The Latest: Acting Homeland Security chief Wolf is resigning

With the Washington Monument in the background, people attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump Jan. 6.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
With the Washington Monument in the background, people attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump Jan. 6.

Categories: News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down from his post, days after criticizing President Donald Trump over the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Wolf said in a message to staff that he would step down at 11:59 p.m. Monday, even though he had earlier said he planned to remain in his job. He said Pete Gaynor, who ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would become the acting homeland security secretary.

The resignation comes a day before Trump is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Last week, Wolf asked Trump and all elected officials to “strongly condemn the violence” that took place at the Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

Wolf said he has condemned violence on both sides of the political aisle, specifically directed at law enforcement. He tweeted “we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends” and called that unacceptable.

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

4:55 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is exploring immediately convening the Senate for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as soon as the House votes and sends the article of impeachment to the chamber.

That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of Monday to discuss the private planning.

The aide says Schumer is considering using the authority granted to the two Senate leaders to reconvene the chamber in times of emergency.

The House is set to begin debate Wednesday on a sole charge against Trump — incitement of insurrection — after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said the soonest the chamber could start a trial would be Jan. 20, the day Trump is to leave office as Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated.

— By AP writer Lisa Mascaro

GAZETTE COVERAGE

Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts. Already a subscriber? Thank you!

4:20 p.m.

The State Department is investigating what appears to be a “prank” after its website suggested President Donald Trump’s term would end Monday evening.

The change to the department’s bio page for Trump — which displayed the text “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00” — created an internet frenzy Monday afternoon.

The flub comes as Trump is under growing pressure to resign and as he faces a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week in a bid to halt the certification of Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.

Two people familiar with the incident say the department is investigating exactly how it happened. While the department hasn’t ruled out the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee, they have yet to reach any conclusions.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The page has since been removed.

— By AP writer Matthew Lee

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

4:10 p.m.

The Department of Homeland Security is setting increased inauguration security measures in motion earlier than scheduled, citing an “evolving security landscape” leading up to the event.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Monday that he’s moved up the timing of the national special security event for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to Wednesday, instead of Jan. 19. He cited the “events of the past week,” along with an evolving security landscape.

It comes days after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. Five people died.

The FBI has also issued a bulletin warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration.

GAZETTE COVERAGE

Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts. Already a subscriber? Thank you!

___

2:55 p.m.

Democrats say the House will consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one week after an angry mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call Monday that members should plan to return to Washington on Tuesday evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act.

Hoyer says the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday.

House Democrats have moved quickly to draft an article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection because he egged on thousands of his supporters ahead of the riots by falsely telling them that the election was stolen from him.

One of the Democratic sponsors of the article, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, says they have the votes to pass it.

___

2:45 p.m.

The agency overseeing security at the U.S. House has a new leader.

Timothy Blodgett, the deputy sergeant-at-arms for the House, has been sworn in to replace Paul Irving, who resigned following last week’s riot at the Capitol.

Blodgett is one of three acting officials now leading security in and around the Capitol in the wake of the violent siege that resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer.

Jennifer Hemingway, the deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Senate, is acting sergeant-at-arms for the upper chamber, replacing Michael Stenger. And Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has been named acting chief, after former Chief Steven Sund resigned.

Pittman, a 20-year veteran, is the first African American woman to lead Capitol police. The department is facing intense scrutiny after its lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat drew widespread condemnation.

___

2:40 p.m.

Former House Speaker John Boehner says President Donald Trump should “consider resigning his post.”

The Republican former Ohio congressman began his remarks during a webinar on health care policy Monday by talking about Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud and last week’s siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists.

“Here’s the president of the United States, in my view, inciting a riot … and the Capitol being threatened,” Boehner said. “It’s time for Donald Trump to consider resigning his post. He has violated his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Boehner was speaker from 2011 to 2015, and he has largely steered clear of publicly commenting on Trump. But on Monday he said Trump “has abused the loyalty of the people who voted for him.”

Boehner also took aim at Republicans in Congress who echoed Trump’s “noise” about election fraud claims, despite courts and and election officials repeatedly saying there was no such evidence presented.

“Shame on them,” Boehner said. “Leaders lead.”

___

GAZETTE COVERAGE

Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts. Already a subscriber? Thank you!

2:30 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden says he has spoken to Senate leaders about splitting time between approving his key Cabinet nominations and proceeding with a possible impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

The House is preparing articles of impeachment against Trump for the second time in a little over a year. This time, it’s for helping incite last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

But Trump leaves office Jan. 20 and the Senate likely won’t reconvene until next week, raising concerns among congressional Democrats that the impeachment trial could overshadow the start of Biden’s presidency and confirmation of his choices for key administration posts.

After receiving his second coronavirus vaccination shot on Monday in Delaware, Biden downplayed such concerns, however, and suggested that the Senate could do both.

The president-elect said he’d spoken to Senate leaders about splitting the chamber’s time and “go a half day on dealing with impeachment, a half day on getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate.”

Biden said such an arrangement also would allow the Senate to work on another major pandemic response bill that would include more economic aid for Americans struggling because of the virus.

___

1:35 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting.

She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. A press release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”

Watson Coleman is isolating at home and awaiting the results of another test. She says, “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”

Watson Coleman had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

___

1:30 p.m.

The head of the National Guard says at least 10,000 troops will be deployed in Washington, D.C., by Saturday, and an additional 5,000 could be requested from other states.

There are currently 6,200 Guard members in the city from D.C. and five nearby states. The increase in requests for Guard members on Monday comes as officials brace for more, possibly violent protests surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters that he has authorization to bring in up to 15,000 Guard members. He said the number of deployments is changing by the hour and day, based on requests from the Secret Service, the Park Police and the Capitol Police.

There have been repeated questions about why Guard members weren’t brought in more quickly as the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol unfolded on Wednesday. Guard officials have said they responded as quickly as they could as the situation spiraled out of control but said the Capitol Police repeatedly turned down offers for help in the days before the protests.

GAZETTE COVERAGE

Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts. Already a subscriber? Thank you!

Leave a Reply