” Comey told CNN’s Jake Tapper this afternoon.
Comey’s remarks came just moments after CNN reported emerging evidence was leading law enforcement officials to believe the attack was premeditated rather than a protest that spiraled out of control.
Among the evidence the FBI is examining are indications that some participants at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, outside the White House, left the event early, perhaps to retrieve items to be used in the assault on the Capitol.
Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, a federal law enforcement official says.
Among the evidence the FBI is examining are indications that some participants at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, outside the White House, left the event early, perhaps to retrieve items to be used for the assault on the Capitol.
A team of investigators and prosecutors are focused on the command and control aspect of the attack, looking at travel and communications records to determine if they can build a case that is similar to a counterterrorism investigation, the official said.
The belief, early in the probe, will demand significant investigation.
The presence of corruption prosecutors and agents is in part because of their expertise in financial investigations.
By Wednesday morning, the FBI reported that it had received more than 126,000 digital tips from the public regarding the attack on the Capitol – more than three times the number of tips received on Monday.
Among the thousands of tips the FBI received are some that appear to show members of Congress with people who later showed up at the Capitol riot, two law enforcement officials said. This doesn’t mean members of Congress and staff are under investigation, but the FBI is checking the veracity of the claims, the officials said.
At least some of the arrests already made are part of a strategy used in counterterrorism investigations, to find even a minimal charge and try to take a person of concern off the streets. That helps ease the possible threat amid concern about possible attacks on the Inauguration, officials believe.
The House voted earlier today to impeach President Trump for incitement of insurrection, exactly one week after a mob attacked the Capitol where lawmakers were convening to approve President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats in the historic vote to impeach Trump a second time — a contrast to the first impeachment vote, when every House Republican voted against both articles of impeachment. Four Republicans did not vote: Reps. Kay Granger (TX-12), Andy Harris (MD-1), Gregory Murphy (NC-3) and Daniel Webster (FL-11).
Many Republicans have put themselves in box that will make it difficult for them to debate the big issues moving forward by aligning themselves closely with President Trump, CNN’s John King said after the House voted to impeach Trump for a second time.
“This is the party of Lincoln and the party of Reagan, that right now is still the party of Trump. Many people are trying to escape from that,” King said.
Ten Republicans, including the House’s No. 3 Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined their Democratic colleagues to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Several of their colleagues, including Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, defended Trump on the House floor. Jordan claimed that Democrats simply wanted to “cancel the President.”
“We need a competitive two-party system. We need a good debate about all the big issues before us. But many of those Republicans simply don’t have the standing or credibility right now because of the box they’ve put themselves in,” King explained.
Watch King’s full remarks:
The House has just voted to impeach President Trump for the second time – making him the only US president to ever be impeached twice.
The impeachment resolution the House voted on, which passed 232 to 197, charges Trump with a single article, “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
CNN’s Zach Wolf is answering your questions on what happens next.
Watch via the link below:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said an impeachment trial can “begin immediately” if they can reach an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Some context: McConnell has made clear in a statement to fellow senators that Trump’s impeachment trial won’t start until after Jan. 19.
California GOP Rep. David Valadao explained on Twitter why he voted to impeach President Trump, saying the President encouraged “masses of rioters to incite violence.”
“Speaker Pelosi has thrown precedent and process out the window by turning what should be a thorough investigation into a rushed political stunt. I wish, more than anything, that we had more time to hold hearings to ensure due process,” the video continued. “Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi did not afford us that option.”
Valadao said that he voted based on the facts and that he had to “go with my gut and vote my conscience.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear in a statement to fellow senators that President Trump’s impeachment trial won’t start until after Jan. 19.
McConnell said in the statement that he believes “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.”
Read his full statement:
A senior Trump adviser offered a stinging assessment of the President’s second impeachment by saying Trump has destroyed everything he built politically because he could never tell the truth.
“This will be the story you tell your kids when you lecture them about telling the truth,” the adviser continued.
Rep Jim Jordan said the he was not surprised by the number of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, but was hoping it would be less.
“It’s about where I thought it might be,” Jordan said walking off the floor. “I was hoping it would be less.”
Asked if he still considers Trump to be a leader of the Republican party even though he has now been impeached twice, Jordan said, “of course.”
“His support is strong because the American people appreciate that over the last four years he did more of what he said he would do than any President in my life,” Jordan said.
Asked if the 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump would face primaries Jordan said, “I don’t know that.”
The House just voted to impeach President Trump for a second time for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in voting in favor of the impeachment resolution.
Rep. Dan Newhouse of WashingtonRep. John Katko of New YorkRep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of WashingtonRep. Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisRep. Fred Upton of MichiganRep. Liz Cheney of WyomingRep. Peter Meijer of MichiganRep. Anthony Gonzalez of OhioRep. Tom Rice of South Carolina Rep. David Valadao of California
What comes next: The next steps in the process are a little unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t agree to bring the Senate back early, according to Republican sources, and he communicated that to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today.
That means a Senate trial won’t happen now until after Trump has left office and would most likely bleed into the early days of the Biden presidency, and when Democrats will control the Senate.
Here’s how each member in the House voted on Trump’s second impeachment.
The House has just voted to impeach President Trump for the second time – making him the only US president to ever be impeached twice. The resolution passed 232 to 197.
The impeachment resolution the House voted on charges Trump with a single article, “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans, including the House’s No. 3 Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined with Democrats to impeach Trump.
There is no such thing as a routine impeachment but this one is unprecedented in all sorts of ways.
The overall impeachment process laid out in the Constitution is relatively simple:
- A president commits “high Crime or Misdemeanor”
- The House votes to impeach
- The Senate conducts a trial
This impeachment process will feel entirely new and different from the one we saw in late 2019 around the Ukraine investigation, most notably because the Senate trial is expected to occur after Trump leaves office.
