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A Republican Senator from Oklahoma apologizes to black voters for seeking to deny them their rights.

Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma who spent weeks trying to overturn the presidential election results before changing his mind at the last moment, apologized Thursday to black voters who felt that he attacked their right to vote.

In a letter to his “friends” in North Tulsa, which has many black residents, Mr Lankford wrote on Thursday that his efforts to challenge the election result had “caused a storm of suspicion among many of my friends, especially in black communities. in the state.

“After decades of fighting for the right to vote, many black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote, to make their vote count, and even the belief that their vote made an election illegitimate. in our country, ”he wrote. , according to the Tulsa World news site.

Mr Lankford said in the letter that he never intended to “lower the voice of a black American”. Yet he added: “I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you.”

Mr Lankford, who sits on a key Senate oversight committee, was initially one of the Republicans who tried to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, even as the courts dismissed baseless questions raised by President Trump and his allies on electoral mischief. .

Democrats in Congress viewed Mr. Lankford as a rare cooperative partner on the franchise, and his decision to join those Republicans seeking to deprive tens of millions of voters – many of whom were black citizens living in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta – came as a surprise.

The first indication he might do so came when he appeared in December at a Senate hearing on alleged voting “irregularities”, when he repeated unsubstantiated Trump campaign claims about voting in Nevada. which had been debunked in court almost two weeks earlier.

Mr Lankford and other Republicans claimed that by challenging the election results they were exercising their independence and acting in the interests of voters who demand answers.

“There are a lot of people in my state who still want these answers released,” Lankford said days before the Electoral College vote was certified.

After the riot on Capitol Hill, Mr Lankford was one of many Republican senators to abandon their previous challenge, saying lawlessness and chaos caused them to change their minds.

In a joint statement that evening with Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana, Lankford called on “all of Congress to come together and vote to certify the election results.”

Mr Lankford faced calls from black leaders to resign from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centenary Commission, designed to commemorate the racist massacre in the Greenwood neighborhood, an affluent black community known as the Black Wall Street. The massacre, which took place 100 years ago this spring, was one of the worst cases of racist violence in American history. A white mob destroyed the neighborhood and its black-owned businesses, and up to 300 residents were killed.

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Cheney faces an internal backlash for the impeachment vote as Republican divisions deepen over Trump.

A group of President Trump’s most staunch allies in the House calls on Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third Republican, to step down from her leadership post after she votes to impeach Mr. Trump, dramatizing bitter divisions within the party a messy internal feud that could define his future.

Members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, including the chairman, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Matt Gaetz of Florida, are circulating a petition calling on Ms. Cheney to resign her post. role as Speaker of the House Republican Conference, saying her vote to impeach Mr. Trump had “discredited the conference and caused discord.”

Ms Cheney was one of 10 Republicans to break with the party on Wednesday and vote to indict the president of “inciting insurgency” for his role in urging a crowd that stormed the Capitol.

“One of those 10 can’t be our leader,” Gaetz said in an interview with Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday night. “It’s untenable, unsustainable, and we have to make a change in leadership.”

Ms Cheney dismissed calls to resign, saying she was “going nowhere” and calling her break-up with Mr Trump “a vote of conscience.” Several Republicans, including some members of the Freedom Caucus, began to circle the carts around her.

Other party members who have criticized the president have also rushed to his defense.

“Liz has more support now than two days ago,” said Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who also voted to impeach Mr. Trump. “She has earned immeasurable respect.”

Mr Kinzinger suggested that it is Republicans like Mr Jordan who should be sidelined in the wake of the siege and the impeachment it brought about.

“Since the discussion is open, however, we may also have to have a discussion about who in our party instigated this, and their roles as high-ranking members,” he said.

The debate over Ms. Cheney’s leadership reflects the Republican Party’s deep divides over Mr. Trump, which demanded full loyalty from his party and, until recently, received it widely.

While prominent figures have backed down from Mr. Trump’s inflammatory policies in the wake of the January 6 riot, fearing it could ruin their party, a large minority faction – many in the House – remains reluctant to do so. to abandon. . Republicans are scrambling to determine the political consequences of doing so and whether they would pay a higher political price for breaking up with the president or for not doing so.

Senate Republicans face such a dilemma as they consider voting in an impeachment trial that could begin as early as next week.

