Trump Administration, Week 207: Friday, 1 January – Thursday, 7 January 2021 (Days 1,442-1,448)



This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.


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Friday, 1 January 2021, Day 1,442:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 1 January 2021: 32 More Countries Have Found the New Covid-19 Variant First Seen in Britain. The U.S. vaccination campaign is plagued by delays, mistakes and, in one Wisconsin hospital, deliberate sabotage. The New York Times, Friday, 1 January 2021:

  • Britain authorizes mix-and-match vaccinations, but experts warn vaccines may not be interchangeable.

  • Dr. Fauci advises against the British approach of delaying a second dose of vaccine.

  • Tokyo asks for a national state of emergency, and other news around the world.

  • The New Orleans Saints’ star running back, Alvin Kamara, is placed on the N.F.L.’s Covid reserve list.

  • A Virginia state senator, Ben Chafin, has died from Covid-19-related causes.

  • Trump left town, but New Year’s festivities continued at Mar-a-Lago, indoors and without masks.

  • An inoculation ends with a marriage proposal for a South Dakota nurse.

  • N.Y.C. sheriff’s deputies break up secret New Year’s Eve parties across the city.

  • France couldn’t stop the New Year’s parties. One rave drew 2,500 people who fought off the police.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 1 January 2021: Third state identifies more-transmissible coronavirus variant as U.S. cases surpass 20 million, The Washington Post, Marisa Iati and Reis Thebault, Friday, 1 January 2021: “Florida on Thursday became the third state to identify a case of the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom, a reminder that the pandemic remains a formidable foe as infections in the United States surpass 20 million. The latest instance of the variant was found in a man in his 20s with no recent travel history, health officials said. The more-transmissible version of the virus has also been reported in California and Colorado, and experts expect it to be identified in additional states.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The virus, spreading largely unchecked in much of the country, forced most people to have quieter New Year’s Eve celebrations. No one was likely to kiss a stranger at the annual ball drop in Manhattan’s Times Square, attended by only a few hundred front-line workers.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said the United States would not follow Britain’s lead in prioritizing first doses of the vaccine, potentially delaying administration of the second dose.
  • British officials are shutting London’s primary schools and reactivating field hospitals to handle a surge of patients as the new variant spreads. The nation’s rolling average of new cases per capita has increased by 23 percent in the past week.
  • California on Friday reported 535 deaths from covid-19, the state’s single-day record, topped only by those New York set in mid-April.
  • A fired Wisconsin pharmacist was arrested Thursday on accusations of deliberately spoiling more than 500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, which is available in limited supply and being rationed for high-risk people.
  • At a vaccination clinic in West Virginia, more than 40 people were accidentally given an antibody treatment for the virus, instead of Moderna’s vaccine. The West Virginia National Guard, which is assisting with inoculations, said those people were at no risk of harm.

How Trump Tried, but Largely Failed, to Derail America’s Top Climate Report. The White House repeatedly attempted to thwart the country’s premier climate science document, one meant to steer policy for years. Scientists got in the way. The New York Times, Christopher Flavelle, Friday, 1 January 2021: “The National Climate Assessment, America’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, stands out for many reasons: Hundreds of scientists across the federal government and academia join forces to compile the best insights available on climate change. The results, released just twice a decade or so, shape years of government decisions. Now, as the clock runs down on President Trump’s time in office, the climate assessment has gained a new distinction: It is one of the few major U.S. climate initiatives that his administration tried, yet largely failed, to undermine. How the Trump White House attempted to put its mark on the report, and why those efforts stumbled, demonstrates the resilience of federal climate science despite the administration’s haphazard efforts to impede it. This article is based on interviews with nearly a dozen current and former government officials and others familiar with the process. In November, the administration removed the person responsible for the next edition of the report and replaced him with someone who has downplayed climate science, though at this point it seems to be too little, too late. But the efforts started back in 2018, when officials pushed out a top official and leaned on scientists to soften their conclusions — the scientists refused — and then later tried to bury the report, which didn’t work either.”

Continue reading Week 207, Friday, 1 January  – Thursday, 7 January 2021 (Days 1,442-1,448):

Federal Judge Dismisses Election Lawsuit Against Vice President Mike Pence. Trump’s congressional allies had hoped to give the vice president the power to reject electoral votes that were cast for Joseph R. Biden Jr. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson and Maggie Haberman, Friday, 1 January 2021: “A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit led by President Trump’s allies in Congress that aimed to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election, dealing a blow to lawmakers’ last-ditch effort to challenge President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Republican lawmakers, led by Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, lacked the proper standing to sue Mr. Pence in the matter. The lawsuit challenged the more than century-old law that governs the Electoral College process, in an attempt to expand an otherwise ceremonial role into one with the power to reject electoral votes that were cast for Mr. Biden.”

Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia Quarantines After Possible Coronavirus Exposure, NPR, Jaclyn Diaz, Friday, 1 January 2021: “Georgia Sen. David Perdue is quarantining with his wife after coming into close contact with someone that tested positive for the coronavirus, his campaign said Thursday. News of his possible exposure to the virus comes with just days to go until his state’s runoff election for his senate seat. His campaign said Perdue was notified of the exposure Thursday morning. The campaign said in a statement that, ‘Both Senator Perdue and his wife tested negative today, but following his doctor’s recommendations and in accordance with CDC guidelines, they will quarantine.’ It’s unclear for how long the senator will quarantine. He has just four days before Tuesday’s runoff elections in the state that could determine the fate of the majority party in the U.S. Senate.”

Horrified by the Blackwater Pardons. John M. Patarini, the F.B.I. agent who led the Blackwater investigation, is appalled by Trump’s pardon of men who killed innocent civilians. The New York Times, John M. Patarini, Friday, 1 January 2021: “I was the F.B.I. case agent who led the investigation of the Blackwater massacre in Baghdad. We originally went to Iraq thinking this shooting was some form of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between Blackwater guards and insurgents. After only one week, we determined that this incident was not as presented by Blackwater personnel and their State Department lackeys, but it was a massacre along the lines of My Lai in Vietnam. Three of the guards were convicted of manslaughter and one of murder.”

Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto of Defense Bill, Dealing a Legislative Blow. Republicans joined Democrats to deliver President Trump the first veto override of his presidency in the last days of his term in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Friday, 1 January 2021: “The Senate on Friday voted overwhelmingly to override President Trump’s veto of the annual military policy bill as most Republicans joined Democrats to rebuke Mr. Trump in the final days of his presidency. The 81-to-13 vote was the first time lawmakers have overridden one of Mr. Trump’s vetoes. It reflected the sweeping popularity of a measure that authorized a pay raise for the nation’s military. The margin surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to force enactment of the bill over Mr. Trump’s objections, and only seven Republicans voted to sustain the veto. The House passed the legislation on Monday in a similarly lopsided 322-to-87 vote that also mustered the two-thirds majority required.”

Virginia Judge David Bernhard Won’t Try Black Man in Courtroom Lined With White Portraits. David Bernhard, a circuit court judge, wrote in his decision that the display of portraits of white judges “is based on a non-racial principle, yet yields a racial result.” The New York Times, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Friday, 1 January 2021: “When a Black man appears in a Virginia courtroom this month to stand trial on charges of eluding the police, assaulting an officer and other crimes, he will face a scene that defendants in that room have not experienced in decades: The portraits of white judges will no longer line the walls. A judge late last month ordered the removal of the portraits ahead of Terrance Shipp Jr.’s Jan. 4 trial, ruling that the presence of the artwork, depicting judges who served in Fairfax County, could have suggested that the legal system is biased. The judge, David Bernhard of the Fairfax Circuit Court, wrote in his Dec. 20 opinion that the court was concerned the portraits might ‘serve as unintended but implicit symbols that suggest the courtroom may be a place historically administered by whites for whites,’ and that others are thus of lesser standing. ‘The display of portraits of judges in courtrooms of the Fairfax Courthouse is based on a non-racial principle, yet yields a racial result,’ he said.”


Saturday, 2 January 2020, Day 1,443:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 2 January 2020: California Begins Vaccinating Inmates, but Not at Its Hardest-Hit Prisons, The New York Times, Saturday, 2 January 2020:

  • 25 California prisons have logged more than 1,000 infections. None are in the first wave of vaccinations.

  • The Los Angeles area is hit with a Christmas coronavirus surge.

  • India approves the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and a local version as it moves to inoculate 1.3 billion people.

  • U.S. daily coronavirus cases are higher than ever, but the holidays are distorting the data.

  • As a public vaccination clinic opens in Houston, a flood of calls shuts down the health department’s phone system.

  • The U.K. tinkers with its vaccination procedures while the U.S. balks at changes.

  • Canada will require incoming international air passengers to test negative before boarding, and other news from around the world.

  • A Virginia state senator, Ben Chafin, has died from complications of Covid-19.

  • Has Africa been spared? Researchers say the numbers of cases and deaths are probably undercounted.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transfer of Power: Nancy Pelosi seeks reelection as House speaker, and new Congress to be sworn in, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the only woman to serve as speaker, is seeking reelection to the post, with the coronavirus pandemic presenting a formidable challenge to getting enough Democrats to show up Sunday and cast their ballots for the California Democrat. Democrats are poised to have the narrowest majority of either party in 20 years, beginning the session with a 222-to-211 advantage. The House meets at noon, and after the vote for speaker, members of the 117th Congress will be sworn in. Across the Capitol, Vice President Pence will administer the oath to the senators reelected on Nov. 3 and the newest members — four Republicans and two Democrats. Two runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday will decide the final contests of 2020.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • As President Trump perpetuates baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress. The effort — all but certain to fail — is dividing Republicans. ‘The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic,’ Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, warned late Saturday.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris will travel to Savannah, Ga., to campaign for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Ossoff is trying to unseat Sen. David Perdue (R) while Warnock faces Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in Tuesday’s runoff elections that will decide the Senate majority.
  • Election results are under attack. Here are the facts.

Growing number of Trump loyalists in the Senate vow to challenge Biden’s victory, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “A last-ditch effort by President Trump and his allies to overturn the election thrust Washington into chaos Saturday as a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The push to subvert the vote is all but certain to fail when Congress gathers in joint session Wednesday to count electoral college votes already certified by each state. Still, Trump is continuing to press Republican lawmakers to support his baseless claims of election fraud while calling on thousands of supporters to fill the streets of the nation’s capital on Wednesday in mass protest of his defeat.” See also, Vice President Mike Pence Welcomes Futile Bid by Republican Lawmakers to Overturn the Election, The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “Vice President Mike Pence signaled support on Saturday for a futile Republican bid to overturn the election in Congress next week, after 11 Republican senators and senators-elect said that they would vote to reject President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory when the House and Senate meet to formally certify it. The announcement by the senators — and Mr. Pence’s move to endorse it — reflected a groundswell among Republicans to defy the unambiguous results of the election and indulge President Trump’s attempts to remain in power with false claims of voting fraud. Every state in the country has certified the election results after verifying their accuracy, many following postelection audits or hand counts. Judges across the country, and a Supreme Court with a conservative majority, have rejected nearly 60 attempts by Mr. Trump and his allies to challenge the results. And neither Mr. Pence nor any of the senators who said they would vote to invalidate the election has made a specific allegation of fraud, instead offering vague suggestions that some wrongdoing might have occurred and asserting that many of their supporters believe that it has. The senators’ opposition to certifying Mr. Biden’s election will not change the outcome. But it guarantees that what would normally be a perfunctory session on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to ratify the results of the presidential election will instead become a partisan brawl, in which Republicans amplify specious claims of widespread election rigging that have been debunked and dismissed for weeks even as Mr. Trump has stoked them.” See also, Mitt Romney and other Republican senators say they will oppose an effort by their colleagues to challenge the election results, Business Insider, Kelsey Vlamis, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and Lisa Murkowski have said they will oppose an effort by their colleagues to challenge the election results. Sen. Ted Cruz is among a group of GOP senators that said they will oppose the certification of Electoral College votes on Wednesday during a joint session of Congress that is usually procedural. The effort could delay the certification of the results, but it will not change the results of the vote in any US state. In a statement Saturday, Romney said the effort ‘may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.'”

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and a cadre of other Republican senators vow not to certify Biden win without investigation of baseless voter fraud claims, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “Nearly a dozen Republican senators and senators-elect led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Saturday they will reject electors from certain states won by President-elect Joe Biden, citing unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and calling for an emergency 10-day audit of the results, an unprecedented attempt to thwart the democratic process. The senators contend they are not trying to reverse the election results, but rather give voice to those who don’t believe it was conducted fairly, despite no investigation nor court finding any evidence of wrongdoing.”

Homes of Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are vandalized after Senate fails to pass $2,000 stimulus checks, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “With spray paint, fake blood and a pig’s head, vandals defaced the homes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week after Congress adjourned at the end of 2020 without the Senate passing a House bill approving $2,000 stimulus checks. ‘WERES MY MONEY,’ an assailant wrote early Saturday morning on the front door of McConnell’s Louisville home days after the lead Republican lawmaker dubbed $2,000 stimulus checks ‘socialism for rich people.’ ‘MITCH KILLS POOR’ was scribbled on a window. Early Friday morning, San Francisco police responded to Pelosi’s home about a report of vandalism at her residence. On the garage door, ‘$2K’ was written and crossed out in spray paint, along with ‘Cancel rent!’ and ‘We want everything.’ Sitting in a pool of fake blood trailing down the driveway was a pig’s head.”

