Posts

House speeding to impeach Trump for Capitol insurrection – Orange County Register


By LISA MASCARO, BILL BARROW and MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Poised to impeach, the House sped ahead Monday with plans to oust President Donald Trump from office, warning he is a threat to democracy and pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act even more quickly in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.

Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — after the deadly Capitol riot in an impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday.

At the same time, the FBI warned ominously Monday of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20. In a dark foreshadowing, the Washington Monument was closed to the public amid the threats of disruption. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf abruptly resigned.

It all added up to stunning final moments for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that violently ransacked the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment bill.

“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it reads.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is summoning lawmakers back to Washington for votes, and Democrats aren’t the only ones who say Trump needs to go.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., encouraged House GOP colleagues late Monday to “vote your conscience,” according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private call. She has spoken critically of Trump’s actions, but has not said publicly how she will vote.

Pending impeachment, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke their constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Inauguration Day.

Their Democrats’ House…

Source…

Democrats prepare ‘insurrection incitement’ charge against Trump


WASHINGTON >> Impeachment pressure mounting, the House worked swiftly today to try to oust President Donald Trump from office, pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.

Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — in an impeachment resolution that could go to a vote by mid-week. First, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20, when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.

In all, these are stunning final moments for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare that he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that ransacked the U.S. Capitol in a deadly siege on Wednesday.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment bill.

“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it reads.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is recalling lawmakers to Washington for votes as more Republicans say it’s time for Trump to resign. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

During an interview on “60 Minutes” aired Sunday, Pelosi invoked the Watergate era when Republicans in the Senate told President Richard Nixon, “It’s over.”

“That’s what has to happen now,” she said.

Today, 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. Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. A vote could come Wednesday.

Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution with a vote by a majority of the…

Source…

Can social media companies boot Trump? Yes


WASHINGTON (AP) — Social media companies decided this past week they had finally seen enough from President Donald Trump.

Facebook and Instagram suspended Trump at least until Inauguration Day. Twitch and Snapchat also disabled Trump’s accounts. To top it all off, Twitter ended a nearly 12-year run and shuttered his account, severing an instant line of communication to his 89 million followers.

Conservatives are crying foul.

“Free Speech Is Under Attack! Censorship is happening like NEVER before! Don’t let them silence us. Sign up at http://DONJR.COM to stay connected!” his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted Friday.

CAN TWITTER AND FACEBOOK LEGALLY TAKE SUCH ACTION?

The short answer is yes.

As the Congressional Research Service has explained in a report for federal lawmakers and their staffs, lawsuits predicated on a website’s decision to remove content largely fail. That’s because the free speech protections set out in the First Amendment generally apply only to when a person is harmed by an action of the government.

“The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private sector organizations. That’s not how this works,” said Chris Krebs, when asked Sunday whether censorship by social media companies violated freedom of speech protections.

Krebs oversaw election cybersecurity efforts at the Department of Homeland Security until Trump fired him when he disputed election fraud claims. Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, he explained that companies enforce their own standards and policies for users.

That’s what happened at Twitter on Friday.

WHAT RATIONALE DID TWITTER TAKE FOR ITS ACTIONS?

The company said after reviewing Trump’s account in the context of the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, it was concerned about two tweets he sent Friday that Twitter said could incite violence. They were:

— “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

— “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

The first tweet, the company said, was…

Source…

Dems’ momentum builds to impeach Trump, Pelosi hits rioters – Orange County Register


By LISA MASCARO, MARY CLARE JALONICK and ZEKE MILLER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Momentum built among Democrats on Saturday for a fresh and fast push to impeach President Donald Trump, even as the House speaker accused his backers who violently invaded the Capitol of choosing “their whiteness over democracy.”

Nancy Pelosi’s remark came as Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., one of the chief sponsors of draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said at midday that his group’s draft had collected 176 co-sponsors. The lawmakers plan to formally introduced the proposal Monday, with a vote possible by Wednesday.

Pelosi, addressing her hometown San Francisco constituents during an online video conference, shed no fresh light on Democrats’ plans. Her party seems intent on pressing ahead against Trump, even though there is virtually no chance the Republican-led Senate will act to remove him before his term ends Jan. 20.

“Justice will be done. Democracy will prevail. And America will be healed. But it is a decision that we have to make,” Pelosi said.

A largely white throng of Trump supporters broke through police lines and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they put the final, formal touches on Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump. The crowd surged to the Capitol after being urged by Trump to march there in force during remarks in which he repeated his bogus claim that his election defeat was fraudulent.

“It has been an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country led by this president, for the moment, who have chosen their whiteness over democracy,” Pelosi said of Wednesday’s attack, during which five people died.

She added: “This cannot be exaggerated. The complicity, not only the complicity, the instigation of the president of United States, must and will be addressed.”

No. 4 House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., reiterated his support for moving against what he called “an act of sedition that was incited and encouraged by Donald Trump.”

At a news conference in New York, Jeffries added, “He should be impeached, convicted and thrown out of 1600…

Source…