Editor’s note: This is a live account of election updates from Monday, Jan. 11, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated.
The last full week of Donald Trump’s presidency begins with House Democrats demanding that Vice President Mike Pence begin the process of using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.
If Pence declines, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday, Democrats will move to impeach Trump for a second time, after a mob, incited and lauded by the president, violently stormed the Capitol last week, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
In Olympia, the state Legislature begins its 2021 session on Monday, which is also the only day legislators are scheduled to be at the Capitol in person. The Legislature is operating largely remotely for the first time, because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Right-wing protesters were at the Capitol on Monday to oppose those restrictions, among other things. Gov. Jay Inslee, citing last week’s insurrection in D.C. and local threats, has authorized up to 750 members of the National Guard to deploy to the Capitol for added security.
The Seattle Times will update this page throughout the day with the latest news from D.C., Olympia and across the U.S.
Early warning signs emerge for GOP after US Capitol riots
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In the 36 hours after last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, 112 Republicans reached out to the election office in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to change their party registration. Ethan Demme was one of them.
“Ever since they started denying the election result, I kind of knew it was heading this way,” said Demme, who is the county’s former Republican Party chairman and has opposed President Donald Trump and is now an independent. “If they kept going, I knew there’s no way I can keep going. But if you’ve been a Republican all your life, it’s hard to jump out of a big boat and into a little boat.”
Officials are seeing similar scenes unfold elsewhere.
In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, 192 people have changed their party registration since the Jan. 6 riot. Only 13 switched to the GOP — the other 179 changed to Democrat, independent or a third party, according to Bethany Salzarulo, the director of the bureau of elections.
The party switching pales in comparison to the more than 74 million people who voted for President Donald Trump in November. And it’s unclear whether they’re united in their motivations. Some may be rejecting politics altogether while others may be leaving a Republican Party they fear will be less loyal to Trump.
But they offer an early sign of the volatility ahead for the GOP as the party braces for political fallout of the riots that Trump incited.
Law enforcement: We’ll be ready for Joe Biden’s inauguration
WASHINGTON — This time, they’ll be ready.
The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will be held on the same risers in the same spot at the U.S. Capitol where a violent, pro-Trump mob descended last week. But the two events aren’t even comparable from a security standpoint, said Michael Plati, U.S. Secret Service special agent in charge, who is leading the inauguration security.
The inauguration is designated as a “national special security event,” which clears the way for communication, funding and preparation between multiple agencies in Washington, like the Capitol Police, Pentagon, Homeland Security and District-area police. Other such events are the State of the Union, the Super Bowl and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Biden himself hasn’t expressed concern about his own security at the inauguration.
“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he told reporters Monday. “It is critically important that there’ll be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal tests positive for COVID-19 after being locked down with lawmakers who wouldn’t wear masks
Rep. Pramila Jayapal tested positive for coronavirus Monday night, her office said, after she was in lockdown during Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol with “Republican lawmakers who cruelly and selfishly refused to wear masks.”
Jayapal’s office said she was locked in a secure room, as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, for “multiple hours” and several Republican colleagues “not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.”
Jayapal, a Democrat from Seattle, began quarantining immediately after the attack, her office said, fearing that she may have been exposed.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal said Monday night. “Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.”
Jayapal, in a prepared statement, did not say if she was feeling ill or experiencing symptoms. She is the second Democratic member of Congress to test positive since the siege on the Capitol. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., announced a positive test earlier Monday.
Microsoft, Amazon, Washington Realtors among local business players rethinking donations to GOP
Five prominent players in Washington state business are halting or reviewing some or all of their campaign contributions after last week’s U.S. Capitol riot and the refusal by some Republicans to certify the presidential election results.
Redmond-based Microsoft said on Monday it had suspended contributions by its political action committee, whose recent recipients have included several of the eight U.S. senators and 139 U.S. representatives who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College.
Seattle-based Amazon, another donor to some Republican “objectors,” said it had “suspended contributions to any Member of Congress who voted to override the results of the US Presidential election.”
Washington Realtors, a trade group, also said Monday it would temporarily suspend all political contributions, including those to its national organization, which has donated to five of the eight Republican senators who objected.
Two other Washington state firms that have donated to Republican objectors — Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA and Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser, said they were evaluating their PAC policies but declined to say if they would continue to support objectors.
Lehigh University trustees rescind Trump’s honorary degree
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Lehigh University’s board on Friday stripped President Donald Trump of an honorary degree it granted to him more than three decades ago.
The executive committee of the private university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, moved to rescind the honor a day after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, shortly after Trump made a speech nearby.
The Lehigh Board of Trustees affirmed that decision on Friday and issued a brief public statement that did not explain its reasoning for the decision. The board of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, on Friday also rescinded an honorary degree it had awarded to Trump in 2004.