Both representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the minority whip, voted against the impeachment of Mr. Trump, although Mr. McCarthy said the president was responsible for the sits and deserved censorship.

Ms Cheney, on the other hand, had issued a scathing statement the day before the impeachment vote in which she said: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

But she chose not to speak during the debate in the House. Many Democrats – who have long insulted her and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney – have cited her with approval in their own speeches.

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A Republican lawmaker for whom the spectacle is the point

WASHINGTON – As lawmakers entered the Capitol on Wednesday for one of the U.S. government’s most solemn undertakings, the impeachment of a president, Representative Lauren Boebert, was causing a spectacle even before entering the chamber. She pushed her way through the newly installed metal detectors and ignored the police who asked her to stop so she could check her with a hand wand.

It picked up a standoff from the day before, when Ms Boebert, a Republican rookie from Colorado, refused to show the guards what was inside her purse as she entered the building. Either way, she eventually gained access, but not before she crafted a made-for Twitter moment that delighted the far right.

After joining her colleagues on Wednesday, Boebert spoke in the House to denounce the impeachment vote which took place a few hours later.

“Where is the responsibility of the left after having encouraged and normalized violence?” Ms Boebert asked aloud, arguing Democrats tolerated excessive violence last summer during the racial justice unrest. “I call bullshit when I hear Democrats calling for unity.”

The deadlock of the metal detectors was a characteristic blow of Ms. Boebert. She’s only 10 days into her tenure, but has already curated several episodes that showcased her brand of far-right defiance as a conspiracy theorist who proudly boasts of carrying her Glock handgun in Washington. She’s just one of 435 House members, but Ms Boebert, 34, represents an incoming faction of the party for whom breaking the rules – and gaining notoriety for doing so – is exactly the point.

In the same way that Republican leaders had to adjust to the Tea Party over a decade ago, House leaders now face a part of the party that not only carries Mr. Trump’s anti-establishment message, but connects with voters who are so loyal to him – and so crucial to future elections.

In the process, Ms Boebert and her cohort infuriated other lawmakers and Republicans.

“There is a tendency, in both parties, of members who seem more interested in dunking people on social media and appearing on friendly cable networks than doing the job of legislating,” said Michael Steel, strategist. Republican and former press secretary former Speaker of the House John Boehner. “They seem to see public service as more of a performance art than a battle of political ideas.”

In recent days, Ms Boebert and a group of other freshman Republicans, including QAnon devotee Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, a 25-year-old freshman who claimed he was armed during the Capitol riots, have questioned or outright flouted guidelines designed to protect lawmakers from violence, intruders or the spread of the coronavirus.

Their mastery of social media, their access to conservative television and talk radio platforms, and their combativeness with journalists on live television allow them to gain notoriety in non-traditional ways.

“There was a level of control that went with how the members developed a profile when they arrived in Washington,” said Kevin Madden, a strategist who served as a senior advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaigns. 2008 and 2012. “Usually, you had to work for that and gain this notoriety. Now it is offered to you with a YouTube video. “

In a sort of intro video she aired last week, Ms Boebert was shown walking over a Washington background with a gun in her waist holster. “I refuse to give up my rights, especially my Second Amendment rights,” she told the camera.

During her short time in office, Ms Boebert already argued with a fellow Republican over security breaches on Capitol Hill last week and expressed interest in bringing her gun to work. Her Twitter account was temporarily suspended after she spread the lie that the presidential election was rigged.

She has also faced criticism and some requests to resign, for tweeting information about the locations of some lawmakers during the siege on Capitol Hill by a violent crowd last week.

The behavior displayed by Ms Boebert and some of her fellow Republicans freshmen prompted Timothy Blodgett, the Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms, to send a note to lawmakers on Tuesday advising them that security checks would be required for members. wishing to access the bedroom. and that lawmakers who refused to wear masks would be removed from the House floor. Several Republicans responded by shouting that their rights were being violated when walking through metal detectors, behavior that infuriated Democrats.

“I don’t know what the consequences will be for people who hold power and never want to be held accountable,” Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Democrat, told NPR on Wednesday of lawmakers who bypassed the security measures in the Capitol. He added that the contempt of lawmakers was “a sign of how odious things have become for some of those people who have supported Donald Trump. The rules don’t apply to them. “

Ms Boebert unofficially launched her campaign for Congress in September 2019 in Denver, telling Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke that he would not take one of the most powerful symbols of rural autonomy: his guns.

