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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9:28 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Democrat introduces resolution calling on Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

From CNN's Annie Grayer

Rep. Jamie Raskin
Rep. Jamie Raskin House TV

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, has introduced his resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to enact the 25th Amendment on the House floor.

Pence signaled earlier today in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he would reject the call to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.

In his letter, he 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."

9:54 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Trump has continued discussing issuing pardons for himself and his children, sources say

From CNN's Jamie Gangel, Pamela Brown and Kara Scannell

Gerald Herbert/AP
Gerald Herbert/AP

President Trump has continued discussing issuing pardons for himself and his children since the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

One source familiar with the conversations says there is a belief that a Trump "pardon of family and kids, is more likely and more urgent because a pardon could stave off prosecution." 

However aides and allies are concerned over the public perception of a pardon following the Jan. 6 attack, which led to the deaths of five people.

Sources tell CNN there is dissent inside the West Wing from those appalled by the attack, many of whom are pushing up against a President whose main concern is protecting himself and his family.

The riot at the Capitol raises the potential of new legal exposure for the President, his allies and family members who participated in the rally should investigators pursue whether their words and actions could be subject to criminal prosecution.

On Tuesday, Trump defended his remarks from Jan. 6, saying they were "appropriate."

The White House did not provide a comment.

The source familiar with White House conversations said that Trump might issue a blanket pardon to cover himself and his children up until the time he leaves office, adding, from Trump's point of view, "it makes sense to just cover it all."

Even before last week, the President had told advisers he thinks that he and his family have been unfairly targeted and that he's concerned legal pursuits could continue under the Biden Justice Department, according to a source close to Trump.

Since his first year in office, Trump has discussed pardoning himself and his children, but the attack on the Capitol creates a new dynamic surrounding the messaging and "public relations" of such pardons, according to the person familiar with White House conversations.

Read more here.

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8:41 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi names impeachment managers

From CNN's Lauren Fox 

On the eve of the vote on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named impeachment managers.

The lead manager will be Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland.

Here are the other impeachment managers:

  • Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado
  • Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
  • Rep. Ted Lieu of California
  • Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands
  • Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado
  • Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania
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.

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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.

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