Debate Begins After Effort Clears a Procedural Hurdle

Here’s what you need to know: National Guard troops resting in the Capitol Wednesday morning as the House prepared to debate the impeachment charge.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times The House undertook an emotionally charged debate on Wednesday over impeaching President Trump for a historic second time, as lawmakers marched toward an afternoon vote to charge him just one week after he incited a mob of loyalists to storm the Capitol and stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the November election. Returning to a heavily fortified Capitol, protected by thousands of National Guard troops, Democrats and Republicans traded impassioned arguments over the efficacy of charging the president at all and an article of impeachment that accuses the president of “inciting an insurrection” that led to the rampage by his supporters. Summoning the darkest chapters of American history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California implored colleagues in both parties to embrace “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.” “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.” Republicans were split over the impending charge, with up to a dozen or more expected to back vote to impeach and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, embracing the effort as a means to purge Mr. Trump from the party. But their defense was led by an indignant Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal far-right allies, who accused Democrats of pouring gasoline on a national fire purely out of hatred for Mr. Trump. “It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what,” said Mr. Jordan, who called for unity a week after voting to toss out Mr. Biden’s win in key swing states. “It’s an obsession, an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore, it’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them.” Still, neither Mr. Jordan nor most other Republicans attempted to defend Mr. Trump’s actions directly, or the mob he riled up and later attacked the Capitol to stop Congress from declaring Mr. Biden the winner. The final vote after the debate is expected to pass, with a small but significant number of Republicans joining Democrats to impeach Mr. Trump, making him the first president to be impeached twice. The chamber had dispensed with two earlier, procedural votes just after noon and planned two additional hours of debate culminating in an up-or-down vote on the charge. The most blistering condemnation by a Republican came from Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, who said there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States.” Not a single House Republican voted in favor of impeachment during the 2019 proceedings. Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.” House leaders were already planning to press their charge to trial in the Senate after Wednesday’s vote, but the timing was uncertain because the Senate was not in session. Mr. McConnell’s office notified Democrats on Wednesday that he would not agree to their request to use emergency powers to bring the Senate back into session before Jan. 19, an aide said. That likely means that a trial will not get underway until around the time of Mr. Biden’s inauguration next week, at the earliest. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment. Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach. A majority of House members vote to impeach. Trump remains in office for the duration of his term, unless his cabinet acts to remove him or he resigns. Trump is impeached. The House determines if and when when to send the article to the Senate. It could do nothing further, effectively holding out the charges in perpetuity. IF ARTICLE SENT IMMEDIATELY IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL Republican-led trial unlikely: Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will not return until Jan. 19, the last full day of Trump’s term, making a trial unlikely before the inauguration. Democratic-led trial: Later this month, control of the Senate will flip to Democrats. Upon receipt of the article, the Senate must soon begin a trial, but there is discretion in the schedule and pace of the process. Afterward, the Senate holds a vote to convict or acquit the former president. Fewer than two-thirds of members present vote to convict. Two-thirds or more of members present vote to convict. Trump is acq

Debate Begins After Effort Clears a Procedural Hurdle
National Guard troops resting in the Capitol Wednesday morning as the House prepared to debate the impeachment charge.
Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House undertook an emotionally charged debate on Wednesday over impeaching President Trump for a historic second time, as lawmakers marched toward an afternoon vote to charge him just one week after he incited a mob of loyalists to storm the Capitol and stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the November election.

Returning to a heavily fortified Capitol, protected by thousands of National Guard troops, Democrats and Republicans traded impassioned arguments over the efficacy of charging the president at all and an article of impeachment that accuses the president of “inciting an insurrection” that led to the rampage by his supporters.

Summoning the darkest chapters of American history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California implored colleagues in both parties to embrace “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”

Republicans were split over the impending charge, with up to a dozen or more expected to back vote to impeach and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, embracing the effort as a means to purge Mr. Trump from the party.

But their defense was led by an indignant Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal far-right allies, who accused Democrats of pouring gasoline on a national fire purely out of hatred for Mr. Trump.

“It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what,” said Mr. Jordan, who called for unity a week after voting to toss out Mr. Biden’s win in key swing states. “It’s an obsession, an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore, it’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them.”

Still, neither Mr. Jordan nor most other Republicans attempted to defend Mr. Trump’s actions directly, or the mob he riled up and later attacked the Capitol to stop Congress from declaring Mr. Biden the winner.

