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McConnell rejects bringing Senate back for emergency on impreachment

Updated January 13, 2021 - 10:47 am

If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.

That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.

The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

Other developments: 2:15 p.m. EST

President Donald Trump says he opposes violence in a statement read on the House floor as members debate impeaching him for his role in fomenting the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week.

Trump’s message was read Wednesday by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Trump says in a statement: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump adds: “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in a fast-moving House vote, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

The president falsely claimed widespread voter fraud cost him the election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

2:05 p.m.

The number of people arrested on criminal charges related to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol has exceeded 100.

The count by The Associated Press resulted from a nationwide review of court records and announcements of arrests issued by law enforcement agencies. The charges range from misdemeanor curfew violations in the District of Columbia to federal felonies related to the assault of law enforcement officers, theft of government property and possessing firearms and explosives.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI said this week they are pursing dozens more suspects who have been identified through photos and videos from the Jan. 6 melee and tips from the public.

Those newly arrested Wednesday include 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer, of Newport News, Virginia. His mugshot appears to match the bearded man photographed at the Capitol wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz” and the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a translation of the German phrase from the gates of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million Jews and others were murdered during World War II.

2 p.m.

Rep. Dan. Newhouse of Washington has added his name to the short list of Republicans supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

He said Tuesday on the House floor that the article of impeachment is flawed, but he will not use process as an excuse to vote no.

He says, “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions.”

Newhouse says the president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet he says when there was a “domestic threat at the door of the Capitol,” the president “did nothing to stop it.”

He says he will vote for impeachment “with a heavy heart and clear resolve.”

1:05 p.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is suggesting that President Donald Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting Arab-Israeli peace.

Pompeo’s suggestion, made on his official Twitter account, comes as the House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

Trump and many of his allies have made no secret of their desire to see him honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, which is one of the world’s most distinguished awards.

Their campaign on his behalf has raised eyebrows because self-promotion for the prize is considered unseemly.

Pompeo tweeted a photo of Trump waving from a White House balcony with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior officials from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and copied the Nobel committee.

The photo was taken in September last year when Israel normalized relations with the UAE and Bahrain under the so-called Abraham Accords, which were negotiated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Since then Morocco and Sudan have also agreed to recognize Israel.

12:45 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.

Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people″ in the presidential election.

She says “we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.″

Pelosi says Trump has “repeatedly lied” about the outcome of the election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and Trump has “sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeat this armed rebellion against our country.″

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

12 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the impeachment effort being pushed by House Democrats could “do great damage to the institutions of government” and he’s warning his GOP colleagues not to support it.

Graham is a frequent ally of President Donald Trump. Last week, Graham condemned the violent mob of the president’s supporters who invaded the Capitol. After that siege and after Trump had pushed the unconstitutional argument that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election results, Graham said to count him out and that “enough is enough.”

Still, Graham has stayed in touch with the increasingly isolated president.

And Graham’s message to fellow Republicans on impeachment is that those “who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party.”

He says the millions of people who have supported Trump and his agenda “should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob.”

At least five GOP House members have said they will support impeachment, and two Republican senators have called on Trump to resign. Another GOP senator has said he will take a look at the articles of impeachment when they are sent to the Senate.

10:40 a.m.

The debate is heated almost from the start as the House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Democrats and a few Republicans say Trump must be removed immediately after he egged on a violent mob of supporters a week ago who then stormed the Capitol. The insurrection happened as some of Trump’s GOP allies were challenging his election defeat, echoing the president’s false claims that there was widespread fraud in his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Most Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive. They’re not mentioning the president.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. Jordan blames Democrats for objecting to previous election results and he’s repeating baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

But Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says Democrats haven’t pushed conspiracy theories that a president won in a landslide when he actually lost — which is what happened to Trump.

McGovern is looking back at the deadly Capitol siege and saying “people died because of the big lies that were being told.” And he says that’s enough to merit impeachment.

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

10:05 a.m.

Democratic lawmakers have opened the historic impeachment effort in the House by saying that every moment Donald Trump is in the White House the nation is in danger.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., says the debate is taking place at an “actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if it were not for the president of the United States.”

The House is considering impeaching Trump for the second time after last week’s riots at the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the election results. McGovern says it was Trump and his allies who were stoking the anger of the violent mob.

He says Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol and “the signal was unmistakable.”

Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said Jan. 6th would live in his memory as the darkest day of his service in the House. But Cole says the Senate could not even begin to consider impeachment until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

He says he can think of no action the House can take that would further divide the American people than the actions being taken Wednesday. He says “it’s unfortunate that a path to support healing is not the path the majority has chosen today.”

9:50 a.m.

As the House opens its impeachment hearing, the District of Columbia National Guard says it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The Guard said in a statement that the authority was requested by federal authorities and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as of approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Authorities are concerned about threats of violence, following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

9:25 a.m.

The House has opened its proceedings Wednesday, poised to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time exactly a week after his supporters stormed the Capitol to protest his election defeat.

At least five Republicans have said they will join Democrats in voting to remove Trump from office. The article of impeachment charges the president with “incitement of insurrection.”

The House chaplain opened the session with a prayer for “seizing the scales of justice from the jaws of mob-ocracy.”

A vote is expected by the end of the day.

8:15 a.m.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger is predicting more Republicans will join him in voting to impeach President Donald Trump.

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump for a second time, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol last week. If that isn’t an impeachable offense, Kinzinger said, “I don’t know what is.”

Several other Republicans are backing impeachment, including No. 3 GOP leader Liz Cheney.

“This is one of these moments that transcends politics,” the Illinois lawmaker told “CBS This Morning” in an interview ahead of the vote.

Besides Kinzinger and Cheney, other Republicans backing impeachment are John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Kinzinger wouldn’t say how many more GOP lawmakers might vote to impeach, but said, “there’ll be more than the five you’ve seen so far.”

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