As President Trump made history tonight as the only US president to be impeached twice, one White House adviser said “everybody’s angry at everyone” inside the White House, with the President being upset because he thinks people aren’t defending him enough.
“He’s in self-pity mode,” the source said.
The view among many close to Trump is “his actions led to here, no one else,” adding, “he instigated a mob to charge on the Capitol building to stop decertification, he’s not going to find a lot of sympathetic Republicans.”
During the last impeachment effort, Trump allies in and out of the White House publicly defended him and sent out talking points throughout the impeachment proceeding.
Today, it was the President who was left to fend for himself at the White House, releasing a statement first given to Fox News denouncing further violence, followed by a five-minute video that struck a very different tone than his first message following the attack on the Capitol last week. Aides scrambled to find a way to release the video, worried that even a contrite Trump might have his videos taken down.
Also, there was no organized effort to send out talking points, unlike his first impeachment.
Many White House staffers have left or resigned since the riots, including Trump’s once longtime confidante Hope Hicks. Another person close to the White House said “he’s been holed up in the residence, that’s never a good thing.
“He’s by himself, not a lot of people to bounce ideas off of, whenever that happens he goes to his worst instincts. Now that Twitter isn’t available God only knows what the outlet will be,” the source said.
One outlet Trump is focused on is wielding what power he has left: pardons. Multiple sources told Bioreports the next batch of pardons could come as soon as Thursday, in part to distract from the current narrative.
One of the sources also noted that Trump was planning to give New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom award tomorrow, but Belichick refused. Announcing some pardons could replace that, especially if there are some high-profile ones.
Moving forward: Another question that lingers is whether Trump will pardon himself and his children.
One person close to Trump believes it’s a bad idea for him to pardon himself and his kids in the wake of the riots, but that he wants to exercise what remaining power he has.
President Trump in a video message Wednesday did not acknowledge his second impeachment, instead calling for peace and claiming that those who mobbed the Capitol last week are not his “true” supporters.
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump said in the video, without taking any responsibility for his own actions that led to last week’s events.
“No true supporters of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement- you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it,” Trump said of those who mobbed the Capitol last Wednesday wearing his name on their shirts and waving MAGA flags.
Trump also claimed there was an “unprecedented assault” on free speech, referencing social media companies that have banned him in recent days.
Some context: The video comes in stark contrast to his first message about the riots which he released hours after the incursion.
He addressed the protesters in that video saying, “We love you” and “You’re very special.”
Later, he seemed to justify the actions in a tweet, writing, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.”
Many social media companies have since banned the President from using their platforms and his personal Twitter account has been taken down permanently.
Rep. Peter Meijer, just one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump a second time, said it’s not too late for his colleagues to come clean with their constituents about President Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
“It’s never too late to have folks tell their supporters, people who trusted them, tell them the truth,” Meijer told Bioreports’s Wolf Blitzer.
“We need to get past this big lie that this was a stolen election,” he continued.
“This wasn’t a landslide re-election for Donald Trump. This wasn’t a stolen election. None of those claims played out in court and it’s time we settle that once and for all because unless we come to that shared reality then we’re not going to be able to fully heal from this moment,” Meijer said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi briefly addressed reporters before she signed the article of impeachment against President Trump, for a second time, following the bipartisan House vote.
“Today, in a bipartisan way the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States. That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again we honor our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God. And now, I sadly and with a heart broken over what this means to our country, of a president who would incite insurrection, will sign the engrossment of the article of impeachment,” Pelosi said.
Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, told Bioreports it was still uncertain how many witnesses they would seek and how long of a trial it would be.
House Democratic impeachment managers are now meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“We’re still just getting organized, but if it comes to it, we’ll get you answers as soon as we’ve got some answers,” Raskin said.
Former FBI Director James Comey today said the evidence he has seen so far suggests the attack on the Capitol was an organized conspiracy.
“There’s no doubt there were at least some conspiracy,” Comey told Bioreports’s Jake Tapper this afternoon.
“People wandering around exercising First Amendment rights don’t bring ropes and ladders and sledgehammers to a spontaneous event,” continued Comey. “This was a planned assault like going after a castle.”
Comey’s remarks came just moments after Bioreports reported emerging evidence was leading law enforcement officials to believe the attack was premeditated rather than a protest that spiraled out of control.
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.
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 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 for the assault on the Capitol.
A team of investigators and prosecutors are 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.
The belief, early in the probe, will demand significant investigation.
The presence of corruption prosecutors and agents is in part because of their expertise in financial investigations.
“We are following the money,” the official said.
By Wednesday morning, the FBI reported that it had received more than 126,000 digital tips from the public regarding the attack on the Capitol – more than three times the number of tips received on Monday.
Among the thousands of tips the FBI received are some that appear to show members of Congress with people who later showed up at the Capitol riot, two law enforcement officials said. This doesn’t mean members of Congress and staff are under investigation, but the FBI is checking the veracity of the claims, the officials said.
At least some of the arrests already made are part of a strategy used in counterterrorism investigations, to find even a minimal charge and try to take a person of concern off the streets. That helps ease the possible threat amid concern about possible attacks on the Inauguration, officials believe.
The House voted earlier today to impeach President Trump for incitement of insurrection, exactly one week after a mob attacked the Capitol where lawmakers were convening to approve President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats in the historic vote to impeach Trump a second time — a contrast to the first impeachment vote, when every House Republican voted against both articles of impeachment. Four Republicans did not vote: Reps. Kay Granger (TX-12), Andy Harris (MD-1), Gregory Murphy (NC-3) and Daniel Webster (FL-11).
See the full list on how everyone else voted here.
Many Republicans have put themselves in box that will make it difficult for them to debate the big issues moving forward by aligning themselves closely with President Trump, Bioreports’s John King said after the House voted to impeach Trump for a second time.
“This is the party of Lincoln and the party of Reagan, that right now is still the party of Trump. Many people are trying to escape from that,” King said.
“But they’ve put themselves in a box because they’ve enabled him the last two months. Many of them have enabled him the last four years. They have ignored the facts. They have ignored the truth. They’ve attacked us. They have attacked institutions. And their reward for that was the United States government, the building they serve in, being attacked a week ago. How do they get out of this?,” King continued.
Ten Republicans, including the House’s No. 3 Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined their Democratic colleagues to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Several of their colleagues, including Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, defended Trump on the House floor. Jordan claimed that Democrats simply wanted to “cancel the President.”
“We need a competitive two-party system. We need a good debate about all the big issues before us. But many of those Republicans simply don’t have the standing or credibility right now because of the box they’ve put themselves in,” King explained.
Watch King’s full remarks: