Trump calls for call’ Mitch McConnell rejects emergency session for Senate trial; Airbnb cancels all D.C. reservations for week of Biden inauguration

For the latest news Wednesday surrounding the fallout in Washington, D.C. after the unrest that rocked the U.S. Capitol during the confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential win. For more, visit here.2 p.m. U.S. President Donald Trump has released a statement via the White House urging calm. “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to helap ease tensions and calm tempers,” the statement reads. 1:45 p.m. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for last week’s storming of the Capitol by his supporters.McCarthy, a close Trump ally, says the president “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”But McCarthy also says he believes it would be a mistake to impeach Trump in such a short time frame. Trump leaves office on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden is inaugurated.The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying the violent mob.McCarthy says “a vote to impeach would further divide this nation, a vote to impeach will further fan the flames, the partisan division.”The California lawmaker is calling instead for a fact-finding commission and censure resolution.1:45 p.m. A man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt during the U.S. Capitol riot last week was arrested Wednesday in Virginia, authorities said.Robert Keith Packer, 56, was arrested in Newport News, where he lives. He was charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.A law enforcement official said Packer is the man who is seen in a photo inside the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt with the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II. The sweatshirt also contained the phrase, “Work brings freedom,” a translation of “Arbeit macht frei,” the German phrase that appeared on the camp’s entrance. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to release details of the case.The photo of the man in the sweatshirt caused an uproar on social media.1:34 p.m Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving abruptly away from President Donald Trump, telling people that he thinks Trump perpetrated impeachable offences.The Kentucky Republican also sees House Democrats’ drive to impeach Trump as an opportune moment to distance the GOP from the tumultuous, divisive outgoing president.The views of McConnell, who will be Washington’s most powerful Republican once Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated next week, were described by a GOP strategist on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. The New York Times first reported McConnell’s view on Tuesday.McConnell’s thinking emerged as the Democratic-led House moved toward certain approval of an impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, an unprecedented second impeachment of his clamourous presidency. Trump exhorted a throng of his followers to march on the Capitol last Wednesday, where they disrupted Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s win in a riot that resulted in five deaths.1:20 p.m.: If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.12:45 p.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people” in the presidential election.While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.12 p.m. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the impeachment effort being pushed by House Democrats could “do great damage to the institutions of government” and he’s warning his GOP colleagues not to support it.Graham is a frequent ally

Trump calls for call’ Mitch McConnell rejects emergency session for Senate trial; Airbnb cancels all D.C. reservations for week of Biden inauguration

For the latest news Wednesday surrounding the fallout in Washington, D.C. after the unrest that rocked the U.S. Capitol during the confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential win. For more, visit here.

2 p.m. U.S. President Donald Trump has released a statement via the White House urging calm. “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to helap ease tensions and calm tempers,” the statement reads.

1:45 p.m. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for last week’s storming of the Capitol by his supporters.

McCarthy, a close Trump ally, says the president “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

But McCarthy also says he believes it would be a mistake to impeach Trump in such a short time frame. Trump leaves office on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden is inaugurated.

The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying the violent mob.

McCarthy says “a vote to impeach would further divide this nation, a vote to impeach will further fan the flames, the partisan division.”

The California lawmaker is calling instead for a fact-finding commission and censure resolution.

1:45 p.m. A man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt during the U.S. Capitol riot last week was arrested Wednesday in Virginia, authorities said.

Robert Keith Packer, 56, was arrested in Newport News, where he lives. He was charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.

A law enforcement official said Packer is the man who is seen in a photo inside the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt with the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II. The sweatshirt also contained the phrase, “Work brings freedom,” a translation of “Arbeit macht frei,” the German phrase that appeared on the camp’s entrance. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to release details of the case.

The photo of the man in the sweatshirt caused an uproar on social media.

1:34 p.m Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving abruptly away from President Donald Trump, telling people that he thinks Trump perpetrated impeachable offences.

The Kentucky Republican also sees House Democrats’ drive to impeach Trump as an opportune moment to distance the GOP from the tumultuous, divisive outgoing president.

