Day 667: "A new generation of leaders."
1/ Nancy Pelosi will not seek a Democratic leadership role in the next Congress after Republicans take control of the House. “For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” Pelosi said a day after Republicans officially won control of the House. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.” Pelosi is the first and only woman to hold the top position in the House and will continue to serve as a member of the House. “I have enjoyed working with three presidents,” Pelosi, who has served as House speaker under four different presidents, added. House Democrats are scheduled to vote on their leaders on Nov. 30. Hakeem Jeffries is considered Pelosi’s heir apparent. If elected, Jeffries would become the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress. (Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / Politico / Associated Press / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN / HuffPost)
2/ The Biden administration will ask the Supreme Court to revive its student loan debt relief program. Earlier this week, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nationwide injunction temporarily barring the program. Separately, the Justice Department is asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay a decision by a Texas judge that ruled Biden’s debt relief program was “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated.” The filing says the judge “lacked jurisdiction to enter an order.” (Politico / CNBC)
3/ The Jan. 6 committee interviewed the lead Secret Service agent in Trump’s motorcade on the day of the insurrection. Robert Engel was driving the car when Trump tried to grab the car’s steering wheel after being told he was headed back to the White House because it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol, according to former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified before the committee in June. Hutchinson said Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, had told her this story of Trump being “irate.” Pence, meanwhile, said he would not testify before the committee, because Congress “has no right to my testimony.” Pence added that it would establish a “terrible precedent for the Congress to summon a vice president of the United States to speak about deliberations that took place at the White House.” (CNN / Reuters)
4/ Michael Flynn was ordered to testify before a special grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies tried to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. In mid-December 2020, Flynn suggested that Trump “could take military capabilities,” put them in swing states, and “basically re-run an election in each of those states.” Flynn, Trump, attorney Sidney Powell, and others met at the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, to discuss “invoking martial law, seizing voting machines, and appointing Powell as special counsel to investigate the 2020 election.” Flynn must testify before the panel on Nov. 22. (NBC News)
5/ The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer testified that he committed tax crimes and that the company stopped several illegal tax practices after Trump became president. Allen Weisselberg testified that senior employees received their bonuses via 1099 income, a tax form intended for self-employed individuals, which allowed the company to avoid payroll taxes. Executives could then open tax-deferred retirement accounts that only self-employed people qualify for. In addition, the company is accused of giving executives off-the-books perks including apartments, luxury cars, and private school tuition. Weisselberg testified that he carried out the scheme for his own benefit and that the Trump family was not involved in the schemes. Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 criminal counts in August. Under the deal, he will serve five months in jail if he testifies truthfully. (Bloomberg / Politico / CNN / CBS News)
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