Transcript for ABC News Live Update: President Trump faces unprecedented 2nd impeachment
Good morning I'm Diane this data thanks for streaming with us in today's update in a little under half an hour. The house only in an attempt to impeach president trump for a second time something that's never happened in American history. Democrats released a report in the wake of last week siege of the capital claiming president trumped. There is a threat to national security and unfit to remain in office but unlike last time several top Republicans are supporting impeachment including. The number three Republican in the house congressman. Does Cheney team what to expect that's it all unfolds. Plus a major security changes coming to Capitol Hill with just a week until inauguration day thousands of army National Guard members will be stationed around the capital. Get the latest on security updates and new details about possible demonstrations around the country. And the US is hitting more grim records in the pandemic cases hospitalizations and deaths are all at record highs. 4327. Americans died from cove at nineteen yesterday alone. But vaccinations are picking up with massive sites opening around the country including this one at Disneyland in California but is it enough. Our medical expert is standing by. We begin with the president on the verge of being impeached for an unprecedented second time after vice president pence declined to invoke the 25 amendment. To strip him of his powers take a live look at the White House for president trump is waking up this morning just one week left in his term. And just moments from now the house will meet under heavy security a 76 page report from the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. Says the president betrayed his oath and remains a threat to national security and democracy. And is therefore quote. Unfit to remain in office a single day longer. Can for the first time now top Republicans are supporting impeachment Mary Bruce has the latest from Capitol Hill. This morning Republican support for president trump is crumbling. The number three Republican in the house Liz Cheney announcing she'll vote to impeach. Saying there is never been a greater betrayal by a president of the united states of his office and his oath to the constitution. Blistering an unequivocal. Cheney sending a powerful message to our party. Saying trump summoned to this mob assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was he is doing none of this would have happened without the president at least five Republicans are now on record saying they will vote to impeach. While in the senate trump is losing the support of the Republican leader. ABC news learning that Mitch McConnell also believes the president committed impeachable offenses. And is pleased to the Democrats are moving to remove him there overnight house Democrats making a last ditch attempts to pressure vice president Mike Pence to invoke the 25 amendment and remove come from office immediate. Lee it is via political equivalent of shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue and getting away with it and somebody needs to stand up to that. And that's what I Fifth Amendment is one way to do it. The symbolic resolution passed. But pants rejected the call in a letter to speaker Pelosi pence writing that it is not in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our constitution. Adding that the 25 amendment is not a means of punishment. And would set a terrible precedent but the vice president notably did not mention the president's actions neither condemning nor condone owning them. And now Pelosi says she has no choice but to impeach him in just hours Democrats are expected to vote on a single article. Charging the president with incitement of insurrection by urging his supporters to march on the capital. In his first public appearance since the siege and the president Tuesday showed no remorse. And took no responsibility. So have you read MySpace. That many people about it that I did go back in the red prison in the media. On television. Has been analyzed as people thought that what I said was totally appropriate. But ABC news has learned that the top Republican in the house Kevin McCarthy told members that the president admitted to him that he might be quote a little bit responsible. As he now stands on the cusp of becoming the first in US history to ever be impeached twice president trump had an ominous warning saying yesterday that impeachment would cause quote tremendous anger Andy quote very dangerous for the USA. Especially at this very tender time but of course the president hasn't no choice impeachment. Is now all but certain. Diane. And Mary Bruce at the capitol thank you and for more on China's inner circle let's bring in chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl John good morning. Good morning Diane. People close to the president described him as quite simply divorced from reality before his public appearances. Yesterday the trip to Texas. Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy told him that he needed to call Biden. He needed to come to terms with the fact that the election is over and that he lost he needs to make an appeal. For com. If he didn't do all of those things McCarthy told them he would be left with the choice of either getting impeached and quite possibly can Vick did in the senate. Or resigning. The message clearly didn't get through. The president's statements yesterday. Were more defiance. He has not taken any steps. To acknowledge Biden's victory and he has refused to accept any responsibility whatsoever. A for what happened would be right at the capitol. On Wednesday so the message has been. Transmitted to the president by by several people close to him. Did he is in dire. Is it dire situation here could face. Impeachment conviction legal jeopardy. After he leaves office but that message clearly has not gotten through. Diane. Right Jonathan Karl in Washington thank you. An ABC news political director Rick Klein joins me now for more on all of this Rick at least five house Republicans have announced that they will vote. To impeach president trump how significant is