Mondaire Jones (D-NY) was just sworn into Congress and assigned a seat on the House Judiciary Committee. Last night, in one of his first messages as a congressman, he told his constituents in Rockland and Westchester counties that "The President of the United States, abetted by his Republican co-conspirators in Congress, incited an armed insurrection against our nation’s legislative branch. Consequences must be swift. I have signed onto articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power and high crimes and misdemeanors. I have joined my colleague, Congresswoman Cori Bush, in calling for the expulsion of the members of Congress who have flagrantly violated the 14th Amendment. And I have joined a letter calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. I urge my colleagues to join me. The fate of our republic is on the line."
Last night, California Congressman Mark Takano told his Riverside County constituents that "The insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol today as Congress was carrying out its Constitutional duty was enabled and provoked by President Trump. The president incited an attack on our democracy and our democratic process, and for that, he must be impeached immediately and be barred from holding federal elected office ever again. Watching the coverage of insurgents in Trump campaign memorabilia and waving Confederate flags storming the Capitol building was chilling. These individuals must be arrested and held accountable for engaging in violence, breaking into the Capitol, and disrupting a fundamental aspect of our peaceful transfer of power, the certification of the Electoral College votes. Today should serve as a reminder that our democracy does not run on auto-pilot, we must fight to uphold it, and the words and actions of elected officials matter. I urge my Republican colleagues who are supporting Trump’s anti-democratic charade, peddling conspiracies, and opposing the certification of certain Electoral College votes to cease their efforts to undermine our democracy and our democratic process. History, America, and the rest of the world have their eyes on you."
This morning, Chicagoland freshman Marie Newman told me that she wants "to be clear after yesterday’s events. While I will protect anybody’s right to free speech and assemble, this group was filled with seditionists, white supremecists and and domestic terrorists who breached the Capitol. I will support any bill or investigation that brings those folks (including people who invited this hate and violence) to justice as well as addressing this president’s crimes of sedition. This hate will not be tolerated. I am supporting both Congresswoman Bush and Omar’s bills with pride."
By this morning, 61 members of Congress had joined Bush and Jones in calling for a second impeachment and 71 had voiced formal support for a 25th Amendment solution. None are Republicans. Republicans were still in various states of shock, denial and dead-end Trumpism were watching many of their fellow rats scurrying to desert a sinking ship. Last night when Florida Trumpist Matt Gaetz got up in Congress and to make the false Q-Anon claim that many of the insurrectionists were AntiFa members disguised as Trumpists, he was booed by his colleagues.
From what I can discern, Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and David Cicilline (D-RI) are leading the effort on making America safe by making Trump the first president to have been impeached twice. They plan to introduce their resolution during the Pro Forma session on Monday.
Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, Shane Harris and Ashley Parker wrote that Trump retainers are weighing resignations and removal options as Trump rages against betrayals. "A deep, simmering unease," they reported, "coursed through the administration over the president’s refusal to accept his election loss and his role in inciting a mob to storm the Capitol, disrupting the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. One administration official described Trump’s behavior Wednesday as that of 'a total monster,' while another said the situation was 'insane' and 'beyond the pale.' Fearful that Trump could take actions resulting in further violence and death if he remains in office even for a few days, senior administration officials were discussing Wednesday night whether the Cabinet might invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to force him out, said a person involved in the conversations... Under the 25th Amendment, the president can be removed from office by the vice president plus a majority of the Cabinet, or by the vice president and a body established by Congress, if they determine he 'is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.'"
Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: "We need to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land-- at the office seeker’s character, at their morals, at their ethical record, their integrity, their honesty, their flaws, what they have said about women, and minorities, why they are seeking office in the first place, and only then consider the policies they espouse." Perhaps Kelly should have looked infinitely harder at who he chose to work for and enable.
Meanwhile, a trio of senior White House aides-- national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien, deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell-- were contemplating resigning, according to three senior administration officials.
Their possible departures, which were first reported by CNN, could trigger a cascade of other resignations from inside the already hollowed-out West Wing.
...Two of first lady Melania Trump’s top aides abruptly resigned Wednesday night in what one close adviser to the president interpreted as a sign of their disapproval of Wednesday’s events. Stephanie Grisham, a longtime Trump family loyalist who served as White House press secretary and most recently as the first lady’s chief of staff; and Anna Cristina Niceta, the White House social secretary, separately announced their resignations, also first reported by CNN.
In addition, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews announced her resignation, saying she was honored to serve the Trump administration but “deeply disturbed” by the storming of the Capitol.
“People were looking for a reason to stay, and now he’s given them an excuse to go,” a close Trump adviser said of the president.
Aides mortified by their boss’s conduct said they were weighing whether to resign or to stay in office to help ensure the transition to the Biden administration. One official said Trump would have to issue a statement committing to a transfer of power and to prosecuting the rioters to keep some of his top aides on the job for his final 13 days in office. Officials were urging him late Wednesday to release a statement committing to a peaceful transition... Considerable internal anger was directed toward chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to four aides, both because of what many view as his incompetence in managing the White House and his willingness to prop Trump up while indulging his false election fraud claims.
People who interacted with Trump on Wednesday said they found him in a fragile and volatile state. He spent the afternoon and evening cocooned at the White House and listening only to a small coterie of loyal aides-- including Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, personnel director Johnny McEntee and policy adviser Stephen Miller. Many of his top confidants-- Meadows, son-in-law Jared Kushner and first lady Melania Trump, among others-- were publicly silent.
