Trump STILL considering self-pardon, wanted to go to House floor to defend himself from impeachment

Donald Trump wanted to go to the floor of the House to defend himself as Democrats moved forward with a second impeachment, a report revealed Wednesday – and the president is still considering pardoning himself in his last six days in office.

Advisers told The New York Times they had to persuade Trump not to march over to Capitol Hill Wednesday to issue some sort of defense. They claim the president wanted to do the same thing during his first impeachment in December 2019.

Instead, aides were able to convince the president to release a pre-recorded five-minute video Wednesday evening condemning last week’s violence at the Capitol.

In the address from the Oval Office, Trump urged his supporters to stand down from further rioting this week and next as Joe Biden prepares for inauguration and rumors circulate of more organized ‘armed’ protests in the nation’s capital.

The video remarks were released on the White House Twitter account – after the social media platform banned the president from his account – and came shortly after the House voted 232-197 to impeach him.

President Donald Trump is still weighing a self-pardon, a report revealed Wednesday evening, as advisers claim they had to persuade the president not to march down to the House floor to defend himself against impeachment

The video was released on the White House Twitter account at the exact same time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the article of impeachment against Trump at an engrossment ceremony after the 232-197 vote Wednesday night where 10 Republicans crossed the line to vote for the rebuke of the president

The video was released on the White House Twitter account at the exact same time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the article of impeachment against Trump at an engrossment ceremony after the 232-197 vote Wednesday night where 10 Republicans crossed the line to vote for the rebuke of the president

More National Guard members continue to arrive in Washington D.C. Thursday morning as they were deployed from several states to defend the nation's capital as concerns arise of more violent protests in the coming days

More National Guard members continue to arrive in Washington D.C. Thursday morning as they were deployed from several states to defend the nation’s capital as concerns arise of more violent protests in the coming days

Most National Guard are stationed at the Capitol as rumors swirl of upcoming protests with 'armed patriots' – yet no more unrest has ensued in Washington D.C. since last week's unprecedented descent on the Capitol building

Most National Guard are stationed at the Capitol as rumors swirl of upcoming protests with ‘armed patriots’ – yet no more unrest has ensued in Washington D.C. since last week’s unprecedented descent on the Capitol building

By the end of the week there will be around 10,000 National Guard troops in D.C. after they were called in following the storming of the Capitol last week, which Democrats claim was 'incited' by Trump in a rally held near the White House before the chaos unfolded

By the end of the week there will be around 10,000 National Guard troops in D.C. after they were called in following the storming of the Capitol last week, which Democrats claim was ‘incited’ by Trump in a rally held near the White House before the chaos unfolded

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone says Trump pardoning himself before leaving office would be a bad move, warning it would provoke investigators

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone says Trump pardoning himself before leaving office would be a bad move, warning it would provoke investigators

The unprecedented rebuke of Trump makes him the first president to ever be impeached twice.

House Democrats, and 10 Republicans who crossed the line to vote ‘yea’, impeached Trump over claims he ‘incited an insurrection’.

Advisers claim they were only able to persuade Trump to release the video as he began to realize this week the catastrophic fallout from the Capitol storming Wednesday, January 6.

Trump has still left open the possibility of pardoning himself.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has expressed concerns over that course of action, warnings that this would inflame investigators who are already pursuing him.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who signed impeachment papers Wednesday evening, was putting a maximum pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment before she went forward with impeachment.

She said she wanted to get Trump out of office as soon as possible so he couldn’t pardon himself or those involved in the Capitol riot last week.

Democrats and some Republicans even urged the president to resign – admittedly the least likely outcome as he nears his final day in the White House.

Trump repeatedly denounced violence following the MAGA riot in the Capitol during his video address to the nation.

The riot that left the Capitol vandalized, hundreds injured and five dead. Among those dead include Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit over the head with a fire hydrant and succumbed to his injuries a day later, and a female pro-Trump protester Ashlit Babbit, who was involved in the storming.

Trump did not mention in the pre-taped video the second impeachment voted on hours earlier.

The president spoke straight to the camera, as he did in a previous video where he acknowledged last week for the first time that there would be a transition in power the day after his supporters invaded the Capitol and clashed with Capitol Police, leaving one officer dead. Another took his own life after the riots.

This time, Trump was unable to tweet out the statement for himself because Twitter has blocked his account after the Capitol riot. Instead it came from the official White House account, which Twitter told NBC News was permitted.

The president said the riot ‘angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum.’

‘I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,’ Trump said, clearly reading from a prompter.

‘Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country – and no place in our movement.’

His appeal came amid warnings from law enforcement of further violence during the handover on January 20 – and grave threats to his own political future through impeachment. The Senate is not only moving ahead with a trial, but will hold a vote to bar Trump from holding future office if he is convicted.

His statements were unequivocal – but followed a series of public comments where he made statements that could be seen to justify violence with a wink, including telling his supporters at the speech in The Ellipse before they marched on the Capitol: ‘We’re going to have to fight much harder.’

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,’ he said then – a stark contrast to his address from the Oval Office.

Trump on Wednesday defended his movement, after rioters decked out in Trump gear were seen fighting with police, and even beating officers with American flags.

