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The US House is poised to hold an impeachment vote against Donald Trump on Wednesday for the deadly Capitol attack after Mike Pence ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment.
The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Mr Trump with a Cabinet vote, although Mr Pence had already said he would not do so.
The resolution, passed 223-205 almost entirely along party lines, urged him to "declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office."
Hours before the vote, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr Pence said it would not be in the best interest of the nation and it was "time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden."
Meanwhile, five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, announced they would vote to impeach Mr Trump on Wednesday, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.
Mr Trump called the second impeachment proceedings a "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics".
Follow the latest updates below.
What happened overnight
Donald Trump has dismissed suggestions he was personally responsible for the mob which stormed the US Capitol last Wednesday, arguing that his incendiary speech to supporters just hours earlier had been “totally appropriate”.
Donald Trump’s support from Republicans on Capitol Hill was draining away on Tuesday night as a flurry of the party's congressmen announced they would vote for impeachment.
Vice-President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that he opposed invoking the 25th Amendment, thwarting attempts by Democrats to oust Donald Trump.
The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Mr Trump with a Cabinet vote.
Mr Pence's rejection of the resolution paves the way for an impeachment vote against Mr Trump on Wednesday.
McConnell sets up a seismic split in the party
The tipping point came just before 6pm on Tuesday night, writes Nick Allen.
Almost simultaneously, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, and congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, made clear they have abandoned Donald Trump.
It was the moment the political sands shifted under the president's feet. Other, previously loyal, Republicans will follow. And the way is now clear, not just for Republicans in the House to join Democrats in impeaching Mr Trump, but potentially for the Senate to convict him.
Mr Trump would be the first US president to meet such an ignominious fate. Hours earlier it had still seemed a very remote possibility.
Mr McConnell is a quietly spoken individual, but when he strikes he is lethal. Nothing he does is without calculation.
YouTube suspends Trump channel
YouTube has locked Donald Trump's account for a week, preventing the president from posting on one of the few social media networks he was still able to use during his last days in office, writes Margi Murphy.
It has also indefinitely disabled comments under his videos over safety concerns, the company said in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Google-owned video streaming website had been under pressure to ban Mr Trump after Facebook said it would be suspending his account "indefinitely" and Twitter "permanently" after he violated both companies' policies against inciting violence for encouraging the mob who stormed the Capitol building last week.
Celebrities including Sacha Baron Cohen and Amy Schumer have been boosting the campaign #BanTrumpSaveDemocracy aimed at getting YouTube to dismantle Trump's account.
Armed National Guard troops deployed
National Guard troops deployed on the streets of Washington have begun to carry weapons in a major change of posture ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as US president.
The Guard soldiers were originally mobilised to provide mostly logistical support to Washington police, and on Monday General Daniel Hokanson, Pentagon National Guard Bureau chief, said they had not been authorised yet to carry weapons.
Authorising Guard members to deploy in a law enforcement role, armed and empowered to make arrests, would be a "last resort" if the security situation got out of hand, Hokanson said.
It was not clear what changed late on Tuesday, and the city's National Guard had no comment.
Security experts have said chatter among extremists and supporters of President Donald Trump on social media about holding armed marches and threatening violence in the US capital and other cities had surged in recent days.
US House urges Pence to invoke 25th Amendment
The US House of Representatives have voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to start the US Constitution's 25th Amendment process of removing President Donald Trump from office, although the vice president already has said he will not do so.
To invoke the 25th Amendment, Pence and a majority of Trump's Cabinet would need to declare that Trump is unable to perform his duties. Pence rejected that course of action earlier in the day.
The House is expected to vote on Wednesday on impeaching Trump on charges that he incited an insurrection against the US government.
Upton becomes fourth Republican to back the impeachment
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton has become the fourth Republican to back the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The House is set to vote as early as Wednesday on impeaching Trump for a second time after he egged on a violent mob of supporters who marched to the Capitol and invaded it a week ago. Upton says he would have preferred that the House censure Trump, "but it is time to say: enough is enough."
Upton cited Trump's comments Tuesday in which he "expressed no regrets" for the insurrection.
"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."
Upton joins Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois in supporting impeachment.
Republicans object to metal detectors outside House
Republicans are objecting to new metal detectors outside the House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week's deadly attack on the Capitol.
