Editor’s note: This is a live account of election updates from Thursday, Jan. 7, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated.

Congress confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner early Thursday after Americans watched in horror and shock Wednesday as a pro-Trump crowd stormed the U.S. Capitol, protesting Biden’s Electoral College victory, interrupting congressional debate and marching through the building. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.

Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session Thursday morning, announced Biden’s winning tally, 306-232.

President Donald Trump, who had repeatedly refused to concede the election, said in a statement after the vote that there will be a smooth transition of power on Inauguration Day.

The riot followed a huge rally near the White House on Wednesday during which Trump egged his supporters on to march to Capitol Hill. After law-enforcement officials cleared the building, several Washington state lawmakers — including Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Derek Kilmer and Sen. Patty Murray — joined other legislators Wednesday night in the call to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from the presidency.

As Washingtonians watched the violence unfold, many expressed profound sadness at storming of Capitol, though some weren’t surprised.

Meanwhile, in Olympia, after a rally in front of the state Capitol, dozens of Trump supporters — some who were armed — made it past the gates to Gov. Jay Inslee’s residence, where they waved flags and chanted slogans as law enforcement stood guard on the front porch. A spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol said that no arrests were made and Inslee was in a “safe location.”

The Seattle Times will be updating this post with the latest news throughout the day. Click here to see live updates from Wednesday, Jan. 6.

US Capitol Police officer dies from injuries sustained while responding to riots

A U.S. Capitol Police officer who responded to Wednesday's riots in Washington, D.C. has died from injuries sustained during the violence, police confirmed Thursday evening.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, a day after "physically engaging" with the mob, Capitol Police said in a statement. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His death will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide team, the U.S. Capitol Police and federal partners, the statement said.

Sicknick joined the department in July 2008 and most recently served in its first-responder's unit.

"The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague," the statement said. "We ask that Officer Sicknick’s family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this time."

—Elise Takahama
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Justice Dept. is open to pursuing charges against Trump in Capitol attack

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Thursday that it would not rule out pursuing charges against President Donald Trump for his possible role in inciting the mob that marched to the Capitol, overwhelmed officers and stormed the building a day earlier.

“We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building,” Michael Sherwin, the U.S. attorney in Washington, told reporters.

Sherwin was asked whether such targets would include Trump, who exhorted supporters during a rally near the White House, telling them that they could never “take back our country with weakness.” Propelled by Trump’s baseless claims of election irregularities, the protesters had gathered to demonstrate against Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and moved on to the Capitol after the president’s rally.

Sherwin said he stood by his statement. “We’re looking at all actors,” he said. “If the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”

His comments were an extraordinary invocation of the rule of law against a president who has counted on the Justice Department to advance his personal agenda, and they came as former Trump officials and others condemned Trump’s actions.

—The New York Times

Seattle arts and culture community share their thoughts on violence at the Capitol and where we go from here

As a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, disrupting the official Congressional tally of presidential electoral votes, the nation gasped — with astonishment, fear, anger and helplessness. But not everyone was shocked. Former President Barak Obama said the outburst was “a moment of great dishonor and shame to our nation,” but that “we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.”

Here’s what a few folks in Seattle cultural community were thinking and saying as the chaotic day unfolded.

—Michael Rietmulder and Brendan Kiley

Conservative media decry Capitol riot, but grievances remain

NEW YORK — Media outlets that appeal to conservatives offered condemnations, explanations and deflections following the U.S. Capitol riot by President Donald Trump’s supporters, but little introspection.

Dealing with the shocking breach of the national landmark was a complex task for outlets aimed at Trump’s base, many of whom are suspicious of more mainstream news sources. Most were clear: the violence was indefensible.

“No one should defend it or even attempt to excuse it under the guise of ‘hey, this is what you get when people get really mad,’” wrote Mark Davis in a story headlined “A Day of Rage, A Day of Shame” on the Town Hall web site.

Still, Davis wrote that “the indefensible behavior of the rioters does not erase the righteous grievance of millions of Americans who have lost faith in an election system cast to the winds of political opportunism.”

