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

America suffered an unprecedented attack on its democracy yesterday. We want to hear from you.

One woman was fatally shot by police and three people died of apparent medical emergencies Wednesday after a mob of President Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

The attack comes during the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has already turned life upside down. The US reported 3,865 coronavirus deaths Wednesday, bringing the overall toll to 361,123 people in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

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12:10 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

The White House has released a statement on Trump-incited riot at the US Capitol

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere has released a statement on Wednesday’s events resulting in a breach of the US Capitol building incited by President Trump, resulting in four deaths and a ransacked Capitol. 

“The White House grieves the loss of life that occurred yesterday and extends sympathies to their families and loved ones. We also continue to pray for a speedy recovery for those who suffered injury,” Deere said.

Trump, who has not expressed these sentiments himself, is currently in the Oval Office, a White House official said. A Marine is stationed outside the West Wing.

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

Woman killed during US Capitol riot identified as Ashli Babbitt

From CNN’s Josh Campbell

The woman fatally shot by a US Capitol Police employee as a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday was identified as Ashli Babbitt, Capitol Police chief Steven Sund said.

“As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn USCP employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female,” Sund said in a statement Thursday. “Medical assistance was rendered immediately, and the female was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.” 

The Capitol Police chief did not name the employee, but said they had been placed on administrative leave per department policy while a joint investigation with DC’s Metropolitan Police Department is underway. 

Sund also provided new details regarding reports of explosives found near the Capitol complex during the riot. The chief said two hazardous devices were found in the area, which could have caused “great harm to public safety.” Sund said the devices were rendered safe and are now being investigated by The FBI. 

The chief appeared to defend his agency in the wake of growing criticism over the apparent lack of preparation that allowed violent extremists to overrun the Capitol Police checkpoint and enter the building. 

“The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police,” Sund said, adding that the agency is reviewing its policies and response to the violent event. 

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

DC police are asking for help in identifying Capitol rioters

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, is asking for the public's help in identifying some of the rioters who stormed the US Capitol yesterday.

The department tweeted four photos of some of the people in the mob and urged anyone with information to call them.

Here's a look at the photos:

12:50 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021

DC Mayor deems riots at the Capitol as "textbook terrorism" and calls for statehood

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

After the storming of the US Capitol Wednesday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference where she called on the incoming Biden administration to approve statehood for the national capital within its first 100 days.

She also called on the new Congress to “immediately transfer command of the District of Columbia National Guard from the President of the United States and put it squarely under the command and control of the Mayor of the District of Columbia."

Calling the riot at the Capitol "textbook terrorism," Bowser urged Congress to create a nonpartisan commission to understand the "catastrophic security failures" at the Capitol on Wednesday that led to the rioters breaching the building. She also called for an investigation as well as arrests and prosecution of the rioters.

She raised the question of whether the response of law enforcement was stronger during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer following George Floyd's death than during the riot at the Capitol.

In stressing accountability, she said:

"More immediately, we know the current President must be held accountable for this unprecedented attack on our democracy. What happened yesterday is what he wanted to happen. And we must not underestimate the damage he can do to our nation and our democracy over the next two weeks. And it's not just the President who must be held accountable. So too must the domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol and threatened members of Congress."

WATCH:

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.”