WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):
Police say there will be no public access to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden after a violent riot at the Capitol last week.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman says in a statement Monday that officials have “comprehensive, coordinated plans” in place to ensure the safety and security of both Congress and Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
She says the grounds of the Capitol will be closed to the public. The inauguration is a ticketed event.
The announcement comes after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week as legislators were meeting to vote to certify Biden’s electoral win.
Biden’s team and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser have been asking people not to attend the inauguration in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FALLOUT FROM THE RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL:
Ahead of impeachment, the House is speeding ahead to oust President Donald Trump from office, warning he is a threat to democracy and pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.
— House speeding to impeach Trump for Capitol ‘insurrection’
— Analysis: A GOP reckoning after turning blind eye to Trump
— First lady ‘disappointed’ by Trump supporters’ Capitol riot
— Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared
— A theater of propaganda: The Capitol, cameras and selfies
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
President Donald Trump is issuing an emergency declaration for the nation’s capital amid growing concern among local and federal authorities about violence in the leadup to and during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as needed.
The declaration from Trump comes five days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify his defeat to Biden. Five people died.
Trump has spent months complaining that he was cheated out of an election victory by widespread voter fraud, which election officials say does not exist.
Earlier Monday, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged people to stay away from inaugural events because of “last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump’s emergency declaration is in effect from Monday through Jan. 24.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have spoken for the first time since last week’s Capitol insurrection, during which Pence was forced to flee the Senate chamber and retreat to a secure location.
A senior administration official says the two met Monday evening in the Oval Office.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting, said the two had a “good conversation,” discussing the week ahead and “reflecting” on the administration’s accomplishments over the last four years.
The official said that during the meeting, both men agreed that “those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the America first movement backed by 75 million Americans” and pledged to continue working on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term.
The person did not mention Trump’s lingering anger over Pence’s refusal to go along with his unconstitutional scheme to try to overturn the results of the November election that he lost. Nor did the person mention whether Pence confronted Trump for using him as a scapegoat and tweeting that he lacked courage while the siege was underway.
— By AP writer Jill Colvin
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio says two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended as a result of their actions during last week’s attack on the Capitol.
Ryan told reporters on Monday that one of the officers took a selfie with someone and the second officer put on a “Make America Great Again” hat. He says of the latter that the “interim chief determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension.”
Thousands of pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee and hide. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
The congressman says Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated the incursion “at a big level or small level in any way.”
Ryan says they don’t want an officer working on President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration “who was not doing the job on the Jan. 6th event.”
Capitol Police did not immediately reply to a request for more details.
Ryan serves as chair of a House subcommittee that oversees funding for Capitol Police.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down from his post, days after criticizing President Donald Trump over the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Wolf said in a message to staff that he would step down at 11:59 p.m. Monday, even though he had earlier said he planned to remain in his job. He said Pete Gaynor, who ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would become the acting homeland security secretary.
The resignation comes a day before Trump is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Last week, Wolf asked Trump and all elected officials to “strongly condemn the violence” that took place at the Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
Wolf said he has condemned violence on both sides of the political aisle, specifically directed at law enforcement. He tweeted “we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends” and called that unacceptable.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is exploring immediately convening the Senate for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as soon as the House votes and sends the article of impeachment to the chamber.
That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of Monday to discuss the private planning.
The aide says Schumer is considering using the authority granted to the two Senate leaders to reconvene the chamber in times of emergency.
The House is set to begin debate Wednesday on a sole charge against Trump — incitement of insurrection — after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said the soonest the chamber could start a trial would be Jan. 20, the day Trump is to leave office as Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated.
— By AP writer Lisa Mascaro
The State Department is investigating what appears to be a “prank” after its website suggested President Donald Trump’s term would end Monday evening.
The change to the department’s bio page for Trump — which displayed the text “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00” — created an internet frenzy Monday afternoon.
The flub comes as Trump is under growing pressure to resign and as he faces a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week in a bid to halt the certification of Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
Two people familiar with the incident say the department is investigating exactly how it happened. While the department hasn’t ruled out the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee, they have yet to reach any conclusions.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The page has since been removed.
— By AP writer Matthew Lee
The Department of Homeland Security is setting increased inauguration security measures in motion earlier than scheduled, citing an “evolving security landscape” leading up to the event.
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Monday that he’s moved up the timing of the national special security event for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to Wednesday, instead of Jan. 19. He cited the “events of the past week,” along with an evolving security landscape.
It comes days after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. Five people died.
