Donald Trump impeachment updates: Mike Pence attacks Democrats' 'political games', rules out invoking 25th Amendment

Donald Trump has refused to accept responsibility for last week's deadly insurrection, claiming he has "tremendous support" and that his remarks calling for supporters to march on Capitol Hill were "totally appropriate".

The outgoing US President spoke to reporters on Wednesday before he travelled to Texas to boast about the border wall with Mexico. It's the first time he has taken questions since last Thursday's riot.

While Trump said he wants "no violence", it's been reported up to 4000 pro-Trump "armed patriots" are planning to surround Capitol Hill ahead of next week's inauguration.

What you need to know:

  • Donald Trump made his first comments to media on Wednesday since the riots, saying his remarks before the Capitol Hill chaos were "totally appropriate".

  • He would go on to claim he was at no risk of being removed via the 25th Amendment, but that Joe Biden and his Administration should "be careful what you wish for".

  • Democrats are trying to win bipartisan support for their impeachment article, scheduled to be voted on on Thursday. However, it will pass regardless of whether Republicans back it as Democrats have control of the House.

  • It has been reported that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell is pleased Democrats are moving forward with impeachment, believing Trump committed impeachable offences.

  • At least five Republican House members have confirmed they will vote to impeach Trump, including former VP Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz.

  • Up to 4000 pro-Trump "armed patriots" are planning to surround Capitol Hill and stop any Democrat from entering ahead of the January 20 inauguration.

  • On Wednesday, the House approved a resolution calling for Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office which was brought forward by Democrat Jamie Raskin. However it doesn't actually carry the force of law.

  • Youtube has silenced Donald Trump's channel for at least a week from Wednesday for violating their policies. They follow numerous other social media platforms who have suspended or banned the President following the Capitol riots.

  • VP Mike Pence confirmed he won't invoke the 25th Amendment saying he doesn't believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of the country or consistent with the Constitution

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Visit our website in the morning to see the latest developments overnight.

6:45pm - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed that during the Capitol riots last week she had a "very close encounter" and she thought she "was going to die".

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, didn't provide many details about the events due to security issues but said the incident was "traumatising", Buzzfeed News reported.

"I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive," she said.

6:30pm - Passengers have been seen cheering as a group of people were kicked off a flight in the United States after they were identified as rioters at last week's insurrection at the Capitol.

One video uploaded to Twitter says it shows "a group from the insurrection" leaving the plane. One woman in the clip, who identifies herself as Melody Marie Black, says she's being asked to leave the Washington DC to Minneapolis flight "because they said I was loud".

"I don't have money to get home," she adds.

Read more and watch the video here.

6:02pm - Jaime Herrera Beutler has become the fifth Republican House member to back Trump's impeachment.

In a statement posted to social media on Wednesday, Beutler said the President's response to the Capitol riots "were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have".

"I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters. But I am a Republican voter. I believe in the Constitution, individual liberty, free markets, charity, life, justice, peace and this exceptional country. I see that my own party will be best served when those among us choose truth.

"I believe President Trump acted against his oath out of office, so I will vote to impeach him."

5:50pm - The impeachment is due to be pushed forward on Thursday (NZ time) - find out more here about how an impeachment works, why it's happening and when to expect the Senate trial.

5:33pm - The House has approved the resolution calling to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Members of the House of Representatives voted on the resolution on Tuesday (local time) just before midnight, which was brought forward by Democrat Jamie Raskin in response to the Capitol riots last week.

The final result was 223 votes 'yes' to 205 'no's meaning the resolution was adopted.

5:30pm - Youtube has confirmed they have removed content from Donald Trump's channel for violating their policies and his account has been suspended for at least one week.

Members of the National Guard gather outside the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Today the House of Representatives plans to vote on Rep. Jamie Raskin's (D-MD) resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, removing President Trump from office. On Wednesday, House Democrats plan on voting on articles of impeachment.
Members of the National Guard gather outside the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Today the House of Representatives plans to vote on Rep. Jamie Raskin's (D-MD) resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, removing President Trump from office. On Wednesday, House Democrats plan on voting on articles of impeachment. Photo credit: Getty

5:15pm - There are currently 220 votes for 'yes' to the resolution, including one Republican vote and 219 Democrat votes, and 205 votes for 'no' which all came from Republicans.

5:02pm - So far the votes are very close, with 174 to 'yes' and 168 to 'no'. Only one Republican has voted 'yes' to the resolution, with the other 168 voting 'no'. All Democrats have voted 'yes'.

