11:05 PM - January 7, 2021
11:05 PM - January 7, 2021

Recap: Calls grow louder to remove Trump

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik / AP
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Members of Congress from the Philadelphia region joined a growing Democratic chorus Thursday urging President Donald Trump’s cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from power.

If that long-shot effort doesn’t gain traction, many of them said they would support impeaching Trump a second time before he leaves office on Jan. 20. That step, too, would be extremely difficult to achieve, politically and logistically, with such little time to act.

But Democrats said Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol demanded action.

One of the four people who died Wednesday was Trump supporter Ben Philips, 50, of Pennsylvania.

With a temporary suspension lifted on his Twitter account, Trump posted a 2-minute, 41-second video acknowledging a new presidential administration and attempting to distance himself from his supporters who stormed the Capitol at his incitement.

President-elect Joe Biden called the participants in the mob “domestic terrorists.”

“Don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said. “They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos became the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday.

Read more of our coverage of today’s events:

9:47 PM - January 7, 2021
9:47 PM - January 7, 2021

Betsy DeVos resigns as Trump’s education secretary, says ‘there is no mistaking the impact’ of his words

File photo in 2016 of President-elect Donald Trump with Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary.
CAROLYN KASTER / Associated Press
File photo in 2016 of President-elect Donald Trump with Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary.

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.

— Associated Press

9:09 PM - January 7, 2021
9:09 PM - January 7, 2021

Photos: Protest in Philly against Trump

Refuse Fascism Philadelphia protesters gather to demonstrate against the Trump/Pence administration at City Hall on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Refuse Fascism Philadelphia protesters gather to demonstrate against the Trump/Pence administration at City Hall on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
Refuse Fascism Philadelphia protesters prepare to demonstrate against the Trump/Pence administration at City Hall on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Refuse Fascism Philadelphia protesters prepare to demonstrate against the Trump/Pence administration at City Hall on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
8:36 PM - January 7, 2021
8:36 PM - January 7, 2021

13 Pennsylvanians and 1 South Jersey resident among those arrested at Capitol

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana / AP
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Jim Sinclair, a 38-year-old home restoration contractor from Bensalem, traveled to Washington to support President Donald Trump and, perhaps, help foment a revolution.

“Freedom!!!!!!!” Sinclair posted on Facebook on Wednesday (photo of Mel Gibson from Braveheart included) after the mob had breached the Capitol building. “It’s 1776, the American people have ears and eyes. We will not accept this fraudulent election.”

Sinclair, who last month wrote that it was time to spill the “blood of tyrants,” ultimately failed to overthrow the republic. But he did drink two cranberry vodkas and get arrested after the riot for violating curfew and carrying a set of illegal brass knuckles, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Court records noted that he “became emotional” after he was approached by officers.

Sinclair was among the more than 50 people arrested by Capitol Police or D.C. authorities in Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters egged on by the president’s rhetoric. Thirteen of them hailed from Pennsylvania and one from South Jersey. Most, like Sinclair, were cited with violating the 6 p.m. curfew imposed by Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser.

— William Bender, Jeremy Roebuck, Chris A. Williams

7:46 PM - January 7, 2021
7:46 PM - January 7, 2021

Day after inciting mob, Trump acknowledges new administration

With a temporary suspension lifted on his Twitter account, President Donald Trump posted a 2-minute, 41-second video acknowledging a new presidential administration and attempting to distance himself from his supporters who stormed the Capitol at his incitement.

Speaking from the White House, Trump called what happened on Wednesday at the Capitol a “heinous attack” and said he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem.”

The siege happened after Trump encouraged supporters to march on the Capitol. The mob then attacked the building, and the president was blocked from posting on social media after making false claims about the election and telling the insurrectionists, among other things, “We love you.”

To the people who engaged in violence and destruction — who had just attended a rally in which Trump vowed to march with them, but then didn’t — “you do not represent our country,” he said Thursday.

He claimed his challenge of Joe Biden’s election victory was his “fight to defend Democracy.” The president has continued to make false claims about fraud as his legal challenges in Pennsylvania and elsewhere repeatedly failed in the courts.

Trump, who has not conceded the race and did not mention President-elect Joe Biden by name in the video, acknowledged the coming transition.

“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20th,” he said, promising a “smooth, orderly, and seamless transition.”

— Robert Moran

6:24 PM - January 7, 2021
6:24 PM - January 7, 2021

Day after breach, Capitol Police chief resigns

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.

The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Protesters stormed the building and occupied for hours. The lawmakers eventually returned and finished their work.

— Associated Press

5:36 PM - January 7, 2021
5:36 PM - January 7, 2021

White House press secretary condemns violence at Capitol

In a very brief statement, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the White House condemns the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and insisted that “those who broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

McEnany also said that “now is the time for America to unite.”

“We grieve for the loss of life and for those injured,” she said.

One person was fatally shot and three others died of medical emergencies during the storming of the building, authorities have said.

McEnany thanked the law-enforcement officers at the Capitol, calling them “true American heroes,” and did not take questions.

— Robert Moran

4:20 PM - January 7, 2021
4:20 PM - January 7, 2021

Trump honors golfers in closed-door ceremony

Hall of Fame golfers Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player, along with the late Olympian Babe Didrikson Zaharias, have been presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Thursday.

The award is one of the nation’s highest civilian honors. President Donald Trump has generally held public ceremonies when presenting the honor, but Thursday’s event was closed to the media. The president had no public events listed on his schedule following the previous day’s mayhem at the Capitol where pro-Trump supporters stormed the building, forcing it into lockdown.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement on the awards, which for Sorenstam and Player had been previously announced last March.

— Associated Press

2:29 PM - January 7, 2021
2:29 PM - January 7, 2021

Trump supporter from Pa. died near Capitol after organizing trip to Washington

Ben Philips, right, greets people as they board a bus he organized bound for Washington on January 6. Philips suffered a stroke and died in Washington.
Julia Terruso
Ben Philips, right, greets people as they board a bus he organized bound for Washington on January 6. Philips suffered a stroke and died in Washington.

Ben Philips drove to Washington in a white van Wednesday, smiling over the steering wheel as he explained the significance of the day.

“It seems like the first day of the rest of our lives to be honest,” he said, eager to protest what he believed was a stolen election with throngs of other Trump supporters, including a group from Pennsylvania he brought there. “They should name this year Zero because something will happen.”

Philips, 50, of Bloomsburg, died that day after suffering a medical emergency in the nation’s capital.

The group of Pennsylvanians he organized returned without him on a quiet, somber ride home, following a historic day when insurrectionists incited by President Donald Trump’s false claims of election rigging attacked the Capitol building. Philips was one of at least four people who died during amid the chaos.

— Julia Terruso

2:24 PM - January 7, 2021
2:24 PM - January 7, 2021

Pelosi, Republican governor join calls for Trump to be removed from office

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) joined the growing, bipartisan call for President Donald Trump to either resign or be removed from office after his supporters rioted at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people,” Pelosi said during a press conference Thursday, noting that Congress may be prepared to impeach Trump if the vice president does not act.

“While there are only 13 days left, any day could be a horror show for America,” Pelosi added.

Also calling for the president’s removal was Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, who said the country “would be better off” without Trump in the White House.

— Rob Tornoe

2:01 PM - January 7, 2021
2:01 PM - January 7, 2021

Biden slams pro-Trump mob as ‘domestic terrorists’

President-elect Joe Biden called the violent, Trump-inspired insurrectionists who broke into the Capitol on Wednesday, “domestic terrorists.”

“Don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said on Thursday, before announcing his nominees for key positions in his Department of Justice, including Merrick Garland for Attorney General. “They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.”

Biden blamed Trump’s incendiary language and actions throughout his presidency for what he called “one of the darkest days of our nation.”

“I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that isn’t true. We could see it coming,” Biden said. “He unleashed an all out assault on our institutions of our Democracy from the outset and yesterday was but the culmination on that unrelenting attack.”

Biden pointed out the stark differences in how protesters against police brutality were treated over the summer, versus how police treated the violent mob outside the Capitol.

“Not only did we see the failure to protect one of the three branches of our government,” Biden said, “we also saw a clear failure to carry out equal justice.”

Biden’s granddaughter Finnegan, a senior studying at the University of Pennsylvania, texted him a photo during the chaos at the Capitol that halted the congressional certification of his electoral victory. It showed “military people in full military gear, scores of them, lining the steps of the Lincoln Memorial because of a protest by Black Lives Matter,” Biden said. “Pop,” Biden recalled Finnegan telling him, “This isn’t fair.”

“No one can tell me that if had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said. “We all know that is true, and it is totally unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view.”

Biden did not answer questions about calls for the 25th Amendment to be activated to remove Trump from office. Instead, he focused on his nominees, emphasizing their commitment to fair treatment under the law.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also spoke of the unequal treatment of Americans under the law and said Biden’s nominees have “dedicated themselves to building a more just and equal America.”

