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Thursday, January 21, 2021

US Capitol Hill Siege Highlights: Another police officer succumbs to injuries sustained during Capitol storming

US Capitol Hill Siege Highlights Donald Trump expressed his staunch opposition to the "intruders" and condemned the violence that threatened American democracy.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2021 9:14:32 am
Trump supporters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber after breaching the halls of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US Capitol Hill Siege Highlights: A US Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick late on Thursday died due to injuries sustained fighting the pro-Trump rioters attacking the building on Wednesday, US Capitol Police said. In a statement the police said, “Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, in the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters.” At least five people have now died in the violence, while 52 people were arrested.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump took a different tone on Thursday and strongly opposed the “heinous attack” on the Capitol, saying he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.” In a video address, Trump expressed his staunch opposition to the “intruders” and condemned the violence that threatened American democracy. 

“America is and must always be a nation of law and order, to those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction you do not represent our country,” Trump said in his first public comments after Twitter blocked his account. 

A swarm of resignations have surfaced since the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. US cabinet members — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transport Secretary Elaine Chao– put in their resignations after being “deeply troubled” by the situation. A day earlier a number of senior White House staffers, including US Deputy National Security Advisor, first lady’s chief of staff among others resigned over the Capitol Hill violence. US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund has too announced his resignation after facing criticism for failing to prevent the attack. 

Meanwhile, Democrats are inching closer to getting Donald Trump impeached for the second time after his allegations of election fraud in the 2020 elections instigated a mob to breach the walls of the US Capitol. “The president’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office, speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement calling for immediate impeachment proceedings against the president.

Live Blog

At least 5 dead after Capitol Attack; President Trump says outraged by violence; Joe Biden says democracy in America under an 'unprecedented assault'. Follow this space for the latest updates.

13:08 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Democrats inch toward second Trump impeachment after Capitol siege

Congressional Democrats were moving closer to a historic step on Friday as they weighed impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time, two days after his false claims of election fraud helped encourage a mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. Top Democratic leaders, including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, called for immediate impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's Cabinet refused to take steps to remove Trump from power."The president's dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office," they said in a statement on Thursday evening, accusing Trump of inciting an "insurrection."As calls for his ouster mounted on Thursday, Trump released a video in which he denounced the violence that has left five people dead.

12:50 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Watch| Trump supporters march in Tokyo
12:43 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Black Lives Matter activists note contrast in police response at capitol

While protesting the police killing of a Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, several years ago, Johnetta Elzie said she was manhandled by officers. She said they pointed rifles at Black women who were pushing toddlers in strollers and cursed at them to turn around.

Similar scenes unfolded all summer, as police officers clashed with scores of Black Lives Matter protesters. Many times, officers used batons and chemical agents to disperse crowds.

And so what Elzie saw on television Wednesday afternoon infuriated her: A mob of mostly white Donald Trump supporters stormed past police officers and vandalized the U.S. Capitol while officers, after initially offering resistance, mostly stood by. Some officers parted barricades, others held doors open and one was seen on video escorting a woman down steps.

“What a joke,” Elzie said. “I mean, they didn’t even pinch the white people. It wasn’t even like a family dispute. In a family dispute, you might at least hit your sister or something like that. This wasn’t even that. It was almost like tear gas was not readily available.” (Read more here)

12:16 (IST)08 Jan 2021
An Expert Explains: Anatomy of an insurrection

Almost every cliché of political theory has been used to describe the events of January 6 – carnage, coup, even riot. But while Donald Trump may have incited the mob, the events at the United States Capitol were the unfortunate but logical conclusion of the way in which a dominant section of the Republican Party has articulated its political strategy over the last decade or more.

The swearing-in of Joe Biden as President on January 20 may, therefore, formally end the tenure of Donald Trump, but unless and until the Republican Party transforms itself, January 6 will be one more marker on the route of destructive politics that is dividing the US more strikingly than at any time since the American civil war.

In many ways, the events of January 6 could have been foretold when Trump and the core of his support base refused to accept that he had lost the presidential election. It was clear that Trump would not, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, “go gentle into the good night”.
For most of his term, almost everyone who has observed Trump closely – including many who have worked with him – have been convinced that the incumbent in the Oval office is not entirely stable. (Read our explainer here)

10:56 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Just In| US Capitol officer dies due to injuries sustained during Capitol attack

A US Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick late on Thursday died due to injuries sustained fighting the pro-Trump rioters attacking the building on Wednesday, US Capitol Police said. In a statement the police said, “Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, in the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters.”