Trump issued a speech from the Resolute Desk, in which he said 'unequivocally' condemned violence. It was posted from the official White House account after he was banned from Twitter. Twitter said: 'This Tweet is not in violation of the Twitter Rules. As we previously made clear, other official administration accounts, including @WhiteHouse, are permitted to Tweet as long as they do not demonstrably engage in ban evasion or share content that otherwise violates the Twitter Rules'

Trump issued a speech from the Resolute Desk, in which he said ‘unequivocally’ condemned violence. It was posted from the official White House account after he was banned from Twitter. Twitter said: ‘This Tweet is not in violation of the Twitter Rules. As we previously made clear, other official administration accounts, including @WhiteHouse, are permitted to Tweet as long as they do not demonstrably engage in ban evasion or share content that otherwise violates the Twitter Rules’

MAGA mob: Trump did not use the speech to acknowledge any responsibility for the desecration of the Capitol for which he is being impeached, but came closer than before by saying to his supporters of violence and lawbreaking: 'If you do any of this you do not support our movement.'

MAGA mob: Trump did not use the speech to acknowledge any responsibility for the desecration of the Capitol for which he is being impeached, but came closer than before by saying to his supporters of violence and lawbreaking: ‘If you do any of this you do not support our movement.’

‘Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values,’ said Trump, who made ‘law and order’ and overriding theme of his campaign,’ he said.

‘Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,’ said Trump.

Lawmakers have combed over his January 6 speech, where he urged supporters to march on the Capitol to protest an election result he called ‘rigged’ while Congress was meeting to count the electoral votes.

‘No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag,’ said Trump.

‘No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it, and you are attacking our country,’ he added.

‘We cannot tolerate it. We have seen political violence spiral out of control.’

His appeal for calm, just a week before he is to leave office, comes amid extraordinary repercussions for his future and the party he effectively took over. A series of major corporations have released statements saying they would withhold future PAC campaign contributions to the scores of Republicans who voted not to seat electors from states that sent certified votes to Washington, not withstanding Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud.

There have been business setbacks as well – with New York City saying it will end contracts with the Trump Organization and top lender Deutsche Bank saying it will part ways with Trump. A break with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a coming split between Trumpists and those who want to end their alliance with him. Three Trump cabinet members quit since Wednesday, and some White House aides walked amid concerns they may no longer be employable due to their association with Trump.

Trump also tried to connect the violence committed by his supporters to violence and vandalism at protests this summer – a tactic his supporters also used on the floor in his defense.

‘We have seen too many riots, too many mobs, too many acts of intimidation and destruction. Whether you are on the right or the left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions. America is a nation of laws,’ Trump said.

‘Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice,’ he said – with hundreds of law enforcement officers opening hundreds of cases to try to bring perpetrators to justice.

In the wake of the riots, an estimated 20,000 National Guard are being deployed in the Capitol, the Capitol is surrounded by a tall fence, and officials are warning of the potential for further violence.

The video came hours after a statement sent from the White House as the impeachment debate was taking place.

‘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 help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the statement read.

The White House blasted the statement out to its press list after Twitter, Facebook and Instagram froze Trump’s social media accounts for inciting violence. Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany also tweeted it from her official press secretary account and the Trump campaign texted it to followers.

The statement contained several words in ALL CAPS – which was a regular feature of Trump’s tweets.

Trump on had Tuesday denied all responsibility for last week’s riot, saying his fiery 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.

Trump also denounced the Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office, 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.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT

Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’

Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran

‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’

John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’

Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group

‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’

Jaime Herrera Beutler – Washington

Five-term rep in deep blue state

‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’

Dan Newhouse – Washington

One of only two GOP reps from state

‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’

Peter Meijer – Michigan

Holds Gerald Ford’s seat

‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’

Tom Rice – South Carolina

Voted to overturn election results

‘I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. This utter failure is inexcusable.’

Anthony Gonzalez – Ohio

‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’

Former NFL starting wide receiver

David Valadao – California

‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’

Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020

‘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.

That calculus appeared however to have changed with the new video, issued after the House voted 232-197 to impeach him for a second time for ‘incitement of insurrection,’ exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.

The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House’s move bipartisan – unlike Trump’s first impeachment less than 13 months ago.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. It means that Trump cannot be removed from office before he leaves anyway.

McConnell’s move was revealed as the House debated the impeachment article. Then he added to the drama with a statement suggesting he could convict, saying: ‘While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.’

Just before he entered history as the first president to be impeached twice, the White House put out a statement from Trump, which called for peace but did not address his impeachment.

‘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 help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the president’s statement said.

Later, after the impeachment vote, Trump put out a video message.

The call for calm did nothing to quell a Republican rebellion against him, led by the House number three Liz Cheney, which ended with a total of 10 GOP members voting to impeach Trump.

Halfway through the debate another defiant Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, said: ‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option.

‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’

‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added. His floor speech got Democratic applause.

The 10 votes make the impeachment the most bipartisan ever, another historical marker which also creates a deep split in the Republican party which is unlikely to end with Trump’s departure.

The vote ended with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, in the chair, declaring the count of 232 to 197 – but with silence from the Democrats and handful of Republicans still present. Pelosi had warned her members not to celebrate the outcome.

‘We’re heartbroken over what this means to our country,’ Pelosi said at the engrossment ceremony for the article of impeachment that took place Wednesday evening. ‘To have a president who incites insurrection.’

She said she ‘sadly’ signed the documents.

It concluded a day of debate in which Pelosi had called Trump a ‘clear and present danger,’ as Democrats said they were standing in a ‘crime scene’ and demanded that Trump pay a price for a campaign of ‘lies and conspiracy theories’ which had fomented violence.

