Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) became the first Senate Republican to call for President Trump to resign, telling the Anchorage Daily News: “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.”

Her comments Friday came on the same day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues in a letter that she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, about keeping an “unstable president” from accessing the nuclear codes. Pelosi also threatened impeachment if Trump didn’t resign “immediately.”

Her letter came shortly after Trump tweeted that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, breaking with a long-standing tradition of outgoing presidents attending the swearing-in ceremony of their successors. Biden told reporters that he agreed with Trump’s decision to skip the ceremony, though he would welcome Vice President Pence.

Here’s what to know:
  • A growing corps of House Democrats, furious over the invasion of the Capitol, is pushing to rapidly impeach the president a second time — hoping to force Trump from office even a few days early rather than allow him to leave on his own terms.
  • In addition to calling on Trump to resign, Murkowski questioned whether she has a future in the Republican Party. “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.
  • A 42-year-old Capitol Police officer who was injured amid Wednesday’s takeover of the Capitol died Thursday night, according to a statement from his department.
  • Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who remained a staunch Trump supporter during her four-year tenure, was reelected unanimously Friday at an RNC meeting in Florida.
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao are among the latest Trump administration officials to announce their resignations in the wake of the assault on the Capitol.
11:58 p.m.
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Mnuchin involved in discussions about the 25th Amendment, but is unlikely to pursue Trump’s removal

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been personally involved in discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, but is highly unlikely to pursue that extraordinary course of action, according to three people aware of the treasury secretary’s remarks.

Mnuchin, who has long been one of Trump’s most loyal Cabinet secretaries, publicly condemned the rioters for their siege of the U.S. Capitol but refrained from openly criticizing the president. In private, however, he has fumed over Trump’s handling of the incident and has been directly critical of the president, according to the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about the private conversations.

While Mnuchin is unlikely to pursue the option, the fact that the discussions of the 25th Amendment have reached senior Cabinet officials highlights the extraordinary fallout from the attack. Mnuchin’s conversations about the subject went beyond being asked about it by other people, one of the people said.

11:54 p.m.
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Twitter permanently suspends Trump’s account

Twitter on Friday permanently suspended President Trump from the site, meting out its toughest punishment two days after a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Twitter said Trump’s recent tweets — praising his supporters as “great American patriots” and announcing that he would not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States — together threatened to ratchet up tensions as the country is still reeling from the storming of Congress by a pro-Trump mob Wednesday.

The suspension amounted to a historic rebuke for a president who had used the social networking site to help his rise to political prominence. Twitter had been Trump’s primary megaphone, the tool he tapped to push his policies, spread falsehoods, savage his critics and speak to more than 88 million users almost every day.

11:50 p.m.
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Liberals launch PAC to pressure Sen. Manchin over $2,000 stimulus checks

A new PAC, No Excuses, is reserving radio ad time in West Virginia to urge Sen. Joe Manchin III (D) to back $2,000 stimulus checks, after Manchin gave mixed signals about his support for one of Biden’s campaign promises.

"Joe Manchin thinks he knows better than both our president and the Democrats," says the radio ad, which the PAC will begin running on Monday. "I guess Joe just don't know what it's been like to live through the pandemic. We should call his office and let him know."

The spot is narrated by Corbin Trent, a co-founder of the PAC and former spokesman for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has sometimes sparred with Manchin over their different political visions. Trent and Zack Exley, both founders of Justice Democrats, put the PAC together within hours of Manchin telling The Washington Post that he would “absolutely not” support $2,000 checks without some conditions.

Manchin initially seemed to suggest in an interview with The Post that he was “absolutely” opposed to a new round of checks. He clarified in a follow-up interview that he could potentially support more checks if they were narrow in scope and targeted for people who really need them.

11:39 p.m.
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63% of Americans blame Trump for Capitol attack, 48% say he should be removed from office, poll finds

Nearly two-thirds of Americans blame Trump for the deadly mob attack on the Capitol, and just under half say he should be removed from office over it, according to a PBS NewsHour-Marist poll released Friday evening.

While 63 percent of Americans say Trump holds a great or good deal of blame for the riot, 35 percent say he was not responsible. The poll found nearly the identical breakdown in public opinion over the legitimacy of the election results, with 64 percent saying they trust them and 35 percent saying they do not.

While more Americans blame Trump for what happened, just under half, 48 percent, say it warranted removing him from office, compared with 49 percent who say he should not be removed.

The survey found that 88 percent opposed the actions of the rioters and 81 percent say they are worried that divisions in the country threaten the future of American democracy.

Still, 72 percent say the nation’s democracy is likely to survive, while 21 percent say it is not.

10:55 p.m.
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Read: Draft impeachment articles against Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection’

A four-page draft of the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment against Trump charges him with “incitement of insurrection,” and say he has “betrayed his trust as President,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post.

“In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the document reads.

Pelosi said she is prepared to move forward with a motion for impeachment as well as legislation creating an independent commission to determine the president’s fitness to serve under the 25th Amendment.

“It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment,” she said. “Accordingly, the House will preserve every option — including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.”

