Aftermath of the Trump Administration, January 2022


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues to wind down. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!


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Saturday, 1 January 2022:


Every Day Is January 6 Now, The New York Times, The Editorial Board, Saturday, 1 January 2022: “One year after the smoke and broken glass, the mock gallows and the very real bloodshed of that awful day, it is tempting to look back and imagine that we can, in fact, simply look back. To imagine that what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 — a deadly riot at the seat of American government, incited by a defeated president amid a last-ditch effort to thwart the transfer of power to his successor — was horrifying but that it is in the past and that we as a nation have moved on. This is an understandable impulse. After four years of chaos, cruelty and incompetence, culminating in a pandemic and the once-unthinkable trauma of Jan. 6, most Americans were desperate for some peace and quiet. On the surface, we have achieved that. Our political life seems more or less normal these days, as the president pardons turkeys and Congress quarrels over spending bills. But peel back a layer, and things are far from normal. Jan. 6 is not in the past; it is every day. It is regular citizens who threaten election officials and other public servants, who ask, “When can we use the guns?” and who vow to murder politicians who dare to vote their conscience. It is Republican lawmakers scrambling to make it harder for people to vote and easier to subvert their will if they do. It is Donald Trump who continues to stoke the flames of conflict with his rampant lies and limitless resentments and whose twisted version of reality still dominates one of the nation’s two major political parties. In short, the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends. No self-governing society can survive such a threat by denying that it exists. Rather, survival depends on looking back and forward at the same time. Truly grappling with the threat ahead means taking full account of the terror of that day a year ago. Thanks largely to the dogged work of a bipartisan committee in the House of Representatives, this reckoning is underway. We know now that the violence and mayhem broadcast live around the world was only the most visible and visceral part of the effort to overturn the election. The effort extended all the way into the Oval Office, where Mr. Trump and his allies plotted a constitutional self-coup.”


Sunday, 2 January 2022:


Republican Liz Cheney calls Trump ‘clearly unfit for future office,’ ABC News, Lucien Bruggeman, Sunday, 2 January 2022: “Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., the top Republican on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, said former President Donald Trump is ‘clearly unfit for future office [and] clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again. He crossed lines no American president has ever crossed before,’ she said in an interview with ‘This Week’ anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. ‘When a president refuses to tell the mob to stop, when he refuses to defend any of the coordinate branches of government, he cannot be trusted.’ The Wyoming Republican said her party has a ‘particular duty’ to not only reject the events of Jan. 6, but ‘to make sure that Donald Trump is not our nominee, and that he’s never anywhere close to the reins of power ever again.’… As the one-year anniversary of the Capitol siege nears, the House select committee’s sprawling probe is in full swing. In the past six months, the panel has interviewed more than 300 people, issued more than 50 subpoenas and obtained tens of thousands of records. Cheney said the panel’s substantial efforts have already garnered important findings regarding Trump’s actions that day. ‘The committee has firsthand testimony now that [Trump] was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television,’ she said. She went on to add, ‘We have firsthand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence. He could have told them to stand down. He could have told them to go home – and he failed to do so,’ Cheney continued. ‘It’s hard to imagine a more significant and more serious dereliction of duty than that.’ ‘Is his failure to make that statement criminal negligence?’ Stephanopoulos asked. Cheney replied that there are several ‘potential criminal statutes at issue here.'” See also, Liz Cheney says the House committee investigating the January 6 violent attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters has ‘firsthand testimony that Ivanka asked Trump to intervene during the insurrection, CNN Politics, Daniella Diaz and Devan Cole, Dunday, 2 January 2022: “Members of the House select committee investigating January 6 said Sunday that they have critical testimony about communications to former President Donald Trump on the day of the deadly attack. Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee and one of its two Republican members, told ABC News that the panel has ‘firsthand testimony’ that during the attack, Trump’s daughter and then-senior adviser Ivanka Trump asked him to intervene. And Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told CNN the panel has ‘significant testimony’ that the White House ‘had been told to do something.'”

Twitter ‘permanently suspends Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account. Greene’s account was suspended over ‘repeated violations’ of Twitter’s Covid-19 misinformation policy, the company said. NBC News, Doha Madani, Sunday, 2 January 2022: “Twitter suspended a personal account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for ‘repeated violations’ of its Covid misinformation policy, the company said Sunday. ‘We permanently suspended the account you referenced (@mtgreenee) for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,’ Twitter said in a statement.We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy.’ Greene appears to still have access to her professional account, @RepMTG. Twitter did not say what was tweeted to earn what it calls a permanent suspension…. ‘Twitter implemented a strike system for violations in March. A single strike might not incur an action, but the company will place locks on accounts that repeatedly violate the policy. Five or more strikes result in a ‘permanent suspension,’ according to the company’s website. Greene was suspended multiple times last year for violations of the policies.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, January 2022:

Monday, 3 January 2022:


Democrats Set Timetable to Change Rules for Stalled Voting Rights Bills. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would act by January 17 to try to force through the measures if Republicans refused to drop their opposition. The New York Times, Carl Hulse and Emily Cochrane, Monday, 3 January 2022: “Democrats plan to intensify their push to enact new voting rights protections in the coming days, hoping to persuade holdouts in their ranks to embrace fundamental changes to Senate rules that would allow them to force through the stalled measures over Republican opposition. In a letter to his colleagues on Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, pointed to two emotionally charged observances this month to make his case that action on the issue could not wait. He argued that the approaching first anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by rioters seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election reinforced the need for new legislation to offset voting restrictions being imposed by Republicans in states around the country. And Mr. Schumer said that Democrats would give Republicans until the Jan. 17 observance of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to drop their opposition to debate and votes on the issue, or face the prospect of overhauling Senate filibuster rules that allow the minority to thwart legislation that has majority support. ‘Make no mistake about it,’ Mr. Schumer wrote, ‘this week Senate Democrats will make clear that what happened on Jan. 6 and the one-sided, partisan actions being taken by Republican-led state legislatures across the country are directly linked, and we can and must take strong action to stop this antidemocratic march.’ The message appeared aimed as much at a pair of key Democrats as at Republicans, who have shown no willingness to allow the bills to advance. Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have resisted any attempt to muscle through a rules change, leaving Democrats short of the minimum 50 votes that would be required in the evenly divided Senate. Mr. Schumer and a handful of more moderate Democrats have been meeting with the two to make the case for changes that would allow the election measures to advance without an outright abolition of the filibuster, which can only be overcome with 60 votes.” See also, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Senate will vote by January 17 on changing rules if Republicans continue to block voting rights legislation, The Washington Post, John Wagner, published on Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told colleagues Monday that the chamber would vote no later than the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on changing Senate rules if Republicans continue to block voting rights legislation. The announcement of the planned action by Jan. 17 represented Schumer’s strongest endorsement yet of trying to muscle through legislation that has been stymied because of Senate rules requiring a 60-vote threshold. ‘We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us,’ Schumer said in a letter. ‘But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.'”

Trump Endorses Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Far-Right Prime Minister. Democracy in Hungary has been backsliding under Mr. Orban, whose efforts to consolidate power have caused consternation in the European Union. The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Monday, 3 January 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump endorsed Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, on Monday, formally pledging his ‘complete support’ to a far-right foreign leader who has touted turning his country into an ‘illiberal state.’ Mr. Orban and his party have steadily consolidated power in Hungary by weakening the country’s independent and democratic institutions — rewriting election laws to favor his Fidesz party, changing school textbooks, curbing press freedoms, overhauling the Constitution and changing the composition of the judiciary. The actions have caused consternation in the European Union, to which Hungary belongs, but also made Mr. Orban something of a cause célèbre in conservative American political circles, following years of an aggressive influence operation to bolster his image in the United States. Last fall, Tucker Carlson, the top-rated Fox News host, broadcast from Budapest for a week, calling the nation a place ‘with a lot of lessons for the rest of us.’ Former Vice President Mike Pence visited Hungary last year for a conference on conservative values. And the American Conservative Union has been promoting plans for a gathering there, dubbed #CPACHungary, later this year. Mr. Orban was an early supporter of Mr. Trump, endorsing him in the summer of 2016. After he won, Mr. Trump granted Mr. Orban a meeting in the Oval Office in 2019. The Hungarian leader had been denied such an audience since 1998.” See also, Trump offers unusual endorsement of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ahead of parliamentary elections, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Monday, 3 January 2022: “Former president Donald Trump made an unusual endorsement in a foreign election on Monday, offering his ‘Complete support’ for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing populist leader accused of undermining the country’s democracy and moving toward autocracy during more than a decade in power. Six opposition parties have coalesced around Hungarian opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay in a bid to oust Orban, who has championed ‘illiberal democracy’ and become a pariah among European Union members, in parliamentary elections planned for the spring…. During the past decade, Fidesz, Orban’s political party, has introduced a new constitution that weakened judicial independence and human rights protections. Orban has also curbed the rights of journalists and expanded government control of the media. In 2019, the Washington-based think tank Freedom House downgraded the status of Hungary’s democracy from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ — a categorization shared by countries like Pakistan, Singapore, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, Orban has become a darling of some on the right wing in the United States. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has praised Orban’s immigration policies, among others, and former Trump White House aide Stephen K. Bannon, has called him ‘the most significant guy on the scene right now.'”

New York Attorney General Letitia James Seeks to Question Trump Children in Fraud Inquiry. James has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump as part of a civil investigation. The New York Times, William K. Rashbaum and Jonah E. Bromwich, Monday, 3 January 2022: “The New York State attorney general’s office, which last month subpoenaed Donald J. Trump as part of a civil investigation into his business practices, is also seeking to question two of his adult children as part of the inquiry. The involvement of the children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, was disclosed in court documents filed on Monday as the Trump Organization sought to block lawyers for the attorney general, Letitia James, from questioning the former president and his children. The subpoenas for the former president and two of his children were served on Dec. 1, according to one of the documents. Eric Trump, another of Mr. Trump’s sons, was already questioned by Ms. James’s office in October 2020. The attorney general’s effort to interview Mr. Trump under oath became public last month, but it was not previously known that her office, which has been conducting a civil investigation into the former president’s business practices for almost three years, was also looking to question Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Ms. James’s civil inquiry is focused on whether Mr. Trump fraudulently inflated the value of his assets to secure bank loans while understating them elsewhere to reduce his tax bill.” See also, New York Attorney General Lititia James asks court to enforce subpoenas of Trump children in tax fraud probe. NBC News, Dareh Gregorian and Tom Winter, Monday, 3 January 2022: “New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as part of her civil tax fraud investigation into the Trump Organization, court filings made public Monday reveal. James’ office ‘recently’ filed subpoenas seeking testimony and documents from former President Donald Trump’s children ‘in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization,’ according to a New York Supreme Court order unsealed Monday and first reported by The New York Times. James is also seeking to depose the former president as part of the probe. Trump has called James’ investigation ‘corrupt’ and a ‘witch hunt.’ The filing shows that Trump and his children are all challenging the subpoenas.” See also, New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks depositions from Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. The Washington Post, Shayna Jacobs and Jonathan O’Connell, Monday, 3 January 2022: “New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed testimony from Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., two adult children of former president Donald Trump who have served as executives at his company, as part of James’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization and its business practices. The subpoenas were disclosed Monday in an unsealed court filing that also detailed a schedule for challenges to the requests that the siblings and the former president sit for depositions and provide records. Later in the day, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. filed a motion to quash the subpoenas — or to delay them until a parallel criminal probe is completed. In the motion, attorneys for the Trump family argue that the New York criminal and civil investigations are connected and that James is trying to ‘circumvent the entire grand jury process’ and ‘nullify [their] constitutional and statutory rights’ by demanding their testimony on business matters that are also being examined in the criminal case…. James responded by issuing a statement vowing to compel the trio to testify. ‘For more than two years, members of the Trump family and the Trump Organization have continually sought to delay and impede our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization,’ the statement said.These delay tactics will not stop us from following the facts or the law.'”

