President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied all responsibility for last week's riot on Capitol Hill, saying his firery speech to his supporters before
President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied all responsibility for last week’s riot on Capitol Hill, saying his firery speech to his supporters before they marched on the Capitol was ‘totally appropriate.’
In his first public remarks since Wednesday’s MAGA storming of the Capitol, the president slammed Democrats, accusing them of creating ‘tremendous danger’ with their attempt to remove him from office but said repeatedly he wanted ‘no violence.’
The president defended his speech at a rally on ellipse, where he encouraged his thousands of supporters to ‘march’ on the Capitol.
They did so, leaving five dead and a path of destruction in their wake in the form of busted windows, broken furniture and destroyed office space. Dozens have now been rounded up by police and FBI.
‘If you read my speech – and many people have done it and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it is been analyzed – and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,’ he said as he boarded Air Force One to head for Alamo, Texas, on the Mexican border, to inspect his wall.
‘They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence and everybody to a tee thought it was totally appropriate,’ he continued. He offered no indication of who ‘they’ are; Democrats accuse him in their article of impeachment
Trump also denounced the Democrats’ efforts, which has been joined by some Republicans, to remove him from office – and called it a ‘danger,’ not his supporters’ actions.
But, he said he wanted no violence from his supporters. Trump reportedly had initially enjoyed the sight of his supporters on Capitol Hill last week, fighting for him to illegally take a second term in the White House. He changed his tune and called on them to stand down when he warned he could be held legally responsible for their actions.
‘We want no violence, never violence. We want absolutely no violence,’ he said repeatedly Tuesday before he left for Texas to tout the completion of a section of his border wall.
‘And on the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger,’ he said.
He denounced Democratic leaders but made no mention of the Republicans who have called on him to leave office.
‘It’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path. I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger, I want no violence,’ he said.
Not resigning: Donald Trump spoke in public for the first time since the MAGA riots, taking no responsibility and ignoring a question about whether he would resign
‘I want no violence.’ Trump claimed he was not fomenting riots – but then said his impeachment, which the House votes on Wednesday, is ‘causing tremendous anger’
Farewell: Trump’s trip to Texas is the only scheduled time away from the White House between now and leaving office. He is widely expected to fly to Florida on January 19, the day before Joe Biden is sworn in
Off to Alamo (not that one): Trump boarded Marine One to head for the Mexican border in Texas the town of Alamo, which is named for The Alamo but about 200 miles from the site of the original
Out of the White House: Trump’s flight to Air Force One will be one of his last trips from the South Lawn
Later Tuesday, the House will vote on legislation calling on Vice President Mike Pence to start the process to remove Trump via the 25th amendment.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi set an ultimatum Monday that if Trump does not resign or Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, the House will move forward with impeaching the president for a second time.
The House will hold a vote Tuesday evening on a non-binding demand that Pence invoke the 25th Amendment.
Pence’s advisers say he is opposed to this measure, indicating he will likely not move forward with meeting pressures from congressional Democrats in Trump’s final eight days.
Republicans who have publicly broken with Trump since Wednesday’s Capitol riots
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Said Trump ‘committed impeachable offenses.’
Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah)
Said the president had caused ‘this insurrection.’
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Called on Trump to resign. ‘ I want him out.’
Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.)
Said Trump ’caused’ the riot and called his response ‘completely inadequate’
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
Called for Trump to resign and called 25th Amendment the ‘next best thing.’ Said he would ‘vote the right way’ on impeachment, without endorsing the tactic.
Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.)
Said fellow Republicans told ‘lied’ and ‘deceived’ and called what happened an ‘act of domestic terrorism’
The House could vote as early as Wednesday at 9am on articles of impeachment. Pelosi told ’60 Minutes’ in an interview that aired Sunday that she prefers the 25th Amendment because that forces immediate removal, while impeachment wouldn’t be resolved before Trump’s term is up.
She fears Trump could use his final days to do more damage – like pardoning the mob who stormed the Capitol.
The Senate is in recess, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they would not reconvene earlier than January 19 to receive articles from the House.
This means even if the lower chamber did elevate impeachment, action wouldn’t be taken on the measure until the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration at the earliest.
