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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1:20 p.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Trump will not attend Biden's inauguration 

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump is pictured in the White House on November 26.
President Donald Trump is pictured in the White House on November 26. Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

President Trump will not attend the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden on Capitol Hill in 12 days, he confirms in a tweet.

He just tweeted this:

Additionally, a source with knowledge of her plans, tells 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 says, but cautions those plans could always change.

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

"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20," Trump said in the video, which was taped at the White House. "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power."

A White House adviser in discussions with senior officials said Trump recorded the video only because his presidency is threatened by looming resignations and potential impeachment.

11:10 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

GOP congressman blames Trump for inciting rioters but exonerates the lawmakers objecting to election results

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Rep. French Hill on January 8.
Rep. French Hill on January 8. CNN

GOP Rep. French Hill says while he thinks President Trump bears responsibility for inciting the rioters to storm the US Capitol, the same does not apply for his fellow Republican members of Congress who voted to object to the election results in line with the President's claims of voter fraud.

Despite the courts and former Attorney General Bill Barr finding no cases of widespread voting irregularities, representatives “were trying to represent the views of their constituents on the House floor, that they were concerned about election integrity,” he said.

He added:

“But anyone whose proposed rhetoric that encourages people to think that on January 6, that we were going to have a different outcome, that we were going to overturn the election, is contributing to misleading the American citizens and our voters and we should not do that, whether we’re in the House, the Senate or in the White House.”

However, he did not support impeaching Trump.

The focus should be on “having a safe, sound and appropriate transfer of power at noon on Jan. 20, instead of calling all the attention to the passions of the House over this next 12 days to pursue another impeachment.”

Watch more:

10:54 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

White House counsel considering resigning, source says

From CNN's Pam Brown

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone listens during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing at the Capitol on October 14, 2020.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone listens during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing at the Capitol on October 14, 2020. Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is considering resigning, two sources familiar tell CNN.

Since the election, he had considered resigning multiple times, but has been urged to stay for the good of the country by members of the Senate and the Cabinet.

“He’s there out of a sense of duty,” one source said.

Despite being at loggerheads with the President in recent weeks, he has been influential behind the scenes this week with having the national guard deployed and encouraging Trump to be more forceful in his statements.

Cipollone was also among those advising the President that he could be removed from office – via the 25th Amendment or impeachment – if he did not more forcefully denounce the actions of his supporters who attacked the US Capitol. He had also pushed backed on the legality of strategies Trump floated with other attorneys, such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as a means to disputing the 2020 presidential election results.

“Pat is a true public servant dedicated to the rule of law and his country,” another source close to Cipollone said. 

Some context: Cipollone's exit would add to a growing list of Trump administration officials, which now includes Cabinet members, who have resigned from their government roles since the Capitol siege.

Cipollone defended the President during his first impeachment proceedings, but his potential exit raises questions about who would represent Trump if current impeachment talks pick up steam. Cipollone's participation is now highly unlikely. 

9:34 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

House Judiciary aides working with representatives on impeachment articles in preparation of potential vote

From CNN's Jeremy Herb and Lauren Fox

House Judiciary Committee aides are consulting with the authors of one of the Democratic impeachment resolutions – Reps. David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu – in order to prepare for a potential impeachment vote on the House floor next week, according to three sources.

The aides are helping to edit and fine-tune the impeachment resolution, the sources said, which includes the charge of “inciting an insurrection.”

Some background: The aides are helping to ready the impeachment resolution so House Democrats can move quickly to the floor if they decide to move forward and vote to impeach President Trump following the Trump-incited riots at the Capitol.

The resolution from Cicilline, Raskin and Lieu appears to be the vehicle that would be used for impeachment, and it has 120 co-sponsors so far. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Thursday that he supported bypassing his committee and moving impeachment articles straight to the floor.

10:38 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

GOP senator says he'll "definitely consider" impeachment articles House might push

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Sen. Ben Sasse speaks at the Capitol on January 6.
Sen. Ben Sasse speaks at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Television/AP

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse told CBS Morning News he'd consider any articles of impeachment from the House.

"The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move because, as I've told you, I believe the President has disregarded his oath of office," he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team ran through their options Thursday night, and the overwhelming sentiment was impeachment was the way forward, according to multiple sources.

Sasse is among Republicans who opposed actions to object to the Electoral College.