that. The dam is breaking it's going to be a bipartisan vote and I think the number could be easily into the twenties we'll have to see other day plays out but. Clearly did the statement from from congresswoman Cheney was significant gives cover to a whole lot of Republicans as does. The signal from Mitch McConnell the senate. Majority leader whose whose aides have been quoted anonymously in a whole bunch of publications and as we reported as well that he's very much open to the consideration he hasn't committed one way or the other but. A whole lot of Republicans who've been looking for singles for leadership. Frankly looking for some kind of direction should they defend the president or should they vote their conscience in this very consequential vote. I now feel freed up by virtue of the other. The other members of their conference who have come public come forward publicly including Liz Cheney one of the most recognizable. Faces and that a Republican conference and number three Republican and also the highest ranking woman. In the House of Representatives. And Rick president trump defended himself yesterday calling his speech at the rally before the capital breach quote. Totally appropriate so how much of today's proceedings will hinge on that speech. A lot and look first of all it was an appropriate I think I think you've read attacks listen to it and I think. It's easy to draw through line as congressman Cheney and many others have have done. A but I think more more relevant even for today's proceedings is that these members of congress who are voting. On impeachment they witnessed it they saw why they may or may not see this feature they certainly saw what the speech cause they heard the chance they heard the knocking at the door some of them. Or were counting harrowing tales. Of coming within a few inches of losing their lives of a barrier had been broken out of a quick thinking colleague or staffer or a capitol police officer had stepped in. There could be a lot more. In terms of fatalities including members of congress they are shaken by this. And frankly disturbed that the president would in this case try to redefine history. I think does it all the time we've heard him do it for years now trying to do it deflect and explain and and try to rewrite facts alternative facts perhaps. This is no goes down as a judgment against that and in their and there are many members of congress to consider this vote not just a vote against trumpet a vote for truth. And some Republican House members are now complaining about being asked to go through a new metal detector. Before entering the house chamber what does that say about the distrust week in congress right now. There is extraordinary there are literally members of congress source scared of their colleagues and perhaps with good reason. Some of those colleagues this including some new ones we're tweeting about Nancy policies whereabouts during the siege itself saying that she had left. The house floor there are accusations out there we heard a congresswoman from New Jersey say is much that I did it view essentially members of congress were helping cased the joint. Are helping some of these people are involved in in the in the riot. Do we scorers and maybe even directions as it was going on. Those are extraordinary accusations we know there's a members of congress who talked about openly carrying weapons on to the house floor. They are scared of each other and it was an extraordinary scene last night as they assembled for that vote to have many Republican members of congress defying pushing right past. Those and those barriers and right past. Those metal detectors despite everything that happened that last week they're claiming that it's an improper intrusion on their own liberties to have to be searched before going on to the house floor frankly members of congress are voting today afraid afraid of their safety. During votes on the house floor which is something that certainly I have never seen and I don't think we've ever witnessed in the history of the congress. As so much of this is surreal for sure and adding to that. Now we have some congressman's members testing positive for cove in nineteen after they say they were forced a lockdown in safe rooms during the attack. With other congress members who would not Wear masks refuse to Wear masks what's the latest on up. The I another fear that members of congress have visited in terms of fearing their own colleagues there are. Many Republicans who refuse to Wear a mask that refuse to comply with what is now regulation in the house to do so. They are subject to fines unclear how collectible those fines will be. But right now that as part of it is that you have people that were huddled together now blaming each other for infections. We saw some of the tense confrontations behind closed doors videos emerged of Democrat Sally Republicans please put on a mask there was mockery. Going on the fact that this is all going on in the midst of the Kobe nineteen crisis just adds another layer to the C reality of this. And to the states of taking the stand and congress is taking. Into that bizarre to think you going to a safe room to protect yourself from a deadly attack an end up with a potentially deadly virus Rick Klein in Washington thank you. And for a closer look at the legal ramifications I want to bring Cardozo law professor Deborah Perle Stine. For more Deborah good morning if the house impeaches president trump today it is it's still possible or rather I should say it is still possible that the senate trial won't start. Until he's out of office so what would a conviction mean if he's no longer president. Good morning that's right so currently this is meeting in only pro forma sessions. It would take action by the majority leader Mitch McConnell to call and it back under regular session each city can proceed with a trial currently viscous and and is not scheduled to reconvene. In that mode until January 19. I'm mayor. The president will argue. After that that the senate cannot continue with the trial because he has already left office I Jack will be leaving out is by January 20. But it seems. Pretty clear under the constitution that