Lehigh faculty three years ago voted overwhelmingly to ask the board to take back the degree, but the trustees declined to do so at that time.
Trump was awarded the honor in 1988, when he was Lehigh’s graduation speaker.
No public access to US Capitol grounds allowed on Inauguration Day, police say
Police say there will be no public access to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden after a violent riot at the Capitol last week.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman says in a statement Monday that officials have “comprehensive, coordinated plans” in place to ensure the safety and security of both Congress and Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
She says the grounds of the Capitol will be closed to the public. The inauguration is a ticketed event.
The announcement comes after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week as legislators were meeting to vote to certify Biden’s electoral win.
Biden’s team and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser have been asking people not to attend the inauguration in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
State lawmaker who opened Capitol doors stripped of duties
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek on Monday stripped a Republican state representative of his responsibilities and called for his resignation after he let rioters into the state Capitol during a special legislative session in December.
Security video shows Rep. Mike Nearman, of Independence, opening the door on Dec. 21 into the Oregon Capitol building, which was closed to the public because of the pandemic, during a session in which demonstrators, some armed, attacked authorities with bear spray, broke glass doors and called for the arrest of Gov. Kate Brown.
“Representative Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger,” Kotek said in a news release. “As we tragically saw last week during the insurrection at the United States Capitol, the consequences could have been much worse had law enforcement not stepped in so quickly. I believe he should resign immediately.”
Kotek stripped Nearman of his committee assignments, rescinded his commission appointments, and will bill him $2,000 for damage done after he let people inside, according to the news release.
Nearman has agreed to forfeit a badge granting access to the Capitol, give 24-hours notice before arriving there, and not allow “non-authorized personnel” access to the building.
Today was 'a success,' though increased security presence will remain overnight, Washington State Patrol says
Belichick won’t get Presidential Medal of Freedom after all
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick announced Monday night that he will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying “remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
In a delicately worded, one-paragraph statement, the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach did not say explicitly that he had turned down the offer from President Donald Trump, whom he has called a friend. Instead, Belichick explained, “the decision has been made not to move forward with the award” in the wake of last week’s deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol.
Trump announced on Saturday, three days after the riots, that he would be awarding Belichick the nation’s highest civilian honor — part of a late flurry of presentations that also included golfers Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias.
“I was flattered … out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients,” the coach said in a statement, which was forwarded to The Associated Press by the Patriots.
“Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.”
Amazon begins removing QAnon goods for sale after booting pro-Trump Parler from its cloud service
SEATTLE – Amazon will remove merchandise related to QAnon, a discredited conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a potential domestic terrorist threat, a day after the e-commerce giant suspended social media site Parler from using its cloud-computing technology.
The e-commerce giant is removing QAnon products from the site, a process that could take a few days, spokeswoman Cecilia Fan said Monday after inquiries from The Washington Post and other media outlets. Third-party merchants that attempt to evade Amazon’s systems to list QAnon goods may find their selling privileges revoked, Fan added.
The policy change was a turnabout for Amazon after last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol. On Monday morning, shoppers could have their pick of T-shirts bearing the “We Are Q” slogan, baseball hats with the QAnon motto “Where we go one we go all” and even onesies for babies with President Donald Trump’s face inside the letter Q.
Those products, all offered by third-party merchants that sell on Amazon’s marketplace, remained available days after QAnon believers were prominent among the rioters at the Capitol. Some wore the same sort of apparel available on Amazon.
Amazon’s sale of products that support or even glorify QAnon was “alarming but not altogether surprising,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremism nationwide.
Trump issues emergency declaration for DC amid growing concern of violence before and on Inauguration Day
President Donald Trump is issuing an emergency declaration for the nation’s capital amid growing concern among local and federal authorities about violence in the leadup to and during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as needed.
The declaration from Trump comes five days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify his defeat to Biden. Five people died.
Earlier Monday, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged people to stay away from inaugural events because of “last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump’s emergency declaration is in effect from Monday through Jan. 24.
Parler sues Amazon over removal from servers after riot
Parler, the conservative social media platform whose traffic has surged amid a crackdown on inflammatory content by its rivals, sued Amazon.com for ending web-hosting service for the site in the wake of rioting at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The self-described “microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter” was offline early Monday morning after Amazon’s cloud services division stopped providing the service. Apple and Alphabet’s Google had withdrawn Parler from their app stores over the weekend.
Amazon’s action “is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support,” Parler said in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Seattle, seeking an order forcing Amazon Web Services to maintain its account. AWS “will kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” according to the suit.
Amazon said there was no merit to the claims.
Trump and Pence have first meeting since last week's Capitol insurrection
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have spoken for the first time since last week’s Capitol insurrection, during which Pence was forced to flee the Senate chamber and retreat to a secure location.
