1/ Biden’s Justice Department will continue to defend Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her 25 years ago. In a brief filed with a federal appeals court, the Justice Department argued that it should be permitted to substitute itself for Trump as defendant. The Justice Department, however, insisted that it did not endorse Trump’s “crude and disrespectful” remarks about Carroll, but instead argued that Trump could not be sued for defamation because he had made the statements as part of his official duties as president. Last September, the Justice Department and then-Attorney General William Barr intervened on Trump’s behalf to transfer the lawsuit from state court to federal court, substituting the federal government for Trump as the defendant. (CNN / Politico / New York Times / BuzzFeed News)
2/ The Koch network pressured Joe Manchin to oppose Biden’s key legislative items, including filibuster reform and the For the People Act. In a video series from Americans for Prosperity, a Koch super PAC, grassroots supporters were encouraged to push Manchin to “Reject Washington’s Partisan Agenda” and oppose his party’s own legislative priorities, including the idea of eliminating the filibuster, the For the People Act, and packing the Supreme Court. (CNBC)
3/ Capitol Police had intelligence that Trump supporters planned to attack the Capitol at least two weeks before the Jan. 6 riot but failed to act on the threats. In a joint report from the Senate Rules and Administration and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, the bipartisan investigation found that Capitol Police intelligence officers knew as early as Dec. 21 that pro-Trump extremists were threatening violence, including plans to “storm the Capitol,” infiltrate the tunnel system, and “bring guns.” The information was only shared with command officers. “The failure to adequately assess the threat of violence on that day contributed significantly to the breach of the Capitol,” Sen. Gary Peters said, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “The attack was quite frankly planned in plain sight.” (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News)
4/ Trump’s impeachment lawyers are defending at least three people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Michael van der Veen is defending a member of the Oath Keepers that helped plan and participate in storming the Capitol. Bruce Castor, meanwhile, is representing a mother and daughter who failed to follow repeated police orders to disperse in violation of a curfew. During Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, van der Veen and Castor argued that those who participated in the riot deserve “robust and swift investigation and prosecution.” (NPR)
5/ Senate Republicans are blocking the confirmation for Biden’s nominee to lead the federal personnel agency because of her support for abortion rights and critical race theory, an academic framework centered on the idea that racism is systemic. The delay on Kiran Ahuja’s nomination to lead the Office of Personnel Management is being led by Sen. Josh Hawley, who is a dipshit. (Washington Post)
6/ The Biden administration determined that more than 3,900 children were separated from their families after the Trump administration implemented its “zero-tolerance policy.” The report from the Biden administration’s Family Reunification Task Force also found that fewer than 60 families are now in the process of being reunited. Nearly 400 children have been repatriated to their country of origin. (ABC News)
7/ The Biden administration threatened to sue Texas if its Republican Governor Greg Abbott moves forward with plans to close more than 50 shelters housing about 4,000 migrant children. Abbott issued a disaster declaration last week, which directed a state agency to “take all necessary steps” to deny or discontinue licenses for child care facilities sheltering migrant children within 90 days. (CBS News)
8/ New audio reveals how Rudy Giuliani pressured the Ukrainian government in 2019 to investigate baseless conspiracies about Biden. During the roughly 40-minute, July 2019 phone call between Giuliani, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker, and Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Giuliani repeatedly pressed Yermak to have Zelensky publicly announce investigations into possible corruption by Biden in Ukraine, and into claims that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to hurt Trump. Both claims are untrue. “All we need from the President [Zelensky] is to say […] he’s gonna investigate and dig up the evidence, that presently exists and is there any other evidence about involvement of the 2016 election, and then the Biden thing has to be run out,” Giuliani said, according to the audio. The call was a precursor to Trump’s July 25, 2019, call with Zelensky, where he pressured the Ukrainian president eight times to investigate Biden and his son. (CNN)
poll/ 70% of Americans support same-sex marriage – a record high. In 1996, 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage. (Gallup)
poll/ 51% of voters support Trump’s two-year Facebook ban. Among Republicans, 15% supported the suspension, while 86% of Democrats supported Trump’s temporary ban. 46% of independent voters, however, supported the suspension with and 40% opposing it. (Politico)
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