1/ The Georgia special grand jury investigating “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in the state by Trump and his allies has completed its work. After eight months of investigation, the special grand jury submitted its report on its findings to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who will decide whether to seek criminal indictments from a regular grand jury. While the grand jury’s recommendations were not made public, including whether criminal charges should be filed, the grand jury “voted to recommend that its report be published.” A hearing will be held on Jan. 24 to determine whether it will be made public. Willis has informed nearly 20 people that they may face criminal charges as a result of the investigation. Trump lost Georgia by less than 12,000 votes in 2020. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Associated Press / Bloomberg / CNBC)
2/ Trump and two Jan. 6 rioters were sued over the death of a U.S. Capitol Police officer. According to the lawsuit, Brian Sicknick, who was part of a police line guarding the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, was attacked with chemical spray. He suffered from two strokes and died the next day. The lawsuit claims that Trump instigated the attack by Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios, saying Sicknick’s death were “a direct and foreseeable consequence” of Trump’s “words and conduct” that day. In September, Khater and Tanios both pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement with pepper spray during the breach. The suit seeks at least $10 million in damages from each of the three defendants. (NPR)
3/ Kevin McCarthy was elected House speaker on the 15th round of voting, which followed four days of defeats, a series of concessions to ultraconservative Republicans, a confrontation with Matt Gaetz on the floor, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee being physically restrained from attacking Gaetz, and Trump calling two Republican lawmakers who refused to back McCarthy. To win the gavel, McCarthy agreed (among other things) to allow any one member to call a vote to remove him as speaker; gave the House Freedom Caucus three of the nine seats on the House Rules Committee; create a select committee on the “weaponization of the federal government”; require raising the debt ceiling to be accompanied with spending cuts; and vote individually on 12 appropriation bills, rather than one omnibus spending bill. The final tally was 216 for McCarthy and 212 for Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, and six Republicans voting “present.” Trump’s call into the chamber came on the two-year anniversary of the insurrection by his supporters to block congressional certification of Biden’s electoral win. (Politico / New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / USA Today / Axios)
4/ Newly sworn-in Congressman George Santos violated campaign finance law, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission. Santos, who has admitted to “embellishing” his biography, was accused of masking the source of his campaign’s funding, misrepresenting his campaign’s spending, and using campaign resources for personal expenses, including for an apartment rental. The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center alleged that Santos “purported to loan his campaign $705,000 during the 2022 election. But it is far from clear how he could have done so with his own funds, because financial disclosure reports indicate that Santos had only $55,000 to his name in 2020.” Dozens of expenses on Santos’ campaign finance reports are listed as costing $199.99 – one penny below the $200 threshold for which receipts or itemized details are required by the FEC. (CBS News / Washington Post / Bloomberg)
5/ The Justice Department is reviewing roughly 10 classified documents found in the office space of Biden’s vice-presidential office in Washington. Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review the classified documents, which were found on November 2 by Biden’s personal attorneys in a “locked closet” at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said the attorneys alerted the White House Counsel’s office, who notified the National Archives, which took custody of the documents the next day. Special counsel Jack Smith, meanwhile, is investigating Trump for potentially mishandling at least 325 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. (CBS News / Associated Press / CNN / Reuters)
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