A senior administration official says the two met Monday evening in the Oval Office.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting, said the two had a “good conversation,” discussing the week ahead and “reflecting” on the administration’s accomplishments over the last four years.
The official said that during the meeting, both men agreed that “those who broke the law and stormed the Capitol last week do not represent the America first movement backed by 75 million Americans” and pledged to continue working on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term.
The person did not mention Trump’s lingering anger over Pence’s refusal to go along with his unconstitutional scheme to try to overturn the results of the November election that he lost. Nor did the person mention whether Pence confronted Trump for using him as a scapegoat and tweeting that he lacked courage while the siege was underway.
Everett man arrested in Olympia was part of standoff at governor's mansion last week, State Patrol reports
One of the people arrested in Olympia on Monday morning was also a part of the group that breached the gates outside the governor's mansion last week, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
The person, a 30-year-old man from Everett, was arrested around 11 a.m. after allegedly crossing into the restricted area around the Capitol building, said WSP spokesperson Sgt. Darren Wright. He was detained without incident and is being investigated for criminal trespassing.
"He was one of the people who passed through the gate and breached the grounds [at the governor's mansion]," Wright said. " … It was his intent to watch the Legislature today and that if they went into session without him being able to watch, he was going to cross [into the restricted area] and go in there. … And he did cross that line and he was arrested as a result."
The Capitol building and perimeter in Olympia remained secure as of 4 p.m., with no injuries reported, said WSP communications director Chris Loftis.
"The building will soon be quiet again," Loftis said. He added that law-enforcement agencies have some intelligence that a group of protesters may be gathering off-campus, so will stay on alert throughout the evening.
The other person arrested Monday allegedly used an RV to block a checkpoint in the street and refused to move, WSP said.
In the weeks after the November election but before today’s events, Loftis added, the Capitol campus has seen a total of 28 unpermitted events. Twelve of those involved conflicts between right-wing and left-wing groups, five were right-only demonstrations (with a total of around 1,850 protesters), five were left-only demonstrations (around 300 people) and six were apolitical (including faith services and veterans’ memorials).
Loftis repeatedly referred to today’s deployment of the Washington State Patrol and the National Guard as a “unique mobilization” and said it was marked by two words: tragedy and resolve.
“It’s a tragedy we’ve had to do this, a tragedy those fences have to be there,” Loftis said. “But we have resolve — it had to be done, and we did it. If it has to be done again, we will do it again.”
Germany’s Merkel: Trump’s Twitter eviction ‘problematic’
BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel considers U.S. President Donald Trump’s eviction from Twitter by the company “problematic,” her spokesman said Monday.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the microblogging platform on Friday, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the outgoing president.
Asked about Twitter’s decision, Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the operators of social media platforms “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence.”
He said it’s right not to “stand back” when such content is posted, for example by flagging it.
But Seibert also said that the freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of “elementary significance.”
“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” he told reporters in Berlin. “Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked.”
FAA warns of jail time, fines as airports and airlines prep for unruly passengers ahead of the inauguration
As airlines and airports gird for more disruption when supporters of President Donald Trump return to Washington for protests ahead of the inauguration, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning to air travelers: Causing a safety risk could mean a jail term or a $35,000 fine.
“As a former airline captain, I can attest from firsthand experience that the cabin crew’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of all passengers,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement. “I expect all passengers to follow crew member instructions, which are in place for their safety and the safety of flight.”
The warning followed several viral videos, including those showing Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., being heckled at airports last week, and others showing rowdy supporters of Trump aboard airliners. A major flight attendants union said every airline flying out of the Washington region had experienced incidents in recent days.
The chairman of the House Transportation Committee and the head of its aviation subcommittee wrote Monday to Dickson asking him to take additional steps. The lawmakers called on him to convene airline, airport and labor leaders to develop a way to identify anyone involved in last week’s violence who might try to travel to Washington for the inauguration.
Airbnb banning rioters, hate groups ahead of inauguration
Airbnb said Monday that it’s reviewing reservations in the Washington, D.C., area ahead of next week’s presidential inauguration and will bar any guests associated with hate groups or violent activity.
The move comes as some city officials ask Airbnb, VRBO and other rental hosts to take down their listings until the Jan. 20 inauguration is over.
“There’s no way to guarantee that your guests are not coming to incite violence,” Janeese Lewis George, a Washington city council member, said in a post on Twitter. “Please protect your neighbors and the District from more attacks.”
Airbnb has had a policy of removing guests who are confirmed to be members of hate groups since 2017, when it blocked guests who were headed to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Airbnb said it will warn all guests in the Washington region that it may bring legal action against them if they are members of hate groups or if they plan violent activities. It’s also telling hosts to call a hotline if they suspect guests are violating Airbnb’s policy.
Idaho internet provider to block Facebook, Twitter over their Trump bans
PRIEST RIVER, Idaho — An internet provider based in northern Idaho says it will block Facebook and Twitter from its WIFI service for some customers due to claims of censorship.