“I was one of the Americans with guns who heard you talk about your ‘Damn, yeah, I’ll take your AR-15 and AK-47,’ ‘Ms Boebert told Mr. O’ Rourke at the time. . “Well, I’m here to say no you’re not.

She expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy group, although she tried to temper this by saying that she was not a follower.

Ms Boebert ran a restaurant in the ranch country of Colorado – where she encouraged waiters to openly bear arms – when she stunned the state’s Republican establishment by beating a five-term primary and then winning the general election.

“She was so inexperienced,” said Dick Wadhams, former leader of the Colorado Republican Party. “I don’t think she even knew she didn’t stand a chance, which turned out to be a good thing for her. She took everyone by surprise.

So far, it has had the same effect on Washington. On Wednesday, Capitol Police and Ms Boebert’s office declined to respond to inquiries about whether she actually carried a gun whenever she struggled to enter the bedroom. Mrs Boebert has said that she has a Concealed Carry Permit, issued by the District of Columbia, for her weapon and has claims on Twitter that she has the right to transport freely around the Capitol complex, which is not true.

A spokeswoman for the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department did not respond on Wednesday when asked whether Washington Police Chief Robert J. Contee III had met with Ms Boebert to explain the district gun laws, as he had said. do last week.

Ms Boebert has often defended her behavior as one of the reasons she was elected. Just like Mr. Trump did with his base, she tells her supporters she is fighting for them. As for her right to carry a gun, she wrote on Twitter that “self-defense is the most basic human right”.

In Colorado, Ms. Boebert’s District covers much of western Colorado, a sprawling and politically diverse landscape of mesas and jagged mountains that includes liberal enclaves like Aspen and Telluride as well as often overlooked towns where ranching livestock, mining, and natural gas drilling pay the bills. . For generations the district elected deep-rooted local men who, whether Democrats or Republicans, tended to be moderates wearing cowboy boots and focused on the local economy and natural resources.

Once a reliable red state, Colorado overturned Barack Obama’s 2008 election, and Republicans struggled to regain a foothold. Democrats now occupy the two Senate seats, the State House and the governor’s office.

Republicans seeking to maintain viability in the state view Ms. Boebert’s behavior with caution.

“I think most Republicans here are still behind her,” Mr. Wadhams said. “But she can’t just fight in Washington. She must also pay attention to the problems of her district: water, natural resources, mines. If she doesn’t, she’s in real trouble.

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Republican lawmakers are accused of giving tours of the Capitol to insurgents before the riot as new investigations are opened.

“The members of Congress who had groups crossing the Capitol that I saw on January 5, recognition for the next day, those members of Congress who incited this violent crowd,” Ms. Sherrill said, “these members who have tried to help our president undermine our democracy, I’ll see they are held accountable.

Ms. Sherrill did not respond to follow-up questions.

Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat from Ohio, said lawmakers were aware of the tours but are now looking at them in a new light given the attack. He said they included “handfuls” of people and the authorities were aware of their existence. “Now you look back at some things and you look at them differently so, yeah, we look at that,” he said.

Mr. Crow said he was aware of the tours but was not sure what they were.

Pressure is mounting on Republican members of Congress who partnered with far-right groups in the days leading up to the mob attack. Several of Mr. Trump’s strongest supporters, including Reps Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, both of Arizona, have been accused of helping plan the January 6 rally that led to the violent attack on the Capitol.

A photo was also deceptively circulated online on Wednesday claiming to implicate Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert for giving such a tour, but that was from 2019 in Colorado.

Mr Crow said he found the photo disturbing nonetheless because others saw it as “symbols of white power gangs.”

“I am very concerned about the potential complicity of the members,” said Mr. Crow. “There are certainly many examples of incentives for which members of Congress are responsible. I think we need to do an investigation to find out what exactly happened.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the majority leader of Maryland, played down the prospect of immediate discipline for lawmakers until the impeachment process against President Trump is completed.

“There will be time to sort this out,” Hoyer said of far-right Republicans in Congress. “Right now, we’re dealing with the president.

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Before Capitol Riot, Republican lawmakers fanned the flames

WASHINGTON – Standing in front of a crowd of thousands of MAGA-clad protesters on the National Mall on Wednesday, Representative Mo Brooks issued a message that members of Congress who dared to accept the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to hear .

