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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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.

6:51 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House observes moment of silence for fallen officers

From CNN's Kristin Wilson 

House TV
House TV

The House of Representatives today observed a moment of silence for two fallen US Capitol Police officers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lead the House in the moment of silence to honor US Capitol Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, who were both on duty when a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol last week.

Sicknick had died "due to injuries sustained while on-duty." Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department's First Responder's Unit.

Prosecutors in the US Attorney's office plan to open a federal murder investigation into Sicknick's death, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Liebengood, 51, was among those who responded to the storming of the Capitol last week. He died while off duty, the Capitol Police said Sunday. The announcement did not state the officer's cause of death.

He was assigned to the Senate Division and has been with the Department since April 2005.

Liebengood's father, Howard S. Liebengood, was an aide to former Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker and served as the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms from 1981-1983.

CNN's Diane Ruggiero, Jeremy Diamond and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.

Watch here:

5:52 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney: "I will vote to impeach the President"

Alex Wong/Getty Images/FILE
Alex Wong/Getty Images/FILE

Wyoming's Liz Cheney, the third-ranking GOP leader in the House, announced in a statement today that she will vote to impeach President Trump, saying that he "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack."

"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," she said in the statement.

Read her full statement:

"On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic. 
Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. 
I will vote to impeach the President."

Watch here:

7:36 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Pence tells governors: "The next administration will have your back"

From CNN's Betsy Klein, Allie Malloy and Maegan Vazquez

Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images/FILE
Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images/FILE

Vice President Mike Pence kicked off what is likely to be his final weekly coronavirus call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday with a farewell message and an effort to inspire confidence in the next administration. 

Pence did his part to impress upon the governors that there will be a smooth transition to the Biden administration, despite weeks of stonewalling. He said the task force met with Biden officials during their meeting Monday. 

“We are in the midst of a transition to a new administration and I want to say to all the governors on the call that we are working diligently with President-elect Joe Biden’s team. Our task force met with them yesterday,” he said, suggesting that they had been in contact for “many weeks,” despite evidence to the contrary. 

“We’re going to ensure a seamless transition to the new administration on the 20th and our objective is no interruption," he added.

On the matter of personal protective equipment, Pence also reiterated there’d be a seamless transition. 

“We want to build confidence for you in this administration, the next administration, get your supplies out, get your PPE out to your health care providers… We just want you to have confidence, we have your back,” he said, adding, “We’ve got your back, the next administration will have your back.”

Amid concerns about the pace of vaccinations, Pence said that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for immunizations “are not binding,” praising governors for “great innovations in delivery and scope” and telling them they had the administration’s “full support.”

He also claimed that there is “not a supply issue at this moment in time.”

“We actually have more vaccine today in reserve than has been ordered by states to be administered and we want to clear that up,” he said.