Trump’s refusal to accept responsibility is likely to only anger further Democrats, but it is the Republican House and Senate caucus’ reactions which will set his fate.
Some Republicans have already called for him to go but none has so far publicly backed impeachment.
Lindsey Graham, who claimed he was ‘done’ with the president last week, appeared to have had a dramatic change of heart and was traveling with him on Air Force One.
But others have privately said they need to see Trump take some responsibility, meaning his refusal could drive them into the Democrats’ camp on impeachment.
Trump also road-tested a defense for his impeachment in his remarks.
At the end of Trump’s remarks, he appeared to reference guidance he has received from attorneys and aides about the content of his Wednesday speech – which form the basis for the impeachment article charging him with ‘incitement of insurrection.’
His comment follows reports that White House counsel Pat Cipollone had warned Trump that he faces potential legal exposure for the remarks he made to the crowd that went on to storm the Capitol.
Although Trump did not specifically tell anyone to break a window or trespass, he did tell them to ‘fight,’ that ‘when you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules,’ that ‘we’re going to have to fight much harder,’ and that ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.’
He also spoke as if Vice President Mike Pence could make a difference in the outcome. ‘If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,’ Trump said – meaning overturning the Electoral College results, which Pence said he did not have the power to do.
The final substantive paragraph, which he defended, told his supporters that ‘we’ would march to the Capitol to ‘take back our country.’
‘So we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue – I love Pennsylvania Avenue – and we are going to the Capitol.,’ he said.
‘And we are going to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote — but we are going to try to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,’ Trump said. ‘So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.’
He in fact returned to the White House.
Trump’s initial response to the MAGA riot was to release a video message where he told his followers he loved them.
‘We love you, you’re very special,’ he said in the short video posted to his Twitter account, which was still active at the time.
And he reiterated his original message, which had helped incite the mob, that the election had been stolen.
‘I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it. Especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace,’ he said.
His message appeared to have no effect on the mob, who was heard yelling for Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The day after the riots, Trump released a second video message where he acknowledged a ‘new administration’ was coming into the White House but he didn’t congratulate President-elect Joe Biden nor even mention his name. He also denounced the mob.
‘Those who violently besieged our Capitol, are the opposite of everything this administration stands for. The core value of our administration is the idea that all citizens have the right to live and safety, peace and freedom. Those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power. Now it is time for America to unites to come together to reject the violence that we have seen, we are one American people, full, under God,’ he said.
It is not known which group of lawyers are currently advising Trump on his role before and during the riots. Lawyer Rudy Giuliani spoke before Trump at the rally, telling participants to engage in ‘trial by combat.’ Lawyer Cleta Mitchell was on the line during Trump’s call to ask a Georgia election official to ‘find’ 11,780 votes, but she resigned from her firm in the aftermath.
Trump broke his public silence after revealing his false belief that ‘ANTIFA people’ were behind Wednesday’s riot in a private call to the most senior Republican in the House – who claimed that the president does accept some blame for the unrest that killed five people.
And he also publicly contradicted Kevin McCarthy, the fiercely loyal House Minority Leader, who told House Republicans on Monday that Trump bears some blame for last week’s deadly Capitol riots and has accepted some responsibility, Politico reported, citing four Republican sources on a private call.
That left McCarthy publicly embarrassed, at a time when his caucus is splitting over what to do about Trump and donors are deserting.
Trump’s abdication of responsibility came amid mounting fears that the violence is not over.
On Monday evening lawmakers were briefed by law enforcement that there were three active plots, including one involving 4,000 ‘armed patriots’ planning to surround Congress. They had been issued with ‘rules of engagement,’ Conor Lamb (D-PA) told CNN – meaning when they would shoot people.
Trump on Monday declared a state of emergency in D.C. amid ratcheting tensions over violent plots which could rock Capitol Hill ahead of Biden’s inauguration.
The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been demanding.
Last week’s chaos resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer from his wounds and the suicide of another; dozens of injuries; and extensive damage throughout the ransacked building.
McCarthy strongly pushed back against Trump’s claim that the rioters were Left-wing agitators intent on discrediting Trump and his followers – a claim made by staunchly pro-Trump congressman Matt Gaetz, and repeated by Fox News’ anchors and pundits.
