President-elect Joe Biden will no longer take an Amtrak train from Delaware to Washington for his inauguration due to security concerns, a person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press.
The president-elect’s decision reflects growing concerns about potential threats on Capitol Hill and across the United States as Biden’s inauguration approaches on Wednesday.
Security in Washington has intensified significantly in preparation for the inauguration following the violent insurgency on the United States Capitol last week by supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump. The FBI warned of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capitals and Washington, DC, in the days leading up to the event.
During his 36-year Senate career, Biden was known to have taken a 90-minute Amtrak trip from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington. He drove an Amtrak on his last day as vice president and used a train through Ohio and Pennsylvania during the presidential campaign as part of an effort to attract blue collar workers.
On Wednesday, Biden received a briefing from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service and key members of its national security team.
“The team is engaging with the current administration to get as much information as possible about the threat’s image and the preparations in place to deter and defend against disruption or violent attacks,” said Biden’s transition team in a statement.
– Associated press
After House impeaches Trump, Senate awaits report to begin trial
The Senate could start another impeachment trial for President Donald Trump as early as next week after the House voted Wednesday to accuse the outgoing president of inciting the insurgency on Capitol Hill that has left five dead.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said on Wednesday that the chamber could address the issue at its “first regular meeting after receiving the article from the House.” But he said a trial could not take place until Trump’s term expired at noon on January 20. The Senate will meet next Tuesday.
“Even if the Senate process were to start this week and move quickly, no final verdict would be made until President Trump leaves,” McConnell said.
Senators must first receive the article of impeachment that House lawmakers approved on Wednesday – and it’s unclear how long they’ll wait.
The Senate must proceed directly to trial once it receives the article. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Has repeatedly declined to answer questions about when she will send the article to the Senate. She signed off on the official version of the article on Wednesday evening, but did not answer questions.
It is possible that the trial will take place during the first days of President-elect Joe Biden’s presidency, which begins with his inauguration on Wednesday, although unlikely before that.
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Since the House only passed a single impeachment article, rather than the two the house passed when Trump was first impeached in 2019, a Senate trial could be shorter, a said a source familiar with the plans for the impeachment trial, but who was not authorized to speak publicly. . The source added that witnesses would likely be part of the trial, but warned lawmakers were just getting started and would have daily meetings to discuss the strategy.
The 100-member Senate will be split evenly between the parties after the swearing-in of two Georgia Democrats, who won the run-off election. Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., will become the majority leader because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will sever ties.
Schumer said a trial could begin immediately if Republicans agreed.
“But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate,” Schumer said.
One of the reasons Democrats want to hold a trial even after Trump leaves is to ban him from future office, if he is convicted. But the conviction demands two-thirds – or 67 votes – in a tightly divided Senate.
“The President of the United States has instigated a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to stay in power,” Schumer said. “In the interest of our democracy, it cannot and should not be tolerated, excused or unpunished.”
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Democratic House leaders have come up with different strategies on whether to send the article immediately or keep it until Biden has a chance to get cabinet nominees confirmed and legislation begins.
Majority of the House, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Said the article would be sent quickly. But House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, DS.C., said he could wait until the first 100 days of the Biden administration.
The House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump. Ten Republicans have joined the Democratic effort – including Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third House Republican – making it the most bipartisan impeachment in history.
“I hope they take action as soon as possible,” Hoyer said. “The speaker is talking to Mr. Schumer, and we will determine him.”
In preparation for the trial, Pelosi appointed the lawmakers who will serve as prosecutors during the trial, called managers. Representative Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Who was previously a professor of constitutional law, will lead the prosecution.
The other managers are Democratic representatives. David Cicilline from Rhode Island, Diana DeGette from Colorado, Joaquin Castro from Texas, Eric Swalwell from California, Ted Lieu from California, Joe Neguse from Colorado, Madeleine Dean from Pennsylvania, and Stacey Plaskett, a Virgin Islands delegate.
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Swalwell, Castro and Dean huddled with Pelosi after signing the article on Wednesday to discuss aspects of the trial, including the timeline.
“We are discussing it now,” Castro said. “We will take the matter to the Senate and I look forward to standing up for Donald Trump.”
Dean did not support the Senate to begin his impeachment trial on Wednesday – the first day the chamber could theoretically act, but also the day Biden was inaugurated.
“I don’t want to get a glimpse of it, but definitely not,” Dean says. “We have a president and a vice president to take the oath.”
Contributor: Christal Hayes