KREM-TV reports that the decision by Your T1 WIFI came after Twitter and Facebook banned President Trump from their platforms due to incitement of violence and undermining the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
Your T1 WIFI, based in Priest River, Idaho, provides internet service in parts of northern Idaho and Spokane, Washington.
The company said Monday it decided to block Facebook and Twitter for customers who request that, starting next Wednesday, after the company received several calls from customers about both websites.
The internet company posted a note to customers saying it does not believe a website or social networking site has the authority to censor what you see and post and hide information from you. It also said it would block Facebook and Twitter on its internet service only for customers who asked.
Inslee calls for 'relief, recovery and resilience' in new legislative session
Gov. Jay Inslee plans to take more concrete steps to address the inequity exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic in the past year, according to a statement released on the first day of the 2021 legislative session.
"Today convenes one of the most unique and challenging legislative sessions I can remember for our state," Inslee said in the statement. "As the pandemic era has forced us all to adapt our processes, the Legislature is no exception. At the same time, decisions await legislators that will impact our state for generations going forward."
He said his priorities this session are finalizing relief "for the here-and-now," establishing a coronavirus recovery plan and maintaining resilience throughout the state. His agenda, he said, includes a call for "immediate action" on $200 million more in aid for small businesses, landlords and tenants.
"When we do come through this emergency, we are not going back to normal; we are going to create a better normal, together," he said. "This goes beyond COVID-19. We can’t just address economic disparities without acknowledging racial disparities."
He also noted the state's responsibility to provide more assistance to workers who have lost their jobs or people who have lost housing during the pandemic.
"We think of one another as equal because it is one of this nation’s principles, but we can’t be equal until we live as equals," he said. "My legislative agenda takes aim at these inequities in all of these areas, whether it's reforming independent investigations, environmental justice, improving our health systems, expanding job training and early childhood education."
Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended for their alleged role in last week's riot
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio says two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended as a result of their actions during last week’s attack on the Capitol.
Ryan told reporters on Monday that one of the officers took a selfie with someone and the second officer put on a “Make America Great Again” hat. He says of the latter that the “interim chief determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension.”
Thousands of pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee and hide. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.
The congressman says Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated the incursion “at a big level or small level in any way.”
Ryan says they don’t want an officer working on President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration “who was not doing the job on the Jan. 6th event.”
Capitol Police did not immediately reply to a request for more details.
Ryan serves as chair of a House subcommittee that oversees funding for Capitol Police.
Congresswoman tests positive after sheltering with maskless lawmakers in Capitol siege
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking shelter in a room with other lawmakers, some of whom refused to wear masks, during last week’s violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time,” she said in a statement. “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”
Watson Coleman, D-N.J., said she believes she contracted the virus while in protected isolation during the riot. Many lawmakers were sheltered in a large committee room together as the mob stormed the Capitol.
On Sunday, Brian Monahan, the attending physician to Congress and the Supreme Court, told lawmakers that the people in that room may have been exposed to someone with the virus. He encouraged members who had been in the room to get tested.
“The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others,” Monahan said. “During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”
Acting Homeland Security secretary Wolf to step down, nine days ahead of Biden inauguration
WASHINGTON — Acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down, citing recent court challenges to his authority. His move comes nine days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration amid widespread fears about security in the aftermath of a pro-Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol last week.
Wolf announced his resignation Monday, effective at midnight, a decision he said was prompted by several court rulings challenging the validity of his appointment to lead DHS.
Wolf did not specifically cite the storming of U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, attributing his choice to “recent events.” Wolf was overseas for meetings in the Middle East last week, and DHS has been criticized for failing to prepare for the assault on the Capitol.
“I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the Department until the end of this Administration,” Wolf said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary."
Unclear whether SPD officers were part of Capitol attack, but interim chief says investigation is necessary
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz denounced last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol but said Monday he didn’t yet know if two Seattle police officers, who posted social media photos of themselves in D.C. on the same day, had participated in the unlawful riot.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the Office of Police Accountability (OPA).
“When I referred it to OPA, it was not apparent exactly where the photo was taken, or if those in the photo took any part in attacking the Capitol,” said Diaz, who credited an SPD employee with notifying command staff of the photo’s existence.
While participating off duty in political rallies is not against SPD policies, Diaz said the OPA investigation will determine if the officers violated federal law. If it turns out they did, Diaz said the officers will be fired.
Discovery of pipe bombs in D.C. obscured by riot at Capitol
WASHINGTON (AP) — As thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, federal agents were working at the same time to detonate two pipe bombs found just blocks away at the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees.
The focus on the insurrection shifted public attention away from the explosives threat — which experts say remains a primary concern for law enforcement ahead of next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Investigators are increasingly worried about the potential for attacks on soft targets in the nation’s capital.