Another Far-Right Group Called 1st Amendment Praetorian Is Scrutinized in Effort to Aid Trump. 1st Amendment Praetorian is not as well known as the Oath Keepers or the Proud boys, but it worked closely with pro-Trump forces in the months after the 2020 election. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Monday, 3 January 2022: “Days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, federal law enforcement officials pursued two high-profile extremist groups: the far-right nationalist Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers militia. Members of both organizations were quickly arrested on attention-grabbing charges, accused of plotting to interfere with the certification of the 2020 vote count. Now congressional investigators are examining the role of another right-wing paramilitary group that was involved in a less publicly visible yet still expansive effort to keep President Donald J. Trump in power: the 1st Amendment Praetorian. Known in shorthand as 1AP, the group spent much of the postelection period working in the shadows with pro-Trump lawyers, activists, business executives and military veterans to undermine public confidence in the election and to bolster Mr. Trump’s hopes of remaining in the White House. By their own account, members of the 1st Amendment Praetorian helped to funnel data on purported election fraud to lawyers suing to overturn the vote count. They guarded celebrities like Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, at “Stop the Steal” rallies, where huge crowds gathered to demand that Mr. Trump remain in office. And they supported an explosive proposal to persuade the president to declare an emergency and seize the country’s voting machines in a bid to stay in power. None of 1AP’s top operatives have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, and it remains unclear how much influence they exerted or how seriously criminal investigators are focused on them. Still, the group had men on the ground outside the building on Jan. 6 and others at the Willard Hotel, near some of Mr. Trump’s chief allies. And in the days leading up to the assault, 1AP’s Twitter account posted messages suggesting that the group knew violence was imminent.”

U.S. Catches Kremlin Insider Who May Have Secrets of the 2016 Hack of the U.S. Election. Information technology executive Vladislav Klyushin’s journey into U.S. custody is a blow to the Kremlin, say people familiar with a Russian intelligence assessment of what he may have to offer. Bloomberg, Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, and Hugo Miller, Monday, 3 January 2022: “In the days before Christmas, U.S. officials in Boston unveiled insider trading charges against a Russian tech tycoon they had been pursuing for months. They accused Vladislav Klyushin, who’d been extradited from Switzerland on Dec. 18, of illegally making tens of millions of dollars trading on hacked corporate-earnings information. Yet as authorities laid out their securities fraud case, a striking portrait of the detainee emerged: Klyushin was not only an accused insider trader, but a Kremlin insider. He ran an information technology company that works with the Russian government’s top echelons. Just 18 months earlier, Klyushin received a medal of honor from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. had, in its custody, the highest-level Kremlin insider handed to U.S. law enforcement in recent memory. Klyushin’s cybersecurity work and Kremlin ties could make him a useful source of information for U.S. officials, according to several people familiar with Russian intelligence matters. Most critically, these people said, if he chooses to cooperate, he could provide Americans with their closest view yet of 2016 election manipulation. According to people in Moscow who are close to the Kremlin and security services, Russian intelligence has concluded that Klyushin, 41, has access to documents relating to a Russian campaign to hack Democratic Party servers during the 2016 U.S. election. These documents, they say, establish the hacking was led by a team in Russia’s GRU military intelligence that U.S. cybersecurity companies have dubbed ‘Fancy Bear’ or APT28. Such a cache would provide the U.S. for the first time with detailed documentary evidence of the alleged Russian efforts to influence the election, according to these people.”

Peter Navarro: Trump Distributed Bogus Election Fraud Research to ‘Every’ Congressional Republican. The former trade adviser discusses how he briefed Trump on election fraud and helped hatch a scheme to block the vote certification on January 6. ‘There were over 100 congressmen ready to implement the plan,’ Navarro says. Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson, Monday, 3 January 2022: “When the 2020 election didn’t go Trump’s way, Peter Navarro did something dangerous. He began to do his own research. Navarro, an economist whom Donald Trump tapped to lead his trade war against China, didn’t stay in his lane at the White House. He’d already inserted himself in the administration’s botched pandemic response, pushing the unproven hypothesis that Covid-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab. And after the 2020 vote, Navarro began compiling a series of inflammatory dossiers on the outcome — with names like ‘The Immaculate Deception,’ ‘The Art of the Steal,’ and ‘Yes, Trump Won’ — pushing the Big Lie that the election was stolen. Navarro’s reports include debunked allegations of “outright voter fraud” across six battleground states, including “the large-scale manufacturing of fake ballots, bribery, and dead voters” as well as roundly discredited conspiracy theories alleging sordid connections between voting machine companies, a former Venezuelan dictator, the Clinton Foundation, and George Soros. Unlike most amateur-hour election sleuths, however, Navarro had direct access to the aggrieved president. In an extended interview with Rolling Stone, Navarro revealed that he personally briefed Trump on his research in the Oval Office — and that Trump directed, on the spot, that Navarro’s findings be distributed to the entire GOP conference on Capitol Hill. That advocacy by Trump helped Navarro, along with close ally Steve Bannon, prepare for a Jan. 6 plot they hoped could overturn Joe Biden’s victory. Together with Bannon, Navarro developed a plan to block the Electoral College vote count….”


Tuesday, 4 January 2022:


The House Committee Investigating the January 6 Deadly Attack on the Capitol Asks Sean Hannity of Fox News to Cooperate in January 6 Inquiry. The committee told Mr. Hannity it had obtained ‘dozens of text messages’ he exchanged with senior Trump White House officials around the time of the riot. The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum and Luke Broadwater, Tuesday, 5 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has requested that Sean Hannity, the star Fox News host, respond to questions about his communications with former President Donald J. Trump and his staff in the days surrounding the riot. In a letter on Tuesday, the committee asked for Mr. Hannity’s voluntary cooperation, meaning that the host has not received a formal subpoena. The letter detailed a series of text messages between the conservative media star and senior officials in the Trump White House, illustrating Mr. Hannity’s unusually elevated role as an outside adviser to the administration. The texts suggest that Mr. Hannity was aware of, and deeply concerned about, what Mr. Trump was planning for Jan. 6, and bracing for a possible mass resignation of top White House lawyers as a result. ‘We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office,’ Mr. Hannity wrote to Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, in a Dec. 31, 2020, text message that the committee included in its letter. ‘I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told.’ They also indicate that the Fox News host, a longtime confidant of the former president, had knowledge of a flurry of high-level conversations at the White House, involving Mr. Trump himself, about leaning on Vice President Mike Pence to use his ceremonial role in Congress’s official electoral count to keep Mr. Trump in office.” See also, The January 6 House select committee investigating the violent and deadly attack on the Capitol seeks cooperation from Fox News’ Sean Hannity and releases texts between Hannity and the White House, CNN Politics, Ryan Nobles, Annie Grayer, Paula Reid, Angelica Grimaldi, and Alex Rogers, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “Fox News host Sean Hannity was concerned about former President Donald Trump‘s strategy and conduct before, during and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a letter sent to him on Tuesday by the House select committee probing the insurrection. The committee asked Hannity for his voluntary cooperation with its investigation, noting it had received ‘dozens’ of his text messages sent to and from former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that indicate that he had ‘advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.’ In the letter, the panel said it wants to speak with Hannity specifically about his communications with Trump, White House staff and his legal team between December 31, 2020, and January 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Hannity’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, told CNN, ‘We are reviewing the committee’s letter and will respond as appropriate.’ The committee said it has text messages from Hannity pushing back on the plan to urge Congress to challenge the certification of the election on January 6 and urging Trump to prepare for his departure from office. On January 5, Hannity wrote that he was ‘very worried about the next 48 hours.'” See also, House January 6 committee requests information from Fox News host Sean Hannity, The Washington Post, Amy B Wang, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is requesting the voluntary cooperation of Fox News host Sean Hannity, saying it has information that indicates Hannity had relevant communications with President Donald Trump and some White House staff leading up to the Capitol siege and in the days afterward. In a letter to Hannity on Tuesday, the heads of the committee wrote that they were in possession of material that suggested Hannity ‘had advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.’ That information also showed Hannity expressed concerns and provided advice to Trump and White House staff members about that planning, wrote Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the chair and vice chair of the committee, respectively. ‘You also had relevant communications while the riot was underway, and in the days thereafter,’ they wrote. ‘These communications make you a fact witness in our investigation.'”

In the Capitol’s Shadow, the January 6 Committee Investigating the Violent and Deadly Attack on the Capitol by Trump Supporters Quietly Ramps Up Its Inquiry. From a nondescript office building, a few dozen investigators and members of Congress are rushing to dissect what led to the worst attack on the Capitol in centuries. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “The committee scrutinizing the pro-Trump mob attack has conducted much of its inquiry in private, drawing public attention mostly for the legal fights it is waging over access to evidence from Mr. Trump and some of his top lieutenants. But from a warren of offices in the O’Neill House Office Building in Southwest Washington, a few dozen investigators and members of Congress have ramped up a sprawling and elaborate investigation into the worst American attack on democracy in centuries. In recent weeks, with the anniversary of the riot looming on Thursday, the panel has redoubled its efforts in the face of mounting resistance from the former president. It is rushing to make as much progress as possible before January 2023. Republicans are favored to regain control of the House this fall, and if they do, that is when they would take power and almost certainly dissolve the inquiry. ‘We worked on Christmas and on New Year’s Day,’ said Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee. ‘The window for getting the job done requires weekends and holidays too. There’s a really firm commitment on the part of the staff to get it done.’ Working in color-coded teams, investigators have interviewed more than 300 witnesses, from White House officials close to Mr. Trump to the rioters themselves, and are sorting through more than 35,000 documents. During its first three months, from July through September, the committee had fewer than 30 staff members and spent about $418,000, according to the latest documents filed with the House. Since then, the panel has increased its staff to about 40 and is looking to hire more investigators. Soon, the inquiry will enter a new phase, with plans to hold a series of public hearings in early spring to lay out some of its findings. Those will feature, among other topics, state election officials testifying to the security and accuracy of the 2020 election. A final report will be issued, ‘obviously before the November elections,’ Mr. Thompson said.” See also, The January 6 House Select Committee: What it has done and where it is headed, The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “In the days following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, lawmakers began to discuss the need for an investigation focused on what led to the attack, how the building was breached so easily and how any similar event could be prevented from happening again…. In a little less than six months, the committee has taken in a massive amount of data — interviewing more than 300 witnesses, announcing more than 50 subpoenas, obtaining more than 35,000 pages of records and receiving hundreds of telephone tips provided through the Jan. 6 tip line. The task of wading through this torrent of information has been divided among five teams that the committee initially put together for its staff of about 40:

  • One team, dubbed ‘Inside the Fence,’ is devoted to understanding the preparation and response to the event by federal and local law enforcement.
  • A second, called ‘follow the money,’ is examining the funding for demonstrations against the election results.
  • A third is investigating online misinformation and extremist activity.
  • A fourth is looking at the pressure campaigns in Washington and in state capitols to overturn election results or delay certification of electors.
  • A fifth team is focused on the organizers of the demonstrations on the National Mall and at the Capitol.

Trump Cancels January 6 News Conference After Allies See It as a Distraction, The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “Donald J. Trump on Tuesday abruptly canceled a news conference that he had scheduled at his Mar-a-Lago resort for Thursday evening on the one-year anniversary of the breaching of the United States Capitol. Mr. Trump’s initial decision on Dec. 30 to counterprogram the remembrance events to be held on Capitol Hill had drawn immediate concern from Republicans and allies, who questioned the wisdom of his seizing the spotlight for himself, saying it would be a needless and harmful distraction. Republicans, including Mr. Trump in a statement on Tuesday, have tried to divert attention from the fact that it was the former president’s supporters who turned violent as they sought to stall the certification of the 2020 election, and to falsely blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the violence…. In recent days, according to people familiar with the matter, it became clear that Mr. Trump’s news conference would not likely receive the kind of blanket cable coverage that he generally desires, and some advisers urged the former president to reschedule for a day that would draw less attention to a low point of his presidency.”

