House pushes to impeach Trump after deadly Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:26 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021
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3:26 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Hallmark requests two GOP Senators return donations following Capitol riot

From CNN's Richard Davis

Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall
Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall Getty Images/FILE

Hallmark has requested Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall – who voted against the Electoral College results last week – return campaign contributions to its PAC in light of last week's Capitol violence.

"Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind," Hallmark spokesperson JiaoJiao Shen said in a statement. 

Shen went on to say that the company supports elected leaders from a wide variety of viewpoints, but Sens. Hawley and Marshall "do not reflect our company’s values."

Hawley, from Missouri, and Marshall, from Kansas, were among 147 Republicans who voted against certification of the electoral votes in a joint session of Congress last Wednesday evening. 

2:50 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

White House counsel and former Attorney General Barr warned Trump not to self-pardon

From CNN's Pamela Brown and Jamie Gangel

Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images/FILE
Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images/FILE

White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former Attorney General William Barr have warned President Trump that they do not believe he should pardon himself, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

Barr conveyed this position to Trump before resigning last month, sources say. 

Trump has in recent weeks raised the idea of pardoning himself, as well as members of his family, though it is not known if he has done so since Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol.

Trump has been heavily criticized for his role inciting the attack. Over the weekend, the acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia told NPR that top prosecutors will follow every investigative lead they can to determine people’s roles in the attack, even if that involves scrutinizing government officials.  

White House officials are also contemplating how the federal investigation into the insurrection impacts other pardons Trump has discussed, such as for his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who called for "trial for combat" at Wednesday’s rally before the Capitol was stormed. 

"The situation in DC has raised issues within the White House even on the pardons," one person close to the White House says.

Additional pardons are expected from the White House before Trump leaves office next week. 

CNN did not immediately hear back from the White House and Barr did not immediately provide a comment to CNN. 

Some context: Presidential pardon power is untested and sources say both Barr and Cipollone thought it would be a bad idea for Trump to try to pardon himself. 

Barr believes a 1974 Justice Department legal memo finding that the President cannot pardon himself should stand, and that Cipollone has not asked the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel for a re-examination of the issue, according to two sources. 

The memo does say, however, that a sitting president can resign the office and then be pardoned by his vice president once that person assumes the presidency. That is what happened when President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon in 1974.

Two separate sources close to Vice President Mike Pence say it is highly unlikely that Pence would issue a pardon to Trump in this scenario. Pence had been a loyal supporter of the President, but now feels frustrated and disappointed with Trump for his behavior around the insurrection and not calling to check on him during and after the riots, multiple sources say. 

Trump could still pardon himself even if his administration officials don’t approve of the action. A self-pardon would only extend to federal crimes, and not protect Trump from state actions, including an investigation by New York state prosecutors into Trump’s personal and corporate finances.  

Typically, the White House counsel's office would ask the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to issue an opinion on weighty legal issues. This office is responsible for giving opinions on executive branch power, and in general tends to take an expansive view of presidential power. 

Barr and Cipollone's opposition to Trump pardoning himself is notable because both have been staunch defenders of Trump wielding an expansive executive authority during both the Russia probe and the 2020 impeachment proceedings over his call with the Ukrainian president. 

Both men have recently been at odds with the President over his election lie. Barr left his post in December after publicly stating there was no widespread election fraud and Cipollone has considered resigning in recent weeks after strongly disagreeing with the President and his desire to use his office to overturn the election results. 

CNN's Pam Brown reports:

3:31 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

House Majority Leader Hoyer tells caucus that impeachment vote will be Wednesday

From CNN's Manu Raju, Daniella Diaz and Lauren Fox

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speaks to reporters at the US Capitol on Monday, January 11, in Washington, DC.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speaks to reporters at the US Capitol on Monday, January 11, in Washington, DC. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

On a call moments ago, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will meet Wednesday to vote on impeaching President Trump, sources on the call tell CNN. 

Tomorrow, the House will vote at night on the measure offered by Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, to push Trump out via the 25th Amendment. 

According to details from Hoyer's office, the House majority leader told members on the call that they should plan to return to Washington tomorrow to consider Raskin's resolution, with votes at 7:30 p.m. ET at the earliest. The House will then meet at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday to consider the articles of impeachment.

Hoyer also assured members that there will be heightened security in and around the Capitol for Wednesday’s impeachment vote, according to a source on the caucus call.

He also told members there is support for traveling to and from Washington after several members have faced tense interactions at airports.

House Democrats formally introduced their resolution today to impeach Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week's deadly US Capitol attack.

4:08 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Biden say's he's "not afraid" to take oath of office outside despite security concerns after Capitol riot

From CNN's Sarah Mucha and Paul LeBlanc

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks after receiving the second course of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 11, 2021 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, administered by Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden speaks after receiving the second course of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 11, 2021 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, administered by Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden was asked today if he feels afraid of taking the oath of office outside, given last week’s attack on the US Capitol. Biden's inauguration is set to take place in Washington, DC, on Jan. 20.

"No, I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside," he said, adding that it's "critically important" that there be a "real, serious focus" on holding those folks "who engaged in sedition and threatened people's lives" accountable.

Asked by the pooler if he fears impeachment could delay consideration of the stimulus bill, Biden said he’s talking to senators about whether they could still consider his Cabinet nominees and stimulus proposals, per the pooler.

He said he has not heard back from the parliamentarian yet.

Some background: Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday sent a letter to President Trump asking for an emergency declaration in order to get additional funding for Biden's inauguration as safety concerns mount following the US Capitol breach.