‘It’s not ANTIFA, it’s MAGA,’ McCarthy replied, according to Axios.
Speaking again: Trump spoke to reporters as he prepared to board Air Force One for Texas, where he is inspecting his border wall
Not me: Trump denied all responsibility for the MAGA riot saying that it had been ‘analyzed’ and was ‘appropriate.’ He offered no suggestion for who provided the analysis
Is this the nuclear football? A military aide accompanied the president up the steps of Air Force one with two briefcases which appear similar to the book of command codes which Trump has access to. Late last week Nancy Pelosi sought assurances from Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that a ‘deranged’ president could not use them
Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, told Trump that he was wrong to blame ANTIFA for Wednesday’s chaos
Trump on Wednesday had told his supporters they needed to ‘fight’ to overturn the election
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday
Kevin McCarthy, the fiercely loyal House Minority Leader, told House Republicans on Monday that Trump bears some blame for last week’s deadly Capitol riots. Pictured: McCarthy talks with President Donald Trump during an event in February 2020
‘I know. I was there,’ McCarthy said, according to a White House official and another source familiar with the call.
McCarthy later reiterated his position during a two-hour meeting with Republicans in the House, telling them there is ‘undisputedly’ no evidence that people linked to ANTIFA participated in the insurrection.
The theory that anti-Trump agitators stirred up the unrest has been decisively debunked. Those arrested so far for their part in the riots have in many cases a long and public history of supporting the president: none of those detained has been a supporter of ANTIFA.
Trump, during the tense 30 minute conversation with McCarthy on Monday morning, also continued to insist that the election had been stolen from him.
McCarthy, exasperated, told him: ‘Stop it. It’s over. The election is over.’
The ensuing chaos at the Capitol resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer; dozens of injuries; and extensive damage throughout the ransacked building. Pictured: Rioters breach the Capitol building on January 6
After Trump told his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue, he retreated to the White House to watch it on TV
Capitol Police were woefully unprepared to meet the mob which marched on Trump’s orders
The rioters easily barged past the Capitol Police and stormed the building
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf
Police try to hold back protesters pushing into a doorway at the Capitol on Wednesday
WHAT DOES THE 25TH AMENDMENT SAY? CAN TRUMP’S CABINET REALLY TOPPLE HIM?
The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution deals with presidential authority in the event of death or removal from office, and was ratified in 1967, in the wake of John F Kennedy’s assassination.
What does the 25th Amendment say?
It is in four sections, all dealing with the president leaving office during his or her elected term.
The first section states that the vice president takes over the Oval Office if the president dies or resigns – or is removed – something which the original Constitution did not clearly state.
Presidents of course can be removed by impeachment, a feature of the constitution from the start. They can also be removed through the 25th Amendment – of which more below.
Section II states that if the vice president dies, or resigns – or is fired – both the House and Senate have to confirm a new vice president. Until 1967, presidents could change vice presidents mid-term on their own if they got the vice president to agree to resign – not something that actually happened, but which was possible in principle.
Section III makes clear that a president can temporarily delegate his powers to the vice president, and later reclaim them when he – or she – is capable of serving. This is most often invoked if a president is under the influence of surgical anesthetic for a short period of time.
Section IV is the amendment’s most controversial part: it describes how the president can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave on his own.
The vice president and ‘a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ must write to both the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, saying that ‘the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’
The term principal officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.
So at least eight of the president’s 15 most senior Cabinet members together with the vice president must agree that a president should be removed before any plan can move forward.
Notifying the House Speaker and the Senate president pro tempore is the act that immediately elevates the vice president to an ‘acting president’ role.
The deposed president can contest the claim, giving the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims to the House and Senate.
Congress then has two days to convene – unless it is already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is incapable of serving. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required to make that determination.
As soon as there is a vote with a two-thirds majority, the president loses his powers and is removed, and the vice president stops acting and is sworn in as president.
But if 21 days of debate and votes ends without a two-thirds majority, the president gets back his powers.
What could happen to trigger the 25th Amendment?
Vice President Mike Pence and eight of the 15 ‘principal’ Cabinet members would have to agree to notify Congress that President Donald Trump was incapable of running the country.
