US Election live updates: Donald Trump's Twitter permanently suspended, Nancy Pelosi moves towards impeachment

US Democratic lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to impeach US President Donald Trump, with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar saying it will "most likely" happen on Saturday (NZ time).

This comes after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington DC on Thursday in an attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes and certification of Joe Biden's victory.

Now lawmakers are trying to limit the actions Trump can take before Biden is inaugurated on January 20, which Trump has indicated he doesn't plan to attend.

What you need to know:

  • At least five people died during the protests, including a female Trump supporter who was shot inside the building and a police officer.
  • After protests died down on Wednesday night (US time), Congress reconvened and stayed up until past 3am to certify Joe Biden's election victory.
  • Trump has confirmed there will now be an orderly transition of power when Biden takes office on January 20, however, Trump doesn't plan to attend the inauguration as previous Presidents have done.
  • Around 60 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have already pledged support to the impeachment against Trump, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted. She said on Friday (NZ time) that the impeachment will happen "most likely tomorrow".
  • The FBI is offering up to US$50,000 for information leading to the location, arrest and conviction of those responsible for the placement of suspected pipe bombs during the protests.
  • There have been lots of high-profile resignations in the wake of the protests including several senior advisors in the White House National Security Council, press secretaries and members of Cabinet.
  • Vice President Mike Pence appears unlikely to invoke the 25th Amendment, dodging calls on Friday from Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

These live updates have now ended.

6:10pm - Fifty-seven percent of Americans want Republican President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged a protest this week that escalated into a deadly riot inside the US Capitol, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Most of them were Democrats, however, with Republicans apparently much more supportive of Trump serving out the final days of his term, which ends on January 20.

Read more here.

5:20pm - Donald Trump will lose a raft of post-presidential perks if he is successfully impeached, including a generous US$219,000 pension, full-time Secret Service detail, and the ability to run for president again in 2024.

Around 60 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have already pledged support to the impeachment against Trump, with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Friday saying the impeachment will happen "most likely tomorrow".

Impeachment would mean Trump is convicted of a crime, in this case inciting the Capitol riot, and subsequently removed from office by the senate.

Read more here.

5pm - During the Capitol siege, Reuters' Pictures Editor in Charge of Washington Jim Bourg says he heard at least three rioters say they wanted to find VP Mike Pence and hang him as a traitor. 

"It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed."

4:45pm - Alphabet Inc's Google on Friday suspended the Parler social networking app from its Play Store until the app adds robust content moderation while Apple gave the service 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan.

Parler is a social network to which many supporters of President Donald Trump have migrated after being banned from services including Twitter, which on Friday permanently suspended Trump's account.

In a statement, Google cited continued posts in the Parler app that seek "to incite ongoing violence in the US"

Read more here.

4:30pm - Reuters has had a look at some of the most notable of Donald Trump's 26,000 tweets as president.

Trump often engaged in name calling, misstated facts in tweets and attacked businesses or political rivals. He often sought to shift media attention by tweeting.

Read more here.

3:50pm - In a statement to CNN, Twitter has explained its reasoning behind deleting tweets sent from Trump on the official POTUS account.

"As we've said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules," said a Twitter spokesperson.

"We have taken steps to enforce this with regard to recent Tweets from the @POTUS account. For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts permanently but will take action to limit their use."

3:40pm - The Team Trump Twitter account released the same thread of tweets earlier sent out by the POTUS account.

However, Twitter quickly suspended the account.

3:35pm - The New York Times reports that Trump told advisers in the days before January 6 that he wanted to join supporters in their march to the Capitol. However, it's said officials wouldn't allow it. 

3:30pm - Republican Mitch McConnell has sent a memo to Senators outlining when the Senate could consider impeachement articles against Donald Trump.

3:10pm - US First Lady Melania Trump has been notably absent from social media and the public eye over the past week.

Her last tweet was to wish Americans a Happy New Year on January 2nd, saying she hopes 2021 is filled with "joy, good health and peace".

Now it's been revealed, while the protests erupted at the Capitol disrupting the electoral process, Melania was reportedly conducting a photo shoot.