Hear Sen. Sasse's comments this morning:

9:20 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

House Democrats ask leaders to reconvene to work on possible impeachment push

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

More than 60 Democrats, led by Reps. Dean Phillips, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tom Malinowski, sent a letter to Democratic leaders asking they reconvene and work to impeach President Trump following the breach of the Capitol on Wednesday. 

"We write to ask respectfully that the House reconvene immediately to reckon with the assault on our democracy that we experienced on January 6th," they wrote.

"We could take up the question of whether President Trump should be censured or impeached for encouraging a violent attack on the United States Congress, as well as Representative Raskin’s proposal that Congress appoint a body, as provided by the 25th Amendment, to determine whether the President is fit to discharge the powers and duties of his office," the members added.

The House is out of session today.

10:34 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Some Republicans will consider voting for second Trump impeachment

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

Republican sources have told CNN they do want President Trump removed before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. Two members have told CNN they would consider voting for impeachment if the articles of impeachment seem reasonable.

“We experienced the attack; we don’t need long hearings on what happened," one of those sources said.

Some background: House Democrats are furious at Trump and are quickly building momentum to move on impeachment of Trump in the next several days -- as soon as the middle of next week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team ran through their options Thursday night and the overwhelming sentiment was impeachment was the way forward, according to multiple sources.

While there were some dissenters concerned that the move could be perceived as an overreach and turn off Trump supporters in their districts, the view among most top Democrats — including Pelosi — is that Trump should be held accountable for his actions.

CNN's Manu Raju reports from Capitol Hill: 

9:03 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

Ex-White House communications director: Trump lied about election and should “seriously consider” resigning

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Alyssa Farah, former White House communications director, on January 8.
Alyssa Farah, former White House communications director, on January 8. CNN

Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah said President Trump lied to the American people about the 2020 presidential election and he should “seriously consider” resigning.  

Farah told CNN this morning that the President and his advisers are directly responsible for inciting the mob at the Capitol. She said it’s “unacceptable” that Trump didn’t more forcefully tell rioters to leave the Capitol grounds. 

“They allowed this myth, this lie, to take a life of its own that the election might be overturned,” she said on CNN’s “New Day.”

When asked directly if Trump lied to the American people, Farah said "he did, on the election."

“People around him know better. We know that the results were not going to be overturned. We knew that it was a stunt to carry this on for days longer,” she said.

Farah told CNN’s John Berman that she’d feel safer if President Trump resigned from office and Vice President Mike Pence took over.

“I think that it's something he should seriously consider. I don't think that when you've got just a number of days left, there's any need to carry on kind of the charade of an impeachment, the people's house needs to get back to work,” she added.

Farah, who resigned in December, also explained why she left her post. 

“I had growing concerns about the fact that I felt like we were misleading the public with this endeavor to say that the election was stolen,” she said. 

Watch part of Alyssa Farah's interview on CNN:

8:56 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021

What we know about the 5 deaths tied to the Capitol attack

From CNN's Eric Levenson, Amir Vera and Mallika Kallingal

A US Capitol police officer died Thursday from injuries sustained after a mob of President Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday.

A federal murder probe has now been opened to investigate the officer's death.

Four other people died Wednesday during the stunning attack at the heart of American democracy as mob members vandalized the building and assaulted police officers. One woman was fatally shot by police and three people died of apparent medical emergencies.

Here's what we know about the people who died:

  • Officer dies after being injured: Capitol Police released a statement saying Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away Thursday night "due to injuries sustained while on-duty." Officer Sicknick was injured while physically engaging with the rioters and collapsed after returning to his division office. "He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the Capitol Police statement said. Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department's First Responder's Unit.
  • Air Force veteran fatally shot by police: A woman was fatally shot by a US Capitol Police employee as the mob tried to force its way toward the House Chamber where members of Congress were sheltering, US Capitol Police said in a statement. The woman was given medical assistance immediately and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Authorities identified her as Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old from Huntington, Maryland.
  • Three others died of "medical emergencies:" Three other people who had come from out of state died of "medical emergencies" during the riot, police said. "One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies, which resulted in their deaths," DC Police Chief Robert Contee said. "Any loss of life in the District is tragic and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss." Police identified them as Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia. The three were on the grounds of the Capitol when they experienced their medical emergencies, Contee said.

Read more here,