The threat is substantial in Washington, where many government buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, are usually open to the public and thousands of tourists wander through massive museums and some of the most iconic monuments in the country at all hours of the day and night and can even get close to the White House.
Quiet day in Olympia so far, Washington State Patrol and National Guard say
No news is good news for the Washington State Patrol and state National Guard in Olympia today.
“These are our favorite kind of press briefings,” said Karina Shagren, communications director for the Washington National Guard. “Because we have nothing to report to you.”
The National Guard had no incidents to report and so far the Washington State Patrol has only made two arrests: one earlier this morning, when the driver of a truck towing an RV blocked a checkpoint and refused to move, and one later in the morning, when a demonstrator purposefully crossed into the restricted area around the Capitol building as the Senate convened at 11 a.m.
“He knew he was going to be arrested,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Darren Wright said about the demonstrator, who was detained without incident. “We are here to make sure the legislature can accomplish its business.”
Pompeo trumpets Trump, razzes critics in speech
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to U.S. government-funded airwaves on Monday to deliver a full-throated defense of the Trump administration’s presentation of its foreign policy and its support for democracy abroad.
Less than a week after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to subvert the results of an election that saw President-elect Joe Biden win, Pompeo told staff at the Voice of America that America retains the credibility and standing to defend democratic values abroad. And, he said, they should amplify it.
In an address broadcast live across VOA’s English and foreign language services, Pompeo also stood by the parent agency’s embattled director, Michael Pack, who has been accused by lawmakers and others of trying to turn the U.S.-funded international broadcasters into Trump propaganda outlets.
“It’s not fake news for you to broadcast that this is the greatest nation the world has ever known,” Pompeo said, without directly mentioning Wednesday’s deadly attack on the seat of the U.S. Congress.
Texas man who says he was trampled at U.S. Capitol joins Olympia protest
OLYMPIA — During the storming of the U.S. capitol last Wednesday, Philip Anderson said he feared he might die amid a panic that ensued as police used tear gas and rubber bullets outside one the building’s doors.
"Everyone turned around to run, and I got pushed down. And when I got pushed down, people fell on me. … It was a pile-on … and I accepted that I was going to die."
Anderson was in Olympia on Monday, joining a small group of protesters outside the state Capitol here opposed to COVID-19 restrictions that have put this building off-limits to the public. He lifted up his blue "Trump for President" sweatshirt to display a fresh scar he said was from the trampling.
Anderson said he briefly lost consciousness while at the bottom of the pile, and when he came to had been carried by others to safety.
He remains concerned about fate of a woman who also was trampled. “She was holding my hand, then she let go and stopped talking,” Anderson said.
Anderson, of Texas, is missing two front teeth. He says he lost them in an October 2020 event, a “free speech rally” he helped to organize in San Francisco that was canceled minutes after it started as violence flared, according to a news report by KGO ABC 7.
Anderson said one of the reasons he flew to Washington this week was to see a dentist here who offered to help him get implants to replace the teeth.
State House approves remote session, along party lines
In the state House of Representatives, members sat in both the House Chamber and the gallery and voted in shifts to ensure they remained socially distant.
Rules authorizing a remote session passed 55-39, along party lines, after limited debate.
"These rules will allow us to operate in a remote way, but also to get the work of the people done," said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington.
Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, talked about his experience contracting the virus. He was in the hospital for eight days, four of them in the intensive care unit. But, he said, he's hearing from people in his district concerned about the remote session.
"I get it, I get COVID, I know what it is, I know how hard it is," Dent said. He said he was wearing a mask and staying socially distant. "I got it anyway and so I don’t know that we can hide form it, I really don’t know that we can. I think we need to think about how we can manage this session do the people's work."
Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, was elected to her second term as House speaker, by the same 55-39 vote.
City Council members press Seattle Police union president Mike Solan to resign following Capitol siege remarks
Pressure continues to mount on Mike Solan, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, as at least seven members of the Seattle City Council called for his resignation Monday morning, following comments he made blaming, in part, Black Lives Matter activists for the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Mayor Jenny Durkan called last week for Solan to retract his words and apologize, or resign. The Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council, which expelled the police union from its ranks in June amid the mass protests against police brutality, called for Solan’s resignation. So did Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County.
The union’s contract expired at the end of 2020 and the acrimony comes as negotiations with the city over a new contract are set to begin.
“Mr. Solan’s remarks and their implications are reprehensible and untrue,” Councilmember Alex Pedersen said at a Monday morning City Council briefing. Pedersen has been one of two councilmembers who have consistently opposed efforts to defund the police department by up to 50%.
“It’s time for Mr. Solan to hand this important position over,” Pedersen said. “We must have a partner who has truly embraced that we cannot go back to the way things were. The current president of the police union has, in my view, disqualified himself to be a fair partner in negotiating the contract.”
