Fallout intensifies over Trump's response to Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 7:35 AM ET, Sat January 9, 2021
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3:41 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Biden says Trump not attending the inauguration is "a good thing"

Susan Walsh/AP
Susan Walsh/AP

One of the few things President-elect Joe Biden and President Trump have agreed on is that the latter should not attend the inauguration on Jan. 20.

"I was told on the way over here, that he indicated he wasn't going to show up at the inauguration. One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing, him not showing up," Biden said. "He has clearly demonstrated — he exceeded even my worst notions about him. He's been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed around the world, not worthy to hold that office."

Not only will Trump not attend, a source with knowledge of her plans told CNN that first lady Melania Trump will also not attend Biden’s inauguration.

The Trumps are right now scheduled to leave Washington on Jan. 19, this source said, but cautions those plans could change.

Trump conceded publicly for the first time last night that he will not serve a second term, stopping short of congratulating Biden but acknowledging a transfer of power is now underway.

Biden was later asked about the possibility of Vice President Mike Pence attending the inauguration.

"He’s welcome," the President-elect said, adding that he believes it is important to stick to historical precedent in the changing of an administration as possible.

"I’d be honored to have him there and to move forward in the transition," Biden said, adding that he has not spoken with Pence.

CNN's Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.

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3:41 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Biden says he has "great confidence" in inauguration security following Capitol riot

Susan Walsh/AP
Susan Walsh/AP

Following the violent riot on the US Capitol earlier this week, President-elect Joe Biden said that since a different protection agency oversees the inauguration, he's confident it will go off "without a hitch."

"A totally different entity is in charge of the inauguration than was in charge of protecting the Capitol — the Secret Service," Biden said at a news conference Friday. "I have complete confidence in the Secret Service, I have great confidence in their ability to make sure that the inauguration goes off, goes off safely and goes off without a hitch."

Biden's comments come as the US Capitol Police — the agency in charge of protecting the US Capitol — faces backlash for its handling of the Wednesday riot.

Today, Biden said the riot and security surrounding it must be "thoroughly investigated."

"That has to be thoroughly investigated, the authorities responsible have to be held accountable for the failures that occurred, and we have to make sure that this can never, ever happen again," he said.

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3:23 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Biden declines to weigh in on impeachment and says it's up to Congress to decide

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Asked by CNN whether he believes it is right for Congress to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden refused to weigh in. 

"What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide," he said. 

Biden said he's thought for "a long, long time that President Trump wasn’t fit to hold the job. That’s why I ran. My job now in 12 days, God-willing, I’ll be President of the United States." 

The President-elect said his priority right now is preparing for his new administration and that he is focused on three concerns: the virus, vaccine, and economic growth. 

"I'm focused on the virus, the vaccine and economic growth. What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide. But I'm going to have to, and they're going to have to be ready to hit the ground running, because when Kamala and I are sworn in, we'll be introducing immediately significant pieces of legislation to deal with the virus, deal with the economy, and deal with economic growth," Biden said during a news conference today in Wilmington, Delaware, following the announcement of new Cabinet members.

"So we're going to do our job, and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs," Biden continued.

Biden said that he will be speaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer later this afternoon. 

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3:02 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment as early as Monday

From CNN's Lauren Fox, Manu Raju and Jamie Gangel

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks down a hallway at the US Capitol building on January 8.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks down a hallway at the US Capitol building on January 8. Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as soon as Monday, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. 

That could set up a vote in the House early to the middle of next week. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not explicitly said when this will go to the floor. 

This would be the second time the House has unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump.

In December 2019, the House impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him on both charges last February.

2:45 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Pence calls slain Capitol police officer an "American hero" in tweet expressing condolences

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that he and the second lady were “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick and send our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family, friends and fellow officers.”

Pence goes on to write Sicknick was “American hero who gave his life defending our Capitol.”