The final vote after the debate is expected to pass, with a small but significant number of Republicans joining Democrats to impeach Mr. Trump, making him the first president to be impeached twice. The chamber had dispensed with two earlier, procedural votes just after noon and planned two additional hours of debate culminating in an up-or-down vote on the charge.

The most blistering condemnation by a Republican came from Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, who said there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States.”

Not a single House Republican voted in favor of impeachment during the 2019 proceedings.

Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.”

House leaders were already planning to press their charge to trial in the Senate after Wednesday’s vote, but the timing was uncertain because the Senate was not in session.

Mr. McConnell’s office notified Democrats on Wednesday that he would not agree to their request to use emergency powers to bring the Senate back into session before Jan. 19, an aide said. That likely means that a trial will not get underway until around the time of Mr. Biden’s inauguration next week, at the earliest.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one

or more articles of impeachment.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his

term, unless his cabinet

acts to remove him or

he resigns.

Trump is impeached.

The House determines if

and when when to send the

article to the Senate. It

could do nothing further,

effectively holding out the

charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE

SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said

the Senate will not return until

Jan. 19, the last full day of

Trump’s term, making

a trial unlikely before the

inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of

the Senate will flip to

Democrats. Upon receipt of

the article, the Senate must

soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule

and pace of the process.

Afterward, the Senate holds

a vote to convict or acquit

the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of

members present vote to

convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present vote to

convict.

Trump is acquitted.

Trump is guilty.

Separate votes would

be needed to prohibit

Trump from receiving

benefits given to

ex-presidents and to

bar him from future

political office.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one

or more articles of impeachment.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his

term, unless his cabinet

acts to remove him or

he resigns.

Trump is impeached.

The House determines if

and when when to send the

article to the Senate. It

could do nothing further,

effectively holding out the

charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE

SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said

the Senate will not return until

Jan. 19, the last full day of

Trump’s term, making

a trial unlikely before the

inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of

the Senate will flip to

Democrats. Upon receipt of

the article, the Senate must

soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule

and pace of the process.

Afterward, the Senate holds

a vote to convict or acquit

the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of

members present vote to

convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present vote to

convict.

Trump is guilty.

Separate votes would

be needed to prohibit

Trump from receiving

benefits given to

ex-presidents and to

bar him from future

political office.

Trump is acquitted.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House, controlled by Democrats, holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

A majority of House members

vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House

votes to impeach.

Trump remains in office

for the duration of his term, unless his

cabinet acts to remove him or

he resigns.

Trump is impeached.

The House determines if and when to

send the article to the Senate. It could

do nothing further, effectively holding

out the charges in perpetuity.

IF ARTICLE SENT IMMEDIATELY

IF ARTICLE WITHHELD UNTIL

AFTER CHANGE IN CONTROL

Republican-led trial unlikely:

Mitch McConnell has said the Senate

will not return until Jan. 19, the last full

day of Trump’s term, making a trial

unlikely before the inauguration.

Democratic-led trial:

Later this month, control of the Senate will

flip to Democrats. Upon receipt of the article,

the Senate must soon begin a trial, but there

is discretion in the schedule and pace of the

process. Afterward, the Senate holds a vote

to convict or acquit the former president.

Fewer than two-thirds of members

present vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of members

present vote to convict.

Trump is acquitted.

Trump is guilty.

Separate votes would be needed

to prohibit Trump from receiving

benefits given to ex-presidents

and to bar him from future

political office.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Representative Steny Hoyer, the majority leader, said.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Gathered in the Capitol just one week after it came under violent attack by a pro-Trump mob, the House opened an emotional debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach President Trump for his role in inciting the violence.

The vote was expected in the afternoon and Democrats confidently predicted they had the votes to impeach, with nearly every one of their members speaking out in support and several Republicans pledging to join them.

But in the run-up to the vote, the two parties traded bitter jabs and duelling arguments for and against using the Constitution’s gravest remedy just days before Mr. Trump was to leave office. Democrats uniformly described the president’s conduct in scathing terms, arguing that impeachment was an appropriate remedy. A few Republicans defended him, but most others simply argued that a rush to impeach Mr. Trump without a hearing or an investigation raised constitutional questions.

Democrats

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: “The president must be impeached and I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together. It gives me no pleasure to say this. It breaks my heart.”

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader: “I’ve served with Ronald Reagan, with George H.W. Bush and George Bush. I have respect for all of those presidents. They cared about our country. They honored our Constitution and they executed the duties of the office consistent with the constitution and laws of our country.

