The Democratic-led House voted late Tuesday to officially call on Vice President Pence to remove President Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment, rebuffing the vice president’s objections. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Pence had urged Congress “to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.” The House proceeded with the vote and is on course to consider impeaching Trump on Wednesday on one charge, “incitement of insurrection,” days after a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol.

Four Republicans have said they would vote to impeach Trump, including Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), No. 3 Republican in the House, who said there has “never been a greater betrayal” by a president to his office and his oath to the Constitution.

Trump called the effort by House Democrats to impeach him for a second time a “witch hunt” and offered no regrets for inciting the mob attack on the Capitol last week as he emerged from seclusion Tuesday to travel to Alamo, Tex., to tour a section of the border wall.

Here’s what to know:
  • Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) has become the third lawmaker to announce a positive test for the novel coronavirus after sheltering at close quarters with dozens of members of Congress during last week’s takeover of the Capitol.
  • The attack on the Capitol has done little to upend Biden’s preparations for the beginning of his administration Jan. 20, for the worst of reasons: It is only one of several calamities that the new president and his administration will confront when he takes office.
  • The House’s acting sergeant at arms installed metal detectors outside the chamber in the wake of the Capitol riot, requiring all individuals to undergo security screening. Those who refuse to be screened or who are carrying prohibited items could be denied access to the chamber.
  • Several U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for suspected involvement in or inappropriate support for the demonstration last week that turned into a deadly riot at the Capitol.
  • Here are the nominees Biden has picked to fill his Cabinet.
4:29 a.m.
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House votes to officially call on Pence to remove Trump by invoking 25th Amendment

By Felicia Sonmez

The House on Tuesday voted to formally urge Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, the chamber’s first step toward seeking to hold the president accountable for last week’s violent siege of the Capitol.

The vote was 223-205. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) joined Democrats in voting for the resolution.

Pence had informed the House he would not take such a step, calling it too divisive and saying “now is the time to heal.” Under the 25th Amendment, Pence could deem Trump unfit for office and wrest control before the end of the president’s term.

The House is poised to move ahead on impeaching Trump on one charge: “Incitement of insurrection.”

3:11 a.m.
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Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) will vote to impeach Trump

By Mike DeBonis

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) became the fourth Republican to say he will vote to impeach President Trump.

Upton, a moderate elected to his 18th term last year, underscored that Trump called his words last week as “totally appropriate” Tuesday and offered no contrition for the violent attack on the Capitol despite instigating the mob.

“This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution. I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process,” Upton said in a statement. “But it is time to say: Enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach.”

2:57 a.m.
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Rep. Raskin says Capitol rioters desecrated ‘temple of democracy'

By Felicia Sonmez
The Democratic-led House ultimately voted on Jan. 12 to officially call on Vice President Pence to remove President Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment. (The Washington Post)

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager, opened Tuesday night’s debate on his resolution to urge Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump by outlining in vivid detail the actions of the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol last week.

“They allowed hundreds or thousands of people to enter the Capitol without metal detector or any kind of security screening at all, not only to desecrate the temple of democracy and to spit in the face of Congress, but actually to interfere with the counting of electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election,” Raskin said.

“They may have been looking for Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi, but every person in this room could have died. As a shaken senator, Lindsey Graham, said: ‘The mob could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all.’ ”

Rep. Tom McClintock rose to respond for the Republicans. He was wearing a black face mask bearing the message, “This Mask is USELESS.”

McClintock accused Democrats of “committing directly the same offense” that they are accusing Trump of committing indirectly — misusing the Constitution — by pressing for the invocation of the 25th Amendment.

The Republican from California also argued that Trump “never suggested rampaging the Capitol and disrupting the Congress.” He warned that if Congress proceeds with taking upthis new role as armchair psychiatrists and a new power to equate intemperate speech with functional disability, the most important pillars of our government’s stability — the rule of law and the separation of powers — will fracture.”

“It won’t affect this president,” McClintock said. “But it will stalk future presidents from this day forward. For their sake, please don’t do this.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Raskin’s language, accusing Trump of inciting “a deadly insurrection against America that targets the very heart of our democracy — this temple of democracy, the United States Capitol.”

“The gleeful desecration of the Capitol and the violence against Congress, our staff and our workers are horrors that will forever stain our nation’s history,” she said.

2:27 a.m.
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In bike ride around the Capitol, Rep. Quigley realized authorities weren’t prepared to repel mob attack

By Karoun Demirjian

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) a member of the House Intelligence Committee, could tell the night before a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol that authorities weren’t prepared for what was about to happen.

Quigley, who often trades in his suit to bike home in jeans, took a turn around the Capitol grounds and was struck by the conversations he casually overheard.

“The night before [the riots], I rode my bike around the Hill. You could hear these people talking. A fool could have had anybody in plain clothes walking around and realize they’re not here for tea,” Quigley said in an interview. “And then the morning of, I did the same thing — the crowds were bigger, they’re angrier.”

He said he called his chief of staff and said they didn’t have enough security.