As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm, The New York Times, David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, and Julian E. Barnes, Saturday, 2 January 2021: “On Election Day, General Paul M. Nakasone, the nation’s top cyberwarrior, reported that the battle against Russian interference in the presidential campaign had posted major successes and exposed the other side’s online weapons, tools and tradecraft. ‘We’ve broadened our operations and feel very good where we’re at right now,’ he told journalists. Eight weeks later, General Nakasone and other American officials responsible for cybersecurity are now consumed by what they missed for at least nine months: a hacking, now believed to have affected upward of 250 federal agencies and businesses, that Russia aimed not at the election system but at the rest of the United States government and many large American corporations. Three weeks after the intrusion came to light, American officials are still trying to understand whether what the Russians pulled off was simply an espionage operation inside the systems of the American bureaucracy or something more sinister, inserting ‘backdoor’ access into government agencies, major corporations, the electric grid and laboratories developing and transporting new generations of nuclear weapons. At a minimum it has set off alarms about the vulnerability of government and private sector networks in the United States to attack and raised questions about how and why the nation’s cyberdefenses failed so spectacularly.”


Sunday, 3 January 2020, Day 1,444:


‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that legal scholars described as a flagrant abuse of power and a potential criminal act. The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking ‘a big risk.’ Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.” See also, Here’s the full transcript and audio of the call between Trump and Raffensperger, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner and Paulina Firozi, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “About 3 p.m. Saturday, President Trump held an hour-long call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, in which he repeatedly urged him to alter the outcome of the presidential vote in the state. He was joined on the call by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several lawyers, including longtime conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell and Georgia-based attorney Kurt Hilbert. Raffensperger was joined by his office’s general counsel, Ryan Germany, and Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. The Washington Post obtained a copy of a recording of the call. This transcript has been edited to remove the name of an individual about whom Trump makes unsubstantiated claims.” See also, Trump knows no limits as he tries to overturn the election, The Washington Post, Dan Balz, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “There are but 16 days left in President Trump’s term, but there is no doubt that he will use all of his remaining time in office to inflict as much damage as he can on democracy — with members of a now-divided Republican Party acting as enablers. That there are no limits to the lengths to which he will go in this ruinous effort was made clear from a phone call he made Saturday to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the call, Trump repeatedly urged Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to allow the secretary to recalculate the election results to show that the president, rather than President-elect Joe Biden, won the state. The call, an audio of which was obtained by The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner, was as outrageous as it was chilling. Legal experts can debate how close to the line Trump was with the telephone call. Others can speculate about the president’s current state of mind. The content of the call speaks for itself, and the audio excerpts should be heard by anyone who cares about the integrity of elections in America. Here was a desperate president alternately begging, pleading, cajoling and, yes, seeming to threaten a state official — and fellow Republican — by asking for a change in the outcome of an election that already had been recounted and then certified.” See also, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and other democrats condemn Trump’s call to Raffensperger while Republicans remain largely silent, The Washington Post, Paulina Firozi, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris and other top Democrats swiftly denounced remarks that President Trump made during an extraordinary hour-long phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state, in which the president pressures Brad Raffensperger (R) to ‘find’ votes that would overturn the results of the presidential election in the state in his favor. Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, said the conversation provides ‘irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place.’ The Washington Post obtained a recording of the call, in which the president repeatedly states that there is ‘no way I lost Georgia.’ He makes threats about vague criminal consequences and tells the secretary of state that he’s taking a ‘big risk.’ Bauer added: ‘It captures the whole disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.’ Speaking in Georgia on Sunday, Harris called Trump’s conversation a ‘baldfaced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States.'” See also, Georgia elections board member calls for probe into Trump’s call seeking to pressure Raffensperger, The Washington Post, Teo Armus, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “The only Democrat on Georgia’s state election board on Sunday called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to investigate possible civil and criminal violations committed by President Trump during a phone call over the weekend in which the president pressured Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat. David J. Worley, an Atlanta lawyer, said a transcript of the hour-long call, a recording of which was obtained by The Washington Post, amounted to ‘probable cause’ to believe that Trump had violated Georgia election code. ‘It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud,’ he said in an interview with The Post on Sunday. In his letter to Raffensperger, Worley said that ‘such an incident, splashed as it is across every local and national news outlet, cannot be ignored or brushed aside.’  Worley cited Georgia state code § 21-2-604, which makes it a crime to solicit someone else to commit election fraud. Such a violation can be punished by up to three years in prison.” See also, Trump, in Taped Call, Pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “Find’ Votes to Overturn Election, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Stephanie Saul, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “President Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to ‘find’ him enough votes to overturn the presidential election and vaguely threatened him with ‘a criminal offense’ during an hourlong telephone call on Saturday, according to an audio recording of the conversation. Mr. Trump, who has spent almost nine weeks making false conspiracy claims about his loss to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., told Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections official, that he should recalculate the vote count so Mr. Trump, not Mr. Biden, would end up winning the state’s 16 electoral votes. ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,’ Mr. Trump said during the conversation, according to a recording first obtained by The Washington Post, which published it online Sunday. The New York Times also acquired a recording of Mr. Trump’s call. The president, who will be in charge of the Justice Department for the 17 days left in his administration, hinted that Mr. Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the chief lawyer for secretary of state’s office, could be prosecuted criminally if they did not do his bidding. ‘You know what they did and you’re not reporting it,’ the president said during the call. ‘You know, that’s a criminal — that’s a criminal offense. And you know, you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. That’s a big risk.'” See also, Transcript: President Trump’s Phone Call With Georgia Election Officials, The New York Times, Sunday, 3 December 2021. See also, Trump Repeats Debunked Election Claims in Call With Georgia Official, The New York Times, Linda Qiu, Sunday, 3 December 2021. See also, From a presidential commission to Trump-nominated judges, here’s who has rebuked Trump’s voter fraud claims, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Sunday, 3 January 2021. See also, Fact-checking Trump’s call to the Georgia secretary of state, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, published on Monday, 4 January 2021: “Our colleague Amy Gardner had a terrific scoop Sunday, obtaining the audio of a one-hour call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump urged Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat in the state. Her article provided a quick summary of the various false claims that the president made in the call, but here’s a quick guide on the facts so readers can see how the president framed these statements himself. We will go through the claims, more or less in the order in which they were presented. What is clear is that the president is relying on highly dubious sources of information as he continues to contest the election results.” See also, AP Fact Check: Trump’s made-up claims of fake Georgia votes, Associated Press, Hope Yen, Jeff Amy, and Michael Balsamo, published on Monday, 4 January 2021. See also, The 37 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump’s call with the Georgia secretary of state, CNN, Chris Cillizza, published on Monday, 4 January 2021. See also, Trump Call to Georgia Official Might Violate State and Federal Law, The New York Times, Eric Lipton, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “The call by President Trump on Saturday to Georgia’s secretary of state raised the prospect that Mr. Trump may have violated laws that prohibit interference in federal or state elections, but lawyers said on Sunday that it would be difficult to pursue such a charge. The recording of the conversation between Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia, first reported by The Washington Post, led a number of election and criminal defense lawyers to conclude that by pressuring Mr. Raffensperger to ‘find’ the votes he would need to reverse the election outcome in the state, Mr. Trump either broke the law or came close to it.”

Presidential Transition Highlights: Nancy Pelosi Is Re-elected as House Speaker, The New York Times, Sunday, 3 January 2021:

  • The 117th Congress takes its place and re-elects Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

  • Trump demands in a call that a Georgia official ‘find’ votes to overturn the election.

  • Trump plans to award nation’s highest civilian honors to his most devoted defenders.

  • Former defense secretaries warn: Using the military to settle the election would be ‘unlawful’ and ‘unconstitutional.’

  • Paul Ryan condemns party members’ plot to reject Biden’s election win.

  • Perdue endorses the effort to overturn Biden’s win, and Loeffler says she’s ‘seriously looking’ at it.

  • Pence welcomes lawmakers’ push to overturn the election.

  • Asian-Americans can tip elections, but for which party?

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transfer of Power: Nancy Pelosi reelected House speaker; new Congress convenes amid surging pandemic, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Donna Cassata, Mike DeBonis, and Paul Kane, Sunday, 3 January 2020: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the only woman to serve as speaker, was reelected by a narrow margin in a closely divided House. The final vote was 216 for Pelosi and 209 for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Democrats are poised to have the slimmest House majority of either party in 20 years, beginning the session with a 222-to-211 advantage. ‘As we are sworn in today, we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced. We begin the new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty,’ said Pelosi, who spoke of the twin crises of pandemic deaths and economic loss. She then swore in members of the House. Vice President Pence had administered the oath to 32 senators earlier in the day. Shadowing the proceedings was the effort by dozens of Republicans to subvert the outcome of the election of Joe Biden as the next president, a move forcefully rejected by former House speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • As President Trump perpetuates baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal certification of Biden’s victory on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress. The effort — all but certain to fail — is dividing Republicans.
  • Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions. The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation, in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris traveled to Savannah, Ga., to campaign for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Ossoff is trying to unseat Sen. David Perdue (R), while Warnock faces Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in Tuesday’s runoff elections, which will decide the Senate majority.
  • Ryan excoriated congressional efforts to challenge Biden’s win, warning that promoting the notion of an illegitimate result strikes ‘at the foundation of our republic.’
  • Election results are under attack. Here are the facts.

All living former defense secretaries say the time to question election results has passed, The Washington Post, Dan Lamothe, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived. As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, ‘there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.’ Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.” See also, In Op-Ed, 10 Former Defense Secretaries Say Military Has No Role in Election Dispute, NPR, Jaclyn Diaz, published on Monday, 4 January 2021. See also, All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory, The Washington Post, Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gages, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry, and Donald Rumsfeld, 3 January 2021.

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, 3 January 2021: U.S. Air Travel Hits Pandemic High, Adding to Fears of Yet More Case Surges and the New Coronavirus Variant. U.S. officials are considering giving people half-doses of Moderna’s vaccine, with one saying that could double vaccinations without compromising immunity. India has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and a local version. The New York Times, Sunday, 3 January 2021:

  • A case every six seconds: The mayor of Los Angeles warns of the virus’s rapid spread in households.

  • U.S. officials consider half-doses of Moderna’s vaccine to give more people at least some immunity.

  • More Americans are receiving Covid-19 vaccinations. Many endure chaos to get them.

  • Gov. Cuomo said he would not get vaccinated before Black and Latino New Yorkers in his age group.

  • Pope Francis chides those traveling abroad to escape coronavirus lockdowns.

  • India approves the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and a local version as it moves to inoculate 1.3 billion people.

  • The 117th Congress convenes for the first time, under the shadow of the pandemic.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Dr. Anthony Fauci pushes back on Trump: Covid death numbers are ‘real.’ ‘Go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening,’ Fauci said. ‘Those are real numbers, real people, and real deaths.’ NBC News, Ben Kamisar, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s false claims that the U.S. coronavirus death toll is ‘exaggerated. The numbers are real,’ Fauci, one of the nation’s foremost infectious disease experts, said during an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘We have well over 300,000 deaths. We are averaging two- to three thousand deaths per day.'” See also, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams contradicts Trump on Covid-19 death toll, CNN Politics, Devan Cole, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Sunday said he has ‘no reason to doubt’ the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 death toll, contradicting President Donald Trump’s claim that the agency has ‘exaggerated’ its numbers. ‘From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers,’ Adams told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union’ when asked about Trump’s claim. And I think people need to be very aware that it’s not just about the deaths, as we talked about earlier,’ he added. ‘It’s about the hospitalizations, the capacity. These cases are having an impact in an array of ways and people need to understand there’s a finish line in sight, but we’ve got to keep running toward it.’ Earlier Sunday, Trump claimed on Twitter that the number of cases and deaths of the ‘China Virus is far exaggerated’ because of the CDC’s ‘ridiculous method of determination’ compared to other countries, which ‘report, purposely, very inaccurately and low.'”

The Trump administration approved faster line speeds at chicken plants. Those facilities are more likely to have covid-19 cases. The Washington Post, Kimberly Kindy, Ted Mellnik, and Arelis R. Hernández, Sunday, 3 January 2021: “The Trump administration allowed 15 poultry plants to increase slaughter line speeds during the pandemic, an action that boosts production and makes it more difficult for workers to maintain space between one another. It also appears to have hastened the spread of the coronavirus. Now the outgoing administration is rushing to finalize a rule that would make the faster line speeds permanent and expand them to dozens of other poultry plants — a move at odds with views held by President-elect Joe Biden.”


Monday, 4 January 2021, Day 1,445:


Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 4 January 2021: Virus Hammers California as Deaths and Hospitalizations Surge, The New York Times, Monday, 4 January 2021:

  • California endures more hospitalizations and deaths after its post-holiday infection surge.

  • Virus cases in U.S. jails and prisons surpass 500,000.

  • Mexico approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use.

  • In Europe, more countries delay second vaccine doses or mull plans to do so.

  • Britain reimposes a strict lockdown as hospitalizations are up 30% from last week.

  • Cuomo threatens to fine hospitals if they don’t step up the pace of vaccinations.