“That is not true of this president. And therefore, he ought to be removed. And we have that opportunity to do so. Is there little time left? Yes. But it is never too late to do the right thing."

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota: “For years we have been asked to turn a blind eye to the criminality, corruption and blatant disregard to the rule of law by the tyrant president we have in the White House. We as a nation can no longer look away.”

Republicans

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio: “It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore, it’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them.”

Representative Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania: Mr. Reschenthaler condemned the violence that had taken place, but was one of the few Republicans opposing the impeachment charge on its merits, disputing that Mr. Trump had incited violence.

“At his rally, President Trump urged attendees to, ‘peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ There was no mention of violence, let alone calls to action.”

Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina: “The U.S. House of Representatives has every right to impeach the president of the United States. But what we’re doing today, rushing this impeachment in an hour- or two-hour-long debate on the floor of this chamber, bypassing Judiciary, poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process.”

Impeachment proceedings will begin at the Capitol on Thursday.
Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

What to Watch For

The House convened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to debate the rule needed to move forward with the impeachment resolution, then took a procedural vote in which lawmakers split along party lines over moving the process forward.

It then moved immediately to a vote on the rule, which was also passed along party lines. Members then began considering the article of impeachment, with two hours of debate time divided evenly between the two parties.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was leading the debate for Democrats.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the panel, was in charge of his party’s arguments against impeachment on the floor. But the party’s leadership was divided, with the two top leaders opposing impeachment and the No. 3, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, in support.

A final vote on the single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — is expected Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Democrats appeared to have more than enough support to vote to impeach Mr. Trump. But the breakneck pace at which they have moved ahead has left some Republican lawmakers prevaricating and proposing alternate solutions, like a bipartisan measure to censure the president.

But unlike the last impeachment, in which Republicans were united in their opposition, several were expected on Wednesday to break with their party. The debate and vote will reveal how willing Republicans are to abandon Mr. Trump and speak out against him.

What Comes Next?

Should the House vote as expected to impeach Mr. Trump, attention will turn to the Senate. It is not clear when Ms. Pelosi will send the article to the Senate, which would prompt the start of a trial there. Even if she were to do so immediately, since the Senate is not in session, unless the chamber’s leaders agreed to speed up the process, the soonest a trial could begin would be next Thursday when it formally gavels back in. Legal scholars believe that impeachment could be completed after Mr. Trump leaves office.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has deferred to lawmakers handling the proceedings, but sought clarification from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, about whether a trial could proceed on a parallel track with consideration of his Cabinet nominees.

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a joint session of Congress last week.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The House voted on Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to strip President Trump of his powers after he incited a mob that attacked the Capitol, as lawmakers warned they would impeach the president on Wednesday if Mr. Pence did not comply.

Lawmakers, escorted by armed guards into a heavily fortified Capitol, adopted the nonbinding measure just before midnight largely along party lines. The final vote was 223 to 205 to implore Mr. Pence to declare Mr. Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.”

“We’re trying to tell him that the time of a 25th Amendment emergency has arrived,” Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and the author of the resolution, said before the vote. “It has come to our doorstep. It has invaded our chamber.”

Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor of the resolution.

The House proceeded even after Mr. Pence rejected the call in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he wrote. “I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation.”

Almost all Republicans lined up in opposition. They did little to defend Mr. Trump’s behavior but argued that Congress had no role telling the vice president what to do.

“The vice president has given you your answer, before you asked the question,” said Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina. “Your ultimatum does violence to a core feature of the architecture of the Constitution.”

Mr. Trump met with Mr. Pence on Monday for the first time since their falling out last week over the president’s effort to overturn the election and the mob assault, which had put the vice president in danger. The two spoke for an hour or more in the Oval Office in what amounted to a tense peace summit meeting with the remainder of the Trump presidency at stake.

Representative John Katko of New York was the first Republican to publicly announce that he would back the impeachment proceedings.
Credit...Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

As the House prepared to move forward on Wednesday with a vote to formally charge President Trump with inciting violence against the government of the United States, a small but growing number of Republicans said they supported the effort.

The vote is set to come exactly one week after the Capitol was breached by an angry mob of Trump loyalists.

In 2019, not a single Republican voted in favor of impeachment. House Republican leaders have said they would not formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach the president this time, and some members said they intended to support the effort.

Representative John Katko of New York was the first Republican to publicly announce that he would back the impeachment proceedings. Not holding the president accountable for his actions would be “a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Tuesday evening that she would vote to impeach, citing the president’s role in an insurrection that caused “death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.”