That group is made up of the Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Interior Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Commerce Secretary, Labor Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretary, Transportation Secretary, Energy Secretary , Education Secretary, Veterans Affairs Secretary and Homeland Security Secretary.
Their formal notification would go to the House Speaker and, in the senate, to the ‘president pro tempore’, the Senate’s most senior member. As soon as the letter is sent, Pence would become ‘acting president.’
Alternatively, Congress could set up its own mechanism to decide if he is fit for office – maybe a commission, or a joint committee. Pence would still have to agree with its conclusion and then write formally to the Speaker and president pro tempore.
Or another possibility is that the pool of ‘principal officers’ is considered to be bigger than the 15 and a majority of that group call Trump incapable.
What if Trump does not agree?
If Trump claims he is capable of holding office, he would write to the House Speaker and the president pro tempore of the Senate within four days, setting up three weeks of intense debate in both houses of Congress.
Trump would be removed from office if both two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate agreed with Pence and his cabal.
If either of both chambers fell short of that mark, Trump would retain his powers and likely embark on a wholesale housecleaning, firing Pence and replacing disloyal Cabinet members.
Are there any loopholes?
The 25th Amendment allows Congress to appoint its own panel to evaluate the president instead of relying on the Cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide on a course of action.
It specifies that some ‘other body as Congress may by law provide’ could play that role, but Pence would still need to agree with any finding that the president is incapable of discharging his duties.
That commission could hypothetically include anyone from presidential historians to psychiatrists, entrusted to assess the president’s fitness for office.
Another loophole is that it does not spell out that the Cabinet is needed to agree, but says that the ‘principal officers’ of the departments are needed. That term is undefined in the constitution. In some departments legislation appears to name not just the secretary but deputies and even undersecretaries as ‘principal officers’, so many more people could be called in to the assessment of Trump’s fitness.
But Trump’s cabinet has a swathe of ‘acting’ cabinet officer – and it is unclear if they could therefore take part in removing him.
Could Trump fire Pence if he rebelled?
No. The vice president can resign or be impeached and removed – but he does not serve at the pleasure of the president.
Is there any precedent for this?
No. Only Section III, the voluntary surrender of presidential powers, has ever been used – and only very briefly.
In December 1978, President Jimmy Carter thought about invoking Section III when he was contemplating a surgical procedure to remove hemorrhoids.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both voluntarily relinquished their powers while undergoing procedures under anesthetic.
Section IV has also never been invoked, although there have been claims that Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff Donald Regan told his successor, Howard Baker, in 1987 that he should be prepared to invoke it because Reagan was inattentive and inept.
The PBS documentary ‘American Experience’ recounts how Baker and his team watched Reagan closely for signs of incapacity during their first meeting and decided he was in perfect command of himself.
McCarthy told Trump that he believes the president should call Biden and continue the tradition of meeting with him for a handover, prior to the inauguration.
He also said Trump should follow tradition and leave a welcome letter in the Resolute Desk for his successor.
Trump said he had not yet decided whether to do so.
Democrats are now poised to impeach Trump this week for ‘inciting an insurrection.’
Some Republicans are expected to join Democrats in the vote to impeach Trump, but the U.S. Senate is unlikely to convene in time to consider the article before Trump leaves office at noon on Jan. 20.
In a memo to Republicans ahead of the call Monday, McCarthy told fellow lawmakers he does not back impeachment and suggested other measures, including censure of the president.
Republicans have been left deeply shaken and divided by Wednesday’s events.
Some, such as Senators Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey, have said they want the president to resign.
Others are furious that it took Trump nearly 24 hours to release a video condemning the violence and lawlessness that overtook Capitol Hill, and saw the Senate chamber broken into by the mob.
Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday
The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police
Rioters stormed the hallways of Congress plundering items and desecrating the building
Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress
A MAGA rioter who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi ‘s desk was arrested along with a man who brought 11 Molotov cocktails, two handguns and an assault rifle to the Capitol on Wednesday
They were further incensed by a report in The Washington Post, published on Monday, which claimed that Trump was slow to respond to their appeals for help because he was too gripped by live television coverage of the carnage.
The paper reported that McCarthy contacted Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, while Senator Lindsey Graham phoned Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, to beg for help.
Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Trump confidante and former White House senior adviser, called an aide who she knew was standing at the president’s side.