Trump ‘needs to be in prison’ for January 6 riot says partner of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, The Washington Post, Timothy Bella, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “The partner of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died after trying to protect the Capitol building on Jan. 6, said Monday that former president Donald Trump should serve prison time for his role in the insurrection. She said she holds Trump ‘100 percent responsible’ for Sicknick’s death. Ahead of the first anniversary of a riot that resulted in five deaths and injured 140 law enforcement officers, Sandra Garza told ‘PBS NewsHour’ that she demands justice for Sicknick, who suffered two strokes hours after rioters sprayed him with a chemical substance. Sicknick died the next day, at the age of 42, of what a medical examiner said were natural causes. ‘I hold Donald Trump 100 percent responsible for what happened on January 6 and all of the people that have enabled him, enabled him that day, and continue to enable him now,’ said Garza, who was Sicknick’s girlfriend for 11 years. When asked by host Judy Woodruff how Trump should be held accountable, Garza did not mince words on the former president, whom she described as ‘a horrible person.’ She said: ‘Personally, for me, I think he needs to be in prison. That is what I think.'”

Records Show Facebook Hosted Surge of Misinformation and Insurrection Threats in Months Leading Up to January 6 Attack on the Capitol, ProPublica and The Washington Post, Craig Silverman and Jeff Kao of Pro Publica, and Craig Timberg and Jeremy B. Merrill of The Washington Post, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “Facebook groups swelled with at least 650,000 posts attacking the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory between Election Day and the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, with many calling for executions or other political violence, an investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post has found. The barrage — averaging at least 10,000 posts a day, a scale not reported previously — turned the groups into incubators for the baseless claims supporters of then-President Donald Trump voiced as they stormed the Capitol, demanding he get a second term. Many posts portrayed Biden’s election as the result of widespread fraud that required extraordinary action — including the use of force — to prevent the nation from falling into the hands of traitors…. Facebook executives have downplayed the company’s role in the Jan. 6 attack and have resisted calls, including from its own Oversight Board, for a comprehensive internal investigation. The company also has yet to turn over all the information requested by the congressional committee studying the Jan. 6 attack. Facebook said it is continuing to negotiate with the committee. The ProPublica/Post investigation, which analyzed millions of posts between Election Day and Jan. 6 and drew on internal company documents and interviews with former employees, provides the clearest evidence yet that Facebook played a critical role in the spread of false narratives that fomented the violence of Jan. 6. Its efforts to police such content, the investigation also found, were ineffective and started too late to quell the surge of angry, hateful misinformation coursing through Facebook groups — some of it explicitly calling for violent confrontation with government officials, a theme that foreshadowed the storming of the Capitol that day amid clashes that left five people dead.”

Election Falsehoods Surged on Podcasts Before Capitol Riots, Researchers Find. A new study analyzed nearly 1,500 episodes, showing the extent to which podcasts pushed misinformation about voter fraud. The New York Times, Stuart A. Thompson, Tuesday, 4 January 2021: “None of the predictions of widespread voter fraud came true. But podcasters frequently advanced the false belief that the election was illegitimate, first as a trickle before the election and then as a tsunami in the weeks leading up to the violent attack at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to new research. Researchers at the Brookings Institution reviewed transcripts of nearly 1,500 episodes from 20 of the most popular political podcasts. Among episodes released between the election and the Jan. 6 riot, about half contained election misinformation, according to the analysis.”

Here’s where at least 15 Republican candidates who question the legitimacy of Biden’s 2020 win are running for secretary of state, NPR, Miles Parks, Tuesday, 4 January 2022: “An NPR analysis of 2022 secretary of state races across the country found at least 15 Republican candidates running who question the legitimacy of President Biden’s 2020 win, even though no evidence of widespread fraud has been uncovered about the race over the last 14 months. In fact, claims of any sort of fraud that swung the election have been explicitly refuted in state after state, including those run by Republicans. The duties of a state secretary of state vary, but in most cases, they are the state’s top voting official and have a role in carrying out election laws. Wisconsin is the only state included in NPR’s analysis where the state secretary of state does not oversee its elections, though at least one Republican lawmaker there has floated the idea of changing that. Current and former election officials, as well as election experts worry what could become of democracy should some or many of the candidates across the country win. ‘The reasons why Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election failed is because there were state officials who refused to substantiate his claims of fraud,’ said Franita Tolson, an election law expert at the University of Southern California. ‘These folks really are gatekeepers.'”


Wednesday, 5 January 2022:


Attorney General Merrick Garland Vows to Pursue January 6 Inquiry ‘at Any Level.’ The remarks came as Garland faces pressure from Democrats to more aggressively investigate any role that Donald Trump and his allies may have played in encouraging the violence. The New York Times, Katie Benner, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “Facing criticism from Democrats and a few Republicans to hold former President Donald J. Trump accountable for his role in inspiring the riot at the Capitol, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland vowed on Wednesday that the Justice Department would pursue wrongdoing ‘at any level,’ saying he would defend democratic institutions from attack and threats of violence. ‘The Justice Department remains committed to holding all Jan. 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,’ Mr. Garland said in a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the riot, when Mr. Trump’s supporters ransacked the Capitol in a bid to stop the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election victory.” See also, Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Department of Justice will hold those responsible for January 6 riot accountable, whether they were present or committed other crimes, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed to hold all those responsible for the Jan. 6 riot accountable — whether they were at the Capitol or committed other crimes surrounding the day’s events — saying investigators are methodically building more complicated and serious cases and would prosecute people ‘at any level. The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last,’ Garland said Wednesday, speaking in the Justice Department’s Great Hall in an address that was broadcast live online and by cable news channels. ‘The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. We will follow the facts wherever they lead.’ Garland’s remarks came on the eve of the anniversary of the Capitol breach and as he faces intensifying pressure to do and say more about the investigation, and to focus more acutely on the actions of former president Donald Trump and his associates. Debate has raged on Twitter, television and newspaper editorial pages over whether Trump could be charged with a crime, and, if not, what that might mean for future transfers of power.”

Ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham says she ‘cooperated fully’ with January 6 Committee, CNN Politics, Kate Bennett and Ryan Nobles, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham met Wednesday on Capitol Hill with the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting. ‘I cooperated fully with the committee,’ Grisham told reporters as she left the panel’s office Wednesday evening. The former White House aide and chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump declined to provide additional comment and said she wouldn’t get ahead of the committee. Her meeting with the committee came after she had a phone call with committee member Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland during which Raskin encouraged her to meet with the panel. A source told CNN that Grisham and Raskin had in-depth phone call about her knowledge of events behind-the-scenes at the White House on January 6. The source said that Grisham was ‘candid’ about events in the White House at the time, many of which Grisham was present for, including knowledge of conversations involving former President Donald Trump that day.”

They stormed the Capitol. Now they’re running for office. At least 57 individuals who played a role in the day’s events, including some who were arrested on charges related to the Capitol attack, are running for office in 2022. Politico, Brittany Gibson, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “The Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol is remembered as one of the darkest and most shameful episodes in American history. But at least 57 individuals who played a role in that day’s events — either by attending the Save America rally that preceded the riots, gathering at the Capitol steps or breaching the Capitol itself — are now running for elected office. Rather than disqualifying them from public service, the events of Jan. 6 appear to have served as a political springboard for dozens of Republicans who will be on the ballot this year for federal, state and local offices. It’s difficult to state with precision just how many of those who participated in the rally on the Ellipse, marched to the Capitol or stormed the building will be on the ballot in 2022 — in many states, candidate filing deadlines are months away. But a POLITICO review of Department of Justice case reports, social media posts, news accounts and interviews with attendees found that last year alone, 11 Jan. 6 protesters were elected to offices ranging from state legislature to city council to school board. This year, more than two dozen are running for Congress, state legislature or statewide office — including at least two protesters who actually entered the Capitol. At least five Jan. 6ers are gearing up for gubernatorial races, among them Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator and a leading voice in the national movement to discredit the 2020 election results. At least three candidates this year face charges related to the Jan. 6 riots.”

Recalling January 6 2021: A national day of infamy, half remembered, Associated Press, Jake Coyle, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “Beneath a pale winter light and the glare of television cameras, it seemed hard not to see the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot for what it was. The violent storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters bent on upending the election of Joe Biden was as clear as day: democracy under siege, live-streamed in real time. Yet a year later, when it comes to a where-were-you moment in U.S. history, there is far from national consensus. A Quinnipiac poll found that 93% of Democrats considered it an attack on the government, but only 29% of Republicans agreed. A poll by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 4 in 10 Republicans recall the attack — in which five people died — as violent, while 9 in 10 Democrats do. Such a disparity in memory may be inevitable in our hyper-polarized politics, but it’s striking given the stark clarity of Jan. 6 at the time and in its immediate aftermath. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said then that ‘the president bears responsibility’ for the attacks. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., then the majority leader, said: ‘They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.’ But since that day, separate versions — one factual, one fanciful — have taken hold. The Capitol riot — the violent culmination of a bid to delegitimize the 2020 election and block its certification — has morphed into a partisan ‘Rashomon,’ the classic Japanese film about a slaying told from varying and conflicting points of view. Indeed, the act of remembering can be a highly mercurial thing — particularly when deep-seated political views are involved.”

Republican officials in Arizona’s largest county affirm 2020 election was secure in rebuttal to Trump claims, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “The November 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county was administered properly and not marred by fraud, the Republican-led local government concluded in a lengthy report released Wednesday. The 93-page document debunks, one by one, vague allegations of potential problems previously identified by the GOP-led state Senate and championed by former president Donald Trump and his allies. County officials said the blunt rebuttal, released on the eve of the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, was intended to highlight the ongoing dangers of unfounded claims of mass election fraud. ‘We have seen how people react when they think that an election has been stolen. They storm the U.S. Capitol. They threaten to kill and hang and shoot election workers. And they called other Americans traitors,’ Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates (R) said Wednesday. ‘The American family cannot stand for that. I will not stand for that.'”

The Insurrection: How White Supremacy Played a Role in the Riots, FiveThirtyEight, Alex Samuels, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “Last year, shortly after the crowds dispersed and the dust settled, there seemed to be at least one conclusion that scholars and researchers could agree on: White supremacy played a large role in the Capitol attack. As FiveThirtyEight contributor Hakeem Jefferson wrote around then, it’s not a coincidence that the rioters were predominately white supporters of Trump. It was also no mistake that rioters employed a bevy of white nationalists symbols — like a hangman’s nooseneo-Nazi apparel and the Confederate flag. Indeed, it seems like those protesting the certification of Biden’s victory longed for a return to the days of perceived superiority and white dominance that they enjoyed under Trump. The assault on the Capitol was in many ways a culmination of what the rioters saw as a threat facing the nation: the election of Biden and Kamala Harris, the first Black, Asian and female vice president. What’s more, that election was largely decided by voters of color who turned out in historically Republican or competitive states, like Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. A number of researchers have written about the potential consequences that can occur when white Americans believe there’s a threat to their dominant position in the social hierarchy. And it’s possible we haven’t seen the end of this; the first significant release of 2020 census data shows that the nation is diversifying faster than predicted, which could push white Americans to take more violent measures over the next few years. But what makes these potential threats even more dire is that, between the Jan. 6 insurrection and now, GOP voters have supported political violence or have expressed a willingness to condone violence. In addition, polls find that a majority of Republicans don’t hold Trump accountable for the insurrection.”