“We witnessed two systems of justice when we saw one that let extremists storm the United States Capitol and another that released teargas on peaceful protesters last summer,” Harris said. “We know this is unacceptable. We know we should be better than this.”

— Ellie Silverman

1:45 PM - January 7, 2021
1:45 PM - January 7, 2021

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to resign following riot at Capitol

President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during an event celebrating American truckers, at the White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington.
Evan Vucci / AP
President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during an event celebrating American truckers, at the White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced her resignation, becoming the highest-ranking Trump official to leave in protest following Wednesday’s riot on the U.S. Capitol.

In a note to staffers obtained by multiple news outlets, Chao said she was “deeply troubled” by Trump supporters storming the Capitol following the president’s speech, noting “it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside. She wrote that her resignation will take effect on Monday, Jan. 11.

Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and has served in the Cabinet for Trump’s entire presidency. She also serves as Secretary of Labor under former President George W. Bush.

— Rob Tornoe

1:39 PM - January 7, 2021
1:39 PM - January 7, 2021

Sen. Casey and other local Democrats join the call for Trump to be removed from office

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) joined a growing chorus of Democrats Thursday urging members of the Trump administration to invoke the 25th Amendment remove the president from office.

”President Trump is a threat to our domestic and national security. It is self-evident that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. I call on Vice President [Mike] Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing the powers of the presidency from Donald Trump,” Casey said in a statement. “This is the quickest way to protect our domestic and national security.”

He pointed to Trump’s role in stoking the violence that unfolded at the Capitol Wednesday.

“While shocking, yesterday’s events were entirely foreseeable. They were the direct result of President Trump’s lies about the integrity of our most recent election, and his frequent incitements to violence,” Casey said. “For weeks, the President has lied about his decisive defeat, promoting wild conspiracy theories about unsubstantiated fraud and encouraging this insurrection. But he didn’t do it alone. President Trump was aided and abetted every step of the way by a multitude of Republicans in both the House and Senate who, after four years of enabling his authoritarian tendencies, yesterday sought to invalidate the will of the very people they serve.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D., Pa.), and Rep. Mike Doyle (D., Pa.) also joined the call, though any such action faces steep odds with just 13 days left in Trump’s term.

The amendment, which has never been invoked, allows for removing the president if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet votes that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office. In that event, Pence would become president.

— Jonathan Tamari

1:05 PM - January 7, 2021
1:05 PM - January 7, 2021

McSwain calls Capitol riot ‘a sad day for our country’

U.S. Attorney William McSwain speaks at a press conference back in October. McSwain, a Trump nominee, called Wednesday's riot at the Capitol "a sad day for our country."
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
U.S. Attorney William McSwain speaks at a press conference back in October. McSwain, a Trump nominee, called Wednesday's riot at the Capitol "a sad day for our country."

U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain joined several of his Trump-appointed counterparts across the country Thursday in condemning Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol and pledging to assist in prosecuting those behind it.

“Yesterday was a sad day for our country,” he said in a tweet. “In a constitutional republic like ours, there is never any excuse for rioting and violence – ever. I condemn the attack on the Capitol in the strongest possible terms.”

McSwain, who has served as the top federal prosecutor in Eastern Pennsylvania since 2018 and is expected to resign with the change in administration, had previously condemned what he described as “rioting and looting” during last spring’s racial injustice protests in Philadelphia, while acknowledging the First Amendment right to protest. He quickly vowed to prosecute those involved in property destruction, and since then, his office has filed charges against several defendants, mostly tied to police car arsons, and sought to keep them imprisoned until their trials.

Given that response to the Philadelphia protests, some staffers within McSwain’s office, speaking anonymously due to their positions, wondered Thursday morning why it had taken him so long to issue a response to Wednesday’s violence in the Capitol.

Other U.S. Attorneys had issued similar condemnations within hours of Wednesday’s attack. Scott Brady, the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh, issued a rebuke of his own early Thursday morning.

In his tweet, McSwain added: “Regardless of our political affiliations, it is time to come together as a country and welcome the new administration.”

— Jeremy Roebuck

12:30 PM - January 7, 2021
12:30 PM - January 7, 2021

Pennsylvania to deploy National Guard troops to D.C.

About 1,000 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard will be deployed to Washington, D.C. to assist in keeping the Capitol and other locations secure through the President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday.

“The unprecedented and disturbing events yesterday in our nation’s capital are cause for ongoing concern and Pennsylvania is prepared to assist as needed in securing peace and an orderly transfer of power on January 20,” Wolf said in a statement.