Similarly, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson said that voting is democracy’s pressure relief valve but trouble ensues when people lose faith in the act.

There was little talk, though, about how none of the allegations of widespread voter fraud have been found true. To the contrary, Red State’s Mike Ford said it was “not even debatable” that November’s presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump.

—Associated Press
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Washington state business leaders condemn U.S. Capitol attack but stop short of calling for Trump’s ouster

Several Washington state business leaders and groups condemned Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump — though none appeared to call for his removal or resignation.

“Yesterday’s assault on our democracy, democratic principles, elected leaders and their staff, and the halls of government, was disgusting, shameful and will be a permanent stain on the history of our country,” said Jon Sholes, president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association, in a statement Thursday.

“The actions by domestic terrorists yesterday go against everything our country stands for,” added Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association.

Rachel Smith, the new Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO, said in a statement the “insurrection at the Capitol Building was a heartbreaking, horrifying, and dishonorable attack on our democracy and the most sacred of democratic actions — voting and fair elections.”

Still, no state business leaders or business organizations appear to have gone as far as Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, who accused Trump of sedition and recommended his ouster.

Read the full story here.

—Paul Roberts

‘Great damage’: Republicans recoil from Missouri Sen. Hawley

O’FALLON, Mo. — A Republican colleague rebuked him on the Senate floor. A home-state newspaper editorial board declared he has “blood on his hands.” But for Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator who staged an Electoral College challenge that became the focus of a violent siege of the Capitol, the words of his political mentor were the most personal.

“Supporting Josh Hawley … was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life,” former Missouri Sen. John Danforth told The Associated Press on Thursday. “He has consciously appealed to the worst. He has attempted to drive us apart and he has undermined public belief in our democracy. And that’s great damage.”

Aside from President Donald Trump, who roiled up supporters just before they stormed the Capitol, no politician has been more publicly blamed for Wednesday’s unprecedented assault on American democracy than Hawley. The 41-year-old first-term senator, a second-tier player through much of the Trump era, has rapidly emerged as a strident Trump ally, and may be among the most tarnished by the events of Jan. 6 for years to come.

“There will be political fallout for his actions,” said Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist and former adviser to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “The initial decision to oppose the will of the people was downright wrong. The post-insurrection calculation to continue the charade is fallacious and dangerous.”

—Associated Press

Chief of US Capitol Police to resign

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign effective Jan. 16 following the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.

He resigned Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down. His resignation was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.

—Associated Press
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigns after Capitol insurrection

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate.

—Associated Press

D.C. police identify four people who died during Capitol siege

Police in Washington, D.C., have identified all four people who died during the violent pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election win.

Ashli Babbitt, 35, of Huntington, Maryland, was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer as she tried to break through a door inside the Capitol, officials confirmed Thursday.

The other three people — Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Roseanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia — died of medical emergencies, Metropolitan Police Department Police Chief Robert Contee said during a news conference Thursday.

Contee said 68 rioters — 60 men and eight women — were arrested after the pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.

—New York Daily News

Trump finally faces reality — amid talk of early ouster

WASHINGTON — With 13 days left in his term, President Donald Trump finally bent to reality on Thursday amid growing talk of trying to force him out early, acknowledging he’ll peacefully leave after Congress affirmed his defeat.

Trump led off a video from the White House by condemning the violence carried out in his name a day earlier at the Capitol. Then, for the first time, he admitted that his presidency would soon end — though he declined to mention President-elect Joe Biden by name or explicitly state that he had lost.

“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

The president’s video Thursday — which was released upon his return to Twitter after his account was restored — was a complete reversal from the one he put out just 24 hours earlier in which he said to the violent mob, “We love you. You’re very special.” His refusal to condemn the violence sparked a firestorm of criticism and, in the new video, he at last denounced the demonstrators’ “lawlessness and mayhem.”

—Associated Press
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Capitol Police rejected offers of federal help to quell mob

WASHINGTON — Three days before supporters of President Donald Trump rioted at the Capitol, the Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times, according to senior defense officials and two people familiar with the matter.

