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The ‘People’s House’ looked like a war zone during the impeachment debate, one week after the Capitol riot.

New York Times - Wed Jan 13 19:53

National Guard troops resting in the Capitol Wednesday morning as the House prepared to debate the impeachment charge.
Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House undertook an emotionally charged debate on Wednesday over impeaching President Trump, as lawmakers marched toward an afternoon vote to charge him just one week after he incited a mob of loyalists to storm the Capitol and stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the November election.

Returning to a heavily fortified Capitol, protected by thousands of National Guard troops, Democrats and Republicans traded impassioned arguments over what charging the president would accomplish and whether an article of impeachment that accuses the president of “incitement of insurrection” was accurate.

Summoning the darkest chapters of American history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California implored colleagues in both parties to embrace “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”

Representative Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, who is leaving the House to serve as a senior aide to Mr. Biden, was more succinct: “Simply put, we told you so.”

Republicans were split over the impending charge, with up to a dozen or more expected to vote to impeach, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate, embracing the effort as a means to purge Mr. Trump from the party.

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, treaded carefully. He spoke out against impeachment, warning it would “further fan the flames of partisan division.” But he also pinned blame on Mr. Trump for the attack and batted down false suggestions from some of his colleagues that antifa had actually been responsible for the siege, not loyalists to Mr. Trump. He proposed censuring the president instead of impeaching him.

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

“These facts require immediate actions by President Trump,” he continued. “Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”

It was a striking departure from Mr. Trump’s first impeachment, in 2019, when Republicans unanimously and enthusiastically defended him.

The final vote after the debate is expected to pass with a small but significant number of Republicans joining Democrats to impeach Mr. Trump, making him the first president to be impeached twice. A sixth Republican, Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington State, announced his plans to do so in a speech during the debate.

After dispensing with two earlier, procedural votes just after noon, the chamber planned two additional hours of debate, culminating in an up-or-down vote on the charge.

The most blistering condemnation by a Republican came from Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, who said there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States.”

Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.”

But in a statement intended to calm tensions as the debate was underway on Wednesday, he urged, “there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.”

"That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for,” the president said. “I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

House leaders were already planning how to press their charge in a trial in the Senate, but the timing was uncertain because the Senate was not in session.

Mr. McConnell’s office notified Democrats on Wednesday that he would not agree to their request to use emergency powers to bring the Senate back into session before Jan. 19, an aide said. That likely means that a trial will not get underway until around the time of Mr. Biden’s inauguration next week, at the earliest.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Representative Steny Hoyer, the majority leader, said.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Gathered in the Capitol just one week after it came under violent attack by a pro-Trump mob, the House opened an emotional debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach President Trump for his role in inciting the violence.

The vote was expected in the afternoon and Democrats confidently predicted they had the votes to impeach, with nearly every one of their members speaking out in support and several Republicans pledging to join them.

But in the run-up to the vote, the two parties traded bitter jabs and dueling arguments for and against using the Constitution’s gravest remedy just days before Mr. Trump was to leave office. Democrats uniformly described the president’s conduct in scathing terms, arguing that impeachment was an appropriate remedy. A few Republicans defended him, but most others simply argued that a rush to impeach Mr. Trump without a hearing or an investigation raised constitutional questions.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: “The president must be impeached and I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together. It gives me no pleasure to say this. It breaks my heart.”

Representative Jaime Raskin of Maryland, the lead impeachment manager: “It’s a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren’t so mean to them.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California: “America has been through a civil war, world wars, a Great Depression, pandemics, McCarthyism, and now a Trumpist and white nationalist insurrection. And yet our democracy endures.

“It endures because at every juncture, every pivotal moment, when evil threatens to overtake good, patriotic Americans step forward to say, enough. This is one of those moments.”

Representative Hakeem Jeffires of New York: “Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense. It is what it is.”

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader: “I’ve served with Ronald Reagan, with George H.W. Bush and George Bush. I have respect for all of those presidents. They cared about our country. They honored our Constitution and they executed the duties of the office consistent with the constitution and laws of our country.

“That is not true of this president. And therefore, he ought to be removed. And we have that opportunity to do so. Is there little time left? Yes. But it is never too late to do the right thing."

