Asked About Effort, Biden Defers to Congress; Trump to Skip Inauguration

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California threatened on Friday that the House could move to impeach President Trump over his role in inciting a violent mob attack on the Capitol if he did not resign “immediately,” appealing to Republicans to join the push to force him from office.

In a letter to members of the House, the speaker invoked the resignation of Richard M. Nixon amid the Watergate scandal, when Republicans prevailed upon the president to resign and avoid the ignominy of an impeachment, calling Mr. Trump’s actions a “horrific assault on our democracy.”

“Today, following the president’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office — immediately,” she wrote. “If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”

Ms. Pelosi also said she had spoken with Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about “preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes.”

A spokesman for General Milley, Col. Dave Butler, confirmed that the two had spoken and said the general had “answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.”

But some Defense Department officials have privately expressed anger that political leaders seemed to be trying to get the Pentagon to do the work of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, who have legal options to remove a president.

Mr. Trump, they noted, is still the commander in chief, and unless he is removed, the military is bound to follow his lawful orders. While military officials can refuse to carry out orders they view as illegal, they cannot proactively remove the president from the chain of command. That would be a military coup, these officials said.

The letter from Ms. Pelosi came as momentum for impeachment was rapidly growing on Friday among rank-and-file Democrats across the party’s ideological spectrum, and a handful of Republicans offered potential support.

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the No. 4 Democrat, said that if Vice President Mike Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment to forcibly relieve Mr. Trump of his duties, House Democrats were prepared to act on impeachment by the middle of next week. But in a noon phone call, some others cautioned that Democrats needed to pause to consider the implications, and Ms. Pelosi told her colleagues she planned to speak to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. about the matter later on Friday afternoon.

During an appearance in Wilmington, Del., on Friday, Mr. Biden did not weigh in on plans to impeach Mr. Trump saying, “What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide.”

But Mr. Biden had harsh words for Mr. Trump saying, “He has exceeded even my worst notions about him. He’s been an embarrassment for the country.” And he added, “He’s not worthy to hold the office.”

An aide to Ms. Pelosi said that she still had not heard from Mr. Pence, despite putting intense public pressure on him to act. But Mr. Pence was said to be opposed to doing so, and she was making plans to move ahead.

Democrats were rushing to begin the expedited proceeding two days after the president rallied his supporters near the White House, urging them to go to the Capitol to protest his election defeat, then continuing to stoke their grievances as they stormed the edifice — with Mr. Pence and the entire Congress meeting inside to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory — in a rampage that left an officer and a member of the mob dead. (Three others died, including one woman who was crushed in the crowd, and two others who had medical emergencies on the Capitol grounds.)

The prospect of forcing Mr. Trump from office in less than two weeks appeared remote given the logistical and political challenges involved, given that a two-thirds majority in the Senate would be required.

Just a day after he voted twice to overturn Mr. Biden’s legitimate victory in key swing states, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, urged both parties to “lower the temperature” and said he would reach out to Mr. Biden about uniting the country. Though he did not defend Mr. Trump, he argued that seeking to remove him would not help.

“Impeaching the president with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more,” he said.

At least some Republicans appeared newly open to the possibility, which could also disqualify Mr. Trump from holding political office in the future.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said he would “definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.”

“He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — he acted against that,” Mr. Sasse said on CBS. “What he did was wicked.”

The House is next scheduled to be in session on Monday, meaning that articles of impeachment could not be introduced until then. On Friday, Ms. Clark said on Twitter that Democrats were working to find “the quickest path to hold Trump accountable,” but added that they faced “obstruction and attempts to delay us by the G.O.P. defenders.”

Credit…Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. formally appeared Friday to introduce a new set of top economic officials, building out the team that will help drive his administration’s efforts to restore financial stability to businesses, protect workers and promote American industry.

Mr. Biden has selected Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island as his commerce secretary, Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston as his labor secretary and Isabel Guzman, a former Obama administration official, as head of the Small Business Administration. He has also selected a former aide, Don Graves, as deputy commerce secretary.

Mr. Biden’s selections were announced on Thursday, and he is introducing the four officials at an event in Wilmington, Del.

