House pushes for Trump's removal after deadly Capitol riot

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

Updated 1:29 AM ET, Wed January 13, 2021
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1:43 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Senate Democratic leader says Capitol rioters should be put on a no-fly list


Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding that anyone who stormed the US Capitol last week be placed on the Transportation Security Administration's no-fly list as a way to contain possible future threats.

"These individuals are a threat to the homeland as defined by the law," Schumer said at a news conference. "And they should be placed on the no-fly list."

He continued:

"With so many questions about safety and the worry about future possible threats, the least we can do is make the skies, the inauguration, the Capitol and the country safer."

Hear what else he said about possible threats:

1:37 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

GOP lawmaker removed from Harvard advisory committee following election claims 

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

Rep. Elise Stefanik
Rep. Elise Stefanik Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images/FILE

GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York was removed from the Harvard Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee Tuesday for her role in perpetuating baseless claims about voter fraud in the November 2020 election. 

The decision comes following calls from students and alumni – including a petition signed by nearly a thousand Harvard affiliates – to remove Stefanik from the committee.

Pleas for Stefanik to step aside had been brewing since the election, but this specific petition was started early last week in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday, when Stefanik objected to the certification of the election results, even after the violence.

“I spoke with Elise and asked her to step aside from the Senior Advisory Committee. My request was not about political parties, political ideology, or her choice of candidate for president. Rather, in my assessment, Elise has made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect,” Douglas Elmendorf, dean of faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School, said in a letter to the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School Tuesday.

“Moreover, these assertions and statements do not reflect policy disagreements but bear on the foundations of the electoral process through which this country’s leaders are chosen,” Elmendorf added.

According to the letter, Stefanik was asked to step aside from the committee, but declined that offer and therefore was therefore removed from the committee. 

Megan Corrigan and Jacob Carrel – both students at Harvard Law School – were in a group chat texting as the violence at the Capitol unfolded.

“We were both aware Rep. Stefanik had this position at the Institute of Politics, and we felt that with her continued support of these false claims of election fraud she was enabling this violence. And we felt like she should no longer be a part of our institution or hold such a high position within our Institute of Politics,” Corrigan, a 28-year-old second year law student at Harvard Law School and an author of the petition, told CNN.

“She continued and objected after the violence… and from there, the petition just took off, even faster than we imagined,” Corrigan added.

In addition to the petition, undergraduates also shared an infographic on social media which explained why they believed Stefanik “should not be an IOP senior advisor.”

“Through her promise to oppose the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, Rep. Stefanik has demonstrated that she is not suitable to advise our student center any longer,” the students wrote.

“We were so happy that the University heard us and took this step to hold her accountable this morning,” Corrigan told CNN Tuesday.

Stefanik responded to the Institute of Politics’ decision Tuesday with a statement on Twitter in which she said, “The decision by Harvard’s administration to cower and cave to the woke Left will continue to erode diversity of thought, public discourse, and ultimately the student experience.”

But, according to Coorigan, “This isn’t a free speech issue. This is a case of legislative action taken contrary to our Democracy.”

1:15 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Democrat says the security situation around the Capitol has improved significantly

From CNN's Daniella Diaz 

Chair of the House Administration Committee Zoe Lofgren told reporters after a briefing with the acting Capitol Police Chief and Acting Sergeant-at-Arms she feels security at the Capitol has improved.

When asked about the expected attacks on the US Capitol and lawmakers, "Go look at social media, and you'll see there's people who are unhinged and looking into overthrowing the government and you know, we saw them last week."

1:17 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Trump advised to denounce violence to reduce legal liability, sources say

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Trump exits the White House on Tuesday, January 12.
Trump exits the White House on Tuesday, January 12. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Advisers and lawyers speaking with Trump over the last few days have encouraged the President to lower his rhetoric and denounce violence in order to reduce his legal liability for the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. 

“Lawyers have been recommending a deescalation of rhetoric, not just for the good of the country, but also to reduce the risk of legal jeopardy,” one source familiar with the discussions said.

The sources said Trump has been told in the days following the siege at the Capitol that he could be charged with inciting violence by local and federal authorities and be sued by relatives of the victims who were harmed in the insurrection.

“He absolutely can be sued,” a separate source said, reflecting concerns among Trump’s advisers that the president’s actions have once again put himself in legal jeopardy.

As he left the White House for a trip to the border, Trump told reporters he did not want to see further violence. But he did not accept any responsibility for his own role in instigating the storming of the Capitol.

Trump has still not displayed remorse for the violence on Capitol Hill. He continues to tell his advisers that the election was stolen from him.

“Trump has created his own reality,” one of the sources said.

The other source contacted by CNN said Trump would not be shielded from prosecution once he leaves office, something the president is aware of as well. 