  • India defends the decision to approve a homegrown vaccine before trials finish.

  • A Swedish official flew to Spain after advising people to stay home, and other news from around the world.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 4 January 2021: New York reports first case of new coronavirus variant as U.K. orders third national lockdown, The Washington Post, Paulina Villegas, Hannah Knowles, Kim Bellware, Brittany Shammas, Antonia Noori Farzan, Siobhan O’Grady, Taylor Telford, Karla Adam, and Jennifer Hassan, Monday, 4 January 2021: “New York on Monday reported its first case of a U.K. variant of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious and has been reported in more than 30 countries. The news came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a third national lockdown for England amid a surging outbreak driven by the variant.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Several health experts have suggested delaying the second dose of vaccines to inoculate more people sooner.
  • Current coronavirus hospitalizations in the United States hit a new record Monday, jumping to more than 2,700 patients in one day to surpass 128,000.
  • The U.S. vaccine rollout is off to a rough start, with crashing reservation websites and elderly people camping out overnight to wait in line.
  • More than 1 million Americans are still waiting for unemployment aid.
  • It’s been one year since the first rumblings of a virus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Presidential Transition Highlights: Gabriel Sterling, a Top Election Official in Georgia, Blasts Trump for Repeating Falsehoods on Eve of Two Critical Senate Runoffs. It was like ‘Groundhog Day,’ a top election official said of once again having to debunk President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. Georgia’s two runoff races on Tuesday will determine who controls the Senate, and with it how easily President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda is realized. The New York Times, Monday, 4 January 2021:

  • ‘I wanted to scream.’ Georgia election official voices his exhaustion with Trump’s baseless fraud claims.
  • Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia says she will join the vote to overturn Biden’s electors.
  • Campaigning in Georgia on eve of runoffs, Biden warns that politicians cannot ‘seize power.’
  • The leader of the far-right Proud Boys was arrested in Washington.
  • Trump, fixated on his loss, heads to Georgia sending mixed messages.
  • Republicans splinter over effort to overturn Biden’s victory ahead of consequential vote.
  • More than 170 business executives urge Congress to certify Biden’s win.
  • The top federal prosecutor in Atlanta abruptly departed.
  • Historians condemn Trump for ‘brazenly sabotaging’ the electoral process.
  • Analysis: Trump has pressed the boundaries of tradition and the law to find any way he can to cling to power.
  • Pence visit kicks off final campaign push in Georgia.
  • Obama suggests Trump is threatening the ‘fundamental principles of our democracy’ ahead of Senate runoffs in Georgia.
  • In Georgia, Jon Ossoff warns Trump not to ‘mess with our voting rights.’
  • Georgia election officials receive requests for investigations into Trump’s call, but haven’t started any yet.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transfer of Power: Biden tells Georgia voters they have the power to decide Senate control; Trump pressures Pence to intervene in this week’s electoral college vote certification, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, and Paulina Firozi, Monday, 4 January 2021: “President-elect Joe Biden told Georgia voters they have the power to decide Senate control — and the fate of additional economic relief — at a rally Monday on the eve of a pair of Senate runoffs. President Trump held a nighttime rally during which he publicly pressured Vice President Pence to intervene in this week’s electoral college vote tally. ‘I have to tell you, I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us,’ Trump told the crowd in Dalton, Ga. ‘He’s a great guy. Because if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.’ Pence campaigned earlier Monday in the state, which Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris visited Sunday. During her swing, Harris accused Trump of a ‘baldfaced, bold abuse of power’ for calling Georgia’s secretary of state as part of Trump’s efforts to reverse the presidential election results.Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • A new Congress convened Sunday with Republicans openly divided, as several GOP senators unleashed salvos against at least a dozen Republican colleagues who are planning to challenge the results of the presidential election later this week.
  • Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that legal scholars described as a flagrant abuse of power and a potential criminal act.
  • Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager, pulled no punches during a news conference Monday as he dismissed, point by point, numerous unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, some of which Trump repeated during the call with Raffensperger.
  • Here’s where Senate Republicans stand on certifying the electoral college vote.
  • Election results are under attack: Here are the facts.

Georgia Election Official Gabriel Sterling debunked Trump’s claims of voter fraud, point by point, The New York Times, Maggie Astor, Monday, 4 January 2021: “In a searing news conference on Monday, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, systematically debunked President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. Again…. ‘It’s anti-disinformation Monday,’ Mr. Sterling said. ‘It’s whack-a-mole again, it’s Groundhog Day again, and I’m going to talk about things that I’ve talked about repeatedly for two months. I’m going to do it again one last time. I hope.’ Here is a rundown of the false claims about Georgia’s vote-counting that Mr. Trump and his lawyers made on the call and in other venues, and Mr. Sterling’s explanations of what actually happened.”

An Insurgency From Inside the Oval Office, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Monday, 4 January 2021: “President Trump’s relentless effort to overturn the result of the election that he lost has become the most serious stress test of American democracy in generations, one led not by outside revolutionaries intent on bringing down the system but by the very leader charged with defending it. In the 220 years since a defeated John Adams turned over the White House to his rival, firmly establishing the peaceful transfer of authority as a bedrock principle, no sitting president who lost an election has tried to hang onto power by rejecting the Electoral College and subverting the will of the voters — until now. It is a scenario at once utterly unthinkable and yet feared since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s tenure. The president has gone well beyond simply venting his grievances or creating a face-saving narrative to explain away a loss, as advisers privately suggested he was doing in the days after the Nov. 3 vote. Instead, he has stretched or crossed the boundaries of tradition, propriety and perhaps the law to find any way he can to cling to office beyond his term that expires in two weeks. That he is almost certain to fail and that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 does not mitigate the damage he is doing to democracy by undermining public faith in the electoral system. Mr. Trump’s hourlong telephone call over the weekend with Georgia’s chief election official, Brad Raffensperger, pressuring him to “find” enough votes to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in that state only brought into stark relief what the president has been doing for weeks. He has called the Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona to get them to intervene. He has summoned Michigan’s Republican Legislature leaders to the White House to pressure them to change their state’s results. He called the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House multiple times seeking help to reverse the outcome there.”

Two House Democrats ask FBI Director Christopher Wray to open criminal investigation into Trump after leaked phone call, NBC News, Allan Smith and Alex Moe, Monday, 4 January 2021: “A pair of House Democrats are asking FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into President Donald Trump after a leaked phone call showed him pleading with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn his state’s election. ‘As members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes,’ Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Kathleen Rice of New York wrote in a letter to Wray on Monday. ‘We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president.’ During the call, a recording of which was obtained by NBC News, Trump asked Raffensperger ‘to find’ enough votes for him to erase President-elect Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the state. ‘So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,’ Trump said. ‘Because we won the state.'”

Republicans, Fearing Trump’s Wrath, Splinter Over Trump’s Bid to Overturn the Election, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane, Monday, 4 January 2021: “Republican divisions deepened on Monday over an effort to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, as lawmakers weighed their fear of alienating President Trump and his supporters against the consequences of voting to reject a democratic election. With a Wednesday vote looming on whether to certify the election results, the last-ditch bid to deny Mr. Biden the presidency has unleashed open warfare among Republicans, leaving them scrambling to stake out a defensible stance on a test that carries heavy repercussions for their careers and their party. On Monday, as Mr. Trump ratcheted up his demands for Republicans to try to block Mr. Biden’s election, elder statesmen of the party and some rank-and-file lawmakers rushed to provide political cover for those disinclined to go along.”

National Guard is activated for D.C. protests, with more restraints than in June, officials say, The Washington Post, Julie Zauzmer, Marissa J. Lang, and Dan Lamothe, Monday, 4 January 2021: “The District has mobilized the National Guard and will have every city police officer on duty Tuesday and Wednesday to handle protests of the November presidential election, which Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said may include people looking to instigate violence. Bowser (D) has asked D.C. residents to stay away from downtown Washington on both days while members of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys, amass to falsely claim President Trump was reelected. Trump — who lost both the popular and electoral-college vote to President-elect Joe Biden — has continued to dispute the results, without evidence, and is encouraging his supporters to attend the rallies.”


Tuesday, 5 January 2021, Day 1,446:


Democrats Win One Senate Seat in Georgia; Second Race Too Close to Call. Raphael Warnock Has Won His Race, Becoming Georgia’s First Black Senator. President Trump falsely claimed that the vice president has the power to reject electors when the Electoral College vote is certified on Wednesday. The New York Times, Tuesday, 5 January 2021:

  • Warnock beats Loeffler in Georgia Senate race.

  • Warnock pledges to fight for all Georgians.

  • Pence is said to have told Trump that he does not have the power to change the election result.

  • More than 4 million votes were cast in the Georgia runoffs, surpassing the 2016 election.

  • Pennsylvania G.O.P. refuses to seat Democratic lawmaker in State Legislature.

  • Trump’s fraud claims could hurt Georgia’s Republican candidates.

  • ‘I need their votes,’ Biden says of Georgia’s Democratic Senate candidates.

  • George W. Bush will attend Biden’s inauguration, while Carter will miss it.

  • Voters endured a January chill as they headed to the polls for Georgia’s highly consequential runoffs.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Georgia Runoffs Highlights: Warnock Beats Loeffler, Dealing Blow to Republican Senate Control, The New York Times, Tuesday, 5 January 2020.

Pair of Georgia runoff races are razor close with U.S. Senate control at stake, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, Paulina Firozi, and Amy B Wang, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “Candidates are locked in close races as Georgia voters decide a pair of Senate runoffs that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the chamber in Washington. The races pit Republican David Perdue, whose Senate term expired Sunday, against Democrat Jon Ossoff; and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican appointed to an unexpired term about a year ago, against Democrat Raphael Warnock. Election Day in Georgia comes a day ahead of a joint session of Congress to certify the electoral college vote and cement President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. President Trump is pressuring Vice President Pence, who will preside over the session, to intervene in the tally.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • In Tuesday’s runoffs, 4.4 million votes were cast; that’s lower than the 68 percent turnout rate in November, but much higher than 54 percent turnout in Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election. Another way to look at it is that turnout in the runoff is 88 percent as high as in November’s presidential election, which is quite high for a runoff.
  • Exit polls showed partisans sharply divided over confidence in Georgia’s vote count as Trump repeatedly makes baseless claims about widespread voter fraud and a rigged election. The polls also showed Democrats making gains among Hispanic and Black voters.
  • Debate over Trump’s electoral grievances dominated the final full day of campaigning for the runoffs in Georgia, raising concerns among Republican strategists that his conspiracy theories would depress GOP turnout.
  • Here’s where Senate Republicans stand on certifying the electoral college vote.
  • Election results are under attack: Here are the facts.

Trump’s supporters begin arriving in Washington to protest election results, The Washington Post, Teddy Amenabar and Julie Zauzmer, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “President Trump’s supporters are arriving in Washington for rallies Wednesday to falsely assert the presidential election was stolen from Trump. Those planning to attend see the demonstrations as a last stand for Trump on the same day Congress votes to certify that President-elect Joe Biden won the election. A permit issued by the National Park Service this week indicates organizers expect about 30,000 people to attend. Trump — who lost the popular and electoral college vote — continues to dispute the results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend the rallies in the nation’s capital. Trump said on Twitter that he will speak at 11 a.m. Wednesday and praised those who were echoing his inaccurate version of events in the streets. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has asked residents to stay away from the rallies. Other pro-Trump rallies are expected in cities across the country.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Pro-Trump forums erupt with violent threats ahead of Wednesday’s rally against the 2020 election. Posters respond to Trump’s prediction of ‘wild’ day with discussion of potential bloodshed and advice on sneaking guns into D.C. The Washington Post, Craig Timberg and Drew Harwell, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “Far-right online forums are seething with references to potential violence and urging supporters of President Trump to bring guns to Wednesday’s protests in Washington — in violation of local laws — as Congress meets to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Many of the posts appear to be direct responses to Trump’s demands that his supporters pack the nation’s capital in support of his bogus claims that November’s national vote for Biden resulted from election fraud. Congress’s largely ceremonial role in confirming Biden’s victory has emerged as a catalyst for expected unrest that has D.C. police and the National Guard deploying on city streets to quell potential trouble. Talk of guns and potential violence is rife on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, the conservative social media site Parler and on, an online forum that previously operated on Reddit before the company banned it in June after years of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and calls for violence. Trump’s tweet last month pushing baseless fraud claims and promoting the ‘big protest’ on Jan. 6 — ‘Be there, will be wild!’ — has become a central rallying cry. It was the top post on Tuesday morning, and anonymous commenters saw it as a call to action: ‘We’ve got marching orders,’ the top reply said.”