Trump’s Republican allies did not defend Trump’s behavior, but instead pitched censuring the president or launching a 9/11-style commission, more fitting punishments they argued for someone who was already leaving office.

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, went as far to say Trump’s conduct was impeachable, but wouldn’t vote for the article, calling it ‘flawed.’

The Republican revolt was led by Cheney, the number three in the caucus and party royalty as the daughter of the former vice president Dick Cheney.

She had issued a fiery denunciation of Trump when she announced her vote 24 hours earlier, saying he ‘lit the flame on insurrection’ but did not speak on the floor.

In the Senate, which will have to hold a trial of Trump in the wake of the vote as soon as it receives the article, McConnell’s announcement that he is willing to convict raises new questions about how Republicans will vote when the trial happens.

So far only Sen. Mitt Romney appears certain to back conviction, while on Wednesday Sen. Lindsey Graham accused McConnell of risking more violence by backing impeachment. No other Republican senator has made their position public.

Impeachment is by a two-thirds majority of the Senate, which in principle means the 50 Democrats have to be joined by 17 Republicans, but in fact it is only a majority of those present, meaning some GOP members could stay away to let a vote go through without actively taking part.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued to push McConnell to reconvene the Senate sooner – but said there would be a trial no matter what.

‘A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th,’ Schumer said.

‘But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.’

Bringing down the hammer: Nancy Pelosi gavels the end of the voting and declares that Donald Trump has been impeached again 232-197 - 10 of the majority votes coming from Republicans

Bringing down the hammer: Nancy Pelosi gavels the end of the voting and declares that Donald Trump has been impeached again 232-197 – 10 of the majority votes coming from Republicans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds up the article of impeachment after signing it at an engrossment ceremony Wednesday night on Capitol Hill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds up the article of impeachment after signing it at an engrossment ceremony Wednesday night on Capitol Hill

The article of impeachment against President Donald Trump sits on a table before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an engrossment ceremony after Wednesday's vote

The article of impeachment against President Donald Trump sits on a table before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an engrossment ceremony after Wednesday’s vote

Republican House number three Liz Cheney (right) led 10 of the House GOP into voting for impeachment - but is now facing a backlash from Trump ultra-loyalists. She was see n speaking to Jamie Raskin, one of the key Democrats pushing for Trump's impeachment and removal

Republican House number three Liz Cheney (right) led 10 of the House GOP into voting for impeachment – but is now facing a backlash from Trump ultra-loyalists. She was see n speaking to Jamie Raskin, one of the key Democrats pushing for Trump’s impeachment and removal

READ THE FULL ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT

IMPEACHMENT TIMETABLE

Wednesday afternoon: House passed single Article

What happens next? Nancy Pelosi decides when to transmit Article to Senate. When she does, it must begin trial on the next sitting day and sit six days a week until it concludes

Tuesday January 19: Earliest date Mitch McConnell has said Senate can begin considering Article. Senate procedures may mean trial will not begin until the following day at 1pm

Wednesday January 20, noon: Trump leaves office

What happens next? If a trial is under way, it can continue. Most legal experts say if it has not begun, it can, but there is a minority who say impeachment cannot continue if the president is not in office

Rep. Tom Cole, the first GOP lawmaker to speak, argued against a hasty impeachment vote ‘not because of the president’s inappropriate and reckless words are deserving of defense but because the presidency itself demands due process.’ Cole had himself voted to overturn the election results.

Republicans also warned impeaching Trump for a second time would only make partisan hostilities worse.

‘This is a reckless impeachment,’ complained Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri. ‘This will only bring up the hate and fire more than ever before.’

Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona charged Democrats with wanting ‘complete destruction of your nemesis.’

‘Instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will go stronger, for you would have made him a martyr,’ Biggs warned.

Democrats described the terror of last week’s attack.

‘We are debating this resolution at an actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if not for the president of the United States,’ said Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat.

‘People were sending text messages to their loved ones, telling them they loved them. They thought they were saying goodbye,’ he added.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House’s lead impeachment manager, referred to the rioters as a ‘bloodthirsty mob.’

‘They wounded dozens of people, hospitalizing dozens of people,’ he said. ‘They may have been hunting for Pence and Pelosi to stage their coup, but every one of us in this room right now, could have died.’

Rep. Joaquin Castro echoed Raskin’s description.

‘Let me ask you a question? What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?’ he asked his fellow members. ‘The most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to an InstagramLive audience Tuesday night since she was proxy voting, said, ‘I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.’

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,’ the high-profile progressive lawmaker said.

On the floor Wednesday, the Democrats pointed to the Republicans’ high-profile defection: the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney.

Cheney, the Republican Conference Chair, laced into Trump in her statement, saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection – and Democrats repeated her words back to the Republicans.

The House's No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard

The House’s No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard

Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months

Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she said.

The decision to back impeachment by Cheney, a member of Republican royalty as the daughter of Dick Cheney, and seen as a future contender for the party’s House leadership and the Speaker’s chair, means that impeachment would be bipartisan.

On the floor Wednesday, Democrats pointed to Cheney’s statement as evidence they were in the right.

The Democrats’ No. 2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, recited Cheney’s words during his turn to speak.

‘That is not some irresponsible new member of Congress of the United States,’ Hoyer said. ‘This is the daughter of the former Republican whip and former vice president of the United States of America.’

‘She knows of which she speaks,’ Hoyer argued.

Cheney never gave her own floor speech.