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, joined his Republican colleagues on Tuesday evening, saying the nation was in uncharted waters. He said that Mr. Trump “encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.”

Representative Fred Upton of Michigan issued a statement saying that he would vote to impeach after Mr. Trump “expressed no regrets” for what had happened at the Capitol.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State issued a statement saying, “The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have.” (An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated which state Ms. Herrera Beutler represents.)

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the impeachment managers.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday named nine Democrats as managers of the impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of inciting a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol, where rioters ransacked the seat of American government and killed a Capitol Police officer.

The nine managers, all lawyers, have expertise in constitutional law, civil rights and law enforcement. They will be the new faces of the impeachment drive after Americans last year grew accustomed to seeing Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, as the leaders of Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

The managers come from across the country and represent different ideological wings of the party. Of the nine, seven are people of color, L.G.B.T.Q. or women.

With Democrats controlling the House, Mr. Trump is expected to become the first American president to be impeached twice.

“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the president’s impeachment and removal,” Ms. Pelosi said of the managers. “They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution.”

Ms. Pelosi named Representative Jamie Raskin, a constitutional lawyer from Maryland who drafted the impeachment article, as the lead manager of Mr. Trump’s trial. Mr. Raskin, who lost his 25-year-old son to suicide on New Year’s Eve and then survived the mob attack, is a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law.

“I’m honored to be on a team with extremely distinguished lawyers and representatives,” Mr. Raskin said. “We have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders right now.”

The other impeachment managers are: Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, a lawyer with a civil rights background; David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a former public defender; Joaquin Castro of Texas, a lawyer; Eric Swalwell of California, a former prosecutor; Ted Lieu of California, a former Air Force officer and prosecutor; Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, a former prosecutor; Joe Neguse of Colorado, a lawyer; and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, also a lawyer.

The decision to arm National Guard troops positioned around the Capitol complex came after Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that the Pentagon take a more muscular posture, congressional aides said.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

National Guard troops who are flooding into Washington to secure the Capitol for Inauguration Day will be armed, the Army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, has decided, Defense Department officials said Tuesday.

The armed troops will be responsible for security around the Capitol building complex, the officials said.

As up to 20,000 troops continued to arrive in Washington from all over the country, Defense Department officials had been weighing whether to deploy them with arms. Mr. McCarthy has decided that at the very least those around the Capitol building will carry weapons, said the officials, who confirmed the decision on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. McCarthy’s decision came after a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. Ms. Pelosi, according to congressional staff members, demanded that the Pentagon take a more muscular posture after a mob, egged on by President Trump last week, breached the Capitol.

Pentagon officials say they are deeply worried about protests that are planned for the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. next week. About 16 groups — some of them saying they will be armed and most of them made up of hard-line supporters of Mr. Trump — have registered to stage protests in Washington, officials said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Sunday asking for an emergency declaration to obtain additional funding for inauguration security.

“In light of the attack on the Capitol and intelligence suggesting further violence is likely during the inaugural period, my administration has re-evaluated our preparedness posture for the inauguration, including requesting the extension of D.C. National Guard support through Jan. 24, 2021,” Ms. Bowser wrote.

Defense Department officials said that the White House had signed off on the decision to arm some of the National Guard troops coming to Washington to provide security. Pentagon officials have underscored that the National Guard — not active-duty military troops — will be assigned to those duties.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will nominate Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as the head of the United States Agency for International Development.
Credit...Seth Wenig/Associated Press

With just one week until he is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday continued to fill out his senior staff, naming Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, to lead the United States Agency for International Development.

Mr. Biden also added the position to the National Security Council and elevated two White House posts that all but disappeared in the Trump administration: a homeland security adviser to manage matters as varied as extremism, pandemics and natural disasters, and the first deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology.

During her tenure at the U.N., Ms. Power was involved in the international response to the Ebola outbreak. Before that, she worked on former President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, advising the White House on human rights issues. In her new role, she will oversee the country’s global efforts to help defeat the pandemic.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Power warned that other countries would look to the United States for how to respond to the crisis.

“If President Trump doesn’t overcome his go-it-alone mind-set and take immediate steps to mobilize a global coalition to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, its spread will cause a catastrophic loss of life and make it impossible to restore normalcy in the United States in the foreseeable future,” Ms. Power wrote in an April 7 opinion piece for The Times.

Here are other announcements coming from the Biden team with seven days to go until the his administration begins:

  • The White House homeland security adviser will be Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, according to transition officials. She is a longtime aide to Mr. Biden who served under Mr. Obama as senior director for Europe and then deputy secretary of energy, where she oversaw the modernization of the nuclear arsenal.