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota: “For years we have been asked to turn a blind eye to the criminality, corruption and blatant disregard to the rule of law by the tyrant president we have in the White House. We as a nation can no longer look away.”

Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a Democrat leaving to join the Biden White House: “Simply put, we told you so.”

Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas: “Let me ask you a question. What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?”

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio: “It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore, it’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them.”

Representative Tom McClintock of California: “If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted. That’s what the president did, that is all he did.

“He specifically told the crowd to protest peacefully and patriotically. And the vast majority of them did. But every movement has a lunatic fringe."

Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington State: “The president took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Last week there was a domestic threat at the door of the Capitol and he did nothing to stop it. That is why with a heavy heart and clear resolve I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment.”

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida: “I denounce political violence from all ends of the spectrum, but make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right. For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing. Or they cheer-led for it and fund-raised for it and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world.

“Now some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames. Actual fires.”

Representative Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania: Mr. Reschenthaler condemned the violence that had taken place, but was one of the few Republicans opposing the impeachment charge on its merits, disputing that Mr. Trump had incited violence.

“At his rally, President Trump urged attendees to, ‘peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ There was no mention of violence, let alone calls to action.”

Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina: “The U.S. House of Representatives has every right to impeach the president of the United States. But what we’re doing today, rushing this impeachment in an hour- or two-hour-long debate on the floor of this chamber, bypassing Judiciary, poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process.”

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State, who supports impeachment: “I’m not afraid of losing my job, but I am afraid my country will fail.”

National Guard troops in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Throngs of armed, camouflage fatigue-clad members of the National Guard ringed the Capitol and lined its halls on Wednesday as the House met to debate impeaching President Trump for inciting an insurrection, one week to the day after a mob egged on by the Mr. Trump stormed the building.

The heavily militarized presence made for a jarring and sobering atmosphere in a building often known as the “People’s House.” It provided a surreal backdrop for a historic debate that unfolded in a House chamber newly outfitted by magnetometers near where the violent rioters tried to force their way in last week as terrified lawmakers, staff members and journalists took shelter on the other side.

There appeared to be troops at every corner: sleeping on the marble floors, curled up at the foot of statues and busts, lining up for coffee and food in the 24-hour snack bar, standing in Statuary Hall, visibly in awe of the marble likenesses of the nation’s founders and leaders. A group of Black troops posed for a photo with the statue of Rosa Parks; dozens more troops were splayed out in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitors Center, in the shadow of a model of the Statue of Freedom, which sits atop the dome.

“The field trip is leaving without us,” one Guardsman could be heard joking as a group of soldiers moved through the building.

Some lawmakers lamented the threat that made their presence necessary, with many Democrats irate about the role they said their own Republican colleagues had played in whipping up the rage of the mob that assaulted the Capitol, putting the lives of members of Congress in danger.

“It should not and will not be tolerated,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, told reporters. “And that’s why extraordinary security measures have been taken.”

Lawmakers had to walk through the new magnetometers in response to concerns about Republicans bringing guns to the House floor. Several Republicans grumbled about the added layer of security. Typically, lawmakers are allowed to bypass the magnetometers at the entrances to the buildings.

Outside the Capitol, red, white and blue bunting had been hung to adorn the building for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration, which was to take place a week from Wednesday.

Near the House floor as lawmakers debated the impeachment charge, an aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi wheeled out a lectern bearing her seal — the same lectern one of the rioters was spotted carrying across the Rotunda during the siege. She was readying it for use later in the day, when Ms. Pelosi was set to use it as she signed the article, formalizing Mr. Trump’s impeachment for sparking the mayhem.

Armed National Guard troops outside the Capitol on Wednesday.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

The House convened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to debate the rule needed to move forward with the impeachment resolution, then took a procedural vote in which lawmakers split along party lines over moving the process forward.

It then moved immediately to a vote on the rule, which was also passed along party lines. Members then began considering the article of impeachment, with two hours of debate time divided evenly between the two parties.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was leading the debate for Democrats.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the panel, was in charge of his party’s arguments against impeachment on the floor. But the party’s leadership was divided, with the two top leaders opposing impeachment and the No. 3, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, in support.

