Rachel Maddow Explains Why Donald Trump May Yet Resign

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There may only be days left of Donald Trump’s presidency.

But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow still thinks there’s a chance that Trump ― who now faces being impeached for a second time for inciting last week’s Capitol riot — may resign before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

But Trump wouldn’t leave the White House for the good of the country, Maddow said on her prime time show Monday. Instead, the anchor suggested it would be a last-ditch effort by Trump to save himself from criminal prosecution.

“I can hear you, I can see you giving me the hand on this. ‘Oh, please, Maddow, as if? This guy feels no shame. He would never resign. Something for the good of the country, he’s incapable.’ I know. I hear you,” she acknowledged.

Maddow noted that the article of impeachment being brought against Trump by Democrats — incitement to insurrection — is also a criminal charge that carries a potential 10-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban from holding office.

Trump has floated the idea of pardoning himself before leaving the White House, but has reportedly been cautioned against doing so by former Attorney General Bill Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

But if Trump “were to resign from office now, in exchange for (Vice President) Mike Pence pardoning him, well, that would work,” speculated Maddow.

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Lawmakers who voted against Biden are denounced back home

Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, even after a mob broke into the Capitol, are being denounced by critics in their home districts who demand that they resign or be ousted.

Protesters, newspaper editorial boards and local-level Democrats have urged the lawmakers to step down or for their colleagues to kick them out. The House and Senate can remove members with a two-thirds vote or censure or reprimand with a majority.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn “needs to be held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior,” a group of Democratic officials wrote in a letter asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to expel the North Carolina freshman who took his oath of office on Jan. 3.

Cawthorn said he had a constitutional duty to vote against Biden. He condemned the violence in Wednesday's attack, but compared it to last summer's protests over police brutality. Those demonstrations never breached a government building during official business.

A Capitol police officer died and an officer shot and killed a woman in the mob. Three other people died from medical emergencies in the chaos, which forced lawmakers and staff members to go into hiding as the rioters roamed the halls of one of America’s most hallowed buildings.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing to have President Donald Trump impeached for encouraging the insurrection and refusing to act to stop the violence. But they have been quiet about whether lawmakers who backed the untrue claims of voter fraud that led to the melee should be punished.

Most previous expulsions have been for members who backed the Confederacy during the Civil War or for taking bribes.

In St. Louis on Saturday, several hundred people protested against Sen. Josh Hawley, the first-term Missouri Republican who led efforts in the Senate to overturn Biden's election. The protestors painted “RESIGN HAWLEY” in large yellow letters in the middle of the street.

A caravan of about 40 cars circled Sen. Ron Johnson’s office in Madison, Wisconsin, urging him to resign. Johnson initially supported Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, but after the riot, he voted in favor of Biden's win. Johnson condemned the violence but did not back off voter fraud allegations.

The editorial boards of two of Wisconsin's biggest newspapers called for Johnson to resign, joining with editorials published across the country that targeted GOP politicians.

The Houston Chronicle, long a critic of Sen. Ted Cruz, said in an editorial that the Republican knew exactly what he was doing and what might happen when he took to the Senate floor to dispute the election results.

“Those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge to the 2020 results in the first place,” the newspaper wrote.

Cruz has called the attack a despicable act of terrorism, but he continues to push for a commission to investigate the presidential election.

In Alabama, the Decatur Daily called for local Rep. Mo Brooks to resign. The York Dispatch in Pennsylvania said congressman Scott Perry is “a disgrace to Pennsylvania and our democracy,” and if he still believes Biden's election is fraudulent, he should resign because that means his election was bogus too. Perry condemned the Capitol violence.

The Danville Register & Bee in Virginia said its representative, Bob Good, needs to go because his words struck the matches that led to the destructive mobs. Good said his vote was to protect his constituents.

The invading Trump loyalists "confronted security personnel, and there were injuries and even deaths,” the paper's editorial board wrote. “And you are just as guilty as they were.”

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Graham rails against security failure at Capitol: Rioters 'could have killed us all'

Graham rails against security failure at Capitol: Rioters 'could have killed us all'

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) offered withering criticism on Thursday of top Capitol police and Senate sergeant at arms officials, warning that the ability for rioters to breach the Capitol was "mind-boggling."

Graham, speaking to reporters in the Capitol, said he was "embarrassed" and "disgusted" that a pro-Trump mob was able to storm inside, warning that Congress dodged a "major bullet" that the attack wasn't worse.

"They could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all. They could've destroyed the government," Graham told reporters. "Lethal force should have been used. ... We dodged a major bullet. If this is not a wake up call I don't know what is."

"How could that happen 20 years after 9/11. ... It is mind-boggling that such an event could occur," Graham said.

Graham's remarks are some of the strongest criticism from Republicans in the wake of Wednesday, when the joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College vote was suspended for hours after rioters entered the Capitol eventually vandalizing leadership offices and entering both the House and Senate chambers.

Graham echoed a call from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger to resign. Schumer vowed to fire Stenger on Jan. 20, when Democrats take over the majority, if he hasn't resigned by then.

"Anyone in charge of defending the Capitol failed," Graham said. "The first thing that has to happen is to hold those accountable for failing to defend the nation's Capitol while the Congress was in session."

Videos of rioters in leadership offices and the chambers, as well as clashes with police who were at times outnumbered, have raised questions about the preparation for Wednesday's event.

Graham said that he wants a joint task force to be started to identify any individual who breached the Capitol.

"There is a ton of video evidence out there," Graham said. "The people sitting in the chairs need to be sitting in a jail cell. ... Sedition may be a charge for some of these people."

Graham said he planned to ask the Justice Department weekly for the next six years, the length of his Senate term, about the progress they are making in charging individuals who rioted in the Capitol.

"How could we not be prepared? How could in a joint session of Congress with the vice president in the building you not do better than this?" Graham asked. "Where were the National Guard?"

Several congressional committees have vowed to investigate how rioters were able to get into close proximity and then into the Capitol. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has also vowed a "painstaking investigation and thorough review."

"Initial bipartisan discussions have already begun among committees of oversight and Congressional Leadership," he added.

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