Day 447: "We control them all."
1/ The Jan. 6 committee reportedly has enough evidence to refer Trump for criminal charges, but it’s concerned that making a referral to the Justice Department would politicize the investigation. While the panel plans to issue a detailed report of its findings, members and aides said they’re reluctant to support a criminal referral because it would create the impression that Democrats had asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney, however, added that “there’s not really a dispute on the committee” that Trump and a number of people around him knew their actions were “unlawful” but “did it anyway.” She said the committee has “not made a decision” regarding a referral. (New York Times / CNN / NBC News / The Guardian)
2/ Trump Jr. texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows ideas for overturning the 2020 election before it was called. On November 5 – two days after the 2020 election – Trump Jr. texted Meadows: “This is what we need to do please read it and please get it to everyone that needs to see it because I’m not sure we’re doing it,” adding: “It’s very simple […] We have multiple paths We control them all.” The text messages outlined strategies the Trump team went on to pursue, including disseminating lies about election fraud and pressuring state and federal officials from certifying their results. Biden was declared the winner of the election two days later on November 7. (CNN / The Guardian)
3/ A leader of the Proud Boys pleaded guilty to two felony charges and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department. Charles Donohoe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting an officer. He faces more than seven years in prison. (CNN / Washington Post)
4/ Philadelphia reinstated its citywide indoor mask mandate after a 50% increase in Covid-19 cases in the past 10 days. The order, which takes effect April 18, makes Philadelphia the first major U.S. city to reinstate an indoor masking, and comes just over a month after it was officially lifted. (New York Times / Bloomberg / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
5/ Biden announced a new federal rule to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more like regular guns, including requiring serial numbers and background checks for purchase. The new rule expands the definition of a “firearm” to cover “buy build shoot” kits that people can buy online or from a firearm dealer and assemble themselves. About 20,000 suspected ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement last year during criminal investigations. Biden also said he was nominating Steve Dettelbach to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2015. (NPR / NBC News / ABC News / Washington Post)
6/ The White House warned that the Labor Department’s consumer price index report will show that inflation is “extraordinarily elevated.” Jen Psaki said the previous report — which showed prices rising 7.9% over the last 12 months in February – doesn’t reflect the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on oil and gas prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue its March update to the consumer price index on Tuesday. Biden’s top economic adviser, meanwhile, said that while the U.S. economy is “facing a lot of uncertainty, we are facing rocky waters,” the U.S. is “probably better positioned than any other major economy to navigate effectively through them.” (CNBC / Bloomberg / Axios)
poll/ 71% of Americans blame Putin for the recent increase in gas prices, while 68% blame oil companies, and 51% blame Biden. (ABC News)
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