Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned
Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack on the US Capitol was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, a federal law enforcement official says.
Among the evidence the FBI is examining are indications that some participants at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, outside the White House, left the event early, perhaps to retrieve items to be used in the assault on the Capitol.
A team of investigators and prosecutors are also focused on the command and control aspect of the attack, looking at travel and communications records to determine if they can build a case that is similar to a counterterrorism investigation, the official said. CNN's Evan Perez reports.
President Donald Trump gave his first public comments about the US Capitol riot that left 5 people dead as he departed for Alamo, Texas.
#Trump Members of Congress are pursuing methods to force President Donald Trump to leave office and accuse Trump of inciting the deadly assault on the US Capitol on Wednesday in support of his false claims of election fraud. (Jan. 11)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump as she pushes the vice president and the Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out, warning that Trump is a threat to democracy and could do more damage before he leaves office.
Last week, an angry mob 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.
While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, Democrats and others argue he must be held accountable for his actions and prevented from ever again seeking public office.
Julie Pace, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, said Trump would be the only president twice impeached.
"We notably have also seen a few Republicans, not many, but a few who have called for Trump to resign," Pace said. "They don't want to wait the 10 more days that they have to go through before he is out of power. They want to take some action now."
On Monday, a House resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office was blocked by Republicans. However, the full House is set to hold a roll call vote on that resolution on Tuesday, and it is expected to pass.
After that, Pelosi said Pence will have 24 hours to respond.
"At this point, we don't have an expectation that that will happen," Pace said. "We're told from sources that Mike Pence is not prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment, though we are also told that he has not ruled it out completely."
Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. Trump faces a single charge - "incitement of insurrection" - and a vote on the impeachment resolution could come Wednesday.
"This will be very different than the impeachment that we saw a year ago," Pace said. "This is not going to be a lengthy process on the House floor. We're not going to see tons of witnesses called forward. Everyone knows what happened here. This all happened in public view."
On impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay for 100 days sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.
There is precedent for pursuing impeachment after officials leave office. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted. When they stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, President Donald Trump's supporters left a massive digital footprint of their rampage. As law enforcement agencies launch a search for the rioters, they are being helped by online sleuths and investigative teams poring over a trove of images and clips posted on social media by people in the act of breaking the law. CNN's John King, Abby Phillip, Kaitlin Collins discuss President Donald Trump's false claim that everyone thought his comments prior to a riot at the US Capitol that left 5 people dead were appropriate.