A final vote on the single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — is expected Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Democrats appeared to have more than enough support to vote to impeach Mr. Trump. But the breakneck pace at which they have moved ahead has left some Republican lawmakers prevaricating and proposing alternate solutions, like a bipartisan measure to censure the president.

But unlike the last impeachment, in which Republicans were united in their opposition, several were expected on Wednesday to break with their party. The debate and vote will reveal how willing Republicans are to abandon Mr. Trump and speak out against him.

Should the House vote as expected to impeach Mr. Trump, attention will turn to the Senate. It is not clear when Ms. Pelosi will send the article to the Senate, which would prompt the start of a trial there. Even if she were to do so immediately, since the Senate is not in session, unless the chamber’s leaders agreed to speed up the process, the soonest a trial could begin would be next Thursday when it formally gavels back in. Legal scholars believe that impeachment could be completed after Mr. Trump leaves office.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has deferred to lawmakers handling the proceedings, but sought clarification from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, about whether a trial could proceed on a parallel track with consideration of his Cabinet nominees.

President Trump at the White House on Tuesday.
Credit...Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

One week after a mob spurred by his rhetoric stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the presidential election results, President Trump on Wednesday issued a statement calling on Americans to “ease tensions and calm tempers.”

The statement, released by the White House and sent by text to Mr. Trump’s supporters, came a week before the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Washington, and as security experts and law-enforcement officials have warned that a number of far-right groups have threatened demonstrations or attacks in the coming week.

“In lights of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Mr. Trump said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for.”

The president’s statement, first provided to Fox News, was released as the House of Representatives was debating an article of impeachment that accuses Mr. Trump of “incitement of insurrection.” Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, read the statement on the House floor.

A final vote is expected Wednesday afternoon or evening. Democrats appear to have the votes needed to impeach Mr. Trump for a second time, with a small but significant number of Republicans expected to join them.

Shortly before Mr. Trump’s statement was released, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, spoke on the House floor, pinning blame on Mr. Trump for the attack.

“These facts require immediate actions by President Trump,” said Mr. McCarthy, who does not support impeachment and last week voted to overturn the election results. “Accept his share of responsibility. Quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, urged people with “malicious intent” to stay away from Washington or state capitols.

“The peaceful transition of power is one of our nation’s founding principles and is necessary for our country to move forward,” Ms. McDaniel said in a statement.

Mr. Trump has been heavily criticized for his role in inciting last week’s violence, in which a number of his supporters stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president after the president spoke at a rally beforehand.

On Tuesday, his first time answering questions from reporters since the event, Mr. Trump showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob, saying his comments to his supporters were “totally appropriate.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a joint session of Congress last week.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The House voted on Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers after he incited a mob that attacked the Capitol, as lawmakers warned they would impeach the president on Wednesday if Mr. Pence did not comply.

Lawmakers, escorted by armed guards into a heavily fortified Capitol, adopted the nonbinding measure just before midnight largely along party lines. The final vote was 223 to 205 to implore Mr. Pence to declare Mr. Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.”

“We’re trying to tell him that the time of a 25th Amendment emergency has arrived,” Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and the author of the resolution, said before the vote. “It has come to our doorstep. It has invaded our chamber.”

Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor of the resolution.

The House proceeded even after Mr. Pence rejected the call in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he wrote. “I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation.”

Almost all Republicans lined up in opposition. They did little to defend Mr. Trump’s behavior but argued that Congress had no role telling the vice president what to do.

“The vice president has given you your answer, before you asked the question,” said Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina. “Your ultimatum does violence to a core feature of the architecture of the Constitution.”

Mr. Trump met with Mr. Pence on Monday for the first time since their falling out last week over the president’s effort to overturn the election and the mob assault, which had put the vice president in danger. The two spoke for an hour or more in the Oval Office in what amounted to a tense peace summit meeting with the remainder of the Trump presidency at stake.

Representative Dan Newhouse, Republican of Washington, became the latest G.O.P. member of the House to say he would support impeaching President Trump.
Credit...Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As the House prepared to move forward on Wednesday with a vote to formally charge President Trump with inciting violence against the government of the United States, a small but growing number of Republicans said they supported the effort.

The vote is set to come exactly one week after the Capitol was breached by an angry mob of Trump loyalists.

