Dominion Voting Systems seeks $1.3 billion for the “unprecedented harm” it says Powell brought on by accusing the firm of rigging the 2020 election. Pelosi said if Pence did not take action, Democrats could quickly act to remove Trump from office, and did not rule out canceling next week’s planned recess and bringing the House back into session.
Democrats could swiftly create a commission to begin the process of removing Trump through the 25th Amendment, or take the unprecedented step of impeaching a sitting president for the second time in one term. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have remained mostly silent on the attempt to either press Pence to deploy the 25th Amendment or impeach Trump, which without their support would doom any effort.
Another high ranking official, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, said he’s “disappointed” by Trump ’s incitement of violence but hasn’t discussed the possibility of removing the president with other Cabinet members. If Democrats did move to impeach, it could launch Congress into a weeklong investigation into Trump ’s role in the chaos at the Capitol this week, potentially lasting into the start of Biden’s term.
“Congress has certified the results, and a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday night. In the video, which was his first tweet since Twitter suspended his account Wednesday because he was inciting violence, Trump robotically read from a teleprompter.
Trump went on to claim that he “immediately” deployed the National Guard to protect the Capitol, but that decision was delayed by the administration, according to Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland. “My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” Trump said.
Trump concluded by saying that his time in office was “the honor of a lifetime.” But don’t expect this former president to quietly disappear into retirement. Law enforcement in Washington, D.C., is on high alert after a pro- Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.
To avoid a repeat of the chaos and destruction, Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said the Capitol will be fortified by fencing. Tom Warrick, a former Department of Homeland Security counter terrorism official, said the Capitol riot was a textbook definition of domestic terror.
“Now he’ll have to break free Wednesday, just like previous President Trump enablers Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have already done.” The outgoing president has in recent days piled the pressure on Pence to block Congress’ certification of the result.
The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. An audio recording obtained by ProPublica adds real-life sounds of suffering to a contentious policy debate that has so far been short on input from those with the most at stake: immigrant children.
More than 2,300 of them have been separated from their parents since April, when the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which calls for prosecuting all people who attempt to illegally enter the country and taking away the children they brought with them. The children are initially held in warehouses, tents or big box stores that have been converted into Border Patrol detention facilities.
Condemnations of the policy have been swift and sharp, including from some of the administration’s most reliable supporters. It has united religious conservatives and immigrant rights activists, who have said that “zero tolerance” amounts to “zero humanity.” Democratic and Republican members of Congress spoke out against the administration’s enforcement efforts over the weekend.
Former first lady Laura Bush called the administration’s practices “cruel” and “immoral,” and likened images of immigrant children being held in kennels to those that came out of Japanese internment camps during World War II. President Donald Trump blames Democrats and says his administration is only enforcing laws already on the books, although that’s not true.
There are no laws that require children to be separated from their parents, or that call for criminal prosecutions of all undocumented border crosses. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has cited passages from the Bible in an attempt to establish religious justification.
On Monday, he defended it again saying it was a matter of rule of law, “We cannot and will not encourage people to bring children by giving them blanket immunity from our laws.” A Border Patrol spokesman echoed that thought in a written statement. In recent days, authorities on the border have begun allowing tightly controlled tours of the facilities that are meant to put a humane face on the policy.
It was recorded last week inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility. That person gave the audio to Jennifer Marbury, a well-known civil rights attorney who has lived and worked for four decades in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border with Mexico.
She said the person who recorded it was a client who “heard the children’s weeping and crying, and was devastated by it.” It appeared that they had been at the detention center for less than 24 hours, so their distress at having been separated from their parents was still raw.
The child who stood out the most was the 6-year-old Salvadoran girl with a phone number stuck in her head. ProPublica dialed the number she recited in the audio, and spoke with the aunt about the call.
They are from a small town called Armenia, about an hour’s drive northwest of the Salvadoran capital, but well within reach of its crippling crime waves. They paid a smuggler $7,000 to guide them through Guatemala, and Mexico and across the border into the United States.
The aunt said she worried that any attempt to intervene in her niece’s situation would put hers and her daughter’s asylum case at risk, particularly since the Trump administration overturned asylum protections for victims of gang and domestic violence. She said she’s managed to speak to her sister, who has been moved to an immigration detention facility near Port Isabel, Texas.
The aunt said that Alison has been moved out of the Border Patrol facility to a shelter where she has a real bed. Correction, June 18, 2018: This story previously referred to the American Association of Pediatricians.
So far, they appear to have done little but pump out prosperous advocacy, as well as a pair of studies, one downplaying congressional insider trading allegations against Purdue and another claiming Democratic tax plans would hike Georgians’ rates to about 61 percent of their income. Assenting, who has also worked for the Trump Organization since leaving the White House in 2018, is listed in Federal Election Commission filings as the PAC’s designated agent.
Also involved are Rick Thompson and David Boles, the principals of the Roswell, Georgia lobbying and public affairs shop RTA Strategy and a campaign finance compliance firm called Front runner LLC. “The Purple America Coalition’s platform is based on the modern centrist ideals of social liberty, equality of opportunity, fiscal and environmental sustainability, inclusive capitalism, and altruism.
As they help run the Purple America Coalition’s ostensibly centrist advocacy in the Georgia Senate race, another political group affiliated with Thompson and Boles is taking a far more hardliner approach to those contests. Stop Socialism Now PAC, a group that lists both men as points of contact in FEC filings, has been buying its own ads boosting Purdue and his fellow Republican runoff candidate, Sen. Kelly Offer.
While the Purple America Coalition’s messaging strikes a more bipartisan tone, Stop Socialism Now leans on right-wing red meat to drive Republicans to the polls on Tuesday. Greene, who stumped for Offer and Purdue at a Trump rally in Georgia on Tuesday, was also a client of Boles and Thompson’s Front runner LLC during the 2020 cycle, FEC records show.