The draft resolution says Trump will “remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

10:30 p.m.
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White House says impeachment would ‘further divide our great country’

The White House responded to House Democrats’ plans to file articles of impeachment on Monday against President Trump, calling the decision “politically motivated” and warned it would “further divide our great country.”

“As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one nation,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “A politically motivated impeachment against a president, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term, will only serve to further divide our great country.”

Deere is referring to a statement Trump read on Thursday in which he effectively conceded that he had lost the presidential election, saying there would be a new administration.

House Democrats plan to charge Trump with inciting an insurrection that "gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government.” Even though there are only 12 days left in Trump’s presidency, Democrats have resoundingly agreed that Trump should be held accountable for his role in provoking the violent attack on the Capitol.

10:12 p.m.
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GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Trump should leave office now

In a scathing rebuke of Trump, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, became the first GOP senator to call for him to step down before his presidency ends and said Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol is making her rethink being a Republican.

“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News in an interview.

“I think he should leave. He said he’s not going to show up. He’s not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn’t been focused on what is going on with covid. He’s either been golfing or he’s been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with the vice president,” she continued. “He doesn’t want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. 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.”

A critic of Trump’s rhetoric, Murkowski has been faulted for not doing more to stand up to the president. When Trump’s presidency was on the line, she did not vote to hear additional witnesses during the Senate impeachment trial.

Murkowski, who is part of a dwindling faction of moderate Republican lawmakers, said she could consider leaving the Republican Party. In 2010, she won reelection as a write-in candidate running as an independent after losing the GOP primary in the tea party wave year.

“But I will tell you, 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 in the interview.

Republicans can’t threaten Murkowski with a primary when her term ends in 2022. This year, Alaska passed ranked choice voting, in which candidates of any party will run in an open primary and voters will rank them in order of preference.

9:55 p.m.
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Pro-Trump group withdraws application for Jan. 16 rally, days ahead of Biden’s inauguration

The Eighty Percent Coalition, a pro-Trump group, on Friday withdrew its application to hold a Jan. 16 rally on the Mall, just days before Biden’s swearing-in.

The organization had hosted a “Rally to Save America” on Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza, featuring President Trump’s confidant Roger Stone and “Infowars” host Alex Jones. Cindy Chafian, who used to work for the pro-Trump women’s group that hosted the gathering that devolved into rioting at the Capitol on Wednesday, is listed as the founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition.

National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst confirmed the group’s withdrawal of its permit application in an email. Chafian, who put in the Jan. 16 permit request, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Park Service officials are continuing to process several permit applications for gatherings on the Mall in the run-up to the inauguration, though the violence that broke out Wednesday has made these decisions more fraught.

There are at least four other D.C. rallies planned between now and Jan. 23, according to the agency, including a small event Jan. 16 organized by ISKCON of DC whose stated goal is to “attract people to God with music and books” in front of the National Museum of Natural History. It has received a permit, while three others — one conservative and two liberal — are still being processed.

The Answer Coalition, a national group, has also asked to put on a demonstration next weekend, “demanding urgent action to save the environment, end war & militarism, prioritize money to meet peoples [sic] needs.” A bikers’ group called Let Americans Hear us, Roar for Trump has requested a permit to rally Jan. 21 at eight sites — including Lafayette Square “to support our President.” It predicts that 300 people will take part.

The worker-owned collective D.C. Action Lab, meanwhile, has applied to stage a “free speech demonstration against the inauguration” on Jan. 23, at 15 sites throughout the city, that it estimates will attract 5,000 people.

9:16 p.m.
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Lehigh University rescinds honorary degree it gave President Trump

Lehigh University on Friday revoked an honorary degree it awarded to Donald Trump in 1988, stripping the president of the honor two days after he gave a speech that incited a mob to breach the Capitol and disrupt the congressional session that affirmed Biden’s win.

The private university in Bethlehem, Pa., announced the action in a short statement to its community:

“In a special session Thursday of the Executive Committee of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees, the members voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988. The full Board of Trustees affirmed the decision today.”

A Lehigh spokeswoman said the university has no plans to elaborate on the statement.

8:54 p.m.
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Biden says Cruz, other Republicans responsible for spreading ‘big lie’ that incited the mob

Biden said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who led the effort in the Senate to challenge the election results in states Biden won, is responsible for the breach of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Wednesday because he perpetuated Trump’s lies about the election, going so far as to draw a parallel between Cruz’s actions and Joseph Goebbels, one of Adolf Hitler’s closest advisers.

Biden attributed to Goebbels the idea that if you keep repeating a big lie people will eventually believe it, citing the Nazi leader’s gross embellishment of how many were killed when Allies bombed the city of Dresden. Goebbels used the lie in an effort to discredit the Allies’ reputation as the good guys.

The president-elect said it’s one thing for Trump to spread lies, but it’s another for some Republican lawmakers to repeat them.

“If he’s the only one saying it, that’s one thing,” Biden said. “But the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are as responsible as he is.”

Still, Biden did not endorse some Democrats’ calls to have Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) removed from office, saying,I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run.

