Day 408: "A criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States."
1/ The House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection says Trump violated multiple laws in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. In a major release of its findings filed in federal court late Wednesday, the committee alleges that Trump and his allies “engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States” and that Trump himself violated multiple laws by trying to block Congress from certifying the results of the election. In 16 accompanying exhibits, the panel showcased testimony it received from key figures in Trump-world. The release of the findings is part of a legal effort to force John Eastman, a Trump attorney who played a crucial role in crafting Trump’s strategy to subvert the 2020 election, to turn over thousands of emails that the committee believes connect various elements of the scheme. Eastman says turning over the emails would violate attorney-client privilege, but the panel says Eastman’s privilege claim was potentially voided by the “crime/fraud exception,” which says communications aren’t protected if an attorney is found to be assisting their client in the commission of a crime. The committee has no authority to initiate criminal proceedings. (Politico / CNN / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News)
2/ Trump’s former Attorney General William Barr said Trump became enraged after he was told his claims of election fraud were nonsense. Barr says Trump asked him to attend a meeting in Trump’s private dining room in the White House on Dec. 1, after the Associated Pres published an interview in which Barr said there was no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. During the meeting, Trump “was asking about different theories, and I had the answers. I was able to tell him, ‘This was wrong because of this,’” Barr said. Barr says he offered to resign because Trump was “obviously getting very angry about this,” and Trump slammed his hand on the table and accepted Barr’s offer. Barr added: “And then — boom. He slapped it again. ‘Accepted. Go home. Don’t go back to your office. Go home. You’re done.’” Barr is publishing a forthcoming book about his tenure in the Trump administration. (NBC News)
3/ Biden accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of “government overreach at its worst” for investigating the parents of trans children going through the gender confirmation process. “Like so many anti-transgender attacks proliferating in states across the country,” Biden said, Abbott’s actions “callously threaten to harm children and their families just to score political points.” Biden also said his administration is taking steps to protect transgender children in Texas, including inviting families to contact the civil rights office at Health and Human Services if they’ve been “targeted by a child welfare investigation because of this discriminatory gubernatorial order.” (Washington Post)
4/ The White House imposed new sanctions against eight Russian oligarchs and members of their families. Biden said the new sanctions are in response to Russia’s escalation and indiscriminate bombing of Ukraine. Biden said the goal of the sanctions is to “maximize the impact on Putin and Russia” by maintaining “the strongest unified economic campaign on Putin in all history.” As a result of the sanctions, the individuals and their families will be cut off from the U.S. financial system and all of their assets and property in the U.S. will be frozen or blocked from use. (CNN)
poll/ 50% of American voters say they prefer Biden’s tax plan over two prominent alternative proposals from the GOP, while 19% are unsure which plan they prefer. (YouGov)
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