Also calling for Solan’s resignation as union president Monday, were Seattle City Councilmembers M. Lorena González, Lisa Herbold, Andrew Lewis, Tammy Morales, Kshama Sawant and Dan Strauss.
Trump remains defiant amid calls to resign
President Donald Trump enters the last days of his presidency isolated and shunned by former allies and members of his own party as he faces a second impeachment and growing calls for his resignation after his supporters launched an assault on the nation’s Capitol in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.
Cut off from the social media channels that have been the lifeblood of his presidency, Trump will nonetheless try to go on offense in his last 10 days, with no plans of resigning.
Instead, Trump is planning to lash out against the companies that have now denied him his Twitter and Facebook bullhorns. And aides hope he will spend his last days trying to trumpet his policy accomplishments, beginning with a trip to Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday to highlight his administration’s efforts to curb illegal immigration and border wall construction.
Trump’s decision to travel to Alamo — named after the San Antonio mission where a small group of Texans fighting for independence against the Mexican government were defeated after a 13-day siege — served as a symbol of his defiance as he faces the most volatile end of any presidency in modern history.
'People are frustrated': About 25 people gather in Olympia
A crowd of 25 or so demonstrators crowded near a fenced-off entrance to the Capitol building late Monday morning.
Some chanted at police officers and National Guard troops stationed on the other side of the fence (“Honor your oath!”) while others talked quietly with each other.
One small knot of people discussed whether they could get the on-duty officers to express solidarity with their cause by singing along to the national anthem. Mostly, people — many wearing bulletproof vests and carrying long guns and short guns — were standing around in the rain.
A Vancouver, Wash., man, who wanted to identify himself only as Good Citizen, said he’d come hoping to build bridges with far-left and antifa demonstrators, if any showed up.
“We’re spinning our wheels fighting each other,” he said. “Their side says we’re all Nazis, which just isn’t true — my grandfather killed Nazis in World War II — and our side says they’re all communists, which probably isn’t true either. We should be working together to make a better future.” (Good Citizen allowed, however, that there are some racists in the “patriot” ranks: “There are some bad apples that probably need to be weeded out on both sides.”)
He enumerated a few causes he could imagine “his side” and “the other side” teaming up to address: government waste, nuclear disarmament, more transparency in government.
“People are frustrated,” he said. “You could see that in the storming of the Capitol in D.C. What happened there was wrong. It wasn’t wrong to gather to protest, but it was wrong to breach the building. But you can see people are hurting and they’re angry.”
A woman nearby, who also declined to give her name, said she had traveled to Olympia from her home in Arizona, in part because she has family in the area. She said she’d come to join the others protesting legislators who wouldn’t let demonstrators into the Capitol building: “I have a kid and I want to have another — but I don’t want to see their freedom taken away.”
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-election Joe Biden’s inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.
An internal FBI bulletin warned that, as of Sunday, the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of some extremist groups, the officials said. The bulletin was first reported by ABC.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said, according to one official. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Read more here.
Washington Legislature convenes amid heavy security and expected protests
OLYMPIA – Washington lawmakers convened the 2021 legislative session Monday, gathering in a fenced-off Capitol protected by National Guard and State Patrol troops.
Outside the chain-link security perimeter, small clusters of protesters were soaked by morning rain as they shouted through bullhorns, objecting to the closure of the seat of state government to the general public.
Inside the marble Capitol dome, lawmakers prepared to debate rules for the 105-day legislative session, including a framework to allow mostly remote voting and testimony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more here.
U.S. campaign finance system rocked as major firms pause or halt political contributions
The funding of U.S. political campaigns is being rocked as major firms such as Facebook, BlackRock, Marriott and Dow announced plans to halt some or all political contributions as a result of last week’s insurrection at the Capitol — a sign of corporate America’s growing uneasiness with the election doubts and violent attacks inspired by President Donald Trump.
Major companies that collectively pour millions of dollars annually into campaigns through employee-funded political action committees are registering their worry and anger about last week’s chaos by pledging to reexamine their role in American politics.
Facebook and Microsoft said they will halt all political donations while they reviewed their giving. BlackRock made a similar announcement in a memo to its employees, noting its decision was spurred by “the horrific events in the nation’s capital.” Others, such as Marriott, announced more targeted action: A pause to the campaign cash flowing to Republicans who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, said its decision suspending donations to 147 Republican U.S. representatives and senators was motivated by “the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election.”
Up to 15,000 National Guard members could be deployed in D.C. during inauguration
Up to 15,000 National Guard members could be deployed in Washington during the presidential inauguration, senior defense officials said Monday, part of a rapidly expanding response following a deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week.
Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, said 6,000 guardsmen from six states already are in the nation’s capital, and that the military response will expand to about 10,000 by the weekend.
The National Guard will bring their weapons to Washington and carry them based on discussions with the FBI, police and other agencies.
