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
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4:20 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Top military officials condemn "sedition and insurrection" at US Capitol

From CNN's Oren Liebermann and Barbara Starr

Gen. Mark Milley and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, which comprise the chiefs of staff of each military branch, issued a statement to the military force Wednesday condemning the invasion of the US Capitol last week and reminding service members of their obligation to support and defend the Constitution and reject extremism.

“We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection,” the wrote in the statement.

As CNN reported earlier today, the statement is considered a significant step because the chiefs have sought to stay out of anything that may have political overtones. But given what has happened, the Chiefs felt it was important to make a statement given the gravity of events surrounding the inauguration.

“As Service Members, we must embody the embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law,” the statement said.

In addition, the statement referenced the certification of the election by the Congress next week and said “President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief.”

5:04 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Trump's warning on 25th Amendment: "Be careful what you wish for"

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump began remarks at the border wall sending what sounds like a warning to Congress saying, “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 began remarks at the wall in Alamo, Texas, discussing the violent riots at the Capitol Wednesday, once again taking no responsibility for his actions that led to his supporters storming the Capitol. 

Before even discussing the actual events, or condemning the actions of his supporters, Trump started focused on himself, saying, “Before we begin I’d like to say that free speech is under assault like never before."

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt is causing tremendous anger and division and pain far greater than what most people will ever understand. Which is very dangerous for the USA especially at this very tender time,” Trump added. 

Trump then discussed the attack claiming, “As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting American’s history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting. Because of the pandemic — horrible, horrible invisible enemy.” 

Trump at the end of his remarks on the subject called for “peace and calm” and also “respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement,” adding it was the “foundation of the MAGA agenda.”

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4:18 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Official says pipe bombs left outside parties' headquarters were real

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Steven D'Antuono, an FBI assistant director out of Washington, said agents are still investigating whether participants in the riot were looking to take hostage members of Congress. 

He noted the FBI is pursuing information about a person or people who helped to plant pipe bombs outside the Republican and Democratic headquarters last week. He said the bombs were real — and had timers.

"We don't know exactly why they didn't go off," he said Tuesday.

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4:32 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House members will now need to be screened through metal detectors to access chamber floor

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Following last week's attack on Capitol Hill, and concerns among members that some colleagues have been ignoring House rules and bringing firearms into the Capitol building, the US Capitol Police have set up metal detectors outside the House floor.

CNN has confirmed that all House members, staff and aides will need to be screened before being allowed on the floor, a Democratic aide tells CNN. Separately a US Capitol Police source confirmed the measures are in place as well. 

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4:10 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

DC US attorney says prosecutors have "marching orders" to pursue sedition and conspiracy cases

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

DC US Attorney Michael Sherwin and Steven D'Antuono, an FBI assistant director out of Washington, vowed on Tuesday to leave no stone unturned as they treat the investigation of Capitol rioters similar to terrorism.

Sherwin said he gave his prosecutors "marching orders" to pursue significant sedition and conspiracy cases as well related to the insurrection.

The Justice Department has already charged 70 cases, and Sherwin said he believes that number will grow into the 100s, and already arrested individuals may face more serious crimes.

The FBI is tracking money, travel records, movements of people and communications in addition to following tips from the public and footage and photos from the scene on Jan. 6.

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3:55 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

US Chamber of Commerce CEO issues a strong rebuke of Trump

From CNN’s Fredreka Schouten

Tom Donohue, CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, called President Trump's actions in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot "absolutely unacceptable and completely inexcusable."

Trump "has undermined our domestic institutions and our ideals," Donohue told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday. 

"It is for the Vice President, the Cabinet and the Congress to decide whether or not to invoke the 25th Amendment or pursue impeachment or other measures, and we entrust them to use these tools judiciously, if needed, to ensure our nation’s well-being and security," he added.

The powerful business group also warned that said some lawmakers could lose financial support over their efforts to thwart the peaceful transfer of power but declined to single them out.

"We will take into account the totality of what candidates and elected officials do, including the actions of last week, and importantly, the actions in the days ahead in determining whether or not we support them," chamber executive vice president Neil Bradley said.

"I actually want to be very clear: There are some members, who by their actions, will have forfeited the support of the US Chamber of Commerce. Period. Full Stop," he added.

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to impeach Trump on charges he incited an insurrection.

