⚖️ Trump’s Second Senate Impeachment Trial: Day 3.
What happened today? The House impeachment managers prosecuting Trump rested their case, saying that if Trump is not convicted, it sets “a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct.” The managers used their final day of arguments to show how the insurrectionists – using his specific words – carried out the attack on the Capitol at Trump’s direction, warning that Trump could incite more violence if not convicted. The managers also focused on Trump’s history of celebrating violence and his lack of remorse following the Jan. 6 insurrection to demonstrate why he should be convicted and barred from holding federal office again. “Senators, America, we need to exercise our common sense about what happened,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, said in his final arguments. “Let’s not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers’ theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country.”
What’s next? Trump’s defense team will begin their arguments tomorrow against conviction. Trump’s defense is not expected to use all 16 hours of their allotted time for presentations and instead plans finish its arguments in the Senate’s impeachment trial by Friday night. A verdict could come as early as the weekend. Democrats are looking for at least 17 Senate Republicans to join them in voting to convict Trump.
✏️ News and notes:
Sen. Tommy Tuberville told Trump on Jan. 6 that Pence had been evacuated from the chamber before rioters reached Senate. Pence was removed from the Senate at 2:14 p.m., according to video footage from that day. Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m. that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” Meanwhile, Trump reportedly has not expressed remorse for putting Pence in that situation. (Politico / HuffPost)
The Justice Department said a leader of the Oath Keepers paramilitary group waited for Trump’s direction before the siege on the Capitol. The Justice Department filing says Jessica Watkins was “concern[ed] about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, ‘I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it’s not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can’t trust it.’ Watkins had perceived her desired signal by the end of December.” (CNN / New York Times)
A federal judge ordered a Proud Boy charged in the Capitol riot to be held without bond. Dominic Pezzola told a court that he was duped by Trump’s “deception” and “acted out of the delusional belief” that he was responding patriotically. (Politico)
1/ The Biden administration secured deals for another 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, increasing available supply by 50%. Biden promised last month to purchase an additional 200 million doses — 100 million from Pfizer and 100 million from Moderna. The additional doses are expected to be delivered and available this summer. (Washington Post)
2/ Biden rescinded Trump’s national emergency declaration over the U.S.-Mexico border. In Feb. 2019, Trump used the emergency proclomation to redirect billions of dollars for construction of a wall along the southern border. (Axios / USA Today)
3/ Senior Justice Department officials in 2020 repeatedly tried to block a search warrant for Rudy Giuliani’s records related to his activities in Ukraine. While career Justice Department officials supported the search warrant – about whether Giuliani had illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs who had helped him look for dirt on Biden in 2019 – political appointees raised concerns that the warrant would be issued too close to the election. The prosecutors tried again after the election, but political appointees at the Justice Department wouldn’t approve the warrant because Trump was still contesting the election, which was being led by Giuliani. (New York Times / CNN)
report/ Roughly 40% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. could have been prevented if the nation’s average death rate matched other industrialized nations. The Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era report faulted Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to Covid-19 for the death rate, saying his actions “caused a lot of citizens to fail to take it seriously and interfered with the kind of coordinated response they have been able to use in a lot of countries that are more successful than the U.S. in controlling the epidemic.” The report also said Trump weakening of the Affordable Care Act caused 2.3 million more Americans to become uninsured, which does not include those who lost health coverage during the pandemic. [Editor’s note: It’s important to highlight that the nation’s poor health outcomes can be traced back to more than four decades of health, economic, and social policies – not just Trump’s response to the pandemic.] (USA Today)
poll/ 66% of Republicans still believe Biden’s election was not legitimate. Overall, 65% of Americans view Biden’s 2020 victory as legitimate. (New York Times)
poll/ 39% of Republicans agreed that violence may be necessary to achieve political goals, while 31% of independents, and 17% of Democrats support taking violent actions if elected leaders do not defend the country. (NPR)
poll/ 29% of Republicans believe the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory that a group of government officials secretly worked to undermine the Trump administration. (Religion News Service)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.