Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris resigned her Senate seat Monday, stepping down four years after she was elected as California’s junior senator. She sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, with her resignation effective at noon.

President-elect Joe Biden, meanwhile, will send to Congress on Wednesday a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, including an eight-year pathway to citizenship for immigrants without legal status, alongside an enforcement plan that deploys technology to patrol the border.

Earlier Monday, Biden volunteered at a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia as part of a national day of service coordinated by his inaugural committee ahead of his swearing-in at a heavily fortified Capitol on Wednesday.

Here’s what to know:
2:43 a.m.
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Melania Trump spends last days in the White House focused on her future, while her husband rages about the past

In her final days as first lady, Melania Trump has largely stayed away from the West Wing. While her husband spends his time there in anger — though aides said his dark mood has lightened since he began planning a rousing military send-off for himself — she has shown no sign of any disappointment for how the president’s era is ending.

Instead, she has been busying herself with finding a new school for Barron in Florida and working on her own farewell video message to the country, which she released Monday.

Several people who have been in touch with Melania Trump said that she is aware of the intense criticism both she and her husband have gotten since the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot but that, unlike her spouse, she appears completely unfazed.

2:29 a.m.
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Trump tapes farewell address, likely to be released Tuesday

Trump taped a farewell address at the White House on Monday in which he touted his administration’s successes over the past four years, according to a senior administration official.

The recording is likely to be released Tuesday, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

News of the video was first reported by CNN.

The president has drastically cut down on his public appearances since the Jan. 6 riot by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter and other social media sites banned him earlier this month, citing fears of further violence. But rather than deliver remarks live from the White House briefing room or the Oval Office, the president has instead opted to release prerecorded videos.

The official schedule released by the White House on Monday night offered no details on what Trump has in store on his last full day in Washington as president.

“President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening,” the schedule reads. “He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

2:27 a.m.
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FEMA denies Maryland’s and Virginia’s emergency declarations related to Capitol riot

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Maryland’s and Virginia’s request for an emergency declaration to cover expenses associated with responding to the Capitol riot and increasing security around Biden’s inauguration.

FEMA’s decision — which both states plan to appeal — could mean the states would not receive federal funds for providing law enforcement personnel to help restore control after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 or to cover the cost of sending National Guard units for Wednesday’s inauguration.

Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), said the state could lose out on up to 75 percent of the costs for deploying the Virginia Emergency Support Team and National Guard personnel to the capital. She said the commonwealth plans to appeal the decision after Biden becomes president.

A spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Michael Ricci, tweeted that the state will appeal also. FEMA’s decision was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

1:49 a.m.
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Biden, Harris to speak at Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday night to honor lives lost to covid-19

Biden and Harris will speak Tuesday night at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor the lives lost to covid-19, according to the Biden transition.

The inauguration-eve event comes as the U.S. death toll from the virus nears 400,000.

Earlier Tuesday, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will attend a send-off event in Wilmington, Del., where the president-elect is expected to deliver remarks.

1:47 a.m.
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Retropolis: Threats of kidnapping, killing and militias impacted Lincoln’s first inauguration

Abraham Lincoln rose from his chair and walked to the speaker’s table on the East Portico of the Capitol. He pulled his cut-and-paste address from the breast pocket of his coat and slowly put on his metal-rimmed glasses.

As he stood bareheaded, a throng of 30,000 people spread before him — the largest inauguration crowd the city had ever seen and one that included many African Americans, who were legally banned from the grounds unless on “menial” duty.

But below the platform, the Army had deployed artillery. Snipers watched from rooftops and windows, and Lincoln had been guarded by infantry and cavalry on his carriage ride through the streets to the Capitol.

Many people wanted him dead.

“There goes that Illinois ape, the cursed Abolitionist,” a woman in the crowd was heard to say. “But he will never come back alive.”

1:16 a.m.
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Biden will not lift restrictions on international travel amid pandemic, incoming press secretary says

Jennifer Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, said Monday that the Biden administration will not immediately lift restrictions on international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The death toll from the virus in the United States stands at nearly 400,000, with more than 24 million cases reported in the country.

“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” Psaki said on Twitter. “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Psaki’s announcement comes hours after Trump issued a proclamation stating that he would be lifting the restrictions on travel to the United States from Brazil and much of Europe, effective Jan. 26.

In the proclamation, Trump said that removing those restrictions — while leaving in place restrictions on travel from China and Iran — is “the best way to continue protecting Americans from covid-19 while enabling travel to resume safely.”

1:05 a.m.
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Michigan canvasser who voted to certify Biden’s win: ‘My decision is on the right side of the law and history’

Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican on the Michigan Board of Canvassers who voted for certifying Biden’s win in November, has spoken publicly for the first time since he made his decision, saying his “conscience is clear.”