Despite plenty of warnings of a possible insurrection and ample resources and time to prepare, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration.

Still stinging from the uproar over the violent response by law enforcement to protests last June near the White House, officials also were intent on avoiding any appearance that the federal government was deploying active duty or National Guard troops against Americans.

“This was a failure of imagination, a failure of leadership,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose department responded to several large protests last year following the death of George Floyd. “The Capitol Police must do better and I don’t see how we can get around that."

—Associated Press

Biden blames Trump for violence at Capitol that’s shaken US

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday denounced the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorists” and he blamed President Donald Trump for the violence that has shaken the nation’s capital and beyond.

The riot by Trump supporters who breached the security of Congress on Wednesday was “not dissent, was not disorder, was not protest. It was chaos.”

Those who massed on Capitol Hill intending to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was certifying Biden’s election victory over Trump “weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob — insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic,” Biden said.

In solemn tones, Biden said the actions Trump has taken to subvert the nation’s democratic institutions throughout his presidency led directly to the mayhem in Washington.

“In the past four years, we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” Biden said. “He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset. And yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.”

—Associated Press

Several state legislators joined, or just observed U.S. Capitol turmoil

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia lawmaker who filmed himself and supporters of President Donald Trump storming into the U.S. Capitol faces bipartisan calls for his resignation as federal prosecutors step up their pursuit of violent perpetrators.

State Del. Derrick Evans was among lawmakers from at least seven states who traveled to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations rooted in the baseless conspiracy theory that Democrat Joe Biden stole the presidential election. Wearing a helmet, Evans ultimately joined a screaming mob as it pushed its way into the Capitol building, and livestreamed himself joyfully strolling inside.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press
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GOP’s Loeffler concedes to Warnock in Georgia runoff

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler on Thursday conceded to Democrat Raphael Warnock in one of two Georgia Senate runoffs that will give control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats.

Loeffler, who was appointed to the position a year ago to replace outgoing Sen. Johnny Isakson, posted a video to social media Thursday evening saying that she had called Warnock to congratulate him.

With his victory in Tuesday’s election, Warnock becomes the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Trump speaks after Capitol riot

Black leaders cheer Georgia success, push for more progress

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock waves to supporters during a drive-in rally on Sunday in Savanna.  (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

What started as a day of celebration for Black organizers, voters and other Georgians who helped deliver two historic Senate runoff victories was overshadowed Wednesday when a mostly white mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

But Black leaders and organizers say the rioters’ insurrection won’t deter the momentum achieved after the hard-fought victories of Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Instead, it serves as a harsh reminder of the work that lies ahead for the nation to truly grapple with white supremacy and racism, which Trump’s presidency emboldened.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press
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Lawmakers openly discuss ousting Trump, possible impeachment

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers of both parties raised the prospect Thursday of ousting President Donald Trump from office, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if he wasn’t removed, the House may move forward with a second impeachment.

Though Trump has less than two weeks in office, lawmakers and even some in his administration began discussing the issue Wednesday afternoon as Trump first refused to forcefully condemn the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters, and then appeared to excuse it.

Senior Trump administration officials raised the long-shot possibility of invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Trump awards Medals of Freedom to three golfers on morning after riot at Capitol

Less than 24 hours after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building and stalled congressional efforts to certify electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfers Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias in a closed-door ceremony Thursday.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, considered the nation’s highest civilian honor, is awarded by the president “to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.

Player and Sorenstam were announced recipients in March 2019, but the ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

—The Washington Post

Race double standard clear in rioters’ Capitol insurrection

In this combination of photos, demonstrators, left, protest June 4, 2020, in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, over the death of George Floyd and on Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump rally at same location. (AP Photos)

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Lives Matter protests, 2020: Overwhelming force from law enforcement in dozens of cities. Chemical dispersants. Rubber bullets and hand-to-hand combat with largely peaceful crowds and some unruly vandals and looters. More than 14,000 arrests.