Is a Civil War Ahead? A year after the attack on the Capitol, America is suspended between democracy and autocracy. The New Yorker, David Remnick, Wednesday, 5 January 2022: “The edifice of American exceptionalism has always wobbled on a shoddy foundation of self-delusion, and yet most Americans have readily accepted the commonplace that the United States is the world’s oldest continuous democracy. That serene assertion has now collapsed. On January 6, 2021, when white supremacists, militia members, and MAGA faithful took inspiration from the President and stormed the Capitol in order to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, leaving legislators and the Vice-President essentially held hostage, we ceased to be a full democracy. Instead, we now inhabit a liminal status that scholars call ‘anocracy.’ That is, for the first time in two hundred years, we are suspended between democracy and autocracy. And that sense of uncertainty radically heightens the likelihood of episodic bloodletting in America, and even the risk of civil war. This is the compelling argument of ‘How Civil Wars Start,’ a new book by Barbara F. Walter, a political scientist at the University of California San Diego. Walter served on an advisory committee to the C.I.A. called the Political Instability Task Force, which studies the roots of political violence in nations from Sri Lanka to the former Yugoslavia. Citing data compiled by the Center for Systemic Peace, which the task force uses to analyze political dynamics in foreign countries, Walter explains that the ‘honor’ of being the oldest continuous democracy is now held by Switzerland, followed by New Zealand. In the U.S., encroaching instability and illiberal currents present a sad picture. As Walter writes, ‘We are no longer a peer to nations like Canada, Costa Rica, and Japan.’ In her book and in a conversation for this week’s New Yorker Radio Hour, Walter made it clear that she wanted to avoid ‘an exercise in fear-mongering’; she is wary of coming off as sensationalist. In fact, she takes pains to avoid overheated speculation and relays her warning about the potential for civil war in clinical terms. Yet, like those who spoke up clearly about the dangers of global warming decades ago, Walter delivers a grave message that we ignore at our peril. So much remains in flux. She is careful to say that a twenty-first-century American civil war would bear no resemblance to the consuming and symmetrical conflict that was played out on the battlefields of the eighteen-sixties. Instead she foresees, if the worst comes about, an era of scattered yet persistent acts of violence: bombings, political assassinations, destabilizing acts of asymmetric warfare carried out by extremist groups that have coalesced via social media. These are relatively small, loosely aligned collections of self-aggrandizing warriors who sometimes call themselves ‘accelerationists.’ They have convinced themselves that the only way to hasten the toppling of an irredeemable, non-white, socialist republic is through violence and other extra-political means. Walter makes the case that, as long as the country fails to fortify its democratic institutions, it will endure threats such as the one that opens her book: the attempt, in 2020, by a militia group in Michigan known as the Wolverine Watchmen to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.”


Thursday, 6 January 2022:


Biden Condemns Trump as Washington Splits Over Legacy of January 6 Attack by Trump Supporters on Democracy and the Constitution, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “President Biden denounced former President Donald J. Trump and his allies on Thursday for holding ‘a dagger at the throat of America’ by promoting lies and violence as the nation’s capital fractured into sparring camps a year after the Jan. 6 mob assault on Congress. In his most sustained and scathing repudiation of his predecessor since taking office, Mr. Biden used the anniversary of the Capitol siege to condemn Mr. Trump for waging an ‘undemocratic’ and ‘un-American’ campaign against the legitimacy of the election system, much as autocrats and dictators do, all to avoid admitting defeat. ‘The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,’ Mr. Biden said, standing in the National Statuary Hall, which had been invaded by throngs of Trump supporters a year ago. ‘He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interests and America’s interests, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution. He can’t accept he lost.’ The president’s address began a commemoration that, instead of showcasing American unity against threats to democracy, only underscored just how riven the country remains a year after rioters armed with hockey sticks, baseball bats, crutches, flagpoles, fire extinguishers, bear spray and stolen police batons broke into the Capitol to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College votes ratifying Mr. Trump’s defeat. Democrats, warning of the undiminished dangers posed by Mr. Trump and his followers, marked the anniversary with a day of events, including speeches, personal testimony, a panel of historians, videos, moments of silence and a candlelight vigil, while Republicans by and large stayed away and refused to participate.” See also, Biden condemns Trump and his allies as a danger to democracy on the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, The Washington Post, Michael Scherer, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “President Biden denounced his predecessor Thursday as a threat to the constitutional order at home and the democratic project abroad, using the first anniversary of the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters to rally support for the most basic precepts of the American system. The remarkable condemnation of the former president was delivered in a building and a country that remains divided over the meaning of the mob attack intended to prevent Biden from taking office after his electoral victory. Biden spoke from Statuary Hall, where one year ago marauding protesters had broken in and set off battles with police for control of the seat of American democracy. Democrats spent the day recounting from the congressional chambers the terror they felt last year; Republicans, with few exceptions, avoided the proceedings. The current Republican congressional leadership did not participate, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) traveling to Georgia for a funeral, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) working outside of Washington. Only a few Republican lawmakers issued condemnations of the year-old attack, while fringe members of the GOP tried to fill the void by staging a news conference to elevate unsubstantiated theories that federal agents may have secretly played a role in fomenting the rioters, who have been described by prosecutors and judges as Trump followers inspired by his rhetoric. Rather than suggest the country had learned from and begun to heal the wounds of the national trauma on Jan. 6, 2021, the day’s events underscored the fundamental challenges that remain. A chorus of national leaders issued statements of alarm about their doubts that the nation will be able to hold on to its founding vision in the coming years.” See also, At the Capitol on January 6, a Day of Remembrance and Division, The New York Times, Thursday, 6 January 2022. See also, 4 takeaways from the anniversary of the January 6 attack by Trump supporters on democracy and the U.S. constitution, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Thursday, 6 January 2022. See also, On January 6 anniversary, Biden calls out Trump for ‘web of lies’ about the 2020 election, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Amy B Wang, Mariana Alfaro, Eugene Scott, and Felicia Sonmez, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “President Biden on Thursday decried the violent mob of Trump supporters who breached the Capitol a year ago, saying that ‘democracy was attacked’ and urging Americans to ensure such an attack ‘never, never happens again.’ Biden took direct aim at former president Donald Trump, who he said could not accept his loss and ‘created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.’ In a searing speech — and his most direct challenge to Trump — Biden vowed to defend American democracy and said Jan. 6 represents not its end but rather a rebirth of ‘liberty and fair play. I did not seek this fight brought to this Capitol one year ago today, but I will not shrink from it, either. I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation and allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy,’ Biden said. Democratic House leaders planned a full day of commemorative activities, including testimonials from lawmakers, commentary from historians and a prayer vigil. Senate and House Democrats delivered floor speeches about the day, recalling their fear of the invading mob. Both chambers held moments of silence. Nearly all Republicans were absent from the Capitol and did not participate in the events.” See also, 5 takeaways from Biden’s forceful January 6 takedown of Trump, The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Thursday, 6 January 2022. See also, The January 6 attack on the Capitol: A guide to what we now know, The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Thursday, 6 January 2022. See also, Biden condemns Trump as a threat to democracy in speech marking one year since the January 6 violent attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, CNN Politics, Maegan Vazquez, Clare Foran, and Kate Sullivan, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “President Joe Biden on Thursday marked the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection by forcefully calling out former President Donald Trump for attempting to undo American democracy, saying such an insurrection must never happen again. Biden vowed to defend the nation’s founding ideals from the threats posed by the violent mob that stormed the Capitol one year ago and the prevailing lies that Trump and his allies continue to repeat about the 2020 election. An animated Biden made one of the most passionate addresses of his still-young presidency as he harkened back to critical moments from the nation’s past, casting the assault as a living symbol of the inflection point in American history he so often speaks about. ‘For the first time in our history, a President had not just lost an election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob reached the Capitol,’ Biden said in a speech from the US Capitol that lasted just under 30 minutes. ‘But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such an attack never, never happens again.'” See also, President Biden condemns lies of ‘defeated former president’ as an attack on America’s soul. ‘He can’t accept he lost,’ the president said without mentioning his predecessor’s name in a speech at the Capitol. NBC News, Lauren Egan, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “In one of the most forceful speeches of his political career, President Joe Biden took sharp aim at former President Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing him of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol last year with a ‘web of lies’ about the 2020 election because he could not accept his legitimate defeat. Speaking from Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol on the anniversary of that riot, Biden said the former president and his followers had ‘held a dagger at the throat of democracy. They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle. They came here in rage,’ Biden said. He rebutted the lies that Trump and other Republicans have spread about the 2020 election, bluntly criticizing his predecessor without mentioning his name…. Biden ticked through the various falsehoods that Trump and his allies have spread about the 2020 election, pointing out that they have never been able to provide any proof for their claims, and portraying Trump as a president who was afraid to lose. ‘Even before the first ballot was cast, the former president was pre-emptively sowing doubt about the election results,’ Biden said. ‘He’s not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president.'”

Bennie Thompson, chair of the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, says some of the January 6 protesters met with members of Congress, The Washington Post, Tom Hamburger and Jacqueline Alemany, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “The chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol said Thursday that the committee has received information showing that members of Congress met with people who came to Washington to participate in protests over the planned certification of electoral votes last year. ‘We have information that members hosted people who came to Washington on that day in their office,’ Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said during an interview Thursday at a Washington Post Live event. ‘We have pictures of members [of Congress] taking pictures with people who came to the rally. . . . There’s a smaller subset of members that have been identified who probably did more to encourage the “Stop the Steal” part of coming to Washington.’ Thompson did not elaborate on the committee’s findings, including whether the panel has information that these lawmakers had any knowledge about the possibility of violence on Jan. 6. But his comments during the interview suggested an intensifying focus on the activities of members of Congress in the days and hours before the protests began.”

Then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was inside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters on January 6, 2021, when a pipe bomb was discovered outside the building, Politico, Betsy Woodruff Swan, Christopher Cadelago, and Kyle Cheney, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “Capitol Police began investigating the pipe bomb at 1:07 p.m., according to an official Capitol Police timeline of events obtained by POLITICO. The timeline says that Capitol Police and the Secret Service evacuated an unnamed ‘protectee’ at approximately 1:14 p.m, seven minutes later. The four people, among them a White House official and a former law enforcement official, confirmed that Harris was the Secret Service protectee identified in the timeline, which has circulated on Capitol Hill. Harris’ presence inside the building while a bomb was right outside raises sobering questions about her security that day. It also raises the chilling prospect that the riots could have been far more destructive than they already were, with the incoming vice president’s life directly endangered. Federal law enforcement officials have faced harsh criticism for failing to anticipate the chaotic scene around the Electoral College certification one year ago, despite receiving a host of warnings about possible chaos.”

Key former aide to Trump says Trump did not want to tweet ‘stay peaceful’ during January 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters, CNN Politics, Jim Acosta, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “A former Trump White House official said then-President Donald Trump initially refused to tweet the words ‘stay peaceful’ as the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, was escalating. As a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers scrambling for their lives, Trump tweeted at 2:38 p.m. ET that day: ‘Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!’ The tweet came 20 minutes after Trump supporters were smashing through windows and evacuations of lawmakers had begun. The former official, who was working in the West Wing and was close to White House messaging during the insurrection, said Trump did not want to include the words ‘stay peaceful’ and was ‘very reluctant to put out anything when it was unfolding.’ Trump was ‘letting it play out,’ the official said of the violence at the Capitol. Top Trump aides — including the then-President’s daughter, Ivanka, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — were pleading with Trump to call off the mob, the ex-aide said. Those officials eventually convinced Trump to include the ‘stay peaceful’ message in the tweet about the Capitol Police, the former aide added.”