“Today is the day that American patriots start taking names and kicking ass,” said Mr. Brooks, Republican of Alabama. “Are you ready to do whatever it takes to fight for America? Stronger! Do you want to fight for America?

Hours later, pressed by President Trump at the same rally, rioters stormed the Capitol, where Congress was meeting to formalize the election of Mr. Biden, chanting “Hang on Mike Pence”, threatening to shoot on President Nancy Pelosi and forcing lawmakers to evacuate the building in a scene of violence and chaos. Police subsequently recovered long guns, Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and fasteners. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the protests and the siege and immediately after.

Even after the tear gas was released and the Capitol secured, more than 135 House Republicans, including the two main party leaders, ultimately voted to reject millions of legally cast votes, responding to rioters’ demands and responding to Mr. Trump’s appeal to Congress. overturn the election results in his favor.

But a handful of Mr. Trump’s most loyal allies in the House had gone even further in the days and weeks leading up to the riot, urging their supporters to come to Washington on January 6 to take one last provocative stand to keep it going. in power. They tied guns with the protest organizers and used belligerent and inflammatory language to describe the issues.

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, first-term lawmakers who presented themselves as outspoken supporters of Mr. Trump, called the day a Republicans’ “1776 moment”.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who for weeks promoted the Jan. 6 protest and other “Stop the Steal” events across the country more than a dozen times, has repeatedly called Mr. Biden of an “illegitimate usurper” and suggested that Mr. Trump was the victim of an attempted “coup”.

“Be prepared to defend the Constitution and the White House,” Mr. Gosar wrote in an op-ed titled “Are We Witnessing a Coup?”

As rioters besieged the Capitol, Mr. Gosar posted a calm message on Twitter, saying to his followers: “Let us not get carried away here.” But he wrote a much nicer post on Speak, using the same photo of people climbing the walls of the building: “Americans are upset.

Their comments raised questions about the degree of coordination Republicans have with the protest organizers. In a tweet since deleted, Rep. Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas, wrote that he “had a great meeting today with the folks at Stop The Steal,” one of the main groups that organized the rally. last week.

And in another video, Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist who emerged as a leader of Stop the Steal, claimed that he, along with Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gosar and Rep. Andy Biggs from Arizona, had established the January 6 event in motion.

“The four of us planned to put maximum pressure on Congress while they voted,” Alexander said in a video that has since been deleted, “so that those whom we cannot rally, we can change the hearts and minds of the people. Republicans who were in this body, hear our loud roar from outside.

A spokesperson for Mr Biggs denied in a statement Monday that lawmakers had played a role in organizing the rally, and said he had focused his efforts on working “within the law and established a precedent to restore the integrity of our elections. “

“Congressman Biggs has never heard of or met Mr. Alexander – let alone work with him to organize part of a protest scheduled for Jan. 6,” spokesman Daniel Stefanski said. “He had no contact with any protesters or rioters, and he never encouraged or encouraged the January 6 rally or protests.”

But Mr. Gosar appeared to be on good terms with Mr. Alexander, frequently tagging him in Twitter messages. At a rally late last month outside the Arizona state capitol where Mr. Gosar spoke, Mr. Alexander called the congressman a “spirit animal of this movement. “.

“He helped where he could,” Mr. Alexander said. “He offered to call the donors. In fact, we had our first walk in Washington, because he called me and he said, “You have to go to the Supreme Court”. I said, “Very well, captain.” And that’s what started it.

For his part, Mr. Brooks has remained without excuse for his role in encouraging rioters.

“I make no apologies for doing my best to urge patriotic Americans not to abandon our country and to fight anti-Christian socialists in the elections of 2022 and 2024,” Brooks told a newspaper local. “I encourage ALL citizens to watch my entire rallying speech and decide for themselves what kind of America they want: an America based on liberty and liberty or one based on ungodly dictatorial power. .

Rep. Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, on Monday introduced a resolution to formally censure Mr. Brooks, saying he was responsible for inciting the crowd and “endangering the lives of his colleagues in Congress.”

“We’re going to need to take a broader look at those members of Congress who may have encouraged or even facilitated the attack on Capitol Hill,” Malinowski said in an interview.

“People like Brooks have literally put the lives of their colleagues at risk,” he said.