  • Mr. Biden has carved out a role for Anne Neuberger, a rising official at the National Security Agency, to bolster cyber offense and defense. Ms. Neuberger ran the Russia Small Group, which mounted a pre-emptive strike on the Kremlin’s cyber-actors during the 2018 midterm elections, part of an effort to counter Moscow after its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Jeffrey Wexler will head the Covid-19 operations, after working on virus preparedness during the campaign and transition.

  • John McCarthy, the deputy national political director on the campaign, will be senior adviser to the counselor to the president, Steve Ricchetti.

  • Zayn Siddique, the chief of staff for the domestic and economic transition team, and Thomas Winslow, the chief of staff to the campaign manager, will be senior advisers to the deputy chief of staff. (An earlier version of this item misspelled Zayn.)

  • Lisa Kohnke, who runs the scheduling for the transition team, will become the director of presidential scheduling.

  • Sarah Feldmann will be the chief of staff for the Office of Management and Administration. And Christian Peele will be the deputy director of management and administration for personnel.

  • Michael Leach, a former senior manager of labor relations for the N.F.L. Management Council and assistant to the head coach for the Chicago Bears, will be the chief diversity and inclusion director. (An earlier version of this item inaccurately said that Mr. Leach also coached Texas Tech football, but that coach was a different man with the same name.)

President-elect Donald J. Trump arriving at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2017. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration will look far different due to coronavirus and security precautions.
Credit...Damon Winter/The New York Times

In the latest example of its virtual programming in lieu of mass gatherings and ballroom celebrations, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inaugural committee announced Wednesday that a 90-minute prime-time television special will air on Jan. 20, hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring musical acts and appearances by Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“Celebrating America” will air starting at 8:30 p.m. on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC, and it will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch, among other online platforms, according to a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The event’s entertainers will include Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake.

Presidential inaugurations traditionally draw huge crowds to Washington for parades, performances and evening balls and parties. But coronavirus precautions have made that impossible this year, along with heightened security following last week’s riot at the Capitol.

Reminiscent of programming during the summer Democratic National Convention, whose traditional in-person events were also largely moved online, “the program will highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee said, adding that it would celebrate “frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.”

The committee has previously announced other virtual and crowd-free activities, including a “virtual parade” following Mr. Biden’s swearing-in at the Capitol and a “Field of Flags” public art display to symbolize the crowds typically gathered for the event in Washington, whose mayor has urged Americans not to travel to the city.

Lawmakers from both parties, including Senator Tom Daschle, left, prayed on the steps of the Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001.
Credit...Kenneth Lambert/Associated Press

As the Senate majority leader on Sept. 11, 2001, Tom Daschle was among those hurriedly evacuated in the chaos of an expected attack on the Capitol, only to return later that evening for a bipartisan show of unity and resolve on the marble steps many had used to flee just hours earlier.

“We all joined together after 9/11 and professed ourselves to be Americans, not just Republicans and Democrats, as we sang ‘God Bless America’ on those same Capitol steps and returned to business the next morning,” Mr. Daschle, the former Democratic senator from South Dakota, recalled this week.

But like many Democrats, Mr. Daschle is not in a unifying mood in the wake of the assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob last week, and Jan. 6 is not proving to be a Sept. 11 moment.

This time, the menace to Congress was not from 19 shadowy hijackers from overseas but from within — fellow Americans and colleagues taking their usual places in the House and Senate chambers to try to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory and stoke President Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, which inspired the violent rioting that chased lawmakers from the House and the Senate.

“On 9/11 we were united as Americans against a common enemy, a foreign enemy, foreign terrorists,” said Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who was on Capitol Hill for both shattering events. “On Jan. 6, America was divided against itself.”

Outraged at the conduct of Republicans who perpetuated Mr. Trump’s bogus allegations of widespread voting fraud, Democrats are determined to impeach the president a second time, to try to expel and censure members who sought to overturn the presidential election even after the mob assault on the Capitol, and to ostracize Republicans who do not acknowledge and apologize for their role.

The 2001 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York — and the recognition that a horrific assault on the Capitol was prevented only by courageous passengers who brought down Flight 93 in Pennsylvania — led to an extraordinary period of congressional comity and cooperation.