Trump Says Pence Can Overturn His Loss in Congress. That’s Not How It Works. The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “President Trump on Tuesday escalated his efforts to force Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, falsely asserting that Mr. Pence had the power to unilaterally throw out electoral votes on Wednesday when Congress meets to certify the election results. But there is nothing in the Constitution or the law that explicitly gives a vice president that power, and aides close to Mr. Pence, who concede that he is facing a politically perilous moment, are convinced he will follow the normal procedures and confirm Mr. Biden’s election. Still, most agree that Wednesday promises to be a long and confusing day on Capitol Hill — and a potentially agonizing one for Mr. Pence — as Mr. Trump’s Republican allies move to challenge Mr. Biden’s victory and force at least three votes on the matter, all expected to fail.” See also, Trump leans harder on Pence to flip election results, even though he lacks that power, NBC News, Shannon Pettypiece, Monica Alba, Alex Moe, and Kristen Welker, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “President Donald Trump turned up the pressure Tuesday to enlist Vice President Mike Pence in a futile effort to reverse the presidential election and keep them in office for four more years. With a president who has excelled at remaining the focus of Washington, Pence has largely played the role of quiet support character, never publicly rebuking his boss and sticking to his script with unwavering consistency. But Trump’s effort to keep from being evicted from the White House on Jan. 20 has pushed Pence into the limelight and left him in a position that a person close to Trump said he is ‘dreading.’ Pence has a constitutional role in officially making President-elect Joe Biden the commander-in-chief. On Wednesday, he will be responsible for overseeing Congress’ count of the Electoral College votes submitted by the states. A group of Republican lawmakers have announced that they plan to object, although they are unlikely to succeed in throwing out the Biden votes.” See also, Pence faces pressure from Trump to thwart Electoral College vote, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “President Donald Trump has repeatedly raised with his faithful vice president the notion he could delay or obstruct the Electoral College certification set to occur in Congress on Wednesday, people familiar with the conversations say, setting up a test of Mike Pence’s loyalty at the culmination of his four years of service. Trump, based on arguments from a fringe set of lawyers and certain White House officials, has argued that instead of simply acting in his constitutionally-prescribed pro forma role, Pence could delay the certification beyond Wednesday and ultimately force the question of who won the election to either the House of Representatives or the Supreme Court. ‘Let them sue,’ has been the message from the group to Trump, leading him to believe he could again end up at the Supreme Court. Pence, who had lunch with Trump on Tuesday at the White House, has previously sought to explain his ceremonial role to the President in the hopes of easing pressure on himself in the lead-up to the January 6 joint session of Congress. A person close to him said Tuesday he would ‘follow the law and Constitution.'”

Fact-checking Trump’s campaign rally for the Georgia Senate races, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “President Trump’s campaign rally Monday night in Dalton, Ga., on behalf of Sen. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, whose Senate term expired Sunday, was filled with his usual collection of scores of falsehoods. [This article focuses] mostly on his election-related claims, along with a selection of statements that turn up at virtually all his recent rallies, as documented in our database of Trump’s false or misleading claims. (We are still trying to catch up, but as of Nov. 5, the count stands at 29,508 claims.)

A Federal Judge in Atlanta Denied a Last-Minute Effort by Trump to Decertify Biden’s Victory in Georgia, The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “A federal judge in Atlanta on Tuesday denied a last-minute effort by President Trump to decertify Georgia’s election results, handing the president yet another courtroom loss just one day before Congress is scheduled to bring the presidential race to an official end. The ruling from the bench by Judge Mark H. Cohen denying the emergency petition brought the number of legal defeats that Mr. Trump and his allies have suffered since Election Day to more than 60. The challenges have spanned eight states and dozens of courts, and have become more desperate as the vote in Congress on Wednesday to formally certify the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has drawn closer.” See also, Judge rejects another Trump attempt to decertify Georgia votes, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “A federal judge in Georgia denied yet another attempt by President Donald Trump to decertify its presidential election results and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Judge Mark Cohen held a hearing Tuesday morning amid fallout from Trump’s call to pressure state officials to ‘find’ votes. Trump had sued Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp on New Year’s Eve, seeking the emergency hearing on his request for an injunction.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 5 January 2020: Virus Has Recently Infected 1 in 50 in England. Scientists are studying whether Moderna’s vaccine supply can be doubled by cutting doses in half. The New York Times, Tuesday, 5 January 2021:

  • The virus has recently infected one in 50 people in England, officials say.

  • As the coronavirus rages in California, L.A. medics are told to ration oxygen.

  • Second doses have begun for the earliest U.S. vaccine recipients.

  • Scientists are studying if the Moderna vaccine supply can be doubled by cutting doses in half.

  • The W.H.O. criticizes China for not letting its experts into the country.

  • F.D.A. is questioning the accuracy of a coronavirus test Congress is using.

  • Advisers to the W.H.O. recommend sticking with Pfizer’s timetable for vaccine doses, with some exceptions.

  • Many Chicago teachers stay home to protest school reopening plans, and other news from around the U.S.

  • The head coach of the Cleveland Browns tests positive ahead of the playoff game.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 5 January 2021: Citing coronavirus, Scotland advises against potential nonessential Trump visit, The Washington Post, Paulina Villegas Antonia Noori Farzan, Marisa Iati, Taylor Telford, Brittany Shammas, Miriam Berger, and Erin Cunningham, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “The leader of Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, advised President Trump not to visit his golf course there during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, since nonessential travel to the country is limited because of the coronavirus.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Top national security agencies say hack of federal agencies ‘likely Russian in origin,’ Associated Press, Eric Tucker and Frank Bajak, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “Top national security agencies confirmed Tuesday that Russia was likely responsible for a massive hack of U.S. government departments and corporations, rejecting President Donald Trump’s claim that China might be to blame. The rare joint statement represented the U.S. government’s first formal attempt to assign responsibility for the breaches at multiple agencies and to assign a possible motive for the operation. It said the hacks appeared to be intended for ‘intelligence gathering,’ suggesting the evidence so far pointed to a Russian spying effort rather than an attempt to damage or disrupt U.S. government operations. The agencies made clear the Russian operation was ‘ongoing’ and indicated the hunt for threats was not over.” See also, Hacking ‘Likely’ Came From Russia, U.S. Intelligence Agencies Say in Belated Statement, The New York Times, David E. Sanger and Julian E. Barnes, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “American intelligence agencies formally named Russia as the “likely” source of the broad hacking of the United States government and private companies, and declared that the operation was ‘ongoing’ nearly a month after it was discovered. The statement jointly issued Tuesday by four government agencies was a clear rebuke of President Trump’s efforts, in posts on Twitter, to suggest that China was behind the hacking. Inside the intelligence agencies, there are few doubts that Russia is responsible. There has been no information gathered pointing to China, according to people briefed on the material. The statement also underscored the degree to which American intelligence agencies are still playing catch-up, after being alerted in mid-December by private security firms to the broadest and deepest penetration of American computer networks in recent times. The intelligence agencies have concluded with a high degree of confidence that Russia was responsible for the hacking, according to people briefed on the analysis. The statement is as definitive a blaming of Russia as the United States has yet made, and echoed the early statements in 2016 about the Kremlin’s interference in that year’s election. It took several additional months in that case for intelligence agencies to link the attacks back to orders given by President Vladimir V. Putin.”

Cleta Mitchell, who advised Trump on Saturday phone call, resigns from the law firm Foley & Lardner, The Washington Post, Michael Kranish, Tuesday, 5 January 2020: “Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who advised President Trump during his Saturday phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state in an effort to overturn the election, resigned on Tuesday as a partner in the Washington office of the law firm Foley & Lardner. Mitchell’s resignation came after the law firm on Monday issued a statement saying it was ‘concerned by’ her role in the call. The firm noted that as a matter of policy, its attorneys do not represent ‘any parties seeking to contest the results of the election.’ The Washington Post on Sunday published audio and a transcript of the hour-long call in which Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election results. During the call, Mitchell complained that she had not been given access to certain information from Raffensperger’s office, and Trump relied on her to an extraordinary degree during the call.”

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalizes rule to limit science behind public health safeguards, The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule to limit what research it can use to craft public health protections, a move opponents argue is aimed at crippling the agency’s ability to more aggressively regulate the nation’s air and water.” See also, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveils controversial rule that could weaken role of key scientific research, CNN Politics, Gregory Wallace, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “Some scientific findings about how pollution impacts human health may take a less prominent role when the Environmental Protection Agency develops pollution limits under a new policy released on Tuesday. The agency’s hand-picked Scientific Advisory Board also previously described the administration’s proposal as detrimental to scientific integrity. The rule directs EPA employees to put greater emphasis on ‘pivotal science for which the underlying dose-response data are available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.’ The Trump administration’s argument is that rulemaking with publicly available information that can be independently examined and verified by other scientists will ‘strengthen the transparency’ of EPA decisions. Critics say that human health studies incorporate strict patient privacy measures that are not compatible with the administration’s demands. They say, for example, that the rule means studies of how pollution impacts health and disease stand to carry lesser weight when the EPA regulates pollution.”

Trump administration seeks to undo decades-long rules on discrimination, The Washington Post, Laura Meckler and Devlin Barrett, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “The Trump administration is pushing in its final days to undo decades-long protections against discrimination, a last-ditch effort to accomplish a longtime goal of conservative legal activists. The Justice Department is seeking to change interpretation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin by recipients of federal funding. Under these rules, actions are considered discriminatory if they have a discriminatory effect, what’s known as a ‘disparate impact,’ on protected groups. Under the new version, only intentional discrimination would be prohibited.” See also, Justice Department Seeks to Pare Back Civil Rights Protections for Minorities. A late move by the Trump administration would stop enforcement of protections against discriminatory practices that have a ‘disparate impact’ on protected groups. The New York Times, Katie Benner and Erica L. Green, Tuesday, 5 January 2021: “The Trump administration has embarked on an 11th-hour bid to undo some civil rights protections for minority groups, which could have a ripple effect on women, people with disabilities and L.G.B.T. people, according to a draft document, in a change that would mark one of the most significant shifts in civil rights enforcement in generations. The Justice Department has submitted for White House approval a change to how it enforces Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits recipients of federal funding from discriminating based on race, color or national origin. The regulation covers housing programs, employers, schools, hospitals, and other organizations and programs. Under the change, the department would continue to narrowly enforce the law’s protections in cases where it could prove intentional discrimination, but no longer in instances where a policy or practice at issue had a ‘disparate impact’ on minority or other groups.”


Wednesday, 6 January 2021, Day 1,447:


Mob of Trump Loyalists, Incited by Trump, Stormed and Occupied the Capitol, Disrupting the Final Electoral Count in a Shocking Display of Violence That Shook the Core of U.S. Democracy, The New York Times, Wednesday, 6 January 2021:

  • After a day of chaos, Congress certifies Joe Biden’s election victory.

  • Lawmakers end Republicans’ effort to subvert the election in an early-morning vote.

  • ‘I thought we’d have to fight our way out’: Scenes of mayhem from the Capitol.

  • Woman who was killed during the attack was shot by the Capitol Police.

  • Trump openly condones supporters who violently stormed the Capitol, prompting Twitter to lock his account.

  • Police, under fire for their response, say they arrested at least 52 people in connection with the Capitol mayhem.

  • As the D.C. police clear the Capitol grounds, the mayor extends a public emergency.

  • White House officials resign, with more expected to follow.

  • The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media.
  • Calls for Trump’s removal grow after storming of Capitol.
  • Jim Mattis, Trump’s former defense secretary, calls out Trump for fomenting ‘mob rule.’
  • Biden calls on Trump to go on national television and ‘demand an end to this siege.’
  • An explosive device is found at the Republican National Committee, and the Democratic National Committee is evacuated.
  • Jon Ossoff wins in Georgia, ensuring Democrats will control the Senate.
  • No, there is no evidence that antifa activists stormed the Capitol.
  • Trump supporters also mobilized at state capitols.
  • 84 House Democrats call for Trump to be removed from office before his term ends.
  • Republicans across the government denounce the violence, and in some cases, Trump for encouraging it.
  • McConnell rebukes Trump for efforts to overturn the election, warning of a ‘death spiral’ of democracy.
  • Pompeo condemns violence as world leaders offer strong reactions to the scene in Washington.
  • A West Virginia state lawmaker was among those who stormed the Capitol.
  • Police response to Capitol mob is in striking contrast to protests after George Floyd killing.
  • A congressman who voted against certification tests positive for Covid-19.

Presidential Transfer of Power: Vice President Mike Pence declares Joe Biden winner of the presidential election after Congress finally counts electoral votes at the end of a violent and deadly day at the Capitol, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, Mike DeBonis, Karoun Demirjian, Amy B Wang, Colby Itkowitz, and Paulina Firozi, Wednesday, 6 January 2020: “Vice President Pence declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election at the end of a violent and deadly day at the Capitol. Pence also announced that Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) had won the vice presidency, after the Senate and House rejected Trump loyalists’ challenges to Biden’s win in Pennsylvania and Congress finally counted the electoral votes. Shortly thereafter, President Trump — who had defiantly told supporters at a rally that he would ‘never concede’ — said in a statement that ‘there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.’

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The statement, tweeted by the White House’s social media director as the president remained locked out of his own Twitter and Facebook accounts, stopped short of conceding or congratulating Biden.
  • Pro-Trump rioters forced their way through security barricades, breaking windows, climbing on rafters, ripping down U.S. flags and roaming the Senate chamber. By day’s end, four people would be dead: one from gunfire and three from medical emergencies officials have yet to explain.
  • ‘Violence never wins; freedom wins; and this is still the people’s house,’ Pence said, in rare remarks from the Senate dais. The vice president had earlier rebuffed Trump’s demands to intervene in the count.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the attack as ‘a shameful assault … on our democracy. It was anointed at the highest level of government.’
  • Congressional Democrats and some Republicans accused President Trump of inciting a ‘coup.’
  • Election results are under attack: Here are the facts.

