7 months ago

Murkowski becomes first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has become the first Republican member of the Senate to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation.

The Alaska Republican tells the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

Murkowski said in a telephone interview Friday: “I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” She also questioned whether she wanted to remain a Republican.

She says many people felt she became an independent when she lost her Republican primary in 2010 but won the general election by write-in. She has been in the Senate since 2002, replacing her father, Frank Murkowski, who took office in 1981.

“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.

She adds, “He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing.”

7 months ago

Biden says 2nd Trump impeachment up to Congress

President-elect Joe Biden says it’s up to Congress whether to pursue a second impeachment of President Donald Trump, but he expected lawmakers to be ready to move on his agenda as soon as he is inaugurated.

Biden’s comments to reporters came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Friday letter to lawmakers that House Democrats would move to impeach Trump again if he did not resign immediately. Pelosi and other lawmakers have pressured Trump to step down after Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that lawmakers in both parties said was incited by Trump.

Asked what he’d tell lawmakers about Pelosi’s push for impeachment, Biden responded, “I’d tell them that’s a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.”

Biden added that he would be speaking with Pelosi and Democratic leadership later Friday.

7 months ago

Third-ranking Senate Democrat calls for Hawley, Cruz to resign

The third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate is calling on Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to resign, arguing that their objections to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory “incited and supported the violent mob that attacked the Capitol.”

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state said Friday that there can be “no normalizing or looking away from what played out before our eyes this week.”

Cruz, of Texas, and Hawley, of Missouri, were at the forefront of congressional efforts to object to the certification of Biden’s win over President Donald Trump. A violent mob stormed the Capitol as the process of objecting was underway, creating mayhem that left five people dead. Trump spoke at a large rally near the White House before the siege began.

Another Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said one option for punishing Hawley and Cruz would be to hold them “in contempt, basically, for insurrection and high crimes.”

He stopped short of saying Hawley and Cruz should be expelled from the Senate. But he said action should be taken to prevent “anyone with blind political ambition to supersede the protection and defense of our country.”

Hawley says he “will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections.”

Hawley and Cruz didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

7 months ago

Pelosi: Military can stop Trump nuclear launch

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling fellow Democrats that the nation’s top military officer has told her there are steps in place that would prevent President Donald Trump from firing nuclear weapons.

Pelosi is holding a conference call with House Democrats about what they should do about Trump doing his waning days in office, including the possibility of impeachment. Democrats and many Republicans blame Trump for this week’s deadly assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, and many say they are worried that Trump might try something irrational.

Before Friday’s conference call, Pelosi told her colleagues that she had asked Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about preventing Trump from initiating a nuclear strike. A person familiar with Friday’s call says Pelosi has told them that Milley has told her there are precautions in place that would prevent such an action by Trump.

The president has sole authority in the U.S. government to order the launch of a nuclear weapon. But if a military commander were to determine, on advice of his lawyers, that such an order was illegal, then the order could be refused.

It would be illegal to launch a nuclear attack for no reason or as a disproportionate response to a military provocation.

The person described Friday’s conference call on condition of anonymity because the call was limited to House Democrats. The PBS NewsHour independently confirmed the call.

—Alan Fram, The Associated Press

7 months ago

Pelosi asks top general about halting Trump military strikes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing President Donald Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike.

Pelosi said in a statement to colleagues that she spoke with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”

She said, the situation of “this unhinged President could not be more dangerous.”

Pelosi is meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president.

She and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.

Trump is set to leave Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.

The Associated Press

7 months ago

AP Sources: House Dems to introduce articles of impeachment

Three House Democrats are planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday, meaning the chamber could potentially vote on his removal from office by midweek, according two people familiar with the planning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet said whether the House will vote on impeachment, and the caucus is meeting at noon to discuss the idea after pro-Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol on Wednesday. But if leadership does decide to move forward, they could vote on articles of impeachment drafted Wednesday by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California. They are expected to be introduced Monday, said the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the planning.

The articles say Trump “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”

—Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press

7 months ago

Capitol Police says officer dies after riots

The U.S. Capitol Police says an officer who was injured after responding to riots at the Capitol has died.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick died Thursday due to injuries sustained while on-duty, physically engaging with protesters at the U.S. Capitol, the statement said.

Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm Democrat Joe Biden won the election. Sicknick returned to his division office and collapsed, the report said. He was taken to a hospital and later died.

The death will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and federal law enforcement. Sicknick joined the Capitol police in 2008.

Democratic leaders of the House Appropriations Committee said the “tragic loss” of a Capitol police officer “should remind all of us of the bravery of the law enforcement officers who protected us, our colleagues, Congressional staff, the press corps and other essential workers″ during the hourslong takeover of the Capitol by pro-Trump protesters.

-The Associated Press

7 months ago

Education head DeVos quits, cites Trump rhetoric

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate.

-The Associated Press

7 months ago

Trump condemns Capitol riot, concedes to Biden

President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters who stormed the nation’s Capitol Wednesday.

In a new video message, Trump says that now that Congress has certified the results, the “new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and his “focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power.”

He is also speaking out against the violence, calling it a “heinous attack” that left him “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.”

Trump did not address his role in inciting the violence. But he is telling his supporters that, while he knows they are “disappointed,” he wants them to know “our incredible journey is only just beginning.”