10:33 (IST)08 Jan 2021
WATCH| How has the world reacted to Trump supporters storming the US Capitol?

10:25 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Democratic Congressional leaders urge Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a news conference on the day after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Top Democratic leadership has urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office for his “incitement of insurrection”, a day after his supporters attacked the US Capitol in a violent breach. The 25th Amendment allows for the president to be removed from office by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet.

“The president’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the two Democratic leaders tried to reach out to Pence on the issue but were unable to talk to him. “This morning, we placed a call to Vice President Pence to urge him to invoke the 25th Amendment which would allow the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses. We have not yet heard back from the vice president,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

09:47 (IST)08 Jan 2021
US transport, education secretaries quit after Capitol violence

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned on Thursday, joining a list of officials quitting President Donald Trump's administration in protest at the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.Chao, the wife of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, said in an email to staff that the mob attack "has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside."

She said her resignation will take effect on Monday.In a letter to Trump, DeVos said the attack on the Capitol was unconscionable. "There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me," she wrote, adding here resignation would be effective Friday.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on DeVos's resignation.

09:39 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Four more Trump national security aides resign - sources

Four more senior advisers in the White House National Security Council have resigned following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, according to a senior administration official and a person familiar with the matter.The sources told Reuters that the officials who stepped down on Thursday, in a growing exodus of Trump aides, were: Erin Walsh, senior director for African affairs; Mark Vandroff, senior director for defense policy; Anthony Rugierro, senior director for weapons of mass destruction; and Rob Greenway, senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs. (Reuters)

09:18 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Those who engage in violence, destruction do not represent America, says Trump

Outgoing US President Donald Trump took a different tone on Thursday and strongly opposed the “heinous attack” on the Capitol building , saying that he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.” In a video address, Trump expressed his staunch opposition to the “intruders” and condemned the violence that threatened American democracy.  “I immediately deploy the national guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is and must always be a nation of law and order, to those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction you do not represent our country. 

08:20 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Explained: Events in US could boost Indian markets, but why one must invest with care
Donald Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Donald Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon, but the Dow Jones Index was unruffled and ended the day at an all-time high of 30,829. Rather than being influenced by this, the markets were enthused by the news of the Democratic Party winning two Senate seats from Georgia and getting a slender majority (with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s vote), which could ease the path of a big stimulus announcement by President-elect Joe Biden after he takes charge on January 20.

Experts say while India will be a likely beneficiary of that stimulus package as some of that money will find its way into Indian equities, there are also risks involved.

Clearly, the markets are eyeing another stimulus, this time from Biden. While the Dow Jones rose 1.44% on Wednesday, the FTSE 10 in UK and DAX in Germany too rose 3.5% and 1.7% respectively. Asian markets rose on Thursday with the Nikkei 225 in Japan and STI Index in Singapore closing with gains of 1.6% and 1.65% respectively. Read More

08:16 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Horrific scene… not America at its best, says US envoy as he wraps up
Kenneth I Juster, U.S. Ambassador to India.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster said Thursday that he was “very sad” to see the violence in Washington DC and described the storming of the US Capitol as a “horrific scene” that was “not America at its best”.

Speaking to The Indian Express during a detailed interview on his three-year stint in India, the outgoing US envoy also said that lawlessness and rioting is “always unacceptable” and has no place in any democracy.

“It was very sad to see the news coming out of Washington, D.C. when we woke up on Thursday morning. While protests in our country are part of our democracy, it is unacceptable for there to be violence associated with them, and the storming of the US Capitol was a horrific scene. This is not America at its best. Lawlessness and rioting in the United States — or in any country — is always unacceptable. It has no place in any democracy,” Juster said.

23:51 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Woman shot dead during capitol siege was a 14-year veteran of the US Air Force

Four people died on the US Capitol grounds Wednesday and 52 people have been arrested, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee said Wednesday evening, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an unprecedented effort to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

22:17 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Trump's comments directly led to violence, says UK's Priti Patel

British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Thursday condemned the "awful" scenes of riots on the Capitol Hill in Washington DC and blamed US President Donald Trump for the violence that resulted in four deaths in clashes between protesters and American police.

The senior Cabinet minister told the BBC that it was the outgoing President's words that fuelled the violence and accused Trump of doing nothing "de-escalate that".

"His comments directly led to the violence, and so far he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong," said Patel.
"He basically has made a number of comments yesterday that helped to fuel that violence and he didn't actually do anything to de-escalate that whatsoever... what we've seen is completely unacceptable," she said.

