House pushes for Trump's removal after deadly Capitol riot

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

Updated 0629 GMT (1429 HKT) January 13, 2021
18 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:05 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Trump calls impeachment a "tremendous danger" and "witch hunt"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump railed against impeachment as a continued "witch hunt" and called for "no violence" in his first public remarks to reporters after the insurrection he incited at the US Capitol last week. 

One day before House lawmakers are expected to vote to impeach him for the second time, Trump called the process "dangerous" and said it is causing "tremendous anger."

"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, and you’re doing it and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing," he told reporters on the White House South Lawn Tuesday morning.

Trump continued, "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."

Trump did not address his own role in Wednesday’s breach of the Capitol by his supporters, but said, "We want no violence, never violence, we want absolutely no violence."

The President also addressed his forthcoming trip to Alamo, Texas, to tour border wall construction, touting the "tremendous difference" the wall has made and claiming there "does seem to be a surge" of illegal immigration due to caravans, "because they think there’s going to be a lot in it for them if they’re able to get through."

Trump also greeted a crowd of maskless supporters, many waving American flags, on the South Lawn.

Hear from the President:

11:05 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Key things to watch in Congress today as House debates measure calling for Trump removal by 25th Amendment

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Te next few days are going to be long, but by the end of Wednesday, we expect that President Donald Trump will be impeached a second time.

The story over the upcoming days will continue to be not just what is happening on the floor, but how the Capitol and the members in it prepare for the next week as new threats and the inauguration looms.

The House Committee is the hottest ticket in town Tuesday. Starting at 11 a.m. ET, the committee is going to begin debate on Rep. Jamie Raskin's bill urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. That debate is expected to go one to three hours. But, it could go longer. After that, the Rules panel might take a break.

Rules is expected to then return in the mid-afternoon to begin debating the impeachment article. This meeting is expected to stretch hours. It could go well into the evening. For context, the last impeachment Rules debate lasted about eight hours.

Around 7:30 p.m. ET, the House will begin voting on Raskin's 25th Amendment bill. They will first vote on the rule. Then, they will vote on the actual bill. A reminder that votes in the house take a while given the protocols in place for coronavirus.

So what about impeachment? The House will pass the rule to govern the debate on the impeachment article Tuesday night at some point. When that occurs is not clear. But, Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET, the House will meet to begin consideration of the article of impeachment on the House floor.

Exact timing for the final vote Wednesday is TBD.

11:14 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Florida's governor says state will act quickly in event of unrest

From CNN's Maria Cartaya 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will respond quickly in response to FBI warnings of planned protests at state capitols across the country.  

"If anything is disorderly, we are going to act very quickly. Don’t worry about that," DeSantis said during a news conference Tuesday.

"This stuff is happening in our country. We just have to understand it, and I don’t care why you’re doing it. You’re not doing it here," he added.  

DeSantis called last week’s unrest at the US Capitol "really unfortunate," adding, "I actually am glad to see some of these people getting arrested from the DC thing because I think the prosecutions will really make a difference."   

"And understand, our legislation is going to pass this legislative session, so if you riot you are going to jail and you’re going to have to spend time in jail. If you assault law enforcement in a violent assembly you’re going to definitely go to jail. You burn down someone’s business, you do all this the penalties are going to be very swift and immediate," DeSantis said.   

11:06 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Judiciary expected to release impeachment report today, aide says

From CNN's Manu Raju

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Similar to other impeachment proceedings, the House Judiciary Committee will release a report about President Trump’s impeachment proceedings, a committee aide tells CNN.

This one is unusual because the House Judiciary Committee did not take any official action.

11:15 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

NYPD working with FBI on allegations member of police force may have participated in Capitol events

From CNN's Lauren del Valle

John Minchillo/AP
John Minchillo/AP

The New York Police Department says it is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation with regards to allegations that a member of the police force “may have been involved in the events that marred the Capitol last week.”

"We are working with the FBI to see if any allegations that a member of the New York City Police Department may have been involved in the events that marred the Capitol last week," DCPI Spokesperson Detective Denise Moroney tells CNN.

“We have no further information at this time,” the detective adds.

10:06 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

NYC reviewing whether "legal grounds exist" to terminate concessions with Trump Organization

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

In light of the attack on the nation's Capitol, New York City says it is reviewing whether legal grounds exist to terminate concessions with the Trump Organization, the mayor’s office said. 

