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Friday March 5th, 2021 2:49PM

The Latest: Biden talked to Senate leaders about impeachment

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden says he has spoken to Senate leaders about splitting time between approving his key Cabinet nominations and proceeding with a possible impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

The House is preparing articles of impeachment against Trump for the second time in a little over a year. This time, it's for helping incite last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

But Trump leaves office Jan. 20 and the Senate likely won’t reconvene until next week, raising concerns among congressional Democrats that the impeachment trial could overshadow the start of Biden’s presidency and confirmation of his choices for key administration posts.

After receiving his second coronavirus vaccination shot on Monday in Delaware, Biden downplayed such concerns, however, and suggested that the Senate could do both.

The president-elect said he’d spoken to Senate leaders about splitting the chamber’s time and “go a half day on dealing with impeachment, a half day on getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate.”

Biden said such an arrangement also would allow the Senate to work on another major pandemic response bill that would include more economic aid for Americans struggling because of the virus.

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HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FALLOUT FROM THE RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL:

Read more:

— Republicans block measure calling for quick removal of Trump

— Analysis: A GOP reckoning after turning blind eye to Trump

— First lady ‘disappointed’ by Trump supporters’ Capitol riot

— Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared

— A theater of propaganda: The Capitol, cameras and selfies

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HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

1:35 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting.

She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. A press release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”

Watson Coleman is isolating at home and awaiting the results of another test. She says, “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”

Watson Coleman had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

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1:30 p.m.

The head of the National Guard says at least 10,000 troops will be deployed in Washington, D.C., by Saturday, and an additional 5,000 could be requested from other states.

There are currently 6,200 Guard members in the city from D.C. and five nearby states. The increase in requests for Guard members on Monday comes as officials brace for more, possibly violent protests surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters that he has authorization to bring in up to 15,000 Guard members. He said the number of deployments is changing by the hour and day, based on requests from the Secret Service, the Park Police and the Capitol Police.

There have been repeated questions about why Guard members weren’t brought in more quickly as the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol unfolded on Wednesday. Guard officials have said they responded as quickly as they could as the situation spiraled out of control but said the Capitol Police repeatedly turned down offers for help in the days before the protests.

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12:25 p.m.

The National Park Service is shutting down public access to the Washington Monument until Jan. 24, citing threats surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The agency said Monday that it was implementing the temporary closure “in response to credible threats to visitors and park resources.”

Park officials say that groups involved in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol are continuing to “threaten to disrupt” Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. As a result, officials are shutting down tours at the Washington Monument beginning Monday, running through Jan. 24.

They say they may also institute some temporary closures to roads, parking areas and restrooms on the National Mall and could extend the closures “if the conditions persist.”

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11:45 a.m.

Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has been named acting chief, after the department’s former leader resigned in the wake of the deadly siege at the Capitol.

Pittman, a 20-year veteran, is the first African American woman to lead the department. She joined the department in 2001 and has served as captain, deputy chief and bureau commander.

Steven Sund announced his resignation as police chief on Thursday, following the violent riot Wednesday that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

The department’s lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat have drawn condemnation from lawmakers. In addition to Sund, the Sergeants at Arms of both the House and Senate also resigned.

The FBI is also investigating whether some of the rioters had plans to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News
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