⚖️ Trump’s Second Senate Impeachment Trial:

What happened today?

  1. Trump’s impeachment trial kicked off in the Senate with House Democrats playing a video montage of Trump whipping up a crowd of supporters, encouraging them to march to the U.S. Capitol and “fight like hell,” showing the pro-Trump mob violently breaching the Capitol, attacking police officers, and invoking Trump’s name as they tried to disrupt the certification of the November election. “Senators, this cannot be our future. This cannot be the future of America,” Rep. Jamie Raskin said in opening remarks. “We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people.”

  2. The first day of the proceeding were devoted to a debate over the constitutionality of the House prosecuting a president who has already left office. While Trump’s lawyers condemned the violence, they rejected the suggestion that he was responsible for it and maintained that the Constitution did not allow for an impeachment trial of a former president because it was meant to lead to removal. According to his defense attorneys, Trump was “horrified” by the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and that it is “absolutely not true” that Trump failed to quickly act to end the riot. In their revisionist history, Trump reportedly tweeted calls for peace “upon hearing of the reports of violence” and took “immediate steps” to mobilize resources to counter the rioters storming the building – these statements, however, conflict with the actual timeline of events. Bruce Castor, one of Trump’s attorneys, argued that Trump should not be punished for a “political speech,” and since he is “no longer is in office … the object of the Constitution has been achieved. He was removed by the voters.” House impeachment managers, meanwhile, argued that there is no “January exception” for presidents to escape repercussions through impeachment on their way out of office, saying the framers of the Constitution did not provide a waiver for accountability.

  3. After House managers and Trump’s team presented their arguments on whether the trial was constitutional, the Senate voted 56 to 44 to proceed with Trump’s impeachment trial. Six Republicans voted to affirm the constitutionality of the trial.

  4. ✏️ Sources: Associated Press / Bloomberg / Politico / CNN / NBC News / NPR

What’s next?

  1. Trump’s trial is adjourned until Wednesday, when each side will have up to 16 hours to present their case, spread out over two days per side. Senators will also have four hours to question the House managers and Trump’s attorneys.
  • 📝 News and Notes:

  • One of Trump’s impeachment lawyers sued him last year, accusing him of making “repeated claims” that mail voting is ripe with fraud “despite having no evidence in support of these claims.” Michael van der Veen filed a lawsuit against Trump, the USPS, and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in August on behalf of a client running for office, claiming that operational changes at USPS would make it harder for voters to cast ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. (Washington Post)

  • Trump – confident of his acquittal – plans a reemergence and retribution after his impeachment trial. (Politico)

  • 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election. Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power. (New York Times)

  • Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, Annotated. “The speech Trump gave at a rally just before the Capitol riot is at the center of the impeachment proceedings against the former president. Read and listen to the speech, with annotations on passages cited by the two sides.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • 💻 Live blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / NPR / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / Axios / CNN

1/ The Biden administration will begin sending doses of Covid-19 vaccines to community health centers next week and boost the supply of vaccines sent to states by 5%. Since taking office, the number of doses sent to states has increased by 28% to 11 million doses a week. (NBC News / CNBC)

  • 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~106,741,000; deaths: ~2,335,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~27,161,000; deaths: ~467,000; vaccinated: ~10% of total population

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University / Washington Post

  • Johnson & Johnson’s suggested that people may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually – just like seasonal flu shots – over the next several years. (CNBC)

  • A team of WHO scientists investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic said it’s “extremely unlikely” that the virus was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. After 12 days of field work, the team said they found that the virus was spreading in Wuhan both inside and outside the Huanan Seafood Market, which indicates that the market was also not the original source of the outbreak. (Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News / New York Times)

2/ The office of Georgia’s secretary of state launched an investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results. In December, Trump called Georgia officials amid an ongoing audit, asking Brad Raffensperger’s office to “find the fraud,” telling them they’d be a “national hero” for it. And on Jan. 2, Trump repeatedly demanded that Raffensperger “find” the 11,780 votes needed to overturn the results of the election in the state. (New York Times / ABC News)

3/ The Biden administration asked nearly all U.S. attorneys appointed during the Trump administration to resign. Several acting U.S. attorneys, who aren’t Senate confirmed or were appointed by the courts, will remain until a Biden appointee is approved by the Senate. The Justice Department, however, will allow John Durham to remain in the role of special counsel appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry. (CNN / NBC News / New York Times)

4/ The Air Force will deploy B-1 bombers and approximately 200 personnel to Norway for the first time in order to react more quickly to potential Russia aggression. (CNN)

poll/ 56% of Americans would like the Senate to vote to convict Trump. The same percentage say Trump encouraged the violence at the Capitol. (CBS News)

poll/ 49% of Americans said they were certain or very likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine, while 19% said they were “somewhat likely” to get vaccinated, and 32% said they were “not likely.” (CNBC / Bloomberg)