The shift comes after the Defense Department carved out a narrow role ahead of a protest of President Donald Trump’s election loss on Wednesday in which his supporters stormed the Capitol, attacked the building and Capitol Police officers, including one who later died.
Just 340 D.C. National Guard members had been activated ahead of the riot, and none were posted outside the Capitol.
Second arrest at Washington state Capitol campus
A second arrest has been made in Olympia at a right-wing protest on the first day of the state legislative session, according to Washington State Patrol.
In a video posted by a KING-5 reporter, a man with an umbrella approaches the police line with arms out, saying he will subject himself to a search. Police arrest him and protesters begin shouting obscenities.
"A male that attempted to enter the restricted area was arrested for failure to comply with a lawful order," the state patrol said on Twitter.
Warning: This video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers.
Washington State Patrol in Olympia: 'We have turned a page in history'
The storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was as significant to law enforcement as 9/11, said Chris Loftis, communications director for the Washington State Patrol, during a Monday morning news conference adjacent to the Capitol lawn in Olympia.
“We have turned a page in history,” he explained. “We’re going to have to change our approach.” He said the increased security at the Capitol on Monday, including Washington State National Guard troops called up by Gov. Jay Inslee, may be an everyday fact of life moving forward.
“All government officers and installations are simply going to have to realize we’re in a new world,” Loftis said. “That doesn’t mean some draconian world where democracy dies and the rain always comes and the sun never shines. It just means we’re in a different place.”
The Capitol lawn was nearly empty during the 10 a.m. news conference, with no protesters in sight. State Patrol Sgt. Darren Wright confirmed there had been no arrests Sunday and one Monday morning, when an RV blocked one of the checkpoints surrounding the Capitol. Most of its occupants left when given the option, Sgt. Wright said, but one woman refused to leave and was arrested.
When Wright was asked what he'd say to any would-be Capitol stormers who hope to interrupt the Legislature's business, he answered simply: “We’re not going to let that happen. We have the staffing, the manpower and the resources to keep it from happening.”
Karina Shagren, communications director for the Washington National Guard, declined to answer how many of the 750 National Guard troops called up were physically present at the Capitol on Monday morning.
Olympia protesters expecting bigger turnout later today
Just a small group of protesters was gathered Monday morning outside the Washington state Capitol, where about two dozen National Guard members are lined behind a chain-link fence along with law enforcement.
Doug Casity, a self-described patriot from Tacoma, said he expects more people will arrive to protest officials’ decision to close the Capitol in Olympia to the public during this year’s legislative session, which began Monday.
“I’m certain we’ll see a bigger turnout today,” he said. But he also acknowledged that national outrage over the siege at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and other factors may have led some to decide against gathering Monday in Olympia.
“Since they are calling us insurrectionists now, I’m sure that weakened morale and scared quite a few people out of going,” he said.
He contends the state constitution allows people to enter the building despite deep and widespread public concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
He was carrying a semi-automatic handgun, and had a pump-action shotgun strapped across his body. He spoke to the Seattle Times as another protester shouted at and heckled National Guard members and police.
Trump rewards GOP ally Rep. Jim Jordan with Medal of Freedom
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the outgoing president’s fiercest GOP allies.
The nation’s highest civilian honor was presented to Jordan in a private ceremony at the White House. It comes as Trump has been rewarding supporters with awards and the perks and prestige associated with serving on a host of federal advisory boards and commissions.
Trump has not appeared in public since delivering a grievance-filled speech five days ago at a rally near the White House shortly before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
Read more here.
Hundreds of historians call for Trump’s removal from office
NEW YORK (AP) — Pulitzer-Prize winners Garry Wills, Ron Chernow, Jon Meacham and Stacy Schiff are among hundreds of historians who have signed an open letter calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office after last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
“By fomenting violence against the Congress and seeking to subvert constitutional democracy, which resulted in the killing of a Capitol police officer and the deaths of several rioters, Trump has violated his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the letter, released online Monday, reads in part. “He is a clear and present danger to American democracy and the national security of the United States.”
Read more here.
Talk-radio owner orders conservative hosts to temper election fraud rhetoric
After months of stoking anger about alleged election fraud, one of America’s largest talk-radio companies has decided on an abrupt change of direction.
Cumulus Media, which employs some of the most popular right-leaning talk-radio hosts in the United States, has told its on-air personalities to stop suggesting that the election was stolen from President Donald Trump — or else face termination.
Read more here.
Tight security at Capitol in Olympia
Seattle Times reporters Jim Brunner and Mary Hudetz are also reporting heavy security in Olympia.
