1/ House Republicans removed Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership role because of her criticism of Trump’s repeated lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him and his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Prior to the removal of Cheney as the No. 3 House Republican over her condemnation of Trump’s election lies, Cheney delivered a defiant final speech from the House floor, calling Trump a “threat we have never seen before.” Cheney also warned that Trump “risks inciting further violence” by continuing to push his baseless claims about voter fraud that her fellow Republicans colleagues have echoed. “Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that,” Cheney said, adding: “If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person, you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.” Republicans are expected to replace Cheney with Rep. Elise Stefanik, a former moderate turned Trump loyalist who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / USA Today / Bloomberg / Axios)
2/ Trump’s acting attorney general testified that the Justice Department had “no evidence of widespread voter fraud” at the time of the Jan 6. attack on the Capitol. Jeffrey Rosen, however, declined to answer House Oversight Committee questions about whether Trump instructed him to take any action to advance the unfounded claims of election fraud. Meanwhile, Christopher Miller, who was the acting defense secretary on Jan. 6, testified about why it took hours for the National Guard to respond to the Capitol as the mob descended on the Capitol, saying he had worried that sending troops to the Capitol would contribute to perceptions of a “military coup” under Trump. (New York Times / Associated Press / NPR / Wall Street Journal)
3/ More than 100 Republicans threatened to form a third party if the Republican Party doesn’t break with Trump. The signatories, which include former ambassadors, governors, congressional members and Cabinet secretaries, called for the party to return to “principled” leadership, and reject division and conspiracy theories. The statement, which will be released Thursday and includes 13 principles that the signatories want the GOP to embrace, follows House Republicans ousting Liz Cheney. (Reuters / New York Times / NBC News)
4/ Biden’s attorney general and homeland security secretary both testified that the greatest domestic threat to the U.S. is from “those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.” Merrick Garland added that “if there has to be a hard hierarchy of things that we prioritize,” the Jan. 6 attack would be at the top because it most threatened democracy. “I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol,” Garland said, calling it “an attempt to interfere with the fundamental element of our democracy, a peaceful transfer of power.” Alejandro Mayorkas added that “the department is taking a new approach to addressing domestic violent extremism, both internally and externally.” (New York Times)
5/ House Democrats and the White House reached an agreement to allow Donald McGahn to testify before Congress about Trump’s efforts to obstruct Robert Mueller’s investigation. House Democrats subpoenaed Trump’s former White House counsel in 2019 seeking his testimony about his role as a key witness in the Mueller report about Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation. After McGahn refused to appear – at Trump’s direction – the Judiciary Committee sued. Trump’s Justice Department, which defended McGahn, argued that McGahn was “absolutely immune” from testifying before Congress about his job, which the D.C. Circuit later rejected. The deal offered no details about the testimony agreement, including McGahn whether would testify in public. (New York Times)
📌 Day 838: The White House invoked executive privilege and ordered former counsel Donald McGahn not to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to Robert Mueller’s investigation. In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, White House counsel Pat Cipollone argued that “McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties” and asked that the committee instead direct the request to the White House, “because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.” Trump has also promised to assert executive privilege to block McGahn’s testimony to the committee later this month. McGahn spent more than 30 hours speaking to Mueller’s investigators, outlining two episodes where Trump asked him to have Mueller fired, and later asking McGahn to deny news reports about that conversation. McGahn rebuffed both requests.
📌 Day 844: The White House asked Don McGahn to declare that Trump never obstructed justice. Two requests by presidential advisers show how far the White House has gone to try to push back on accusations that the president obstructed justice.
📌 Day 851: Trump instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena and skip a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
📌 Day 852: Former White House counsel Don McGahn failed to appear at hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee, following Trump’s instructions to ignore the congressional subpoena.
📌 Day 930: The House Judiciary Committee sued to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify before Congress. The Judiciary Committee claimed that McGahn is “the most important witness, other than the president,” in their investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Trump. They asked a federal judge to strike down the Trump administration’s claim that McGahn and other aides are “absolutely immune” from the committee’s subpoenas.
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.