What Now?! – January 13, 2021

“President Trump on Tuesday showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president, saying that his remarks to a rally beforehand were ‘totally appropriate’ and that the effort by Congress to impeach and convict him was ‘causing tremendous anger,’” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Trump’s defiance came despite near universal condemnation of his role in stoking the assault on the Capitol, including from within his own administration and some of his closest allies on Capitol Hill.”

President Trump told reporters the 25th Amendment “is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Bloomberg  reports.

“Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party,” the Washington Post reports. Fox News reports that McConnell supports impeachment and is “done” and “furious” with Trump.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) says she will vote to impeach President Trump following riots in Washington, D.C. that left multiple people dead, KTWO reports. The New York Times says the White House is expecting roughly two dozen defections among Republicans who will vote to support impeachment.

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) said today he will vote to impeach President Trump for inciting a riot last week at the U.S. Capitol, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports. Said Katko: “To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

Politico: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team informed members on a private call Monday they will need to return to the Capitol — for many, the first time since the Jan. 6 attacks — on Tuesday night. Impeachment is scheduled for consideration at 9 a.m. Wednesday, if Trump refuses to resign and Vice President Mike Pence won’t initiate other procedures to remove him.”

“House Republicans are bracing for between ten and 20 of their GOP colleagues to vote to impeach Donald Trump — a hugely embarrassing rebuke for the president at the end of his tumultuous term,” Punchbowl News reports.

“The vote is ‘super fluid,’ a Republican insider told us. The leadership isn’t keeping a formal whip count, but whatever the number is, it’s infinitely greater than the zero Republicans that voted for Trump’s impeachment in 2019, and it demonstrates the serious rift inside the party.”

A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” the Washington Post reports.

An internal document contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.

NBC News: “Right-wing extremists are using encrypted channels to call for violence against government officials on Jan. 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, with some extremists sharing knowledge of how to make, conceal and use homemade guns and bombs.”

“The messages are being posted in Telegram chatrooms where white supremacist content has been freely shared for months, but chatter on these channels has increased since extremists have been forced off other platforms in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.”

“The Justice Department and FBI have created a sedition and conspiracy task force to pursue charges against participants in the storming of the U.S. Capitol and are investigating any links to domestic or foreign instigators,” the Washington Post reports.

“The investigation, one of the largest ever undertaken by the department, includes counterterrorism and counterterrorism facets and has charged 70 individuals and identified 170 suspects to date.”

Said U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin, citing video footage not yet public: “The gamut of cases is mind-blowing… People are going to be shocked with egregious activity in the Capitol.”

Politico: “House Democrats, dozens of whom were locked inside the chamber as mobs descended, held a security call Monday evening with the acting chief of Capitol Police and the acting House Sergeant-at-Arms to discuss ways to further improve safety measures.”

“The call, which detailed more potential threats, further raised alarms in the caucus, according to people listening.”

“We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition.” — Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin, quoted by NBC News, on the investigation into the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.

He added: “People are going to shocked.”

Jonathan Chait: “From the beginning, the danger presented by Donald Trump was so insultingly obvious it hardly required analysis: Here was an unfit leader driven by contempt for democratic rules and norms. From this observation, the conclusion was equally simple: Supporting the political opposition — i.e., the Democratic Party — was the only responsible course of action.”

“The logic was clear enough to just enough Americans in just enough states to end the Trump experiment after a single term. But one of the confounding things about this era is how many otherwise intelligent people have been unable or unwilling to grasp the obvious. What these skeptics shared was a distaste for the remedy of supporting the Democrats, even temporarily, which motivated them to deny the underlying malady. If they wished to support Trump, or at least not to give the Democrats unreserved support, then they had to demonstrate that Trump did not pose any special danger to the Republic.”

“Even after four years of Trump abusing power, fomenting violence, and actively attempting to rig the vote while claiming any prospect of defeat must be fraudulent, his supporters denied any danger…”

“The debate came to a sudden end last week, when Trump directed a mob to storm the Capitol, in an attempt to pressure Mike Pence and the Senate to carry out a wild plan to nullify the results of the election.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) last month urged the crowd at a conservative gathering to “lightly threaten” lawmakers ahead of the certification of the presidential election results, the Charlotte Observerreports.