Corporations Donated Millions to Lawmakers Who Voted to Overturn the 2020 Election Results. One year after the Capitol riot, many businesses resumed corporate donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 election. The New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Madeleine Ngo, and Kate Kelly, Thursday, 6 January 2022: “At its annual summit on the state of American business last January, officials from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce expressed disgust at the siege of the Capitol that had unfolded days earlier, and declared that lawmakers who discredited the 2020 election would no longer receive the organization’s financial backing. ‘There are some members who, by their actions, will have forfeited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Period. Full stop,’ Neil Bradley, the executive vice president and chief policy officer for the chamber, said at the time. Less than two months later, the nation’s biggest lobbying group reversed course. ‘We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification,’ Ashlee Rich Stephenson, the chamber’s senior political strategist, wrote in a memo. In the year since the riot at the Capitol, many corporate giants and trade groups have moved from making stern statements about the sanctity of democracy to reopening the financial spigot for lawmakers who undermined the election. Millions of dollars in donations continue to flow to what watchdog groups deride as the ‘Sedition Caucus,’ highlighting how quickly political realities shift in Washington. A report published this week by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group, showed how corporate money continued to support most of the 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn the election results. In the last year, 717 companies and industry groups gave more than $18 million to 143 of those lawmakers. Businesses that pledged to stop or pause their donations to those lawmakers have since given nearly $2.4 million directly to their campaigns or leadership political action committees, according to CREW.”


Friday, 7 January 2022:


Ahmaud Arbery’s killers sentenced to life in prison, two of the three with no possibility of parole, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Friday, 7 January 2022: “The three White men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery nearly two years ago in a case that sparked nationwide outrage and protests, were sentenced Friday to life in prison, two of them without the possibility of parole. Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbor William ‘Roddie’ Bryan chased and killed Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, in February 2020. Their pursuit of Arbery in pickup trucks through suburban streets near Brunswick, Ga., ended with Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery, who was unarmed. All three face federal hate-crime charges in a trial that is expected to begin next month. ‘A resident of Glynn County, a graduate of Brunswick High, a son, a brother, a young man with dreams was gunned down in this community,’ Judge Timothy Walmsley said before pronouncing the sentences. ‘As we understand it, he left his home apparently to go for a run, and he ended up running for his life.’ The courtroom was still as Walmsley paused for a minute of silence — a fraction of the five minutes Arbery ran before he was cornered and shot. Walmsley said he “kept coming back to the terror” Arbery must have felt as he was chased through the neighborhood of Satilla Shores in the coastal Georgia community. Prosecutors sought to remove the possibility of parole for the McMichaels, but not for Bryan, and the judge agreed. He said that Bryan demonstrated early on that he ‘had grave concerns that what had occurred should not have occurred,’ while the McMichaels ‘turned their backs’ and ‘walked away’ after Arbery fell bleeding to the street. The judge noted how Greg McMichael told police that they had Arbery ‘trapped like a rat.’ Then, Walmsley said, there was the ‘absolutely chilling’ moment captured on video when Travis McMichael pointed his shotgun at Arbery, who was caught between two trucks.”


Saturday, 8 January 2022:


Capitol attack panel investigates Trump over potential criminal conspiracy. Messages between Mark Meadows and others suggest the Trump White House coordinated efforts to stop Joe Biden’s certification. The Guardian, Hugo Lowell, Saturday, 8 January 2022: “The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack is examining whether Donald Trump oversaw a criminal conspiracy on 6 January that connected the White House’s scheme to stop Joe Biden’s certification with the insurrection, say two senior sources familiar with the matter. The committee’s new focus on the potential for a conspiracy marks an aggressive escalation in its inquiry as it confronts evidence that suggests the former president potentially engaged in criminal conduct egregious enough to warrant a referral to the justice department. House investigators are interested in whether Trump oversaw a criminal conspiracy after communications turned over by Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows and others suggested the White House coordinated efforts to stop Biden’s certification, the sources said. The select committee has several thousand messages, among which include some that suggest the Trump White House briefed a number of House Republicans on its plan for then-vice president Mike Pence to abuse his ceremonial role and not certify Biden’s win, the sources said. The fact that the select committee has messages suggesting the Trump White House directed Republican members of Congress to execute a scheme to stop Biden’s certification is significant as it could give rise to the panel considering referrals for potential crimes, the sources said. Members and counsel on the select committee are examining in the first instance whether in seeking to stop the certification, Trump and his aides violated the federal law that prohibits obstruction of a congressional proceeding – the joint session on 6 January – the sources said. The select committee believes, the sources said, that Trump may be culpable for an obstruction charge given he failed for hours to intervene to stop the violence at the Capitol perpetrated by his supporters in his name. But the select committee is also looking at whether Trump oversaw an unlawful conspiracy that involved coordination between the “political elements” of the White House plan communicated to Republican lawmakers and extremist groups that stormed the Capitol, the sources said.”


Sunday, 9 January 2022:


Trump’s cable cabinet: New texts reveal the influence of Fox hosts on previous White House, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey, Sunday, 9 January 2022: “Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to President Donald Trump, remembers the challenges that came from so many Fox News hosts having the direct number to reach Trump in the White House residence. ‘There were times the president would come down the next morning and say, Well, Sean thinks we should do this, or, Judge Jeanine thinks we should do this,’  said Grisham, referring to Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, both of whom host prime-time Fox News shows. Grisham — who resigned from the White House amid the Jan. 6 attacks and has since written a book critical of Trump — said West Wing staffers would simply roll their eyes in frustration as they scrambled to respond to the influence of the network’s hosts, who weighed in on everything from personnel to messaging strategy. Trump’s staff, allies and even adversaries were long accustomed to playing to an ‘Audience of One’ — a commander in chief with a twitchy TiVo finger and obsessed with cable news. But text messages — newly released by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection — between Fox News hosts and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, crystallize with new specificity just how tightly Fox News and the White House were entwined during the Trump years, with many of the network’s top hosts serving as a cable cabinet of unofficial advisers.”

Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio Refuses to Cooperate With the House Select Committee Investigating the Violent and Deadly January 6 Attack on the Capitol, The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Sunday, 9 January 2022: “Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, announced on Sunday that he was refusing to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, joining a growing list of allies of former President Donald J. Trump who have adopted a hostile stance toward the panel’s questions. In an effort to dig into the role that members of Congress played in trying to undermine the 2020 election, the committee informed Mr. Jordan in December by letter that its investigators wanted to question him about his communications related to the run-up to the Capitol riot. Those include Mr. Jordan’s messages with Mr. Trump and his legal team as well as others involved in planning rallies on Jan. 6 and congressional objections to certifying Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. Mr. Jordan — who in November told the Rules Committee that he had ‘nothing to hide’ regarding the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation — on Sunday denounced the bipartisan panel’s inquiry as among what he called the Democrats’ ‘partisan witch hunts.'” See also, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan refuses to cooperate with the January 6 House select committee investigating the deadly attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, The Washington Post, Annabelle Timsit, published on Monday, 10 January 2022: “Rep. Jim Jordan is refusing a request to be interviewed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, calling it an ‘unprecedented and inappropriate demand.’ In a letter dated Sunday and addressed to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the Ohio Republican and close ally of former president Donald Trump accused the panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, of playing politics…. Jordan declined to comply with the Dec. 22 request to appear before the panel to discuss his communication with Trump on the day of the assault. Jordan previously said that he could not recall how many times he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6 but that they spoke at least once. The panel is also seeking details of any communications Jordan had that day, or the previous day, with Trump’s legal team, White House staffers, members of the ‘war room’ team that assembled at the Willard hotel ahead of the attack, and any other people ‘involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th.’ The request also specifies that Jordan may be able to provide details about meetings with Trump and White House officials in the weeks and months leading up to Jan. 6 about ‘strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 election.'”

A spokesman for the committee said in a statement Monday that Jordan’s letter “fails to address the principal bases for the Select Committee’s request for a meeting, including that he worked directly with President Trump and the Trump legal team to attempt to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election.” The statement added: “Mr. Jordan has admitted that he spoke directly to President Trump on January 6th and is thus a material witness.”


Monday, 10 January 2022:


U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta mulls whether Trump’s silence on January 6 could amount to ‘agreement’ with the violent rioters. During a hearing on civil lawsuits stemming from the Capitol attack, Trump’s lawyers claimed sweeping immunity for the former president. Politico, Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, Monday, 10 January 2022: “Donald Trump’s hours of silence while a violent mob ransacked the Capitol — egged on by his own words and tweets — could be plausibly construed as agreement with rioters’ actions, a federal judge suggested Monday. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta made the analysis as he pressed Trump’s lawyers about their efforts to dismiss a series of lawsuits against the former president seeking to hold him financially liable for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection. ‘What do I do about the fact the president didn’t denounce the conduct immediately?’ Mehta wondered, homing in on a central focus of congressional investigators probing Trump’s conduct that day. ‘Isn’t that, from a plausibility standpoint, enough to at least plausibly infer that the president agreed with the conduct of the people that were inside the Capitol that day?’ Mehta’s questioning prompted Trump’s attorney, Jesse Binnall, to push back, forcefully arguing that Trump can’t conceivably face legal consequences for actions he did not take. ‘The president cannot be subject to judicial action for any sort of damages for failing to do something,’ Binnall said. The exchange was potentially the most significant in an explosive — and lengthy — hearing on three lawsuits filed against Trump for his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6. Two of the suits were filed by Democratic members of Congress, and one was brought by a pair of Capitol Police officers injured during the Jan. 6 fighting. The cases have been on file for more than nine months, but the hearing Monday was the first substantive one on the issues involved.” See also, Members of Congress, Police Officers, and Government Watchdog Groups Argued in Federal Court on Monday that Donald J. Trump Was Liable for Major Financial Damages for His Role in Inspiring the January 6 Attack on Congress. Lawyers argued that the civil cases against the former president should be allowed to go forward because he inflamed a mob and failed to stop the violence it wrought. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Monday, 10 January 2022: “Members of Congress, police officers and government watchdog groups argued in federal court on Monday that Donald J. Trump was liable for major financial damages for his role in inspiring the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, pressing an array of civil suits against the former president amid mounting frustration that he has faced no penalty for the riot. Over nearly five hours in the United States District Court for Washington, lawyers laid out their cases against Mr. Trump, contending that he deserved to be held responsible for inflaming a violent mob, despite what are typically wide immunity protections for a president’s speech and actions while in office. ‘Mr. Trump dispatched the crowd that he assembled,’ said Joseph Sellers, the lawyer for a group of House Democrats, including Representatives Barbara Lee of California, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Hank Johnson of Georgia. ‘After he saw that they were engaged in breaking into the Capitol, instead of trying to calm them, he retweeted his incendiary remarks from the rally before.’ During a hearing over whether the suits can move forward, Judge Amit P. Mehta focused on why Mr. Trump did not act more quickly to call off the mob. He asked lawyers for Mr. Trump whether the president’s slow response was not evidence he agreed with the siege after telling the crowd to ‘fight like hell’ and march to the Capitol. ‘You have an almost two-hour period in which the president doesn’t take to Twitter or to any other type of communication and say: Stop. Get out of the Capitol,’ the judge said, adding, ‘If my words were misconstrued and they led to violence, wouldn’t a reasonable person whose words were being misconstrued come out and say: Wait a minute. Stop?’ Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Jesse R. Binnall, argued that the suits should be dismissed because his remarks inflaming the crowd were protected by presidential immunity and his First Amendment right to free speech. He asserted that Mr. Trump had told the crowd to ‘peacefully and patriotically’ march on the Capitol.” See also, Trump’s potential civil liability for January 6 Capitol riot faces major test in court, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Monday, 10 January 2022: “A federal judge in Washington, DC, questioned former President Donald Trump‘s actions during his speech on January 6, 2021, as he considers for the first time whether Trump is immune from liability related to his supporters attacking the US Capitol. During a court hearing Monday, Judge Amit Mehta pointed out repeatedly that Trump on January 6 asked the crowd to march to the Capitol, but that he didn’t speak up for two hours asking people to stop the violence. ‘The words are hard to walk back,’ Mehta said. ‘You have an almost two-hour window where the President does not say, Stop, get out of the Capitol. This is not what I wanted you to do. What do I do about the fact the President didn’t denounce the conduct immediately … and sent a tweet that arguably exacerbated things?’ the judge asked. ‘Isn’t that, from a plausibility standpoint, that the President plausibly agreed with the conduct of the people inside the Capitol that day?’ Mehta didn’t rule at the end of the nearly five-hour hearing Monday, and rarely showed which way he was leaning. He noted to the dozen or so participants on the call, including several members of Congress, that it was not an easy case. The major hearing is part of a trio of insurrection-related lawsuits seeking to hold Trump and other Republican figures like Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama accountable at a time when the House select committee probing January 6 has aggressively investigated the political leaders who inspired the attack, and as the Justice Department is prosecuting more than 700 rioters for criminal offenses. Mehta’s line of questioning is a foreboding sign for Trump, at least as people seek damages through civil litigation following the insurrection. Some of the lawsuits at issue use a civil rights law, commonly called the KKK Act, that allows for lawsuits when officials are intimidated from doing their public duties. It is the first major test of whether civil litigation is a viable route to holding Trump accountable for the violence toward Congress, after he was acquitted by the Senate in his second impeachment trial last February.”