"The attacks on our Capital killed a police officer, left four rioters dead, exposed lawmakers to COVID-19 and threatened the constitutional transfer of power," Laura Feyer, Deputy Press Secretary for the New York City Mayor, said in a statement.

"They were a national abomination. We’re reviewing whether legal grounds exist in light of these new circumstances to terminate concessions with the Trump Organization."

These entities include Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink and the Central Park carousel, according to the city. 

CNN has reached out to the Trump Organization for comment.

9:51 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Son of Brooklyn judge arrested for alleged involvement in Capitol riot spoke to New York Post during attack

The son of a Brooklyn judge arrested Tuesday morning in connection with his alleged involvement in the insurrection at the Capitol spoke to the New York Post inside the Capitol during the incident about his beliefs.

“What I’m doing here today is to express my – my opinion as a free American – my beliefs that this election was stolen,” Aaron Mostofsky told the New York Post in an on-camera interview.

He identified himself as Aaron and told the NY Post he traveled from Brooklyn. A law enforcement source identified the individual as Aaron Mostofsky.

“We were cheated,” he claimed, adding “I don’t think …75 million people voted for Trump I think it was 85 million. I think certain states that have been blue for a long time had been red and was stolen like New York.”

He was holding a US Capitol Police shield during the interview which he said he found on the floor.

He also said he found another item he described as a “cap” on the floor and handed it back to the police as he believed it may be a personal item.

But as for the shield he said “this I have no idea, there’s no name, they probably just grab it.”

“It looks like it has been used a lot,” he told the NY Post.

Asked whether senators inside the Capitol building should be afraid, he said they “shouldn’t.”

“They should.. get the courage to do their duty,” which he said is to “examine the fraud maybe delay the election.”

“I don’t know what to do but we have the constitution. We don’t rewrite the law because of Covid.”

“It’s not give me liberty or give me death but Covid,” he told the NY Post.

The Department of Justice has not indicated what if any charges he may face.

CNN is attempting to reach out to representatives for Mostofsky.

A representative for Judge Shlomo Mostofsky told CNN last week when asked about his son’s potential involvement: "Justice Mostofsky has no knowledge of these unfortunate events."

11:05 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House GOP leaders won't whip Republican colleagues to vote against Trump's impeachment

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Republican leaders won't whip their colleagues and tell them to vote against the impeachment resolution tomorrow, according to leadership aides. They will let members vote their conscience.

This is a marked departure from the approach in 2019 when GOP leaders pushed their members to fall in line and no GOP lawmakers defected. It shows the splintering of the GOP and how the party is deeply divided over how to respond to President Trump after he incited last week's deadly Capitol riot.

While a vast majority of House Republicans are expected to oppose the article of impeachment tomorrow, there are expectations there could be as many as 10 — maybe more, maybe less — breaking ranks.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the number three in GOP leadership, called tomorrow's impeachment vote a "vote of conscience." She has not said how she would vote but she has been sharply critical of Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

9:37 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

At least two groups seeking to protest Biden's inauguration are waiting for permits

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Federal officials are considering whether to issue permits to at least two groups seeking to protest the inauguration of incoming President Joe Biden, or support outgoing President Trump.    

On Monday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she would ask the National Park Service to deny or cancel any permit requests between Jan. 10 and 26. Inauguration Day is Jan. 20. On Tuesday morning, she told ABC News that the park service has not yet done so, "and we recognize that is an extraordinary request."  

"We are the nation’s capital, people come and have done so peacefully to protest and grieve their government, but we want to make sure that at a very extraordinary time, that the appropriate limits are placed on gathering in the nation’s capital," she said in the ABC appearance.  

The National Park Service told CNN it is processing an application from a group called DC Action Lab, which is requesting permission to assemble approximately 5,000 people for a "Free speech demonstration against the inauguration."  

It is also processing an application from a group called Let America Hear Us, Roar for Trump. It described its plans as gathering approximately 300 people "to support our President."

Neither of those permits have been granted.  

The park service said it has granted two permits for events on Inauguration Day that appear unrelated to the inauguration; one is anticipating 15 participants to "Attract people to God with music and books" over two-plus weeks in January, and a second is for an ongoing worship service that began in November and continues through mid-March.  

There are seven other permit applications to use National Park Service land in the DC area on inauguration day, including a pro-environment/anti-war assembly, a request to do video recording, and several related to Martin Luther King, Jr day.