Chris Christie, a close ally of the president’s and a former governor of New Jersey, said he’d spent the last 25 minutes trying to reach Trump directly.
‘The president caused this protest to occur; he’s the only one who can make it stop,’ Christie said.
‘The president has to come out and tell his supporters to leave the Capitol grounds and to allow the Congress to do their business peacefully. And anything short of that is an abdication of his responsibility.’
The president still failed to react.
‘He was hard to reach, and you know why? Because it was live TV,’ said one close Trump adviser.
‘If it’s TiVo, he just hits pause and takes the calls. If it’s live TV, he watches it, and he was just watching it all unfold.’
Trump watched with interest, pleased to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf, one close adviser told the paper.
Graham, one of Trump’s strongest supporters, admitted that the president was slow to realize the magnitude of the problem.
‘It took him awhile to appreciate the gravity of the situation,’ Graham told the paper.
‘The president saw these people as allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen.’
The MAGA mob holding down a cop and beating him with a baton on Wednesday in a shocking new video still. The officer shown has not been identified yet. It’s unclear if he is either of the cops who died. One was beaten with a fire extinguisher, according to police sources, and the other committed suicide after the riot
In a different incident from the riot, Capitol cop Eugene Goodman is seen running away from the mob, leading them from the Senate. He is being hailed as a hero
‘Largest armed protest in American history’ is one of three plots to attack the Capitol before Joe Biden’s inauguration, cops reveal
Police revealed three plots to attack the Capitol ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – including the ‘largest armed protest in American history.’
It comes as the FBI alerted its staff to possible uprisings at capitols in all 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.
Trump’s declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.
On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as ‘the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.’
But the most concerning is said to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.
Another protest is being planned in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot at point blank range by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.
‘It was pretty overwhelming,’ one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.
Meanwhile the FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and federal government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.
The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the general election.
Members of the New York National Guard form up on the East Front of the US Capitol in Washington DC on Monday. More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings
Trump speaks to his supporters at a rally on Wednesday hours before hundreds of his fans stormed the Capitol Building in DC during violence which left five people dead
Members of the Washington National Guard surround the Washington State Capitol as the Legislature opens the 2021 session in Olympia, Washington on January 11, 2021. The FBI is warning of local uprisings possible in all 50 states
A supporter of President Donald Trump listens to speakers during a rally outside the state capitol in Washington over the weekend. He wears a t-shirt which says: ‘Trump still my president’
With Joe Biden’s inauguration fast approaching in nine days, Washington, DC, and cities around the US are bracing for violent protests similar to that which left five people dead at the Capitol last week. Pictured: Members of the New York National Guard line up on the East Front of the Capitol on Monday morning
National Guardsmen were also deployed to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, where protesters gathered on Monday
A protester uses a megaphone to address a crowd outside the Washington State Capitol on Monday
The Department of Homeland Security is working with the DoD, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing (pictured on Sunday) and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill
A protective fence is seen outside the US Supreme Court on Sunday as officials prepare for violence around Inauguration Day
More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.
Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.
Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.
They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.
The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.
One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters ‘might ultimately save lives.’
But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.
One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’
‘You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,’ this lawmaker told HuffPost.
A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.
The member told the HuffPost: ‘I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.’
The Pentagon is now considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the nation’s capital on Inauguration Day, January 20. Prior to the Capitol breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen
Capitol Police are working together with National Guardsmen to patrol the area surrounding Capitol Hill
Traffic is blocked on the West Front of the Capitol building on Monday morning
A Capitol Police officer patrols a closed roadway near the Capitol building on Monday morning
The National Park Service said Monday it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.
The hardened-up security plans come after the Department of Defense said it was aware of ‘further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day’, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.
The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.
‘Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,’ a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. ‘Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.’
Federal and local authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.
Hundreds of people might now face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.
In the meantime, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.
On Monday the National Park Service announced that the National Mall and Memorial Parks will be shuttered until January 24 ‘in response to credible threats’ after last week’s riots.
Monday’s FBI bulletin said the bureau is aware of plans for armed protests in every single state between January 16 and 20 – with one major demonstration slated to take place in Washington, DC, on January 17.