5pm - Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, became the fourth House GOP member to reveal he would be voting to impeach Trump. Here's his full statement:

"Today the President characterised his inflammatory rhetoric at last Wednesday's rally as 'totally appropriate', and he expressed no regrets for last week's violent insurrection at the US Capitol," he said.

"This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution. I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process. I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. But it is time to say: Enough is enough.

"The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach."

The impeachment vote is due to take place on Thursday (NZ time).

4:50pm - The debate on the 25th amendment resolution has now concluded and voting has begun.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui speaks with President Donald J. Trump about "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, Nov 13, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui speaks with President Donald J. Trump about "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, Nov 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Getty

4:45pm - Operation Warp Speed Chief Adviser Dr Moncef Slaoui has submitted his resignation on Wednesday at the request of the incoming Biden administration, CNBC reports.

Two people familiar with the situation told the publication that Slaoui, who was in charge of the US COVID-19 vaccine program, will leave after Biden's inauguration on January 20.

4:30pm - Some Democrats have voiced frustration at the resolution currently being debated in the House, which calls for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

The resolution itself doesn't actually carry the force of law and Pence has already confirmed he won't invoke it.

"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution," he said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

CNN reported that some House Democrats think their party leaders made a strategic mistake in calling for the vote, wasting a day which they could have moved forward with Trump's impeachment.

"Total waste of time," one House Democrat told CNN. 

Aaron Mostofsky.
Aaron Mostofsky. Photo credit: Image - Reuters / New York Post

4:10pm - A man who was allegedly involved in the US Capitol riots has been revealed to be the son of a New York Supreme Court Judge.

Aaron Mostofsky, the son of Shlomo Mostofsky, was arrested after photos of him at the US Capitol dressed in a fur costume appeared in an article by the New York Post.

During the riots he claimed that 75 million people voted for Trump and "the election was stolen".

He was photographed holding a riot shield and wearing a bulletproof vest believed to have been used by law enforcement at the Capitol.

During his first court appearance on Tuesday (local time) Mostofsky wept.

Read the full story here.

3:55pm - US Representative Fred Upton will vote to impeach President Donald Trump, Upton spokesman Josh Paciorek said on Tuesday, making the Michigan lawmaker the fourth Republican House member to announce they will vote to impeach the President over the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters. 

- Reuters

3:50pm - Members of the House of Representatives are now arguing their case on why others should vote 'yes' or 'no'.

Republican Ben Cline from Virginia said the resolution was "rushed and politically motivated" and urged members to vote against it.

However Democrat Zoe Lofgren from California urged Republicans to "put politics aside" and "protect the country".

"Save us from a President who is unable to function, unable to protect our country," she said.

3:40pm - The House has approved fines for members who don't comply with COVID-19 protocols, the Guardian reports.

For those that don't follow the mask-wearing mandate, there will now be a US$500 fine for the first offense and US$2500 for the second.

3:30pm - Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, has introduced his resolution urging Mike Pence to enact the 25th Amendment. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now speaking, saying they want Trump removed from office to stop him from "causing more damage".

"I applaud the great leadership of Mr Raskin," she said.

"We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours of passage."

3:25pm - CNN reports that Trump is continuing to discuss issuing pardons for himself and his children following the riots last week.

The source said there is a belief that a "pardon of family and kids, is more likely and more urgent because a pardon could stave off prosecution".

They told CNN that Trump believes "it makes sense to just cover it all".

3:15pm - The resolution has been adopted following the votes. The final tally stands as below.

3:10pm - The votes currently stand at 222 'yes' and 204 'no'.

3pm - Voting is wrapping up in a couple of minutes with 213 votes currently for 'yes' and 200 votes currently for 'no' on agreeing to the resolution. All votes have been made along partisan lines.

2:55pm - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, will lead the impeachment managers.

"Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump," said Pelosi.  

"It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the President's impeachment and removal.  They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.  Our Managers will honor their duty to defend democracy For The People with great solemnity, prayerfulness and urgency."

The other managers are:

  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado

  • Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island

  • Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas

  • Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

  • Congressman Ted Lieu of California

  • Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands

  • Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado

  • Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania

2:48pm - The final votes are coming in. All 152 Democrats who have voted so far have voted 'yes' while all 174 Republicans have voted 'no'. 

2:45pm - Republican members of the House of Representatives have reportedly complained about the extra security on Tuesday which was put in place following the riots last week.

Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Stivers of Ohio, Van Taylor of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, and Larry Bucshon of Indiana were among those not complying with police, NBC news reported.

