1/ Biden was sworn as the 46th president of the United States, moments after Kamala Harris took her oath of office, making her the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice president. “This is America’s day,” Biden said as he began his Inaugural Address. “This is democracy’s day.” Biden – the oldest man to be sworn in as president at 78 – described today as “our historic moment of crisis and challenge,” as he called on the nation to end its “uncivil war” and embrace “Unity [as] the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail.” Four years after Trump attacked the Washington establishment throughout his Inaugural Address, declaring that the “American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Biden offered a direct rebuttal: “We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile — and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.” (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Politico)

  • Biden’s Inaugural Address, Annotated. (NPR)

  • Biden inauguration live blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / The Guardian / Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / NBC News / CNN

  • Trump left a note for Biden in the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk. A Trump White House spokesperson did not reveal the contents of what Trump left for Biden to read. (Politico / USA Today)

  • Melania Trump outsourced her “thank you” notes to the White House residence staff who cared for her and her family for the last four years. A low-level East Wing staffer wrote them “in her voice,” and she signed her name. (CNN)

  • 💡 Biden inherits a country that is older, on shakier economic footing, and is more politically polarized. “The coronavirus pandemic halted the 11-year economic expansion and drove up unemployment just as the typical American household was starting to enjoy sustained income growth. Americans were living longer until the pandemic exacted a swift, deadly toll.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • 💡 Trump will step into a financial minefield that appears to be unlike anything he has faced. “Baseless election fraud claims and the Capitol riot have compounded already-looming threats to his bottom line. And the cash lifelines he once relied on are gone.” (New York Times)

2/ Trump, who refused to concede, never congratulated Biden and skipped his successor’s swearing-in, held a small, socially distanced military-style send-off for himself before leaving for his Florida resort. “I hope they don’t raise your taxes,” Trump told the crowd of several hundred people at Joint Base Andrews. “But if they do, I told you so.” While Trump did not mention Biden by name, he did “wish the new administration great luck and great success.” Trump concluded his remarks, vowing to “be back in some form” and, as the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” began playing, Trump told his supporters: “Have a good life.” (Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / The Guardian)

  • Trump discussed forming a new political party and wants to call it the “Patriot Party.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • The Proud Boys mock Trump, call him “extraordinarily weak” and a “total failure.” (New York Times)

  • Believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory struggled to square their falsehoods with the inauguration. As it became clear that their long-awaited mass arrests of Biden and other “deep-state” Democrats, followed by the restoration of the Trump presidency, did not happen, QAnon believers began to wonder if they had been tricked. (Daily Beast / New York Times)

3/ Trump granted clemency to 143 people in his final hours as president, wiping away the convictions and prison sentences for a host of corrupt politicians and business executives. In total, Trump issued a batch of 73 pardons and 70 commutations, including a pardon for Stephen Bannon, his former White House chief strategist who was charged with defrauding donors to a private fundraising effort for construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of foreign interests. Trump, however, did not preemptively pardon himself or his family. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / The Guardian)

  • Full list of Trump’s pardons and commuted sentences. (NBC News)

4/ Trump rescinded his administration’s ethics pledge intended to “drain the swamp.” In 2017, Trump signed an executive order that barred political appointees from lobbying the government or working for foreign countries related to their agency for five years. At the time Trump joked that his political appointees would “not be subject to those commitments after noon January 20, 2021.” However, in a late-night executive order issued in the final hours of his presidency, Trump rescinded the executive order. The Trump White House did not offer any justification for the reversal. (Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg)

  • Trump extended post-presidency Secret Service protection to 14 members of his family who were not entitled to receive it, at no cost to them. (Washington Post)

  • Trump declassified some documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. No documents, however, were immediately released. (New York Times)

5/ Trump administration officials said Homeland Security entered into last-minute agreements to “sabotage” the Biden administration’s efforts to unwind its immigration policies. Homeland Security signed legal agreements with state and local authorities in recent weeks that would require the agency to delay making changes for 180 days. (NBC News)

6/ Biden plans to make immediate and extensive use of executive orders to undo much of the last four years under Trump. On Day One, Biden is expected to sign 17 executive actions, memorandums, and proclamations from the Oval Office to address the pandemic, economic relief, immigration, climate change, and racial equity. Biden will also sign executive orders to extend bans on pandemic-related home evictions and foreclosures, revoke the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and reverse Trump’s travel ban on several largely Muslim and African countries. (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)