Democrats call for Trump to be removed; others say he isn’t to blame
Democratic lawmakers called for the President to be removed from office Thursday, asking Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.
“If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress must reconvene to impeach President Trump,” tweeted Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.
Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, published a letter to the House Judiciary Committee calling on Pence remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment.
“For the sake of our democracy, we empathically urge you to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing President Trump from power,” the letter read. “President Trump has shown time and again that he is unwilling to protect our Democracy and carry out the duties of the office.”
Under the 25th amendment, a president’s power can be transferred, temporarily or permanently, if they are unable to do the job, according to AP. If the vice president and the majority Cabinet declare the president unfit the vice president then serves as acting president.
However, others, including Kettering City Councilman Rob Scott, who also was part of Trump’s campaign efforts, said the President’s tweets and message isn’t responsible for his follower’s actions.
“I think he’s certainly expressing frustration with our states and our courts, and how there are a lot of irregularities that have gone unanswered in election,” Scott said. “There are a lot of people who won’t stand up for what they’re viewing as fraud in the system.”
Scott added that he condoned the protesters’ actions, saying they were “out of hand.”
U.S. attorney vows to prosecute Ohioans who participated in crimes at Capitol
Anyone from southern Ohio who participated in criminal activity at the Capitol will be prosecuted, said U.S. Attorney David DeVillers of the Southern District of Ohio.
“Make no mistake … Federal crimes were committed today at our nation’s Capital building,” he said. “Anyone who traveled from the Southern District of Ohio with the intent to commit such crimes will be prosecuted in the Southern District of Ohio.”
The FBI posted on Twitter Thursday that the bureau is working to identify those involved.
“We are accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in and around the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” the FBI tweeted.
Tips can be left for the FBI here.
4 dead, dozens arrested following chaos at the Capitol
Four people are dead following the protests, including a woman who was shot and killed inside the Capitol, according to the Associated Press. The other three died after suffering medical emergencies.
The woman has been identified as Ashli Babbitt by U.S. Capitol Police.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said that 14 officers were injured during Wednesday’s takeover, AP reported. Fifty-two people were arrested.
Both police and Trump supporters reportedly deployed chemical irritants during the protests.
Lawmakers are seeking an investigation into how law enforcement responded the incident, expressing concerns over how the mob was able to get inside the Capitol.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said Capitol police leadership made “strategic missteps” in not closing off the building.
“It’s pretty clear there’s going to be a number of people without employment very soon,” Ryan said.
Capitol police chief defends department
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund defended the department on Thursday, saying officers “acted valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions,” according to AP.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “...The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.”
Sund said that law enforcement officers were “actively attacked” with “metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants” and other weapons.
Both police and protesters deployed chemical irritants, according to AP. Law enforcement also recovered pipe bombs outside the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, the outlet reported.
Capitol police with review the incident, as well as security planning and policies and procedures, Sund said.
Congress confirms Joe Biden’s victory
Once chaos died down at the Capitol and the lockdown was lifted, lawmakers reconvened to confirm Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, with discussions going on until Thursday morning.
Vice President Mike Pence read the final tally, 306-232, according to AP.
Multiple Republican lawmakers who previously said they would object to some states’ results announced that they would no longer do so following protests.
In the end, objections were raised for two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, with both the Senate and House ultimately rejecting both objections, according to AP.
Ohio senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown both voted to reject the objections to Arizona’s votes. Ohio representatives Bill Johnson and Warren Davidson supported failed challenges to votes in Pennsylvania.
Trump promises ‘orderly’ transfer of power
The President said there will be an “orderly transfer of power” through a statement released by his social media director on Twitter.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” the statement read. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”