“He’s got a bunker mentality now, he really does,” the close adviser said.
As rioters broke through police barricades and occupied the Capitol, paralyzing the business of Congress, aides said Trump resisted entreaties from some of his advisers to condemn the marauders and refused to be reasoned with.
“He kept saying: ‘The vast majority of them are peaceful. What about the riots this summer? What about the other side? No one cared when they were rioting. My people are peaceful. My people aren’t thugs,’ ” an administration official said. “He didn’t want to condemn his people.”
...This official described Trump as so mad at Pence “he couldn’t see straight.” Several White House aides were upset that the president chose to attack Pence when the vice president, secured at an undisclosed location at the Capitol, was in harm’s way.
A former senior administration official briefed on the president’s private conversations said: “The thing he was most upset about and couldn’t get over all day was the Pence betrayal… All day, it was a theme of, ‘I made this guy, I saved him from a political death, and here he stabbed me in the back.’ ”
Trump’s fury extended to Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short. The president told aides he wanted to bar Short-- who was with the vice president all day at the Capitol-- from the White House grounds, according to an official with knowledge of the president’s remarks.
Short has told others he would not care if he was barred.
Another former senior administration official speculated that the day’s events made Pence more popular than Trump. “One man acted like a toddler and the other acted like the second-highest-ranking constitutional official in the nation,” the official said.
Trump went into a rage when Twitter locked down his account and then flipped out when Miller told him that former Joint Chiefs Chair Mike Mullen was on PBS blaming Trump for inciting the failed insurrection and is "not in position to lead the next 14 days... We need to act in a preventive way to prevent more from happening... doing anything he can to hold onto power-– to the point of what I consider grossly illegal actions today."
The only Cabinet member named by the press to be openly contemplating resigning is Mitch McConnell beard and business partner Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, the job Mayo Pete is taking over. She is presumably one of the Cabinet secretaries meeting to discuss the 25th Amendment solution.
A source close to Trump told the NY Times that the White House dead-enders expect more resignations today and Axios' Jonathan Swan and Margaret Talev reported that "With 13 days left in President Trump's term, confidants and Republican officials are considering drastic steps to stop him," including censure, which is the opposite of drastic, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment. "Republicans," they wrote "are furious with the president for what they see as fomenting an attack on American democracy, disgracing their party and invading the sanctity of their chambers on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. There's concern about whether the country can withstand another two weeks with Trump at the helm, and what additional chaos and division could be sowed. There's also rage inside the GOP at Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and others whose plans to object to Biden's certification gave oxygen to Trump, the protests and the notion that Congress could be used to overturn the will of voters."
And Politico summed up the day: "Republicans started the day losing the Senate. They ended it with Trump’s supporters losing their minds... It literally took a riot of Trump supporters in the Capitol for many Republicans to finally confront the defeated president-- a moment of bedlam that put those GOP lawmakers’ own lives at risk. After his supporters stormed into the Capitol, vandalized the building and fought with police officers, several typically strong allies turned on Trump. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), one of the most steadfast supporters of the president, said bluntly that 'it’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence.' Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he didn’t want to hear anything more from Trump: 'It was a tragic day and he was part of it. I've been here a long time,' added Blunt, a former House majority leader. 'This might be the day I have the most concern about what America projected to the rest of the world today.' And House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has carefully crafted her criticism of Trump over the past year, did not mince words: 'There is no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame,' Cheney said on Fox News, speaking from a secure location after being evacuated. Wednesday’s violent episode was the culmination of two months of Trump stoking the flames by making false allegations of widespread voter fraud and refusing to concede the election."
Ultimately, just six Republicans supported the challenge to Arizona’s certification. The number was projected to be twice as high before the riot. But nevertheless, Hawley plotted to still contest Pennsylvania's results.
In perhaps the most stunning sign of how quickly the Republican Party’s stance had changed, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) withdrew her objections to certification just hours after losing her seat to Democrat Raphael Warnock. She earned a smattering of applause after she said she could not “in good conscience” object to the electors. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and James Lankford (R-OK) also reversed course and said they’d do the same.
...Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close Trump ally who even inquired about election procedures in Georgia on Trump’s behalf, has had it. In a fiery floor speech, the South Carolina senator concluded: “All I can say is count me out, enough is enough.”
“I, above all others in this body need to say this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on Jan. 20,” he said.
At the end there was a stinking pile of treasonous garbage still plotting against American democracy-- 6 senators who should be recalled and replaced:
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Josh Hawley (R-MO)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
John Kennedy (R-LA)
Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
Oh... and 121 House Republicans, led by Confederate traitor Mo Brooks (AL), Louie Gohmert (TX) and Gym Jordan (OH) and including House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (Bakersfield), House minority whip Steve Scalise (LA), Devin Nunes (CA), Matt Gaetz (FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Anon-GA), Lauren Boebert (Q-Anon-CO), Madison Cawthorn (Nazi-NC), Scott Fitzgerald (WI), Tom Tiffany (WI), Ken Calvert (CA), Jody Hice (GA), Barry Loudermilk (GA), Roger Williams (TX), newly reelected crooked dipshit Darrell Issa (CA), doctor and serial patient-rapist Scott DesJarlais (TN), Lee Zeldin (NY), Kat Cammack (FL), and self-proclaimed "moderate" who the DCCC adamantly refuses to challenge, bucket of slime Mario Diaz-Balart (FL).