"For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through," Debbie Lesko laster tweeted.

"These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!"

2:34pm - The vote on the 25th Amendment has now finished. All Democrats voted 'yes' while all Republicans voted 'no'. Now they are voting on the resolution to remove Trump from office.

2:28pm - The final votes are coming in and the 'yes' votes are currently leading.

2:25pm - Politico reporter Alex Thompson reported that two people briefed on the conversation between the President and Vice President that Trump told Pence:

“You can either go down in history as a patriot or you can go down in history as a p***y.”

2:15pm -  The vote on the 25th Amendment resolution is nearly finished. So far, it is entirely on partisan lines with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. The result should come through in the next 10 minutes. You can watch proceedings here:

2:10pm - Wells Fargo & Co said its political action committee (PAC) will pause political contributions for the foreseeable future to review its strategy at the outset of the new Congress and the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

"We will take into consideration the actions of elected officials who objected to the Electoral College vote and we urge members of all political parties to work together in a bipartisan fashion to help our nation heal", a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

- Reuters

2pm - Republican Representative Lauren Boebert has held up a line at the Capitol's newly installed metal detectors.

The lawmaker, who reportedly supports allowing weapons to be carried inside the building, refused to comply with a bag search.

1:50pm - VP Mike Pence has confirmed he won't invoke the 25th Amendment.

"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

He says Democrats are playing "political games" in the House of Representatives and urges Congress to "avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment". 

House members are currently voting on a resolution calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

1:35pm - A cancellation of all travel by the US State Department this week includes a planned visit to Taiwan by US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, a State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Craft had been due to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, prompting China to warn that Washington was playing with fire. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that all travel this week had been canceled, including his own trip to Europe, as part of the transition to the incoming Biden administration.

But European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said Luxembourg's foreign minister and top European Union officials had declined to meet with him during his planned European trip this week.

Craft's Taiwan trip appeared to be another part of an effort by Pompeo and President Donald Trump's Republican administration to lock in a tough approach to China before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

Taiwan's government expressed "understanding and respect" for the decision, but also regret.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets that the US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft cannot lead a delegation to visit Taiwan from Jan. 13 to 15 as scheduled, but welcomes Ambassador Craft to visit at an appropriate time in the future," it said in a statement.

Craft is due to leave the role when Biden assumes the presidency next week.

China had said it was firmly opposed to the visit. A representative of China's mission to the United Nations in New York urged Washington to stop "creating obstacles" for the relationship between China and the United States.

"It's time that the crazy, irrational behaviors of certain people come to a stop," the Chinese representative said.

Beijing, which claims the self-governed island as its own territory, has been angered by stepped-up support for Taiwan from the Trump administration, including trips to Taipei by top US officials, further straining Sino-US ties. Pompeo on Saturday said he was lifting restrictions on contacts between US officials and their Taiwanese counterparts.

Chinese fighter jets approached the island in August and September during the last two visits - by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, respectively.

While the United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is the island's strongest international backer and arms supplier, being obliged to help provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

- Reuters

1:25pm - Donald Trump has returned to Joint Base Andrews after his trip to Texas.  He didn't speak to reporters.

We will bring you any comments he makes - if any - when he returns to the White House shortly.

1:20pm - Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan has expressed support for the three Republican House Represenatives who have announced they will vote to impeach Donald Trump on Thursday.

"I will always be proud of my father for putting our country before party and his own career as the first Republican to support impeaching President Nixon. Shortly after his stand, the president resigned. Tonight, I am proud of @RepLizCheney@RepKinzinger, and @RepJohnKatko."

1:15pm - Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick has introduced a resolution to censure Donald Trump over his attempts to "unlawfully overturn the 2020 Presidential election" and for his actions on January 6. 

Some Republicans have favoured a censure over impeachment, believing that Senate will fail to gain a conviction, which "would even further divide and inflame tensions in our nation". It would also take time away from getting Joe Biden's agenda under way, they say.

1:05pm - House members are now taking a break before debate on the 25th Amendment resolution resumes and a vote later on Wednesday afternoon.

12:55pm - Democrat Adam Schiff says that reports Mitch McConnell is open to Trump's impeachment could cause a "potential earthquake" in the Senate.

McConnell is reportedly furious with Trump, believing he committed impeachable offences last week. If impeachment passes through the House on Thursday, it will eventually reach the Senate, where McConnell has massive sway over his colleagues.

12:50pm: While three Republicans have confirmed they will impeach Donald Trump, CNN reports that up to 20 are considering it.