With his latest picks, Mr. Biden said he had finished naming what he described as a “historic cabinet,” and he said he had fulfilled his promise to assemble a group that “looks like America.”

“This will be the first cabinet ever that is evenly composed with as many women as men in the cabinet,” he said. “This will be the first cabinet ever with a majority of people of color occupying this cabinet.”

Mr. Biden said he had given “serious consideration” to nominating one of his former primary rivals, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for labor secretary. But Mr. Biden said he and Mr. Sanders agreed that they could not imperil the razor-thin Democratic majority in the Senate by opening Mr. Sanders’s seat to a special election in Vermont.

The event comes as the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic faltered with new data released on Friday showing that employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as virus cases across the country increased. It was the first net decline in payrolls since last spring’s mass layoffs, and though the December loss was nowhere near that scale, it represented a discouraging reversal for the once-promising recovery. The nation’s economy still has roughly 10 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic.

Mr. Biden said the December job losses showed that “we need to provide more immediate relief for working families and businesses now,” and he said he would be “laying out the groundwork” next week for another relief package.

The president-elect also called the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine a “travesty,” and said billions of dollars would be needed for that effort.

The announcement came on the same day that Mr. Biden’s transition team said he planned to release nearly all available coronavirus vaccine doses “to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible.” The move represents a sharp break from the Trump administration’s practice of holding back some of the vaccine for people to receive their second dose.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

President Trump, who begrudgingly recognized his defeat less than two weeks before he was due to leave office, announced on Twitter that he would not be attending President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021

His statement, while a surprise to no one, nonetheless is another break with tradition that undermines the ceremonial demonstration of a core democratic value Mr. Trump has virulently disregarded since the election — the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.

It remains unclear if Vice President Mike Pence will attend the ceremony, which is expected to take place under heightened security after the deadly siege of the Capitol this week and with heavy precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

On Friday, Mr. Biden addressed Mr. Trump’s decision to skip the event saying, “It’s a good thing, him not showing up.” But he said that Mr. Pence was welcome and that it would help the transition.

Mr. Trump’s plan also raises the issue of departure from Washington. Before the Christmas break, rumors swirled that Mr. Trump would not return from his gilded golf compound at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, but he flew back in time to briefly disrupt passage of the coronavirus relief package and to whip up his supporters ahead of Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol.(Mr. Trump has faced opposition from local officials over his plans to expand the Florida resort.)

The president quietly made plans to take a trip next week to the southwestern border to highlight his hard-line immigration policies, which have inflamed Washington over the years, according to a person briefed on the planning. He also told advisers he wanted to give a media exit interview, which they presumed might undercut any conciliatory notes. But the first family has discussed leaving the White House for good on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration.

Mr. Pence has signaled his willingness to attend, an administration source said, but said that he had yet to receive a formal invitation.

President Barack Obama, who acknowledged Mr. Trump’s victory immediately after his win and oversaw a detailed transition plan that was ignored by the incoming president, attended Mr. Trump’s inaugural. Michelle Obama described listening to his “American carnage” inauguration speech as one of the most excruciating experiences of her life.

Only three presidents have skipped their successor’s swearing-in: John Adams in 1801, his son John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson, a Democrat who sat out the 1869 inauguration after he was replaced in favor of Republican Ulysses S. Grant. (An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated Mr. Johnson’s political affiliation.)

Credit…Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

A lawmaker from West Virginia and a man who broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and posed at her desk were among those arrested on charges related to the siege at the Capitol, federal law enforcement officials announced on Friday as they promised an exhaustive investigation into the violence.

The authorities also found 11 Molotov cocktails and a semiautomatic rifle in the truck of a 70-year-old man from Alabama who was also arrested, according to prosecutors. He also had two handguns.

Hundreds of prosecutors and F.B.I. agents have been assigned to work the investigation and were pursuing dozens of cases, Ken Kohl, a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, said in a briefing with reporters.

“We are far from done,” added Steven M. D’Antuono, who runs the F.B.I.’s Washington field office.

Federal law enforcement officials have charged at least five people, they said. Washington police have also arrested dozens, mostly on charges of unlawful entry and curfew violations.

