Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. Said Pelosi: “By inciting sedition as he did yesterday he must be removed from office. While there’s only 13 days left any day could be a horror show for America.” Pelosi added that impeachment may be considered by Congress if that doesn’t happen.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for President Trump to be immediately removed from office, saying the 25th amendment should be invoked. Said Schumer: “If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t support removing President Trump from office via the 25th Amendment despite the growing bipartisan chorus for a last-minute change at the very top of the American government, Business Insider reports. Said a Republican close to Pence: “Not happening.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that President Trump’s legacy was undercut after rioters supportive of challenging the election results breached the Capitol on Wednesday, he added that he wasn’t supportive of “at this point” of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, The Hill reports. Said Graham: “If something else happens all options would be on the table.”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Ted Liu (D-CA) are circulating Articles of Impeachment to remove President Trump from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.
John Avlon: “There is now no question that Donald Trump will go down as the worst president in American history.” “This was an attempted coup, encouraged by the President… designed to stop the peaceful transfer of power.”
Former Attorney General William Barr says President Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters,” the AP reports. Barr said that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
“Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is preparing to resign, becoming the first Cabinet secretary to leave after President Trump incited a mob that attacked the Capitol on Wednesday,” the Washington Post reports.
Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s former chief of staff and current special envoy to Northern Ireland, told CNBC that he’s resigning from his diplomatic post. Said Mulvaney: “I called Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay.” He added: “Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in.”
Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Tyler Goodspeed told the New York Times: “The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable.”
Tim Miller: “Sure is strange how many people who wanted Donald Trump to be president for 4 more years all of the sudden think he’s too unhinged for them to stay 2 more weeks.”
“President Trump was ensconced in the White House residence Wednesday night, raging about perceived betrayals, as an array of top aides weighed resigning and some senior administration officials began conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment — an extraordinary measure that would remove the president before Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20,” the Washington Post reports.
Trump privately defended his supporters as they stormed the Capitol on Wednesday and contradicted aides by ad-libbing parts of the recorded speech in which he told rioters to go home, the Washington Post reports. Said one official: “He didn’t want to condemn his people… He was a total monster today.” Another said the situation was “insane” and “beyond the pale.”
A White House official tells the New York Times that people in the West Wing today are “depressed” and that those without jobs already lined up are concerned that they’re unemployable.
Some top remaining administration officials are preparing to resist any unlawful or dangerous orders in the closing days of Trump’s presidency, Axios reports.
Politico: “What began as a rally intended to support Trump became a permanent and irreversible stain on his presidency Wednesday afternoon, as fans of the outgoing president stormed the U.S. Capitol — shattering windows, prompting evacuations and injuring law enforcement officials in the process — to temporarily halt the certification of his opponent’s 2020 victory.”
Axios: “A growing segment of the American far right, radicalized via social media and private online groups, views anyone who bucks President Trump’s will as evil. That includes Democrats, the media, celebrities, judges and officeholders — even conservatives, should they cross the president.”
“A great many Trump supporters spent recent weeks on heavily pro-Trump platforms like TheDonald.win and Parler openly discussing coming to Washington on Jan. 6 to launch an attack on the government.”
“Often the idea was discussed in vague or winking terms; other times, users explicitly called for elected officials to be abducted and executed.”
Joe Scarborough slammed the U.S. Capitol police live on MSNBC: “You opened the fucking doors for em!”
GOP strategist Frank Luntz told CNBC that Republicans in Congress must offer explanations for why they did not more forcefully condemn President Trump’s false election claims prior to the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Said Luntz: “I think that the Republicans have a lot to do now to repair this breach. They have a lot to do to explain why they did not stand up to the president before this, why these protests were allowed to get out of control like this.”
Ezra Klein: “When the literalists rushed the chamber, Pence, Cruz and Hawley were among those who had to be evacuated, for their own safety. Some of their compatriots, like Senator Kelly Loeffler, rescinded their objections to the election, seemingly shaken by the beast they had unleashed. But there is no real refuge from the movement they fed. Trump’s legions are still out there, and now they are mourning a death and feeling yet more deceived by many of their supposed allies in Washington, who turned on them as soon as they did what they thought they had been asked to do.”
“The problem isn’t those who took Trump at his word from the start. It’s the many, many elected Republicans who took him neither seriously nor literally, but cynically. They have brought this upon themselves — and us.”
“President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history,” the New York Times reports.
“In several conversations since Election Day, Mr. Trump has told advisers that he is considering giving himself a pardon and, in other instances, asked whether he should and what the impact would be on him legally and politically… It was not clear whether he has broached the topic since he incited his supporters on Wednesday to storm the Capitol in a mob attack.”
“Mr. Trump has shown signs that his level of interest in pardoning himself goes beyond idle musings. He has long maintained he has the power to pardon himself and his polling of aides’ views is typically a sign that he is preparing to follow through on his aims. He has also become increasingly convinced that his perceived enemies will use the levers of law enforcement to target him after he leaves office.”
