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

Follow the latest updates

Danielle Zoellner,Chantal da Silva
Sunday 10 January 2021 22:24 GMT
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. 


Mick Mulvaney says he felt ‘sad’ and ‘embarrassed’ after Capitol riots

Former White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has said he has felt “sad” and “embarrassed" this past week in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly riots, which saw Trump supporters storm the US Capitol Building.

Mr Mulvaney had served as acting chief of staff from February 2019 to March 2020, when he became the US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland - a role he stepped down from this week over Wednesday’s chaos. 

Asked by Fox’s Chris Wallace on Sunday if he felt any responsibility for enabling Mr Trump, Mr Mulvaney said: “I feel a lot of emotions this week. I was shocked, I was angered, I was sad, I was embarrassed, I was frustrated and I still am trying to figure out what I could have done differently."

Noting that he had been “out of the White House now for eight months,” Mr Mulvaney said that he had previously believed that Mr Trump would leave office “in a presidential manner”.

Noting that he had written a piece in The Wall Street Journal saying as much several weeks ago, he said “I really did believe that".

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 15:54

Chris Christie says he would vote to impeach Donald Trump if he were a lawmaker

Former New Jersey Governor and Trump ally Chris Christie has said that he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if he were a lawmaker following Wednesday’s deadly US Capitol riots. 

Speaking on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Mr Christie said that if impeachment proceedings were to follow over Mr Trump’s role in Wednesday’s chaos, lawmakers would have to “vote their conscience”

 “I mean, what we had was incitement to riot at the United States Capitol, we had people killed and to me there’s not a whole lot of question here,” he said.

Asked directly if that meant he believes Mr Trump’s actions constituted an impeachable offence, he said: “Oh sure, yeah”. 

Questioned further on whether he would vote to impeach Mr Trump if he had the power to do so, he said: “If I think it’s an impeachable offence, that’s exactly what I would do”.

“I’m not in there, but you want my opinion, that’s my opinion. If inciting to insurrection isn’t [an impeachable offence’, then I don’t know really what is,” he said.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 16:05

U.S. Capitol riots a ‘wake-up call’ for democracies, top EU diplomat says

Wednesday’s siege of the US Capitol should be a “wake-up call” for democracies, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Sunday.

"What we saw on Wednesday was only the climax of very worrying developments happening globally in recent years. It must be a wake-up call for all democracy advocates," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a blog post.

"Everybody needs to understand that if we accept setbacks after setbacks, even if they seem minor, democracy and its values and institutions can eventually and irreversibly perish," Mr Borrell, who speaks on behalf of EU member states, warned. 

Mr Borrell said that the events in Washington should leave no doubt around the threat presented by disinformation.

"In case anyone had any doubts, the events in Washington also show that disinformation constitutes a real threat for democracies," Mr Borrell said. "If some people believe that an election was fraudulent, because their leader has been once and again telling them, they will behave accordingly."

He also said that social media networks should be better regulated, but said companies should not be left to carry out those regulations themselves.

Twitter permanently booted the president off of its social media platform late on Friday over the risk of further incitement of violence. The president was also temporarily barred from other social media sites.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 16:13

Trump was more upset that Capitol mob looked ‘low class’ than about violence, reports say

As pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was reportedly distressed about how members of the violent mob appeared to be “low class”.

Citing anonymous sources, both New York Magazine and The Washington Post reported on how Mr Trump was disturbed by the “low class” appearance of the crowds storming the Capitol Building. 

“He doesn’t like low class things,” the source told the former publication. 

The Independent’s Chris Riotta has more: 

Trump was more upset that Capitol mob looked ‘low class’ than about violent attacks, reports say

Advisers say the president was ‘turned off’ by the look of his supporters as they attacked the US Capitol

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 16:23

‘Resign Hawley’ painted on street in St Louis after Capitol chaos

Hundreds of people rallied in St Louis on Saturday to demand the resignation of US Sen. Josh Hawley over his role in Wednesday’s US Capitol riots, with the words “resign Hawley" being painted in block letters across a downtown street.

Mr Hawley had already sparked outrage when he became the first senator to publicly announce his plans to object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. 

He faced further scrutiny after being photographed raising his fist in support of Wednesday’s pro-Trump crowd before they stormed the US Capitol Building in a deadly siege. 

On Saturday, protesters gathered outside the Old Courthouse in St Louis waving signs that said “Resign Hawley” and “the blood’s on your hands”, according to St Louis Public Radio.

The words “Resign Hawley” were later pictured painted outside the Courthouse in a photo published by Reuters, with Trump critic Scott Dworkin sharing the image on Twitter, attracting more than 20,500 likes.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 16:37

No order for half-mast flag at White House in honour of killed Capitol police officer

President Donald Trump has reportedly given no order for flags to be flown at half-mast over federal buildings to honour Brian Sicknick, the officer who died from injuries sustained during Wednesday’s violent Capitol riots. 

An aide to Vice President Mike Pence told The New York Times that while the VP had contacted Sicknick’s family to offer his condolences, Mr Trump had yet to do so. 

Flags over the US Capitol were flown at half-mast to honour the slain officer. However, the White House did not lower its own flag. “Trump won’t lower flags for the officer who died from injuries he sustained  engaging with a mob of Trump supporters,” The Times’ TweetMaggie HabermanHe and Pence haven’t spoken since Wednesday morning. Pence refused to leave the overtaken building despite USSS asking him to.

“Trump won’t lower flags for the officer who died from injuries he sustained  engaging with a mob of Trump supporters,” The Times’  Maggie Haberman reported in a tweet on Saturday. “

"He and Pence haven’t spoken since Wednesday morning,” she also noted.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 16:49

AOC offers ‘free advice’ to Sarah Huckabee Sanders after complaint of losing followers

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has offered some “free advice” to former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she took to Twitter to complain of losing followers after Wednesday’s Capitol riots.

“I’ve lost 50k+ followers this week. The radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalize, censor, or silence the American people. This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country,” Mrs Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet.

“Free advice - if you are losing tens of thousands of followers the moment Twitter starts taking down Neo-Nazis and violent insurrectionists, maybe don’t advertise that!” Ms Ocasio-Cortez responded.

 A number of people, including President Donald Trump, lost access to their Twitter accounts in relation to Wednesday’s violence.

Twitter permanently suspended Mr Trump’s personal account over the potential risk of further incitement of violence.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez further admonished the former White House press secretary, writing: “Also maybe people are unfollowing you out disgust for your support of a coupist [because] they care about our country.”

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 17:15

Biden’s defense nominee could get up to $1.7 million leaving Raytheon

President-elect Joe Biden's pick for US defense secretary, retired General Lloyd Austin, could take away as much as $1.7 million on his way out from Raytheon Technologies Corp, an ethics disclosure revealed on Sunday.

Mr Austin was given stock in Raytheon and two spin-off companies, Carrier Global Corp and Otis Worldwide Corp when he took a board seat with a predecessor to the company.

If he resigns to take the job with the Biden administration, some of that stock would be sold on his behalf, with the retired general vowing to fully divest from Raytheon within 90 days of his confirmation, according to Reuters. 

He has also agreed to recuse himself from decisions involving the company for at least a year.

Sunday’s disclosure does not show exact amounts, but suggests that he stands to gain from around $800,000 to $1.7 million from the stocks.

The filings do not show exact amounts, only broad ranges of the value of the stock, from about $800,000 to around $1.7 million.

Chantal Da Silva10 January 2021 17:25

Trump attempts to find new social network after Twitter ban

Twitter's decision to ban President Donald Trump mere days before the end of his term sparked a fierce political backlash among his most fervent allies on Saturday, sending some of his supporters - and the White House itself - scrambling to find another potent tool to communicate online.

Many prominent conservatives - including Brad Parscale, Mr Trump's former campaign manager, and Rush Limbaugh, the leading voice in right-wing radio - reacted to Mr Trump's suspension by blasting Twitter, quitting the site outright or encouraging the president's loyal following to turn to alternative services. Mr Trump himself signalled he is in negotiations to join other social networks, and he raised the possibility he could create a new online platform on his own.

The Independent’s Tony Romm and Josh Dawsey have the report: 

Trump attempts to find new social network after Twitter ban

The president has even suggested he may start his own online platform 

Danielle Zoellner10 January 2021 17:41

Top House Democrat says chamber could wait until after Biden’s first 100 days for Trump impeachment

Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip and a Democratic representative of South Carolina, has said impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump could be held off until after the first 100 days of the Biden administration. 

"We'll take the vote that we should take in the House, and [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate," Mr Clyburn told CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday. 

"It just so happens that if it didn't go over there for 100 days, it could – let's give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running, and maybe we'll send the articles sometime after that," he added. 

Ms Pelosi indicated on Friday the House was prepared to move forward with its second impeachment of Mr Trump following the US Capitol riots. The Democrats planned to introduce their articles of impeachment on Monday, which already has more than 190 co-sponsors. 

These articles of impeachment could likely pass in the House, but when they would send onto the Senate remains unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated previously that the Senate would not return to session until 19 January. 

The Senate could vote after that on impeachment, but it would then be when Mr Trump has already left office. 

Democrats have considered holding off on passing the articles onto the Senate until after Mr Biden’s 100 days in office so it wouldn’t impact other items on the incoming president’s agenda. 

Danielle Zoellner10 January 2021 18:04

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