On Monday the National Park Service announced that the National Mall and Memorial Parks will be shuttered until January 24 ‘in response to credible threats’ after last week’s riots
A National Parks Police vehicle sits near the Washington Monument on Monday after it was closed to the public
Images of Trump supporters clambering up the walls of the Capitol – supposedly one of the most secure buildings in the United States – and smashing their way in with little resistance shocked the world on Wednesday
It said an ‘identified armed group’, which was not named directly, intends to travel to the nation’s capital ahead of the protest on January 16. ‘They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur,’ the bulletin stated, according to ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky.
Twitter cited online chatter about a ‘proposed secondary attack’ on the US Capitol and its counterparts in all 50 states when it moved to suspend Trump’s account on Friday.
‘Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,’ the company wrote in a blog post, without offering further detail.
Twitter was believed to be referring to the same chatter cited in the FBI bulletin.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the US Capitol on January 20 before participating in a Pass in Review on the east front and then receiving a traditional escort to the White House by representatives from every branch of the military.
Biden’s team has remained adamant that the inaugural events, which were paired down prior to the MAGA riots to avoid drawing large crowds rife for transmission of coronavirus, should go forward despite last Wednesday’s events.
‘We are confident in our security partners who have spent months planning and preparing for the inauguration, and we are continuing to work with them to ensure the utmost safety and security of the president-elect,’ a senior Biden inauguration official said last week.
‘This will mark a new day for the American people focused on healing our nation, bringing our country together and building it back better.’
Wednesday’s Capitol riots: Who has been arrested so far? Neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists
Dozens of people have already been arrested and prosecutors across the U.S. have vowed to bring to justice those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, sending lawmakers into hiding as they began their work to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The group included white nationalists, neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists, coming from states as far-flung as Arizona and Oregon, while photographs from the riot have shown people wearing clothes with a range of antisemitic messages and imagery.
The former wife of retired Lt. Col Larry Rendall Brock Jr., 53, called the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center Friday to report that she’d recognized her ex, who was pictured carrying plastic handcuffs and wearing full military gear.
Brock has since been arrested slapped with federal charges, as was an Nashville bartender, 30, who attended Capitol riot with his mom and was also pictured carrying zip-ties and wearing full paramilitary gear.
Eric Munchel, a Nashville bartender, 30, has been named as the man pictured in the Senate press gallery with a bundle of flex-cuffs, heavy duty restraints used by law enforcement in mass arrests on Wednesday. He attended the riot with his mother.
News of the pair’s arrests came on Sunday as Ryan McCarthy, Army Secretary, said that at least 25 domestic terrorist cases have been opened up following Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol.
Both men are charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock Jr., 53, (at the riots) was among the violent mob of Donald Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol Wednesday in a riot that left five including one police officer dead
Eric Munchel has been named as the man pictured with a bundle of flex-cuffs
Further arrests have also been made.
One Trump supporter, who allegedly told his friends that he wanted to shoot and run over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been arrested on federal charges stemming from the riot at the Capitol last week as authorities arrest an Alabama man with possessing 11 Molotov cocktails near the building.
The Miami Herald reported that the man photographed standing at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern was named Adam Johnson from Parrish Florida. The 36-year-old father of five posted on Facebook that he was in Washington, and was later arrested on a Federal warrant.
Another man, widely photographed wearing face paint, a horned, fur hat and extensive tattoos in the Senate chamber and the Capitol’s corridors, was charged with counts including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
He has been named as self-styled ‘QAnnon shaman’ Jacob Anthony Chansley of Arizona, more commonly known as Jake Angeli.
A 41-year-old Iowa man named Doug Jensen, who was seen in videos chasing a black police officer up a flight of stairs, was jailed early Sunday on federal charges including trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Richard Barnett (pictured), of Arkansas, who was photographed sitting at a desk in Pelosi’s office was also arrested
Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man shown in a widely seen photo sitting in Pelosi’s office with his boots on the desk. He is charged with crimes including theft of public money, property or records
Jacob Anthony Chansley, the heavily-tattooed Trump supporter who sported horns, a fur hat and face paint as he occupied the Senate dais, was also arrested on Saturday
Defendants facing federal charges include Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man shown in a widely seen photo sitting in Pelosi’s office with his boots on the desk. Barnett is charged with crimes including theft of public money, property or records.