12:40pm - US civil rights groups will organise an advertiser boycott against Alphabet's YouTube if it does not remove President Donald Trump's channel, the groups told Reuters.

Jim Steyer, one of the organisers of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign which led over 1,000 advertisers to boycott Facebook in July, said the groups are demanding YouTube take down Trump's verified YouTube channel, which has 2.76 million subscribers.

YouTube is the last major tech company that has not banned Trump from posting on its platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Snap Inc have all blocked Trump after supporters of the president stormed the US Capitol last week, leading to five deaths.

Trump's YouTube channel gives him the opportunity to continue spreading false information that the US election was stolen, Steyer said.

On Tuesday, Trump's YouTube channel posted eight new videos, including one in which Trump told reporters "I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake" by blocking him.

Neither YouTube nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.

YouTube has told the groups it is considering the demands but has yet to act, Steyer said.

"If YouTube does not agree with us and join the other platforms in banning Trump, we're going to go to the advertisers," he added.

"We join in with our coalition partners and ask that YouTube act decisively to help stop the spread of hate by shutting Trump's account down," said the NAACP in a statement to Reuters.

The NAACP, Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change along with Steyer's group Common Sense Media, are among the organisers of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which had recruited major advertisers including Verizon Communications and Unilever to pull their ads from Facebook over hate speech concerns.

Despite the widespread boycott, Facebook posted record revenue during its third quarter but agreed to create a role for a head of civil rights. 

- Reuters

12:35pm - You can watch members of the US House of Representatives debate the 25th Amendment resolution below:

12:20pm - A third Republican has confirmed they will vote to impeach Donald Trump.

House Representative Adam Kinzinger says Trump "encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes". 

"There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions - the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch - are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offence?

" I will vote in favour of impeachment".

12:05pm - The US House of Representatives is poised on Wednesday to debate a resolution pressing Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the Constitution's 25th amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, after the chamber's rules committee set the rules for the debate. 

That debate will occur on Wednesday afternoon.

11:50am - Trump is yet to respond to McConnell's reported support for the impeachment process. He is currently flying back from Texas and has, of course, also lost his Twitter privileges.

11:40am - Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice-President Dick Cheney, has confirmed she will vote to impeach Donald Trump. She is the second Republican to confirm they will support the Democrats' efforts in the House.

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney says of last week's riot.

"Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.

"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President."

11:35am - A Kiwi expert in international politics says even after Donald Trump loses power - by whatever means - his "cult" won't be so easily finished off.

The outgoing US President has a week left in the job before he's replaced by President-elect Joe Biden. But Trump isn't going quietly, and now stands accused of inciting violence at the US Capitol in Washington DC last week that resulted in five deaths. 

Many have continued to express support for Trump however, including Congressman Mo Brooks, Senator Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. 

Stephen Hoadley, associate professor of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, says they - and their base - will likely be around for a while yet.

Read more here.

11:20am - Speaking to CNN, Jonathan Martin, the NYT journalist who broke the McConnell story, says he believes the Kentucky Senator could vote in favour of conviction if impeachment reaches the Senate floor. Considering McConnell leads the Republicans in the Senate, his decision could persuade others to support the Democrats' efforts.

Martin says McConnell is likely furious not only that Trump incited supporters to march on the Capitol - the workplace he reveres - but that Republicans lost the Senate last week, something he may blame Trump for.

11:05am - CNN is reporting that a source says McConnell "hates" Trump for his actions following last week's deadly riot.

"The source said McConnell 'hates' Trump for what he did last week following the attacks on the Capitol that left at least five people dead including a Capitol Hill police officer," CNN says.

Another source says the pair haven't spoken for a week. 

11am - House Republican John Katko says he will vote to impeach Donald Trump. He is the first Republican to confirm he will join Democrats in supporting impeachment. However, several others are reportedly considering it.

"To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement. "For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president."

10:40am - The New York Times also reports that House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy - who has said he will personally oppose impeachment - has asked colleagues whether they believe he should call on Trump to resign. 

10:35am - Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly said privately that he believes Donald Trump committed impeachable offences and is pleased Democrats are moving to impeach him, the New York Times is reporting

According to the NYT, McConnell believes impeaching Trump for a second time will "make it easier to purge him from the party". 

The House will vote on impeachment on Thursday (NZT). Some Republican Representatives are considering voting for impeachment. When impeachment articles may go to the Senate is currently unclear.

10:30am - Republican Senator Rob Portman says that Donald Trump "bears some responsibility for what happened on January 6", pointing to his remarks beforehand and actions afterwards.