Said Cawthorn: “Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody’s coming after you.”

“Voice of America White House reporter Patsy Widakuswara was reassigned Monday evening just hours after pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on whether he regretted saying there would be a second Trump administration after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was apparent,” NPR reports.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tested positive for coronavirus Monday night, her office said, after she was in lockdown during Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol with “Republican lawmakers who cruelly and selfishly refused to wear masks,” the Seattle Times reports. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced a positive test earlier Monday.

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said that he has become the third lawmaker to test positive for coronavirus after being confined with dozens of members of Congress during the takeover last week of the Capitol, the Washington Post reports.

“Secretary of State Michael Pompeo canceled a brief trip to Belgium set for Wednesday,” Bloomberg reports.

“The cancellation of the visit, expected to be the last travel of Pompeo’s term, comes as Washington is in turmoil over the assault on the Capitol by a crowd urged to action by President Donald Trump. Pompeo has criticized the attack but not Trump.”

Reuters reports Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is preparing a statement to service members reminding them of their duty to support the U.S. Constitution and reject extremism, CNN  reports.

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon body comprising the military’s top generals, issued a memo to the entire U.S. military on Tuesday condemning the Capitol riot and confirming Joe Biden will become the 46th commander in chief of the armed forces on Jan. 20,” the Washington Post reports.

In a scathing resignation letter, Jason Schmid, a longtime senior House Armed Services Committee staffer, slammed the GOP members of the panel who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, particularly after a mob incited by Trump stormed the Capitol last Wednesday and left five people dead, Politico reports.

Wrote Schmid: “Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms. Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the republic.”

“Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the incoming Senate president pro tempore, says that Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) should step down from the Senate Judiciary Committee while federal officials investigate the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob last week,” The Hill reports.

Said Leahy: “Both of them wanted to subvert the will of the people, wanted to tell the whole world and the United States that we did not have an honest election. I can’t imagine any senator doing that and then serving on Judiciary.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to impose a $1,000 fine on members who refuse to wear masks while in the U.S. Capitol complex, the Washington Post reports.

“President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration is in danger of not having a single Cabinet official confirmed on Inauguration Day, upsetting a tradition going back to the Cold War of ensuring the president enters office with at least part of his national security team in place,” the Washington Post reports.

“President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is expected to make a major push on Tuesday that calls on Republicans to swiftly confirm the president-elect’s national security picks so they’re in place when the Democrat takes office next week,” Politico reports.

“Amid fallout from the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol, Biden officials and congressional allies will begin making the case Tuesday that there is a unique urgency in getting the positions filled as soon as possible so there is no gap in national security during a presidential transfer of power.”

“Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15,” the AP reports.

“House Republican leaders have decided not to formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach President Trump, making a tacit break with him as they scrambled to gauge support within their ranks for a vote on Wednesday to charge him with inciting violence against the country,” the New York Times reports.

“While Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the minority leader, has said that he will ‘personally’ oppose impeachment and sought to steer Republicans in a different direction, his decision not to officially lean on lawmakers to vote against the move constituted a subtle shift away from the president.”

“In the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Republican leader, has also conspicuously declined to defend Mr. Trump in any way or to speak out against the impeachment push, which — if it resulted in a Senate conviction — could bar the president from holding public office again.”

“Law enforcement authorities, responding to threats of violence before the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, will deploy up to 15,000 National Guard troops to the nation’s capital and set up checkpoints in the city to avoid the botched response that helped rioters overrun the Capitol last week,” the New York Times reports.

ABC News: “In the wake of Wednesday’s assault on the nation’s Capitol, President Trump has been advised he potentially could face civil liability connected to his role in encouraging supporters who went on to storm Congress.”

“‘Think O.J.,’ an adviser explained it to Trump, according to one source. It was a reference to O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife and a friend but later faced stiff civil damages after being sued by his ex-wife’s family.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

0 comments on “What Now?! – January 13, 2021

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: