Attack on the Capitol: Twitter bans Trump; impeachment plans accelerate

An American flag flies at half-staff in remembrance of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick above the Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Sicknick died from injuries sustained as President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)(AP/Patrick Semansky)
A flag flies at half-staff in remembrance of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick above the Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Sicknick died from injuries sustained as rioters stormed the Capitol. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The nation is still reeling two days after supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College votes that sealed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Here are the latest developments Friday:

  • Twitter permanently suspends Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”
  • A move to impeach Trump again is gathering momentum; articles could be introduced Monday.
  • Federal prosecutors detailed some of the first charges.
  • The National Guard troops protecting D.C. ahead of the inauguration may be armed
  • Trump announced he would skip Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the nation’s top military officer told her that Trump could be prevented from launching nuclear weapons.
  • The third-ranking Democrat in the Senate said Friday that two of the Republican leaders of the legislative effort to stop Wednesday’s Electoral College vote count should resign.

Twitter bans Trump; Google suspends alternative social media app & Apple threatens to do same

Twitter banned Trump’s account Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The social media site continued by saying, “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”

Twitter said that it allows the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly on its platform, however, “we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence.”

In its news release citing that Trump violated its “Glorification of Violence” policy, Twitter said that “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”

After his personal account was banned, Trump attempted to tweet using the account reserved for the sitting U.S. president and his campaign Twitter account before both were promptly banned as well.

Trump frequently used his personal account to address his supporters while carrying out feuds with the media, announcing legislative maneuvers, and criticizing both Democratic and Republican politicians.

Google has also suspended Parler, a “free speech” app, from its Google Play store for “continued posting…that seeks to incite ongoing violence.”

In a statement, Google said it had reminded Parler for months of its policy that requires apps to moderate user-generated content. However, content seeking to incite violence has continued to be posted without moderation, according to Google.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple threatened ban Parler from its app store if the platform doesn’t institute a content moderation policy within 24 hours.

Some of the Trump supporters who participated in the riot at Capitol used Parler.


Push to remove Trump gathers steam

The chorus of voices seeking to remove Trump from office only grew on Friday. House Democrats are planning to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., is one of the authors, says CBS, who adds that he, Rep. Ted Lieu of California and Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island began drafting the articles while they were on lockdown Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, from Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, called for the president’s removal from office, calling Trump “a clear and present danger to the American people and our democracy.”

“The Twenty-Fifth Amendment would be the quickest way to proceed,” Hoyer said, “but Congress should consider impeachment if that Amendment is not invoked.”

And Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, on Friday became the first Republican senator to call on Trump to resign, telling the Anchorage Daily News, “He doesn’t want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out.”

Several Republican members of the House have already called for Trump to resign or be removed.

Trump’s not the only target: Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington state, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat, tweeted Friday that Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, two of the leaders of the legislative attempt to stop the electoral vote count on Wednesday, should resign, saying, “Any Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office.”


Family of Capitol Police officer

The family of Brian D. Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after suffering injuries in the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, issued a statement Friday asking the public and the media “to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue.”


Charges detailed

Federal prosecutors said Friday that some of the people charged so far in Wednesday’s riot by Trump supporters include a man authorities say drove a pickup truck full of 11 Molotov cocktails to the Capitol, a man who trespassed into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and stole mail from her desk, and a West Virginia state delegate who filmed himself storming the Capitol Building.

D.C. police have also released dozens of photos from the riot as prosecutors said Thursday that more serious charges were also possible, including insurrection and seditious conspiracy.


Trump to skip inauguration

Two days after the rioting at the Capitol that killed five people, Trump said on Friday morning via Twitter that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

He will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 not to go to the inauguration of his successor.

For his part, Biden said he was just fine with that, calling it “one of the few things we have ever agreed on. It’s a good thing him not showing up.” He called the president an ”embarrassment” to the nation and unworthy of the office.

Vice President Mike Pence was expected to attend the inauguration, but Pence spokesman Devin Malley said, “Vice President Pence and the second lady have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance.”


National Guard may be allowed to carry guns in DC

Defense leaders are reviewing restrictions on the use of force by National Guard members, and could allow troops to carry batons or guns in D.C. as they brace for more protests and possible violence around the Jan. 20 inauguration.


Pelosi: Steps in place to prevent nuclear strike

Pelosi on Friday told House Democrats that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has told her there are steps in place that would prevent Trump from firing nuclear weapons.


Trump finally faces reality — briefly

Trump condemned the violence at the Capitol that he incited — temporarily, anyway.

For the first time on camera, he admitted Thursday night that his presidency would soon end — though he declined to mention Biden by name or explicitly state he had lost.

And, by the next morning, Trump was back to his usual division. Rather than offering condolences for the police officer who died from injuries sustained during the riot, Trump commended the “great American Patriots” who had voted for him.

“They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” he tweeted.


Calls for Va. Sen. Chase to resign

Virginia Senate Democrats called for Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase, a candidate for governor, to resign Friday, saying she had “unequivocally committed insurrection” by joining Wednesday’s march.

Even after the violence at the Capitol, Chase had posted on Facebook, “We need to replace weak-kneed Republicans with a new brand of Firebrand Republicans.”

Her account has since been suspended.


Few arrests increases prosecution challenge

D.C.’s acting U.S. attorney said the lack of arrests at the Capitol will make prosecutions more challenging.

No law enforcement source, including from U.S. Capitol Police, has detailed why officers chose not to use zip ties on rioters whom they observed as the chaos was taking place. Rioters posted pictures of themselves on social media, and videos of officers opening gates and doors for the Trump supporters.


Capitol Police officer dies

Flags are flying at half-staff at the Capitol after a U.S. Capitol Police officer died following Wednesday’s attack. Pelosi gave the order Friday.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. D.C. police and Capitol Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Sicknick joined the agency in July 2008 and most recently served in its first responders’ unit.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser expressed her condolences, saying on Thursday night, “May he rest In peace, and we work tirelessly to honor his service to the Congress and our nation.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement that Sicknick lived in Northern Virginia and “was killed while doing his job — defending those trapped in the Capitol Building amid a violent attack on our democracy. His death is a tragedy, and those responsible must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

He added, “My prayers and those of the entire commonwealth go to his family, his loved ones, and his fellow officers who work every day to protect the seat of American democracy from those who would seek to destroy it.”

Sicknick’s death after the rampage that shocked the nation and the world raises questions about Trump’s remaining days in office and the ability of the Capitol Police to secure the area.


Capitol Police Chief Sund to resign

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund will resign, effective next week.

Pelosi called for Sund’s resignation, while House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll fire the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.


Capitol Police rejected offers of federal help with mob

Three days before the riot, the Pentagon asked the U.S. Capitol Police whether it needed National Guard help. As the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents.

The police turned them down both times.


Hogan: Federal OK to send National Guard during Capitol attack delayed

Gov. Larry Hogan said he tried to send troops from the Maryland National Guard to restore peace at the U.S. Capitol, but for one and a half hours was “repeatedly denied approval to do so.”


DC Police Union speaks out about Capitol Hill riots

The head of the union representing rank-and-file members of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, a.k.a. the D.C. police, minces no words about what happened at the Capitol.

D.C. Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton said the U.S. Capitol Police Department “was ill-prepared for this attack, both in manpower and in resources.”


Siege raises security concerns for Biden’s inauguration

The violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is intensifying scrutiny over security at Biden’s inauguration, already reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and his predecessor’s plan to not attend.


Biden blames Trump for violence at Capitol

Biden has denounced the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorists.” and he blamed Trump for the violence.


After riot, Trump aides debate early exit

Trump’s education and transportation secretaries, his acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and deputy national security adviser are among at least nine senior administration officials who have announced their resignations since Wednesday’s attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol.


Wall Street Journal to Trump: Resign

The editorial board at The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to resign, blaming him for inciting the mob to storm the Capitol.

The conservative-leaning newspaper board said, “It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable.”


Pompeo rejects ‘banana republic’ characterization of US

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with successor Anthony Blinken on Friday, the day before, he used his personal Twitter account to rebuff claims by foreign officials that the U.S. is a “banana republic” following the riots at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Pompeo wrote, “In a banana republic, mob violence determines the exercise of power. In the United States, law enforcement officials quash mob violence so that the people’s representatives can exercise power in accordance with the rule of law and constitutional government.”


FBI offers reward for information

The FBI is now offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons who put pipe bombs at the Democratic and Republican national committee headquarters on Wednesday.

Capitol Police said that its bomb squad determined that both devices were hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety. They were disabled and turned over to the FBI.


Md. Dems: Rep. Harris should resign

The Maryland Democratic Party called for the resignation of U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, stating he was “complicit” in the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol.


How to talk to your kids about the riot at the Capitol

The fatal riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday are not just top of mind for you, but your kids as well. So, what’s the best way to talk to them about it?

A child and adolescent psychiatrist in Virginia offers advice.


Race double standard clear at Capitol

Race. How much of a role did it play in how police dealt with the Trump supporters versus other large rallies in D. C.?


Woman fatally shot at Capitol echoed Trump on social media

Ashli Babbitt, the woman who died after being shot inside the Capitol, is an Air Force veteran who often ranted on social media against the president’s frequent targets — illegal immigration, government mandates to contain the coronavirus and, most of all, Trump’s critics.


First person: What was it like to be there?

What was it like inside the Capitol and at the protest? WTOP reporters offer perspectives.

WTOP’s Mitchell Miller was inside the Capitol when Wednesday’s lockdown happened. He recounts the chaos.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, who covers protests, was in the crowd.

WTOP’s Will Vitka, Jack Moore, Kate Ryan and Matthew Delaney, and The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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