Today’s Rampage at the Capitol, as It Happened, The New York Times, Wednesday, 6 January 2020.

US Capitol secured, 4 dead after rioters stormed the halls of Congress to block Biden’s win, CNN Politics, Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, and Peter Nickeas, Wednesday, 6 January 2020: “The US Capitol is once again secured but four people are dead — including one woman who was shot — after supporters of President Donald Trump breached one of the most iconic American buildings, engulfing the nation’s capital in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Wednesday hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers ‘traitors’ for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the chamber, where he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.”

Congress confirms Biden’s win after pro-Trump mob’s assault on Capitol, NBC News, Dareh Gregorian, Ginger Gibson, Sahil Kapur, and Phil Helsel, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Congress formally confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s election win early Thursday following the storming of the Capitol by a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters. The House and Senate reconvened overnight after they were forced to pause the official count of the Electoral College votes and flee when Trump’s followers stormed the building. The count of Biden’s 306 votes to President Donald Trump’s 232 was finished in proceedings that lasted until 3:40 a.m. Vice President Mike Pence read the totals to cap a somber end to an unforgettable day in Washington. Minutes after, Trump acknowledged the results and said ‘there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.’ In a statement released by the White House, the president again made false claims about the outcome of the election but said that this month will bring to end ‘the greatest first term in presidential history.’ Twitter had suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours after he continued to push conspiracy theories about the election following the chaos at the Capitol.”

Resuming electoral counting, McConnell condemns the mob assault on the Capitol as a ‘failed insurrection,’ The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Emily Cochrane, Eileen Sullivan, Glenn Thrush, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Jonathan Martin, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Lawmakers resumed counting Electoral College votes on Wednesday, hours after a mob of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol resulting in the death of one woman, with Vice President Mike Pence gaveling in the session and saying that Wednesday was a ‘dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,’ Mr. Pence said. ‘Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house.’ Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, promptly vowed that the Senate would finish its work Wednesday night, undeterred by ‘failed insurrection. They tried to disrupt our democracy,’ he said. ‘They failed. They failed.'” See also, The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn the Presidential Election Results, The New York Times, Karen Yourish, Larry Buchanan, and Denise Lu, Wednesday, 6 January 2021.

Woman dies after shooting in U.S. Capitol: D.C. National Guard activated after mob breaches building, The Washington Post, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “A day that began with thousands of President Trump’s supporters in Washington for demonstrations turned violent as many in attendance saw Wednesday as a last stand for Trump because Congress was set to confirm that President-elect Joe Biden won the election. Trump — who lost the popular and electoral college vote — continues to dispute the election results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend the rallies. He took the stage about noon to roaring crowds, falsely claiming he had won the election. Later at the U.S. Capitol, throngs of people pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated counting electoral college votes confirming Biden’s victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, where one person was shot and later died.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The Senate stopped its proceedings, with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) interrupted by an aide who said protesters were in the building. The House doors also were closed. In a notification, U.S. Capitol Police said no entry or exit is permitted in the buildings within the Capitol Complex. ‘Stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover,’ police said.
  • A woman was fatally shot inside the U.S. Capitol after the mob breached the building. The circumstances were not clear.
  • The entire D.C. National Guard was activated. The rapid expansion of military involvement came after D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) requested that guard members already on duty be sent to the Capitol, said a defense official and a District official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
  • In a televised speech, Biden condemned Trump for stoking the violence. ‘I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward,’ he said.
  • Bowser imposed a citywide curfew as a chaotic scene worsened at the U.S. Capitol building. From 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, Bowser said no one other than essential personnel would be allowed outdoors in the city.

‘Be There. Will Be Wild!’: Trump All but Circled the Date, The New York Times, Dan Barry and Sheera Frenkel, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “For weeks, President Trump and his supporters had been proclaiming Jan. 6, 2021, as a day of reckoning. A day to gather in Washington to ‘save America’ and ‘stop the steal’ of the election he had decisively lost, but which he still maintained — often through a toxic brew of conspiracy theories — that he had won by a landslide. And when that day came, the president rallied thousands of his supporters with an incendiary speech. Then a large mob of those supporters, many waving Trump flags and wearing Trump regalia, violently stormed the Capitol to take over the halls of government and send elected officials into hiding, fearing for their safety. But if the chaos in the Capitol shocked the country, one of the most disturbing aspects of this most disturbing day was that it could be seen coming. The president himself had all but circled it on the nation’s calendar.” See also, Trump Told the Crowd ‘You Will Never Take Back Our Country With Weakness.’ In urging his supporters to see the routine act of certifying the U.S. election results as an illegal affront against him and against them, Trump helped set in motion hours of violence and chaos. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Tuesday, 6 January 2021: “Shortly before leaving the White House on Wednesday morning for the Ellipse, where a stage had been set up for him to address supporters, President Trump had a word with Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Pence repeated what he had told Mr. Trump a day earlier: that when he went to Capitol Hill in a few hours to oversee the tallying of the electoral votes that would certify Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, he would not have the power to do what the president wanted and overturn the results. Mr. Pence was planning to release a letter soon explaining that…. With his loyal No. 2 no longer so loyal in his eyes and with Congress poised to spend the day brushing aside the protests he had nurtured about the Electoral College outcome, Mr. Trump urged his supporters to take another step…. Calling the outcome of the election ‘this egregious assault on our democracy,’ he said his supporters should ‘walk down to the Capitol. We are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,’ he continued, ‘and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them — because you will never take back our country with weakness…. Before the president took the stage, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani addressed the crowd and called for ‘trial by combat’ against the Democrats to win the election.”

The Entire Insurrection was Trump’s Show, From Beginning to End, and He’s Responsible for the Chaos It Unleashed, Bloomberg Opinion, Timothy L. O’Brien, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Donald Trump got what he wanted. He was able to give yet another rambling, ludicrous speech claiming that the presidential election was riddled with fraud and stolen from him. He told throngs of his supporters assembled in front of the White House that he loved them, and they shouted back that they loved him, too. He asked them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol so they could give Republican legislators certifying the election ‘the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.’ And they marched. When the Trumpistas reached the Capitol, they breached police lines and swarmed the building, eventually breaking windows, occupying offices, parading through hallways and storming the floor of the Senate. As the ‘Save America’ rally Trump hosted Wednesday erupted, prompting guns to be drawn inside the Capitol, reportedly leaving a woman shot dead and offering a searing image of democracy under assault, the president watched his insurrection unfold on a White House TV. He couldn’t initially bring himself to ask his seditionists to leave the Capitol. Because he was getting what he wanted.”

Trump caused the assault on the Capitol. He must be removed. The Washington Post, Editorial Board, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “President Trump’s refusal to accept his election defeat and his relentless incitement of his supporters led Wednesday to the unthinkable: an assault on the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob that overwhelmed police and drove Congress from its chambers as it was debating the counting of electoral votes. Responsibility for this act of sedition lies squarely with the president, who has shown that his continued tenure in office poses a grave threat to U.S. democracy. He should be removed. Mr. Trump encouraged the mob to gather on Wednesday, as Congress was set to convene, and to ‘be wild.’ After repeating a panoply of absurd conspiracy theories about the election, he urged the crowd to march on the Capitol. ‘We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you,’ he said. ‘You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.’ The president did not follow the mob, but instead passively watched it on television as its members tore down fences around the Capitol and overwhelmed police guarding the building. House members and senators were forced to flee. Shots were fired, and at least one person was struck and killed.”

A Mob and the Breach of Democracy: The Violent End of the Trump Era, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “So this is how it ends. The presidency of Donald John Trump, rooted from the beginning in anger, division and conspiracy-mongering, comes to a close with a violent mob storming the Capitol at the instigation of a defeated leader trying to hang onto power as if America were just another authoritarian nation. The scenes in Washington would have once been unimaginable: A rampage through the citadel of American democracy. Police officers brandishing guns in an armed standoff to defend the House chamber. Tear gas deployed in the Rotunda. Lawmakers in hiding. Extremists standing in the vice president’s spot on the Senate dais and sitting at the desk of the speaker of the House. The words used to describe it were equally alarming: Coup. Insurrection. Sedition. Suddenly the United States was being compared to a ‘banana republic’ and receiving messages of concern from other capitals. ‘American carnage,’ it turned out, was not what President Trump would stop, as he promised upon taking office, but what he wound up delivering four years later to the very building where he took the oath…. Those who warned of worst-case scenarios only to be dismissed as alarmists found some of their darkest fears realized. By day’s end, some Republicans discussed removing Mr. Trump under the 25th Amendment rather than wait two weeks for the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.”

Trump’s presidency finishes in ‘American carnage’ as rioters storm the Capitol, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “The ‘American carnage’ that Donald Trump vowed to end at the dawn of his presidency was revived in terrifying, treacherous form at its sunset Wednesday, as Trump made a fiery last stand and incited his supporters to storm and sack the U.S. Capitol as part of an attempted coup. The extraordinary anarchy that interrupted the tallying of electoral college votes in a joint session of Congress brought America’s democracy to the brink. After Trump rallied thousands of people outside the White House by demanding the results be overturned and declaring his duly elected successor ‘an illegitimate president,’ pro-Trump rioters breached police barricades, scaled walls and smashed windows to enter the Capitol. The marauders freely roamed the building’s stately halls, some carrying Confederate flags.”

Assault on democracy: Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway. This, Sen. Hawley, is what law-breaking and destruction look like. This is not a protest, but a riot. One woman who was apparently part of the pro-Trump mob was fatally shot by Capitol Police as lawmakers took cover. Some of those whose actions Trump encouraged and later condoned brought along their Confederate flags…. Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”

Capitol breach prompts urgent questions about security failures, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Aaron C. Davis, Dan Lamothe, and David A. Fahrenthold, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “The storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump’s supporters on Wednesday was a disastrous failure of security: In a city on high alert, in a building with its own 2,000-officer police department, people forced their way into the sanctums of American democracy with nothing more than flagpoles, riot shields and shoves. Nobody stopped them — and some officers were captured on video appearing to stand back as rioters streamed inside. On Wednesday, while police were still struggling to eject the last intruders from the Capitol, current and former law enforcement officials said it appeared the U.S. Capitol Police and other agencies had failed to anticipate the size and intentions of the crowd that Trump urged to march up Pennsylvania Avenue to where lawmakers were gathered. On the streets of Washington, federal law enforcement agencies and the National Guard — which had been intimidatingly visible during protests this summer following the death of George Floyd — kept a much lower profile. And at the Capitol itself, police had set out low barriers and officers were largely in street uniforms, not riot gear. All were prepared to confine a protest, but not to deter an attack, law enforcement officials said. Law enforcement experts said they were mystified by the tactics that police used once the mob was already inside the Capitol. One woman was shot and killed by Capitol police as officers tried to stop a group from penetrating the building, according to two law enforcement officials, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe security operations. But other police seemed to stand by, observing the disorder instead of stopping it: One image posted on social media showed an officer taking a selfie with one of the intruders, and a video seemed to show officers opening the security fence to let Trump supporters closer. Police did not appear to try to detain the rioters, allowing them to leave unhindered. One even held a woman’s hand to steady her on the Capitol steps.”

Kid glove treatment of pro-Trump mob contrasts with strong-arm police tactics against Black Lives Matter, The Washington Post, Robert Klemko, Kimberly Kindy, Kim Bellware, and Derek Hawkins, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “[A]ctivists across the country who spent much of 2020 facing off with law enforcement officers while protesting police brutality and racial inequality watched with a mixture of outrage and validation as the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol building during sessions of the House and Senate. For veteran social justice demonstrators, the images of men and women wearing red Trump 2020 hats and clutching American and Confederate flags walking through the Capitol largely unmolested came as shocking yet predictable evidence of their long-held suspicions that conservative, White protesters intent on violence would not be met with any of the strong-arm tactics that police brutality protesters faced.”

How a Pro-Trump Mob Stormed the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times, Larry Buchanan, Lazaro Gamio, Christina Kelso, Dmitriy Khavin, Lauren Leatherby, Alicia Parlapiano, Scott Reinhard, Anjali Singhvi, Derek Watkins, and Karen Yourish, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election came to a dangerous head on Wednesday when a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol following a rally in which Mr. Trump once again falsely claimed widespread voter fraud.” See also, Stunning Images as a Mob Storms the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times, Azi Paybarah and Brent Lewis, Wednesday, 6 January 2021. See also, Covering Pro-Trump Mobs, the News Media Became a Target, The New York Times, Tiffany Hsu and Katie Robertson, Tuesday, 6 January 2021: “Smashed cameras. Threats. The words ‘Murder the media’ scratched into a door of the Capitol. As Trump supporters rampaged on Wednesday, incited by the president’s false claims of a stolen election, they hit on a secondary target: journalists. Members of the news media who were reporting from the streets and squares of Washington were threatened and surrounded, and their colleagues inside the Capitol were forced to shelter in secure locations for hours. A video taken by William Turton, a Bloomberg News reporter, showed a crowd outside the building advancing on a camera crew, yelling, ‘Get out of here,’ and smashing equipment. Paul McLeod, a Buzzfeed News reporter, shared a photo of a noose the group had fashioned out of a camera cord and hung from a tree. Some in the mob chanted ‘CNN sucks’ as they stomped on cameras, though the equipment was labeled with stickers from The Associated Press. (A spokesman for The A.P. confirmed that its equipment had been stolen and destroyed, adding that none of its staff members had been injured.)… President Trump and his allies have fanned the flames of anti-media sentiment, regularly labeling news outlets as ‘the enemy of the people.’ On Wednesday, during an appearance on Fox News, the former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin described the events of the day as ‘mayhem,’ adding that ‘a lot of it is the media’s fault.'” See also, How pro-Trump insurrectionists broke into the U.S. Capitol, The Washington Post, The Washington Post Staff, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Hundreds of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday as Congress met to certify electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The chaotic scene unfolded on a day when thousands of President Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington to protest the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump continues to falsely assert, without evidence, that the presidential election was stolen from him. He encouraged his supporters to attend rallies contesting the election results and spoke on Wednesday moments before rioters breached the Capitol. ‘We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,’ he said shortly before the mob began moving toward the barricades.”

