Calls grow for Trump's removal after Capitol riot

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

Updated 12:01 p.m. ET, February 8, 2021
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2:48 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Senate Democratic leader: "This president should not hold office one day longer."

From CNN's Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked. He declined to comment on this yesterday when CNN asked.

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer," Schumer said in the statement. 

The 25th Amendment has periodically been discussed as a means of last resort to remove a rogue or incapacitated president.

To forcibly wrest power from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence would have to be on board, according to the text of the amendment (read the full language here).

 

2:46 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

GOP rep says his call to invoke 25th Amendment is "the right thing to do for our democracy"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said his calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked and President Trump to be removed from office is “the right thing to do for our democracy.”

“We in essence have a President that seems unmoored from reality. We’re getting indications of staff leaving in droves. And I think just for the sake and survival of this moment, it's far bigger than politics. And the 25th Amendment putting Vice President Pence in charge until the President can lead again, which obviously in a short amount of time, probably will not happen, is the right thing to do for our democracy,” he said to CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Kinzinger said he’s not sure if any of his GOP colleagues will join him.

“I certainly hope that others at least hear what I'm saying and put aside the political moment and realize…history will never judge how we did in the politics, but it will judge how we did in managing the people's business,” he said.

“And yesterday when the President seemed to stir people up at rally when he tweeted after the occupation of the Capitol things that were obviously meant not to fully stop this from happening, it became quite obvious that he cannot be in the position to protect the American people — Republicans, Democrats, everybody in between and outside on the extreme. That is his job, that is our job,” Kinzinger added.

Rep. Kinzinger's call with Erin Burnett:

 

1:01 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Facing criticism, US Capitol Police details response to violent mob

From CNN's Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Sam Fossum

US Capitol Police, facing criticism over an apparent lack of preparedness to deal with Wednesday's violent mob on Capitol Hill, provided first details about the deadly incident that left lawmakers and staff fearful for their lives. 

In a statement released Thursday morning, chief of police Steven A. Sund said Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers were "actively attacked" with metal pipes and other weapons. 

"They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage," Sund said. 

The Capitol Police fired on an adult woman as "protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place." The woman was later pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital. The officer involved has been put on administrative leave pending a joint investigation with Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. 

Sund also said Capitol Police responded to reports of pipe bombs and a suspicious vehicle on the southeast corner of the capitol, adding that the Capitol police "determined that both devices were, in fact, hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety."

The FBI is investigating the incident further. 

Here's what else the department said:

  • More than a dozen arrests: The Capitol Police revealed for the first time that 13 people have been arrested for "unlawful entry" of the Capitol complex, in addition to the owner of the suspicious vehicle. The police said that additional charges may be filed pending further investigation. 
  • Officers injured: More than 50 Capitol Police and metropolitan police were injured during yesterday's attack, and several have been hospitalized with "serious injuries," according to Sund. 
  • How Sund described the chaos: "The violent attack on the US Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.," Sund said. "Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge."

Lawmakers say they are perplexed at the lack of preparedness among law enforcement given that it had been known for weeks that President Trump was promoting a rally he said was aimed at preventing the certification of Joe Biden's win. 

Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, who was locked in the House chamber during an armed standoff between Capitol Police and a rioter, praised the officers who were in the building that put their lives on the line to protect the lawmakers. But Quigley made clear that they were outnumbered and law enforcement was underprepared.

"The Capitol Police I was around did an amazing job under difficult circumstances," Quigley told CNN. "My concern wasn't with how valiant the Capitol Police were. It was that an hour before the debate started, I looked at the throngs of people surrounding different sections of the Capitol — and said, we don't have enough security."

Quigley added: "I'm no expert in security, but you can tell we were outmanned in an hour before the debate," referring to Congress' proceedings to certify Biden's win.

11:28 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Former Attorney General Bill Barr says Trump's conduct was "betrayal of his office"

From CNN’s Evan Perez

William Barr, Trump’s former Attorney General, accused the President of “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress” and went on to call his conduct a “betrayal of his office.” 

In response to riots that took place at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Barr said in statement sent to CNN: “Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable. The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.”