Steve Scalise, the No 2 House Republican, said on Tuesday that the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.
Rodney Davis of Illinois was angry about the metal detectors and said valuable resources were being diverted in order to install the devices.
Several lawmakers simply walked around the devices. Louie Gohmert said: "You can't stop me. I'm on my way to a vote."
Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn't clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse. She refused to allow a search of her bag but eventually was let into the House chamber.
Pence: 25th would be 'terrible precedent'
Donald Trump has sought unsuccessfully to overturn his election defeat with spurious accusations of voter fraud and had pressured Mr Pence to intervene in the certification process last week, while some of Mr Trump's supporters in the assault discussed assassinating Mr Pence for being a traitor.
The Vice-President referenced the strains in his letter to Ms Pelosi.
"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," he wrote.
Invoking the 25th Amendment as a means of "punishment or usurpation" would "set a terrible precedent," Mr Pence said.
Breaking: Pence opposes using 25th Amendment to oust Trump
Vice President Mike Pence has said in a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday that he is opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution," Mr Pence said.
In a combative statement, Mr Pence labelled the 25th Amendment resolution “political games” and called on Joe Biden and the Democrats to “lower the temperature” in the next administration.
Mike Pence tells Pelosi he will NOT invoke the 25th. pic.twitter.com/TTzBtpWs8l
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
Kinzinger becomes third Republican to back impeachment
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger has become the third Republican member of Congress to call for President Donald Trump's impeachment.
Kinzinger said in a statement that Trump is responsible for whipping up "an angry mob" that stormed the Capitol last week, leaving five dead. He says "there is no doubt in my mind" that Trump "broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection."
The House is set to start impeachment proceedings against Trump on Wednesday.
Tim Cook: 'Rule of law must be respected'
Apple chief Tim Cook says he wants those involved with the deadly attack on the US Capitol last week to be held accountable, even if that includes President Trump.
"Everyone that had a part in it needs to be held accountable," Mr Cook said in a CBS This Morning interview on Tuesday. "I think no one is above the law. We're a rule of law country."
Cook did not specifically mention Mr Trump, but said that anyone with a role in the insurrection should be held accountable under the law.
"I don't think we should let it go," Mr Cook said. "This is something we've got to be serious about. I think holding people accountable is important."
Tech giants Amazon, Apple and Google have all cut ties with Parler, the social media platform popular with some conservatives including Mr Trump's supporters.
Republicans in rebellion
As more Republicans break ranks to signal they will vote for Democrats' bill, even Trump's own party seem to be believing there is a need to impeach him.
Before the riot, taking punitive action against Trump "would have turned him into a martyr", David Millward says. But that was then.
After the events of the past week, that now seems a price worth paying. The landscape has changed. Trump has disgraced his office, plunging the country into its biggest political crisis since the Civil War. For that he should pay a price, whether it is the ignominy of being impeached by Congress, declared unfit for office by his own cabinet or even being brought before the courts to answer for his actions.
Liz Cheney will vote against president
Liz Cheney, the third most senior Republican in the House, announced she too will vote to impeach, Ben Riley-Smith writes.
"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Ms Cheney said.
"Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President... I will vote to impeach the President."
First Republican to back impeachment
John Katko has become the first Republican congressman to publicly commit to voting for Donald Trump's impeachment.
Mr Katko, the representative for New York, said he would back the Democrat bill.
“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Mr Katko said.
No House Republicans voted for Mr Trump's first impeachment in December 2019.
Last week, Mr Katko was critical of Republicans who joined the president in peddling untrue claims of election fraud during the certification ceremony in Congress that was disrupted by violence.
Congress will reconvene tonight to certify the Electoral College results. The attacks today demonstrate that now, more than ever, we must unify as a nation. I urge my Republican colleagues to drop their planned opposition to certifying the results.
— Rep. John Katko (@RepJohnKatko) January 7, 2021
McConnell 'wants Trump to be impeached'
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has told associates he believes President Trump has committed impeachable offences, The New York Times has reported.
According to the newspaper, which cites sources close to Mr McConnell, he said he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach the president.
Support from Mr McConnell could greatly enhance the likelihood of Mr Trump's impeachment passing the Senate,. The upper house of Congress, which is controlled by the Republicans, is where the first attempt to impeach Mr Trump failed in 2020.
