👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
Send your thoughts, suggestions, or complaints to:
1/ House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump on Monday for “incitement of insurrection.” A draft copy of the impeachment resolution states that Trump “has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and […] thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.” The move follows Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s earlier call for Trump to “immediately” resign for his role in a “horrific assault on our democracy,” adding “If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.” Pence, meanwhile, privately ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The House could vote on the articles of impeachment early as early as the middle of next week. More than 196 members of the House and 37 Senators have called for Trump to be removed from office. (CNN / New York Times / ABC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Axios / NBC News)
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. (CNBC)
👑 Portrait of a President: A President Increasingly Angry and Isolated. With resignations thinning the ranks around him and growing calls for his removal, president says he will depart peacefully on Jan. 20. (Wall Street Journal)
👑 Portrait of a President: The White House slips deeper into crisis in the final days of the Trump presidency. (New York Times)
2/ Nancy Pelosi spoke to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about “preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities” or accessing the nuclear codes. In a letter to her House colleagues, Pelosi said “The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.” Pelosi said Gen. Mark Milley “assured [her] that there are safeguards in place.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / NBC News)
3/ Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office opened a murder investigation into the death of a Capitol Police officer, who died after suffering injuries from the violent mob of Trump supporters at the Capitol. The investigation is being conducted jointly between the FBI and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, with cooperation from U.S. Capitol Police. (ABC News / CNN / Axios / New York Times / NBC News)
4/ Trump condemned the “heinous attack” on the Capitol that he incited and said he would leave office peacefully Jan. 20 after facing bipartisan calls for his removal and pressure from advisers to more forcefully respond to the riot, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. In his first tweet since getting temporarily blocked for egging on the violence by his supporters, Trump accepted no responsibility for the riot, but instead said: “To those who broke the law, you will pay.” The message came a day after Trump had encouraged the rioters to “go home” but ended with, “I love you.” White House counsel Pat Cipollone, meanwhile, has reportedly considered resigning after warning Trump that he risked legal exposure if he didn’t forcefully denounce the actions of his supporters who attacked the Capitol. In a separate video played at the Republican National Committee winter meeting, Trump thanked the committee members for their “loyalty.” (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / NPR)
- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned. DeVos decided resigned after learning that Pence opposed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. DeVos is the second cabinet-level official to step down. (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
5/ Surprising no one, Trump announced that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration – two days after inciting a deadly riot at the Capitol. Trump will be the first president in more than 150 years — and only the fourth in U.S. history — to skip the ceremony. Biden addressed Trump’s decision, saying “It’s a good thing, him not showing up […] One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.” (CBS News / CNBC / New York Times / Bloomberg)
- Dominion Voting Systems sued lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation, demanding more than $1.3 billion in damages for spreading “wild” and “demonstrably false” allegations. Powell pushed Trump’s attempts to overturn election. (Washington Post / NBC News)
6/ The United States set a record for daily coronavirus-related deaths for the second day in a row, topping 4,000 deaths for the first time. Nearly 20,000 people in the country have died of Covid-19 in January alone. “We believe things will get worse as we get into January,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview. (CNBC / New York Times / NPR)
😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~88,618,000; deaths: ~1,910,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~21,809,000; deaths: ~368,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
7/ The U.S. lost 140,000 jobs in December – the first net decline in payrolls since last spring’s mass layoffs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 6.7%, which is down from its high of nearly 15% in April but about double the 3.5% rate this time last year. (CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
8/ Twitter permanently suspended Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The decision came after Facebook made a similar decision to extend an initial 24 hour suspension to an indefinite one. Twitter also removed the accounts of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and other supporters of Trump who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory. (NBC News / CNBC / Axios)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.