indeed a trial can continue if cats cat and look for in the past for example with the impeachment. And subsequent trial as secretary of Defense Secretary warned it was called and and and I think that checks jewel case under the constitution is quite clear. And that it can be allowed to continue the reason out why. Allowing a trial to continue would be important even after the president leaves office is because it provides for this so mechanism that the constitution offers for her. Limiting the president. From running for public office again if the president is ultimately convicted each in a senate trial then the senate can vote by a simple majority vote to deny the president the constitutional ability to hold public office again and you say president trump. Also face criminal liability for his conduct last week and not just for the riot. So. Is now facing criminal exposure of at least two different kinds. And and these allegations. Not in criminal formed at the facts supporting number included. In house impeachment report as well. I am the president is facing potential criminal exposure both shore the phone calls and the efforts he made in Georgia. To get the secretary of state and others dare to engage in election fraud which is a crime under both state and federal law which and then you separately potentially facing criminal exposure for his conduct in connection with the insurrection the capitol on January 6 not only under federal law where their offense is light seditious conspiracy that exist. But also as bag and I DC the Washington DC attorney general. Me cleared a news conference yesterday. Potential incitement charges under ID DC criminal code now those. Charges those potential churkin says he's is part of crude may turn essentially on. The president's intent both with respect to the election and with respect to the activities of the capital. It's not at all certain that those charges will be brought her a bit they would go forward. But any lawyer advising the president at the moment would have to advise the president that he was now facing serious criminal liability beginning when he leaves office on January 20. Didn't ever Perle Stine thank you so much. And in the aftermath the capital siege authorities are fortifying our nation's capital for the inauguration and investigating a wave of threats. Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has more. From Washington Peter good morning. Diane good morning our country Carl any inauguration with this much tension as we head down the stretch. We now have new information overnight that some of the National Guard protecting the capital will be armed. And there's new incredibly disturbing intelligence there's one estimate of more than 101000 anger trumps supporters coming to the nation's capital many of them armed. One scenario briefed to congress involved heavily armed radicals assaulting the capital and potentially other locations like the White House. One reason authorities a word is they have identified. Individuals talking about assassinating politicians including the Chicago area man. Who allegedly have been discussing killing leaders in Washington in order to block Biden's inauguration. I know it sounds crazy and is still betting the credibility of some of these threats but after last week know when I'm talking to is willing to say it can't happen. As result this is about to become fortress Washington. Street closures have already started fences with razor wire being erected there will be additional barricades blocking streets including trucks and buses. The plan is to make it extremely difficult for large masses of people together and move quickly beyond the National Guard there will be thousands of police and federal raises to include snipers on rooftops. All this as the FBI and Homeland Security officials are consulting with officials at all the nation's state capitals authorities believe they can make it safe. But there are so many people out there so angry and so many with guns Diane. And Pierre Thomas in Washington thanks care. And we're learning more about some new arrests as the FBI continues to search for those involved in the capital siege. We're also learning new. A top FBI officials said last week there was no indication that there would be violence of trying to rally. But that is not true. This morning we are learning new explicit details from an internal FBI warning said that they both Ford the riots from the Norfolk Virginia FBI office. Warning that extremists heading for Washington. We're looking to wage a war. One online thread cited in the report stating be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking doors being kicked in. The FBI saying the intelligence was wrong did not name specific individuals but once shared with officials in DC. Where federal prosecutors have submitted chilling and specific new evidence in the case against Lonny Kauffman. Arrested seizing they say from Kaufman's truck multiple firearms a crossbow. And a cooler containing. Particularly being lethal homemade Molotov cocktails. Investigators also reviewing this hand written note where they say Coughlin lists federal judge David Hamilton. As a bad guy. As well as congressman Andre Carson calling him. One of two Muslims in the house of rats and officials have now arrested 45 year old Lewis Capriati of Chicago who allegedly threatened to kill members of congress at the inauguration. In a December 29 voicemail saying we will surround the expletive White House. I think she people are going to be shocked with some of the egregious contact that happen within the capitol where looking at significant. Felony cases tied too you sedition and conspiracy. The FBI also tracking hundreds of others who stormed the capital including names that shocked many. US Olympic gold medalist cleat Keller facing possible charges. Keller who won swimming medals in three summer games including Athens in 2004. The New York Times reporting former swimmers and coaches coming forward after spotting Keller six foot six inch frame. Ending US eighteen jacket in a video posted on Twitter. From town hall Keller resigned from his job Tuesday and USA swimming telling ABC news. We in no way condone the