The U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021: Barely more than a few dozen arrests. Several weapons seized, improvised explosive devices found. Members of a wilding mob escorted from the premises, some not even in handcuffs.

The key difference? The first set of protesters were overwhelmingly Black Americans and their allies. The second group was overwhelmingly white Americans who support outgoing President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

The violent breaching of the halls of power on Capitol Hill by the insurrectionist mob on Wednesday, which left one woman dead of a police gunshot wound, represents one of the plainest displays of a racial double standard in both modern and recent history.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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Prosecutor: Sedition charge possible for pro-Trump rioters

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia said Thursday that “all options are on the table” for charging members of the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol — including sedition charges.

Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for D.C., said prosecutors plan to file 15 federal cases on Thursday for crimes including unauthorized access and theft of property, and investigators are combing through reams of evidence to bring additional charges.

More than 90 people have been arrested by police in Washington and more arrests are likely. U.S. attorneys from across the country have vowed to find and bring to justice any residents who participated in the insurrection aimed at thwarting the peaceful transfer of power.

Experts say some could face the rarely used seditious conspiracy charge. It’s the the same charge former Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department told prosecutors to consider levying against those who caused violence at protests last summer over the killings of black Americans by police.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Trump is said to have discussed pardoning himself

President Donald Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history.

In several conversations since Election Day, Trump has told advisers that he is considering giving himself a pardon and, in other instances, asked whether he should and what the effect would be on him legally and politically, according to the two people. It was not clear whether he has broached the topic since he incited his supporters on Wednesday to storm the Capitol in a mob attack.

No president has pardoned himself, so the legitimacy of prospective self-clemency has never been tested in the justice system and legal scholars are divided about whether the courts would recognize it. But they agree a presidential self-pardon could create a dangerous new precedent for presidents to unilaterally declare they are above the law and to insulate themselves from being held accountable for any crimes they committed in office.

Read the story here.

—The New York Times

Siege of US Capitol by pro-Trump mob forces hard questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day later, the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters forced painful new questions across government — about his fitness to remain in office for two more weeks, the ability of the police to secure the complex and the future of the Republican Party in a post-Trump era.

In the immediate aftermath, the attack on the world’s iconic dome of democracy, shocking imagery flashed around the globe, reinforced lawmakers’ resolve to stay up all night to finish counting the Electoral College vote confirming Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election.

But the rampage that left four dead and a country on edge is forcing a broader reckoning of all that has happened over Trump’s tenure in office and what comes next for a tattered and torn nation.

One Republican lawmaker publicly called for invoking the 25th Amendment, joining Democrats in an effort to force Trump from office before Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. Others said there must be a review of the U.S. Capitol Police’s failure to stop the the breach by the protesters.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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Amazon-owned streaming channel Twitch blocks new Trump videos

In the aftermath of Wednesday's assault on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, the Amazon-owned video-streaming site Twitch has disabled President Donald Trump's account until Joe Biden assumes the presidency Jan. 20, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

“In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel," Twitch spokesperson Kristin Sosanie wrote in an email. "Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the president's incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence."

Other social-media platforms took similar steps to de-platform the president, temporarily stripping him of the digital soapbox he has used to spread false allegations of voter fraud of the kind that incited Wednesday's violence.

After Trump posted a video Wednesday evening in which he told Capitol rioters that "we love you. You're very special," Facebook deleted the video and banned Trump's account "indefinitely." Twitter deleted some of the president's tweets and suspended him for 12 hours. YouTube also removed the video from its site.

Twitch occupies a relatively small share of the social-media market compared to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter: About 15 million people log on to Twitch each month, compared to Facebook's 2.7 billion. Amazon acquired San Francisco-based Twitch in 2014 for $970 million.

An earlier version of this post misspelled Twitch spokesperson Kristin Sosanie's first name. The post has been updated.

Read the story here.

—Katherine K. Long

Biden picks Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo as commerce secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has picked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, helping set trade policy and looking to promote U.S. opportunities for growth domestically and overseas.

Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, is in her second term as governor and previously served as state treasurer. Her name had been floated for Biden’s health secretary, though she said last month she would be staying in Rhode Island and continuing to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

Her nomination, which was confirmed by a person familiar with the decision, will need to be approved by the Senate. The person was not authorized to preempt Biden’s announcement and spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Biden picks Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as labor secretary

BOSTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden will select Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his labor secretary, according to a source familiar with the decision, choosing a former union worker who shares his Irish American background and working-class roots.

Walsh, 53, has served as the Democratic mayor of Boston since 2014. When he took the oath of office for his second term as Boston’s chief executive in 2018, Biden presided over the inauguration. His selection was confirmed by a person familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Before that, Walsh served as a state representative for more than a decade.

Walsh, a former union worker, has a long history with labor. He served as president of Laborers Local 223 and, before becoming mayor, headed up the Boston Building Trades — a union umbrella organization.

At Walsh’s second mayoral inauguration, Biden praised him for his character and efforts to create a thriving middle class, calling him a “man of extraordinary character in a moment when we need more character and incredible courage.”

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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DOT Secretary Elaine Chao to resign

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will resign from her post, making her the first Trump administration Cabinet member to leave after the president incited a mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and has served in the Cabinet all four years of the Trump presidency.

Click here to read more.

—The Washington Post

Inslee calls for Trump to step down

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee joined a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office.

Citing Trump’s incitement of the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Inslee said Thursday the president cannot be allowed to remain in office for 13 more days. He said Trump should be removed “by any legal means necessary” — whether through resignation, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

Inslee slammed Trump’s “deceptions, deceit and continued” lies about the 2020 election, saying they led directly to the assault on Congress as representatives sought to complete the tally of the Electoral College votes confirming the election of Joe Biden. Four people died in connection to the rioting and more than 50 people were arrested.

“It was not a protest. It was an insurrection,” Inslee said, speaking to reporters Thursday via a Zoom video call at the annual Associated Press legislative preview. “We need to go to the heart of that insurrection and remove that cancer.”

Read the story here.

—Jim Brunner

Aides consider resignations, removal options as Trump rages against perceived betrayals

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was ensconced in the White House residence Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, raging about perceived betrayals, as an array of top aides weighed resigning and some senior administration officials began conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment — an extraordinary measure that would remove the president before Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20.

A deep, simmering unease 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 if Trump remains in office — even for a few days, he could take actions that could cause further violence and death — 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.

A former senior administration official briefed on the talks confirmed that preliminary discussions of the 25th Amendment were underway, although this person cautioned that they were informal and that there was no indication of an immediate plan of action. Both of these people, like some others interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

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.”

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post
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Michigan State Capitol closed Thursday due to unspecified threat

The Michigan State Capitol is closed Thursday due to an unspecified threat, a Michigan State Police spokesman confirmed.

The closure comes one day after supporters of President Donald Trump rioted during a Wednesday rally near the U.S. Capitol protesting the presidential election results, forced their way inside the U.S. Capitol, and did considerable damage while delaying the counting of the electoral votes. One rioter was shot by police and died.

Lt. Darren Green would not give details of the Lansing threat but said a news release will be issued.

Reporters and protesters as state electors vote at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. The Electoral College vote started on Monday morning in states across the country, in a move that will officially designate Joe Biden as the president-elect and pass a crucial milestone that President Trump has sought to upend with legal challenges and political pressure to overturn the results of a popular election.The Capitol was closed due to an unspecified threat Thursday. (Brittany Greeson/The New York Times)

Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, said lawmakers were informed of the closure early Thursday morning, but were given no details.

Lawmakers, who are not in session, were told the closure is temporary, while the threat is investigated, and they will be notified by the Michigan State Police when the building reopens.

Read the story here.

—Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

Schumer calls for Trump to be removed from office; Trump pledges an ‘orderly transition’

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday called for President Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office, either by his Cabinet or through impeachment, describing the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday as “an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.”

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer said in a statement. “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

Schumer said the “quickest and most effective way” to remove Trump would be under the 25th Amendment.