1:01 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

DC police made 68 arrests Wednesday, mayor's spokeswoman says

From CNN's Alex Marquardt and Aileen Graef

DC’s Metropolitan Police Department made 68 arrests last night following an insurrection at the US Capitol, according to a mayor’s spokeswoman.

Most of the arrests were made for curfew violations after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a 6 p.m. ET curfew in the District of Columbia. Other charges included weapons charges and unlawful entry.

Last night’s arrests include the following charges:

  • Five arrests for possession of an illegal firearm. (One on US Capitol Grounds.)
  • Two arrests for illegal possession of other weapons (metal knuckles & blackjack-like weapon.) Note – while these types weapons may be legal in other states, they are illegal in DC.
  • 25 arrests for curfew violations and unlawful entry on the Capitol Grounds. 
  • 36 arrests for curfew violations, including 8 arrests for curfew violations on US Capitol Grounds and 28 arrests for curfew violations throughout the city.
11:15 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Facebook says it may ban Trump's account "indefinitely"

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Al Drago/Getty Images
Al Drago/Getty Images

Facebook’s restrictions on President Trump’s account will continue at least the next two weeks and perhaps “indefinitely,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post

The decision marks a major escalation by Facebook as it’s come under intense pressure to ban Trump following his inflammatory rhetoric encouraging insurrection.  

If the restrictions hold, Facebook could be the first major platform to remove Trump permanently.

2:46 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

You might hear talk of the 25th Amendment today. Here's what you need to know.

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

After violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, a growing number of Republican leaders and Cabinet officials told CNN that they believe Donald Trump should be removed from office before Jan. 20.

Some of them called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked — as has at least one GOP lawmaker, Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

The amendment has periodically been discussed as a means of last resort to remove a rogue or incapacitated president.

Here's what you need to know about the amendment:

  • How it works: To forcibly wrest power from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence would have to be on board, according to the text of the amendment. Read the full language here. Pence would also need either a majority of Trump's Cabinet officials to agree the President is unfit for office and temporarily seize power from him.
  • Trump could dispute their move: He would need to write a letter to Congress. Pence and the Cabinet would then have four days to dispute him. Congress would then vote — it requires a two-thirds supermajority, usually 67 senators and 290 House members to permanently remove him.
  • Some history about the amendment: The 25th Amendment was enacted in the wake of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, whose predecessor Dwight Eisenhower suffered major heart attacks. It was meant to create a clear line of succession and prepare for urgent contingencies.

 

2:47 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Republican congressman calls for Trump to be removed from office

Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted a video message Thursday calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked and President Trump to be removed from office.

Kinzinger said that yesterday, it became evident that Trump "has abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people's house."

Kinzinger said Trump "invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection that we saw here."

"It's time to invoke the 25th Amendment and end this nightmare," he added.

Watch the video:

 

1:01 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Law enforcement officials expecting dozens of charges against US Capitol rioters

From CNN's Evan Perez

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Following Wednesday’s embarrassing federal response to Pro-Trump rioters ransacking of the Capitol, the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies are planning a push to make arrests and bring charges against those who led the insurrection, federal law enforcement officials said. 

Dozens of charges are expected in Washington DC’s local and federal courts, including as many as 15 federal cases against people who are believed to be involved in the more serious alleged crimes, the officials said Thursday.

FBI digital experts spent the night ingesting surveillance video from the Capitol buildings and the area around the complex and are using software to match images and faces with social media posts showing some of the mayhem. In some cases, people involved in storming the Capitol made social media postings ahead of the rally making clear what their plans were, which federal prosecutors can use to help bring charges. 

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other federal officials are coordinating the response but are also facing questions about why law enforcement appeared unprepared for the onslaught that in many ways had already been telegraphed by President Trump and his supporters on social media. 

Part of the response Thursday includes repairing and building new harder-to-breach fencing around the capitol west-facing grounds to protect the area to be used for Inauguration ceremonies in two weeks. Trump supporters could be seen swarming over the stage where Biden will take the oath of office.

Some more context: On Wednesday, CNN reported that a law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that pipe bombs were found at the headquarters for the DNC, RNC and grounds of the United States Capitol. The source said all the devices were safely detonated by the police. A source told CNN there could be charges related to that as well.