The views of McConnell, who will be Washington’s most powerful Republican once Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated next week, were described by a GOP strategist on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. The New York Times first reported McConnell’s view on Tuesday.

McConnell’s thinking emerged as the Democratic-led House moved toward certain approval of an impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, an unprecedented second impeachment of his clamourous presidency. Trump exhorted a throng of his followers to march on the Capitol last Wednesday, where they disrupted Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s win in a riot that resulted in five deaths.

1:20 p.m.: If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.

That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.

The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

12:45 p.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.

Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people” in the presidential election.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

12 p.m. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the impeachment effort being pushed by House Democrats could “do great damage to the institutions of government” and he’s warning his GOP colleagues not to support it.

Graham is a frequent ally of President Donald Trump. Last week, Graham condemned the violent mob of the president’s supporters who invaded the Capitol. After that siege and after Trump had pushed the unconstitutional argument that Vice-President Mike Pence could overturn the election results, Graham said to count him out and that “enough is enough.”

Still, Graham has stayed in touch with the increasingly isolated president.

And Graham’s message to fellow Republicans on impeachment is that those “who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party.”

He says the millions of people who have supported Trump and his agenda “should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob.”

At least five GOP House members have said they will support impeachment, and two Republican senators have called on Trump to resign. Another GOP senator has said he will take a look at the articles of impeachment when they are sent to the Senate.

11:44 a.m. Former colleagues of Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller have reportedly identified the retired American swimmer as being at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the riot last week.

Referencing a video shared by a Townhall reporter on social media, unidentified ex-teammates and coaches told The New York Times that they recognized the athlete.

The video shows a man, without a face mask, wearing a USA jacket in the middle of a large group inside the Capitol Rotunda.

The people who spoke with The Times referenced the man in the video’s jacket and large height as identifying features.

Keller, a two-time gold medalist, has not publicly commented on the situation, and his social media pages are currently deactivated.

Multiple people told The Times that Keller had shared his support for President Trump in posts on social media in the past. — New York Daily News

11:04 a.m. Airbnb says it will be blocking and cancelling all reservations in the Washington, D.C. area during the week of the presidential inauguration.

The decision, announced Wednesday, was in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C. It came two days after it said it was reviewing reservations in the area ahead of the inauguration and said it will bar any guests associated with hate groups or violent activity.

The San Francisco-based home sharing company said that guests whose reservations were cancelled will be refunded in full. It will also reimburse hosts — at Airbnb’s expense — the money they would have earned from those cancelled reservations. It also said that reservations at HotelTonight, a service owned by Airbnb that handles last-minute deals at top-rated hotels, will also be cancelled.

“We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community,” the company said in a corporate blog.

Airbnb said that it had learned through media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to have been responsible for the criminal activity at the U.S. Capitol. And it’s investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb. Through this work, it said it has identified numerous individuals who are associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform.

10:40 a.m. The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Democrats and a few Republicans say Trump must be removed immediately after he egged on a violent mob of supporters a week ago who then stormed the Capitol. The insurrection happened as some of Trump’s GOP allies were challenging his election defeat, echoing the president’s false claims that there was widespread fraud in his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Most Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive. They’re not mentioning the president.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. Jordan blames Democrats for objecting to previous election results and he’s repeating baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

But Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says Democrats haven’t pushed conspiracy theories that a president won in a landslide when he actually lost — which is what happened to Trump.

McGovern is looking back at the deadly Capitol siege and saying “people died because of the big lies that were being told.” And he says that’s enough to merit impeachment.

10:25 a.m. Democratic lawmakers have opened the historic impeachment effort in the House by saying that every moment Donald Trump is in the White House the nation is in danger.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., says the debate is taking place at an “actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if it were not for the president of the United States.”

The House is considering impeaching Trump for the second time after last week’s riots at the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the election results. McGovern says it was Trump and his allies who were stoking the anger of the violent mob.

He says Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol and “the signal was unmistakable.”

Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said Jan. 6th would live in his memory as the darkest day of his service in the House. But Cole says the Senate could not even begin to consider impeachment until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

He says he can think of no action the House can take that would further divide the American people than the actions being taken Wednesday. He says “it’s unfortunate that a path to support healing is not the path the majority has chosen today.”