“While some are critical of my decision to certify the election, I am convinced that I did the right thing regardless of personal or professional consequences and despite the pressures and dangers faced,” Van Langevelde said in a statement Monday. “I upheld my oath of office, told the truth and did what I could to defend the rule of law (at a time our nation desperately needs it). My conscience is clear, and I am confident that my decision is on the right side of the law and history.”

Van Langevelde said he was not renominated to the four-person, partisan board, and has no regrets. He criticized the hyperpartisan environment as one that led to threats against his family and to the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Time will tell that those who spread misinformation and tried to overturn the election were wrong, and they should be held responsible for the chaos and confusion they have caused,” he said. “What has happened over the last few months is tragic; a dangerous and dishonest attempt to undermine election results fanned the flames of discontent and put people at risk of harm, including my family, and ultimately led to violence and the loss of life. It was clear in November that the political games needed to stop — it is even more clear now.”

The obscure four-person board, made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, was thrust into the spotlight last November as it faced immense pressure in what should have been a mundane step in certifying the election results in Michigan, which Biden won by more than 150,000 votes. Ultimately, the board voted 3 to 0 to certify Biden’s win, with Van Langevelde joining the Democrats and the other Republican board member, Norman Shinkle, abstaining.

In a telephone interview, Van Langevelde drew a line between the harassment he faced last year and the siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6. He declined to detail specific threats but said “law enforcement had to get involved, and I had to take steps to protect my family.”

“There was a lot of hate and frustration directed toward the board and at me in particular,” he said. “You saw that same hate and frustration on Jan. 6 and it’s tragic.”

He said he did not receive any calls directly from President Trump before or after the meeting where he voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. He said he received thousands of calls and emails but declined to specify if any powerful officials applied pressure.“

“I was well prepared and 100 percent confident in my decision at the canvassing board meeting,” he said. “I was not prepared to have to take steps to protect my family.”

He said the state party did not approach him about serving another term on the board and that he had heard they were recruiting another Republican for his spot. His term expires at the end of the month.

“I fully expected to not be renominated,” he said. “It goes without saying there were a lot of people in the party that were angry with my decision.”

He added: “I am very hopeful the next appointee will follow the law as well. ... We need to emphasize the truth and put the country and the people over partisanship.”

12:06 a.m.
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Biden to propose overhaul of immigration laws on first day in office

Biden will roll out a sweeping overhaul of nation’s immigration laws the day he is inaugurated, including an eight-year pathway to citizenship for immigrants without legal status and an expansion of refugee admissions, alongside an enforcement plan that deploys technology to patrol the border.

Biden’s legislative proposal, which will be sent to Congress on Wednesday, also includes a heavy focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, a key part of Biden’s foreign policy portfolio when he served as vice president.

The centerpiece of the plan from Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris is the eight-year pathway, which would put millions of qualifying immigrants in a temporary status for five years and then grant them a green card once they meet certain requirements, such as a background check and payment of taxes. They would be able to apply for citizenship three years later.

10:51 p.m.
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Dominion threatens MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell with lawsuit

Lawyers for election technology company Dominion Voting Systems have warned prominent Trump ally and MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell of “imminent” litigation over “false and conspiratorial” claims that the firm somehow rigged the election against the president, demanding in letters late last year and earlier this month that Lindell make a public apology.

More than 150 people — including Kelli Ward, the staunchly pro-Trump chair of the Arizona GOP — were sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents in a recent wave of letters to those who provided affidavits in election lawsuits, according to Hamilton Place Strategies, a communications firm representing Dominion that shared copies of letters and a list of recipients Monday. Dominion also sent a follow-up retraction demand to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the Trump lawyer at the forefront of the president’s fruitless efforts to overturn the election in court.

Lindell, a major Republican donor who has touted his relationship with the president, has in frequent appearances on right-wing media promoted baseless claims — rejected by court after court — of a rigged election. Lindell said on Monday that he welcomes a lawsuit from Dominion. “Could they do it tomorrow? Could they do it today?” he told a reporter.

10:14 p.m.
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The Trump presidency was marked by battles over truth itself. Those aren’t over.

President Trump stands as a singular figure in American history for his willingness to entertain conspiracy theories from the Oval Office, and none has been more damaging or far reaching than his unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 election was rigged against him. One out of every three Americans believes that there was widespread fraud in the last presidential election, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, despite no evidence to support that view. Two in three Republicans believe so.

The social conditions that brought so many people to believe the falsehoods Trump has told about the election and a litany of other issues took root decades before he became a political figure and will extend far beyond the four years of his administration, according to scholars of disinformation and conspiratorial thinking.

“What’s unique about Donald Trump is that he took advantage of this widespread distrust of government and media to say everyone is lying to you except for me. We have never had a president so devoted to spreading disinformation and trying to overturn an election,” said Kathryn Olmsted, a historian at the University of California at Davis. “The people who stormed the Capitol are absolutely convinced that the election was stolen. They’re not being opportunistic; they really believe this. And all of the social science shows that if someone really believes a conspiracy theory, it is just about impossible to change their minds.”