Among those charged was Derrick Evans, a newly elected lawmaker from West Virginia, Mr. Kohl said. Mr. Evans posted video to his Facebook page of him filming as he stood among the crowd outside a Capitol door and then rushing inside with them.

Another man, Richard Barnett, 60, from Gravette, Ark., was taken into custody and faces three counts. He had posted a picture on social media that showed him sitting at Ms. Pelosi’s desk with his feet up and said he had expected to be arrested.

“I’ll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the D.C. jail,” Mr. Barnett told a New York Times reporter later that day.

Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

A United States Capitol Police officer died Thursday night from injuries sustained when he engaged with a pro-Trump mob that descended on the U.S. Capitol the day before.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick died at about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Capitol Police said in a statement. He had been with the agency since 2008.

Mr. Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday and “was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” the agency’s statement said, although officials didn’t immediately elaborate on the nature of his injuries or how he interacted with the crowd. After sustaining the injuries, Mr. Sicknick returned to his division office, collapsed, and was taken to the hospital.

“The entire U.S.C.P. department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague,” the statement said. News outlets had prematurely reported on his death earlier in the day while he was apparently still on life support.

Officer Sicknick’s death brings the death toll from Wednesday’s mayhem to five. One of the people participating in the pro-Trump rampage, Ashli Babbitt, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer inside the building as she climbed through a broken window leading to the Speaker’s Lobby. Three other people died, the police said, after experiencing apparent medical emergencies in the area around the Capitol.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California ordered the flags at the Capitol complex ordered to half-mast in his honor, saying in a statement that “the sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic.”

In his own statement, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said “Brian was valiantly protecting more than this building and the people inside — he was protecting every American’s way of life.”

“We are forever indebted to him for that,” Mr. McCarthy added.

President Trump did not mention Officer Sicknick in the morning message he posted on Twitter on Friday.

Homicide investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department are involved in the case.

Officials have said that some 50 police officers were injured as the mob swarmed barricades, threw objects, battered doors, smashed windows and overwhelmed some of the officers who tried to resist the advancing crowd.

Capitol Police reported 14 arrests during the incursion, including two people who were detained for assaulting a police officer. Local police arrested dozens of others, mostly for unlawful entry and violations of the city’s Wednesday night curfew.

Steven Sund, the Capitol Police chief, handed in his resignation on Thursday after facing pressure from congressional leaders. The sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate also resigned.

The wreckage left by the mob that rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday was extensive. But those who saw the aftermath said the destruction was also random. An exhibition honoring Joseph Rainey, the first black person to serve in the House of Representatives, was left untouched, said a longtime staff member who was inside the Capitol at the time of the attack.

But nearby a memorial set up to honor former Representative John Lewis, the civil rights pioneer, was destroyed.

A photograph of Mr. Lewis had been displayed on an easel. “It was completely destroyed, torn into pieces,” the staffer said.

Credit…Ben Gray/Associated Press

Dominion Voting Systems filed a sprawling slander and libel lawsuit on Friday against the right-wing lawyer Sidney Powell, accusing her of overseeing “a viral disinformation campaign” that fed lies about the presidential election to millions of people and endangered the lives of the company’s employees and elected officials in states like Georgia.

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Washington D.C., seeks damages from Ms. Powell of more than $1 billion and represents the most thorough debunking to date of the elaborate conspiracy theories that she and others, including President Trump, have been spreading since Election Day about Dominion’s voting machines.

At news conferences, political rallies and on conservative media outlets like Newsmax and Fox News, Ms. Powell has for months falsely accused Dominion of working with a bizarre cast of characters — from the financier George Soros to Venezuelan intelligence agents — in what she has baselessly described as a plot to flip votes from Mr. Trump to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The wild allegations have been contained in four federal lawsuits Ms. Powell filed across the country, all of which have been roundly dismissed by the judges that heard them.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent last month, Dominion put Ms. Powell on notice that a lawsuit might be coming and demanded that she publicly disavow her false claims that the company’s voting machines were created in Venezuela to help the country’s now-deceased former president, Hugo Chavez, win elections.

Dominion also demanded she retract her baseless statements that Dominion paid kickbacks to officials in Georgia for “no-bid contracts” and then manipulated votes in “an effort to rig the 2020 election.”