The Senator calls on Trump to address the nation and "explicitly urge his supporters to remain peaceful and refrain from violence". 

"If our nation experiences additional violence and destruction at the hands of his supporters in... DC and state capitols around the country, and he does not directly and unambiguously speak out now when threats are known, he will bear responsibility”

10:20am - The Joint Chiefs of Staff have released a statement that was sent to their forces. In it, they say the riot last week was a "direct assault on the US Congress, the Capitol building and our constitutional process".

"The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection". 

The Joint Chiefs then explicitly confirm to servicepeople that Joe Biden will become the next President of the United States. 

10:15am - Donald Trump is currently at the US-Mexico border wall in Texas. He reportedly plans to spend the next eight days of his presidency boasting about his Administration's "achievements". 

10:10am - Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, joined other major companies in indefinitely suspending donations to US lawmakers who voted against President-elect Joe Biden's election certification.

The Arkansas-based company said in light of last week's attack on the US Capitol, its "political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes."

- Reuters

10am - Metal detectors have been placed outside of the House chamber in the US Capitol.

9:55am - More criticism is coming in of that DOJ/FBI press conference:

9:45am - US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue issued a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time), calling Trump's actions last week in connection with pro-Trump mob at the US Capitol "absolutely unacceptable and completely inexcusable."

Donohue told a news conference that Trump "undermined our democratic institutions and ideals" and it was up to Vice President Mike Pence, the Cabinet and Congress to decide whether to try to oust Trump early through the Constitution's 25th Amendment or impeachment proceedings.

"We trust them to use those tools judiciously, if needed, to ensure our nationΓÇÖs well-being and security," Donohue said, calling on elected officials across the country to encourage a peaceful transition of power and promote calm.

The statement was unusually strong for the biggest and most influential US business lobby group, which has supported many of Trump's policy efforts over the past four years, including tax cuts passed in 2017, reduced regulations, energy initiatives, and unprecedented coronavirus relief to businesses.

Some members of Congress, through their actions last week, "will have forfeited the support of the US Chamber of Commerce. Period. Full stop," said Neil Bradley, the business lobby group's chief policy officer.

Bradley declined to name specific lawmakers when asked if Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas would be among those losing Chamber support because they objected to certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

He said that the group will take into account lawmakers' actions last week and watch "the totality of their efforts on supporting government" in coming days.

Asked whether he considered last week's assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob seeking to stop the election of Biden as an attempted coup, Donohue said: "I would say there were some efforts to achieve other objectives, I'm not sure it was a full coup" attempt. "But we didn't like them and we have responded to them, as have all Americans."

- Reuters

9:40am - Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, is laying into the FBI/DOJ press conference on CNN right now. He is questioning why neither the acting US Attorney General nor the FBI director were present at the media briefing. 

9:30am - As Trump spoke, the FBI and Department of Justice also held a press conference.

The FBI has opened 160 case files in its investigation of the storming of the US Capitol by rioters supporting President Donald Trump last week, the head of the agency's Washington field office said on Tuesday.

The assistant director in charge of the field office, Steven D'Antuono, told the media briefing that the FBI had received 100,000 videos and pictures as tips.

US acting Attorney Michael Sherwin said 70 cases have already been charged, and he expects that would grow into the hundreds. 

Everything is being looked at, Sherwin says, from trespass to theft of mail to felony murder.

There are also significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy, he says.

D'Antuono confirms it had intelligence of possible violence ahead of last week's riots.

9:20am - Trump is now addressing those who committed violence at Capitol Hill last week. He calls them a "mob" and says he believes in respecting tradition and history, not tearing it down.

Trump calls for people to respect law enforcement. 

"We are a nation of law and we are a nation of order."

After briefly discussing the riot, he begins talking about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, which he says is a "medical miracle".

9:15am - Trump doesn't begin his speech by paying tribute to those killed in last week's riot, but by saying that "free speech is under assault like never before".

"The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, 'be careful what you wish for'".

Trump says "the impeachment hoax" is the continuation of a "witch hunt" that is causing anger and pain that is very "dangerous for the USA" at this "tender time".

"Now is the time for our nation to heal. A time for peace and calm."

9:10am -  Donald Trump is speaking near the border wall in Texas.

Watch the video below:

9:05am - NBC reports that a Chicago man has been arrested for allegedly threatening to commit violence at the January 20 inauguration.

"We will surround the [expletive] White House and we will kill any [expletive] Democrat that steps on the [expletive] lawn," the man allegedly said in a voicemail. 

