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
78 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:34 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Pence says he doesn't support invoking 25th Amendment in letter to Pelosi

From CNN's Allie Malloy

Office of the Vice President
Office of the Vice President

Vice President Mike Pence declined to support efforts to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump in a letter he penned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“But now with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.

He also noted that he did not "yield to political pressure to exert pressure beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation."

Pence also wrote that invoking the 25th Amendment "in such a manner would set a terrible precedent."

He urged Pelosi and all members of Congress to "lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden."

Pence went on to pledge to work in good faith "to ensure an orderly transition of power." 

Watch here:

7:46 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

25 House lawmakers plead with Trump to "urge anyone considering mobilizing to stay home"

From CNN's Manu Raju

In a letter from a bipartisan coalition of 25 House members, lawmakers urge President Trump to "address the nation and unequivocally denounce domestic terrorism, condemn harmful propaganda, urge anyone considering mobilizing to stay home, and affirmatively state that you are no way supportive of violent messages of any kind."

Read a passage from the letter:

"In times of crisis and unrest, the nation relies on its elected leaders to do everything in their power to keep the American people safe and restore the peace. As bipartisan Members of the Senate and House, we ask that you please address the nation and unequivocally denounce domestic terrorism, condemn harmful propaganda, urge anyone considering mobilizing to stay home, and affirmatively state that you are no way supportive of violent messages of any kind. We must, as one nation, stand up against extremism in all its forms.
During these perilous times, we further call upon you to clearly reaffirm your commitment to a peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Biden on January 20th. These actions will directly help to prevent an escalation in violence and ensure the country can begin to heal."

7:22 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Briefings from federal authorities emphasized how much worse events were last week at US Capitol

From CNN's Evan Perez

Some of the shifting seen from some lawmakers appears to be the result of briefings from federal authorities on Monday and Tuesday, which has emphasized how much worse the events last Wednesday were than perhaps lawmakers realized.

After Capitol Police were overrun by the crowd of pro-Trump rally-goers, the immediate task became trying to save lives, federal law enforcement officials said.

Metropolitan Police officers, many wearing minimal gear, arrived to join the Capitol Police and helped turn the tide. They were soon joined by federal agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Surveillance videos and other information investigators have reviewed have shown a more dire situation, as lawmakers and staff were taken into hiding, one federal law enforcement official said. And that information is being briefed to members of Congress.

“It was armed combat in that building,” the federal law enforcement official said. “The (Metropolitan Police Department) saved those people’s lives; it could have been so much worse.”
7:05 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Sources expect more House Republicans to vote for impeachment

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Jim Acosta and Lauren Fox

A White House official says they expect as many as 20 or more Republicans to vote for impeachment in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, though they do not have a firm figure. 

Another GOP source close to situation says to expect between 10 and 25 House GOP members to defect from President Trump, and vote for the article of impeachment.

The source notes that it is a big range and a lot of uncertainty as to how the final vote will break down, and Trump advisers are reminding lawmakers how popular Trump remains in the party.

A separate source on the Hill tells CNN that the number will likely be less than 20.

What we know: Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking GOP leader in the House, Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Rep. John Katko announced today that they will vote to impeach Trump.

The House plans to vote on the article of impeachment tomorrow.

8:39 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

DC mayor calls on Republicans to speak out against Trump

Bowser speak with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Bowser speak with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. CNN

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser called on other Republican lawmakers to speak out against President Trump, saying that she is worried about the future of the country – even beyond Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

"I'm worried about DC, I'm worried about states around our country. But I'm also worried beyond that," she told CNN on Tuesday, calling the people who mobbed the US Capitol "domestic terror groups."

"Trumpism is not dead, and it won't die on January the 20th," Bowser added.

Bowser urged Republicans to "be better than Trump" and speak to his followers.

"Let them know that our allegiance as Americans is to our Constitution, to the freedoms that our Constitution promises, but not to any single individual. And we are, in my view, in a very dangerous time in our country if we don't have leaders who speak up and do that," she said.

The mayor went on to say that people need to be held accountable, specifically for the officer that was killed in the Capitol riot, adding that the strike force being put together by federal officials to understand how the mob was planned is a good idea.

"I think the strike force is a good idea to build the very serious case – the very serious cases – that are going to find the conspiracy and the organization behind this. That's going to be important for us to stop the radicalization of young, White men across our country," Bowser said.

Watch here:

7:00 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Rep. Adam Schiff: McConnell's shift is a "potential earthquake in the Senate"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff CNN

Reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be open to impeachment in the House could point to a "potential earthquake" in the upper chamber, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said.

CNN reported today that McConnell had indicated to associates that he believed impeaching President Trump could make it easier to rid the Republican Party of the President and Trumpism. McConnell has not said if he will vote to convict or whether he'd hold a trial in the Senate.

"These reports that Mitch McConnell may be open to the impeachment charges as well is a potential earthquake in the Senate," said Schiff, who was one of the lead investigators in the first impeachment of Trump.

Schiff also praised Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, for her own statement in favor of impeachment, and said he expected many Republicans to follow her. 

"These things have a way of gathering momentum," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised now to see a considerable number of Republicans join in supporting the impeachment resolution."

Three Republican lawmakers in the House had indicated they would vote for impeachment, as of 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Watch here:

6:44 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House releases final language of impeachment resolution against Trump

From CNN's Manu Raju 

The House just released the final version of the sole impeachment article being filed against President Trump. 

The measure is titled "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors."

The House will vote on the single article of impeachment on Wednesday.

Here's an excerpt from the bill:

"Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States." 

Read the article of impeachment here.

6:28 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Third GOP House lawmaker says he will vote to impeach President Trump

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger Kevin Dietsch/POOL/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he will vote to impeach President Trump, in a statement released on Twitter. 

"There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative," the statement said.

Some background: Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking GOP leader in the House, and Rep. John Katko also announced today that they will vote to impeach the President. The House plans to vote on the article of impeachment tomorrow.

Read Kinzinger's statement:

6:16 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Federal officials assign a team to understand how last week's attack was planned

From CNN's Evan Perez 

A federal law enforcement official says the top priority in the investigation is understanding the planning of the Capitol attack, which is why acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin has assigned a team specifically to the issue. 

Despite the intelligence from the FBI’s Norfolk office that showed online discussions of “war” and even specific details about tunnels in the Capitol complex, the official says the FBI did what it could with the information, which is among dozens of other reports that came in during the days before the Jan. 6 Trump rally.

They shared it with the US Capitol Police and other agencies, but none of the intelligence prompted those officers to harden the protective perimeter of the complex. The US Capitol Police reports to Congress and is separate from Executive Branch law enforcement agencies.

On the day of the attack, the federal law enforcement official, some of the suspected extremists who were on the law enforcement radar did turn up. Now the FBI and other agencies are combing through communications and other records to determine the planning that went into the mob invasion.   

“We need to understand the command and control aspects of this,” the law enforcement official told CNN.