The Latest: Seattle probes officers about Washington rally
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The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):
Seattle’s police chief says two city officers were apparently in Washington, D.C., Wednesday when a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the nation’s Capitol and that an investigation will be launched to find out whether they committed criminal acts.
The officers, who were not identified, have been placed on administrative leave.
In a statement late Friday, Adrian Diaz, the city’s interim chief, said the department supports constitutionally protected free speech, "but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer."
Diaz said the matter has been forwarded to the Office of Police Accountability, the city’s independent police watchdog, to see if department policies were violated or if illegal activity involving Seattle officers needs to be investigated.
"If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them," Diaz said.
Twitter says it is banning President Donald Trump from its platform, citing "risk of further incitement of violence."
The social media giant said Friday: "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence."
Trump was locked out of his account on his preferred social medial platform for 12 hours earlier this week after a violent mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump posted a video on Twitter calling them "very special" people and saying he loved them. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Twitter has banned President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell as part of a purge of QAnon accounts following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.
Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech after Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Jan. 6 in the days leading up to a Washington, D.C., rally for Trump, expressing hope that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory would be overturned.
Twitter said in an email statement Friday: "Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content."
The company says that when it determines a group or campaign is engaged in "coordinated harmful activity," it may suspend accounts that it finds primarily encourages that behavior.
QAnon is a baseless belief, born on the internet, that Trump has been secretly fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex-trafficking ring.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has become the first Republican member of the Senate to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation.
The Alaska Republican tells the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
Murkowski said in a telephone interview Friday: "I want him out. He has caused enough damage." She also questioned whether she wanted to remain a Republican.
She says many people felt she became an independent when she lost her Republican primary in 2010 but won the general election by write-in. She has been in the Senate since 2002, replacing her father, Frank Murkowski, who took office in 1981.
"If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me," she said.
She adds, "He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing."
President-elect Joe Biden says it’s up to Congress whether to pursue a second impeachment of President Donald Trump, but he expected lawmakers to be ready to move on his agenda as soon as he is inaugurated.
Biden’s comments to reporters came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Friday letter to lawmakers that House Democrats would move to impeach Trump again if he did not resign immediately. Pelosi and other lawmakers have pressured Trump to step down after Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that lawmakers in both parties said was incited by Trump.
Asked what he’d tell lawmakers about Pelosi’s push for impeachment, Biden responded, “I’d tell them that’s a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.”
Biden added that he would be speaking with Pelosi and Democratic leadership later Friday.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling fellow Democrats that the nation’s top military officer has told her there are steps in place that would prevent President Donald Trump from firing nuclear weapons.
Pelosi is holding a conference call with House Democrats about what they should do about Trump doing his waning days in office, including the possibility of impeachment. Democrats and many Republicans blame Trump for this week’s deadly assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, and many say they are worried that Trump might try something irrational.
Before Friday’s conference call, Pelosi told her colleagues that she had asked Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about preventing Trump from initiating a nuclear strike. A person familiar with Friday’s call says Pelosi has told them that Milley has told her there are precautions in place that would prevent such an action by Trump.
The president has sole authority in the U.S. government to order the launch of a nuclear weapon. But if a military commander were to determine, on advice of his lawyers, that such an order was illegal, then the order could be refused.
It would be illegal to launch a nuclear attack for no reason or as a disproportionate response to a military provocation.
The person described Friday’s conference call on condition of anonymity because the call was limited to House Democrats.
A leading centrist Democratic senator says it seems unlikely that President Donald Trump can be quickly removed from office. But West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin isn’t ruling out action against GOP senators who led the effort to thwart President-elect Joe Biden’s win because he says that helped encourage pro-Trump rioters to attack the Capitol.
Manchin says in an interview that he’s heard Vice President Mike Pence is not likely to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. He also says he’s seen no evidence of enough Senate GOP support to oust Trump if the House impeaches him.
Manchin says that while he favors removing Trump as soon as possible, “We don’t need any more theater.” He says lawmakers should defer to President-elect Joe Biden’s need for the Senate to focus on confirming his Cabinet. And he says Twitter should bar Trump from its platform.
Manchin says GOP Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas both knew they had no chance of persuading Congress to nullify Biden’s electoral votes this week. He says their efforts “facilitated” rioters who swarmed the Capitol. And he says other Republicans who voted with them should also be held responsible.
Manchin stopped short of saying Hawley and Cruz should be expelled from the Senate.
Three House Democrats are planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday, meaning the chamber could potentially vote on his removal from office by midweek, according two people familiar with the planning.
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.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing President Donald Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike.
Pelosi said in a statement to colleagues that she spoke with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
She said, the situation of “this unhinged President could not be more dangerous.”
Pelosi is meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president.
She and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.
Trump is set to leave Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.
President Donald Trump says he won’t attend President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration on Jan. 20.
He will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson to skip his successor’s inauguration.
In a Friday tweet Trump said, "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."
Trump offered no clues for how he would spent his final hours in office.
Biden will become president at noon regardless of Trump’s plans.
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is rejecting suggestions that the United States is a “banana republic” following the assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. It’s a highly unusual defense to criticism that hasn’t previously warranted an riposte from America’s top diplomat.
Pompeo is one of Trump’s strongest supporters in the Cabinet and has unstintingly defended him since Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in November’s election.
He denounced criticism of the U.S. in the wake of the attack on the Capitol as “slander” and decried questions about its democracy in a series of tweets from his personal account late Thursday. He followed up on Friday from his official account, calling the United States the “greatest country on earth” and extolling “American goodness."
Pompeo wrote that the comparison "reveals a faulty understanding of banana republics and of democracy in America.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says those responsible for police officer Brian Sicknick’s death from the siege at the Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump “must be brought to justice.”
Pelosi said Friday she was lowering flags at the Capitol in his honor.
Sicknick died “after defending the Capitol complex and protecting those who serve and work here. The perpetrators of Officer Sicknick’s death must be brought to justice,” she said.
Pro-Trump supporters were urged on by the president Wednesday to the Capitol where Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s election.
Five people are now dead from the violent melee.
“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,” Pelosi said.
House Democratic leaders say the House could take up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as next week if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet don’t act to remove him.
Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark of Massachusetts says the House "can use procedural tools to get articles of impeachment to the House floor quickly,” as early as the coming week, if Pence doesn’t invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, says he can confirm that “we have had discussions about it.” The South Carolina Democrat says he hopes Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "would move forward if the vice president refuses to do what he is required to do under the Constitution. Everyone knows that this president is deranged.”
The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. That section of the amendment has never been invoked.
On Thursday, Pelosi said the House could move on impeachment if Pence and the Cabinet don’t remove Trump before his term ends on Jan. 20.
Pence hasn’t publicly addressed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment. But that possibility may have faded after two Cabinet members resigned Thursday in protest after Trump egged on protesters who then mounted an assault on the Capitol the day before.
Clark and Clyburn spoke Friday on CNN.