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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8:14 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Patriots coach Bill Belichick declines Trump's Presidential Medal of Freedom

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has announced that he is declining the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he was scheduled to receive from President Trump on Thursday. Belichick cites the “tragic events of last week” as leading to his decision. 

In a statement released Monday night Belichick said, “Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients."

"Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy,” he said.

8:09 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Democratic lawmaker makes final appeal to Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Assistant House Speaker Rep. Katherine Clark
Assistant House Speaker Rep. Katherine Clark CNN

Assistant House Speaker Rep. Katherine Clark made a final appeal to Vice President Mike Pence today, asking him to “step up to his constitutional duties” and invoke the 25th Amendment, even as Democratic House leadership pursue an impeachment vote as soon as Wednesday.

"We would ask once again that Mike Pence step up to his constitutional duty, invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the President because that is the fastest way to expel him from the presidency," the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN.

Clark's comments came on the heels of new reporting that Pence and President Trump had met for the first time since the Capitol riots.

Clark, however, said she was aware of no conversations between the Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and said the Democratic leadership continue to prepare for a an impeachment on Wednesday. 

"We will also move forward on Wednesday to impeach the President, to make sure that we are living up to our oath of office to protect this democracy and the Constitution," she said.

Watch:

7:46 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Trump approves emergency declaration funding for inauguration security

From CNN's Allie Malloy and Paul LeBlanc

The White House released a statement tonight saying President Trump approved an emergency declaration for Washington, DC, following the US Capitol breach.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the District of Columbia and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the District’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the 59th Presidential Inauguration from January 11 to January 24, 2021,” the statement reads.

More on this: Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday sent a letter to Trump asking for an emergency declaration in order to get additional funding for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration as safety concerns mount following the violence.

"In light of the attack on the Capitol and intelligence suggesting further violence is likely during the Inaugural period, my administration has reevaluated our preparedness posture for the Inauguration, including requesting the extension of DC National Guard support through January 24, 2021," Bowser wrote in her letter to the President.

"I have determined that the plans and resources previously assigned to the Inauguration are insufficient to establish a safe and secure environment as a direct result of the insurrectionist actions that occurred on January 6. Based on recent events and intelligence assessments, we must prepare for large groups of trained and armed extremists to come to Washington, DC."

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.

7:07 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Amazon suspends contributions to US lawmakers who voted against the 2020 election results

From CNN's Brian Fung

Amazon said Monday it will withhold future political contributions from US lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.

"The Amazon PAC gives to congressional candidates on a bipartisan basis based upon the interest of our customers and our employees," an Amazon spokesperson said.

"Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any Member of Congress who voted to override the results of the US Presidential election. We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those Members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions.”

Some background: Amazon is the latest company to announce that it is suspending donations to members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College's votes.

The growing list of those corporations, including American Express, BlueCross BlueShield, Commerce Bank, Dow and Marriott (MAR), comes after a pro-Trump mob breached the US Capitol last Wednesday to fight against the ceremonial counting of electoral votes that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win.

7:09 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Trump and Pence spoke today for the first time since Wednesday, official says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak and Jim Acosta

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke today for the first time since a deadly riot broke out as Pence was presiding over the Senate last Wednesday, according to two administration officials.

A senior administration official told CNN they met in the Oval Office, had what was described as a good conversation and discussed the week ahead while "reflecting on the last four years of the administration's work and accomplishments."

"They reiterated that those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the America first movement backed by 75 million Americans, and pledged to continue the work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term," the senior official said. 

A source close to Pence said the vice president's advisers are now trying to cool the temperature with Trump after their initial outcry over the President’s refusal to check on Pence during the siege. 

“The feeling is we made our point,” the source said. 

The focus, at this point, is for Pence to give the nation some appearance that the government remains operational. 

6:41 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

House Transportation chair urges FAA to protect passengers following recent incidents on planes

From CNN's Ross Levitt

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio, is urging Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, to use all of the agency’s powers under federal law to protect the flying public and “to limit the chance that the Nation’s commercial airline system could be used as a means of mass transportation to Washington, D.C., for further violence in connection with the inauguration.”

DeFazio, a Democrat, wrote the letter along with fellow Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen Monday and applauded Dickson for a statement he issued saying the agency would “pursue strong enforcement action” against those who endanger safety during a flight, but also called on him to use all of his authorities – civil and criminal – to go after those who cause problems on flights.

“Ensuring the safety of airline crewmembers and the millions of passengers who will fly in the coming weeks from disruptive behavior that continues across our Nation’s aviation system will require a robust, coordinated response from Government and aviation stakeholders. We respectfully urge the FAA and the aviation community to think creatively on what authorities or additional measures will reduce the possibility of unruly and disruptive behavior on aircraft over the next nine days as well as that of insurrectionists exploiting the freedom to fly to carry out nefarious schemes against democracy,” the letter said.

The letter also references recent incidents at airports and aboard flights.

“Unfortunately, as members of this mob have departed our Nation’s capital, their repugnant behavior continues at airports and on board airliners, evidenced by press reports detailing “rowdy” and “unruly” conduct and harassment of travelers and crewmembers midflight and the accosting of elected officials," the letter said.

6:54 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Biden's inaugural committee co-chair says he's confident they can hold a safe inauguration

From CNN's Keith Allen

Rep. Cedric Richmond, co-chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, reaffirmed his confidence in a safe inauguration despite the FBI internal bulletin warning of potential armed protests planned for all 50 state capitols and Washington, DC, next week, including direct threats against President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Secret Service has been working on this for over a year,” the Democratic lawmaker told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday afternoon. “There are a bunch of partners now, National Guard, Homeland Security, Mayor [Muriel] Bowser in DC, along with others who will all join forces together to make sure that this event is safe, not only for the President and Vice President-elect and the dignitaries, but for everyone associated with it. So, yeah. I share confidence that we can hold a safe inauguration.” 

Richmond also talked about why "America United" was chosen to be the theme for Biden's inauguration.

“He got in the race because he wanted to unite the country, restore the soul of America, build back better and bring forth a bigger and better middle class and help everyone,” Richmond told CNN. “So, ‘America United’ symbolizes that. Everything from just unity of spirit and cause, but unity in terms of economic empowerment and reducing disparities and the wealth gap and all of those things. I think it's a very fitting theme for what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stand for.”

“If you’re looking for one person who could unite the country, that’s Joe Biden, especially with Senator Harris as his running mate,” Richmond said. “But to the extent that there are people who don't want to come along, we will unify those who want to be unified, and we're going to move this country forward. We will not stay in paralysis based on a small number of people who can't get hate out of their system and just can't move past it, no matter what this current president does to incite it.”

Watch:

5:44 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Comcast suspends contributions to lawmakers who voted against Electoral College certification

From CNN's Alison Kosik

Comcast says it is suspending all of its political contributions “to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”

In a statement to CNN on Monday, the telecommunications company called the rioting at the US Capitol “appalling,” adding that the transition of power this year “will take place among some of the most challenging conditions in modern history.”

Comcast said its “focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation.”

5:32 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Pelosi shuts down possibility of censuring Trump

From CNN's Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on an ongoing call with House Democrats, called the idea of censuring President Trump “an abdication” and made clear it is not an option she’s willing to consider, according to a person on the call.

Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have floated the idea throughout the day with no real takers from the Democratic side.

McCarthy told his colleagues that there should not be a vote to impeach Trump this week, arguing that instead there needs to be a bipartisan commission to get all the facts first.

He also suggested that there should be a clarification and reforms to the Electoral College Act of 1887, according to source on the call.