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol ramps up its investigation into Trump’s state-level pressure to subvert the 2020 election, Politico, Nicholas Wu, Monday, 10 January 2022: The public focus of Congress’ Jan. 6 investigation, so far, is what happened in Washington, D.C. Behind the scenes, the probe’s state-level work is kicking into overdrive. The House committee investigating the Capitol attack has gathered thousands of records from state officials and interviewed a slate of witnesses as it attempts to retrace former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the 2020 election, particularly in four key states that swung the presidency to Joe Biden. They’re getting ready to take their work public, possibly as soon as the spring. ‘We want to let the public see and hear from those individuals who conducted elections in those states,’ select panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in an interview. He described those witnesses as particularly important given their mandates to keep elections ‘fair and impartial’ while hailing from one political party. The voluminous documents state election officials have sent the Jan. 6 committee, obtained by POLITICO through open records requests, underscore the depth of Trump’s pressure campaign directed at the typically lower-level administrators of presidential balloting. The emails, texts and phone recordings also add consequential context to previously reported incidents, such as Trump’s call to Georgia’s top elections investigator and Mark Meadows’ outreach to Georgia election officials.”

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s Coal Corruption Is So Much Worse Than You Knew. Manchin is bought and paid for by Big Coal. With his help the dying industry is pulling one final heist, and the entire planet may pay the price. Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell, Monday, 10 January 2022: “At this point in human evolution, burning coal for power is one of the stupidest things humans do. Coal plants are engines of destruction, not progress. Thanks to the rapid evolution of clean energy, there are many better, cheaper, cleaner ways to power our lives. The only reason anyone still burns coal today is because of the enormous political power and inertia that the industry has acquired since the 19th century. In America, that power and inertia is embodied in the cruel and cartoonish character of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who, paradoxically, may have more control over the trajectory of the climate crisis than any other person on the planet right now…. The truth is, Manchin is best understood as a grifter from the ancestral home of King Coal. He is a man with coal dust in his veins who has used his political skills to enrich himself, not the people of his state. He drives an Italian-made Maserati, lives on a houseboat on the Potomac River when he is in D.C., pals around with corporate CEOs, and has a net worth of as much as $12 million. More to the point, his wealth has been accumulated through controversial coal-related businesses in his home state, including using his political muscle to keep open the dirtiest coal plant in West Virginia, which paid him nearly $5 million over the past decade in fees for coal handling, as well as costing West Virginia electricity consumers tens of millions of dollars in higher electricity rates (more about the details of this in a moment).”

A group of North Carolina voters urged state officials to disqualify U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn as a congressional candidate, Associated Press, Gary D. Robertson, Monday, 10 January 2022: “A group of North Carolina voters urged state officials Monday to disqualify U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn as a congressional candidate, citing his participation in a rally last January in Washington that questioned the presidential election outcome and preceded the Capitol riot. Cawthorn’s office quickly condemned the candidacy challenge, filed on behalf of 11 voters before the State Board of Elections, which oversees the scrutiny of candidates’ qualifications. The voters contend that Cawthorn, a Republican who formally filed as a candidate for the 13th District seat last month, can’t run because he fails to comply with an amendment in the U.S. Constitution ratified shortly after the Civil War. The 14th Amendment says no one can serve in Congress ‘who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress . . . to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.’ The written challenge says events on Jan. 6, 2021 ‘amounted to an insurrection’ and that Cawthorn’s speech at the rally supporting then-President Donald Trump, his other comments and information in published reports provide a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that he helped facilitate the insurrection. ‘The importance of defending the bedrock constitutional principle that oath breakers who engage in insurrection cannot be trusted in future office is essential to maintain,’ said Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, a national election and campaign finance reform group backing the challenge.”

A year after the presidential election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is still spending hundreds of thousands to cover Trump’s legal bills. Experts say the unusual move is indicative of Trump’s ongoing influence. ABC News, Soo Rin Kim, Monday, 10 January 2022: “More than a year after the 2020 presidential election, the GOP is still covering numerous legal bills for the benefit of former President Donald Trump — and the price tag is ruffling the feathers of some longtime GOP donors who are now critical of Trump. In October and November alone, the Republican National Committee spent nearly $720,000 of its donor money on paying law firms representing Trump in various legal challenges, including criminal investigations into his businesses in New York, according to campaign finance records…. [E]xperts say the GOP’s recent payments of Trump’s attorney fees after he left the White House, for investigations that are not relevant to the next presidential campaign, is a very unusual move that’s indicative of the ongoing influence that the former president has over the party. ‘Campaign finance law does not strictly prohibit a national party committee from paying for private legal expenses, but it is very rare for a party committee to use donor money in that way,’ said Brendan Fischer, federal reforms director at nonpartisan government ethics group Campaign Legal Center. ‘And it is entirely unprecedented for a national party committee to cover a former president’s private legal bills, especially when those legal expenses arise out of an investigation into activity that preceded Trump’s time in the White House, and when Trump is sitting on millions of his own PAC funds,’ Fischer said.”


Tuesday, 11 January 2022:


Biden Calls for ‘Getting Rid of the Filibuster’ to Pass Voting Rights Laws. President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are pressuring Congress to pass federal voting laws that Republicans have repeatedly blocked. ‘This is the moment to defend our democracy,’ Mr. Biden said in a speech in Atlanta. The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “President Biden endorsed changing Senate rules to pass new voting rights legislation during a speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, warning of a grave threat to American democracy if lawmakers did not act to ‘protect the heart and soul’ of the country. Mr. Biden did not go so far as to call for full-scale elimination of the filibuster, a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to block legislation that fails to garner 60 votes, but said he supported ‘getting rid of’ it in the case of voting rights legislation. Such a change in Senate procedures has only the slimmest of chances of winning the support of all 50 senators who caucus with the Democrats, which is needed to overcome universal Republican opposition. Mr. Biden, a former senator and an institutionalist who had long been leery of whittling away at the filibuster, said such Senate traditions had been ‘abused.’… During an at-times emotional speech delivered at a consortium of four historically Black colleges and universities, Mr. Biden laid out the principles he wanted to be associated with — providing access to the ballot, fostering racial equality, and keeping “the promise of America alive” — and made it clear that, win or lose, he wanted to be on the right side of history.” See also, A Voting Rights Push, as States Make Voting Harder. President Biden says he won’t keep ‘quiet’ any longer about protecting ballot access. But voting rights groups say he should have raised his voice months ago. The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “In the nine months since Republicans in Georgia muscled through a host of new voting restrictions, 18 other states have enacted 33 such laws. More than 30 states have concluded their redistricting processes, with extreme partisan gerrymandering locking in Republican control over legislatures in the electoral battlegrounds of Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas for another 10 years. On Tuesday, President Biden urged Democrats to change the Senate’s rules to open a path — now blocked by the threat of a Republican filibuster — for federal legislation that would roll back some of the more egregious new voting restrictions and rein in hyperpartisan gerrymandering. Calm persuasion, Mr. Biden said, is no longer an option for a voting law that Democrats have now been debating among themselves for nearly a year. ‘I’ve been having these quiet conversations with members of Congress for the last two months,’ the president said in Atlanta on Tuesday. ‘I’m tired of being quiet!’ To that end, Mr. Biden called for ending the 60-vote threshold for voting rights bills, a step he opposed taking during his campaign and resisted throughout most of the first year of his presidency. While Mr. Biden waited, however, the laws governing voting were changed in many states, and a degree of voter suppression may have become all but assured.” See also, Biden calls for changing the filibuster in major voting rights speech, The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, Mike DeBonis, and Amy B Wang, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “President Biden threw his full support Tuesday behind changing the Senate filibuster to ease passage of voting rights bills, using a major speech in Atlanta to endorse an idea increasingly backed by Democrats and civil rights activists seeking momentum on what has been an intractable issue. The remarks from Biden, who was a senator for 36 years, amounted to his strongest endorsement yet of changes he had resisted for most of his career. The president made clear that he, like many others in his party, now believes the filibuster is being abused to block legislation that is fundamental to democracy…. Much of the speech was a blistering attack on Republicans of the kind Biden has long avoided, taking aim at those opposing voting rights measures in Congress as well as those enacting voting restrictions in the states.” See also, Biden calls for end to filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, NBC News, Lauren Egan, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for an end to the filibuster to allow for passage of federal voting rights bills, as congressional Democrats increasingly prioritize ballot box protections and advocates grow frustrated over stalled legislation. In a long-awaited speech on voting rights, the president tried to frame the issue as one that has historically received bipartisan support, accusing Senate Republicans of lacking the ‘courage to stand up to a defeated president to protect the right to vote. Their obstruction, he said, left Democrats with ‘no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.'”

Republican Gerrymander of North Carolina Maps Is Upheld in Court. The ruling set up a final battle over the maps in the state Supreme Court, where Democrats hold a slim edge. The New York Times, Michael Wines, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “A North Carolina state court on Tuesday rejected claims by voting rights advocates that Republican gerrymanders of the state’s political maps were unconstitutional. The unanimous ruling, by a panel of two Republican judges and one Democrat, set up a final battle over the maps in the seven-member state Supreme Court, where Democratic justices hold a slim edge. Voting rights groups said they would file an appeal immediately. One, Common Cause North Carolina, said the plaintiffs had presented ‘overwhelming evidence’ that the maps were stacked to favor Republicans. ‘The evidence clearly showed that Republican legislative leaders brazenly ignored legal requirements designed to protect voting rights for Black North Carolinians,’ the group’s executive director, Bob Phillips, said in a statement. ‘If allowed to stand, these extreme gerrymanders would cause profound and lasting harm to the people of our state.'”

Trump asks federal judge to halt civil investigation into his business practices by New York Attorney General Letitia James. James said this was merely a delay tactic by the former president. ABC News, Aaron Katersky, Tuesday, 11 January 2022: “Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal judge in New York to halt a civil investigation into his business practices by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing her in a new court filing of weaponizing her office to carry out a ‘targeted attack against a political adversary.’ Trump sued James last month in federal court to block her investigation into how the Trump Organization valued its real estate holdings. He is now asking for a preliminary injunction while the outcome of his lawsuit is decided and for James to recuse herself from the civil investigation…. In response, James said this was merely a delay tactic by the former president.”