Under that process, 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.”

“If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” Schumer said.

The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last year related to political overtures to Ukraine, but he was acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked against Trump, becoming the highest-profile Republican to press for the president to be relieved of his official duties.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

‘Be there. Will be wild!’: Trump all but circled the date

For weeks, President Donald Trump and his supporters had been proclaiming Jan. 6, 2021, as a day of reckoning. A day to gather in Washington to “save America” and “stop the steal” of the election he had decisively lost, but which he still maintained — often through a toxic brew of conspiracy theories — that he had won by a landslide.

And when that day came, the president rallied thousands of his supporters with an incendiary speech. Then a large mob of those supporters, many waving Trump flags and wearing Trump regalia, violently stormed the Capitol to take over the halls of government and send elected officials into hiding, fearing for their safety.

But if the chaos in the Capitol shocked the country, one of the most disturbing aspects of this most disturbing day was that it could be seen coming. The president had all but circled it on the nation’s calendar.

“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 19, just one of several of his tweets promoting the day. “Be there, will be wild!”

People gather at a rally in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, to protest the presidential election results. President Donald Trump addressed the rally. (Pete Marovich/The New York Times)

And his supporters took the president at his word.

“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism,” a member of the Red-State Secession group on Facebook posted on Tuesday, the eve of the appointed day, Jan. 6.

Read the story here.

—The New York Times
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‘Sit down!’ ‘No, you sit down!’ Democrat’s speech nearly triggers fistfight on House floor

An impassioned speech from Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., nearly caused an early-morning fistfight to break out between two other House lawmakers during the debate over Pennsylvania’s electoral vote.

Lamb said that the GOP objectors to Biden’s win didn’t need to “strip this Congress of its dignity” any more after pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol on Wednesday.

In this image from video, Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via The Associated Press)

“We know that that attack today, it didn’t materialize out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies — the same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight,” Lamb said. “The members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them.”

Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., took exception to Lamb’s words. Moments later, Griffith raised a point of order and attempted to have the congressman’s words struck from the record.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused, citing Griffith’s request as “not timely.”

“The truth hurts,” Lamb said to his detractors. “It hurts them. It hurts this country. It hurts all of us.”

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

After years of work, Abrams takes victory lap in Georgia

Stacey Abrams spent years crisscrossing Georgia, working to convince Democratic leaders, donors and prospective candidates that a vast, untapped well of potential voters could upend Republican domination in the state. There was no national media spotlight or constant praise from national political players to ease the slog.

That’s over now.

People in the crowd hold up an image of Stacey Abrams as President-elect Joe Biden speaks in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, to campaign for Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

After disappointments including her own narrow defeat for governor in 2018, Abrams is being credited with laying the organizational groundwork that helped Democrats capture the state’s two Senate seats. Those victories this week propelled the party into the Senate majority and follow Joe Biden’s win in November, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has taken the state since 1992.

The turnabout leaves Abrams as perhaps the nation’s most popular, influential Democrat not in elected office. It gives the 47-year-old voting rights advocate considerable momentum for whatever comes next — most likely a rematch with Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022.

“I think what’s next for Stacey is whatever Stacey wants to be next,” said Leah Daughtry, a former chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee. “She’s clearly demonstrated her political prowess, her ability to plan — Georgia didn’t happen overnight.”

Read the story here.

—Bill Barrow, The Associated Press

Facebook blocks Trump "indefinitely" or at least until end of term

Facebook and Instagram will bar President Donald Trump from posting on its systems at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

In a post Thursday morning, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great following his incitement of a mob that later touched off a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

In an early Thursday morning post on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said, "Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government. We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

Twitter on Wednesday also temporarily locked President Donald Trump’s accounts after he repeatedly posted false accusations about the integrity of the election.

A message left with the White House on Thursday morning was not immediately returned.

Read the developing story here.