President Trump has not commented specifically on the death of Sicknick at the hands of insurrectionists he incited, however the White House released a statement through deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

“Anytime a member of law enforcement dies in the line of duty it is a solemn reminder to us all that they run toward danger to maintain peace. The President and the entire Administration extend our prayers to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s family as we all grieve the loss of this American hero,” Deere said in a statement to CNN.

See Pence's tweets:

2:53 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

New York governor says Trump should resign

From CNN's Laura Ly

Seth Wenig/AP
Seth Wenig/AP

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he believes President Trump should resign.

"I believe President Trump should resign. I believe if he doesn’t resign, I believe he should be impeached," he said at a news conference Friday.

Cuomo said he calls upon every New York federal official to call for Trump’s resignation so that the country may be spared another impeachment process.  

"The question will always be, what did you do when Washington anarchy descended?" he asked. "What did you do at that moment? And you’ll live with the consequences."

Cuomo described Wednesday’s events at the US Capitol Building as "horrific."

"This was the result of a leader, who for four years actually appealed to the worst in people, appealed to fear and racism and discrimination, appealed to people’s fear of different people," he said. "When you demonize differences, you literally tear the fabric of this nation apart."

Cuomo also expressed shock at the security failures that allowed a mob of Trump supporters to breach the Capitol. 

"From a security point of view, I’m shocked at what they allowed to happen," Cuomo said. "If you look at this, any bunch of thugs, any mob can literally take over the government, which is what they did."

2:42 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Democrats discuss the possibility of a Senate impeachment trial after Trump leaves office

From CNN's Manu Raju

Rep. Adam Schiff attends a news conference in Washington, DC, on September 23.
Rep. Adam Schiff attends a news conference in Washington, DC, on September 23. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On a conference call with Democrats, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff discussed what would happen with the Senate impeachment trial if the House impeaches President Trump, according to multiple sources on the call. 

Since Republicans are unlikely to hold a trial before Jan. 20, Senate Democrats would be able to hold a trial after Jan. 20 once they officially take the majority.

That could be awkward for the Biden administration as the new President tries to unite the country and focus on the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Also, Schiff noted a Senate trial after Trump leaves would present a messaging challenge since they are arguing now he is an imminent threat to the republic. But Schiff argued it would still be valid as a constitutional act and convicting Trump after leaving office would be important to prevent him from running again, they said. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin also laid out the realities of impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

Raskin said the 25th Amendment could happen via the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence, but added that there's another route: Congress could create a commission, a majority of which could then vote to remove Trump. If Pence consents, he is removed. But they recognize that is unlikely to happen with the time left and that Pence is unlikely to go along. But there was talk about passing such a bill to create a commission to keep the pressure on Trump.

In terms of timing for an impeachment vote, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hasn’t explicitly said, but did say she would consult with House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern about the process. They are considering allowing the Rules Committee to act first but that committee hasn’t been formally organized yet.

2:18 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

West Virginia state legislator, who filmed himself storming Capitol, faces criminal charges

From CNN's Kara Scannell 

Derrick Evans, a West Virginia state legislator who recorded himself storming the Capitol on Wednesday, faces criminal charges, US officials said.

Evans has been charged in a criminal complaint with entering restricted area and entering the US Capitol, said Ken Kohl, a top official in the US attorney’s office for Washington, DC.

2:40 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Biden expresses condolences for slain Capitol Police officer

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Officer Brian D. Sicknick
Officer Brian D. Sicknick USCP

President-elect Joe Biden began his Cabinet announcements Friday by expressing condolences for the Capitol Police officer who died in the line of duty following the insurgence on Capitol Hill, saying that the people who are responsible should be held accountable. 

"Our sympathies and our concerns go out to his family, and the people responsible should be held accountable, and they will be," Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware.

The officer, Brian D. Sicknick, was injured Wednesday when a mob of President Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol.

He died at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday "due to injuries sustained while on-duty," Capitol Police officials said in a statement.

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