Another man being tried in federal court, Lonnie Coffman of Falkville, Alabama, was arrested after authorities say they found guns and 11 Molotov cocktail explosive devices made out of Mason jars, golf tees and cloth rags in his pickup truck.
West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans – who posted videos showing himself pushing hi way into the Capitol building – was arrested on Friday by the FBI and charged with entering restricted federal property.
Evans resigned from his position in a letter to West Virginia governor Jim Justice, apologising for his involvement. In his own livestream, he was seen joining Trump supporters rushing into the building, shouting ‘Our house!’
Rendall Brock, a father-of-three who now lives in Dallas, was pictured on the Senate floor Wednesday after the group had broken through barricades, pushed back law enforcement and sent lawmakers fleeing for safety.
Images show him wearing a combat helmet, body armor and a vinyl tag with the Punisher skull on – a symbol adopted by white supremacists and believers of conspiracy theory QAnon.
Johnson, who was pictured inside the Capitol making off with a lectern, appears to have removed his social media platforms in the aftermath of the siege
He carried zip-tie handcuffs and appeared to be speaking with fellow rioters, several of which were dressed in MAGA caps.
Brock, who was in the Air Force for more than two decades and now works for an aviation company, was also seen in footage, shot by ITV News, appearing to exit Nancy Pelosi’s office – which was vandalized and looted in the chaos.
‘It is alleged that Brock was identified as one of the individuals who unlawfully entered the US Capitol,’ a DoJ statement said.
Eric Munchel, 30, is pictured in his mugshot having been arrested in Nashville on Sunday
It added he had been ‘wearing a green helmet, green tactical vest with patches, black and camo jacket, and beige pants holding a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain and/or detain subjects’.
Bartender Munchel told The Times of London: ‘We wanted to show that we’re willing to rise up, band together and fight if necessary. Same as our forefathers, who established this country in 1776. It was a kind of flexing of muscles.’
His mother, Lisa Eisenhart, 57, said: ‘The left has everything: the media, organizations, the government. We have to organize if we’re going to fight back and be heard.’
The nurse, who wore a bullet proof vest like her son, added: ‘This country was founded on revolution. If they’re going to take every legitimate means from us, and we can’t even express ourselves on the internet, we won’t even be able to speak freely, what is America for?
‘I’d rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.’
The pair are said to have driven from Nashville, Tennessee for the protest.
Brock, 53, has already admitted he invaded the Senate floor and roamed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office dressed in combat gear and carrying zip-tie cuffs.
But he told The New Yorker he thought he was welcome to enter the U.S. Capitol and claimed he ‘found’ the zip ties on the floor and merely picked them up so he could hand them in to a police officer.
The FBI is said to be investigating whether any of Trump’s supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol were conspiring to hurt lawmakers or take them hostage.
‘We’re not looking at this as a grand conspiracy, but we are interested in learning what people would do with things like zip ties,’ a law enforcement official told The Washington Post.
The FBI has asked for help in tracking down those responsible for ‘rioting and violence’ in the Capitol, with some of the mob already identified online.
The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia has said ‘all options are on the table’ for charging the rioters, many of whom were egged on by President Donald Trump’s speech hours earlier at a rally over his election loss.
Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his ‘Save America’ rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him ‘weak’
Investigators are combing through photos, videos and tips from the public to track down members of the violent mob.
A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured.
A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.
The U.S. attorney’s office for D.C., which handles both local and federal cases in the district, had filed 17 cases in federal court and at least 40 others in the Superior Court by Saturday.
The cases in Superior Court mainly have to do with things like curfew violations and gun crimes.
Those being tried in federal court, where prosecutors can generally secure longer sentences, are charged with things like violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Prosecutors say these charges are just the beginning. Authorities said Friday that said additional cases remained under seal and dozens of other people were being sought by federal agents.
US attorneys in several states, including Kentucky, Ohio and Oregon, said people could face charges in their home states if they traveled to Washington and took part in the riot.
Investigators will also consider whether there was any concerted plot targeting Vice President Mike Pence, who enraged Trump and his loyalists by refusing to illegally intervene in Congress to overthrow the election.