But after receiving the letter, Ms. Powell did not retract her claims. Instead, the lawsuit notes, she “doubled down” sending a tweet to her more than 1 million followers that she had “evidence” that fraud occurred in the election even after four judges and various states’ elections officials have repeatedly debunked it.

What she called evidence, the suit said, included “declarations from a motley crew of conspiracy theorists, con artists, armchair ‘experts,’ and anonymous sources who were judicially determined to be ‘wholly unreliable.’”

The suit noted, for example, that one of Ms. Powell’s so-called sources was a “military intelligence expert” who later admitted that he never in fact worked in military intelligence and acknowledged that Ms. Powell’s law clerks had written and convinced him to sign a “misleading” declaration.

“The recent attacks on the democratic process are not singular or isolated events,” John Poulus, Dominion’s chief executive, said in a statement after the suit was filed. “They are the result of a deliberate and malicious campaign of lies over many months. Sidney Powell and others created and disseminated these lies, assisted and amplified by a range of media platforms.”

Ms. Powell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dominion has suggested that it may sue others as well. Last month, the company sent a series of letters to people including Rudolph W. Giuliani, who led Mr. Trump’s postelection legal campaign, and conservative media figures such as Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, demanding that they keep any evidence relevant to a suit. Company representatives have also said Dominion has not ruled out suing Mr. Trump as well.

Not long after the election, Mr. Trump embraced Ms. Powell, a former federal prosecutor who had represented his onetime national security adviser Michael T. Flynn in a criminal case stemming from the Russia investigation. However, after she appeared with Mr.Giuliani at a bizarre news conference in November where she spouted her conspiracies about Dominion, Mr. Trump distanced himself from her and she was left to file lawsuits on her own.

But after Mr. Trump and his allies lost dozens of their own lawsuits challenging the election, Mr. Trump changed course and brought Ms. Powell back into his inner circle — at one point, discussing the possibility of naming her as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, one of several Trump administration officials who have announced their resignations in the aftermath of Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol, is pushing back against critics who claimed she was resigning to dodge the decision of whether to support President Trump’s removal under the 25th amendment.

Ms. DeVos had been accused by Democrats and other longtime critics of attempting to skirt her responsibility to hold the president accountable.

“Betsy DeVos has never done her job to help America’s students,” wrote Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusets, in a tweet Thursday. “It doesn’t surprise me one bit that she’d rather quit than do her job to help invoke the 25th Amendment. Good riddance, Betsy. You were the worst Secretary of Education ever.”

But advisers familiar with her decision said Ms. DeVos, submitted her resignation to Mr. Trump on Thursday, after it became clear that Vice President Mike Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment. And on Friday morning, her last day, Ms. DeVos replied to Ms. Warren saying, “You know not of what you speak.”

After the decision by Mr. Pence, a close friend and ally, Ms. DeVos felt the strongest measure she could take to uphold her oath to the Constitution was to submit her resignation, according to a senior administration officials.

In the letter to President Trump, Ms. DeVos called the mob that disrupted Congress on Wednesday as it was certifying the election results “unconscionable for our country,” and said “there is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation.”

Ms. DeVos was one of the first cabinet secretaries to condemn the violent mob on Capitol Hill, posting on Twitter Wednesday evening that the “peaceful transfer of power is what separates American representative democracy from banana republics.”

—Erica L. Green

.

Here are other administration officials who have resigned in the wake of Wednesday’s attack.

Ms. Chao, the transportation secretary, announced her resignation on Twitter on Thursday, becoming the first cabinet member to do so. The unrest at the Capitol, she wrote, “deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.” Ms. Chao, whose resignation is effective on Monday, is married to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Trump’s former acting chief of staff, resigned as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night, saying he “can’t stay” after watching the president encourage the mob that overtook the Capitol complex.

Mr. Pottinger has been Mr. Trump’s deputy national security adviser since 2019. He was formerly the administration’s Asia director on the National Security Council, and was known for his on-the-ground experience in China, where he advised Mr. Trump during his meeting with President Xi Jinping in 2017. Mr. Pottinger has resigned, a person familiar with the events said on Thursday.

Mr. Costello, one of the country’s most senior cybersecurity officials, resigned Wednesday, telling associates that the violence on Capitol Hill was his “breaking point” and, he hoped, “a wake up call.”

