WASHINGTON (AP) — A police officer has now died from injuries sustained as President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, a violent siege that is forcing hard questions about the defeated president’s remaining days in office and the ability of the Capitol Police to secure the area.
The rampage that has shocked the world and left the country on edge forced the resignations of three top Capitol security officials over the failure to stop the breach. It led lawmakers to demand a review of operations and an FBI briefing over what they called a “terrorist attack.” And it is prompting a broader reckoning over Trump’s tenure in office and what comes next for a torn nation.
One protester, a white woman, was shot to death by Capitol Police, and there were dozens of arrests. Three other people died after “medical emergencies” related to the breach.
8:30 p.m. update
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has called President Donald Trump “badly wrong” in his comments that stoked his supporters to mount a violent assault on the Capitol this week.
Haley said Thursday at the Republican National Committee meeting that Trump’s recent actions will also “be judged harshly by history.”
Haley served nearly two years as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. She also called on Republicans to “stop turning the American people against each other.”
6:20 p.m. update
(AP) — 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.
5:15 p.m. update
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.”
4:22 p.m. update
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats laid plans Friday for impeaching President Donald Trump, even as he’s headed out of the White House, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final hours and days.
Pelosi and the Democrats are considering swift impeachment — as soon as next week — in response to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that shocked the nation and the world
“We must take action,” Pelosi declared on a conference call.
She said she had spoken with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes” for nuclear war. She said Milley assured her longstanding safeguards are in place.
The president has sole authority in the U.S. government to order the launch of a nuclear weapon, but a military commander could refuse the order if it were determined to be illegal.
Trump has been making no such threats, and he is to leave office Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in. But top lawmakers are sounding alarms that the president could do great damage on his way out.
“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous,” Pelosi said of the current situation.
A person granted anonymity to discuss the private call said Pelosi also discussed other ways Trump might be forced to resign. And if he were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he might also be prevented from running again for the presidency in 2024 or ever holding public office again. He would be only the president twice impeached.
Conviction in the Republican Senate at this late date would seem unlikely. But it’s a measure of his uncomfortable position that fewer Republicans are speaking out against his removal.
One Trump ally did. Republican Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California said “impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more.”
McCarthy said he reached out to Biden and plans to speak with the Democratic president-elect about working together to “lower the temperature.”
Articles of impeachment are expected to be introduced on Monday, with a House vote as soon as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the planning and granted anonymity to discuss it.
Pelosi 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.
Pence has not publicly addressed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment.
12:00 p.m. update
(AP) — 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.”
10:10 a.m. update:
(AP) — 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.
“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.
10 a.m. update:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are discussing Friday whether to move forward with the quick impeachment of President Donald Trump if his Cabinet doesn’t try to remove him first, moving swiftly two days after the Capitol was ransacked by a pro-Trump mob.
House Democrats are set to hold a caucus meeting at noon, the first since Wednesday’s harrowing events at the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the prospect of impeachment with her leadership team Thursday night, hours after announcing that the House was willing to act if Vice President Mike Pence and other officials did not invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.
Though Trump has less than two weeks in office, lawmakers and even some in his administration began discussing options for his removal Wednesday afternoon as Trump first encouraged the crowd to march on the Capitol, then refused to forcefully condemn the violent assault and appeared to excuse it.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a member of House Democratic leadership, said procedural moves could allow them to move far quicker than they did on Trump’s impeachment last year.
“I can confirm that we have had discussions about it and I would hope that the speaker would move forward if the vice president refuses to do what he is required to do under the Constitution,” said Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, on CNN. “Everyone knows that this president is deranged.”
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