Wednesday, 12 January 2022:


Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, Refuses Interview Request From the House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Attack on the Capitol, The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Wednesday, 12 January 2022: “The House select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Wednesday formally requested an interview with Representative Kevin McCarthy, taking the unusual step of calling the minority leader, who was in close contact with former President Donald J. Trump before, during and after the violence and has fought to shut down any investigation of the events. Mr. McCarthy quickly announced that he would refuse to cooperate, but the request sent a clear message that the committee’s investigators are willing to pursue the highest-ranking figures on Capitol Hill for information about Mr. Trump’s mind-set as the violence unfolded. A federal judge has suggested the former president’s attitude will be pivotal to determining whether Mr. Trump can face any liability for the day’s mayhem. It set up a politically charged showdown between House Democrats investigating the assault and Mr. McCarthy, the California Republican who is on track to become the speaker of the House if Republicans retake the chamber in November. And it suggested that investigators believe that Mr. McCarthy, who has acknowledged that he spoke by telephone with Mr. Trump while rioters stormed the Capitol, may also have been involved in conversations afterward about the president’s culpability in the assault and what should be done to address it.” See also, House January 6 committee will consider subpoena to Kevin McCarthy after he refuses to cooperate, The New York Times, Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger, Wednesday, 12 January 2022 and updated on Thursday, 13 January 2022: “The leaders of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol said Thursday that they will consider issuing a subpoena to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after he refused to cooperate with the inquiry. McCarthy on Wednesday rejected a request to voluntarily provide information about his communications with President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Both the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), and the vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), said Thursday the panel would now consider issuing a subpoena to McCarthy and other lawmakers — an option that raises complex legal and practical issues already under discussion. Cheney accused McCarthy of trying to cover up what happened Jan. 6. ‘I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,’ Cheney told CNN. ‘He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened. He has an obligation to come forward and we’ll get to the truth.'”

Pressed on his election lies, former President Trump cuts NPR interview short, NPR, Domenico Montanaro and Steve Inskeep, Wednesday, 12 January 2022: “Some Republican leaders are trying to move on from former President Donald Trump’s failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election that he lost. ‘While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state,’ Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. ‘The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And if we simply look back and tell our people don’t vote because there’s cheating going on, then we’re going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage.’ But Trump — who has endorsed dozens of candidates for the 2022 midterm elections and still holds by far the widest influence within the GOP — is trying hard not to let them move on. ‘No, I think it’s an advantage, because otherwise they’re going to do it again in ’22 and ’24, and Rounds is wrong on that. Totally wrong,’ Trump told NPR in an interview Tuesday, referring to his false and debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The interview was six years in the making. Trump and his team have repeatedly declined interviews with NPR until Tuesday, when he called in from his home in Florida. It was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted just over nine. After being pressed about his repeated lies about the 2020 presidential election, Trump abruptly ended the interview.” See also, Trump abruptly ends NPR interview after he is pressed on baseless election fraud claims, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Wednesday, 12 January 2022: “Former president Donald Trump abruptly ended an interview with NPR on Tuesday after he was pressed on his baseless claims of election fraud and repeated contention that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ against him. Trump hung up on ‘Morning Edition’ host Steve Inskeep nine minutes into what NPR said was scheduled to be a 15-minute interview that was broadcast Wednesday. After several lines of questioning related to Trump’s widely debunked election claims, Inskeep asked Trump whether he would endorse only Republican candidates this year who are pressing his case that the 2020 contest against Joe Biden was stolen from him. ‘Is that an absolute?’ Inskeep asked. Trump responded that the candidates ‘that are smart’ are going to press his case, citing Kari Lake, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona. Lake, a former news anchor, has parroted Trump’s baseless claims about election fraud. ‘She’s very big on this issue,’ Trump said. ‘She’s leading by a lot. People have no idea how big this issue is, and they don’t want it to happen again. . . . And the only way it’s not going to happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020.’ As Inskeep sought to interject, Trump said: ‘So, Steve, thank you very much. I appreciate it.’ He then hung up, prompting Inskeep to protest. Whoa, whoa, whoa, I have one more question,’ Inskeep said, adding that he wanted to talk about a court hearing related to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. Earlier in the interview, Inskeep had challenged Trump multiple times on his claims of election fraud.”


Thursday, 13 January 2022:


Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Virus Mandate for Large Employers. But the justices allowed a vaccination requirement for health care workers at facilities that receive federal money. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, dealing a blow to a key element of the White House’s plan to address the pandemic as coronavirus cases resulting from the Omicron variant are on the rise. But in a modest victory for President Biden, the court allowed a more limited mandate requiring health care workers at facilities receiving federal money to be vaccinated. The vote in the employer mandate case was 6 to 3, with the liberal justices in dissent. The vote in the health care case was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joining the liberal justices to form a majority. The employer decision undercut one of President Biden’s most significant attempts to tame the virus and left the country with a patchwork of state laws and policies, largely leaving companies and businesses on their own.” See also, Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, but it allows requirement for health-care workers at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday stopped the Biden administration’s vaccination-or-testing requirement for the nation’s largest employers, a dramatic blow to the federal government’s most far-reaching initiative to combat the coronavirus and boost the country’s lagging vaccination rate. But the court allowed a different and smaller policy to go forward, requiring vaccinations for most health-care workers at the facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds. The court has been supportive of state requirements targeting the pandemic but skeptical of broad federal responses. All six of the court’s conservatives said Congress had not given the Occupational Safety and Health Administration power to impose such a sweeping requirement in workplaces across the nation. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberals to say the secretary of health and human services did have the ability to require vaccination of health-care workers at facilities receiving federal funds. The court’s orders, issued after an emergency hearing Friday, might seem like a split decision. But the OSHA vaccine-or-test requirement would have applied to 84 million people. The requirement for health-care workers covers about 10 million.” See also, Supreme Court blocks nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses and allows health care worker vaccine mandate to take effect, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine and testing requirement aimed at large businesses, but it allowed a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers to go into effect nationwide. The decision is a huge hit to Biden’s attempts to use the power of the federal government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The President has emphasized the necessity of getting vaccinated against the virus for months and eventually decided to use the mandate on large employers as his main vehicle for convincing hesitant Americans to get their shots. In freezing a lower court opinion that allowed the regulation to go into effect nationwide, the majority sent a clear message the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with protecting workplace safety, overstepped its authority. In contrast, the justices said that a separate agency could issue a rule to protect the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients.”

Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema Rejects Changing the Filibuster, Dealing Biden a Setback. Sinema’s comments came after the House approved a set of voting rights measures on a party-line vote of 220 to 203. The New York Times, Carl Hulse, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “President Biden’s campaign to push new voting rights protections through Congress appeared all but dead on Thursday, after it became clear that he had failed to unite his own party behind his drive to overhaul Senate rules to enact the legislation over Republican opposition. In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances. The announcement by Ms. Sinema, who had long opposed changing Senate rules, left Mr. Biden and Democrats without an avenue for winning enactment of the voting rights measures, which they have characterized as vital to preserve democracy in the face of a Republican-led drive in states around the country to limit access to the ballot box. It came two days after the president had put his reputation on the line to make the case for enacting the legislation by any means necessary — including scrapping the famed filibuster — with a major speech in Atlanta that compared opponents of the voting rights measures to racist figures of the Civil War era and segregationists who thwarted civil rights initiatives in the 1960s.” See also, Democratic Senators Sinema of Arizona and Manchin of West Virginia confirm opposition to eliminating the filibuster, probably dooming Democrats’ voting rights push, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “Democrats’ hopes of finally pushing through voting rights legislation after months of Republican opposition appeared to be fatally wounded Thursday as two Democratic senators announced they would not support changing Senate rules that have long allowed a minority of senators to block legislation. The fresh statements from Sens. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) came as President Biden traveled to Capitol Hill to deliver a final, forceful appeal for action, putting an exclamation point on their party’s long and so far fruitless effort to counter restrictive Republican-passed state voting laws. The trip was rendered futile before Biden even set foot in the presidential limousine Thursday when Sinema explained her views in a midday floor speech. Manchin issued a written statement outlining his position shortly after Biden left.”

Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes Charged With Seditious Conspiracy in January 6 Investigation. The F.B.I. arrested Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia, in a major step forward in the investigation into the attack on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Adam Goldman, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “Stewart Rhodes, the leader and founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was arrested on Thursday and charged along with 10 others with seditious conspiracy over what prosecutors said was their wide-ranging plot to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year and disrupt the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory. The arrest of Mr. Rhodes, 56, was a major development in the sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack. He and the other Oath Keepers are the first to be charged with sedition among the more than 700 people accused so far of taking part in the assault. Mr. Rhodes was arrested shortly before 1 p.m. at his home in Granbury, Texas, his lawyer, Jonathon Moseley, said. The Justice Department has brought a variety of charges in connection with the Capitol attack; it has prosecuted about 275 people for obstructing Congress’s duty to certify the 2020 presidential vote count, for example. But it had not previously brought a sedition charge, with the legal weight and political overtones it carries about an election in a highly polarized country. The charge of seditious conspiracy, which can be difficult to prove, requires prosecutors to show that at least two people agreed to use force to overthrow government authority or delay the execution of a U.S. law. It carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.” See also, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is charged with seditious conspiracy in January 6 Capitol riot, The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “Stewart Rhodes — founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers — was arrested Thursday on a charge of seditious conspiracy, accused of guiding a months-long effort to unleash politically motivated violence to prevent the swearing-in of President Biden that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. The indictment filed against Rhodes and 10 other Oath Keepers or associates marks the first time the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled in connection with the wide-ranging Jan. 6 probe. ‘Rhodes and certain co-conspirators … planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force,’ the indictment reads. ‘They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’ call to take up arms at Rhodes’ direction.'”

January 6 committee says tech firms are not cooperating, and it issues subpoenas. Chairman Bennie Thompson cites repeated unanswered requests for information from Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Reddit. The Washington Post, Craig Timberg and Tom Hamburger, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “Congressional investigators on Thursday issued subpoenas to Twitter, Reddit and the parent companies of Facebook and YouTube and accused them of failing to provide complete information on how their platforms spread falsehoods that fomented the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The move, a sharp escalation in a long-brewing standoff between investigators and the companies, came after months of seeking data that yielded ‘inadequate responses,’ the chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol siege, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), said. ‘We cannot allow our work to be delayed any longer,’ Thompson said in a statement. ‘Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds to radicalizing people to violence.’ Thompson said that, despite requests for information sent in August, ‘we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions.'” See also, The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenas Google, Facebook, and Twitter for digital records, The Guardian, Hugo Lowell, Thursday, 13 January 2022: “The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack subpoenaed Twitter, Meta, Alphabet and Reddit on Thursday for records related to the 6 January insurrection, as it seeks to review data that could potentially incriminate the Trump White House. Facebook is part of Meta and Google is part of Alphabet. The move by the select committee suggests the panel is ramping up its examination of social media posts and messages that could provide evidentiary evidence as to who might have been in contact with the Trump White House around 6 January, one source said. Congressman Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the select committee, said in a statement that he authorized the four subpoenas since those platforms were used to communicate plans about the Capitol attack, and yet the social media companies ignored earlier requests.”


Friday, 14 January 2022:


Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down Republican Gerrymander of Map. The congressional map would have given Republicans an advantage of 12 seats to three in elections for the House of Representatives. The New York Times, Trip Gabriel, Friday, 14 January 2022: “The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a congressional map skewed to favor Republicans on Friday, ruling that it was the equivalent of a dealer stacking the deck, and sent it back to state lawmakers to try again. The map would have given Republicans an advantage of 12 seats to three in elections for the House of Representatives, even though the G.O.P. has lately won only about 55 percent of the statewide popular vote. ‘This is not what Ohio voters wanted or expected,’’ the court said of the map. Mapmakers in Ohio are not allowed to unduly favor one party in redistricting, after voters overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Ohio Constitution in 2018. The proposed map was drawn by Republicans in the Legislature and passed without Democratic support, and the court rejected it in a 4-to-3 decision. ‘When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins,’ wrote Justice Michael Donnelly for the majority, adding that the Republicans’ plan was ‘infused with undue partisan bias.’ The constitutional amendment was an effort to end partisan gerrymandering in the state, and the voting rights groups that brought the suit, including the League of Women Voters of Ohio, argued that Republican lawmakers had ignored the law.” See also, Ohio Supreme Court rejects Republican-drawn congressional map as unfairly partisan, The New York Times, Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 14 January 2022: “The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday rejected a new congressional map drawn by state Republican lawmakers as unconstitutional and ordered it redrawn, marking a major victory for Democrats in a state where lopsided districts have confounded their efforts to gain seats in the House. Democrats and voting rights groups had sued after Republicans created a map in November in which the party would have been favored to win 12 out of 15 seats, according to the court’s 4-3 opinion. They charged that the new lines defied a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 to ban partisan gerrymandering. While Republicans have won most recent statewide elections, their margins of victory have been far smaller. ‘Gerrymandering is the antithetical perversion of representative democracy,’ Justice Michael Donnelly wrote in the decision. ‘Its singular allure is that it locks in the controlling party’s political power while locking out any other party or executive office from serving as a check and balance to power.’ The court ordered the state legislature to submit a new map in the next 30 days.”