Trump Resisted Sending the National Guard to Quell Violent Mob at U.S. Capitol, Forbes, Joe Walsh, Tuesday, 6 January 2021: “After a mob of his supporters broke into the Capitol building on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was initially hesitant to deploy the National Guard to respond, CNN and the New York Times reported, leaving Vice President Mike Pence to make the call while Trump continued to complain on Twitter about his electoral loss.”

TV Networks Shift From Coverage of Electoral Tally to Storming of Capitol, The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, John Koblin, and Tiffany Hsu, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Preparing for a dramatic day in politics, television networks shifted quickly on Wednesday into the breaking news format usually reserved for foreign wars, natural disasters or terrorist attacks — only these events were unfolding live inside the most sacred spaces of American democracy.”

Biden Says Rioters Who Stormed the Capitol Were Domestic Terrorists and Insurrectionists, Not Protesters, The Wall Street Journal, Ken Thomas and Sabrina Siddiqui, Thursday, 7 January 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden characterized the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as domestic terrorists, referring to the violence as ‘one of the darkest days in the history of our nation. Don’t dare call them protesters,’ Mr. Biden said in remarks from Wilmington, Del. ‘They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.’ Mr. Biden blamed President Trump for inciting the violence, saying he had ‘unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of democracy.'” See also, Biden slams Capitol rioters as ‘domestic terrorists’: ‘Don’t dare call them protesters.’ Biden said police would have responded ‘very, very differently’ had the group been with Black Lives Matter. NBC News, Adam Edelman, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday slammed the supporters of President Donald Trump who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol as ‘domestic terrorists’ and emotionally lamented how the members of the mob might have been met with a far harsher law enforcement response had they been Black.”

U.S. trade group, the National Association of Manufacturers, asks Vice President Mike Pence to ‘seriously consider’ invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, CNBC, Jordan Novet, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “The head of the National Association of Manufacturers, a group representing 14,000 companies in the U.S., on Wednesday called on Vice President Mike Pence to ‘seriously consider’ invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office. The 25th Amendment states that the vice president can become acting president if he and a majority of the Cabinet declare the president no longer able to hold office. However, if the president contests that declaration, it takes two-thirds of the House and Senate to override and remove him. Two Democratic U.S. representatives worked on a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday requesting that he invoke the amendment, according to NBC News.”

Twitter and Facebook lock Trump’s accounts in confrontation over Capitol breach posts, Politico, Cristiano Lima, Wednesday, 6 January 2020: “Twitter and Facebook locked President Donald Trump’s accounts and YouTube removed one of his videos after throngs of his supporters rioted inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, marking the harshest confrontation to date between the president and the social media companies. Twitter also threatened to permanently suspend Trump from the platform if he violated its rules again — even as a chorus of Democrats, civil rights activists and others urged the company to kick him off now for stoking attacks on the legitimacy of his election loss. In a 62-second video posted on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Wednesday afternoon, Trump repeated his baseless claims that the presidential election had been ‘stolen’ while urging his supporters, who had caused the Capitol to go into lockdown by swarming the House and Senate chambers, to ‘go home.’ Twitter said it would require Trump to take down that post and two other tweets fanning his false claims about a rigged election, and that his account would remain locked until 12 hours after he did so. Trump appeared to have removed the tweets sometime Wednesday night, indicating he will regain access to his account Thursday morning, according to information provided by a Twitter spokesperson about its labeling policies.” See also, Shopify Takes Trump Organization and Campaign Stores Offline for Violating Policy Against Promoting Violence, The Wall Street Journal, Vipal Monga, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Online stores run by the Trump Organization and Trump campaign were taken offline on Thursday by Shopify Inc., an e-commerce software provider, in response to Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Visitors to and, which sold official Trump branded apparel, ‘Make America Great Again’ hats and other merchandise, were greeted with error messages on Thursday morning. A Shopify spokeswoman said President Trump violated the company’s policy, which prohibits retailers on the platform from promoting or supporting organizations or people that promote violence. ‘As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump,’ the company said. The sites were taken down Thursday morning after the company’s trust and safety team, which monitors the platform, decided Mr. Trump’s comments on Wednesday violated the policy, the spokeswoman said. Twitter and Facebook locked the president’s accounts on their social media sites after Wednesday’s events.”

Ivanka Trump urges ‘American patriots’ who were storming the Capitol to ‘stop immediately’ in now-deleted tweet, The Hill, Sarah Polus, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to urge ‘American patriots’ to halt the violence in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as pro-Trump protesters stormed the capitol in protest of a vote to certify his defeat in the 2020 election. In a now-deleted tweet, the White House adviser retweeted a message from her father, President Trump, echoing his message to demonstrators telling them to stay peaceful. ‘American Patriots – any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable,’ she wrote in the tweet. ‘The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.'”

Georgia Senate Runoff Election Highlights: Democrats Win the Senate as Jon Ossoff Defeats David Perdue, Ensuring Democrats Will Control the Senate. The victories by Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, both Democrats, solidified Georgia’s political transformation and ensured that President-elect Joe Biden will have an easier time enacting his agenda. The New York Times, Wednesday, 6 January 2020:

  • Jon Ossoff wins in Georgia, ensuring Democrats will control the Senate.

  • A pro-Trump mob storms the Capitol as Congress prepares to certify Biden’s victory.

  • ‘Welcome to the new Georgia,’ Warnock says after win.

  • Black voters and faith leaders rejoice at Warnock’s historic win: ‘I think it speaks volumes.’

  • Georgia’s governor condemns the pro-Trump mob that invaded the Capitol as ‘un-American.’

  • Biden says Georgia results show voters ‘want action.’

  • A W.N.B.A. team co-owned by Loeffler helped Warnock defeat her. What happens now?

  • The 10-year Stacey Abrams project to flip Georgia has come to fruition.

  • Obama congratulates Warnock (and Abrams).

Georgia Senate Runoff Elections: Democrats win control of U.S. Senate as Jon Ossoff defeats David Perdue in Georgia, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Brittany Shammas, Derek Hawkins, Cleve R. Wootson Jr., and Hannah Knowles, Tuesday, 6 January 2021: “Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate with victories in Georgia’s two runoff elections. Jon Ossoff defeated David Perdue (R), whose Senate term lapsed Sunday. And Raphael Warnock won his race against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Democrats’ success has abruptly shifted the outlook for Joe Biden’s presidency, giving him much stronger hopes of prevailing on ambitious legislation, sensitive nominations and possibly Supreme Court justice picks.
  • Ossoff and Warnock both lead their opponents by more than the 0.5 percentage-point threshold for a recount, powered to victory by record-breaking turnout among Black voters.
  • Their wins were overshadowed Wednesday by violence and a chaotic breakdown in the democratic process. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, where Congress was confirming Biden’s victory, and one woman was fatally shot.
  • Fulton County, Georgia’s largest, paused its vote counting on Wednesday evening amid concerns for officials’ security.
  • Ossoff and Warnock will be the first Democrats elected to the Senate from Georgia in 20 years. Here are four takeaways from the initial results.
  • Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide who has never held public office, will be the youngest newly elected Democratic senator since Joe Biden in 1973. Warnock, a pastor at the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, will be the first African American Democratic senator from a former Confederate state.

The 10-Year Stacey Abrams Project to Flip Georgia to Democrats Has Come to Fruition, The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein and Astead W. Herndon, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “As Democrats flipped both of Georgia’s Senate seats from the incumbent Republicans, credit flowed to one person broadly acknowledged as being most responsible for Georgia’s new status as a Democratic state: Stacey Abrams. Ms. Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia State House, has spent a decade building a Democratic political infrastructure in the state, first with her New Georgia Project and now with Fair Fight, the voting rights organization she founded in the wake of her losing campaign for governor in 2018.”

Black voters powered Democrats to victory in the Georgia Senate runoff, The Washington Post, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Reis Thebault, Haisten Willis, and Lenny Bronner, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Sky-high turnout among Black voters powered a pair of Democrats to Senate victories in Georgia, reshaping the balance of power in Washington as President-elect Joe Biden takes office. More than 4.5 million Georgians voted in the January runoff elections, shattering previous records and rivaling the turnout in November, when the state elected a Democrat for president for the first time since 1992. This extraordinary level of enthusiasm reflected the high-stakes nature of the contest, which determined control of the Senate and Biden’s ability to pursue an ambitious Democratic agenda.”

Biden Plans to Pick Merrick Garland as Attorney General, The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Adam Liptak, and Katie Benner, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to nominate Judge Merrick B. Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination Republicans blocked in 2016, to be attorney general, placing the task of repairing a beleaguered Justice Department in the hands of a centrist judge, according to a person familiar with the matter. Strong Republican support for Judge Garland helped secure his place in the incoming Biden administration, which greatly values bipartisan support for cabinet choices even as Democrats secured the necessary seats in the Senate to confirm all of Mr. Biden’s nominees. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said last month that he would support Judge Garland’s nomination for attorney general. Three other Republican senators — Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine — have said in the past that they would support him to run the F.B.I., citing his integrity and independence.” See also, Biden to nominate Merrick Garland as attorney general, CNN Politics, Jeff Zeleny, Kate Sullivan, and Arlette Saenz, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general, people familiar with the matter tell CNN, a long-awaited decision that moved toward completion Wednesday as it became apparent that Democrats were on the brink of winning control of the Senate.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 6 January 2021: More U.S. Pharmacies to Start Vaccinating High-Risk Groups, The New York Times, Wednesday, 6 January 2021:

  • More pharmacies will begin distributing doses to high-risk groups, and other vaccine news.

  • The U.S. has no robust national program to track the new virus variant, experts warn.

  • Arizona is facing ‘dire circumstances,’ its outbreak even worse than summer’s surge.

  • As New York’s sluggish vaccine distribution continues, de Blasio says ‘we want to go further.’

  • An outbreak on a long flight raises questions about airline safety meaures.

  • California’s governor proposes state stimulus checks to augment federal aid.

  • A C.D.C. analysis describes anaphylaxis after people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as ‘rare.’

  • The W.H.O. criticizes China for not letting its experts into the country.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 6 January 2020: Florida nursing home gave vaccine to wealthy donors; U.S. hospitalizations soar, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Erin Cunningham, Marisa Iati, Miriam Berger, and Taylor Telford, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Wealthy donors to one Florida nursing home received coronavirus vaccines that were supposed to be reserved for staff members and residents — prompting frustration and outrage as less-affluent senior citizens camp out in long lines to be immunized.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins acknowledged that the distribution of coronavirus vaccines got off to a ‘rocky beginning’ but said he wasn’t surprised.
  • Students on the campus of the University of California at San Diego can now access free, self-administered coronavirus tests at vending machines.
  • Private payrolls unexpectedly contracted in December for the first time in seven months, a signal that the economic recovery is stalling.
  • The World Bank has downgraded its global economic forecast for the coming decade, saying Tuesday that a ‘decade of growth disappointments’ could be on the way if policymakers don’t take swift action.
  • An already scaled-back Grammy Awards ceremony has been postponed because of the ‘deteriorating COVID situation’ in Los Angeles, where intensive care units are at capacity and ambulances are being told to ration oxygen.
  • The tiny island nation of Palau could be one of the first countries to vaccinate nearly its entire population against the coronavirus.

SolarWinds hackers accessed thousands of Department of Justice employees’ email accounts, Politico, Eric Geller, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “The suspected Russian hackers behind the SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign gained access to Justice Department employees’ email accounts, the department said Wednesday. ‘At this point, the number of potentially accessed [Microsoft Office] mailboxes appears limited to around 3-percent and we have no indication that any classified systems were impacted,’ DOJ spokesperson Marc Raimondi said in a statement. The department has more than 115,000 employees, which means that the hackers accessed almost 3,500 employees’ email accounts.”

Trump auctions drilling rights to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, Wednesday, 6 January 2021: “Trump administration officials auctioned off oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, capping Republicans’ decades-long quest to drill in one of the nation’s most vast unspoiled wild places. The move marks one of the most significant environmental rollbacks the president has accomplished in his term. But with lackluster oil prices and an increasing number of banks saying they would not finance Arctic energy projects, major oil companies did not try to buy the leases. That left the state agency, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, as the main bidder. The agency put up all but two of the winning bids, which went to a couple of small energy firms. The sale of 11 tracts on just over 550,000 acres netted $14.4 million, a tiny fraction of what Republicans initially predicted it would yield. Only two of the bids were competitive, so nearly all of the land sold for the minimum price of $25 an acre.”