Reps. Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar, two of Trump’s top GOP House allies, were pushing to have Cheney removed from her leadership position.

JIM JORDAN SAYS DEMOCRATS WANT TO ‘CANCEL’ THE PRESIDENT

Jordan gave two fiery floor speeches Wednesday.

He yelled ’19 minutes!’ into the microphone Wednesday afternoon, charging Democrats with waiting just 19 minutes into the Trump administration to start their impeachment hunt.

He said Democrats were pursuing removal again because of ‘politics and the fact that they want to, they want to cancel the president.’

‘This is about getting the president of the United States,’ Jordan said.

‘They spied on his campaign before he was elected, 19 minutes into his presidency they started the impeachment push, three year Mueller investigation, 19 lawyers, 40 agents, 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas, $40 million to find nothing,’ Jordan went on.

The Ohio Republican said impeachment ’round one’ was based on information from a ‘biased’ whistleblower.

‘Now it’s impeachment round two,’ he said. ‘It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that’s now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore it’s about canceling … canceling the president,’ Jordan argued.

‘IT BREAKS MY HEART’ SAYS HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI

Pelosi, who opened the formal impeachment articles debate, said she wasn’t pursuing the measure with glee.

‘It gives me no pleasure to say this, it breaks my heart. It should break your heart. It should break all of our hearts,’ the top Democrat said.

Pelosi encouraged the Senate to act, calling the president a ‘clear and present danger.’

‘I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man, that was so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear, and hold us together,’ she said.

She also slammed those who engaged in the riot.

‘Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to and managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,’ the House speaker said.

TOP HOUSE REPUBLICAN SAYS ANTIFA NOT RESPONSIBLE

Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, let other, more pro-Trump members speak before he took a turn on the floor, where he cleared up some right-wing misinformation.

‘Some say the riots were caused by Antifa,’ McCarthy said. ‘There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,’ he advised.

McCarthy said he planned to vote no on impeachment because it was too hasty.

‘I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,’ McCarthy argued. ‘No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held.’

‘What’s more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-Elect Biden is sworn in,’ McCarthy added, a nod to the breaking McConnell news.

TRUMP’S TOP ALLIES POINT FINGERS BACK AT DEMOCRATS

Most of the Republicans lining up to speak were Trump hard-liners – and pointed to what they considered to be Democratic hypocrisy.

‘The left in America has incited far more political violence than the right for months. Our cities burned police stations burned or businesses were shattered. And they said nothing,’ Rep. Matt Gaetz yelled.

‘Well they lit actual flames. Actual fires,’ Gaetz exclaimed.

That comment cued boos from the Democratic side.

Rep. Ken Buck compared the capitol assault to Trump administration officials being harassed at restaurants.

‘The press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant for being a Trump employee, the DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen harassed at her home,’ Buck said on the floor.

Nielsen was confronted by a crowd at a D.C. restaurant over the Trump administration’s child separation policy.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has openly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, called for ‘accountability on the left.’

‘After encouraging and normalizing violence,’ she said.

‘I call bull crap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity. Sadly they are only unified in hate,’ she blasted.

the other ‘QAnon congresswoman,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green gave her floor remarks wearing a ‘CENSORED’ mask.

Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican, used a dramatic pause to make his point.

‘Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?’ Mast asked.

He stood unanswered for 30 seconds until his time elapsed. ‘It appears I will receive no answer,’ he said.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, became the sixth GOP member to say he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, became the sixth GOP member to say he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump

(SOME) REPUBLICANS REVOLT

Joining Cheney in voting for the Democratic-prepared article of impeachment was Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

‘My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision,’ Herrera Beutler said during her floor speech. ‘I am not choosing a side I am choosing, it’s the only way to defeat fear.’

Newhouse announced Wednesday mid-debate that he would vote yes on impeachment.

‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option,’ Newhouse said.

‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital,’ Newhouse said in a statement. ‘It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’

‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added.

His remarks were applauded on the House floor.

Cheney’s decision came minutes after McConnell was revealed to believe that Trump had committed impeachable offenses.

The New York Times’ bombshell was still echoing in Washington D.C. when the House started its 25th Amendment debate – and as it dragged to a close Tuesday night, Axios reported that McConnell was leaning towards a vote to convict the president and was ‘more than 50/50’ on it.

Cheney was seen speaking to Raskin on Tuesday night as he led the Democrats arguing for a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment removing Trump from power.

The House passed it late Tuesday despite Pence sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he’ll refuse.

Hundreds of National Guard troops wer sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden's inauguration

Hundreds of National Guard troops wer sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden’s inauguration

The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning

The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning

The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday

The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday

In a vote that wrapped up around 11.30pm Tuesday, the House voted 223-205 to approve the resolution, which can’t actually force the vice president’s hand.

‘I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,’ Pence said in his letter to Pelosi, refusing to pull the trigger on the 25th.

‘Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,’ Pence added.

Pence’s letter came as the House was holding procedural votes on the resolution.

No Republicans joined on until the final vote – with Rep. Adam Kinzinger joining Democrats in the push to have Pence to use the 25th.

Trump ultra-loyalist Jim Jordan says he will try to oust Liz Cheney from her position as party’s House number three in revenge for voting to impeach president

Jim Jordan said he wanted Republicans to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position over her push to impeach President Donald Trump.

‘I think she’s, I think she’s totally wrong,’ Jordan said. ‘The conference should have a second vote on that,’ the Ohio Republican told reporters, saying he believed lawmakers should get a say on removing Cheney from her No. 3 position.

