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Trump news: White House lowers flags days after officer death as lawmakers call for impeachment

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Chantal Da Silva,Danielle Zoellner
Sunday 10 January 2021 22:24
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Moment pro-Trump rioters storm US Capitol captured on TV broadcast

Donald Trump could soon face impeachment proceedings for the second time in his single-term presidency, with Democrats in the US House of Representatives seeking to oust the “unhinged” president after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. 

On Monday, Democrats will introduce legislation seeking to impeach the president, California Rep. Ted Lieu confirmed on Saturday. But House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said the articles of impeachment might wait until after Joe Biden becomes president before they’re passed on to the Senate. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she hopes Mr Trump will resign from his role before Democrats are forced to act. In the meantime, she has pushed for the “unhinged president” to be stripped of access to the US’s nuclear codes.

Meanwhile, a number of pro-Trump rioters have been arrested and charged over their roles in Wednesday’s deadly siege of the US Capitol. Among them is Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, a prominent pusher of the baseless conspiracy theory QAnon. Also known as the "QAnon Shaman", Mr Chansley was taken into custody on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct.

The White House finally lowered its flags to half-staff on Sunday afternoon, a move controlled by the president, days after it was announced a police officer died during the Wednesday riots. Mr Trump has offered no condolences or a public statement about Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. 

On Sunday, it was also revealed that second police officer who was at the US Capitol on Wednesday has died. Officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide, a police union confirmed. 

Mr Trump remained out of the public eye throughout the day on Sunday except to issue his proclamation in the afternoon to lower the flags to half-staff. The White House press office revealed he would be travelling to Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday to check out the border wall. This would likely be one of the president’s last events before leaving office. 

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Biden pleased Trump plans to skip inauguration as Pence set to attend

President-elect Joe Biden has said he was pleased to hear Donald Trump will not be attending his inauguration later this month as the outgoing president faces call to resign or face impeachment over the Capitol riot carried out by his supporters on Wednesday.

Mr Biden said the outgoing chief executive’s decision "one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.

It's a good thing — him not showing up,” he said on Friday.

Since then, Reuters has reported that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be in attendance. 

Asked about the possibility of Mr Pence attending on Friday, Mr Biden had said the outgoing VP is “welcome to come”. 

The Independent’s Washington Bureau Chief John T Bennett reported on his comments here: 

Biden says he was pleased to learn Trump will skip his inauguration

President-elect Joe Biden said he was pleased when Donald Trump announced he will not attend his swearing-in ceremony later this month following the president’s incitement of the Capitol riot carried out by his loyalists.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 12:42
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GOP Rep says colleague voted to overturn Biden win out of fear for family members

A GOP representative has said one of their colleagues voted to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory out of fear.  

In an opinion piece for The Detroit News, Michigan Rep Peter Meijer described his harrowing experience taking cover under bulletproof chairs as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol Building on Wednesday. 

“The illusion of security, of the sanctity of our constitutional order, collapsed,” he said. "With guns drawn, police ordered us to evacuate, leading to chaos as we fled down corridors and into the tunnels beneath Capitol Hill. Several times our group of lawmakers found ourselves alone, with no police escort, fearful of what threats might lie around the next corner."

Hours after the Capitol was cleared and as lawmakers set out to vote on whether or not to certify the 2020 election results, however, the GOP representative suggested that fears continued to linger, so much so that one colleague voted to overturn Mr Biden’s victory out of fears for the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

“After the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear. As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand,” Mr Meijer wrote.

“My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn,” he said.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 13:24
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Pence has not ruled out 25th Amendment: Report

Vice President Mike Pence has not ruled out the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to forcibly remove power from President Donald Trump, CNN has reported, citing a source close to the VP.  

The source said there is concern within Mr Pence’s team that there would be risks to invoking the 25th Amendment, as there are fears it could result in Mr Trump taking action that could put the nation at risk, CNN reported.  

However, the broadcaster said Mr Pence is preserving the option in case Mr Trump becomes more unstable.

The 25th Amendment was enacted following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, whose predecessor Dwight Eisenhower suffered serious heart attacks. It was created to ensure that there would be a clear line of succession, particularly in the event of emergency circumstances.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 13:45
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Majority of Americans say Trump should be removed from office in new poll

A majority of Americans have said they believe President Donald Trump should be removed from office before the end of his time in power, a new poll has shown. 

Conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, 56 per cent of Americans said they believe the president should be removed from office before incoming president Joe Biden’s 20 January inauguration.

Forty-three per cent of those surveyed said the president should not be removed, however.

 Of those who against his removal, nearly half (45 per cent) said they believed that the president’s actions this past week were wrong, however, with the US leader being accused of inciting the violence that unfolded on Wednesday as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building.

Stances on removal fell along partisan lines, with 94 per cent of Democrats and only 13 per cent of Republicans in favour of removal. A majority of independents, or 58 per cent, were for Trump’s ouster.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel between the 8 and 9th of January among a random national sample of 570 adults.  The results have a margin of sampling error of 4.7 points.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 14:10
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Republicans trust Pence more than Trump after Capitol riots, poll finds

More Republicans said they trusted Vice President Mike Pence over President Donald Trump in a new ABC News/Ispos poll conducted in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly US Capitol riots. 