3:40 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

DOJ official says he expects they will charge "hundreds" of rioters in the coming weeks

The Department of Justice has opened 170 subject files — meaning individuals identified as persons who potentially committed crimes — on rioters from the Capitol, Acting DC US Attorney Michael Sherwin said at a news conference today.

He said they have already opened "over 70 cases" and expect the number of individuals charged "will grow to the hundreds in the next coming weeks."

On the types of cases that DOJ is charging, Sherwin said, the "gamut of cases" and misconduct that they're looking at "is really mind-blowing."

"We're looking at everything from simple trespass to theft of mail, to theft of digital devices while inside the Capitol, to assault on local officers, federal officers both outside and inside the Capitol, to the theft of potential national security information or national defense information to felony murder and even civil rights excessive force investigations," he said.

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3:37 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Congressman says he's "extremely frustrated" by lack of information from Capitol Police

From CNN's Ryan Nobles, Sarah Fortinsky and Jessica Schneider

Rep. Brad Schneider,
Rep. Brad Schneider, Pool

Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois, was among the members forced to take shelter as rioters took over the Capitol on Wednesday.

He told CNN he is extremely frustrated by the lack of information coming from Capitol Police as to what went wrong and what changes will be made as a result of the insurrection. 

"I am frustrated, extremely frustrated that we have not had those briefings, not just us but to the American people. What happened, where it broke down, what we know, what we're learning from that, you get more briefings, from a local robbery than we've gotten on this," Schneider said.

"I have been a part of conversations and reports within the Democratic caucus. We have not had a full briefing. We can't have a classified briefing, at least I'm not, I don't have the technology to be a part of a classified briefing, so I haven't been a part of that," he added.

Schneider expressed admiration for the rank and file Capitol Police officers, who he believed did the best they could under difficult circumstances, but he was quick to point out it was a position they did not need to be in.  

"What happened on Wednesday, was preventable. It was predictable first. There was reports, you just have to look at social media I saw a report today that the FBI was concerned about effectively quote unquote a war in the Capitol. It was preventable. There were steps that I believe that Capitol Police, others could have taken to keep the crowd away, and have fallback positions, so that even if they broke the first barrier, they could have stopped him at the secondary or even the third, and it should have been just managed much better. We're hearing more and more reports about slow response, poor communications," he said. 

Schneider is not alone in his concern. Many members believe they are not getting nearly the level of information they need from Capitol Police and, according to a high level Democratic aide, the frustration is growing. 

"For every suspicious package on the Hill I will get 10 emails in real time. Then when it comes to this biggest security breach in recent time, we hear very little," the aide said. 

Specifically, the complaint is that there is little real time information being shared from Capitol Police and this staff member doesn’t feel there is a level of coordination when it comes to updates and alerts – it’s basically radio silence. Aside from a briefing that was hastily arranged Monday night, there has been no chief of staff briefing from Capitol Police for the members.

Schneider also expressed concern that some Capitol Police officers may have been involved or helped the rioters. He said that radicalization in the ranks of the military and law enforcement has been a problem for some time and one that needs to be addressed. 

"I have heard about that and yes, I've been concerned about the radicalization within our law enforcement and even our military for a long time," said Schneider. He pointed to legislation he has introduced in the past to address the issue.

"We need to understand the risk, and then develop the plans and implement those plans to address and eliminate that risk. My hope is that in this new Congress, we'll be able to do that," he added.

3:37 p.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Democrats express safety concerns about some GOP colleagues they fear could bring guns to Capitol

From CNN's Jake Tapper

Multiple House Democrats tell CNN they’re worried about some of their Republican colleagues and there have been multiple conversations about the need for every member of Congress and their guests to start going through metal detectors.

“There have been increasing tensions with certain incoming freshmen for months, who have been insistent on bringing firearms in violation of law and guidelines,” one House Democrat said, in a reference to Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and others.

A second Democratic member of Congress added, “there are concerns about the gun-toting members, but also we don’t know who they’re going to bring to the Inauguration who can bypass the metal detectors. Until there’s an investigation and until we understand our colleagues’ level of complicity in the attack we don’t know how involved they really were. Until we have answers I don’t think we should trust them – not all of them of course, but some of them.”

A second Democrat noted that some of the House Republicans went onto the floor of the House after the attack and continued to share election lies, and also that some refused to wear masks while they were sheltering in place, and now several Democrats have tested positive for Covid-19.