Among the most extreme in their views about the election outcome are believers of the QAnon conspiracy, who imagine Trump as a messianic savior battling the forces of a government “deep state” that worships Satan and traffics children. Their large numbers on Jan. 6, when rioters stormed the Capitol, was a stark example of how communities that form in fringe spaces on the Internet can tangibly affect the nation’s political discourse.

10:07 p.m.
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Football trailblazer Sarah Fuller set to participate in Biden inaugural celebration

Trailblazing Vanderbilt goalkeeper/kicker Sarah Fuller will participate in a televised celebration Wednesday of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The first woman to play in a Power Five football game, Fuller said Sunday that it was “an honor to be invited to participate in one of America’s greatest traditions.”

“This historic inauguration is especially meaningful for American women and girls,” Fuller wrote on social media. “The glass ceilings are breaking and it is the time to #LeadLikeAWoman.”

Fuller added the Twitter handles of Kamala D. Harris, the first woman elected as vice president; Biden and his inaugural committee. Harris said Sunday on social media that Wednesday’s events will “mark a new chance to heal, rebuild, and strengthen our democracy we all cherish.”

9:51 p.m.
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Testimony from rioters who felt spurred by Trump could inform prosecuting decisions

Some Trump allies have speculated that antifa was responsible for inciting violence and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. No evidence supports this claim. (The Washington Post)

A man from Kentucky told the FBI that he and his cousin began marching toward the U.S. Capitol building last week because “President Trump said to do so.” Chanting “Stop the steal,” the two men tramped through the building and snapped a photo of themselves with their middle fingers raised, according to court documents.

A video clip of another group of rioters mobbing the steps of the Capitol caught one man screaming at a police officer: “We were invited here! We were invited by the president of the United States!”

A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania who has been charged with throwing a fire extinguisher at police officers felt he was “instructed” to go to the Capitol by the president, a tipster told the FBI, according to court documents.

The accounts of people who said they were inspired by the president to take part in the melee inside the Capitol vividly show the impact of Trump’s months-long attack on the integrity of the 2020 election and his exhortations to supporters to “fight” the results.

9:15 p.m.
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In farewell message, first lady Melania Trump says ‘violence is never the answer’

As her time at the White House draws to an end, first lady Melania Trump on Monday released a farewell message in which she called on Americans to refrain from violence and urged them to follow the spirit of her “Be Best” initiative, which has focused on combating cyberbullying, promoting the well-being of children and fighting opioid abuse.

“Be passionate in everything you do, but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified,” the first lady said in the nearly seven-minute video.

Melania Trump encouraged Americans to “educate your children about the courageous and selfless heroes who worked and sacrificed to make this country the land of the free and to lead by example and care for others in your community.”

“The promise of this nation belongs to all of us,” she said. “Do not lose sight of your integrity and values. Use every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into our daily lives. In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of ‘Be Best’ — to focus on what unites us, to rise above what divides us, to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence and others before yourself.”

Despite her words encouraging other Americans to “Be Best,” the first lady still has not reached out to her successor, Jill Biden, to offer her congratulations or welcome her to the White House, according to CNN.

The outgoing first lady has historically invited the incoming first lady to the White House for tea before the inauguration, but Melania Trump appears to have broken that tradition. Her predecessor, Michelle Obama, had welcomed Melania Trump to the White House for tea and a tour of the building in November 2016, days after the election.

8:10 p.m.
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Harris says she and Biden have ‘ambitious goal’ of providing relief to struggling Americans amid pandemic

In an exchange with reporters after volunteering at Martha’s Table in Washington, Harris said she and Biden have an “ambitious goal” of providing relief to Americans who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going into Wednesday knowing that we’re ready to do the work," Harris said. "And we’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s not going to be easy. As we have discussed, Joe has outlined our plan for vaccinations, our plan for recovery, and in particular, relief for working people, for families. And there is a lot to do; some would say that ours is an ambitious goal. But we do believe with hard work and with the cooperation and collaboration of the members of the United States Congress, that we can get it done.”

Harris also spoke about the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., telling reporters that the civil rights giant was murdered “in large, I believe, because he was on the verge of bringing together the civil rights movement around racial justice with the fight for economic justice.”

“And when we look at where we are as a country today, when we look at recent events, we know that the fight Dr. King was engaged in is still a fight in America, which is to recognize the connection and recognize our collective responsibility to address some of the injustices,” Harris said.

Asked about her feelings about Wednesday’s inauguration, Harris replied that she is “very much looking forward” to being sworn in.

“And I will walk there, to that moment, proudly, with my head up and my shoulder back,” she said.