In 2019, not a single Republican voted in favor of impeachment. House Republican leaders have said they would not formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach the president this time, and some members said they intended to vote in favor.

Representative John Katko of New York was the first Republican to publicly announce that he would back the impeachment proceedings. Not holding the president accountable for his actions would be “a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Tuesday evening that she would vote to impeach, citing the president’s role in an insurrection that caused “death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.”

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, joined his Republican colleagues on Tuesday evening, saying the nation was in uncharted waters. He said that Mr. Trump “encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.”

Representative Fred Upton of Michigan issued a statement saying that he would vote to impeach after Mr. Trump “expressed no regrets” for what had happened at the Capitol.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State issued a statement saying, “The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have.” (An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated which state Ms. Herrera Beutler represents.)

Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington announced that he was backing impeachment, attacking his party’s core argument, that the process was being rushed. “I will not use process as an excuse,” he said during the impeachment debate, to cheers and applause from Democrats. Mr. Newhouse also offered a mea culpa, chiding himself and other Republicans for “not speaking out sooner” against the president.

Nicholas Fandos and Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the impeachment managers.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday named nine Democrats as managers of the impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of inciting a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol, where rioters ransacked the seat of American government and killed a Capitol Police officer.

The nine managers, all lawyers, have expertise in constitutional law, civil rights and law enforcement. They will be the new faces of the impeachment drive after Americans last year grew accustomed to seeing Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, as the leaders of Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

The managers come from across the country and represent different ideological wings of the party. Of the nine, seven are people of color, L.G.B.T.Q. or women.

With Democrats controlling the House, Mr. Trump is expected to become the first American president to be impeached twice.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Ms. Pelosi said of the managers. “They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.”

Ms. Pelosi named Representative Jamie Raskin, a constitutional lawyer from Maryland who drafted the impeachment article, as the lead manager of Mr. Trump’s trial. Mr. Raskin, who lost his 25-year-old son to suicide on New Year’s Eve and then survived the mob attack, is a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law.

“I’m honored to be on a team with extremely distinguished lawyers and representatives,” Mr. Raskin said. “We have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders right now.”

The other impeachment managers are: Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, a lawyer with a civil rights background; David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a former public defender; Joaquin Castro of Texas, a lawyer; Eric Swalwell of California, a former prosecutor; Ted Lieu of California, a former Air Force officer and prosecutor; Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, a former prosecutor; Joe Neguse of Colorado, a lawyer; and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, also a lawyer.

The decision to arm National Guard troops positioned around the Capitol complex came after Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that the Pentagon take a more muscular posture, congressional aides said.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

National Guard troops who are flooding into Washington to secure the Capitol for Inauguration Day will be armed, the Army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, has decided, Defense Department officials said Tuesday.

The armed troops will be responsible for security around the Capitol building complex, the officials said.

As up to 20,000 troops continued to arrive in Washington from all over the country, Defense Department officials had been weighing whether to deploy them with arms. Mr. McCarthy has decided that at the very least those around the Capitol building will carry weapons, said the officials, who confirmed the decision on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. McCarthy’s decision came after a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. Ms. Pelosi, according to congressional staff members, demanded that the Pentagon take a more muscular posture after a mob, egged on by President Trump last week, breached the Capitol.

Pentagon officials say they are deeply worried about protests that are planned for the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. next week. About 16 groups — some of them saying they will be armed and most of them made up of hard-line supporters of Mr. Trump — have registered to stage protests in Washington, officials said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Sunday asking for an emergency declaration to obtain additional funding for inauguration security.

“In light of the attack on the Capitol and intelligence suggesting further violence is likely during the inaugural period, my administration has re-evaluated our preparedness posture for the inauguration, including requesting the extension of D.C. National Guard support through Jan. 24, 2021,” Ms. Bowser wrote.

Defense Department officials said that the White House had signed off on the decision to arm some of the National Guard troops coming to Washington to provide security. Pentagon officials have underscored that the National Guard — not active-duty military troops — will be assigned to those duties.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will nominate Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as the head of the United States Agency for International Development.
Credit...Seth Wenig/Associated Press

With just one week until he is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday continued to fill out his senior staff, naming Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, to lead the United States Agency for International Development.