In the poll conducted on 8 and 9 January, 73 per cent of Republicans said they trust Mr Pence. 

Meanwhile, slightly less, 71 per cent, said they trusted Mr Trump. 

The poll’s findings come amid apparent tensions between the president and his VP, with Mr Trump blaming Mr Pence for failing to somehow block the 2020 election results solidifying Joe Biden’s victory from being certified. 

The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel was conducted with a random national sample of 570 adults.  The results have a margin of sampling error of 4.7 points.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 14:20
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Trump allies bemoan loss of Twitter followers

Allies of Donald Trump have complained bitterly on social media, and in particular Twitter, where the president’s supporters have apparently disappeared after the social media platform permanently banned the single-term president on Friday evening.  

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who previously served as Mr Trump’s White House press secretary, complained on Saturday that “the radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalise, censor, or silence the American people", after she had lost more than 50,000 followers. 

Mike Pompeo, the serving US secretary of state, meanwhile suggested that the loss of Trump supporters from Twitter, and the loss of followers for the president’s allies on the site, would “create an echo chamber...”

Unsurprisingly, those complaints soon come under attack, with president-elect Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manger accusing Ms Sanders and Mr Pompeo of being “out of touch with reality and deceny”. 

Gino Spocchia10 January 2021 14:40
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33-year-old Capitol rioter and ‘QAnon Shaman’ lives with his mother

The so-called “QAnon Shaman” who was seen storming Congress on Wednesday with horns, a spear and face paint, has been revealed to be a 33-year-old man who lives with his mother.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, neighbours of Jacob Angeli Chansley described the QAnon believer as a “conspiracy theorist” and “failed actor” whose car carried a bumper sticker with the words: ‘WQKE’ and ‘#TheGreatAwakening’.

The details are the latest revelations to emerge on Chansley and other rioters who stormed the Capitol after Donald Trump’s rally. He has since been charged with disorderly conduct and violent entry, writes Kate Ng. 

Horned rioter is ‘failed actor and QAnon conspiracy theorist who lives with his mother’

Jacob Angeli Chansley seen at pro-Trump rallies and spread disproved QAnon theories

Gino Spocchia10 January 2021 15:00
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Former NYPD chief calls for 9-11 style commission into Capitol policing

Bill Bratton, the former New York City Police Commissioner, has called for the creation of a 9-11 style commission to investigate why Capitol Police were unprepared to counter an attack by the US president’s supporters on Wednesday. 

Mr Bratton, who was interviewed on WABC 770 AM radio on Sunday, said Capitol Police "clearly underestimated what the event was going to be, the nature of the crowd, and made no plans to collaborate, cooperate, seek additional assistance until after the crowd showed up on their front doorstep. And then it was too late."

While the president told his supporters on the day that they should march on Congress with “strength", Capitol Police and other law enforcement “decided to go low-key on this,” said Mr Bratton. “And that’s going to be part of the investigation. Why did they low-key it?”

First reported by the Hill. 

Gino Spocchia10 January 2021 15:15
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Arnold Schwarzenegger compares US Capitol riots to ‘Kristallnacht’

Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has compared Wednesday’s deadly riots at the US Capitol with “Kristallnacht", or the “Night of the Broken Glass", in a new video posted to Twitter. 

“As an immigrant to this country, I would like to say a few words to my fellow Americans, and to our friends around the world, about the events of recent days,” Mr Schwarzenegger said in the video published on Sunday morning. 

“I grew up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass,” he said. “It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.”

“Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States,” Mr Shwarzenegger asserted.

“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted," he said. 

In the wake of Wednesday’s riots, which left five people dead, Mr Shwarzenegger said he had been receiving calls from people from “all over the world” who are “distraught and worried” about the state of the US. 

The former California governor said he believed the country would come out of its present turmoil stronger after recognising what’s at stake, but said those who have brought the country to “this unforgivable point” must be held accountable.

He further voiced his support for President-elect Joe Biden and warned that anyone seeking to undermine the US Constitution “will never win”.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 15:23
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Maryland Governor blames Trump for inciting ‘riotous mob’

Maryland Gov Larry Hogan, a GOP detractor of President Donald Trump, has blamed the US leader for inciting Wednesday’s deadly riot at the US Capitol. 

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Mr Hogan said, “There’s no question in my mind that [Mr Trump] was responsible for inciting this riotous mob.”

Mr Hogan further said he could not explain why there was a delay in getting permission to deploy the National Guard in response to the chaos.

 “I don't know all the reasons for the delay,” he said. “I can just tell you that we were taking actions immediately. We were ready and there was a delay.”

"I was getting called from the leaders of Congress pleading with me to get our Guard into the city, and we were mobilizing to do that, and we were waiting to get the okay."

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 15:40

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