Well this is interesting. From NY Times. If this really is McConnell’s position does that mean finding 17 (from 50) R senator votes to convict Trump just got a lot easier? https://t.co/ENAJSWtcdp pic.twitter.com/5UeJKIKI06
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 12, 2021
Joint Chiefs of Staff issue rare memo condemning Capitol riot
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon body comprising the US military’s top generals, wrote to the entire military on Tuesday condemning the Capitol riot and confirming Joe Biden will become the next president.
In the memo, the top Pentagon officials characterised the riot as “a direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol building and our Constitutional process”. They said the military remained fully committed to protecting the Constitution “against all enemies foreign and domestic”.
“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation,” the Joint Chiefs said.
“We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”
It is very unusual for the Joint Chiefs to issue such a message – which is effectively reminding the military of its duty to uphold democracy and the Constitution – and reflects the seriousness of the situation in the US.
Rioters could have 20 year prison terms
The FBI said it had opened 160 case files and received 100,000 pieces of digital media as tips, and was "scouring every one."
Michael Sherwin, the acting US Attorney, said there had been charges in 70 cases, and he expected hundreds of people to be charged eventually.
He said: "The Capitol is essentially a crime scene." Mr Sherwin said he expected to prosecute cases of sedition with prison terms of up to 20 years.
FBI: Rioters may have planned to take hostages
Meanwhile in Washington, the FBI is holding a press conference in which they said they could not rule out the possibility that insurrectionists planned to take members of Congress hostage.
Steven D'Antuono, assistant director of the FBI's Washington office, said: "We are looking at all angles, interviewing witnesses and subjects as they get arrested to ascertain the true purpose of some of the individuals in the Capitol that day."
Trump praises border wall
Mr Trump went on to lavish praise on his administration's immigration policies and accomplishments as he spoke in front of a a section of the Mexico border wall in Texas, a symbol of the hard-line immigration policy he has pursued during his four years in office.
"It's steel, it's concrete inside the steel... it's as strong as you can have," he said of the newly constructed piece of border wall. "We can't let the next administration even think about taking it down." he added.
Trump: 'It's time for peace and calm'
In an apparent attempt to distance himself from the attacks on police by the pro-Trump mob on Wednesday, Mr Trump claimed support for law enforcement was “the foundation of the MAGA agenda”. MAGA is a reference to his 2016 election campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.
Mr Trump condemned the “mob” which he said “stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government” without respect for “America’s history and traditions”.
“Now is the time for our nation to heal and it is time for peace and for calm,” Mr Trump said.
Trump: 25th Amendment is 'zero risk'
Donald Trump has arrived in Alamo, Texas, for his first public event since the unrest in the Capitol last Wednesday.
Mr Trump began his remarks by addressing the violent unrest and the subsequent calls for him to be removed from office.
“Free speech is under assault like never before,” Mr Trump said. It comes days after the US president was permanently suspended from Twitter.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Mr Trump went on.
It was a reference to an attempt by Democrats in Congress to force Mike Pence, the Vice President, to use the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution which allows for the removal of a sitting president if they cannot fulfill their duties.
“As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,” Mr Trump warned.
"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 USA, especially at this very tender time," he also said.
Trump arrives in Texas
Capitol rioters should be added to no-fly list, says top Democrat
Supporters of President Donald Trump who breached the Capitol should be banned from flying, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday, calling those in the mob insurrectionists who are a threat to national security.
Schumer said U.S. officials should place people who were inside the Capitol building on the federal "no fly" list.
"We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage," Schumer said at a news briefing.
He discussed the matter with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday and sent lawmakers running for safety, interrupting Congress' work of formally certifying the Electoral College vote in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. Trump has falsely claimed the Nov. 3 election was rigged since losing it by a substantial margin.
There was a danger of many of the same people who stormed the Capitol returning to Washington in the days before the inauguration, Schumer told reporters.
The FBI was not immediately available for comment.
Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor and big Trump backer, has died
American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who built lavish gambling palaces that made him one of the world's richest men and became a potent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has died at age 87.
Mr Adelson died on Monday night from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to Las Vegas Sands Corp, which he turned into the world's largest casino company.
