Pelosi says Democrats will give Pence 24 hours to invoke 25th Amendment before impeachment

The House will take up a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time in less than two years unless Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment this week to remove him from office, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi said in a letter Sunday to House Democrats. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

Several major U.S. corporations plan to suspend donations to the Republican lawmakers who voted against finalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory last week.

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our political action committee to those who voted against the certification of the election,” Marriott International Inc, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, said in an emailed statement.

Other companies that said they will halt donations include Commerce Bank, headquartered in Missouri, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, the health insurance giant. The news was first reported by Popular Information, a political news website that said it surveyed 144 companies about their political donations to GOP lawmakers after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The deadly assault on Congress – which left five people dead was carried about by extremists supporting President Donald Trump, who repeatedly encouraged his followers to try to overturn the election.

“In light of this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results, (Blue Cross Blue Shield Association) will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy,” the health insurance company said in a statement posted on its website.

A spokesperson for Commerce Bank did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation. But in a statement to CNN, the bank said it would end donations to those GOP officials who “impeded the peaceful transfer of power.”

“Commerce Bank condemns violence in any form and believes the actions witnessed this week are abhorrent, anti-democratic and entirely contrary to supporting goodwill for Americans and businesses,” the statement said.

Marriott’s political action committee donated nearly $200,000 to federal candidates in the 2020 election cycle, with 45% of that money, about $90,000, going to Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s PAC shelled out more than $370,000 in campaign contributions in the last election, with 66% – about $240,000 – going to Republicans, the center’s data shows.

Obama, Bush, Clinton to join Biden for the wreath-laying ceremony after the inauguration

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will join President-elect Joe Biden at Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following Biden’s swearing-in ceremony next week.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will lay the wreath following their swearing-in and a Pass in Review inspection of the troops at the Capitol on Jan. 20, Biden’s inaugural committee announced Monday. The ceremony will be one of Biden’s first official acts as the new commander in chief.

The committee said the theme of Biden’s inauguration will be “America United.”

President Donald Trump announced Friday he will not attend Biden’s inaugural, making him the first outgoing president in 152 years to refuse to attend his successor’s inauguration. Vice President Mike Pence will attend the ceremony.

– Michael Collins

Democrats to introduce a resolution calling for 25th Amendment

House Democrats will introduce a resolution Monday calling for President Donald Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president incapable of performing his duties.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid out the steps they plan to take in a letter to colleagues on Sunday.

On Monday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will request unanimous consent for the “Raskin Resolution,” which calls on Pence to convene the Cabinet and activate the 25th Amendment. If they don’t receive consent – which is almost guaranteed since only a single Republican would have to object – Democrats will vote on the measure on Tuesday.

“We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours” after the resolution is passed, Pelosi said. If Pence does not act before that deadline, House Democrats will introduce articles of impeachment against Trump.

“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi wrote. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

Pelosi told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday that she prefers the 25th Amendment to impeachment.

“Well, I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him. He’s out of office,” she said. “But there’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time.”

Under the 25th Amendment, if the vice president and the majority of the Cabinet declare the president unfit for office, the vice president immediately becomes the acting president.

Impeachment is a lengthier process. First, a simple majority in the House must vote in favor of charges. Then, the Senate must hold a trial to consider the charges. For the president to be removed, two-thirds of its members must vote to convict.

– Camille Caldera

Reports: FBI, NYPD warned Capitol Police about threat of extremist violence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York City Police Department both informed the U.S. Capitol Police about the threat of violence ahead of last Wednesday’s planned protest of the counting of the Electoral College vote, according to reports by Fox News and NBC News.

In several instances, the FBI visited extremists who were planning to travel to the rally and urged them to not attend, according to Fox News. Capitol Police did not plan to increase staffing ahead of the events and did not expect that the attendees would begin an armed insurrection and violently storm the Capitol, sources also told Fox.

Social media was a critical part of organizing the protests. Conservative activists and President Donald Trump had advertised the rally for weeks. Far-right extremist groups had intimated they would engage in violence on message boards in the days before the attack, leading some senior officials to question why federal law enforcement was not better prepared, according to NBC News.

Lawmakers at all levels of government and across the aisle have called for investigations into the failure of law enforcement to defend the Capitol.

“Obviously it was a failure or you would not have had people enter the Capitol by breaking windows and terrorizing the members of Congress who were doing a very sacred requirement of their jobs,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said a day after the attacks.

– Matthew Brown

Biden selects career diplomat William Burns to head CIA

President-elect Joe Biden has selected career diplomat William J. Burns as his pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, the transition committee said in a press release Monday.

Burns, who has served in the Middle East and Russia, will inherit the country’s premier intelligence agency as cybersecurity and espionage from rival nations like China, Iran and Russia will be of chief concern to the incoming Biden administration.

The Biden transition contended Burns was well prepared the challenge, noting “he has the experience and skill to marshal efforts across government and around the world to ensure the CIA is positioned to protect the American people.”

Burns “shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect,” Biden said in a statement. “Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores.”

Burns left the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after 33-years. Most recently, Burns was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank with a focus on foreign policy and international affairs.

– Matthew Brown

Democrats to introduce resolution calling for 25th Amendment

House Democrats will introduce a resolution Monday calling for President Donald Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president incapable of performing his duties.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid out the steps they plan to take in a letter to colleagues on Sunday.

On Monday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will request unanimous consent for the “Raskin Resolution,” which calls on Pence to convene the Cabinet and activate the 25th Amendment. If they don’t receive consent – which is almost guaranteed since only a single Republican would have to object – Democrats will vote on the measure on Tuesday.

“We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours” after the resolution is passed, Pelosi said. If Pence does not act before that deadline, House Democrats will introduce articles of impeachment against Trump.

“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi wrote. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

Pelosi told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday that she prefers the 25th Amendment to impeachment.

“Well, I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him. He’s out of office,” she said. “But there’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time.”

Under the 25th Amendment, if the vice president and the majority of the Cabinet declare the president unfit for office, the vice president immediately becomes the acting president.

Impeachment is a lengthier process. First, a simple majority in the House must vote in favor of charges. Then, the Senate must hold a trial to consider the charges. For the president to be removed, two-thirds of its members must vote to convict.

– Camille Caldera