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, another top Trump ally, was circulating a petition to GOP members pushing for Cheney’s removal, C-SPAN and CNN reported.

The House Republican caucus held leadership elections for the 117th Congress on November 17, two weeks after Election Day.

Cheney, again, was selected to be the Republican Conference chairman, and ran for the position unopposed.

On Tuesday she announced she would side the the Democratic majority and vote to impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection.’

In an explosive statement, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney laced into Trump saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection.

‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ Cheney said.

Four other GOP House members have said they will vote for Trump’s impeachment: Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, John Katko and Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Speaking to Capitol Hill reporters, Jordan was unsure if there was a mechanism to push a member out of leadership.

‘I don’t know about that – it’s just where I’m at,’ he told the press.

When asked if the conservative Freedom Caucus, of which Jordan is a leader, was supportive of pushing Cheney out, Jordan replied sarcastically, ‘What do you think?’

‘You know the answer. You know the answer to that question,’ he went on. ‘Of course.’

Jordan was also asked if Republicans had a ‘cohesive leaderhip team’ with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Cheney appearing to be in direct conflict. ‘Leader McCarthy and whip Scalise have done a great job,’ Jordan answered.

Rep. Steve Scalise is the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives. Jordan was recently given a Presidential Medal of Freedom behind closed doors by Trump. Both voted to overturn the election.

That set the scene for an impeachment debate and vote Wednesday entirely different from the first impeachment vote on October 31, 2019.

Then the only non-Democratic vote was from Justin Amash, who was essentially forced out of the Republican party before he even cast it.

But after a day in which they feared for their lives, the mood in Congress had changed rapidly.

LINDSEY GRAHAM IN BITTER PUBLIC SPLIT WITH MITCH MCCONNELL OVER IMPEACHMENT

Lindsey Graham slammed Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders in the Senate on Wednesday as the House began debate to impeach President Donald Trump a second time.

In a lengthy statement, delivered the day after Graham traveled to Texas with President Trump to visit a new section of the border wall, the senator argued: ‘The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.’

Graham, a staunch Trump ally, warned another impeachment trial ‘could invite further violence’ and decried Democrats for wanting to do a ‘do-over impeachment.’

Senator Lindsey Graham jumped back on the Trump plane - literally - on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas

Senator Lindsey Graham jumped back on the Trump plane – literally – on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas

‘The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better,’ he said.

Graham jumped back on the Trump plane – literally – on Tuesday as he accompanied the president on Air Force One to Texas.

Senator Lindsey Graham Statement

‘Supporting the impeachment of President Trump under these circumstances will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm. If there was a time for America’s political leaders to bend a knee and ask for God’s counsel and guidance, it is now. The most important thing for leaders to do in times of crisis is to make things better, not worse.

‘The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country. The President, who will be leaving office in less than a week, has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence.

‘The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better.

‘The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.

‘Democrats have already impeached the President once over a matter which was not worthy of that process. Now they seek to do it again, believing that this effort will wash for history the fact that the first impeachment was based on the thinnest of pretenses: a phone call with the leader of Ukraine. Impeachment should never be a ‘do-over,’ but that is what Democrats are seeking to do today.

‘To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party. The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob. The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable.’

The trip comes after Graham broke with the president last Wednesday, refusing to join a Trump-backed effort to contest Electoral College counts in the hours after the MAGA riot.

‘All I can say is count me out, enough is enough,’ Graham told his Senate colleagues then. ‘When it’s over it is over.’

But his tune changed.

Graham on Wednesday called out Republicans who are voting for impeachment. Ten Republican House members supported impeaching Trump under the charge he violated his oath of office by inciting the mob of insurgents that attacked the Capitol on Wednesday.

‘To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party,’ Graham said.

The House approved the articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday afternoon, 232-197.

Republican leaders in the Senate were weighing whether to launch a trial on Friday to consider removing him from office, a source familiar with the deliberations told Reuters.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ruled it out.

‘Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively,’ he said in a statement after the House vote.

‘Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency,’ he noted.

He said the trial would begin after Biden took the oath of office.

‘In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,’ McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had pressured McConnell to agree to bring the Senate back sooner under emergency circumstances – to no avail.

That means the first days of Biden’s presidency will be taken up with impeaching his predecessor.

If impeached, Trump would not be able to run for president again. Several Republican senators are thought to be considering 2024 presidential bids.

To impeach Trump, a two-thirds majority is needed to convict him.

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats' effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House's new fines for lawmakers who don't wear masks - and the metal detectors outside the House chamber

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats’ effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House’s new fines for lawmakers who don’t wear masks – and the metal detectors outside the House chamber

HOW TRUMP’S SECOND IMPEACHMENT WILL UNFOLD

The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump for his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.

While the previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week. After the rioting at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘we must take action,’ and Democrats – and some Republicans – share her view ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.

A look at what will happen as the House moves closer to impeaching Trump in his last week in office:

THE BASICS OF IMPEACHMENT:

In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.

This time, with so few days to act – and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in – impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.

Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. That’s what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time.

THE ARTICLES

Democrats will begin debate Wednesday on a single impeachment charge: ‘incitement of insurrection.’

‘President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,’ reads the four-page impeachment article, which was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

‘He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,’ it reads.

The article says the behavior is consistent with Trump’s prior efforts to ‘subvert and obstruct’ the results of the election and references his recent call with the Georgia secretary of state, in which he said he wanted him to find him more votes after losing the state to Biden.

Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election, and the baseless claims have been repeatedly echoed by congressional Republicans and the insurgents who descended on the Capitol. Just before the riots, Trump spoke to the supporters near the White House and encouraged them to ‘fight like hell.’

As the protesters broke in, both chambers were debating GOP challenges to the electoral vote count in Arizona as part of the process for certifying Biden’s election win.

REPUBLICAN SUPPORT

On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because ‘there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’

Cheney said Trump ‘summoned’ the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, ‘assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.’

New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,’ Katko said. ‘I cannot sit by without taking action.’

Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

SENDING TO THE SENATE

Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.

Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.

If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the ‘folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.’

SENATE POLITICS

It’s unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Yet some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has said he would take a look at what the House approves, but stopped short of committing to support it.

Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment ‘will do far more harm than good.’

Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

WHAT IMPEACHMENT WOULD MEAN

Democrats say they have to move forward, even if the Senate doesn’t convict.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Friday that some people might ask why they would try to impeach a president with only a few days left in office.

‘The answer: Precedent,’ he said. ‘It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.’

In the hours after the riot, Pence did his Constitutional duty and certified President-elect Joe Biden, something he had been pressured by Trump not to do.

‘You can either go down in history as a patriot,’ Trump had told Pence by phone before he headed to the Capitol Wednesday, according to The New York Times. ‘Or you can go down in history as a p****.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his support for impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening

Pence was inside when the violent mobbed attacked, with some Trump supporters calling out, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’

The Times reported that Trump had invited Pence to the Oval Office Monday night to try to smooth things over in the run-up to the House’s 25th Amendment vote.

The official description of the meeting was ‘good,’ according to the newspaper.

Unofficially sources called it ‘nonsubstantive’ and ‘stilted.’

Tuesday night’s vote on the 25th Amendment is considered the appetizer for Wednesday’s main course: the House pursuing impeachment again.

Nowhere in his letter did Pence say he objected to that move.

Shortly after Pence sent out his letter, Pelosi sent out the names of impeachment managers.

She picked Raskin, who introduced the 25th Amendment resolution, as the head manager.

‘I think every member of this body should be able to agree that this president is not meeting the most minimal duties of office,’ Raskin argued Tuesday night.

Raskin also warned his fellow lawmakers that Trump could pardon the Capitol Hill attackers during his waning days.

Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, recently lost his son.

Additionally, Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean were also chosen.

Earlier Tuesday, McConnell signaled his support for the impeachment effort that includes an article charging the president with ‘incitement of insurrection.’

The view of the GOP powerbroker emerged shortly before Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House GOP leadership, announced that she would vote for impeaching President Trump.

‘On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,’ wrote Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president.

‘Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she continued.

‘I will vote to impeach the President,’ Cheney concluded.

Neither Cheney nor McConnell backed Democrats impeachment effort a year ago.

McConnell worked successfully to scuttle the impeachment effort during a trial last year on different charges.

His current view follows reports that McConnell never wants to speak to Trump again after the Capitol riots that had Trump supporters invading the Capitol, trashing leadership offices, and endangering the lives of lawmakers.

McConnell backs the effort because it will make it easier to purge Trump from the party, the New York Times reports.

One feature of impeachment – which can grind the Senate to a halt and lead to furious partisan arguments – is that it allows lawmakers to vote to prohibit the person being impeached from ever holding public office with the U.S. government.

Trump may run for president in 2024, and many of his potential rivals happen to hold Senate seats.

McConnell has made clear in private discussions that ‘now is the moment to move on the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for Republicans losing the Senate,’ according to the report.

Trump ignored McConnell’s advice and launched his election challenge despite two run-off elections in Georgia which the GOP lost – stripping the party of its majority.

A source told CNN McConnell ‘hates’ Trump and is ‘furious’ with him after the Capitol riots.

The siege left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was based on the Senate side.

McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, quit the Trump cabinet after the riots, which included an angry mob getting blocked steps from the door to the Senate chamber that McConnell uses when he normally strolls from his leadership office.

McConnell’s view emerged as Trump, rather than express contrition, called impeachment a ‘hoax’ and a ‘witch hunt,’ and defended his pre-riot comments that Democrats have already said was incitement. Trump called his speech minutes before the siege ‘totally appropriate.’

Cheney’s statement denouncing the president comes after Trump told supporters they need to ‘get rid’ of people like her.

‘We got to get rid of the weak Congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world. We got to get rid of them,’ Trump said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her, amid speculation numerous House Republicans might follow her lead.

‘Good for her for honoring her oath of us. Would that more Republicans would honor their oaths of office,’ Pelosi said.

GOP Rep. John Katko also announced he would back impeachment Tuesday night.

‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,’ Katko said in a statement, Syracuse.com reported. ‘For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president,’ he said.

During floor debate, Katko said he wasn’t supporting the 25th Amendment resolution because it was ‘non-binding,’ calling it ‘merely a symbolic gesture.’

Katko confirmed his plans to vote for impeachment.

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton also told Forbes he would vote to impeach.

As midnight approached, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler also said she was a yes.

Convicting Trump on an impeachment article requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 50 votes – a high bar to meet.

Assuming passage in the House, it has not been determined when Democratic leaders will transmit the impeachment article, or when the Senate might take it up.

A McConnell memo that emerged over the weekend cited scheduling challenges for impeachment – a trial might not even begin until after Jan. 19th, since the Senate is not in session.