Michael Beschloss: “Presidents were never intended to be able to pardon themselves.”
Kevin Williamson in the National Review: “I have on many occasions criticized the abuse of the word coup in our politics, but that is what this is: an attempted coup d’état under color of law. It would be entirely appropriate today to impeach Trump a second time and remove him from office before his term ends.”
“No one who has participated in this poisonous buffoonery should ever hold office again. There was a time when there was a plausible if sometimes self-serving rationale for working for the Trump administration — that the president is a clueless poseur surrounded by crackpots and frauds, and that he desperately needs good counsel from responsible adults. But the Trump administration is not currently under the guiding influence of any such responsible adults — and there simply is no defending what it is up to. This cannot be excused or explained away.”
From a Kansas City Star editorial: “No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway…”
“Among those Hawley got to emulate him was Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, whose very first act as a member of the world’s greatest deliberative body was to sell out his country by attempting to overturn the outcome of a legitimate election.”
Former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) sharply criticized Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Said Danforth: “Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life. Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt (by Hawley and others) to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system. It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent.”
Facebook will block President Trump from posting on its platform for the remainder of his term, CNBC reports. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the “risks of allowing the President” to continue using the social media platform “are simply too great.” Casey Newton: It’s time to deplatform Trump.
Peter Wehner: “The scene that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol yesterday—an insurrection in all of its ugliness, all of its violence, and all of its kaleidoscopic horror—is the responsibility of Donald Trump. But it doesn’t stop there.”
“It is also the responsibility of countless of his aides and supporters, those in right-wing media and Trump’s evangelical backers, “intellectuals” and pseudo-historians, Republicans in Congress and outside it, all of those who have stood with Trump at every moment in his corrupt and corrupting presidency. It is the responsibility of Trump allies who attacked those who warned that Trump was malicious and malignant; who said that he was an institutional arsonist who would do grave damage to the nation; who warned about his race-baiting, his constant provocations, the psychic delight he took in dividing Americans and stoking grievances; and who raised concerns because Trump’s sociopathic tendencies might lead him, and those who followed him, to very dark places.”
“President Trump is the architect of this insurrection, but so are his acolytes.”
“President Trump enjoys the fervent support of tens of millions of Americans. But his closest friends and paid White House officials — many of the Trumpiest Trumpers we know — are avoiding him like the plague,” Axios reports.
“The president’s final days in office will be lonely ones. Some stalwart aides and confidants — after years of enduring the crazy and trying to modulate the chaos — have given up trying to communicate with him, considering him mentally unreachable.”
But… President Trump “briefly called in to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday morning — and received a loud and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception when RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel put him on speakerphone,” the Washington Post reports.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), a freshman congresswoman sworn in just days before President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, argued Thursday that the deadly siege had “wiped out” his administration’s legacy and any accomplishments he had achieved over the last four years, Politico reports.
Said Mace: “I’m disappointed right now. I think that after last night — and I’m on my 100th hour of being a member of Congress, I’m working on about two hours of sleep — I’m distraught. We’ve got to rebuild our nation, and we’ve got to rebuild our party. This is not who we are. It’s extremely distressing. And it’s saddening. It’s heartbreaking.”
Washington Post: “Biden intends to name Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to be his Secretary of Commerce, choosing the former venture capitalist to helm the agency at a time when the nation’s business community is struggling to adjust to an economy reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.”
“And he has picked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a self-described ‘lifelong champion of working people,’ to be the next Secretary of Labor.”
“President Trump and top White House officials did little to check in on Vice President Mike Pence while he and members of his family were inside the US Capitol when Trump-backed rioters stormed the halls of Congress on Wednesday,” CNN reports.
“Pence was joined by his wife Karen Pence and his daughter Charlotte for the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes in Congress Wednesday. Several of the violent Trump supporters who were rampaging the US Capitol were heard screaming ‘where’s Mike Pence,’ frightening the vice president and his family.”
“Yet, the President and his top aides barely lifted a finger to check in on Pence to make sure he and his family were unharmed.”
“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he will fire Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Stenger when Democrats take the majority later this month after the pro-Trump riots in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon,” Politico reports.
Online stores run by the Trump Organization and Trump campaign were taken offline on Thursday by Shopify, an e-commerce software provider, in response to Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company said President Trump violated the company’s policy, which prohibits retailers on the platform from promoting or supporting organizations or people that promote violence.
“Newly sworn-in Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) was under intense criticism from fellow lawmakers and others on Wednesday over comments she made during a speech in Washington, D.C., in which she invoked Adolf Hitler,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
Said Miller, on video: “If we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”
“Dozens of former lawmakers and opposition activists were reportedly arrested Wednesday morning in Hong Kong, on suspicion of violating the city’s sweeping national security legislation, in the biggest crackdown yet since the law was imposed by Beijing last year,” CNN reports.