New Jersey and Delaware are also deploying National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. in the wake of Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol.

— Rob Tornoe

12:00 PM - January 7, 2021
12:00 PM - January 7, 2021

Capitol police chief defends response to ‘criminal’ rioters

A protestor with a bat breaks a window at the capital building, January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The United States Capitol Building was breached by thousands of Pro Trump supporters.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
A protestor with a bat breaks a window at the capital building, January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The United States Capitol Building was breached by thousands of Pro Trump supporters.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund on Thursday defended his department’s response to the violent breach at the Capitol, saying officers “acted valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions” as they stormed the building.

Rioters “actively attacked” Capitol police and other law enforcement officers Wednesday with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers,’' Sund said in a statement.

The attack on the Capitol was “unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,’' said Sund, a former city police officer. “Make no mistake: these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced.’'

Sund’s statement came after lawmakers from both parties vowed an investigation into how law enforcement handled Wednesday’s violent breach at the Capitol, questioning whether a lack of preparedness allowed a mob to occupy and vandalize the building.

— Associated Press

11:46 AM - January 7, 2021
11:46 AM - January 7, 2021

Schumer calls for Trump to be immediately removed from office. At least one Republican congressman agrees.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., takes off his mask as he arrives to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill.
Susan Walsh / AP
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., takes off his mask as he arrives to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has called for President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office, calling Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol “an insurrection against the United States.”

“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the vice president to immediately invoke the 25th amendment,” Schumer said in a statement. “If the vice president and cabinet refuse to stand up Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

Schumer’s call to remove Trump garnered support from at least one Republican: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), who called Trump “unfit” and “unwell” in remarks shared on Twitter Thursday morning.

— Rob Tornoe

11:10 AM - January 7, 2021
11:10 AM - January 7, 2021

Facebook to ban Trump indefinitely to allow ‘the peaceful transition of power’

Facebook announced it plans to block President Donald Trump “indefinitely” after using the platform to promote false conspiracy theories about the election and stoke violence among his supporters.

“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday morning. “Therefore, we are extending the block he 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.”

Trump remains temporarily banned on Twitter, SnapChat, and YouTube. Shopify removed shopping carts used to sell merchandise on Trump’s campaign website for violating the company’s policy of supporting organizations that promote violence, the Wall Street Journal reported.

— Rob Tornoe

11:00 AM - January 7, 2021
11:00 AM - January 7, 2021

Pa. Trump lawyer resigns, says president used his services ‘to perpetrate a crime’

A lawyer who represented President Donald Trump’s campaign in challenges to Philadelphia’s election sought to withdraw his representation Thursday, saying the president had used his services “to perpetrate a crime.”

In a remarkable but terse legal filing that came less than a day after pro-Trump rioters whipped up by the president’s rhetoric sacked the U.S. Capitol, Merion Station-based lawyer Jerome M. Marcus said he found the campaign’s current course of action “repugnant.”'

Marcus had been one of the lawyers who represented the campaign in its federal court effort to challenge the level of access Philadelphia had granted to partisan monitors while it counted the city’s vote in November.

His efforts during a Nov. 4 hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond led to one of the most quoted examples of the feebleness of the case the campaign was pressing that election malfeasance was occurring.

Under questioning from the judge, Marcus conceded that there were “a nonzero number” of Trump monitors allowed to view the vote counting.

“I’m sorry,” Diamond responded, “then what’s your problem?”

Marcus, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who had previously clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his decision to resign from the campaign’s legal team Thursday.

— Jeremy Roebuck

10:58 AM - January 7, 2021
10:58 AM - January 7, 2021

Barr calls Trump’s conduct a ‘betrayal of his office’

Former Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference in December at the Justice Department in Washington.
Michael Reynolds / AP
Former Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference in December at the Justice Department in Washington.

Former Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”

In a statement to The Associated Press, Barr said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”

Barr was one of Trump’s most loyal and ardent defenders in the Cabinet.

His comments come a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.

— Associated Press

10:30 AM - January 7, 2021
10:30 AM - January 7, 2021

The man who commandeered Pelosi’s office

Richard Barnett, a Trump supporter, sits inside the office of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during riots at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.
Saul Loeb/AFP / MCT
Richard Barnett, a Trump supporter, sits inside the office of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during riots at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

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 a 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 later Wednesday, according to a post on Twitter by Rosenberg.