—The Associated Press
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Twitter prepares to restore Trump’s account after blocking him for fomenting riot

Twitter is set to restore access to President Donald Trump’s account on Thursday, 12 hours after the tech giant blocked him for blasting out a series of falsehoods as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The penalty marked the most severe punishment Twitter has meted out to Trump, who has used his vast online reach to spread a stream of falsehoods over the past four years — prompting criticism that the company and its Silicon Valley peers should have done more, and sooner, to stop him from stoking real-world tensions.

Facebook, in the meantime, has said it will extend the block on Trump posts at least until the end of his term.

"We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete," Mark Zuckerberg said in a Thursday morning post.

Twitter punished Trump over a series of tweets Wednesday that sought to cast doubt over the 2020 presidential race. One included a video in which Trump spread disinformation about the election’s outcome, even as he told rioters to leave the House and Senate at a time when lawmakers had started the process of certifying Joseph Biden as the next president. Another tweet attributed the violent mob’s actions to the widely disproved claim that votes had been “stripped away from great patriots.”

Twitter required Trump to delete the tweets to obtain access to his account, but it made clear it plans to escalate its enforcement efforts and suspend the president permanently if he continues to break its rules.

Facebook and its photo-sharing service, Instagram, also suspended Trump this week from posting over 24 hours starting Wednesday evening, and the tech giant joined Twitter and Google-owned YouTube in taking down the president’s earlier video.

Read the story here.

—Tony Romm, The Washington Post

Late-night hosts express anger after ‘horrifying’ scenes of pro-Trump mob at Capitol

Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol on  Wednesday. Late-night TV hosts kicked off their shows as they recounted their horror at seeing a mob of Trump’s supporters storming the U.S. Capitol — and saved special vitriol for Republicans who have encouraged Trump and his supporters or stayed silent. (John Minchillo / The Associated Press)

How do you start a late-night comedy show after a day like Wednesday? The late-night hosts all had a similar tone in their monologues: anger.

“I really want to do the show we’re about to do, and I also don’t want to do the show we’re about to do — because Lord have mercy,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of “The Late Show,” which aired live. “There are some dark subjects that we talk about on the show occasionally, but I’ve rarely been as upset as I am tonight. And I’m sure you are, too.”

Colbert, along with Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and James Corden, kicked off their shows as they recounted their horror at seeing a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters storming the U.S. Capitol — and saved special vitriol for Republicans who have encouraged Trump and his supporters or stayed silent.

Read the story here.

—Emily Yahr, The Washington Post

Newspaper front pages across the Northwest and country from historic day pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol

The production of a newspaper requires quickly pulling the work of experts in all corners of the newsroom into a digestible package of information, a task difficult enough in normal times to be referred to as the “daily miracle” by many in the industry.

The “daily miracle” label was fitting after Wednesday’s events — a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, while the pandemic continued to rage with 2,191 new coronavirus cases and 64 deaths in Washington state alone — made for a day that may have been as intense as any in recent memory for many Americans, and certainly for those who work at a newspaper.

As you look at these Thursday front pages from newspapers around the U.S., think of the people affected by the events at the Capitol, but also think of the journalists who risked their lives on the ground there and put in long hours delivering accurate, trustworthy and timely information to readers’ doorsteps and screens.

Here’s a look at some of America’s newspaper front pages from Thursday.

—Alex Iniguez

Mick Mulvaney, ex-WH chief of staff, resigns diplomatic post

President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, resigned his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night, saying he “can’t stay” after watching the president encourage the mob that overtook the Capitol complex earlier in the day.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Mulvaney, who was pushed out as chief of staff in March, said he called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the night before to tell him.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in 2019 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Mulvaney resigned his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night, saying he “can’t stay” after watching the president encourage the mob that overtook the Capitol complex earlier in the day. (Doug Mills / The New York Times, file)

“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday,” said Mulvaney, tying his resignation to the violence at the Capitol. “You can’t look at that yesterday and think ‘I want to be part of that’ in any way, shape or form.”

Matt Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser to Trump, also resigned Wednesday night in response to the president’s encouragement of the violent protests, a person familiar with the events said Thursday. Pottinger will now be full-time in Utah, where his family moved earlier this year. Bloomberg News earlier reported his departure.

