What Now?! – January 11, 2021

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats are moving forward with trying to remove President Donald Trump from office days after he incited violent riots at the Capitol,” Politico reports.

“Pelosi told her members in a letter that the House would attempt to pass a measure Monday to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. If he does not act, Democrats will proceed with impeaching Trump.”

“Support grew among Democrats for impeaching President Trump over the Capitol riot and a new Republican senator indicated openness to such a step, while the president remained out of public view and authorities charged more rioters,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“An expanding number of House Democrats had signed onto an article of impeachment by Saturday that a trio of House Democrats plan to introduce on Monday. Their single article of impeachment focuses on Wednesday’s violent breach of the Capitol complex and accuses the president of inciting an insurrection.”

“One of its authors, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said Saturday that they now have 185 Democratic supporters and hope to get some Republicans as well, up from more than 150 on Friday as fallout from the deadly riot at the Capitol continued.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said President Trump has “descended into a level of madness” since the November election — drawing a distinction between his previous support of the president and his anger over the deadly riots of Trump supporters who descended on Capitol Hill last week, Politico reports.

Said Toomey: “I don’t think there’s any doubt at all, there’s none in my mind, that the president’s behavior after the election was wildly different than his behavior before. He descended into a level of madness and engaged in activity that was absolutely unthinkable and unforgivable.”Toomey also called on Trump to resign.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said House Democrats might wait until after President-elect Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office to send any articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, a move that would give the incoming President time to tackle his agenda in Congress before the start of a time-consuming trial, CNN reports.

Said Clyburn: “We’ll take the vote that we should take in the House, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told ABC News that he believed President Trump’s actions before supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week amounted to an “impeachable offense.”

Said Christie: “What we had was an incitement to riot at the United States Capitol. We have people killed, and to me there’s not a whole lot of question here.”

Christie added that if he were in Congress, he would vote in favor of impeachment: “If inciting to insurrection isn’t, then I don’t really know what is.”

The PGA of America cut ties to President Donald Trump when it voted Sunday to take the PGA Championship event away from his New Jersey golf course next year, the AP reports.

Stripe will no longer process payments for President Trump’s campaign website following last week’s riot at the Capitol,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The financial-technology company handles card payments for millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms, including Mr. Trump’s campaign website and online fundraising apparatus.”

“Despite ample warnings about pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington, U.S. Capitol Police did not bolster staffing on Wednesday and made no preparations for the possibility that the planned protests could escalate into massive violent riots,” the AP reports.

“The revelations shed new light on why Capitol police were so quickly overrun by rioters. The department had the same number of officers in place as on a routine day. While some of those officers were outfitted with equipment for a protest, they were not staffed or equipped for a riot.”

“Once the mob began to move on the Capitol, a police lieutenant issued an order not to use deadly force, which explains why officers outside the building did not draw their weapons as the crowd closed in.”

“The FBI and the New York Police Department passed information to the Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the Jan. 6 protests against certification of the presidential election, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington,” NBC News reports.

“Two days before Congress was set to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was growing increasingly worried about the size of the pro-Trump crowds expected to stream into Washington in protest,” the Washington Post reports.

“To be on the safe side, Sund asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup.”

“But, Sund said Sunday, they turned him down… It was the first of six times Sund’s request for help was rejected or delayed.”

“The FBI arrested a man on Sunday who was photographed in the Senate chamber clad in military-style clothing and holding zip ties after internet researchers managed to piece together his identity,” the New York Times reports.

Most of 120 people who have been arrested in connection to or identified as being at the Capitol riot through photos and videos are longtime supporters of President Trump, an Associated Press analysis found.

The evidence gives lie to claims by right-wing pundits and Republican officials such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that the violence was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president.

“The man who has led the ‘Stop the Steal’ election protests nationally singles out Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona for helping make Wednesday’s pro-Trump gathering in Washington happen,” the Arizona Republic reports.

“The social-media video, which is gaining newfound attention, was taped before the event turned into a riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead, including a police officer.”

Also credited is Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

The grieving family of a woman who died in Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol is blaming Donald Trump for her death, saying the 43-year-old got caught up in the president’s lies about election fraud and it “cost her her life,” the AP reports.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) is calling for an inquiry into how rioters at the U.S. Capitol knew where to find his office space, Fox News reports.