Thursday, 7 January 2020, Day 1,448:


Democrats Threaten Impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence Won’t Act After Capitol Siege. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House could be ready to impeach President Trump again within days if the vice president did not invoke the 25th Amendment to strip his powers. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The top Democrats in Congress gave Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet a jarring ultimatum on Thursday, threatening to undertake another impeachment if they did not invoke the 25th Amendment and strip President Trump of his powers after he incited a mob of his supporters that violently overtook the Capitol. On a day when lawmakers quite literally picked up the pieces of a Capitol vandalized in the president’s name as they met to formalize his election defeat, support was rapidly building among Democrats to take drastic action to punish Mr. Trump by any means possible, despite just 13 days remaining in his term. Though they raised practical concerns, even some members of the president’s party appeared newly open to the long-shot idea, which could bar Mr. Trump from ever again holding office. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York made Mr. Pence their primary target, ratcheting up public pressure on him to use the 25th Amendment to wrest power from Mr. Trump for the remainder of his term. However, a person close to the vice president said Mr. Pence was opposed to invoking the process. By Mr. Schumer’s account, the two leaders waited on hold to speak with Mr. Pence about the matter for nearly half an hour Thursday morning, only to be told he would not come to the phone. Ms. Pelosi later indicated that they hoped for a public statement of his intentions, one way or another, within a day and would be prepared to move forward with impeachment if necessary. ‘This is urgent. This is an emergency of the highest magnitude,’ she told reporters at the Capitol, calling Mr. Trump’s actions ‘seditious’ and shaming members of the cabinet by name for not intervening. ‘While it’s only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America.'”

Presidential Transition Updates: Pressure on Trump Intensifies as Resignations Roil End of His Term. Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened to pursue impeachment if the Trump cabinet did not invoke the 25th Amendment to strip the president of his powers. Vice President Mike Pence is said to oppose the measure. Two cabinet members, Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos, resigned on Thursday. The New York Times, Thursday, 7 January 2020:

  • Pressure on Trump intensifies as resignations and criticism roil waning days of his presidency.

  • A Capitol Police officer dies from injuries sustained during the pro-Trump rampage.

  • Betsy DeVos, education secretary, is the second cabinet member to resign.

  • In a new video, Trump addresses violence at the Capitol and says ‘a new administration’ will be sworn in.

  • Senate sergeant-at-arms resigns following House’s top security official stepping down.

  • Wall Street Journal editorial board urges Trump to resign to avoid second impeachment.

  • Lawmakers fear a coronavirus outbreak after sharing close quarters in lockdown.

  • Pelosi threatens to pursue impeachment if Trump’s cabinet does not strip him of powers.

  • Pence is said to oppose invoking 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his duties.

  • Here’s what Trump’s cabinet members have said about the storming of the Capitol.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transfer of Power: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer call for Trump’s removal; Trump acknowledges new administration, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Amy B Wang, and Marisa Iati, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The top Democrats in Congress — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) — on Thursday called for President Trump’s immediate removal from office, either by his Cabinet or possibly through impeachment. ‘By inciting sedition as he did yesterday, he must be removed for office. While there’s only 13 days left, any day could be a horror show for America,’ Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill. In the evening, Trump released a two-and-a-half-minute video, calling for tempers to cool, acknowledging there will be a new administration Jan. 20 and saying he is now focused on a ‘smooth, orderly, seamless transition of power. Serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime,’ he said, a tacit acknowledgment that his presidency is over.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Members of Congress, shaken and angry following a violent assault on the Capitol by a mob of Trump’s supporters, put a final stamp on Biden’s victory early Thursday and brought an end to a historically turbulent post-election period.
  • An array of top Trump aides weighed resigning, and some senior administration officials began conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment — an extraordinary measure that would remove the president before his term expires Jan. 20.
  • Trump Cabinet members, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, resigned in response to the violent takeover of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.
  • House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant of Arms Michael Stenger resigned in wake of Capitol siege. Capitol Chief of Police Steven Sund is expected to step down on Jan. 16.
  • Biden announced federal judge Merrick B. Garland as his pick for attorney general and told him, ‘You don’t work for me,’ a reference to Trump’s politicization of the Justice Department.
  • Election results are under attack. Here are the facts.

Pelosi calls for Trump’s immediate ouster after deadly riots. Her push gives weight to a Democratic effort to remove Trump, possibly through impeachment. Politico, Sarah Ferris, Melanie Zanona, Heather Caygle, and Kyle Cheney, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called for Vice President Mike Pence to immediately initiate the removal of President Donald Trump, declaring him a seditious threat to the country who can’t be trusted to finish even the last two weeks of his term. Pelosi’s extraordinary statement, a day after Trump-inspired mobs ransacked the Capitol, lends significant weight to a mounting Democratic effort to oust Trump, either by impeaching him for the second time or pressuring Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment process.’This is urgent, this is an emergency of the highest magnitude,’ Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol, one day after Trump’s supporters stormed the complex in a deadly riot and spurred dozens of Democrats — and a tiny number of Republicans — to call for Trump’s removal. ‘Yesterday the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.'”

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to resign later this month; new Capitol fence in place for 30 days, The Washington Post, Washington Post Staff, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The secretary of the Army and the chief of D.C.’s police force acknowledged Thursday that they did not expect President Trump’s supporters to try to enter the Capitol building, despite extensive online conversations in which far-right groups publicly discussed their plans to do just that. When that breach did occur, the Capitol Police called D.C. police to help, and eventually the D.C. National Guard moved in to help. Hundreds of President Trump’s supporters who gathered in Washington to protest the election of President-elect Joe Biden stormed the U.S. Capitol in what amounted to an attempted coup that they hoped would overturn Trump’s election defeat. By the day’s end Wednesday, four people were dead: one from gunfire and three from medical emergencies.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready. ProPublica, Logan Jaffe, Lydia DePillis, Isaac Arnsdorf, and J. David McSwane, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result. ‘We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th,’ leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23. They called their Wednesday demonstration the Wild Protest, a name taken from a tweet by Trump that encouraged his supporters to take their grievances to the streets of Washington. ‘Will be wild,’ the president tweeted. Ali Alexander, the founder of the movement, encouraged people to bring tents and sleeping bags and avoid wearing masks for the event. ‘If D.C. escalates… so do we,’ Alexander wrote on Parler last week — one of scores of social media posts welcoming violence that were reviewed by ProPublica in the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s attack on the capitol. Thousands of people heeded that call. For reasons that remained unclear Wednesday night, the law enforcement authorities charged with protecting the nation’s entire legislative branch — nearly all of the 535 members of Congress gathered in a joint session, along with Vice President Mike Pence — were ill-prepared to contain the forces massed against them. On Wednesday afternoon, a thin line of U.S. Capitol Police, with only a few riot shields between them and a knot of angry protesters, engaged in hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the steps of the West Front. They struggled with a flimsy set of barricades as a mob in helmets and bulletproof vests pushed its way toward the Capitol entrance. Videos showed officers stepping aside, and sometimes taking selfies, as if to usher Trump’s supporters into the building they were supposed to guard.”

Trump Is Said to Have Discussed Pardoning Himself, The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, Thursday, 7 January 2020: “President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history. In several conversations since Election Day, Mr. Trump has told advisers that he is considering giving himself a pardon and, in other instances, asked whether he should and what the effect would be on him legally and politically, according to the two people. It was not clear whether he had broached the topic since he incited his supporters on Wednesday to march on the Capitol, where some stormed the building in a mob attack. Mr. Trump has shown signs that his level of interest in pardoning himself goes beyond idle musings. He has long maintained he has the power to pardon himself, and his polling of aides’ views is typically a sign that he is preparing to follow through on his aims. He has also become increasingly convinced that his perceived enemies will use the levers of law enforcement to target him after he leaves office.”

Prosecutors are ‘looking at all actors,’ including Trump, as charges are filed against Capitol rioters, CNN Politics, Evan Perez, Jeremy Herb, Katelyn Polantz, Kara Scannell, and Christina Carrega, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Federal investigators are looking at everyone involved in the unrest at the US Capitol on Wednesday, including the role President Donald Trump played in inciting the crowd, the acting US attorney in Washington, DC, said Thursday. Asked directly by a reporter on a press call if investigators were looking at the role Trump played at the rally, acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin said, ‘We’re looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role and, if the evidence fits the elements of the crime, they’re going to be charged.’ Law enforcement officials in Washington  are moving swiftly to bring criminal charges against rioters in Wednesday’s storming of the US Capitol, even as the Capitol Police faces serious questions about how the building was allowed to be breached in the first place.”

Donald Trump’s Final Days. The best outcome would be for Trump to resign to spare the U.S. another impeachment fight. The Wall Street Journal, The Editorial Board, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are demanding that Mr. Trump be removed from office immediately—either by the Cabinet under the 25th Amendment or new articles of impeachment. There’s partisan animus at work here, but Mr. Trump’s actions on Wednesday do raise constitutional questions that aren’t casually dismissed. In concise summary, on Wednesday the leader of the executive branch incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch. The express goal was to demand that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from enough states to deny Mr. Biden an Electoral College victory. When some in the crowd turned violent and occupied the Capitol, the President caviled and declined for far too long to call them off. When he did speak, he hedged his plea with election complaint. This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable.”

After a Day of Violence and 25th Amendment Chatter, Some of Trump’s Allies Are Jumping Ship: ‘They’re Being Told to Stay Away From Trump,’ Vanity Fair, Gabriel Sherman, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “As the violent mob incited by President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, some West Wing staffers panicked that they were possibly becoming participants in a coup to overthrow the government. ‘What do I do? Resign?’ one nervous White House staffer asked a friend on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after news broke that a woman had been shot and killed inside the Capitol. The West Wing staffer told the friend that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was urging White House officials not to speak to Trump or enable his coup attempt in any way, so they could reduce the chance they could be prosecuted for treason under the Sedition Act. ‘They’re being told to stay away from Trump,’ the friend said. The White House declined to comment. Cipollone’s purported concern that Trump was committing treason—a federal crime—illustrates the chaos and fear of Wednesday’s unprecedented events.”

Some of the military allies of the US believe Trump deliberately attempted a coup and may have had help from federal law-enforcement officials, Business Insider, Mitch Prothero, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Multiple European security officials told Insider that President Donald Trump appeared to have tacit support among US federal agencies responsible for securing the Capitol complex in Wednesday’s coup attempt. Insider is reporting this information because it illustrates the serious repercussions of Wednesday’s events: Even if they are mistaken, some among America’s international military allies are now willing to give credence to the idea that Trump deliberately tried to violently overturn an election and had help from some federal law-enforcement agents. ‘We train alongside the US federal law enforcement to handle these very matters, and it’s obvious that large parts of any successful plan were just ignored,’ one source told us.”

Biden denounces racial inequities in blasting Capitol riot, The Washington Post, Annie Linskey, Chelsea Janes, and Amy B Wang, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday denounced what he described as an unequal justice system reflected in the lenient response to the mostly White rioters who assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, suggesting a stark contrast with the treatment of racial justice demonstrators across the country last summer. ‘You can’t tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,’ Biden said in Wilmington, before beginning to hammer his fist against the lectern. ‘We all know that is true. And it is totally unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view.’ In some of his most pointed remarks to date on racial inequity, a topic he sometimes struggles to discuss despite his support from many Black voters, Biden pledged that the disparities would be addressed as he announced his Justice Department leadership team, including federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland as attorney general.”

