Day 434: "Do your job."
1/ Trump’s Jan. 6 White House records are missing seven hours and 37 minutes of phone logs. The gap, which extends from a little after 11 a.m. to about 7 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, corresponds with the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters. The lack of an official White House record also stands in contrast to public reporting about conversations Trump had during the attack, which included calls with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, Sen. Mike Lee, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has subpoenaed the phone records of more than 100 people and is now investigating whether Trump communicated that day through backchannels, including the phones of aides or “burner phones.” (Washington Post / CBS News / Associated Press / CNN)
2/ Two dozen Democratic lawmakers demanded that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “promptly recuse himself” from future cases related to the attack on the Capitol or efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The group urged Thomas to “immediately issue a written explanation for his failure to recuse himself” from such cases following reports that his wife had pressured Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to try to overturn Biden’s victory and was involved in the “Stop the Steal” movement. Thomas was the only justice to dissent in Trump’s request to block documents from being released to the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. The lawmakers also called on Chief Justice John Roberts to create “a binding Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court” that would require all justices to “issue written recusal decisions.” (Washington Post / CNBC)
3/ The Jan. 6 committee urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to criminally charge Mark Meadows for contempt of Congress, saying “the Department of Justice has a duty to act on this referral and others that we have sent.” In December, the full House voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress over his refusal to cooperate with the committee’s investigation. Adam Schiff warned that “without enforcement of congressional subpoenas, there is no oversight, and without oversight, no accountability.” Rep. Elaine Luria added: “Attorney General Garland, do your job so we can do ours.” The committee, meanwhile, voted to hold former Trump aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas. The full House is expected to vote to send both of those referrals to the Justice Department later this week. (Politico / Washington Post)
4/ The New York attorney general’s office said it has “uncovered significant evidence” suggesting that Trump “falsely and fraudulently valued” real estate assets for more than a decade. The potentially misleading valuations “and other misrepresentations” were used by the Trump Organization “to secure economic benefits, according to a court filing by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The filing was made in response to Trump, Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump appealing a Feb. 17 order requiring them to sit for depositions. James said their sworn testimony was necessary to determine if fraud occurred “and who may be responsible for any such fraud.” (CNBC / Bloomberg / Politico)
5/ Russia said it will “drastically reduce military activity” near Kyiv and northern Ukraine after Ukrainian negotiators said they had offered a peace proposal to their Russian counterparts. Russia also said it was ready to set a meeting between Putin and Zelensky once a draft peace agreement was ready. Biden, meanwhile, said he would reserve judgement on Russia’s claim that it will move forces, saying “we’ll see if they follow through on what they’re suggesting.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken added that the Kremlin’s negotiators hadn’t shown “signs of real seriousness,” saying “There is what Russia says and there is what Russia does.” (Politico / Bloomberg / ABC News / New York Times / Associated Press / NPR / NBC News / Washington Post)
6/ The FDA authorized a second booster of Pfizer and Moderna for adults 50 years and older, making more than 34 million Americans eligible for a fourth shot. The CDC, meanwhile, reported that the more contagious omicron subvariant, BA.2, is now the dominant version of Covid-19 in the U.S. The subvariant now accounts for more than 54% of cases nationally – up from 39% the previous week. (Politico / CBS News / Bloomberg / Washington Post / New York Times / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / NBC News)
poll/ 44% of Americans say they regularly wear a face mask in public – down from 65% in January. 40% say they’re avoiding nonessential travel, compared with 60% in January. And 47% say they regularly stay away from large groups – down from 65% in January. (Associated Press)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.