The FBI has also issued a bulletin warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
Democrats say the House will consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one week after an angry mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call Monday that members should plan to return to Washington on Tuesday evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act.
Hoyer says the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday.
House Democrats have moved quickly to draft an article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection because he egged on thousands of his supporters ahead of the riots by falsely telling them that the election was stolen from him.
One of the Democratic sponsors of the article, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, says they have the votes to pass it.
The agency overseeing security at the U.S. House has a new leader.
Timothy Blodgett, the deputy sergeant-at-arms for the House, has been sworn in to replace Paul Irving, who resigned following last week’s riot at the Capitol.
Blodgett is one of three acting officials now leading security in and around the Capitol in the wake of the violent siege that resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer.
Jennifer Hemingway, the deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Senate, is acting sergeant-at-arms for the upper chamber, replacing Michael Stenger. And Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has been named acting chief, after former Chief Steven Sund resigned.
Pittman, a 20-year veteran, is the first African American woman to lead Capitol police. The department is facing intense scrutiny after its lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat drew widespread condemnation.
Former House Speaker John Boehner says President Donald Trump should “consider resigning his post.”
The Republican former Ohio congressman began his remarks during a webinar on health care policy Monday by talking about Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud and last week’s siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists.
“Here’s the president of the United States, in my view, inciting a riot … and the Capitol being threatened,” Boehner said. “It’s time for Donald Trump to consider resigning his post. He has violated his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Boehner was speaker from 2011 to 2015, and he has largely steered clear of publicly commenting on Trump. But on Monday he said Trump “has abused the loyalty of the people who voted for him.”
Boehner also took aim at Republicans in Congress who echoed Trump’s “noise” about election fraud claims, despite courts and and election officials repeatedly saying there was no such evidence presented.
“Shame on them,” Boehner said. “Leaders lead.”
President-elect Joe Biden says he has spoken to Senate leaders about splitting time between approving his key Cabinet nominations and proceeding with a possible impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.
The House is preparing articles of impeachment against Trump for the second time in a little over a year. This time, it’s for helping incite last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
But Trump leaves office Jan. 20 and the Senate likely won’t reconvene until next week, raising concerns among congressional Democrats that the impeachment trial could overshadow the start of Biden’s presidency and confirmation of his choices for key administration posts.
After receiving his second coronavirus vaccination shot on Monday in Delaware, Biden downplayed such concerns, however, and suggested that the Senate could do both.
The president-elect said he’d spoken to Senate leaders about splitting the chamber’s time and “go a half day on dealing with impeachment, a half day on getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate.”
Biden said such an arrangement also would allow the Senate to work on another major pandemic response bill that would include more economic aid for Americans struggling because of the virus.
Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting.
She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. A press release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”
Watson Coleman is isolating at home and awaiting the results of another test. She says, “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”
Watson Coleman had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress.
Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.
The head of the National Guard says at least 10,000 troops will be deployed in Washington, D.C., by Saturday, and an additional 5,000 could be requested from other states.
There are currently 6,200 Guard members in the city from D.C. and five nearby states. The increase in requests for Guard members on Monday comes as officials brace for more, possibly violent protests surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters that he has authorization to bring in up to 15,000 Guard members. He said the number of deployments is changing by the hour and day, based on requests from the Secret Service, the Park Police and the Capitol Police.
There have been repeated questions about why Guard members weren’t brought in more quickly as the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol unfolded on Wednesday. Guard officials have said they responded as quickly as they could as the situation spiraled out of control but said the Capitol Police repeatedly turned down offers for help in the days before the protests.
The National Park Service is shutting down public access to the Washington Monument until Jan. 24, citing threats surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The agency said Monday that it was implementing the temporary closure “in response to credible threats to visitors and park resources.”
Park officials say that groups involved in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol are continuing to “threaten to disrupt” Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. As a result, officials are shutting down tours at the Washington Monument beginning Monday, running through Jan. 24.
They say they may also institute some temporary closures to roads, parking areas and restrooms on the National Mall and could extend the closures “if the conditions persist.”
Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has been named acting chief, after the department’s former leader resigned in the wake of the deadly siege at the Capitol.
Pittman, a 20-year veteran, is the first African American woman to lead the department. She joined the department in 2001 and has served as captain, deputy chief and bureau commander.
Steven Sund announced his resignation as police chief on Thursday, following the violent riot Wednesday that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
The department’s lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat have drawn condemnation from lawmakers. In addition to Sund, the Sergeants at Arms of both the House and Senate also resigned.
The FBI is also investigating whether some of the rioters had plans to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage.
Courtesy: AP News