21:41 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has extended the block on US President Donald Trump's account indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced. "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," he said in a post.

21:07 (IST)07 Jan 2021
The event at the Capitol should make America ask itself: Why was it taken by surprise, yet again?

January 6, 2021: That seat from where the government of the people, for the people, by the people operated, was in the midst of certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden to fulfil its duty of carrying out the will of the people. Almost out of the blue, just like the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001, America watched aghast as The Capitol was invaded (one of the terms used on national TV) by supporters of President Donald Trump, spurred on by his exhortations that the Presidential election had been stolen from American people. Law enforcement was overwhelmed, Vice President Mike Pence, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were whisked away to safe locations. Members of the Electoral College were taken into safekeeping and the members of the media were put under lockdown. The images one saw later on TV resembled a siege, and towards late evening Vice President Pence came on television to announce that The Capitol had been secured and the Electoral College would get back to its work.

Written by Sudipta Sarangi

20:24 (IST)07 Jan 2021
‘Beautiful sight taking place in US’: China recalls Pelosi remark on Hong Kong protests

Global Times, a media organisation affiliated to China’s ruling party, drew a parallel Thursday between the siege of Capitol Hill and the time protesters stormed the Hong Kong legislature building in 2019. It recalled how US Speaker Nancy Pelosi had referred to the Hong Kong protests as “a beautiful sight to behold”, and said “it remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill”.

Several social media users in China also responded to Thursday’s incident, calling it “karma”, “retribution” and “deserving”, reported Global Times. Social media in the country is heavily censored. Read more

19:38 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Oil touches fresh 11-month highs after US inventory fall

Oil prices were steady on Thursday after hitting fresh 11-month highs on a fall in US stockpiles and in the wake of a pledge by Saudi Arabia to cut output by more than expected.

Brent crude was up 5 cents to $54.35 a barrel at 1231 GMT after touching $54.90, a fresh high not seen since before the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the West.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up 26 cents, or 0.5% to $50.89 after touching $51.28.

Wednesday’s storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump appeared to have little impact, while a slight rise in global equities suggested investors believed President-elect Joe Biden would be empowered to spend more freely. (Reuters)

19:03 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Czech PM ditches Trump-inspired social media profile after Capitol assault

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis removed his red “Strong Czechia” hat inspired by US President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” cap from his social media accounts on Thursday after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.

Babis had professed support for Trump and told him on a 2019 White House visit he had “a similar plan to make the Czech Republic great again”.

Early on Thursday Babis changed his longtime Twitter profile photo from an image showing him wearing his red cap to one with him wearing a respirator mask with the Czech flag on it, in an allusion to efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

“After the unprecedented attack on democracy in the United States, which I have unequivocally condemned, I deemed it fit to express my stance also by changing my profile photo,” he said in the statement, which echoed comments against the assault that he had posted earlier on Twitter. (Reuters)

18:12 (IST)07 Jan 2021
Trump summoned supporters to "wild" protest, and told them to fight. They did

The chaos in the US Capitol on Wednesday unfolded after President Donald Trump spent weeks whipping up his supporters with false allegations of fraud in the Nov. 3 election, culminating in a call to march to the building that represents US democracy.

Trump, who has refused to concede his loss to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, had urged his supporters multiple times to come to Washington for a rally on Wednesday, the day the US House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled to certify the results of the Electoral College.

“Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,” Trump, a Republican, tweeted on Dec. 20. “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

They turned out in the thousands and heard the president urge them to march on the Capitol building to express their anger at the voting process and to pressure their elected officials to reject the results. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and Congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd, speaking with the White House as a backdrop. (Reuters)

Donald trump, Capitol Hill, DC protests, senate stormed, US capitol, trump supporters police clash, us senate meeting, joe biden, mike pence, donald trump, indian express Smoke fills the walkway outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US Capitol Hill siege LIVE updates:

A number of Republicans have said they will challenge the certification of some states in a last-ditch attempt to either negate Biden's win or delay the certification of his victory. Other Republicans, however, have called the effort misguided.

Trump’s attempts to stall or overturn the election verdict are not likely to succeed, however. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence, who is under pressure from Trump to overturn the results, said he had no power to reverse the President’s defeat.

[also_read title = "Explained" article_title= "Here’s why Pence cannot help Trump remain President" id = "7134525" liveblog = "no" ]

“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence said in a letter to Congress preceding the event, he said.

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