Mulvaney said he anticipated there would be more resignations, and he also praised the small group of people who quit Wednesday.

Read the story here.

—Maggie Haberman, The New York Times

Man who posed at Pelosi desk said on Facebook he was prepared for violent death

Last Saturday, Richard Barnett of Gravette, Ark., criticized Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Facebook post for using the description “white nationalist” as a “derogatory term.”

“I am white. There is no denying that. I am a nationalist. I put my nation first. So that makes me a white nationalist,” Barnett wrote on page he maintained under a pseudonym, before adding that people who were not nationalists should “get the f— out of our nation.”

Just four days later, Barnett was photographed sitting with his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office at the U.S. Capitol — an image that quickly became emblematic of the chaotic storming of the complex by a pro-Trump mob.

Barnett, who is 60 and goes by the nickname “Bigo,” identified himself as the intruder in Pelosi’s office to New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg.

Barnett is a President Donald Trump supporter and gun rights advocate who has repeatedly shared false claims via social media that the election was stolen, according to a review of two Facebook accounts tied to Barnett.

In a Dec. 28 Facebook post on the Patton page, Barnett announced he would be attending Wednesday’s rally and urged fellow Arkansans to make sacrifices to join him there. “This is OUR COUNTRY!!!,” he wrote. “Can you give one day from the Internet or work or whatever to be active.” He added, “Get the f— up people. Please STAND!!! If not now, when?”

In a separate post the same day, Barnett wrote that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood,” adding, “I’m not afraid to go out the same way.”

Read the story here.

—Jon Swaine, The Washington Post

Biden introduces Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden introduced Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general on Thursday, turning to an experienced judge to help de-politicize the Justice Department and restore the rule of law after what he described as four years of lawlessness under President Donald Trump.

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Merrick Garland walks into Federal District Court in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Garland as Attorney General. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) WX123 WX123

If confirmed by the Senate, which is likely, Garland would take over as the nation’s top law enforcement official at a critical moment for the country and the agency. He would inherit immediate challenges related to civil rights, an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter and calls from many Democrats to pursue criminal inquiries into Trump after he leaves office.

Beyond the specific issues, he will be tasked with repairing the American people’s broad distrust in the Justice Department, among other institutions of democracy undermined by Trump’s turbulent presidency.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stand after to reading the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November’s presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Wednesday, disrupting the process. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

• Hours after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, shaken Republican leaders decisively bucked the president, leading to the confirmation of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris early this morning. After a day that Biden called a "dark moment" in the nation’s history, President Donald Trump finally today promised an orderly transition.

Could Trump be ousted immediately? Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal is among Democrats talking about using the 25th Amendment to do this, but it's certainly not simple.

• Democrats will control the U.S. Senate after winning both seats in Georgia's runoff elections. This dramatically boosts the prospects for Biden's agenda.

• "I was closing my eyes and praying." Washington’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal described sheltering in place as the mob broke in.

• One reporter who was inside the Capitol is describing being in a roomful of people "panicked that I might inadvertently give away their location."

• The woman fatally shot at the Capitol has been identified as a 35-year-old Air Force veteran. She was one of four fatalities at the Capitol on Wednesday. Three others died of unspecified medical emergencies during the chaos, the Washington Post reports.

• Washington state had its own standoff yesterday when Trump supporters opened a gate and streamed onto the lawn of the governor's mansion.

"The biggest form of blasphemy": Washingtonians are profoundly saddened at the storming of Capitol, though some are not surprised.

• Fact check: Trump's speech that incited yesterday's mob deserves a very hard look.

• How could this even happen? The disastrous security failure is raising big questions, as activists say the treatment of the pro-Trump mob contrasts with strong-arm police tactics against Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

• Setting the day in perspective: The Capitol has been scarred by violence over its 220 years, but not like this.

The front page of The Seattle Times on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

• You get a closer look at today's historic Seattle Times front page here.

—Kris Higginson