Other House Democrats were pushing to invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, added after the Civil War, which disqualifies people who “have engaged in an insurgency or rebellion” against the United States from holding office public. The clause was originally enacted to limit the influence of the former Confederates during the time of reconstruction.

Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, on Monday introduced a resolution with 47 co-sponsors that would open inquiries for “the impeachment of members who attempted to overturn election results and incited an attempted coup.” State of White Supremacy ”.

“I can’t act like this doesn’t affect me,” Ms. Bush said in an interview about being on Capitol Hill during the siege. “I felt in danger. My staff were in danger.

Ms Bush said she did not ultimately know how many members of Congress should be expelled, but expected to learn the number from an Ethics Committee investigation.

“Even if it’s just a few, we need to make sure the message is clear that you can’t be a sitting congressman and incite an insurgency and work to overthrow an election,” a- she declared.

For weeks before the rally, mimicking Mr. Trump’s tone, Republican members and lawmakers had used inflammatory language to describe the president’s efforts to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory.

At a Turning Point USA event in December, Rep. Madison Cawthorn from North Carolina encouraged attendees to “call your congressman and feel free – you can threaten them slightly.”

“Say, ‘If you don’t support electoral integrity, I’m coming after you. Madison Cawthorn is coming after you. Everyone is coming after you, ”said Mr. Cawthorn.

Some of Mr. Trump’s closest allies in Congress, including Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Biggs and Ms. Greene, met with him at the White House in December to discuss their willingness to overturn the election results. Lawmakers in attendance described the meeting as quite dry, centered on how the process would play out in the House and Senate.

But Mr. Gosar launched the meeting to his supporters as a call to action, pledging not to “accept the denial of their rights” from those who voted for Mr. Trump.

“This sedition,” he wrote, “Will be arrested.”

Kevin roose contribution to reports.

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Colin Powell says he “can no longer call himself a Republican.”

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday, days after supporters of President Trump stormed the United States Capitol, that he no longer considered himself a member of the president’s party.

In an interview on CNN, host Fareed Zakaria asked Mr. Powell if members of the Republican Party “realize that in a way they’ve been causing, at least encouraging this madness to grow and to grow up, ”referring to Mr. Trump’s chaotic governance that culminated in last week’s violence.

Mr Powell, 83 and a longtime Republican Party member, replied, “They did, and that’s why I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”

Mr. Powell, a retired four-star general who served in President George W. Bush’s White House and twice endorsed Barack Obama’s successful presidential offers, said he was not looking at recent events through the prism of partisan politics.

“You know I’m not a comrade right now,” Mr. Powell said. “I’m just a citizen who voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my career, and right now I’m just watching my country and not worrying about parties.

He added that Republican officials “should have known better” than to support Mr. Trump, but “they were so taken with their political position” and “none of them wanted to put themselves in political danger” by denouncing him.

“We need people who will speak the truth,” added Powell.

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Colin Powell says he “can no longer call himself a Republican.”

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday, days after supporters of President Trump stormed the United States Capitol, that he no longer considered himself a member of the president’s party.

In an interview on CNN, host Fareed Zakaria asked Mr. Powell if members of the Republican Party “realize that in a way they’ve been causing, at least encouraging this madness to grow and to grow up, ”referring to Mr. Trump’s chaotic governance that culminated in last week’s violence.

Mr Powell, 83 and a longtime Republican Party member, replied, “They did, and that’s why I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”

Mr. Powell, a retired four-star general who served in President George W. Bush’s White House and twice endorsed Barack Obama’s successful presidential offers, said he was not looking at recent events through the prism of partisan politics.

“You know I’m not a comrade right now,” Mr. Powell said. “I’m just a citizen who voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my career, and right now I’m just watching my country and not worrying about parties.

He added that Republican officials “should have known better” than to support Mr. Trump, but “they were so taken with their political position” and “none of them wanted to put themselves in political danger” by denouncing him.

“We need people who will speak the truth,” added Powell.

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Murkowski is the first Republican senator to say Trump should step down: “I want him out.”

Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski on Friday called on President Trump to resign, denouncing him in ruthless terms and even suggesting that she could quit the Republican Party if he continued to align with Mr. Trump.

“I want him to resign,” Ms. Murkowski said in an interview with The Anchorage Daily News. “I want him out. He’s done enough damage.