Mr. Goodspeed, the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, resigned on Thursday, citing Mr. Trump’s incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol. “The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable,” he said in an interview, after informing the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, of his decision.

Ms. Grisham, the former White House press secretary who served as chief of staff to Melania Trump, the first lady, submitted her resignation on Wednesday after the violence at the Capitol. She had worked for the Trumps since the 2016 campaign and was one of their longest-serving aides.

Melania Trump chose Ms. Niceta, a former Washington event planner who helped coordinate Mr. Trump’s inaugural celebrations, as her social secretary in 2017. Ms. Niceta has said she was resigning, according to an administration official familiar with her plans who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Ms. Matthews, a deputy White House press secretary, submitted her resignation on Wednesday, saying in a statement that she was “deeply disturbed by what I saw today.”

Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni, Christine Hauser and Michael Levenson.

The New York Times

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. formally announced nearly two dozen members of his National Security Council staff on Friday, including a senior official for global health threats whose office was downgraded before the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the 21 appointees is Elizabeth Cameron, who will be the council’s senior director for global health security and biodefense, a job she held in the Obama White House and briefly under Mr. Trump. John R. Bolton, President Trump’s then-national security adviser, eliminated the office in May 2018. Ms. Cameron has argued publicly that the move “contributed to the federal government’s sluggish domestic response” to the pandemic, and Mr. Biden vowed as a candidate to restore the office.

Mr. Biden also officially announced that his deputy national security adviser would be Jon Finer, a former chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, whose impending appointment The New York Times reported this week. Mr. Finer and several other appointees are Obama administration veterans, continuing the trend of officials who have served with Mr. Biden returning to government.

Other appointees include Brett McGurk, President Barack Obama’s former envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, who will be the National Security Council’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa. The council’s senior director for Russia and Central Asia, charged with managing Mr. Biden’s complex approach to the Kremlin, will be Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former intelligence officer and Central Intelligence Agency analyst.

Image

Credit…J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Shanthi Kalathil, a senior director at the National Endowment for Democracy, will be coordinator for democracy and human rights, causes on which Mr. Biden has pledged to renew focus.

Juan Gonzalez, a former Obama specialist on Latin America, will be senior director for the Western Hemisphere under Mr. Biden. Sumona Guha, a vice presidential adviser to Mr. Biden, will be senior director for SouthAsia.

In a notable act of outreach to progressives eager to see their perspective represented amid Mr. Biden’s largely centrist team, he will name Sasha Baker, the top foreign policy adviser to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as the council’s senior director for strategic planning.

The National Security Council is the White House body, with a staff that typically ranges from 100-150, that coordinates the federal government’s national security and foreign policy plans and actions. Mr. Biden has named Jake Sullivan, a former senior vice presidential aide in the Obama White House, as national security adviser.

Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

President Trump’s handpicked chairwoman was unanimously re-elected to lead the Republican National Committee on Friday, as committee members ignored his role in inciting supporters who overtook the Capitol this week to affirm his role atop the party.

The day before, the president recorded a two-minute video for the party’s winter meeting that was played that night. In the video, he spoke only in upbeat terms about the 2020 election and thanked the committee members for their “loyalty.”

Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel faced no opposition and, in her remarks before and after her re-election, thanked Mr. Trump for his faith in her.

Ms. McDaniel did condemn the mob attack in Washington, saying “we need this to stop,” without mentioning the inflammatory rhetoric of the president, his children and top aides at the outset of the protest Wednesday.

But she only referred obliquely to “transition of power” and never directly acknowledged Mr. Trump lost the election. Ms. McDaniel said she was angry about “losing critical elections.”

The two political parties have historically elected new leaders when they lose control of the White House. But Ms. McDaniel, the niece of Senator Mitt Romney, in effect claimed re-election in the weeks after the election thanks to her broad support with the activist-dominated state chairs and committee members who make up the party’s governing board.

The president’s recorded video came at a time when several Republicans in the Senate and some in the House, as well as former administration officials, are seeking to distance themselves from Mr. Trump after a crowd of supporters quickly went from listening to an inflammatory speech he made on Wednesday to a deadly mob overtaking the Capitol.