Impeachment and 14th Amendment: A timeline and look at Democratic strategy
Democrats are moving quickly to hold President Donald Trump accountable for the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters, with House lawmakers on course to possibly make him the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
The main challenge is the short timeline before Trump’s final day as president on Jan. 20, when Joe Biden will take the oath of office. The way the process is handled in the House and Senate will affect how quickly Biden will get his Cabinet confirmed and his legislative agenda moving.
Here’s a look at some of the options on the table as Washington grapples with the aftermath of last week’s violence.
Pelosi’s plan for this week:
- On Monday, Democrats will introduce several versions of impeachment articles, one of which has nearly the entire House caucus as co-sponsors.
- In the 11 a.m. session, Democrats will also try to pass without objection a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment. This is all but certain to fail because just one member can block it. If so, then the measure will be put on the floor for a full House vote on Tuesday.
- The resolution gives Pence 24 hours to respond.
- If Pence and the Cabinet don’t act to remove Trump from office, the House will begin the process of voting on impeachment as soon as Wednesday.
- Pelosi said Democrats would also discuss using a provision of the 14th Amendment, which was added to the Constitution after the Civil War to prohibit any government official who participated in or supported an insurrection against the U.S. from holding office in the future.
- House Democrats will have a conference call at 12 p.m. Monday to discuss this plan and other options. Republicans will have a call at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
Coverage from Olympia
Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton is in Olympia and will provide updates from the Capitol.
Bar association seeks Giuliani ban over ‘combat’ remarks
Rudy Giuliani is facing possible expulsion from the New York State Bar Association over incendiary remarks he made to President Donald Trump’s supporters last week before they violently stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The organization said Monday that it has opened an inquiry into whether Giuliani should remain a member. Its bylaws state that “no person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States” shall remain a member.
Removal from the bar association, a voluntary membership organization dating to 1876, is not the same as being disbarred and banned from practicing law. That can only be done by the courts.
A message seeking comment was left with Giuliani’s spokesperson. The bar association said he will be afforded due process and be given a chance to explain and defend his words and actions.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, is Trump’s personal lawyer and has played a prominent role in the Republican president’s spurious fight to overturn his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Records show fervent Trump fans fueled US Capitol takeover
The insurrectionist mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol at the president’s behest last week was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Records show that some were heavily armed and included convicted criminals, such as a Florida man recently released from prison for attempted murder.
The Associated Press reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless amid the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee.
The evidence gives lie to claims by right-wing pundits and Republican officials such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., that the violence was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president.
“If the reports are true,” Gaetz said on the House floor just hours after the attack, “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters that investigators had seen “no indication” antifa activists were disguised as Trump supporters in Wednesday’s riot.
One arrest early Monday near state Capitol in Olympia
One arrest has been made early Mondy at the Capitol Campus in Olympia, according to the Washington State Patrol.
"A female driver used an RV to block a roadway and refused to comply with orders to move and was taken into custody," the State Patrol said on Twitter around 8:30 a.m. "This situation created a security concern and was dealt with appropriately."
Article of impeachment claiming Trump incited 'insurrection' formally introduced
House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment, charging President Donald Trump with "incitement of an insurrection" before adjourning for the day.
During the brief session, House Republicans blocked a measure calling for removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment, a move that ensures a vote in the full House on Tuesday.
The impeachment article could be voted on as early as midweek.
Pelosi’s leadership team also will seek a quick vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The four-page impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.
A violent and largely white mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
Supreme Court rejects fast track for Trump election cases
The Supreme Court on Monday formally refused to put on a fast track election challenges filed by President Donald Trump and his allies.
The court rejected pleas for quick consideration of cases involving the outcome in five states won by President-elect Joe Biden: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The orders, issued without comment, were unsurprising. The justices had previously taken no action in those cases in advance of last week’s counting of the electoral votes in Congress, which confirmed Biden’s victory.
Catch up on the past 24 hours
• U.S. House Democrats today plan to introduce impeachment articles and also push VP Mike Pence to force President Donald Trump out by invoking the 25th Amendment. Here's the updating story and a timeline of what to expect. Trump, meanwhile, is going on offense.
• Lawmakers who hunkered down in a room together during the attack may have been hit by an unseen assailant. The coronavirus invaded the room, Congress' physician warned.
• Why Capitol police were so quickly overrun: Pieces of the puzzle are emerging. The chief's request for backup was denied six times, he says. Then a lieutenant's order left officers with little ability to resist the mob.
• Did Trump finally go too far for his Washington state supporters? The answer, it seems, is no.
• Biden is busy, meanwhile, picking his CIA director and getting his second vaccine shot today.
Inslee calls in National Guard to secure Capitol in Olympia
The state Legislature is convening amid security worries, with more protests expected today after a peaceful day of demonstrations yesterday. Gov. Jay Inslee has called up the National Guard to help prevent intrusions of the Capitol building, above, and allow lawmakers to tackle a to-do list that's packed with everything from speeding up vaccinations to COVID-19 relief and the state budget.
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