actions taken by those at the capitol last week. And Joseph sign it called the man seen hanging off the senate balcony and sitting in vice president Pitts is chair during the capital riots. Is in custody in Idaho down. Some now even turning in their own family members eighteen year old Helen and duke recognizing her mom aunt and uncle amidst the mob. After her cousins center a video. Two recent duke seen in this Greene grabbed from of freedom news dot TV clip. Allegedly harassing up black woman. Helena calling her mom out on Twitter with these side by side photos. I did not being I was. I felt I was as bad as them. And one more sobering note this morning from the nation's most senior military leaders after seeing so many former military take part in the siege of the capital. The joint chiefs reminding all service members they signed an oath. To the constitution. Saying the rights of freedom in speech did not give anyone the right. To resort to violence sedition and insurrection extraordinary. That they had to be reminded of that Diane. So much at what's happening right now is extraordinary Martha Raddatz thank you. And the US continues to break grim records in the corona virus pandemic when we come back the efforts to ramp up the vaccine rollout and when experts say the majority of Americans can expect to get their shot. The US reached another grim record in the Kobe crisis overnight more than 4300. Americans lost their lives in a single day. Now new mega sites are popping up across the country hoping to pick up the pace of vaccinations. So far only 13 of the 27 million available doses have been administered. Let's bring in infectious disease specialist an ABC news contributor doctor Todd gallery and for more on this doctor Eller and good morning you know the government is not releasing both vaccine doses instead of holding their second doses. And the CDC now recommend states backs Nate anyone over 65 and adults with preexisting conditions but. Not seem that the problem isn't supply or lack of demand it's not enough places to get the vaccine none of spots available. So how much of the difference will these changes make. Good morning diets we're reminds me of a quote from general Eisner. Famous works for general he said plans are useless but planning is indispensable ones the battle started the fans always change so where are we right now. Distributed 27 million doses but we've only administered nine million. So we have to close that gap obviously getting more vaccination sites up more back cedars is key but also making it more inclusive. For the people that are going to get vaccinated so I think by. Saying over 65 is an elegy all patients with a chronic medical condition upfront will help and a. And how does this change affect those in later groups that aren't eligible yet when Ken the majority of Americans. Expect to get their vaccine and not just be eligible port but actually be able to get it. So that really depends remember the plan was never from a jar and a and fights are to be old of actually the United States. Pot hole in the first year so we need. More companies for example if Johnson Johnson's single dose or even if they're to Dole's strategy. If the phase three trials show effectiveness and safety can be a really good deal or real up and improve the supply because the platform they're using is really conducive to being able to manufacture huge volumes so we've depends how many companies. Are available I still. Won't be till the spring or summer when most of the people in the US can get vaccinated. And the US is reporting more than 4000 death today feels like every day we hit a new record. When can we expect these numbers to start reversing. I think it it really just crushes media here used. And before word thousand deaths today that's unbelievable you may remember around Thanksgiving when or about 2000 deaths today you know we set that. One day we're gonna look back and say we be happy if we can get back to that place it's just out of control. I mean I I think the bottom line is it's all book or behavior. And the viral strains how transmissible. The season it's winter were spending time indoors so all of these things have to change for the cases to go down and their hearts. Contacted Todd Eller and hoping that reversal happens soon thank you. And the house is expected to vote today to impeach president trump for a second time when we come back to. The latest from our team in Washington and the breaking news about the Trump Organization. And New York City. Welcome back we are just moments away now from the House of Representatives dabbling in to vote on impeaching president trump for a second time. White House and Capitol Hill reporter Catherine folders joins us now on the phone. And let's bring back ABC news political director Rick Klein. As we await that vote Catherine I wanna start with you before we get to the impeachment hearings we have kept breaking news New York mayor build a Lazio. Just announced this city is severing all contracts with the Trump Organization. This of course is part of a larger backlash against the president follows the president's inner circle reacting to this. Yet all we haven't heard from the White House for the Trump Organization yet specifically on that he is a member in the PGA. Sever ties with truck. On Sunday the Trump Organization said in part. Quote into the breach of a binding contract that they have no right to terminate the agreement had come legal action are expected put your complete similar in response the business. And Rick really quick what can we expect today. Well it's going to be an extraordinary day we know that bipartisan. Disapproval for the president's going to be registered and I think a lot of a lot of the commentary is going to be stuff that is designed for the history books I think members of congress who assembling under these extraordinary circumstances recognize that every word that they utter matters now more than ever. Right Rick Klein captain folders thank you both. And that does it for this ABC news live update I'm Diana say no thank you all for joining us we will have continuing coverage throughout the day.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.