“Even if I couldn’t hear them, you could sense this was ugly and tense. But you could hear them,” Quigley said of the rioters, and he offered a sobering prediction.

“This will get worse,” he said, noting that as the rioters said, last week was “a dress rehearsal.”

Just before the mob stormed the Capitol, Quigley had made his way from the House floor to the gallery, unwittingly walking into the most dangerous area — where lawmakers were left to fend for themselves as the crowds attempted to push into the chamber, without the protective Capitol Police presence that existed on the House floor. He found himself crouched near Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) a new congresswoman from Southern California with whom he had been chatting in the opening days of Congress, showing her the ropes. Now, they were both fiddling with gas masks, trying to get them unfolded and on.

They weren’t sure whether the protesters outside had guns, and they feared that the chamber might be breached at any second. So Quigley, a noted jokester, turned to Jacobs to try to make her smile.

“Aside from this, how was your first day in Congress?” he asked.

2:08 a.m.
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House Republicans disregard metal detectors to keep guns off House floor

By Karoun Demirjian and Felicia Sonmez

A group of House Republicans pushed past newly installed magnetometers put in place to keep firearms out of the House chamber, after one gun-rights activist appeared to set off a metal detector but refused a subsequent bag search.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who came under fire during Wednesday’s riot for tweeting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been removed from the chamber, was seen by photographers around the House chamber refusing to allow Capitol Police to inspect her bag.

Boebert is a vocal gun-rights activist who has promised to carry her Glock on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and in Washington. While firearms are allowed in House offices, they cannot be brought onto the House floor.

Following the apparent altercation with Boebert, several more House Republicans were seen walking around the magnetometers, pushing their way past security and striding onto the floor for a vote that was underway.

It wasn’t just reporters who noticed the GOP members breaking the new rules about entry onto the House floor. Other members began reporting on the actions of their more reckless colleagues as well.

“Rep. Van Taylor is in front of me as I’m trying to go in to vote, refusing to pass through a metal detector and arguing with U.S. Capitol Police officers about it,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said of the Texas Republican in a tweet.

“Do these people not understand that literally everyone else has to go through metal detectors to get in here?” Beyer continued. “Average people do not get to bring guns into the United States Capitol in normal times. Get over yourselves.”

Later Tuesday night, Boebert defended her actions in a tweet.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” she said. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”

Acting House sergeant at arms Timothy Blodgett informed House members of the new screening procedures in a letter hours earlier.

“Magnetometers are being placed at selected entrances to the Chamber,” Blodgett said in the letter. “Failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber.”

He also reminded lawmakers that “pursuant to the firearms regulations that Members received on opening day, firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office.”

2:01 a.m.
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U.S. attorney in Georgia: ‘There’s just nothing to’ claims of election fraud

By Amy Gardner and Matt Zapotosky

The acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, whose predecessor abruptly resigned one week ago after President Trump complained officials were not doing enough to find election fraud in the state, declared on a call with his staff Monday that “there’s just nothing” to the few claims of fraud the office was examining, according to an audio recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On the call, Bobby Christine, who kept his previous job as top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Georgia, also suggested that he was surprised to learn the office had not found significant election fraud problems.

“Quite frankly, just watching television, you would assume that you got election cases stacked from the floor to the ceiling,” Christine said, according to the Atlanta newspaper. “I am so happy to find out that’s not the case, but I didn’t know coming in.”

1:58 a.m.
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The lockdown room was a safe space for lawmakers under siege. Now some say maskless Republicans made it a coronavirus hot spot.

By Colby Itkowitz

As the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol last week, House members and some staff sheltered in a cramped, windowless room with no more than an arm’s length of distance between them.

The group seemed safe from the violence raging nearby, but inside they faced another threat. Several Republican members hunkered down, maskless, refusing to use the face coverings that their Democratic colleagues and staffers were begging them to wear as protection from the coronavirus that thrives in such low-ventilation indoor environments.

One Democrat, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), grew so angry that she left the secure room, concluding, according to an aide, that “we’re not going to survive a terrorist attack to be exposed to a deadly virus.”

But many stayed behind — and some now think they were exposed. Nearly a week after the riot, three Democratic lawmakers who had sheltered in that room, including Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a 75-year-old cancer survivor, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

1:50 a.m.
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Backlash to riot at Capitol hobbles Trump’s business as banks, partners flee the brand

By Josh Dawsey, David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell

In November — as President Trump began his effort to overturn the election he had lost — his longtime friend Tom Barrack called him with advice: Stop, for the sake of your business.

The Trump Organization was already struggling, hurt by political backlash and coronavirus-related closures, facing huge unpaid loans. Barrack told Trump that he could help that business — as well as his aides, and the country itself — by ensuring a peaceful transition, according to person familiar with the conversation.

An “elegant” exit, Barrack said, could preclude what could be a painful future: millions of dollars in legal costs, rampant investigations and more boycotts of his businesses.

Trump did not follow Barrack’s advice.