Said Clyburn: “My office, if you don’t know where it is, you aren’t going to find it by accident. The one place where my name is on the door, that office is right on Statuary Hall. They didn’t touch that door. But they went into that other place where I do most of my work. They showed up there, harassing my staff.”

He added: “How did they know to go there? Why didn’t they go where my name was? Then, where you won’t find my name, but they found where I was supposed to be. Something else is going on untoward here. We need to have an extensive investigation to find out.”

Tim Alberta: “The stuff I’ve heard in the last 72 hours—from members of Congress, law enforcement friends, gun shop owners, MAGA devotees—is absolutely chilling.”

“We need to brace for a wave of violence in this country. Not just over the next couple of weeks, but over the next couple of years.”

“Eight days before reluctantly leaving office, President Trump will visit the border in South Texas on Tuesday to tout partial construction of the massive wall he promised to deliver — far more than critics wanted, far less than he wanted, and none it funded by Mexico,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

“At last count, some 452 miles has been built. About 12 miles of that is along segments of the border without any barrier before. The rest replaces shorter and less sturdy barrier.”

“The project has cost $15 billion so far, just $4.5 billion of that provided by Congress. Trump diverted the rest from the military budget when lawmakers balked at full funding.”

Rep. Peter Meijer (R–MI), the Republican successor to the retiring Libertarian Justin Amash, told Reason he blamed many of his Republican colleagues for the violence at the U.S. Capitol this week because they misled the rioters.

Said Meijer: “They were being lied to. They were being misled. Some of my colleagues in Congress, they share responsibility for that. Many of them were fundraising off of this Stop the Steal grift.”

He added: “I don’t understand how you can look in the mirror and go to sleep at night without that weighing on your conscience, I fundamentally do not. I’m just at a loss for words about how some of them have acted in ways that are just knowingly, provably false. And they know they’re lying, too.”

“Lawmakers who hunkered down together for safety while a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday may have been exposed to someone in the same room who was infected with the coronavirus, according to the Office of the Attending Physician,” the Washington Post reports.

David Blight: “One hundred and fifty years after the emergence of the Confederate Lost Cause ideology, a new Lost Cause invaded the U.S. Capitol with the incitement of the president of the United States. Waving American, Confederate, Gadsden and, especially, Trump flags, Donald Trump’s loyalists desecrated the greatest symbolic edifice of America.”

“Trumpism has already become a lethal Lost Cause. It does not quite have martyrs and a cult of the fallen in which to root its hopes and dreams. But it does have a self-destructive cult leader about to leave power in a defeat that has been transformed into a narrative of betrayal, resistance and a promise of political revitalization.”

“The important Lost Causes in history have all been at heart compelling stories about noble defeats that were, with time, forged into political movements of renewal.”

“Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Sunday it took nearly two hours for the Pentagon to give authorization for his state to send its National Guard into Washington to help protect the U.S. Capitol as it came under attack from a violent pro-Trump mob,” USA Today reports.

Hogan on Sunday blamed Trump for inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol and slammed GOP members of Congress for lending credence to Trump’s false allegations of election fraud, the Washington Post reports.

“Banned from social media and abandoned by some staff after inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump and a dwindling circle of advisers plan a defiant final week in office,” Bloomberg reports.

“Trump is confident Vice President Mike Pence and members of his cabinet won’t attempt to remove him under the 25th Amendment, the people said. Pence is dismissive of the idea of trying to use that authority to drive Trump from office.”

“The president and some allies also believe Democrats are overreaching by trying to once again impeach him… One adviser called Democratic consideration of impeachment a political gift to Trump.”

President Trump has not spoken to Vice President Mike Pence since last week’s violent riot at the Capitol, NBC News reports.

“Trump has lost the support of many former loyalists in his administration after a riot at the U.S. Capitol that he helped provoke, and his White House is in ‘meltdown’ as it lurches through his final days,” Reuters reports.

“While Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, many White House staff members are upset and embarrassed by the turn of events, and are eager to move on. They said they have faced criticism from peers and are worried about damage to their reputations and job prospects.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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