10 a.m. As the House opens its impeachment hearing, the District of Columbia National Guard says it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The Guard said in a statement that the authority was requested by federal authorities and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as of approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Authorities are concerned about threats of violence, following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

9:25 a.m. Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. hit another one-day high at over 4,300 with the country’s attention focused largely on the fallout from the deadly uprising at the Capitol.

The nation’s overall death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000. Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million.

With the country simultaneously facing a political crisis and on edge over threats of more violence from far-right extremists, the U.S. recorded 4,327 deaths on Tuesday by Johns Hopkins’ count. Arizona and California have been among the hardest-hit states.

The daily figure is subject to revision, but deaths have been rising sharply over the past 2 1/2 months, and the country is now in the most lethal phase of the outbreak yet, even as the vaccine is being rolled out. New cases are running at nearly a quarter-million per day on average.

More than 9.3 million Americans have received their first shot of the vaccine, or less than 3% per cent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is well short of the hundreds of millions who experts say will be need to be inoculated to vanquish the outbreak.

8:37 a.m. New York City will terminate business contracts with President Donald Trump after last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.

The Trump Organization is under city contract to operate the two ice rinks and a carousel in Central Park as well as a golf course in the Bronx.

The Trump Organization profits about $17 million (U.S.) a year from those sites, de Blasio said.

“I’m here to announce that the city of New York is severing all contracts with the Trump Organization,” de Blasio said.

An email seeking comment was sent Wednesday to the Trump Organization.

It is the latest example of how the Jan. 6 breach by violent Trump supporters is impacting the Republican president’s business interests.

The PGA of America voted Sunday to take the PGA Championship away from his New Jersey golf course next year, a move that came after social media platforms disabled Trump’s accounts and Shopify took down online stores affiliated with him.

8:40 a.m. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger is predicting more Republicans will join him in voting to impeach President Donald Trump.

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump for a second time, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol last week. If that isn’t an impeachable offence, Kinzinger said, “I don’t know what is.”

Several other Republicans are backing impeachment, including No. 3 GOP leader Liz Cheney.

“This is one of these moments that transcends politics,” the Illinois lawmaker told “CBS This Morning” in an interview ahead of the vote.

Besides Kinzinger and Cheney, other Republicans backing impeachment are John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Kinzinger wouldn’t say how many more GOP lawmakers might vote to impeach, but said, “there’ll be more than the five you’ve seen so far.”

Wednesday 6 a.m. President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time, the House planning the unprecedented vote one week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and the U.S. Capitol became the target of a deadly siege.

While the first impeachment of Trump in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and other lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats on Wednesday, unwilling to put American decency and democracy at further risk, even with days remaining in the president’s term.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Trump, who would become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanours as demanded in the Constitution.

Confronting his potential place in history, Trump warned lawmakers off it, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

At least five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, were unswayed by the president’s logic. The Republicans announced they would vote to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

Tuesday 11:55 p.m. The U.S. House rushed ahead Tuesday toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice-president to push him out first. Trump showed no remorse, blaming impeachment itself for the “tremendous anger” in America.

Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him — to be taken up Wednesday — even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.

The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote, although Pence had already said he would not do so. The resolution, passed 223-205 almost entirely along party lines, urged him to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”

Hours before the vote Pence had said no. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he said it would not be in the best interest of the nation and it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Tuesday 11:50 p.m. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has concluded that President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses and believes that Democrats’ move to impeach him will make it easier to purge Trump from the party, according to people familiar with McConnell’s thinking.

The private assessment of McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, emerged on the eve of a House vote to formally charge Trump with inciting violence against the country for his role in whipping up a mob of his supporters who stormed the Capitol while lawmakers met to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House, announced her intention to support the single charge of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Even before McConnell’s position was known and Cheney had announced her plans, advisers to the Senate Republican leader had already privately speculated that a dozen Republican senators — and possibly more — could ultimately vote to convict Trump in a Senate trial that would follow his impeachment by the House. Seventeen Republicans would be needed to join Democrats in finding him guilty. After that, it would take a simple majority to disqualify Trump from ever again holding public office.

via The New York Times

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