— Washington Post

10:00 AM - January 7, 2021
10:00 AM - January 7, 2021

Gov. Murphy blames Capitol riot on Trump, calls it the result of ‘four years of gaslighting’

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, seen here in September, called for the arrest of Trump supporters who rioted in the Capitol Wednesday.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, seen here in September, called for the arrest of Trump supporters who rioted in the Capitol Wednesday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that waking up to the news that President-elect Joe Biden’s election was formalized is “proof that our democracy is stronger than an unhinged mob.”

Speaking from a news conference in Mercer County moments before signing the state’s new economic recovery act, Murphy said the chaos that unfolded in D.C. was one of the darkest days in the nation’s history.

“They are not patriots,” he said of the insurrectionists. “They are the antithesis of what it means to be an American.”

Murphy said those who broke the law should be arrested and blamed President Donald Trump for the violence.

“This was an act of domestic terrorism spurred on by the president himself and his minions,” Murphy said. “The president’s refusal to accept the reality that he lost the election created this... His belief that the laws don’t apply to him created this.”

“Yesterday was no accident,” Murphy added. “It was the our years of gaslighting and concerted attempts from within to weaken our democracy. But our democracy proved more resilient than the deranged conspiracy theories.”

— Allison Steele

9:50 AM - January 7, 2021
9:50 AM - January 7, 2021

Delaware, New Jersey to deploy National Guard troops to Washington, D.C.

The D.C. National Guard stands outside the Capitol on Wednesday night.
John Minchillo / AP
The D.C. National Guard stands outside the Capitol on Wednesday night.

New Jersey will deploy 500 members of the National Guard to Washington D.C. to “protect our democracy and facilitate the peaceful transition of power,” Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday. New Jersey also deployed 74 State Police troopers to Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon.

“Our republic is built on the principles of democracy, peace, and the right of the American people to freely choose their leaders,” Murphy said in a statement. “The brave men and women of our National Guard will be deployed in order to preserve these sacred principles.”

Delaware will also deploy National Guard troops to Washington to " to support law enforcement and ongoing security efforts after the breach of the Capitol,” Gov. John Carney announced.

— Rob Tornoe

9:13 AM - January 7, 2021
9:13 AM - January 7, 2021

N.J. congressman stayed to clean up debris after Capitol riot

Rep. Andy Kim (D., N.J.) cleans up debris in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
Andrew Harnik / AP
Rep. Andy Kim (D., N.J.) cleans up debris in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
9:00 AM - January 7, 2021
9:00 AM - January 7, 2021

Pa. congresswoman worried that Trump was taken off Twitter but ‘still has the nuclear codes’

Rep. Jason Crow (D., Colo.) comforts Rep. Susan Wild (D., Pa.) while taking cover as rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
AP
Rep. Jason Crow (D., Colo.) comforts Rep. Susan Wild (D., Pa.) while taking cover as rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

Rep. Susan Wild (D., Pa.), who was barricaded in the House chamber at the Capitol Wednesday as rioters attempted to break down the door, said she doesn’t feel safe that Donald Trump will remain president for 13 more days.

“I am very worried — not for myself, but for the American people — about the next couple of weeks and what that will look like,” Wild said during an interview on CNN Thursday morning. “The fact that this president still has the nuclear codes, and yet was taken off of Twitter, is really remarkable to me.”

Wild, who represents the Lehigh Valley, said the fear she experienced on Wednesday has transformed to anger, and said she’s spoken with her colleagues about beginning an immediate investigation into the president.

“Yesterday just brought home how dangerous this situation is,” Wild said.

— Rob Tornoe

8:37 AM - January 7, 2021
8:37 AM - January 7, 2021

Capitol breach prompts urgent questions about security failures

Pro-Trump insurrectionists argue with police about the curfew in D.C. on Wednesday.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Pro-Trump insurrectionists argue with police about the curfew in D.C. on Wednesday.

The storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters on Wednesday was a disastrous failure of security: In a city on high alert, in a building with its own 1,700-member police department, people forced their way into the sanctums of American democracy with nothing more than flagpoles, riot shields and shoves.

Nobody stopped them — and some officers were captured on videos appearing to stand back as rioters streamed inside.

On Wednesday, while police were still struggling to eject the last intruders from the Capitol, current and former law enforcement officials said it appeared the U.S. Capitol Police and other agencies had failed to anticipate the size and intentions of the crowd that Trump urged to march up Pennsylvania Avenue to where lawmakers were gathered.

On the streets of Washington, federal law enforcement agencies and the National Guard — which had been intimidatingly visible during protests this summer following the death of George Floyd — kept a much lower profile.