President-elect Joe Biden said Monday there was the possibility of dual-tracking an impeachment and Senate session that would be needed to get his cabinet confirmed.

Biden phoned McConnell on Monday, according to the Times on the subject of a trial, and McConnell said he would consult the Senate parliamentarian and get back.

There are Senate rules and precedents governing impeachment, but leaders also might be able to negotiate a way to handle it, with the possibility of a special impeachment committee taking up some of the burden.

Trump has continued his usual pattern of lashing out at political adversaries when under attack.

‘Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden Administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,’ Trump said Tuesday, before lawmakers cast their votes Tuesday night.

Post-riot accounts from last Wednesday reveal that not only did President Trump egg on supporters who wreaked havoc in the Capitol – but he was glued to the television as the events unfolded, incapable of responding to desperate pleas to use influence to stop it and enjoying seeing it unfold.

There were two major areas where the president fell dramatically short of what was being asked of him: using his personal popularity with his followers to urge them to vacate the Capitol immediately; and using the vast powers of his office to try to speed a federal response.

But when key current and former aides and family members tried to reach him, he was ‘busy enjoying the spectacle,’ according to a Washington Post account.

What Trump told supporters before they ransacked the Capitol in ‘totally appropriate’ speech

We’re going to have to fight much harder

‘Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder.’

We’re going to walk down to the Capitol

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

‘Get tougher’ / You are allowed to go by very different rules

‘The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight. They want to play so serious. “The United States, the Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the states.” Well, I would say yes, it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country, and you have to protect our Constitution, and you can’t vote on fraud, and fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening toWhen you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do, and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.’

Takes ‘more courage not to step up’

‘I also want to thank our 13 most courageous members of the U.S. Senate … I actually think, though, it takes, again, more courage not to step up, and I think a lot of those people are going to find that out. And you better start looking at your leadership, because your leadership has led you down the tubes.’

Never concede

‘We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough.’

On ‘fake news’ and ‘Big tech’

‘They rigged an election, they rigged it like they have never rigged an election before.’

‘All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by bold and radical left Democrats, which is what they are doing, and stolen by the fake news media. That is what they have done and what they are doing. We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.’

‘We will not take it anymore’

‘Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about.’ And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.’

Denied Biden’s vote count

‘He had 80 million computer votes. It’s a disgrace. There’s never been anything like that. You can take Third World countries, just take a look, take Third World countries, their elections are more honest than what we have been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. Even when you look at last night, they were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off with boxes, and nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen.’

[Note: Biden got more than 81 million votes; Trump rounded up his own total to 75 million.]

Call for military and law enforcement to join

‘And I would love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed, the military, the Secret Service and we want to thank you — and the police and law enforcement — great, you’re doing a great job. But I would love it if they could be allowed to come up with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them, please?’

Pressure on Mike Pence: Says it takes ‘courage’ to do nothing

‘I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election … All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people.’

‘And I actually, I just spoke to Mike. I said, Mike, that doesn’t take courage, what takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage, and then we are stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years. We’re just not going to let that happen.’

Won’t stand for Biden win

‘We want to go back, and we want to get this right, because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there, and our country will be destroyed. And we’re not going to stand for that.’

‘You’re not the people that tore down our nation’

‘If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country.

But just remember this, you’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and

they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.’

March peacefully … we will see whether Republicans stand strong

‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for the integrity of our elections. But whether or not they stand strong for our country — our country, our country has been under siege for a long time. Far longer than this four-year period’

‘Ashamed … throughout eternity’

‘Today, we see a very important event, though, because right over there, right there, we see the event that’s going to take place, and I’m going to be watching because history is going to be made. We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity. They’ll be ashamed. And you know what? If they do the wrong thing, we should never, ever forget that they did. Never forget.’

Calls Republicans who voted not to count certified votes ‘warriors’

‘I want to thank the more than 140 members of the House. Those are warriors.15

They’re over there working like you’ve never seen before, studying, talking, actually going all the way back studying the roots of the Constitution because they know we have the right to send a bad vote that was illegally gotten.’

Biden will be ‘illegitimate’

‘But think of this: If you don’t do that, that means you will have a president of the United States for four years with his wonderful son, you will have a president who lost all of these states, or you will have a president, to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these states. You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen.’

Call to ‘do something’ about radical left

‘The radical left knows exactly what they were doing. They are ruthless, and it’s time that somebody did something about it.

And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. (APPLAUSE) And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.’

Election was ‘stolen’

‘Make no mistake, this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country, and not a single swing state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots.

This should absolutely occur in every single contested state before the election is certified.’

Alleges ‘criminal enterprise’

‘So, when you hear — when you hear, “While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing,” this is the most fraudulent thing anybody’s — this is a criminal enterprise. This is a criminal enterprise.’

Fight like hell

‘And again, most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life.

But I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened, and we fight. We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’

As the historic mob invasion of the U.S. seat of legislative government unfolded, a variety of people with influence over Trump sought to get to him to urge action.

The routes they took were typical of the loosely organized web of influence within the Trump White House.

Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham – who only after the riot firmly declared Joe Biden the winner of the election – reached out to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

‘It took him a while to appreciate the gravity of the situation,’ Graham told the Post. ‘The president saw these people as his allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen,’ Graham said of the rioters who took the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who Trump believes is so much under his wing that he has publicly called him ‘My Kevin,’ was pleading for action.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Protesters attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. One Capitol Police officer died in the action

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. It took hours to regain control of the building

McCarthy phoned Trump directly to try to plead for assistance – but also called the president’s son in law, Jared Kushner, who was returning form a trip to the Middle East.

