Today so far
House Democrats to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday - report
Three House Democrats reportedly plan to introduce articles of impeachment against Donald Trump on Monday, with a vote on impeachment potentially happening as early as the middle of next week.
The AP reports:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet said whether the House will vote on impeachment, and the caucus is meeting at noon to discuss the idea after pro-Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol on Wednesday. But if leadership does decide to move forward, they could vote on articles of impeachment drafted Wednesday by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California. They are expected to be introduced Monday, said the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the planning.
The articles say Trump ‘willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.’
Katherine Clark, the assistant speaker of the House, told CNN this morning that it was possible an impeachment vote could happen by the middle of next week, but she later said the timeline was not yet determined.
Again, even if the House does vote to impeach Trump (for the second time), that does not guarantee the Senate will vote to convict him and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds majority.
In her letter to Democratic colleagues, Nancy Pelosi made no mention of how the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mark Milley, responded to her concerns about Donald Trump’s access to the nuclear codes.
It’s unclear whether there is any mechanism for restricting a president’s access to such classified information.
Of course, if Trump were removed from office, he would lose access to the codes, but it’s unclear whether the cabinet or the Republican-controlled Senate feel compelled to pursue that course of action.
It does, however, seem increasingly likely that the Democratic-controlled House will impeach Trump for the second time.
Pelosi expresses concern about Trump's access to nuclear codes
Nancy Pelosi said she is committed to “preventing an unhinged president from using the nuclear codes,” in a new letter to her House Democratic colleagues.
In the “Dear colleague” letter, the Democratic speaker notes that she spoke to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mark Milley, this morning about “discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
Pelosi writes, “The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”
Pelosi also addressed Democratic calls to remove Donald Trump from office, after the president incited a violent mob of his supporters to attack the Capitol.
On the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment to oust Trump, Pelosi said, “Yesterday, Leader Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people.”
A bipartisan group of senators has announced plans to hold hearings on how a pro-Trump mob was able to breach the Capitol.
Rob Portman and Gary Peters, leaders of the Senate homeland security committee, and Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar, leaders of the Senate rules committee, issued a statement announcing their plans to conduct oversight.
“Wednesday’s violent and criminal acts directed at our Capitol, a symbol of American Democracy, will forever be a stain on our nation’s history,” the senators said in the statement.
“Due to the heroic acts of many, the perpetrators of this attack failed to achieve their goal. It is our duty as bipartisan leaders of the Senate committees with jurisdiction over homeland security, oversight and Capitol operations to examine the security failures that led to Wednesday’s attack.
“Let us be clear: An attack on the Capitol Building is an attack on every American. We plan to conduct oversight and hold bipartisan hearings on these horrific events, and work together to make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again.”
To the surprise of pretty much no one, Donald Trump is not sticking to the message he shared in a video yesterday, when he condemned the violence at the Capitol and called for a smooth transfer of power to Joe Biden.
Here’s what the president said yesterday about a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol: “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
And here’s what Trump said over Twitter today: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
In the video, Trump also acknowledged that Biden would soon take office, saying, “Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
But today he announced he would not attend Biden’s inauguration, breaking with more than 150 years of tradition of outgoing US presidents attending their successors’ inaugurations.
Trump says he will not attend Biden's inauguration
Donald Trump said that he will not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, just a day after acknowledging he will soon be leaving office.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump said in a new tweet.
It is considered a hallmark of the peaceful transfer of power for the outgoing presidents to attend the inaugurations of their successors, even when they have just lost reelection. (George HW attended the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993, for example.)
But there was widespread speculation that Trump would not attend Biden’s inauguration, as he continued to spread baseless claims that the president-elect had secured victory through widespread fraud.
In the video he posted to Twitter last night, Trump said, “Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
Many would consider Trump attending Biden’s inauguration to be a part of that “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” but the president apparently does not.
House Democrats consider swift impeachment of Trump - report
Trump commends 'American patriots' who supported him
Donald Trump has unsurprisingly pivoted back to praising his supporters, a day after releasing a statement condemning the violent siege of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future,” Trump said in a tweet. “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
The tweet came less than a day after Trump posted a video to Twitter, in which he called for an end to the violence and acknowledged Joe Biden would be inaugurated later this month.
Trump said in the video, “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
The president did not acknowledge his own role in the events of Wednesday, even though he urged his supporters at a Washington rally to go to the Capitol shortly before it was stormed.
Nancy Pelosi released a statement offering her condolences to the family of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Hill police officer who died as a result of his injuries from the violent siege of the Capitol.
“The perpetrators of Officer Sicknick’s death must be brought to justice,” the Democratic speaker said.
“The violent and deadly act of insurrection targeting the Capitol, our temple of American Democracy, and its workers was a profound tragedy and stain on our nation’s history. But because of the heroism of our first responders and the determination of the Congress, we were not, and we will never be, diverted from our duty to the Constitution and the American people.”
Pelosi noted she has ordered the flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor Sicknick.
“The sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic,” the speaker said. “May it be a comfort to Officer Sicknick’s family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time.”
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican of Nebraska, said he would consider articles of impeachment against Donald Trump if they are passed by the House.
Speaking to CBS News this morning, Sasse condemned the “insurrectionist mob” that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday and offered his prayers to the families of those who died as a result.
Sasse then said, “If they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as I told you I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.
“He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked.”
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the chamber is prepared to consider articles of impeachment if Trump is not removed from office by invoking the 25th amendment.