Find out more about the shoot here.

2:50pm - Twitter had earlier spoken to CNN's chief media correspondent on what would happen to the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts.

"We will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use," they said.

The accounts will transfer to Biden and his administration once he is inaugurated so they "will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary to alleviate real-world harm".

The Verge reported if Trump attempts to make a new account it would face a permament suspension "at first detection".

2:36pm - Here's Newshub's screenshot of the tweets before they were deleted.

US Election live updates: Donald Trump's Twitter permanently suspended, Nancy Pelosi moves towards impeachment

2:34pm - Twitter appears to have deleted the tweets. However the @POTUS account is still active.

2:32pm - Donald Trump has used his Presidential Twitter account, which is still active, to threaten the social media company.

While his personal account was deleted earlier on Saturday, the @POTUS account was allowed for continued use as it will be transferred to Joe Biden on January 20.

2:20pm - Here's how some US politicians are reacting to the news of Trump's Twitter removal:

2pm - Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen says he's cooperating with authorities investigating Trump and his family.

1:47pm - Parler has reportedly been removed from the Google Play store.

1:45pm - Twitter's full statement said it's decision to remove Trump's account was also to do with rumoured future protests.

"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."

Read the full assessment here.

1:30pm - Shares of Twitter were down more than 2 percent in after-hours trading, moving lower after the company said it was permanently suspending US President Donald Trump's account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

Shares of the stock recently traded at US$50.20, down 2.4 percent from the closing price.

- Reuters

1:10pm - Donald Trump Jr, the US President's son, has reacted to his father's Twitter suspension. 

"We are living Orwell’s 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what’s left is only there for a chosen few. This is absolute insanity!"

12:50pm - The White House task force is warning of a new US variant of COVID-19, according to a report obtained by NBC.

The newly-evolved variant is already spreading through communities, joining the highly transmissible UK variant that is causing havoc in many states. 

This comes as the US records a winter surge in cases, and recorded 4033 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday.

Read more here.

US Election live updates: Donald Trump's Twitter permanently suspended, Nancy Pelosi moves towards impeachment

12:29pm - "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.

"Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.

"However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement."

Read more here.

12:27pm - Donald Trump's Twitter account has been permanently suspended due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi. Photo credit: Getty

12:25pm - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward on a motion to impeach US President Donald Trump if the Republican does not resign after deadly pro-Trump riots at the US Capitol.

"It is the hope of members that the President will immediately resign," Pelosi said in a statement on her meeting with the House Democratic Caucus. "The House will preserve every option... With great respect, our deliberations will continue."

- Reuters

12:10pm - Apple has threatened to ban Parler, a far-right social media platform, from the App Store, according to Buzzfeed News.

"We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property," Apple said in a letter to Parler. 

"The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities."

Apple said that in order not to be banned, Parler was required to make an update and a "requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours of the date of the message".

Trump's lawyer Rudy Guiliani during the sweat incident.
Trump's lawyer Rudy Guiliani during the sweat incident. Photo credit: Getty

12pm - Trump reportedly tried to call senators in an attempt to overturn the results of the election, while riots occurred at the Capitol building, CNN reported.

The US President and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani both mistakenly made calls to Republican Senator Mike Lee, a spokesperson for the senator confirmed to CNN, when they were trying to contact senator Tommy Tuberville.

Trump's call was cut off because senators were asked to move to a secure location as the riots escalated.

Giuliani's call went to voicemail as they had left the building., with news blog emptywheel publishing a transcript.

"Sen Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer," he reportedly said.

"I'm calling you because I want to discuss with you how they're trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you," Giuliani said, referring to unfounded claims of voter fraud.

"I know they're reconvening at 8 tonight, but it ... the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow - ideally until the end of tomorrow." 

11:45am - The wealthiest donors to the Trump campaign have gone silent amid talk of his impeachment, Bloomberg reports.

"I'm sorry, I am not available right now," venture capitalist Peter Thiel told the publication.

Thomas Peterffy, who controls Interactive Brokers Group Inc also said no, along with New York real estate magnate Richard LeFrak.

Texas banking billionaire Andy Beal couldn't comment because, "he doesn't know what happened," his assistant said. "He wasn't there and he doesn't believe mainstream news reporting anymore."

Only a couple of the two dozen contacted by Bloomberg provided statements. No one agreed to an interview.

11:35am - NBC reports that a leader of the Proud Boys has been charged in connection to the Capitol riots.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for the leader Nicholas "Nick" Ochs, from Hawaii, who is wanted on one count of entry into a restricted building or grounds.

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks during a news conference June 15, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks during a news conference June 15, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Getty

11:20am - Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is joining the calls for Trump to resign.

She said on Friday afternoon (local time) that if the Republican Party cannot separate itself from Trump, she isn't certain she has a future with the party.

"I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage," Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News.

"I think he should leave. He said he's not going to show up. He's not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn't been focused on what is going on with COVID. He's either been golfing or he's been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with the Vice President.

"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. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."

BBC's North America reporter Anthony Zurcher said that Murkowski won her Senate race as a write-in candidate, and therefore could survive without the Republican Party.

11:10am - Twitter has removed the accounts of several high profile supporters of Donald Trump who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.

NBC reports Former United States National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Lawyer Sidney Powell and Ron Watkins, the administrator of the website 8kun which was formerly named 8chan, have all been affected.

"The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity. We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content," a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo credit: Getty

11:05am - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the United States the "biggest enemy" and said that Washington should drop its hostile policies to improve relations, state media reported on Saturday.

Speaking at a party congress in Pyongyang, Kim said US policy toward North Korea would not change regardless of who occupies the White House, state news agency KCNA said. 

- Reuters

10:55am - The White House has released a statement to local media on the impeachment proceedings against Trump.

 "As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one Nation," it said.

"A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country."

10:40am - Jen Psaki, who will take over as White House press secretary for the Biden administration, reportedly said the President-elect will receive another dose of the Pfizer vaccine next week.

10:35am - A draft of the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump drawn up by Democratic members of the House of Representatives after the storming of the US Capitol accuses him of engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting insurrection, MSNBC reported on Friday.

The draft says the Republican president willfully made statements that encouraged imminent lawless action at the Capitol, MSNBC said, adding that House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had yet to endorse the language of the draft. 

- Reuters

10:30am - US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was heckled on Saturday by Trump supporters at an airport in Washington DC.

Graham, who has previously sided with Trump on many issues, condemned the President for his part in the protests.

Videos from the incident show Graham surrounded by security with protesters yelling at him, calling him a "traitor", a "liar" and a "garbage human being".

"You work for the people, you work for us, do you hear me?" one person said.

One of the people yelling, Mindy Robinson wrote on Twitter that Graham made the mistake of walking by the mass of angry patriots.

"All America wants is for you to AUDIT OUR VOTE and purge this election of this massive corruption...and you won't do it. We're not letting this 'slide' so expect more of this."

10:10am - The Huffington Post is reporting that more than 230 members of the House of Representatives and Senate are now calling for Trump to be removed from office either by invoking the 25th amendment of impeachment.

10am - Fifty-seven percent of Americans want President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged the Capitol protest, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The national public opinion survey, conducted Thursday and Friday, also showed that seven out of those who voted for Trump, a Republican, in November opposed the action of the hardcore supporters who broke into the Capitol while lawmakers were meeting to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans surveyed also said they disapprove of Trump's actions in the run-up to Wednesday's assault. 

- Reuters

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo credit: Getty

9:45am - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called on riots at the US Capitol building "horrific" and is calling for Trump to pay.

"This was the result of a leader, who for four years actually appealed to the worst in people, appealed to fear and racism and discrimination, appealed to people’s fear of different people," he said, CNN reported. "When you demonise differences, you literally tear the fabric of this nation apart."

He also revealed he wants Donald Trump out of office.

"I believe President Trump should resign. I believe if he doesn't resign, I believe he should be impeached," he said at a news conference Friday.

Cuomo is calling on every New York federal official to advocate for Trump's resignation so they don't have to rely on the impeachment.

