Trump news – live: Inauguration rehearsal evacuated and Capitol under lockdown over nearby fire

US Capitol on lockdown and inauguration rehearsal evacuated after fire causes security alert Rehearsals for Joe Biden‘s inauguration have had to be evacuted in Washington, DC, and the US Capitol placed under lockdown over an “external security threat”, apparently a nearby fire, as tensions remain high in the wake of the Capitol riot on 6 January. That comes as Donald Trump is reportedly planning to host a farewell ceremony for himself at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early on Wednesday morning before jetting out to Mar-a-Lago in Florida to return to life as a private citizen as Mr Biden is sworn in as his successor.

The president is meanwhile being tipped to issue 100 pardons and commutations to allies before he leaves the White House, with The New York Times reporting that his allies have accepted tens of thousands of dollars from clients lobbying for a reprieve.

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Trump won’t pardon himself or close family, reports

The president or his kids won’t be among the 100 pardons he is reportedly expected to issue before leaving office. Fox News said that Trump would not issue the “protective” pardons for his inner circle of family. “Sources with knowledge of the process tell @FoxNews  that President Trump is NOT EXPECTED to issue “protective” pardons to members of his family, and is NOT expected to attempt a protective pardon for himself, tweeted White House correspondent John Roberts.

It comes after multiple outlets about 100 pardons were to be announced on Tuesday, a day before Joe Biden is inaugurated as president. Justin Vallejo18 January 2021 17:13

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Final New Yorker cover of Trump years revealed

A beauty from the celebrated literary magazine. Justin Vallejo18 January 2021 17:00

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No threat in Capitol evacuation, says Secret Service

It was down to a small fire that has since been extinguished, the Secret Service says.

‘Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.”

Justin Vallejo18 January 2021 16:39

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‘Right-wing extremists are recruiting American veterans – and Republicans don’t want to know’

For Indy Voices, here’s Andrew Feinberg with the latest from Capitol Hill as the GOP faces an existential challenge. Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 16:25

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Meanwhile in Virginia…

As if there weren’t enough drama right now, a pro-gun rally is underway in the state capital of Richmond in Virginia. “Lobby Day” takes place in a highly polarised climate, following a year in which anti-racist and white nationalist demonstrators clashed across the United States and as strident Trump supporters cling to the vain hope he can remain in power.

“We’re showing up to remind them that we’re still here,” a gun rights activist, who identified himself only as Trevor, told Reuters outside the Virginia statehouse on Sunday evening, walking the perimeter to help plan the protest. Virginians traditionally petition their lawmakers on Lobby Day at the start of the state’s General Assembly session, with the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League taking a leading role in recent years. Other groups including the anti-government “boogaloo” movement are set to attend today, as might liberal counter-demonstrators.

Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 16:10

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Video shows Capitol staff gathering in visitor centre as nearby fire blamed

The incident in question appears to have been caused by a fire several blocks away, rather than a terror threat, but it does serve to illustrate the jittery nerves being experienced in DC right now. Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 15:57

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Biden inauguration rehearsal evacuated

Here’s the very latest from Chris Riotta. Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 15:41

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US Capitol under lockdown over ‘external security threat’

Some breaking news from DC:

This footage is certainly alarming: More as we have it. Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 15:33

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Hundreds of writers and book agents sign joint letter demanding publishing industry bans Trump memoir

Editors, publishing agents and authors are signing up by the hundreds to a letter demanding the industry deny Donald Trump the chance to publish a post-presidential memoir.  

The letter, titled “No Book Deals for Traitors,” was signed by more than 250 editors, authors and publishing agents last week. Together, they oppose any Trump administration official from publishing a future book – including the outgoing president, who is rumoured to be considering a memoir. Gino Spocchia has more.

Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 15:15

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Fears of ‘inside attack’ at Biden’s inauguration, defence officials warn

ICYMI: US defence officials warned on Sunday of a looming threat to president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony – allegedly from the very people tasked with securing it – and said they are in the process of vetting the troops deployed for the event. The FBI is bracing for multiple armed protests in Washington, DC, amid continuing calls of “mass voter fraud” in the 2020 election from Trump supporters. Shweta Sharma has the latest.

Joe Sommerlad18 January 2021 14:55

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