8:50am - House Republicans leaders won't formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach Donald Trump on Thursday, according to The New York Times.

The GOP is usually relentless in lobbying representatives to toe the party line. However, while Democrat House leader Kevin McCarthy will personally oppose impeachment, he won't formally try to stop other Republicans from supporting the Democrat move to condemn Trump. 

The decision is being described by the NYT as a shift away from the President.

Several Republicans have already said they are considering voting for impeachment. Regardless of Republican support, the impeachment vote should pass on Thursday as the Democrats control the House. 

8:40am - NBC is reporting that right-wing extremists are using the communication application Telegram to call for violence against government officials on January 20. It's said that some extremists have discussed how to make, conceal and use homemade guns and bombs. 

While NBC says there has been activity in the Telegram chat groups for months, chatter has increased since January 6. That may be because some of the users have been kicked off other social media networks for breaching their rules.

8:30am - Democrats have introduced legislation that would see members who don't wear masks on Capitol grounds fined. It comes after Republican members were seen without face coverings as they sheltered from insurrectionists on Thursday. Three Representatives who were with them have since tested positive for COVID-19.

"Members refusing to mask and distance in the Capitol put other Members, aides, support staff and their families at risk. There must be consequences for selfish actions that endanger the lives of others. If Members jeopardise the safety of others they should face fines," said Anthony Brown, one of the Democrats who introduced the legislation.

8:15am - Trump spoke to reporters on two occasions on Wednesday, his first public remarks since the riot  last week.

Here's the full transcript of his comments: 

South Lawn at 4:09am (NZT):

THE PRESIDENT:  So, we’re going to Texas.  We’re going to the southern border.  As you know, we’ve completed the wall.  They may want to expand it.  We have the expansion underway.  It’s been tremendously successful, far beyond what anyone thought.  We’re stopping, in large numbers, the drugs coming into the country for many, many years and decades.  We’re stopping a lot of illegal immigration.  Our numbers have been very good.

There does seem to be a surge now because people are coming up.  Some caravans are starting to form because they think there’s going to be a lot in it for them if they’re able to get through, but we’re able to stop it.  The wall has made a tremendous difference.  I think some of you are coming with me.  But the wall has made a tremendous difference on the southern border.

As far as this is concerned, we want no violence.  Never violence.  We want absolutely no violence.

And on the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.

This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing.  For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger.  I want no violence.

Thank you very much.  Thank you.

Joint Base Andrews, Prince George’s County, Maryland at 4:27am (NZT): 

THE PRESIDENT: I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country. And I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time. I’ve been predicting it for a long time, and people didn’t act on it.

But I think big tech has made a terrible mistake, and very, very bad for our country. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it. But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing.

And you have to always avoid violence. And we have - we have tremendous support.

Q What is your role, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: We have support probably like nobody has ever seen before. Always have to avoid violence.

Q Mr. President, what is your role in what happened at the Capitol? What is your personal responsibility?

THE PRESIDENT: So if you read my speech - and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television - it’s been analysed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.

And if you look at what other people have said - politicians at a high level - about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle, in various other - other places, that was a real problem - what they said.

But they’ve analysed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.

Okay, thank you. Thank you.

8:05am - Repeating comments he made at a press conference earlier, Chuck Schumer says Donald Trump's attempt to put blame on others is a "pathological technique used by the worst of dictators". 

"Trump causes the anger then blames others for it. He should not hold office one day longer. If he won’t resign and the VP & Cabinet won’t invoke the 25th, Trump will be impeached by the House and tried by the Senate."

8am - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg's foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said.

The extraordinary snub to Washington came days after the storming of the US Capitol by thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, an unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and US allies.

Read more here

7:50am - Here's a video of a protester confronting Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer at a press conference earlier (see the 7:20am update). Schumer was calling for insurrectionists to be placed on the no-fly list.

Warning: The video below contains language that may offend.

7:40am - Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is under criticism in the US for flying with Trump to Texas on Wednesday despite lambasting him last week.

Following the Capitol riot, Graham was among the first to rip into the President for inciting the insurrection, saying he and Trump had had a "hell of a journey", but it was now time to "count me out". 

It's not the first time Graham has done a 180 on Trump. Prior to Trump becoming President, Graham expressed concern that the businessman may tear the Republican Party apart. Yet, despite that, Graham has been a key Trump ally in the Senate over the last four years.

7:35am - Chevron is reviewing political donations after last week's violent invasion of the US capitol, Chief Executive Mike Wirth said on Tuesday while speaking at the Reuters Next conference.

Five people died, including a police officer, when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the seat of Congress in an attempt to disrupt the formal recognition of the US presidential election result.

Several companies have said they would suspend or review some political donations in the wake of the riots, including Marriott International Inc, Archer Daniels Midland Co and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

"I specifically asked my team to take a look at the events of last week and make sure those are brought into account as we make our decisions going forward," Wirth said.

About two-thirds of Chevron's contributions went to Republicans and one-third to Democrats in the most recent election cycle, Wirth said.

The second-largest US oil producer last week called for "the peaceful transition of the US government" and said it looked forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden's administration "to move the nation forward".

Wirth also said on Tuesday that Chevron expected to find "common ground" with the Biden administration on the economy and jobs, and expected the world to transition to a "lower-carbon energy system over time".

"We intend to be a part of that," Wirth said. Chevron is working to reduce its carbon impact and integrate renewables and offsets into its business, he added.

Biden, a Democrat, has promised to end US fossil fuel subsidies and seeks to usher in sweeping measures to combat climate change.

Wirth said he expected 2021 to be a better year for the hard-hit oil industry, which has slashed jobs and spending since last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Reuters

7:20am - Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is speaking to media, calling for insurrectionists who breached the US Capitol to be added to the no-fly list. 

He says there are continued threats of future violence.

"These individuals are a threat to the homeland... and they should be placed on the no-fly list."

Many of those involved in last week's attack remain at large, Schumer says. He doesn't want to see them return to Washington DC ahead of the inauguration. 

The leader calls Trump "despicable" for not expressing regret for his remarks ahead of last week's riot. He says the President is using pathological tactics used by dictators to throw blame on others.

Schumer says the Senate could reconvene quickly to convict Trump after the House impeachs him.

As Schumer was speaking, a protester began screaming inaudible comments at him.

7:15am - Following the FBI's warning on Tuesday that an armed group is planning protests at Capitol buildings across the US, the Michigan Attorney General has come out to say the state Capitol "is not safe". 

People with concealed weapons licences can carry their guns inside the state Capitol. However, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel warns there are no rules in place to actually check if people have a licence. 

"That means anyone-irrespective of criminal history, membership with an anti-government org, or stated intention to harm government employees-can still enter the Capitol fully locked and loaded with firearms or explosive devices hidden by clothing, backpacks, etc," she tweeted on Wednesday morning. 

"My job is not to provide state employees & residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and around the nation. I repeat-the Michigan Capitol is not safe."

7:05am - Federal grand jury indictments have been filed against two people arrested in connection to last week's attack.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman faces 17 criminal counts, largely for possessing multiple weapons without registration. Mark Jefferson Leffingwell faces seven counts. Neither have made a plea in court yet. 

6:50am - The Washington Post is reporting that an FBI office in Virginia issued an internal warning before last week's attack that extremists were planning to travel to Washington DC for "war". 

The Post says: "FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C

"An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating 'Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.'"

As the Post states, that contradicts claims from authorities that there was no indication any violent action was planned for January 6. 

6:45am - Lauren Blair Bianchi, the communications director for Republican Senator Ted Cruz, has resigned in the wake of last week's insurrection. Cruz, a Trump loyalist, was one of only a handful of Republican Senators to object during last week's certification of the election results.

6:35am - Up to 4000 pro-Trump "armed patriots" are planning to surround the Capitol to stop any Democrat from entering ahead of the January 20 inauguration, according to a House Representative.

Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has been briefed on the latest threat and told CNN the armed group has "published rules of engagement".

"This is an organised group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they're doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they're talking about 1776 and so this is now a contest of wills.

"We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately, that includes the President, which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office."

It comes after the FBI on Tuesday warned an armed group was threatening a "huge uprising" in Washington DC if Congress supported invoking the 25th Amendment. The group is also planning to gather outside Capitol buildings across all 50 states.

6:25am -  A third member of the House of Representatives has tested positive for COVID-19. It comes after lawmakers were forced to shelter together during last week's insurrection. 

Democrat Brad Schneider said in a statement that during the riot he was "forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress".

"Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues," he said.

"Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff."

6:20am - The big vote on Wednesday will be on the resolution calling for Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. Democrats tried to get this through the House unanimously on Tuesday, but faced an objection from a Republican member.

The House Rules Committee is currently debating the resolution. That's expected to last up to about three hours. The full vote on the resolution isn't likely to begin until Wednesday afternoon. We will bring you updates on that as it happens. 