Former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who doesn’t even work for Trump anymore, tried to get through to him to urge action.

She phoned an aide she knew was in close proximity to Trump.

The office of the Mayor of Washington, desperate to get more National Guard forces amid logistical and jurisdictional hurdles, also reached out to Conway.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows urged Trump to speak out after an aide told him: ‘They are going to kill people,’ in reference to the rioters.

A primary area of the pleas related to something Trump was capable of doing on his own without engaging with the bureaucracy: issuing simple Twitter or video pleas for protesters to get out of the Capitol.

The appeals he finally made either lacked a direct call to fall back, or sprinkled in approving language even as the riot that would become deadly unfolded.

At 2:30 pm, about half an hour after the Capitol breach, Trump told his supporters to ‘Please support our Capitol Police’ and to ‘Stay peaceful!’

His next message was more explicit, writing ‘No violence!’ – but claimed ‘WE are the Party of Law & Order.’

After he finally put out a video at about 4 pm, Trump finally told his backers to ‘go home.’ But he also called them ‘very special,’ called the election ‘fraudulent,’ and said: ‘You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.’

Trump himself had egged on his supporters with demands that they ‘fight,’ calling the election fraudulent, and putting pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, whose only role was ceremonial and involved opening and reading from envelopes containing electoral votes.

Trump was glued to the television as the storming of the Capitol was broadcast.

Prior reporting has revealed that the Washington D.C. government had requested a National Guard presence, but Guard were assigned to traffic and other assistance and weren’t issued ammo or riot gear.

The now resigned chief of Capitol Police says he wanted more Guard support in advance of Wednesday but had been told by superiors to ask for it informally. The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, says there were delays getting approval to send Guard forces from the Pentagon.

But it wasn’t mere distraction that kept Trump from springing into action. It’s not atht he was too busy because he was so consumed, which he was,’ the New York Times reported.

‘He was pleased because it was people fighting on his behalf. He was pleased because he liked the scene. And he was pleased because it was delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote,’ the New York Times reported. ‘He knew what was happening… He just didn’t want to do anything.’

Although McCarthy told colleagues on a call Monday Trump had accepted ‘some responsibility’ for the riot, on Tuesday the president was back to his defiant posture familiar from impeachment and the Russia probe.

Trump said a second impeachment Democrats are lining up is a ‘continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.’

House Democrat accuses Republican lawmakers of leading MAGA rioters on Capitol ‘reconnaissance’ before riot as Stop the Steal organizer revealed to have boasted of help from three GOP congressmen

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be 'a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

A Democratic representative revealed Tuesday she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.

Mikie Sherrill, who represents New Jersey‘s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks.

‘I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’

At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.

Sherrill's comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.

She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.

‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.

It is now known that Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.

Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol lawn Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’

All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.

In the video to Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

WHO IS ALI ALEXANDER?

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, is a far-right activist who who goes by Ali Alexander. He identifies as black and Arab, according to Politico.

He helped organize ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, which oppose Joe Biden’s election win and is pushing to prove that President Donald Trump won reelection on November 3.

Ali also takes responsibility for organizing the January 6 rally that convened outside the Capitol before it was stormed by thousands of pro-Trump protesters. He said in a live-streamed video that GOP Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks assisted with the effort to disrupt the join session of Congress moving to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.

‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs,’ Ali said in the now-deleted video.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ he continued.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Mugshot of Ali in January 2007 in a case where he pleaded guilty to felony property theft

Ali also pleaded guilty a year later to a credit card abuse felony. This mugshot was taken August 2007

Ali Alexander pleaded guilty to two separate felony charges in 2007 and 2008 in Forth Worth Texas

The activist runs with with Trump’s circle. In the summer of 2019 he gathered at the White House for the president’s ‘social media summit’ to bash platforms for their supposed anti-conservative and anti-Trump bias.

This week, following reports of his involvement in the storming of the Capitol, Ali was banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and his accounts were removed.

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali Abdul-Razaq Ali, 35, who goes by Ali Alexander, is a far-right activist from Fort Worth, Texas

Ali raised questions during the Democratic primary race over then-candidate Kamal Harris’s ‘black-ness’, sparking speculation he was waging a ‘birther’-like campaign against her. The now vice president-elect is half Indian and half Jamaican.

‘Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,’ he wrote on Twitter in June 2019. ‘She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.’ Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted the post, asking if it was true, and helping it go viral.

Ali resides in Forth Worth, Texas. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to felony property theft in the Lone Star state and the next year also pleaded guilty to to a credit card abuse felony – also in Texas.

Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’

Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.

Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.

‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.

‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’

Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.

Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.

While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.

The six-hour riot resulted in hundreds of injuries and five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer and a female Trump supporter.

The House voted Tuesday evening on a non-binding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office now. The vote passed 223-205, with Sherrill voting in favor of it, even though Pence notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday that he would not comply with the measure.

With the 25th Amendment off the table, and no hope of Trump resigning before his last seven days are up, House Democrats are likely to move forward Wednesday on impeaching the president for the second time.

Sherrill said in her video that she intends to support the effort.

She also voiced the sharp divide, which is widening in Congress, claiming those who do not agree with Democratic ideals of democracy are ‘now on different sides of this line.’

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