Now, the Trump Organization is facing the consequences: In the past week, it has lost a bank, an e-commerce platform and the privilege of hosting a world-famous golf tournament, and its hopes of hosting another have been dashed. In the future, the Trump Organization also could lose its D.C. hotel and even its children’s carousel in Central Park, if government landlords in Washington and New York reevaluate their contracts with Trump.

1:48 a.m.
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Six House Republicans introduce measure to censure Trump for trying to overturn election, ‘violating his oath of office’ during riot

By Felicia Sonmez

A group of six House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a resolution that would censure Trump for trying to overturn Biden’s victory in the presidential race and “violating his oath of office” during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The measure is not likely to see a vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

Nonetheless, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), one of the lawmakers leading the effort, said in a statement that the move is intended as an alternative to impeachment.

“Both Democrat and Republican Members of the U.S. Senate are convinced that the House’s impeachment efforts will almost certainly result in a second acquittal of President Trump, which would even further divide and inflame tensions in our nation,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

“There are two constitutional purposes of impeachment: 1) removal from office, and 2) barring the future holding of office. The current approach being advanced by House leadership is certain to accomplish neither one of these,” he added.

The resolution would affirm Biden’s victory and state that Trump “has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.” It also would censure and condemn Trump “for trying to unlawfully overturn the 2020 Presidential election and violating his oath of office on January 6, 2021.”

The other Republicans joining Fitzpatrick in introducing the measure are Reps. Tom Reed (N.Y.), Young Kim (Calif.), Fred Upton (Mich.), John Curtis (Utah) and Peter Meijer (Mich.)

1:46 a.m.
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Pelosi names impeachment managers for Senate trial of Trump

By Donna Cassata

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Tuesday named the nine Democrats who would serve as impeachment managers in a Senate trial of President Trump.

The announcement came a day before the House was scheduled to vote on one article of impeachment, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” a week after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attack that left five dead.

The managers would make the House case against Trump in a trial with the president’s lawyers. The Senate is in recess until Jan. 19 and a trial likely wouldn’t begin until Trump is out of office.

“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said. “It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the President’s impeachment and removal. They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.”

Pelosi tapped the following managers: Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), David N. Cicilline (R.I.), Joaquin Castro (Tex.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Del. Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands), Joe Neguse (Colo.) and Madeleine Dean (Pa.).

1:10 a.m.
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Rep. Liz Cheney’s historic decision Tuesday to vote to impeach President Trump had its roots in a dramatic phone call from her father

By Michael Kranish

Rep. Liz Cheney’s historic decision Tuesday to vote to impeach President Trump had its roots in a dramatic phone call from her father, former vice president Richard B. Cheney, who was watching events unfold on television last week and warned that she was being verbally attacked by the president.

Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, became the most prominent congressional Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement. “I will vote to impeach the president.”

Six days earlier, Cheney was in the House chamber, urging that Republicans reject efforts pushed by Trump and many in her party to challenge the electoral college results that had determined Trump had lost his reelection bid. She did not know that she was being attacked by Trump, who was delivering the speech that would incite a mob to storm the Capitol, until her father reached her by phone in the House cloakroom.

12:59 a.m.
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In letter to Pelosi, Pence says he does not support invoking 25th Amendment to remove Trump

By Felicia Sonmez

Pence sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night in which he declared his opposition to invoking the 25th Amendment to relieve Trump of his official duties.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in the letter.

Pence cited his rejection last week of Trump’s efforts to pressure him to unilaterally overturn Biden’s win, suggesting that Pelosi’s request — like the president’s — was a step too far.

“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,” Pence said in the letter.

12:43 a.m.
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Trump defiant and unapologetic about his role in inciting Capitol mob attack

By Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey

ALAMO, Tex. — President Trump emerged Tuesday from six days out of public view defiant and unapologetic about his incitement of last week's mob attack on the Capitol and warned that his impeachment could lead to more violence.

The president denied any culpability in the violent riot that killed a police officer and threatened the lives of Vice President Pence and members of Congress. He said his remarks encouraging throngs of supporters last Wednesday to march to the Capitol in a show of force to pressure and intimidate lawmakers to overturn the election results were “totally appropriate.”

During a visit to a portion of newly constructed border wall here in the Rio Grande Valley, Trump warned against the effort in Congress to hold him accountable.

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time,” Trump said.

12:29 a.m.
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Impeachment ‘is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils,’ House Judiciary Democrats say

By Felicia Sonmez

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday released a majority staff report on Trump’s impeachment ahead of the chamber’s debate on voting for a second time to remove the 45th president from office.

In its 74-page report, staff for the panel’s Democratic majority lay out their argument for how Trump’s conduct “satisfies the standard for high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” describing the president as “a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our democracy.”

“Impeachment is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils,” the report says. “It is true that the President’s remaining term is limited — but a President capable of fomenting violent insurrection in the Capitol is capable of greater dangers still.”

The report calls on members of the House to “reject this outrageous attempt to overturn the election and this incitement of violence by a sitting president against his own government.”

“President Trump committed a high Crime and Misdemeanor against the Nation by inciting an insurrection at the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election,” it continues. “The facts establish that he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer and warrant the immediate impeachment of President Trump.”