And at the Capitol itself, police had set out low barriers and officers were largely in street uniforms, not riot gear. All were prepared to confine a protest, but not to deter an attack, law enforcement officials said.

Law enforcement experts said they were mystified by the tactics that police used once the mob was already inside the Capitol.

— Washington Post

8:03 AM - January 7, 2021
8:03 AM - January 7, 2021

Mick Mulvaney resigns from Trump administration, expects others to follow

Then-acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney walks beside President Donald Trump at the White House on Jan. 13, 2020.
Susan Walsh / AP
Then-acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney walks beside President Donald Trump at the White House on Jan. 13, 2020.

Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, announced on Thursday he is resigning form his current post as a special envoy to Northern Ireland.

“I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney said in an interview on CNBC Thursday morning, adding he wouldn’t be surprised to see more resignations in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in,” Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney’s resignation comes two months after writing an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal where he claimed Trump would “concede gracefully” if he lost the election.

“I have every expectation that Mr. Trump will be, act and speak like a great president should—win or lose,” Mulvaney wrote.

— Rob Tornoe

7:33 AM - January 7, 2021
7:33 AM - January 7, 2021

Woman fatally shot as pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol identified as Air Force veteran

U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back protesters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021.
Andrew Harnik / AP
U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back protesters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021.

When a group of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol and smashed windows on Wednesday, a woman jumped onto a pane and started through.

Seconds later, a gunshot rang out and the woman, who had a Trump flag tied around her waist, tipped back and fell onto the marble floor as blood spilled from her shoulder.

She died later that day, police said. She was one of four fatalities from the violent rioting that wreaked havoc through the halls of Congress on Wednesday. Three others died of unspecified medical emergencies during the chaos.

The woman was 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, a California native and Air Force veteran, her former husband told The Washington Post. Before her death in the Capitol, she had used her social media to express fervent support for President Donald Trump and echo many of the president’s conspiracy theories and false claims of mass voter fraud.

— Washington Post

7:22 AM - January 7, 2021
7:22 AM - January 7, 2021

Senior officials have discussed removing Trump under the 25th Amendment

Hours after a pro-Trump mob incited by the president stormed the Capitol, dozens of Democrats demanded that he be removed under the 25th Amendment — an unprecedented option being seriously discussed late Wednesday by senior administration officials alarmed at Trump’s conduct.

The amendment, which can remove a president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” has only been used briefly for medical events, as when President Ronald Reagan underwent colon surgery.

But some politicians and experts argue that Trump has met those standards by encouraging violence through his incendiary rhetoric and by refusing to accept the reality of his defeat.

Although the amendment has never been used in these circumstances, some experts say it could provide a faster and more realistic path than impeachment to quickly remove Trump from power. That would all depend, though, on the backing of Pence and the Cabinet.

— Washington Post

7:00 AM - January 7, 2021
7:00 AM - January 7, 2021

Trump says ‘there will be an orderly transition’ to Biden presidency

President Donald Trump acknowledged the coming end of his term early Thursday, after Congress finalized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, though he still pushed the false idea he won the election following Wednesday’s insurrection.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement tweeted by an aide. Trump remains banned on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted,” Trump said. “While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

It’s the closest Trump has come to conceding.

— Bob Moran and Rob Tornoe

6:30 AM - January 7, 2021
6:30 AM - January 7, 2021

Congress formalizes Biden’s win over Trump

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), read the final certification of Electoral College votes early Thursday morning.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), read the final certification of Electoral College votes early Thursday morning.

Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning, completing its typically uneventful constitutional duty hours after the Capitol was occupied by violent mobs seeking to keep President Donald Trump in power.

Vice President Mike Pence, resisting pressure from Trump to thwart Biden’s win, finalized the Electoral College vote tally, 306-232, and declared Biden the winner at 3:39 a.m.

“The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2021, and shall be entered together with a list of the votes on the journals of the senate and the House of Representatives.”

He gaveled the joint session of Congress to a close at 3:44 a.m., about 15 hours after it began.

Congress spent about four hours during that time debating the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, after Republican members of the House and Senate objected to Biden’s victories there. Though the final outcome was never in doubt, an unprecedented number of congressional Republicans backed the futile effort to overturn the will of the voters and block Biden from assuming the presidency later this month.

—Andrew Seidman

6:00 AM - January 7, 2021
6:00 AM - January 7, 2021

Thursday morning round-up: At least three White House officials resign