6:10am - Trump spoke to reporters twice on Wednesday (NZT) as he headed to Texas to look at his border wall. 

"We want no violence," Trump said on the first occasion.

"On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence."

Speaking again before he boarded a plane to the southern state, Trump ranted about 'big tech' and said he had "tremendous support". Asked about his role in inciting Thursday's deadly riot, the US President didn't express any regret.

"If you read my speech, and many people have done it, and I have seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it has been analysed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate."

In his rally speech last Thursday, Trump told supporters to march on Capitol Hill as Congress looked to certify Joe Biden's victory in last November's election. His comments have received near-universal criticism, including from members of his own party. Some Republicans are now considering impeaching the President.

6am - Democrats will give President Donald Trump one last chance on Tuesday (local time) to leave office just over a week before his term expires or face an unprecedented second impeachment over his supporters' deadly January 6 assault on the US Capitol.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives plans to vote as soon as Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting an insurrection unless he resigns or Vice President Mike Pence moves to oust him under a provision in the US Constitution.

Making his first public appearance since the rampage that killed five, Trump lambasted Democrats for pushing ahead with the impeachment drive.

"This impeachment is causing tremendous anger," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to the US-Mexico border wall near Alamo, Texas. He also defended the remarks he made last week to a rally of his supporters immediately before some of them stormed the Capitol, saying, "I want no violence."

The Republican president, however, did not answer a reporter's question about whether he would resign.

The House will vote later on Tuesday on a resolution calling on Pence, a Republican, to invoke the 25th Amendment, a never-before used law that allows a majority of the Cabinet to strip the president of power if he or she is unable to discharge the office's duties.

Pence advisers say he is opposed to the idea.

The violence at the Capitol last week caused a serious rift between Trump and Pence, and the two men did not speak for days, although they did meet at the White House on Monday. A senior administration official said they discussed the violence.

"The two had a good conversation, discussing the week ahead and reflecting on the last four years of the administration's work and accomplishments," the official added.

If Trump has not stepped down and Pence has not taken action by Wednesday, Democratic leaders plan to bring impeachment to the House floor, one week after a riot that forced lawmakers into hiding for hours and left behind five dead, including a police officer.

Two Democratic lawmakers, US Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Bonnie Watson Coleman, said they tested positive for COVID-19 days after being locked down for hours with other colleagues, including Republicans who did not wear a face mask, to avoid the mob.

Meanwhile, US Representative Tom Reed, a moderate Republican, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that he and House colleagues would introduce a censure resolution against Trump on Tuesday as an alternative to a "rushed, divisive" impeachment.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top congressional Democrat, told Democratic members on a conference call on Monday that a censure "would be an abdication of our responsibility," according to a source familiar with the call.

Democratic lawmakers introduced one article of impeachment on Monday, accusing Trump of inciting a violent insurrection with a fiery speech exhorting thousands of followers to march on Congress as it worked to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Nov. 3 election victory.

"The president's threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action," Pelosi said.

With only eight days left in Trump's term, chances the Democratic drive will result in his removal appear remote.

Impeachment would trigger a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is in recess and not scheduled to return to Washington until January 19, the day before Biden is to be sworn in.

A Senate conviction requires a two-thirds majority of those present, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to break with a president who has maintained an iron grip over his party for four years.

Democrats will take control of the Senate once the two winners of last week's runoff elections in Georgia are seated later this month, creating a 50-50 split and giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote once she is sworn in.

An impeachment trial could proceed even after Trump leaves office. Some Democrats have expressed concern that a trial could hamper Biden's agenda, slowing down confirmation of his appointees and distracting from legislative priorities such as a new coronavirus relief package.

If an impeachment trial is held, Biden said on Monday he hoped the Senate would be able to conduct normal business at the same time, perhaps by splitting its hours in half.

Until his departure for Texas, Trump had not been seen in public since the day of the Capitol siege.

Trump's favourite means of communication was cut off last week when Twitter suspended his account permanently, saying it was concerned he could use it to incite further mayhem.

The president's actions have driven a wedge among Republicans, with a handful of lawmakers either calling for him to step down immediately or saying they will consider supporting impeachment.

Impeachment appears likely to pass: the lawmakers who drafted the formal charge say at least 214 of the 222 Democrats in the Democratic-led House already support it.

The House impeached Trump in December 2019 for pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate Biden, but the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him in February 2020.

Only two other US presidents have been impeached.

After last week's chaos, authorities are hardening security ahead of Biden's inauguration, which has already been dramatically scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- Reuters