Mr. Biden also added the position to the National Security Council and elevated two White House posts that all but disappeared in the Trump administration: a homeland security adviser to manage matters as varied as extremism, pandemics and natural disasters, and the first deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology.

During her tenure at the U.N., Ms. Power was involved in the international response to the Ebola outbreak. Before that, she worked on former President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, advising the White House on human rights issues. In her new role, she will oversee the country’s global efforts to help defeat the pandemic.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Power warned that other countries would look to the United States for how to respond to the crisis.

“If President Trump doesn’t overcome his go-it-alone mind-set and take immediate steps to mobilize a global coalition to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, its spread will cause a catastrophic loss of life and make it impossible to restore normalcy in the United States in the foreseeable future,” Ms. Power wrote in an April 7 opinion piece for The Times.

Here are other announcements coming from the Biden team with seven days to go until the his administration begins:

  • The White House homeland security adviser will be Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, according to transition officials. She is a longtime aide to Mr. Biden who served under Mr. Obama as senior director for Europe and then deputy secretary of energy, where she oversaw the modernization of the nuclear arsenal.

  • Mr. Biden has carved out a role for Anne Neuberger, a rising official at the National Security Agency, to bolster cyber offense and defense. Ms. Neuberger ran the Russia Small Group, which mounted a pre-emptive strike on the Kremlin’s cyber-actors during the 2018 midterm elections, part of an effort to counter Moscow after its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Jeffrey Wexler will head the Covid-19 operations, after working on virus preparedness during the campaign and transition.

  • John McCarthy, the deputy national political director on the campaign, will be senior adviser to the counselor to the president, Steve Ricchetti.

  • Zayn Siddique, the chief of staff for the domestic and economic transition team, and Thomas Winslow, the chief of staff to the campaign manager, will be senior advisers to the deputy chief of staff. (An earlier version of this item misspelled Zayn.)

  • Lisa Kohnke, who runs the scheduling for the transition team, will become the director of presidential scheduling.

  • Sarah Feldmann will be the chief of staff for the Office of Management and Administration. And Christian Peele will be the deputy director of management and administration for personnel.

  • Michael Leach, a former senior manager of labor relations for the N.F.L. Management Council and assistant to the head coach for the Chicago Bears, will be the chief diversity and inclusion director. (An earlier version of this item inaccurately said that Mr. Leach also coached Texas Tech football, but that coach was a different man with the same name.)

President-elect Donald J. Trump arriving at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2017. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration will look far different due to coronavirus and security precautions.
Credit...Damon Winter/The New York Times

In the latest example of its virtual programming in lieu of mass gatherings and ballroom celebrations, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inaugural committee announced Wednesday that a 90-minute prime-time television special will air on Jan. 20, hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring musical acts and appearances by Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“Celebrating America” will air starting at 8:30 p.m. on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC, and it will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch, among other online platforms, according to a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The event’s entertainers will include Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake.

Presidential inaugurations traditionally draw huge crowds to Washington for parades, performances and evening balls and parties. But coronavirus precautions have made that impossible this year, along with heightened security following last week’s riot at the Capitol.

Reminiscent of programming during the summer Democratic National Convention, whose traditional in-person events were also largely moved online, “the program will highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee said, adding that it would celebrate “frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.”

The committee has previously announced other virtual and crowd-free activities, including a “virtual parade” following Mr. Biden’s swearing-in at the Capitol and a “Field of Flags” public art display to symbolize the crowds typically gathered for the event in Washington, whose mayor has urged Americans not to travel to the city.

Lawmakers from both parties, including Senator Tom Daschle, left, prayed on the steps of the Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001.
Credit...Kenneth Lambert/Associated Press

As the Senate majority leader on Sept. 11, 2001, Tom Daschle was among those hurriedly evacuated in the chaos of an expected attack on the Capitol, only to return later that evening for a bipartisan show of unity and resolve on the marble steps many had used to flee just hours earlier.

“We all joined together after 9/11 and professed ourselves to be Americans, not just Republicans and Democrats, as we sang ‘God Bless America’ on those same Capitol steps and returned to business the next morning,” Mr. Daschle, the former Democratic senator from South Dakota, recalled this week.