1:09 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Senate should start hearings on Biden's DHS pick to ensure security, inaugural committee co-chair says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Rep. Cedric Richmond
Rep. Cedric Richmond CNN

Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee, said Senate hearings for Biden’s homeland security chief pick need to happen as soon as possible to ensure safety on Inauguration Day. 

“The biggest failure that I've seen so far is that the United States Senate has not held hearings on the new secretary of homeland security, Mr. [Alejandro] Mayorkas, who would, at 12:01, be responsible for a whole-of-government approach to making sure these capitols are safe around the country and to make sure DC is safe,” Richmond told CNN’s John King. 

It’s “irresponsible to the American public,” he added. 

Members of Congress have been briefed on a series of new threats against lawmakers and the Capitol itself. According to a member of Congress who was among those briefed late Monday, thousands of armed pro-Trump extremists are plotting to surround the US Capitol ahead of Biden's inauguration.

Richmond said the inauguration organizers have included many digital components to the ceremony and are coordinating with officials to keep the ceremony secure. 

1:24 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

FBI has received over 100,000 digital tips from the public related to last week’s riot at the US Capitol

From CNN's Jessica Schneider

According to the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI has received more than 100,000 digital media tips as of Tuesday morning.

The digital media tips are sent in from people who have documented the rioting and violence at the US Capitol last week.

The FBI continues to urge people across the country to submit information, photos and videos that could be relevant to the ongoing investigation.

Scenes from the day a pro-Trump mob broke into the US Capitol:


12:43 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

First two Capitol riot defendants indicted in Washington, including man alleged to have bombs

From CNnKatelyn Polantz

The Justice Department on Tuesday filed its first federal grand jury indictments against two defendants linked to the Capitol riot, including against an Alabama man alleged to have parked a truck filled with homemade bombs, guns and ammo two blocks from the Capitol. 

Both men were arrested last week and their criminal allegations were made public shortly after the riot. The indictments formalize the charges the men, after they were arrested under criminal complaint.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Alabama appears to be the most serious defendant of more than 20 known federal defendants so far. He is currently detained and is set to appear before a judge this afternoon.

According to the new indictments, Coffman faces 17 criminal counts, largely for possession of multiple weapons including ammunition, shotgun shells and various guns, including a shotgun, a rifle, 3 pistols and 11 Molotov cocktails without registration in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, according to the indictment.

Another man, Mark Jefferson Leffingwell, faces seven counts related to violence inside the Capitol building. He is released from detention at this time.

Neither have entered a plea in court.

12:49 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Rep. Raskin calls for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment: This is the road to reconciliation

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

House Rules Committee
House Rules Committee

Rep. Jamie Raskin, of Maryland, a Democrat, is leading the efforts to encourage the House to vote on a resolution calling for Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump's Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Raskin argued that the move would be a road to reconcile the country and parties following the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

"All we have to ask is whether the President lived up to the most basic and minimal expectations for his duties of office," Raskin said during his remarks at the House hearing on the resolution.

"Can you imagine any other president in our history encouraging and fomenting mob violence against the Congress of the United States? Against our people? That's the question. And if you're with me and you can’t imagine any other president doing that and you think he failed the basic duties of offices then I think the Vice President has a duty to act," Raskin said.

Raskin saluted Vice President Pence’s actions on January 6 to move ahead with the certification of the electoral results despite facing “enormous, phenomenal, unprecedented pressure” from President Trump.

Raskin encouraged Pence to “stand up again."

“This is the road to reconciliation," Raskin said, addressing those members of Congress who he said “foolishly” voted to object the electoral results even after the US Capitol was attacked.

"It is the Vice President himself who is the key actor and it’s the President’s own Cabinet who make up the key actors… They can help to lead us out of the nightmare that we’ve been plunged into by this sequence of events. They can transfer, peacefully, the powers of the President to Vice President Mike Pence for the remainder of this term so that we can have a peaceful transition of power,” Raskin explained.

Hear his strong words for President Trump:

12:38 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Two House Democrats propose $1,000 fine for maskless members

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, from Michigan, and Congressman Anthony Brown, from Maryland, introduced legislation that would impose $1,000 fines on any member of Congress refusing to wear a mask on Capitol grounds during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This comes after three members tested positive for the virus after sheltering in place with other members of Congress who did not wear masks during the violent attack on the US Capitol last week.

"It is not brave to refuse to wear a mask, it is selfish, stupid, and shameful behavior that puts lives at risk," Dingell said in a statement. 

"In the midst of a deadly assault on our United States Capitol, a number of our Republican colleagues laughed off rules designed to keep not just their colleagues safe, but to protect the lives of the teams of workers keeping things going, law enforcement, and staff throughout the Capitol. Now, three of our colleagues are suffering from the virus," she added.

Specifically, the legislation would amend the House rules and institute a $1,000 fine per day for any member of Congress who refuses to wear a mask on the grounds of the Capitol during the pandemic.