The president never mentioned the violence during the video to the Republican committee, and he also stayed away from the conspiracy theories and false claims of widespread fraud about the election that he had been spreading for two months.

In the video, Mr. Trump thanked “all my incredible friends at the R.N.C.,” and talked about receiving millions more votes than he did in 2016, the number of Republican women who were elected to Congress as well as the coronavirus vaccine.

Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

All of President Trump’s cabinet secretaries condemned the violent mob that stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday. Some pointed to the president for inciting the violence, and two cabinet members resigned. Here’s what they said:

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement released hours after the melee, said,“The storming of the U.S. Capitol today is unacceptable. Lawlessness and rioting — here or around the world — is always unacceptable.”

  • Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general, called the violence “an intolerable attack on a fundamental institution of our democracy” in a statement on Wednesday. On Thursday, Mr. Rosen added that law enforcement officials were working to find, arrest and charge those who breached the Capitol.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions.

“We will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”

  • Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary, wrote in a statement on Thursday that he supported a “peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden on Jan. 20.”

“Yesterday’s violence at the Capitol was reprehensible and contrary to the tenets of the United States Constitution.”

  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned on Thursday night. She condemned the violence in the immediate aftermath on Wednesday, writing that “an angry mob cannot be allowed to attack our Capitol.”

“The peaceful transfer of power is what separates American representative democracy from banana republics.

“The work of the people must go on.”

  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned on Thursday. She was the first cabinet official to join a growing exodus of administration officials in the final days of the Trump presidency.

“Our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” Ms. Chao wrote in a letter posted on Twitter. “It has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

  • Chad F. Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary, denounced the president’s supporters who participated in the riot and called on Mr. Trump to more forcefully condemn them.

“What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,” Mr. Wolf wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “We now see some supporters of the president using violence as a means to achieve political ends.”

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will remain in his post and carry out his responsibilities until the inauguration, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Mr. Mnuchin, who was traveling in Israel on Thursday, condemned the violence but made no mention of the president. “These actions are unacceptable and must stop,” he said.

  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tweeted a six-word statement in the hours after the riot on Wednesday: “Violence is never the proper solution.”

  • Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette condemned what he called a “tragic event in our Nation’s Capitol.”

“Politically-motivated violence, regardless of ideology or cause, must always be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he wrote on Twitter. “No American should excuse wanton disregard for one of our Nation’s most sacred institutions.”

  • Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II wrote on Twitter that “people must immediately and peacefully disperse.”

“I am disgusted by the attack on the Capitol we witnessed today. Physical violence and the desecration of this hallowed symbol of our democracy must end.”

  • Housing Secretary Ben Carson also posted on Twitter calling for an end to the violence.

“Violence is never an appropriate response regardless of legitimate concerns. Please remember: if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

  • Interior Secretary David Bernhardt condemned the violence and praised the actions of the U.S. Park Police, an agency in his department, on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Today’s violence and lawlessness at the U.S. Capitol cannot and will not be tolerated.”

“Thank you U.S. Park Police for always fulfilling your selfless duties to safeguard lives and protect our symbols of democracy.”

  • Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia on Wednesday called the attack “a low point in the history of our democracy. We must immediately rise above this.”

  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said to reporters in Georgia that he was “disappointed” in the president for inciting the mob, adding it “was not the right thing to do.”

“I’m very discouraged by the people who were there that felt compelled to breach the Capitol and do the things they did.”

“We’re going to go forward as America. We have a new president.”

  • Robert L. Wilkie, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrote on Twitter Friday: “Our #Veterans fought to defend the freedoms that were attacked this week. The assault on the Capitol is an affront to all who have worn the uniform.”

Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Neera Tanden, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s pick to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget, earned nearly $732,000 over the last two years as the president of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank, her personal financial disclosure revealed Friday.

Ms. Tanden also earned $10,000 from Wells Fargo for a speech — a joint appearance with the conservative strategist Karl Rove — and $10,000 from The Capital Group, an asset management firm, in a joint appearance with the conservative writer Rich Lowry. She earned nearly $70,000 from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, an advocacy arm of her think tank.