Both parties immediately pulled together in a show of strength despite lingering Democratic resentment over the Supreme Court decision that had given the presidency to George W. Bush just months earlier. Democrats and Republicans set aside their very real differences — including concern among some Democrats that the new administration had failed to heed warnings about the attack — to present an impenetrable front to the country and the world.

“This Congress is united — Democrats, independents, Republicans,” Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri, the Democratic leader, declared during somber but angry proceedings on Sept. 12, 2001, as Congress passed a resolution condemning the attacks and promising national unity in the face of such threats. “There is no light or air between us. We stand shoulder to shoulder.”

Today, there is outright hostility among members of Congress, emotions that will be hard to contain even as Mr. Biden plans an inauguration with the theme of “America United” — an admirable goal, but one that seems difficult if not impossible to attain at the moment.

The U.S. Census logo appears on census materials received in the mail with an invitation to fill out census information online
Credit...Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump has demanded since summer that the Census Bureau produce a state-by-state tally of immigrants who are in the country illegally, numbers long sought by Republicans who want to base political maps on population figures that do not include undocumented immigrants. On Tuesday, a federal inspector general questioned an order to deliver the estimates before Mr. Trump leaves office, after whistle-blowers warned that the rush would imperil their accuracy.

The Commerce Department inspector general, Peggy E. Gustafson, said in a letter that two White House political appointees were the “driving forces” behind the order, which required census experts to deliver counts of unauthorized immigrants by Friday, five days before Inauguration Day.

Her letter states that the Census Bureau director appointed by Mr. Trump, Steven Dillingham, had designated the estimates a top priority for the bureau’s data experts, even though completion of the 2020 census itself has fallen months behind schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. The letter said Mr. Dillingham had discussed offering cash bonuses for producing the estimates quickly.

Mr. Dillingham backed off his order this week, according to bureau employees who refused to be named for fear of retaliation. Some of them said career employees planned to refuse to deliver substandard estimates, which would have led to an unprecedented standoff between the agency’s political leaders and its traditionally nonpartisan staff.

“It was just ‘Give us what you’ve got,’” one bureau employee said, adding that the estimates “were just not ready for prime time.”

The Census Bureau has been stewing in controversy, largely over the question of counting unauthorized immigrants, virtually since Mr. Trump took office. A battle over the Trump administration’s order to ask census respondents whether they were American citizens went to the Supreme Court before the justices barred the question in 2019, saying officials’ justification for the question was “contrived.”

The administration offered a new rationale in July, saying it wanted a count of unauthorized noncitizens so states could deduct them from overall 2020 census results, which count everyone living in the country regardless of citizenship. Doing so would produce a more rural, Republican-leaning population base when political maps are redrawn later this year based on new census figures.

Republican legislators in some states, including Texas and Missouri, are pressing for citizen-only population counts for redistricting. All states currently draw maps using total population counts, or something very close to them, and the legality of relying on citizen-only population totals is unclear.

Bobby L. Christine, right, told lawyers in his office that he had not found evidence of election fraud to pursue and that he had closed two cases.
Credit...Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The new acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, whose predecessor resigned after angering President Trump for not pursuing the president’s false election fraud theories, told colleagues this week that there was “just nothing to” some of the most high-profile election fraud cases before his office, according to a recording of a conference call obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The comments on a Monday conference call by the acting top prosecutor, Bobby L. Christine, came after the president and his allies pursued a two-month pressure campaign on Georgia officials, in which they made baseless accusations of election fraud as they looked for a way to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the state.

Mr. Christine told lawyers in his office who were on the call that he had not found evidence of election fraud to pursue and that he had closed two cases. “I would love to stand out on the street corner and scream this, and I can’t,” he said, according to the paper. “But I can tell you I closed the two most — I don’t know, I guess you’d call them high-profile or the two most pressing election issues this office has. I said I believe, as many of the people around the table believed, there’s just nothing to them.”

Mr. Christine’s predecessor, Byung J. Pak, resigned abruptly on Jan. 4. The acting deputy attorney general, Richard Donoghue, had relayed to Mr. Pak that Mr. Trump was dissatisfied with his efforts to investigate the president’s claims.

Mr. Trump also stated his frustration with Mr. Pak, a fellow Republican, in a phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the president complained that Mr. Pak was a “never Trumper.”

When a top prosecutor resigns, usually that office’s first deputy takes over the job. The appointment of Mr. Christine, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, to fill Mr. Pak’s role in the Atlanta area on an acting basis raised concerns of further political interference. Mr. Christine was nominated to the Southern District job by Mr. Trump and has donated to Mr. Trump’s campaign.