Bowser's letter reflects the widespread safety concerns felt in the nation's capital and across the country in the wake of the violence at the US Capitol complex that left five dead, including an officer with the US Capitol Police.

Experts now warn that the calls for violence have only intensified ahead of Inauguration Day, when Biden will be sworn in as commander in chie

2:37 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

These Republicans warned against Trump — before they supported him

Before then-candidate Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, many Republicans spoke out against him and his nods to extremism — only to later support him or even work in his administration.

CNN's Brianna Keilar took a look at some of the Republicans, including Nikki Haley, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham.

"There are people who warned over and over that electing Donald Trump would be bad for America. There are even people who predicted this moment in American history that we now find ourselves in. These people are Republicans," she said.

Keilar continued:

"All of those Republicans went on to broadly support or to work for President Trump's administration, ignoring his nods to extremists, acting like they didn't see his tweets, playing whataboutism with liberals instead of acknowledging the uniquely troubling nature of President Trump. And all of that emboldened him to fulfill the predictions of these very Republicans who sounded the alarm on Donald Trump and then pretended for years that it wasn't going off."

Watch the full clip:

1:56 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

DC attorney general is looking at charging Trump and others for inciting violence

From CNN's Alison Main

DC Attorney General Karl Racine said his office is looking at potentially charging President Trump and others for inciting violence when they spoke to a crowd that later breached the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

Racine told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Monday the investigation is ongoing, but he is looking at a charge that would apply "where there is a clear recognition that one's incitement could lead to foreseeable violence." 

He called comments by Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, his son Donald Trump Jr. and GOP Rep. Mo Brooks that riled up the crowd that would later descend on the Capitol in a violent riot "outrageous."

"Clearly the crowd was hyped up, juiced up, focused on the Capitol and rather than calm them down or at least emphasize the peaceful nature of what protests need to be, they really did encourage those folks and rile them up," he said.

Racine acknowledged the Office of Legal Counsel guidance discouraging the prosecution of a sitting president, but noted that Trump has only nine left days in office and that his office's investigation will go on much longer than that.

"I'm not targeting the President or anyone else," Racine assured, saying that his office and the US attorney's office will "follow the facts."

2:05 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

House Democrat tests positive for Covid after sheltering with lawmakers who refused to wear masks

From CNN's Clare Foran and Daniella Diaz

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, announced on Monday that she has tested positive for Covid-19, saying that she decided to get a test in the wake of the violent attack on the US Capitol last week.

"Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I decided to take a Covid test. I have tested positive," the congresswoman tweeted.

A statement from her office said that the congresswoman "believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots. As reported by multiple news outlets, a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks."

Some more context: CNN has previously reported that six House Republicans were captured on video refusing masks offered by a colleague during the US Capitol insurrection.

It's unclear whether Watson Coleman was in the safe location with the members who refused to wear masks.

Lawmakers and Capitol staff on Sunday received a memo from the Capitol's attending physician warning of a possible risk of Covid-19 exposure after a large group of lawmakers were forced to gather in a secure location during the breach of the US Capitol.

"On Wednesday January 6, many members of the House community were in protective isolation in (a) room located in a large committee hearing space. The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection," Dr. Brian P. Monahan wrote.

In the memo, Monahan instructed lawmakers and staff to monitor for possible Covid-19 symptoms and to be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution.

1:49 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

There are questions over whether the 14th Amendment may apply to Trump. Here's what it says.

US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on Wednesday, January 6, in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

As House Democrats push to impeach President Trump, there is talk about whether section 3 of the 14th Amendment might apply to him.

It's not clear at all how members would enforce it, or what it could mean for their impeachment efforts, but the 14th Amendment essentially says that if you are involved in an insurrection against your government, you cannot hold federal office.

Here's what the section says:

"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."

Again, it's not clear how you enforce it, but keep it in mind as the impeachment push hurdles ahead.

1:53 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Here's how the FBI used photographs to identify Capitol riot suspects

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

A man seen with zip ties was later identified as Eric Gavelek Munchel.
A man seen with zip ties was later identified as Eric Gavelek Munchel. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Eric Gavelek Munchel, who was arrested Sunday after being depicted in photos wearing black paramilitary gear and carrying plastic restraints inside the Capitol, had been first stopped by law enforcement on Jan. 6 because he was carrying a Taser for self-protection while attending the pro-Trump rally, according to his newly released charging documents. 

The FBI followed images of Munchel leaving the hotel carrying without a face mask and carrying a drink as just before President Trump began to speak that day to his supporters.

The charging documents released Monday detail how extensively the FBI has used publicly available photographs to help to identify and charge people allegedly involved in the violence. Munchel is charged with entering restricted grounds of the Capitol and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

The Nashville man was accompanied by a woman in photos who appears to be a relative on Jan. 6, the FBI said.

In other photos the FBI used to identify him, Munchel carried a rifle while standing in front of a TV tuned to Fox News showing a Trump speech. In one photo the FBI used to identify him, Munchel wore a Kid Rock-related shirt.

The FBI also noted he had been recorded on a livestream in a hotel lobby. 

In photos from inside the Capitol, Munchel wore a baseball cap made by the Black Rifle Coffee company and a patch on his chest atop body armor that showed the Tennessee "thin blue line" and one that showed the "Punisher" comic book character, according to descriptions included in his court documents. 

Two law enforcement officials told CNN earlier that Munchel was seen on Jan. 6 in photos and videos that depicted him inside the US Capitol wearing black paramilitary gear and carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.

He has not yet appeared in federal court in DC, where he is charged.

How the US Capitol riot unfolded, minute by minute:

##Riot Investigation#