Ms. Tanden’s speech income totaled just over $30,000 over the two-year period. By comparison, Mr. Biden’s Treasury secretary nominee, the former Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen, earned $7 million in speaking fees over that time.

The disclosure shows Ms. Tanden has several hundred thousand dollars in various retirement savings accounts and educational savings accounts for her children, and a mortgage loan of $250,000 to $500,000 on her personal residence.

Credit…Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Russell Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s influential public-policy arm, is joining the calls for President Trump to resign.

“There are 12 dangerous days for our country left,” Mr. Moore wrote in a Twitter post addressed to the president on Friday morning. “Could you please step down and let our country heal?”

Mr. President, people are dead. The Capitol is ransacked. There are 12 dangerous days for our country left.

Could you please step down and let our country heal? t.co/wP3niITQv6

— Russell Moore (@drmoore) January 8, 2021

Mr. Moore, president of the denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has been consistently critical of the president since before the 2016 election.

But today’s new statement was still a remarkable step for a prominent leader of a conservative evangelical denomination. With almost 15 million members, the Southern Baptist Convention is the country’s largest Protestant denomination.

Southern Baptists have been deeply divided by the Trump presidency. White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump in 2016 and 2020. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the high-profile president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 but spoke publicly about his plans to vote for the president last year.

As a critic of the president, Mr. Moore has been subject to dissent from an increasingly influential faction in his denomination claiming that he is out of step with rank-and-file pastors and church members. In 2017, more than 100 Southern Baptist churches unhappy with his leadership threatened to withhold funding from the denomination.

Many evangelical leaders have spoken out against the violence in Washington this week, and called for prayers for the nation. But fewer have specifically called the president to task for his role in what happened.

“You have a moral responsibility to call on these mobs to stop this dangerous and anti-constitutional anarchy,” Mr. Moore tweeted to the president on Wednesday afternoon. “Character matters,” he added.

The pipe bombs found on Wednesday afternoon outside the Democratic and Republican party headquarters, blocks from the Capitol, contained crude mechanical timing devices, according to an official familiar with their initial examination, suggesting they were intended to be detonated.

It was not clear when they were meant to explode, but thousands of people were in the area that afternoon as a mob encouraged by President Trump stormed the Capitol, where lawmakers had convened to certify President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election,leaving five people dead. It was also not clear whether the bombs were connected to the siege.

The two bombs appeared to be similar, the official said. They were relatively unsophisticated and incorporated a mechanical timer, a battery, steel wool and an unknown powder as their explosive fill, 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.

Image

Credit… Obtained by The New York Times

Bomb squad technicians disabled the devices, which were constructed of steel pipes that appear to be about one and a half inches in diameter and 12 inches long.

The F.B.I. has posted a $50,000 reward for information about a possible suspect.

Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The social news and message board site Reddit banned a forum dedicated to discussing and promoting Donald Trump from its site on Friday, the latest of the major technology platforms to diminish Mr. Trump digitally after his supporters staged an assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

The forum, called a subreddit, was one of many areas for Trump supporters to convene across the site, which is used by more than 330 million people to discuss wide-ranging current events and other topics. The “Donald Trump” subreddit had tens of thousands of subscribers before it was removed, and was considered one of a few highly visible places online where Trump supporters could gather and express solidarity with the president.

The removal, which was earlier reported by Axios, comes on the heels of suspensions of Mr.Trump by major platforms this week. On Wednesday, both Facebook and Twitter removed some of his posts that were considered an incitement to further violence. And Facebook went further on Thursday, banning Mr. Trump from accessing his Facebook page until at least the end of his term, if not indefinitely.

Though the subreddit has flourished for years, Reddit officials removed the page on Friday after many of its members glorified and incited the violence that occurred in the Capitol on Wednesday, despite a number of official warnings from the company.

“Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals,” a Reddit spokeswoman said. “In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed. We have also taken action to ban the community r/donaldtrump given repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol.”

Reddit has historically been wary of intervening and prohibiting certain types of content across its platform, and in the past had been a haven for racists and predators to convene online. But the company has shown a willingness to ban more extremist content in recent years.

In June, Reddit banned “The Donald” subreddit, another forum dedicated to supporting the President, for repeated violations of harassment and hate speech. The company also banned more than 2,000 subreddits at the time for similar violations.