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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2:46 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.

10:25 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Trump national security official resigns after yesterday's violence

From CNN's Alex Marquardt

Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian Affairs, has resigned from the National Security Council, a White House official confirms to CNN. He quit after a violent mob stormed the US Capitol yesterday.

The resignation was first reported by Bloomberg News. 

10:22 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Video appears to show Capitol Hill police officer taking selfie with rioter

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

From Twitter
From Twitter

Livestream video appears to show a Capitol Hill police officer taking a selfie with a rioter inside the building.

The snippet of livestream posted online is short, and it's unclear what prompted, or followed, the interaction.

CNN has reached out to the Capitol Hill Police for comment about the incident.

10:52 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

About 6,200 National Guardsmen mobilized to help in Washington, DC 

From CNN's Barbara Starr

Members of the DC National Guard are deployed outside of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. 
Members of the DC National Guard are deployed outside of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.  Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Several states and the District of Columbia are mobilizing approximately 6,200 National Guardsmen to Washington, DC, a US defense official tells CNN.

The guardsmen being deployed from out of state include 1,000 from New York, 500 from Maryland and 500 from New Jersey.

As CNN previously reported, the DC National Guard also activated 1,100 members Wednesday to assist in the response to the insurrection at the Capitol.   

10:54 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

FBI asks public to help identify rioters

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

John Minchillo/AP
John Minchillo/AP

The FBI is asking Americans to step up and help identify the people that participated in Wednesday's riot and insurrection at the US Capitol.

It's not just tips and information that the agency wants, it's also asking for photos or videos.

"The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC," it said on its website.
"The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021."

You can find out how to submit tips and information here.

10:29 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

DC attorney general says federal law enforcement partners "let us down"

From CNN's Nicky Robertson 

DC Attorney General Karl Racine is interviewed in his office at One Judiciary Square on March 7, 2019.
DC Attorney General Karl Racine is interviewed in his office at One Judiciary Square on March 7, 2019. Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

DC Attorney General Karl Racine on Thursday said that federal law enforcement officials let down DC in handling the rioters Wednesday but notes that it is not in his jurisdiction to prosecute the majority of offenses committed.  

“DC law enforcement officers, frankly, they did their jobs. And they went out and afterward, they helped the Capitol Police restore order and arrested folks pursuant to the curfew order that Mayor Bowser invoked. Our federal partners let us down,” Racine said, noting DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's curfew last night, during an interview Thursday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.    

Racine said that he hopes President-elect Joe Biden’s attorney general pick Merrick Garland will pursue arrests. 

“My office, for example, is not the predominant prosecutor for the adult offenses that were committed yesterday. The United States attorney's office with the United States attorney appointed by President Trump is the prosecutor. I certainly hope those career prosecutors and I do have faith in career prosecutors, will do the right thing, and I know that Merrick Garland and his new U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia will prosecute,” he stated. 

Jim Sciutto Reports:

9:57 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Democratic senator says a laptop was stolen from his office during US Capitol riots

From CNN's Pervaiz Shallwani 

Sen. Jeff Merkley attends a press conference at the Capitol on January 25, 2020.
Sen. Jeff Merkley attends a press conference at the Capitol on January 25, 2020. Shutterstock

Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, says rioters who ransacked his office at the US Capitol building Wednesday stole a laptop that was on a table.

In a video posted to his Twitter page early morning, Merkley says rioters “smashed the door virtually off its hinges.” He said the door was unlocked.

Merkley said rioters “tore things off the walls,” including art from a renowned artist, showed a Trump 2020 flag that was left behind and stole a laptop that sitting on a table. He also show a cigarette butt that was stamped out.

“So count this office is trashed. You can see the debris is all over the floor,” he says.

Watch the video here: