Officials in state capitals across the country are bracing for a spillover from last week’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, with legislatures already becoming targets for protesters in the tense days around the inauguration of the incoming president, Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Gone is a large measure of the bonhomie that usually accompanies the annual start of the legislative season, replaced by marked unease over the possibility of armed attacks and gaps in security around statehouses that have long prided themselves on being open to constituents.
“Between Covid and the idea that there are people who are armed and making threats and are serious, it was definitely not your normal beginning of session,” said Senator Jennifer A. Jordan, a Democratic legislator in Georgia who watched the police officers assembled outside the State Capitol in Atlanta on Monday from her office window. “Usually folks are happy, talking to each other, and it did not have that feel.”
Dozens of state capitols will be on alert in the coming days, following calls among a mix of antigovernment organizations for actions in all 50 states on Jan. 17. Some of them come from far-right organizations that harbor a broad antigovernment agenda and have already been protesting state Covid-19 lockdowns since last spring. The F.B.I. this week sent a warning to local law enforcement agencies about the potential for armed protests in all 50 states.
In a video news conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said that “everybody is on high alert” for protests in Sacramento in the days ahead.
More at CNN on legal process:
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a measure calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment in the wake of the violent siege of the US Capitol last week.
The resolution, brought forward by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, calls on Vice President Mike Pence “to immediately use his powers under section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties of his office.”
It further calls on Pence to assume “the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
Approval of the resolution by the Democratic-led House will stand as a symbolic rebuke to the President as many lawmakers are furious and reeling from the deadly attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
It comes as House Democrats are now moving rapidly toward impeaching the President for a second time as a result of the insurrection, which Trump incited after repeatedly making false claims that the election had been stolen from him and calling for his supporters to fight back.
House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on a caucus call Monday, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the Capitol.
More pushback by social media, at the ABC:
Twitter has suspended more than 70,000 accounts associated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory following last week’s US Capitol riot.
The social media company said on Tuesday it was taking action against online behaviour “that has the potential to lead to offline harm”.
The decision comes after the events last week in Washington DC, where a mob of pro-Trump loyalists tried to violently storm the Capitol building.
Twitter said that in many cases, a single individual operated numerous accounts, driving up the total number of accounts to be removed.
I can’t see how any sustained violence can do anything other than alienate the vast majority of Americans.