She continued, “He played golf or he was inside the Oval Office ranting and throwing every single person who was loyal and loyal 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 has to do the right thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing the right thing.

In the long run, Ms. Murkowski’s suggestion that she might quit the Republican Party – “if the Republican Party is just Trump’s party, I sincerely wonder if this party is right for me,” he said. she told the Anchorage newspaper – could prove even more meaningful than her support for Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

With the victories of Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Georgian Senate second round on Tuesday, Democrats will have the thinnest possible majority in the Senate, 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking ties. (The Democrats’ 50-vote total includes two independents meeting with them.) Ms Murkowski did not say whether she would caucus with the Democrats if she left the Republican Party, but even a decision to become independent would dramatically change the picture. political dynamics. in the bedroom.

Congressional Republicans have widely condemned the actions of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in opposition to the formalization of the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. But Ms Murkowski is one of the very few openly call on Mr. Trump to step down, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, before Mr. Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – who, like Ms Murkowski, had criticized Mr Trump before the events of this week – officially supports the removal of Mr Trump’s powers under the 25th Amendment, and Representative Steve Stivers of the Ohio has said it will not oppose the move if Mr. Trump’s cabinet decides to do so.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has said he will consider voting to remove Mr. Trump from office if the House impeaches him again. But Ms Murkowski is the first Republican senator to unequivocally call for the president’s resignation.

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Homemade bombs found at Democratic and Republican headquarters are believed to contain timing devices.

The homemade bombs discovered on Wednesday afternoon outside Democratic and Republican Party headquarters a few blocks from Capitol Hill contained crude mechanical timing devices, according to an official familiar with their initial examination, suggesting they were destined to explode.

It was not clear exactly when they were supposed to detonate, but thousands of people were in the area this afternoon as a crowd cheered on by President Trump stormed the Capitol, where lawmakers had gathered. to certify the election of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., leaving five dead. It was also not clear whether the bombs were related to the siege.

The two bombs appeared to be similar, the official said. They were relatively straightforward and incorporated a mechanical timer, battery, steel wool and an unknown powder as an explosive filler, the official said. One of the devices was found with a cell phone, which could have been incorporated to detonate the bomb.

Photographs of the intact bombs were shared with the New York Times.

Credit… Obtained by the New York Times

The bombing crew technicians deactivated the devices, which were constructed of steel pipes that appear to be about an inch and a half in diameter and 12 inches long.

The FBI has released a $ 50,000 award for information on a potential suspect.

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How Trump’s fraud allegations could hurt Georgia’s Republican candidates

Tuesday’s election in Georgia will not only determine the fate of the two Senate seats held by Republicans and the balance of control on Capitol Hill. It will also reveal to what extent President Trump has disrupted and damaged his own party.

Over the past few weeks, Mr. Trump has sparked and escalated a battle royale within Georgia’s Republican Universe as he sought to reverse his loss there and blame the state’s GOP leaders for failing to not have helped him.

In response, Republicans across the state have turned on each other, siding for or against Mr. Trump as he continues his stubborn efforts – some say illegal – to overturn election results in Georgia, where he lost by nearly 12,000 votes.

The outcome of these Senate elections will show, on some level, how Republican voters reacted to Mr. Trump’s quest to overthrow what he falsely called a “rigged” election.

If Republicans do not ultimately turn out in large numbers, the blame will at least partly fall on Mr. Trump for his efforts to raise doubts about the fairness of the state’s electoral process.

The extent to which Mr. Trump is ready to engage in this effort became fully evident on Saturday, when he phoned Brad Raffensperger, Georgian and Republican Secretary of State, urging him to “find” votes and recalculate the results of the state presidential race. in his favor, ignoring the official conclusion, already certified by the governor, that he was the loser.

It was the culmination of efforts to overthrow the elections which began almost two months ago. The Trump campaign and his surrogates have filed multiple lawsuits challenging the election results in Georgia; demanded recounts and the resignation of Mr. Raffensperger; combed the obituaries to find the supposed “dead” who voted; demanded that the legislature overturn the state electoral college vote; and lobbied for hearings, where Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, repeated unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

At every turn, Mr. Raffensperger and other Georgia election officials debunked the electoral fraud conspiracy theories pushed by the president and his allies.