But like many Democrats, Mr. Daschle is not in a unifying mood in the wake of the assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob last week, and Jan. 6 is not proving to be a Sept. 11 moment.

This time, the menace to Congress was not from 19 shadowy hijackers from overseas but from within — fellow Americans and colleagues taking their usual places in the House and Senate chambers to try to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory and stoke President Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, which inspired the violent rioting that chased lawmakers from the House and the Senate.

“On 9/11 we were united as Americans against a common enemy, a foreign enemy, foreign terrorists,” said Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who was on Capitol Hill for both shattering events. “On Jan. 6, America was divided against itself.”

Outraged at the conduct of Republicans who perpetuated Mr. Trump’s bogus allegations of widespread voting fraud, Democrats are determined to impeach the president a second time, to try to expel and censure members who sought to overturn the presidential election even after the mob assault on the Capitol, and to ostracize Republicans who do not acknowledge and apologize for their role.

The 2001 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York — and the recognition that a horrific assault on the Capitol was prevented only by courageous passengers who brought down Flight 93 in Pennsylvania — led to an extraordinary period of congressional comity and cooperation.

Both parties immediately pulled together in a show of strength despite lingering Democratic resentment over the Supreme Court decision that had given the presidency to George W. Bush just months earlier. Democrats and Republicans set aside their very real differences — including concern among some Democrats that the new administration had failed to heed warnings about the attack — to present an impenetrable front to the country and the world.

“This Congress is united — Democrats, independents, Republicans,” Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri, the Democratic leader, declared during somber but angry proceedings on Sept. 12, 2001, as Congress passed a resolution condemning the attacks and promising national unity in the face of such threats. “There is no light or air between us. We stand shoulder to shoulder.”

Today, there is outright hostility among members of Congress, emotions that will be hard to contain even as Mr. Biden plans an inauguration with the theme of “America United” — an admirable goal, but one that seems difficult if not impossible to attain at the moment.

The U.S. Census logo appears on census materials received in the mail with an invitation to fill out census information online
Credit...Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump has demanded since summer that the Census Bureau produce a state-by-state tally of immigrants who are in the country illegally, numbers long sought by Republicans who want to base political maps on population figures that do not include undocumented immigrants. On Tuesday, a federal inspector general questioned an order to deliver the estimates before Mr. Trump leaves office, after whistle-blowers warned that the rush would imperil their accuracy.

The Commerce Department inspector general, Peggy E. Gustafson, said in a letter that two White House political appointees were the “driving forces” behind the order, which required census experts to deliver counts of unauthorized immigrants by Friday, five days before Inauguration Day.

Her letter states that the Census Bureau director appointed by Mr. Trump, Steven Dillingham, had designated the estimates a top priority for the bureau’s data experts, even though completion of the 2020 census itself has fallen months behind schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. The letter said Mr. Dillingham had discussed offering cash bonuses for producing the estimates quickly.

Mr. Dillingham backed off his order this week, according to bureau employees who refused to be named for fear of retaliation. Some of them said career employees planned to refuse to deliver substandard estimates, which would have led to an unprecedented standoff between the agency’s political leaders and its traditionally nonpartisan staff.

“It was just ‘Give us what you’ve got,’” one bureau employee said, adding that the estimates “were just not ready for prime time.”

The Census Bureau has been stewing in controversy, largely over the question of counting unauthorized immigrants, virtually since Mr. Trump took office. A battle over the Trump administration’s order to ask census respondents whether they were American citizens went to the Supreme Court before the justices barred the question in 2019, saying officials’ justification for the question was “contrived.”

The administration offered a new rationale in July, saying it wanted a count of unauthorized noncitizens so states could deduct them from overall 2020 census results, which count everyone living in the country regardless of citizenship. Doing so would produce a more rural, Republican-leaning population base when political maps are redrawn later this year based on new census figures.

Republican legislators in some states, including Texas and Missouri, are pressing for citizen-only population counts for redistricting. All states currently draw maps using total population counts, or something very close to them, and the legality of relying on citizen-only population totals is unclear.