Capitol Police response to rioters draws claims of racist double standardsNBC News, Janelle Griffith and Deon J. Hampton, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “As Americans watched Wednesday, an angry mob of mostly white people stormed the U.S. Capitol, seeming to overwhelm Capitol Police, who struggled to contain the violence. Officers yielded to the mob in some cases and allowed crowds of supporters of President Donald Trump into the halls of Congress as its members were affirming that President-elect Joe Biden had won the November election. Many people saw in the images and videos that poured out of the Capitol more than a disturbing breach of security by people who believe Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. They said they saw white privilege and double standards and questioned whether the police response would have been the same had the rioters been Black or brown people or their allies. ‘No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,’ Biden said Thursday. ‘We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.’ There were many such observations Wednesday as law enforcement officers appeared to treat pro-Trump rioters with restraint — even as they broke through barricades, windows and doors, strolled through the halls of the Capitol and posed in Senate chambers — that was not afforded to peaceful demonstrators during the protests in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere over the summer following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. By contrast, police used pepper spray, tear gas and what appeared to be rubber bullets against people protesting unprovoked police violence against African Americans near the White House in May. In one encounter, police with support from the National Guard stormed into a peaceful protest outside the White House so Trump could walk across the street, where the protesters had been assembled, to pose for photos holding a Bible in front of a church.” See also, ‘They failed the country’: Retired D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey cites ‘double standard’ in Capitol and Black Lives Matter preparedness, WTOP News, Neal Augenstein, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Retired D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey said the leadership of Capitol Police ‘not only failed themselves, they failed the Capitol, and they failed the country,’ by failing to prevent Wednesday’s takeover of ‘The People’s House’ by supporters of President Donald Trump. The lack of police preparedness was in stark contrast to racial justice protests over the summer in D.C., in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. ‘When you look at what happened over the summer, during the protests with Black Lives Matter and others, you saw cops everywhere, and they were geared up,’ said Ramsey, who was chief of the Metropolitan Police Department from 1998 through early 2007, and commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department from 2008 until his 2016 retirement. The Metropolitan Police Department is the formal name for the D.C. police.” See also, Police Failures Spur Resignations and Complaints of Double Standard, The New York Times, Shaila Dewan, Neil MacFarquhar, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Ali Watkins, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Six days before a raucous rally of President Trump’s supporters in Washington, Representative Maxine Waters anxiously grilled the chief of the Capitol Police about his preparations for various scenarios: Were the rooftops secured? Would streets be blocked off? Did he know that violent groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were vowing to stir up chaos? Ms. Waters, a California Democrat, said each of her concerns was met with a similar response from Chief Steven Sund during their hourlong call: ‘He assured me that they have everything under control, that they were on top of everything.’ They weren’t. Instead an angry mob of pro-Trump extremists swarmed the barricades around the Capitol on Wednesday, spraying chemical irritants and wielding lead pipes, injuring more than 50 officers. They battered doors, broke windows and scaled the walls, rampaging through the building as congressional leaders made desperate calls for help. The Capitol Police seemed to offer little resistance and arrested only 14 people, making it much more difficult to find and charge the rioters, according to a law enforcement official involved in coordinating the response. Chief Sund, who took over the 2,000-member Capitol Police force two years ago and whose biography lists him as an expert in ‘critical incident management,’ handed in his resignation on Thursday after pressure from congressional leaders. The sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate resigned, too.” See also, The Police’s Tepid Response to the Capitol Breach Wasn’t an Aberration, FiveThirtyEight, Maggie Koerth, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “As images from Wednesday’s riot by pro-Trump extremists at the U.S. Capitol filled our TV screens and social media feeds, one thing was notably absent: the kind of confrontation between police and protesters that we saw during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. Even though the Capitol mob was far more violent — and seditious — than the largely peaceful BLM demonstrators, police responded far less aggressively toward them than toward BLM protesters across the country. Researchers who track this sort of thing for a living say that fits a pattern.”

In a new video, Trump addresses violence at the Capitol and says ‘a new administration’ will be sworn in, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Zach Montague, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “President Trump came the closest he has so far to a concession statement on Thursday in a videotaped address from the White House, a day after he had helped steer his supporters toward the Capitol, where they rioted and took over the building. After his Twitter account was locked on Wednesday and he was unable to post for nearly 24 hours, the president said that a ‘new administration’ would be sworn in on Jan. 20 and that ‘serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime.’ He also condemned the violence that came shortly after he told his supporters to fight against the election results, falsely claimed that the vote had been stolen from him and said that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the outcome…. In his opening, Mr. Trump claimed that he ‘immediately deployed the National Guard’ to ‘expel the intruders,’ despite accounts from people familiar with the events saying he had resisted those calls and that it was, in fact, Mr. Pence who had ordered the National Guard to deploy. ‘The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,’ Mr. Trump said, a day after he had ended a video telling the rioters to ‘go home’ but ended with, ‘I love you.'” See also, After inciting mob attack, Trump retreats in rage. Then, grudgingly, he admits his loss. The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “President Trump spent more than 24 hours after instigating a mob to violently storm the Capitol trying to escape reality. Cloistered in the White House, Trump raged uncontrollably about perceived acts of betrayal. He tuned out advisers who pleaded with him to act responsibly. He was uninterested in trying to repair what he had wrought. And he continued to insist he had won the election, even as his own vice president certified the fact that he had not. Only after darkness fell in Washington on Thursday, after the Capitol had been besieged by death and destruction and a growing chorus of lawmakers had called for his immediate removal from office, did Trump grudgingly accept his fate…. This was not a concession so much as a grudging acknowledgment that his presidency would end. Trump did not talk of winners and losers, nor did he utter the word ‘concede,’ but it was the closest he seemed willing to go. Some of his advisers had pleaded with him to give this kind of speech in November, after it was clear he had lost. Those appeals only intensified this week. During his 2-minute, 41-second speech, Trump read from a script that he agreed to only after a pressure campaign from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, legal counsel Pat Cipollone and members of his family, officials said.”

Pentagon placed limits on D.C. National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests due to narrow mission, The Washington Post, Paul Sonne, Peter Hermann, and Missy Ryan, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The Pentagon placed tight limits on the D.C. National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests this week, trying to ensure the use of military force remained constrained, as the Guard carried out a narrow, unarmed mission requested by the city’s mayor to help handle traffic ahead of planned protests. In memos issued Monday and Tuesday in response to a request from the D.C. mayor, the Pentagon prohibited the District’s guardsmen from receiving ammunition or riot gear, interacting with protesters unless necessary for self-defense, sharing equipment with local law enforcement, or using Guard surveillance and air assets without the defense secretary’s explicit sign-off, according to officials familiar with the orders. The limits were established because the Guard hadn’t been asked to assist with crowd or riot control. The D.C. Guard was also told it would be allowed to deploy a quick-reaction force only as a measure of last resort, the officials said. Then the mission abruptly changed — and the Pentagon is now facing criticism from governors and local officials who say it moved too slowly to send National Guard troops to respond, a charge that its leaders denied Thursday.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Says Pentagon ‘Repeatedly Denied’ Approval to Send National Guard to Capitol, Forbes, Andrew Solender, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that the Department of Defense ‘repeatedly denied’ to authorize deployment of Maryland’s National Guard troops to help quell violence at the Capitol on Wednesday…. Federal authorities were not guarding the Capitol at the time of the attack, leaving the job to the Capitol Police, who were quickly overrun by the mob. President Trump reportedly refused initial requests to send in the National Guard, with Vice President Mike Pence ultimately interfacing with Defense Department officials and giving the order to mobilize units. Hogan, a Republican, called for President Trump’s removal in the wake of the attack. ‘I think there’s no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office,’ he said.”

Trump White House asks political staff to resign by Biden’s inauguration. The White House sent out a resignation memo Thursday, far later than other recent administrations. Politico, Megan Cassella, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The Trump administration on Thursday asked all of its political appointees to submit resignation letters by Inauguration Day, taking a step initially expected months ago that will clear the way for President-elect Joe Biden to start filling the government with his own staff as soon as he enters the White House. In a memo addressed to presidential appointees and shared with POLITICO, White House deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell asked staffers to submit a letter of resignation no later than noon on Jan. 20…. In prior administrations, White House chiefs of staff have asked for political appointees to begin preparing their resignation letters as early as October. Though it’s not a step required by law, it is standard practice.” See also, White House finally tells thousands of political appointees they have to step down, The Washington Post, Lisa Rein and Eric Yoder, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The White House on Thursday told thousands of political appointees — from ambassadors to schedulers — to resign on Inauguration Day, a formality the Trump administration had stalled for weeks as President Trump disputed the election outcome. A directive was emailed to agency heads that political appointees must resign effective Jan. 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden takes office, a White House spokesman confirmed. The order was issued by Chris Liddell, the deputy White House chief of staff who has been leading transition arrangements with the Biden team, and was first reported by Politico.” See also, After Delays and Tumult, Trump Tells Political Appointees to Submit Resignations.  Until Thursday, the White House had still not told its political appointees to step down, a routine request to smooth presidential transitions that usually happens within weeks of an election. New York Times, Lara Jakes and Michael D. Shear, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “The White House formally asked for the resignations of its ambassadors and other political appointees on Thursday as a wave of senior officials announced their departure from the government after President Trump incited supporters who had assaulted the Capitol a day earlier. The storming of the Capitol to disrupt the official Electoral College tally on Wednesday sent shock waves across the United States and around the world, and prompted Mr. Trump to promise early Thursday that he would ensure an “orderly transition” to the administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Hours after Mr. Trump conceded the reality of Mr. Biden’s victory, the White House issued a demand for the resignations of most of the estimated 4,000 political appointees working in the Trump administration, including cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and other policy advisers. That normally routine step for presidential administrations is usually issued within a few weeks of the election; the latest in recent times was in December 2008, near the end of President George W. Bush’s term.”

Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. The move follows temporary bans of Trump’s accounts by both Twitter and Facebook. The Washington Post, Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the social media giant is banning President Trump indefinitely, marking a dramatic escalation of the conflict between Silicon Valley and the White House after Trump weaponized the Web to help stoke a riot at the U.S. Capitol. ‘We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,’ Zuckerberg wrote. ‘Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.'”

Trump barred Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, from the Whitehouse after Pence refused to attempt to overturn the election, Business Insider, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, was barred from the White House on Wednesday after President Donald Trump criticized Pence for refusing to attempt to overturn the election, Bloomberg journalists first reported. Short said Trump barred him from the grounds because the president was ‘blaming’ him for advice he gave to Pence, according to the RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Wegmann.”

Simon & Shuster Cancels Plans for Senator Hawley’s Book, The New York Times, Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Simon & Schuster said on Thursday that it would cancel the publication of an upcoming book by Senator Josh Hawley, one of several members of Congress who tried to overturn the results of the presidential election. Mr. Hawley, a Missouri Republican and Trump ally, has been criticized for challenging the results and accused of helping incite the mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. His book, ‘The Tyranny of Big Tech,’ was scheduled to be published in June. ‘We did not come to this decision lightly,’ Simon & Schuster said in a statement. ‘As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.’ In a statement posted to Twitter, Mr. Hawley said that the cancellation of his book was an affront to the First Amendment. ‘This could not be more Orwellian,’ he said. ‘Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.'”

Senate aides rescued boxes containing the electoral votes as a mob besieged the Capitol. Without them, Congress may not have been able to affirm Biden’s win as quickly. Business Insider, Aylin Woodward, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol on Wednesday, forcing members of Congress to evacuate the building at 2:30 p.m. local time. Congress was in the middle of a congressional joint session to count electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. Federal law dictates that sealed certificates of each state’s electoral votes — which were cast December 14 — are transported to the Congressional chamber in ceremonial, 18-inch by 10-inch mahogany boxes lined with leather. As they evacuated, Congressional aides grabbed the boxes, rescuing them from possible harm or vandalism. ‘If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob,’ Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon tweeted.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall leads nonprofit that helped organize march at Capitol, Alabama PoliticalReporter, Eddie Burkhalter, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall plays a critical role in the group that helped organize the protest and rally that preceded the riots, attack and attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Marshall leads the Republican Attorneys General Association’s dark-money nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund, which is listed as a participating organization for the March to Save America on the march’s website, as are the groups Stop the Steal, Tea Party Patriots and Turning Point Action. The website is now down, but archived versions show RLDF as a participating group.”

Inside a Harrowing Day at the Capitol: ‘Senate Being Locked Down’. Three New York Times journalists were at the Capitol when it was breached. Here’s how they experienced it. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Erin Schaff, and Emily Cochrane, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “Erin Schaff, staff photographer: I took a bunch of photos and then went to the ceremonial doors to the Rotunda, where a single police officer guarded the door against a throng of hundreds outside. The mob massed together and rushed the officer, forcing open the door, and people flooded in. I ran upstairs to be out of the way of the crowd, and to get a better vantage point to document what was happening. Suddenly, two or three men in black surrounded me and demanded to know who I worked for. Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry. They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away…. I knew I needed to find a place to hide. I didn’t know where I could go since I no longer had my congressional credentials. I ran to the third floor, opened the first door I saw and hid in a hallway. I called my husband, who told me to stay calm and find a safer spot. But then the police found me. I told them that I was a photojournalist and that my pass had been stolen, but they didn’t believe me. They drew their guns, pointed them and yelled at me to get down on my hands and knees. As I lay on the ground, two other photojournalists came into the hall and started shouting ‘She’s a journalist!'”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 7 January 2021: ‘Things Will Get Worse,’ Fauci Warns, as U.S. Hits a New Daily Death Record, The New York Times, Thursday, 7 January 2021:

  • As U.S. tops 4,000 deaths in a day, a record, Fauci warns that January will get harder.

  • France vows to speed up vaccinations as it warns that restrictions will remain in place for now.

  • Top officials in New York clash over where police personnel stand in the vaccine line.

  • Rapid virus testing will ramp up in the U.S., as F.D.A. approved three new at-home kits.

  • Experts say the Capitol Hill riot was probably a super-spreader event.

  • Israel reaches a deal with Pfizer for enough vaccine to inoculate all its population over 16 by the end of March.

  • More states are detecting the highly contagious virus variant.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

U.S. records its deadliest day of the pandemic while eyes are fixed on mob storming the Capitol, The Washington Post, Paulina Firozi, Jacqueline Dupree, and Meryl Kornfield, Thursday, 7 January 2021: “After angry rioters and supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a last stand for the outgoing president, the United States has tallied its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic for the second straight day. On Thursday, more than 4,000 people died of covid-19 in the United States, the first time the toll has exceeded that milestone, following a record day Wednesday of 3,915 deaths. The pandemic has now claimed more than 363,000 lives in the United States. More than 265,000 new coronavirus cases were reported, the second-highest count in a day according to a Washington Post analysis. More than 132,000 people are battling covid-19 in hospital beds, the most the nation’s health-care system has taken on.”