He was a prominent supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. With a net worth of $33.4 billion as of this week, he ranked as the world's 38th richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Mr Adelson and his Israeli-born physician wife Miriam donated more money than anybody else in the 2020 U.S. elections, giving $218 million to Republican candidates and conservative causes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.
The Adelsons were prolific backers of Trump's 2016 presidential bid and remained supportive during his tumultuous presidency. The casino magnate was in regular contact with Trump after he took office and saw some of his cherished goals come to fruition, including the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in a break with decades of American policy. Mr Adelson attended the embassy dedication ceremony in May 2018.
"He crafted the course of nations," his widow, Miriam, said in a statement.
"He was a wonderful friend to us personally and an incredible champion of the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the alliance between Israel and America," Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
Mike Pompeo alleges Iran new 'home base' of al-Qaeda
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged Tuesday that arch-enemy Iran has become a new "home base" for al-Qaeda worse than Afghanistan, an assertion questioned by experts.
In a speech a week before leaving office, Mr Pompeo confirmed a New York Times report that al-Qaeda's second-in-command was killed last year in Tehran, although he did not say that Israel carried it out.
"Al-Qaeda has a new home base. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran," Mr Pompeo said in a speech at the National Press Club. "I would say Iran is indeed the new Afghanistan - as the key geographic hub for al-Qaeda - but it's actually worse."
"Unlike in Afghanistan, when al-Qaeda was hiding in the mountains, al-Qaeda today is operating under the hard shell of the Iranian regime's protection."
"Tehran has allowed al-Qaeda to fund-raise, to freely communicate with other al-Qaeda members around the world and perform many other functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Mr Pompeo urged more international pressure, calling the alleged alliance a "massive force for evil all over the world."
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the allegations, tweeting: "No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came" from Pompeo's "favourite" Middle East "destinations" he added. "NONE from Iran."
The majority of the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York came from US-ally Saudi Arabia.
Watch: Donald Trump calls move to impeach 'absolutely ridiculous'
Mexico border wall has made a 'tremendous difference' says Trump
President Trump has spoken of the reason for his trip down to Texas this afternoon, saying he is going to inspect his "tremendously successful" border wall.
"As you know we've completed the wall. They may want to expand it. We have the expansion underway. It's been tremendously successful, far beyond what anyone thought," he told reporters as he boarded Marine One.
"We're stopping in large numbers the drugs coming into the country for many, many years and decades. We're stopping a lot of illegal immigration. Our numbers have been very good," he added.
The border wall was a key campaign promise in 2016 and a central pillar in Trump's anti-immigration strategy.
"There does seem to be a surge now because people are coming up. Some caravans are starting to form because they think there's going to be a lot in it for them if they're able to get through, but we're able to stop it. The wall has made a tremendous difference," the President concluded.
Trump takes aim at 'big tech'
President Trump has told reporters that 'big tech' is making a "terrible mistake" during his first comments to the press since the storming of the US Capitol building last week.
He said that big technological companies are "doing a horrible thing to the United States" and that he has "never seen such anger as he sees now" after the decision to ban him from major platforms.
"They are making a catastrophic mistake... They're dividing and divisive and they're showing something that I've been predicting for a long time," he said.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all banned the 45th President from their platforms for varying lengths of time.
Facebook and Instagram have suspended his accounts until after the inauguration of Joe Biden, while Twitter have permanently banned him from their platform, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence."
Trump: 'I want no violence'
The soon to be former President said there was tremendous anger about moves to impeach him but added he did not want violence.
"I want no violence," Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to the border wall in Alamo, Texas.
In his first remarks to reporters since Dec. 8, the embattled Republican president did not answer a question about whether he would resign.
He criticised impeachment moves by Democratic lawmakers.
"This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and they're doing it, and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing," Trump said. He added that the move to impeach him, on a charge of inciting insurrection over the Capitol attack, was a continuation of the "witch hunt" against him.
Trump would become the first U.S. president to be impeached twice if the House of Representatives votes in favor of impeachment on Wednesday.
My speech was totally appropriate, says Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday disavowed any responsibility for his supporters' violent siege on the U.S. Capitol last week, saying his remarks at the time were appropriate.
"If you read my speech ... what I said was totally appropriate," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews when asked about any personal responsibility he had regarding the Jan. 6 attack when his supporters stormed the Capitol with members of Congress and his own Vice President Mike Pence inside.