Day 699: "This can never happen again."
1/ The Jan. 6 Committee formally accused Trump of inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstructing Congress’ Jan. 6 joint session, and unanimously voted to refer the crimes to the Justice Department for prosecution. “That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the committee wrote in its final report. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.” It’s the first time in American history that Congress has referred a former president for criminal prosecution. Trump was also the first president in American history to be impeached twice. In addition to Trump’s criminal referrals, the panel referred Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, and Kenneth Chesebro for prosecution. None of the committee’s referrals, however, compel the Justice Department to act. The panel also referred four Republicans – Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs – to the House Ethics Committee for ignoring the its subpoenas. “Faith in our system is the foundation of American democracy. If the faith is broken, so is our democracy,” Chairman Bennie Thompson said. “Donald Trump broke that faith. He lost the 2020 election and knew it, but he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme.” Thompson added: “This can never happen again.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / NPR)
✏️ Trump faces a week of headaches on Jan. 6 and his taxes. “The House panel investigating the Capitol attack is set to release its report and may back criminal charges against the former president, while a separate committee could decide to release his tax returns. (New York Times)
✏️ How Trump jettisoned restraints at Mar-a-Lago and prompted legal peril. “Trump transplanted the chaos and norm flouting of his White House into his post-presidential life, leading to a criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents that presents potential legal peril.” (Washington Post)
2/ The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to make six years of Trump’s tax records public. Following a three-year court fight for the tax returns – which other presidents have routinely made public since the 1970s – the committee obtained Trump’s returns from the Treasury Department last month. The tax returns cover 2015 through 2020. The panel needs a simple majority vote to release Trump’s returns, and Democrats hold 25 of the committee’s 42 seats. (NBC News / New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Bloomberg)
3/ A federal appeals court rejected an effort by 19 Republican-led states to keep a Trump-era border policy in place, which allowed border agents to expel migrants for public health reasons during the coronavirus pandemic before they could go through the asylum application process. The states, however, filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to keep Title 42 in place. More than 2.4 million people have been expelled since the policy’s implementation in 2020. The public health measure is set to expire on Wednesday after a federal judge ruled in November that the policy was illegal. (Washington Post / USA Today / CNN / Politico / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
4/ The Senate gave final approval to an $858 billion defense spending bill, which increases the Pentagon’s budget by 8%, authorizes a 4.6% pay raise for military service members, and repeals the coronavirus vaccine mandate for troops. The bill is about $45 billion more than Biden’s budget request, and roughly 10% more than last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. It now heads to Biden for his expected signature. (New York Times / USA Today / CBS News)
5/ The national average for gasoline dropped to $3.14 a gallon – the lowest since July 2021. In June, prices spiked to an all-time record of $5.02 a gallon. (CNN)
6/ Nearly half of 18-to-29-year-olds live at home with their parents – a rate not seen since the end of the Great Depression. According to a new report, the rising number of young adults living at home has been “driven by financial concerns (i.e. rental costs) as well as other sociological factors (e.g. higher penetration of higher education and increasingly delayed age for marriage).” The top reasons for living at home were a desire to save money (51%) and inability to afford rent (39%). Interest rates, meanwhile, are at a 15-year high, mortgage rates are at their highest levels since 2001, and interest rates on credit cards are at their highest level since 1985. (Quartz / Bloomberg)
poll/ 65% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track and not headed in the right direction. From a list of issues, 35% of respondents ranked inflation/the economy is their top priority. “Threats to democracy” ranked second, at 12%, and immigration third at 10%. (USA Today)
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