The short-term impact of Mr. Trump’s lobbying campaign will become evident as the votes are counted in the run-off election between David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, with the two Republicans fighting to retain their Senate seats , against two Democrats, Jon Ossoff and the Reverend. Raphael Warnock.

For Republicans in the state, the concern from the start has been that Mr. Trump’s efforts to undermine the electoral process will reduce turnout in the second round, in part because it has fueled the belief that the system itself. same is rigged and can not be trusted.

Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said Mr. Trump’s phone call on Saturday could also turn some of the president’s former supporters against Republican candidates.

“They can say, ‘This has gone too far. I can’t vote against Trump, but I can vote against his surrogates, ”Bullock said in an interview Monday.

Mr. Trump’s efforts to plead, cajole and threaten his path to victory in Georgia began days after the November 3 election. He was leading as the first comebacks arrived. But as the postal votes were counted in the days that followed, his margin narrowed and it became evident that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would take Georgia and its 16 electoral votes.

The Associated Press declared Mr. Biden the winner in Georgia on November 13.

On November 9, Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue – who touted their loyalty to the president – took the unusual step of demanding Mr Raffensperger’s resignation, calling the election an embarrassment and baseless claiming that his office had supervised a faulty process.

A civil engineer and former state legislator, Mr. Raffensperger was elected in 2018 after receiving the laudatory endorsement of Mr. Trump. Seeming keen to allay the president’s concerns, Raffensperger agreed to conduct an unusual statewide recount of the election, which cost counties hundreds of thousands of dollars. He reaffirmed Mr. Biden’s victory. Just like a subsequent recount of the machine.

As Mr. Trump’s campaign and his supporters have filed lawsuits in various Georgia jurisdictions, Mr. Trump has stepped up attacks on another staunch Republican, Gov. Brian Kemp.

In early December, Mr. Kemp, along with Geoff Duncan, Georgia’s lieutenant governor who is also a Republican, issued a joint statement rejecting requests by supporters of Mr. Trump to call a special session of the Georgian legislature to overturn the victory of Mr. Biden. .

“Doing this in order to select a separate list of presidential voters is not an option that is permitted under state or federal law,” the statement said.

The Georgian legislature was not due to meet again until January 11, long after the electoral college certified Mr Biden’s victory in Georgia. Senior state officials including David Ralston, the Republican Speaker of the House, stood firm on that date, drawing a bright line beyond which they would not go appeasing Mr. Trump.

“I would remind people that if we canceled this one there might be a day for us,” Ralston told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just have to be very careful about how we react to our frustrations and concerns and understand that these things can happen again someday.”

A recount, even if it was expensive, was one thing. Canceling a valid election was another. Expressing his displeasure, Mr Trump said he was ashamed to endorse Mr Kemp in 2018.

Longtime Republican Mr Raffensperger hinted Monday that the feuds could end nearly two decades of Republican domination in statewide politics.

“The questions Mr. Trump raised – about all of his claims that he didn’t get a fair vote here – have been a major distraction for both senators to lead their race,” Raffensperger told Fox News. “In fact, he’s actually removing the Republican turnout.”

Bill Crane, a Georgian political agent and commentator, said the president’s tactics, as well as the work of activists in the state who claimed the November election was rigged, reduced Republican turnout in the run-off. “Georgia is still at odds over whether we should vote,” Crane said.

The fringe efforts of Trump’s allies may have helped dissuade some Republicans from voting for Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler. A Twitter campaign urging Georgian voters to ‘write down’ the names of Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, which is not an option for the second ballot, appears to be the result of Mr Trump’s concerns . And L. Lin Wood, a Georgian conservative lawyer and Trump ally, said he would not vote in “another fraudulent election.”

Early voting data showed turnout in the second round of the election was depressed in heavily Republican areas of the state, although analysts say Republicans tend to favor voting on Election Day while Democrats are more likely to vote early.

Mr. Crane has called Mr. Trump’s crusade a “fantasy football league campaign” – a campaign in which Mr. Trump pursues his own agenda, not the party’s.

To what end is not exactly clear. But on Monday, in an appearance at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, on behalf of his staunch supporters, Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue, Mr Trump vowed to make a return trip to campaign against Mr. Raffensperger and M. Kemp. .

“They say they are Republicans,” Mr. Trump said. “I really don’t think so. They can’t be.