Here’s why that’s important:
New President Joe Biden will be asking the Senate to vote on his Cabinet nominees and act on legislation to address the Covid pandemic as well as relief for Americans hurt by the troubled economy.
In 2020, Senate business ground to a complete halt during the trial. This time, incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping to pursue a half-day schedule to conduct the trial part of the day and business the rest of the day.
The charges this time are much simpler to convey and understand, however. It should still take some number of days with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding and senators sitting in judgment. When both of the new Democratic senators from Georgia are seated, it will take 17 Republicans voting with Democrats to reach a two-thirds majority and convict Trump.
The swift effort to impeach him certainly puts Trump in the position of wanting to keep Republican senators on his side. In that regard, it would keep him in check during the last week of his presidency.
Remember: Impeaching Trump in the House does not remove him from office. Neither a second House impeachment nor even a Senate vote to convict Trump and remove him from office would prevent him from running again, in 2024 or beyond.
Rather, after two-thirds of senators present voted to remove Trump, a simple majority of senators present would have to approve an additional vote to bar him from the presidency in the future.
Barring him from further office could also cost him his more-than $200,000 per year pension if the Senate wants to take that way.
Watch the moment:
President Trump will make a statement reacting to today’s impeachment proceedings soon, an official familiar with the matter tells CNN. It will likely be a video.
The House has just voted to impeach President Trump for the second time – making him the only US president to ever be impeached twice. The resolution passed 232 to 197.
The impeachment resolution the House voted on charges Trump with a single article, “incitement of insurrection,” for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
More on this: A White House official said aides to the President are concerned the video he is recording this evening will be removed by YouTube, as Trump has seen his presence on social media vanish in recent days as tech giants like Twitter and Facebook have cracked down on the President’s often false and irresponsible content.
The official said the plan is to post the video on whitehouse.gov. But YouTube is used by the White House to post videos on the official government site. The official said news outlets would be wise to make a digital recording of the video as soon as possible, in the event it is pulled down by YouTube.
The Oval Office is under consideration as a location for recording the video. It could be posted sometime during the next couple of hours.
Enough lawmakers have cast votes to impeach President Trump again in a historic first, with at least 217 members having now cast votes to impeach the President, including at least nine Republicans.
The impeachment resolution charges Trump with a single article, “incitement of insurrection,” for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
Voting is ongoing.
As soon as the gavel comes down, Trump will become the only President in history to be impeached twice.
See the moment:
CNN’s Dana Bash called out House Republicans who did not come out and admit that they were wrong for propagating false election fraud claims during the House impeachment debate.
“Those who did say that the election was stolen, those who propagated that, those who fed the lies of the President, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake,’ we heard that from nobody. And that’s frankly reprehensible,” CNN’s Dana Bash said.
“Especially given the fact that they all know better,” Bash added.
“I think they know the reality. I think that they know the truth. I think that, in their heart of hearts, understand that when the secretaries of states in swing states like Georgia or Pennsylvania or Arizona say ‘This election wasn’t stolen,’ and it was free and fair and honest that, that actually is the truth,” Bash continued.
Bash also highlighted how, aside from the backtracking from election fraud claims, Republicans didn’t acknowledge the live footage from last week’s attack which show rioters stating “the President told us to come here.”
Watch Bash’s full remarks:
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the Republicans who voted “yes” to impeach President Trump, told CNN he is at peace with his vote.
“I think this is one of those votes that that transcends any kind of political implication if the moment. This is one of those that you’re going to look back on when you’re 80 and this will be the one you talk about,” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger said he didn’t feel pressure from the party, but that his constituents were all over the place. Kinzinger said he didn’t know how many of his Republican colleagues would be joining him to vote for impeaching Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging his colleagues to focus for the next seven days on the transition of power and the inauguration, not impeachment, according to a senator.
The letter came in an email earlier today as the House casts votes on impeachment.
Earlier on Wednesday, McConnell sent a note to Republicans, writing, “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.”
McConnell has rejected calls by Democrats to bring the Senate back immediately to convict President Trump in his final days in office.
Rep. Cori Bush, a freshman Democrat from Missouri, used her brief speaking time today in the House during the impeachment debate to excoriate President Trump.
She continued: “The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching, the white supremacist in chief.”
GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez said he plans to vote to impeach President Trump. There are now at least nine Republicans that publicly support impeachment.
The House is voting now on the impeachment resolution.
See Rep. Gonzalez’s statement:
So far, at least nine Republicans have voted or said they will vote for impeachment:
Rep. Dan Newhouse of WashingtonRep. John Katko of New YorkRep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of WashingtonRep. Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisRep. Fred Upton of MichiganRep. Liz Cheney of WyomingRep. Peter Meijer of MichiganRep. Anthony Gonzalez of OhioRep. Tom Rice of South Carolina
CNN’s Manu Raju reports:
One day after Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey, alleged that members of Congress led tours of rioters on a reconnaissance mission the day before the attack on the Capitol, 31 members of Congress sent a letter to the acting House Sergeant of Arms, acting Senate Sergeant of Arms, and acting chief of the US Capitol Police asking them to investigate the matter further.
Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, one of the co-signers of the letter, confirmed to CNN that she saw groups of tours of people in MAGA apparel one or two days before the attack.
Scanlon told CNN she saw a group of six to eight people.
“Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, Jan. 5,” the letter stated.
It says the tours were “unusual” and “concerning” and were reported to the Sergeant at Arms on Jan. 5. The letter said the groups “could only have gained access to the Capitol complex from a member of Congress or a member of their staff.”