9:30am - Joe Biden said during question time of his press conference that Trump's decision not to attend his inauguration is "one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on".

"It's a good thing, him not showing up," the President-elect said. 

Departing Presidents normally meet with the incoming President on the day in a show of a peaceful transfer of power.

However Trump announced his intention not to attend the January 20 event via Twitter on Saturday morning (NZ time).

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going," he wrote.

A source familiar with the matter said there have been discussions about Trump leaving Washington on January 19. He is expected to travel to his Florida resort Mar-a-lago.

9:15am - Protesters at the Capitol on Thursday reportedly smeared faeces and urinated on the floors of the building.

"Congressional staffers saw faeces in the hallways," a source close to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the New York Post, calling it "an intentional effort to degrade the Capitol building".

"It came from the bathroom and they tracked it around."

Read more here.

Rosanne Boyland suffered a medical emergency during the protests.
Rosanne Boyland suffered a medical emergency during the protests. Photo credit: Supplied/Getty

9am - Rosanne Boyland, a 34-year-old resident of Kennesaw, Georgia, was one of four civilians who died in the protests.

She, along with 55-year-old Kevin Greeson of Athens, Alabama and 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips of Ringtown, Pennsylvania all suffered medical emergencies, while Ashli Babbitt died of a gunshot wound.

Boyland's family have now released a statement, obtained by CBS news.

"She was a wonderful sister, daughter, and aunt. Anyone who knew her knows how compassionate she was, she always put others before herself," said Boyland's brother-in-law, Justin Cave.

"As we watched these awful events unfold we hoped that Rosanne was not among the crowd. Tragically she was there and it cost her life. We have little information at this time and we are waiting with the rest of the world to uncover the specifics.

"Our family is grieving on every level for our country, for all the families that have lost loved ones or suffered injuries, for our own loss.

"Rosanne was really passionate about her beliefs like a lot of people. I've never tried to be a political person but it's my own personal belief that the President's words incited a riot that killed four of his biggest fans last night and I believe that we should invoke the 25th amendment at this time."

Read more here.

8:50am - Reddit has banned the popular subreddit r/Donaldtrump for inciting violence, in the latest action taken by social media companies following the Capitol protests.

The subreddit was reportedly one of platforms largest political communities with over 52,000 members.

"Reddit's site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed," a Reddit spokesperson told The Verge.

"We have also taken action to ban the community r/donaldtrump given repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the US Capitol."

8:30am - Biden said he had given "serious consideration" to nominating Bernie Sanders as labour secretary but ultimately the two decided they didn't want to jeopardise control of the Senate.

The Democrats took control of the Senate after winning both the Georgia state Senate races earlier this week.

It will now be split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans but Vice President-elect kamala Harris will hold the tie breaking vote.

8:20am - The President-elect also criticised the rollout of coronavirus vaccines so far in the United States. "Vaccines give us hope, but the rollout has been a travesty," he said.

This comes as the US suffered its deadliest day ever from COVID-19. 

The latest daily death toll of 4033 has brought the US death toll to over 357,000 with over 21 million infections nationwide.

8:18am - He said Americans are "losing hope and losing work" amid the pandemic, particularly the hospitality industry which had been "slammed".

Biden said he plans to help Americans and their communities, particularly small businesses owned by people of colour and 'mum and pop' businesses.

He said he plans to lift the minimum wage to around US$15 per hour as it was horrible that some people who worked 40 hours a week we're still living below the poverty line.

"Congress needs to work as quickly as possible on the issues I just laid out… this is the team that's going to get it done."

8:12am - Biden offered his condolences to the family of the Capitol police officer who died from injuries sustained during the Capitol protests.

The US Capitol Police (USCP) confirmed Officer Brian D Sicknick passed away at 9:30pm on January 7 (local time).

"He returned to his division office and collapsed.  He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," they said in a statement.

Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008 and had most recently served in the first responders unit.

"The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague."

They said his death will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and their federal partners. 

8:05am - Joe Biden is currently making a speech where he is expected to announce his appointments for the National Security Council.