Bobby L. Christine, right, told lawyers in his office that he had not found evidence of election fraud to pursue and that he had closed two cases.
Credit...Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The new acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, whose predecessor resigned after angering President Trump for not pursuing the president’s false election fraud theories, told colleagues this week that there was “just nothing to” some of the most high-profile election fraud cases before his office, according to a recording of a conference call obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The comments on a Monday conference call by the acting top prosecutor, Bobby L. Christine, came after the president and his allies pursued a two-month pressure campaign on Georgia officials, in which they made baseless accusations of election fraud as they looked for a way to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the state.

Mr. Christine told lawyers in his office who were on the call that he had not found evidence of election fraud to pursue and that he had closed two cases. “I would love to stand out on the street corner and scream this, and I can’t,” he said, according to the paper. “But I can tell you I closed the two most — I don’t know, I guess you’d call them high-profile or the two most pressing election issues this office has. I said I believe, as many of the people around the table believed, there’s just nothing to them.”

Mr. Christine’s predecessor, Byung J. Pak, resigned abruptly on Jan. 4. The acting deputy attorney general, Richard Donoghue, had relayed to Mr. Pak that Mr. Trump was dissatisfied with his efforts to investigate the president’s claims.

Mr. Trump also stated his frustration with Mr. Pak, a fellow Republican, in a phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the president complained that Mr. Pak was a “never Trumper.”

When a top prosecutor resigns, usually that office’s first deputy takes over the job. The appointment of Mr. Christine, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, to fill Mr. Pak’s role in the Atlanta area on an acting basis raised concerns of further political interference. Mr. Christine was nominated to the Southern District job by Mr. Trump and has donated to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Pressure is mounting on the Republican members of Congress who associated themselves with far-right extremist groups in the days leading to the Capitol riot.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday accused unnamed Republicans of giving tours of the Capitol to insurrectionists ahead of last week’s deadly siege of the Capitol, as federal agencies opened two new investigations into the extent to which Capitol Police and far-right lawmakers were complicit in the mob attack.

The inspector general of the Capitol Police is opening a potentially wide-ranging investigation into security breaches connected to the siege that could determine the extent to which some Capitol Police officers were involved, according to a senior congressional aide with direct knowledge of the investigation. The inspector general will suspend all other projects until the investigation is complete, the aide said.

Three officers have been suspended, and 17 others are under investigation by the force’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency, has also signaled it will open an investigation that will include the roles that members of Congress may have played in inciting the mob seeking to overturn the results of the election, according to the congressman who requested the inquiry, Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado.

Mr. Crow, a former Army Captain, asked the comptroller general of the United States, who is part of the agency, last week to initiate a broad investigation into many aspects of the security breach, including the roles members of Congress played.

Mr. Crow, whose request letter was signed by 107 of his colleagues, said Wednesday that he has been informed the investigation is underway.

“To the extent there were members of the House that were complicit, and I believe there were, we will pursue appropriate remedies including expulsion and a prohibition from holding elective office for the rest of their lives,” Mr. Crow said in an interview. “They will of course be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution if that’s what the facts of the investigation show.”

Mr. Crow sought an investigation into the “impact of rhetoric by government and elected officials that contributed to or led to the insurrection” and “efforts by government and/or elected officials to limit preparation, coordination, or response, particularly regarding the use of force and arrests.”

The tours on the eve of the riot came to light after Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey and a former Navy pilot, said Tuesday night on Facebook without offering evidence that she knew of members of Congress who gave “reconnaissance” tours to rioters ahead of the attack.

“Those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5, a reconnaissance for the next day, those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd,” Ms. Sherrill said, “those members who attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going to see that they’re held accountable.”

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

Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat of 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 that the authorities were aware of them. “Now you look back on certain things and you look at them differently so, yeah, we’re looking into it,” he said.

Mr. Crow said he was aware of tours but uncertain about their nature.

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

A photo also circulated misleadingly online on Wednesday that purported to implicate Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado in giving such a tour, but it was from 2019 in Colorado.

Mr. Crow said he found the photograph concerning nonetheless because others in it flashed “white power gang symbols.”

“I’m very concerned about the potential complicity of members,” Mr. Crow said. “Certainly there are plenty of examples of incitement that members of Congress are responsible for. I think we have to do an investigation to determine what precisely happened.”

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the majority leader from Maryland, played down the prospect of any immediate discipline for lawmakers until after the impeachment proceeding against President Trump is finished.

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