I think the American public has a real good, clear look who they are,” he added. “They’re part of the big lie.”

Hawley was the first Republican senator to announce he would object to Biden’s win in several states; he challenged the results in Pennsylvania. Soon after, Cruz rallied nearly a dozen GOP senators to do the same.

In response to the president-elect, Hawley defended his actions and called on Biden to retract “those sick comments.”

“This is undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect. It is utterly shameful,” he said.

Biden said he was also heartened that many Republicans he’s spoken to have said how shameless they found Cruz’s action and how mortified they were by Trump.

8:45 p.m.
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Biden calls for robust Justice Department investigation of deadly mob attack on Capitol

WILMINGTON, Del. — Biden called for a “full-blown” investigation by the Justice Department of the security failures at the Capitol on Wednesday, saying he believes those who participated in the deadly mob attack should be prosecuted.

Asked during a news conference here Friday whether the rioters should be considered domestic terrorists, Biden said: “These are a bunch of thugs — thugs. And they are terrorists, domestic terrorists. And that’ll be a judgment for the Justice Department to make as to what the charges should be, but the fact is they should be prosecuted.”

Biden said whether the pleas for National Guard deployment went ignored and the actions of U.S. Capitol Police officers, including taking selfies with protesters, also need to be investigated.

“The authorities responsible have to be held accountable” for the security breach and failures, he said. Biden blamed Trump for inciting the mob but declined to say whether Congress should push immediately for his impeachment.

“I think it’s important we get on with the business of getting him out of office. The quickest way that that will happen is us getting sworn in on the 20th,” he said. “What actually happens before or after that is a judgment for the Congress to make.”

Biden has tapped federal Judge Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general.

8:20 p.m.
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Biden won’t weigh in on Trump impeachment, says it’s up to Congress to decide

As Democrats prepare articles of impeachment against Trump, Biden declined to say whether he believed that was the right course, leaving that up to Congress and saying he is focused on the economy and the pandemic.

“What the Congress decides to do is, is for them to decide. But I’m going to have to, and they’re going to have to, be ready to hit the ground running … to deal with the virus, to do with the economy and deal with economic growth. So we’re going to do our job and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs.”

Pressed by reporters on whether Trump, who Biden said was responsible for encouraging the attack on the Capitol, should be removed from office, the president-elect said it would be different if it had happened six months ago.

He’s not fit to serve. He’s one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America. And so the idea that I think he should have been out of office yesterday is not the issue,” Biden said. So I think it’s important we get on with the business, getting him out of office. The quickest way that that will happen is us being sworn in on the 20th. What action happens before or after that is a judgment for the Congress to make.”

“But that’s what I am looking forward to,” Biden added, “him leaving office.”

If we were six months out, we should be doing everything to get him out of office, impeaching him again and trying to invoke the 25th Amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office,” Biden said. “But I am focused now on us taking control.”

8:18 p.m.
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Trump says he won’t attend Biden’s inauguration; Biden welcomes decision

Trump said in a tweet Friday that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration, breaking a long-standing tradition of outgoing presidents attending the swearing-in ceremony of their successors. Biden said he welcomed the decision.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted.

Biden, at a news conference later Friday, excoriated Trump, calling him “one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of America,” and said he “exceeded my own worst notions about him.”

Asked about Trump’s announcement that he will not attend the inauguration, Biden said it was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It’s a good thing, him not showing up."

Biden said Vice President Pence would be welcome.

In a video distributed on Twitter to his supporters Thursday night, Trump acknowledged for the first time that a new president would be sworn in Jan. 20 and said he was committed to a smooth transfer of power.

His decision not to attend Biden’s inauguration marks the latest in a long series of norms that Trump has broken during his four years in office.

Pence has not said publicly whether he will attend Biden’s inauguration.

Reaction to Trump’s announcement was mixed, with some Democrats expressing relief that he would not be a distraction at the event.

In a tweet, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) urged Trump to change his mind.

“I plan to attend and believe it is an important tradition that demonstrates the peaceful transfer of power to our people and to the world,” he said.

Scott also issued a statement urging the president to reconsider. “He is, of course, not constitutionally required to attend and I can imagine losing an election is very hard, but I believe he should attend,” Scott said.

8:09 p.m.
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Perdue concedes Senate runoff in Georgia to Democrat Ossoff

Republican David Perdue conceded Friday, days after he lost a Senate runoff to Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia.

Perdue, who had been elected in 2014, was seeking another term in the Senate. He finished first on Nov. 3 but was forced into a runoff after neither he nor Ossoff garnered 50 percent of the vote. Perdue’s term ended at noon Sunday, and Ossoff scored the come-from-behind win in Tuesday’s election.

“Although we won the general election, we came up just short of Georgia’s 50 percent rule, and now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win,” Perdue said in a statement. “Bonnie and I will continue to pray for our wonderful state and our great country. May God continue to bless Georgia and the United States of America.”

In the other Georgia runoff election, Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated the Republican incumbent, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, giving Democrats control of the Senate when Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.