Saturday, 15 January 2022:


Email shows Trump officials interfered with the 2020 census beyond cutting it short, NPR, Hansi Lo Wang, Saturday, 15 January 2022: “Former President Donald Trump’s administration alarmed career civil servants at the Census Bureau by not only ending the 2020 national head count early, but also pressuring them to alter plans for protecting people’s privacy and producing accurate data, a newly released email shows. Trump’s political appointees at the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau, demonstrated an ‘unusually’ high level of ‘engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented relative to the previous censuses,’ according to a September 2020 email that Ron Jarmin — the bureau’s deputy director — sent to two other top civil servants. At the time, the administration was faced with the reality that if Trump lost the November election he could also lose a chance to change the census numbers used to redistribute political representation. The window of opportunity was closing for his administration to attempt to radically reshape the futures of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Electoral College.” See also, Census Memo Cites ‘Unprecedented’ Meddling by Trump Administration. Newly released documents show that top career officials at the Census Bureau had drafted a list of complaints about political interference in the 2020 count. The New York Times, Michael Wines, Saturday, 15 January 2022: “A newly disclosed memorandum citing ‘unprecedented’ meddling by the Trump administration in the 2020 census and circulated among top Census Bureau officials indicates how strongly they sought to resist efforts by the administration to manipulate the count for Republican political gain. The document was shared among three senior executives including Ron S. Jarmin, a deputy director and the agency’s day-to-day head. It was written in September 2020 as the administration was pressing the bureau to end the count weeks early so that if President Donald J. Trump lost the election in November, he could receive population estimates used to reapportion the House of Representatives before leaving office. The memo laid out a string of instances of political interference that senior census officials planned to raise with Wilbur Ross, who was then the secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau. The issues involved crucial technical aspects of the count, including the privacy of census respondents, the use of estimates to fill in missing population data, pressure to take shortcuts to produce population totals quickly and political pressure on a crash program that was seeking to identify and count unauthorized immigrants. Most of those issues directly affected the population estimates used for reapportionment. In particular, the administration was adamant that — for the first time ever — the bureau separately tally the number of undocumented immigrants in each state. Mr. Trump had ordered the tally in a July 2020 presidential memorandum, saying he wanted to subtract them from House reapportionment population estimates. The census officials’ memorandum pushed back especially forcefully, complaining of ‘direct engagement’ by political appointees with the methods that experts were using to find and count unauthorized noncitizens.”


Monday, 17 January 2022:


Senate Democrats Press Ahead With Debate on Voting Rights Bill. The Senate on Tuesday will begin to debate new voting rights protections, even though the measure appears all but dead in the face of two key Democratic defections. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Monday, 17 January 2022: “Senate Democrats plan to press ahead this week with an effort to push new voting rights protections through Congress, in an all but doomed attempt to enact a key piece of President Biden’s agenda that has been undercut by members of his own party. The Senate on Tuesday will begin to debate legislation that combines two separate bills already passed by the House — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — and folds them into an unrelated measure. The move would allow the Senate to bring the bill directly to the floor, avoiding an initial filibuster. But that strategy would still allow Republicans to block it from coming to a final vote, and Democrats lack the unanimous support needed in their party to change Senate rules to muscle through the legislation themselves. Still, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said late last week that Democrats would forge ahead anyway, forcing Republicans to publicly declare their opposition to the bill. ‘We all have to be recorded at this moment in time about where are we in protecting the right to vote,’ Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday. ‘Right now, it doesn’t look like it has the votes to pass, but we’re going to cancel our Martin Luther King Day recess and be there this week because we think it’s so important for the country.’ The push to proceed even in the face of almost certain failure reflects the party’s conundrum, facing two key defections in its ranks and a wall of Republican opposition. It comes days after a critical Democrat, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, emphatically announced that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances and Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia reiterated the same position.”


Tuesday, 18 January 2022:


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to propose ‘talking filibuster’ rules change on voting rights amid stalemate, CNN Politics, Clare Foran, Ali Zaslav, and Manu Raju, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday that he plans to put forward a proposal to change Senate rules to allow for a ‘talking filibuster’ once Republicans block the voting legislation that Democrats are trying to pass. Since that would change the current 60-vote threshold set by the filibuster and allow the Senate to move to a simple majority vote, moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are expected to oppose it and scuttle the effort. The announcement by Schumer sets up a major showdown in the Senate among Democrats as the party gears up to put two of its own members on the spot in an effort that appears doomed to fail and comes as liberal activists demand action on voting rights. Democrats, who control only 50 seats in the Senate, don’t have the votes to pass voting legislation on their own, and they also do not have the votes to change Senate rules to get rid of the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold for most legislation amid opposition from the pair of Democratic moderates. But despite the divisions within the party, Democrats are pressing ahead in an effort to send a message about their commitment to the issue of voting rights.”

The House Committee Investigating the January 6 Attack on the Capitol Subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Digging Into False Vote Fraud Claims. The House committee called for documents and testimony from Giuliani and other members of President Donald Trump’s legal team. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Tuesday subpoenaed Rudolph W. Giuliani and other members of the legal team that pursued a set of conspiracy-filled lawsuits on behalf of former President Donald J. Trump in which they made unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. In addition to Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and a ringleader of the group, the panel subpoenaed three others who played central roles in his effort to use the courts, state legislatures and Congress to try to overturn his defeat. Jenna Ellis drafted a memo on how Mr. Trump could invalidate the election results by exploiting an obscure law. Sidney Powell, a lawyer who worked on many of the lawsuits with Mr. Giuliani, ran an organization that raised millions of dollars based on false claims that election machines were rigged. Boris Epshteyn pursued allegations of election fraud in Nevada and Arizona and is said to have participated in a call with Mr. Trump on the morning of Jan. 6, ‘during which options were discussed to delay the certification of election results,’ the committee said. ‘The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results or were in direct contact with the former president about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes,’ Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said in a statement.” See also, The House committee investigating the insurrection of January 6, 2021, subpoenas Rudi Giuliani, Boris Epshteyn, Jenna Ellis, and Sidney Powell, The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, issued subpoenas Tuesday to members of former president Donald Trump’s outside legal team who pursued and disseminated unfounded claims of mass election fraud, including Trump’s former personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, former White House aide Boris Epshteyn, and lawyers Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell…. Giuliani and Epshteyn were part of the group of Trump advisers who coalesced at a ‘command center’ at the Willard Hotel in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse and the counting of electoral votes, The Washington Post reported. In a letter transmitting notice of the subpoenas, Thompson cites Giuliani’s involvement in seeking to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the election results, his urging of Trump to seize voting machines across the country, and his contact with Trump in the days ahead of Jan. 6 ‘regarding strategies for delaying or overturning the results of the 2020 election.'”

Eric Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s phone records subpoenaed by January 6 committee, CNN Politics, Jamie Gangel, Jeremy Herb, and Elizabeth Stuart, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol has subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with one of former President Donald Trump’s children, Eric Trump, as well as Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is engaged to Donald Trump Jr., sources tell CNN. It appears to be the first time the select committee has issued a subpoena that targeted a member of the Trump family, in what marks a significant escalation of the investigation into Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection. The decision to subpoena communication records involving the Trump family underscores the aggressive tack the committee is taking as it races to complete its investigation while battling Trump in court over access to documents from his administration. The phone records obtained by the committee are part of a new round of call detail records subpoenaed from communication companies, multiple sources tell CNN. These records provide the committee with logs that show incoming and outgoing calls, including the date, time and length of calls. The records also show a log of text messages, but not the substance or content of the messages. Still, the information can be a critical investigative tool for the committee in piecing together a road map of who was communicating before, during and after January 6.”

Prosecutors Are Said to Have Asked About Trump’s Role in the January 6 Riot. A court filing by a defendant in a Capitol riot case said the Justice Department was looking for information about a possible ‘organized conspiracy’ involving the former president. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “For months, the Justice Department has provided little public indication of whether, or how seriously, it is investigating the role played by former President Donald J. Trump in the violent attack on the Capitol last Jan. 6. But on Tuesday, for the first time, evidence emerged in court papers that prosecutors have posed questions to at least one Jan. 6 defendant that were ‘focused on establishing an organized conspiracy’ involving Mr. Trump and his allies to ‘disrupt’ the work of Congress. The papers were filed by a defense lawyer in the case of Brandon Straka, a former hair stylist who founded a group called the Walk Away Foundation, which seeks to persuade Democratic voters to leave the party.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James Outlines Pattern of Possible Fraud at Trump Family Business. James released new details of her investigation as she argued for the need to question Trump and two of his children under oath. The New York Times, Jonah E. Bromwich, Ben Protess, and William K. Rashbaum, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “The New York State attorney general, Letitia James, accused Donald J. Trump’s family business late Tuesday of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to bolster its bottom line, saying in court papers that the company had engaged in ‘fraudulent or misleading’ practices. The filing came in response to Mr. Trump’s recent effort to block Ms. James from questioning him and two of his adult children under oath as part of a civil investigation of his business, the Trump Organization. Ms. James’s inquiry into Mr. Trump and the company is ongoing, and it is unclear whether her lawyers will ultimately file a lawsuit against them. Still, the filing marked the first time that the attorney general’s office leveled such specific accusations against the former president’s company. Her broadside ratchets up the pressure on Mr. Trump as he seeks to shut down her investigation, which he has called a partisan witch hunt. Ms. James is a Democrat.” See also, New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges Trump’s business inflated property values and personal wealth statements, The Washington Post, Shayna Jacobs, Jonathan O’Connell, and Josh Dawsey, published on Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged on Tuesday that former president Donald Trump’s business inflated the value of his properties and misstated his personal worth in representations to lenders, insurance brokers and other players in his real estate empire. James, a Democrat who is leading a civil probe into Trump and his business, spelled out the claims in a court filing late Tuesday that was offered in support of her bid to see Trump and his adult children deposed under oath. In the nearly 160-page document, James cited examples of Trump allegedly lending his signature to financial statements that estimated the worth of properties in the Trump Organization portfolio and the value of his own fortune — estimates that James’s team has long suggested were misleading and potentially key to taking legal action against the Manhattan-based company. ‘Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation,’ James said in a statement released Tuesday night along with the documents. James said that the trio’s testimony is necessary to advance a probe that is based on at least 900,000 documents obtained from the Trump Organization, interviews with employees and other evidence. The filings were in response to a motion to quash subpoenas to the three Trumps that demanded they sit for depositions and produce related records. Eric Trump, who along with his siblings has served as a high-ranking officer at the company, was deposed in late 2020.” See also, New York Attorney General Letitia James says investigation into Trump and his business found ‘significant evidence’ suggesting fraud. A new court filing says that Trump and two of his children were in charge when misleading financial statements were issued to lenders and to the federal government. NBC News, Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst, published on Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “New York Attorney General Letitia James disclosed new details Tuesday night about her civil investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business, saying the probe has uncovered evidence suggesting the company put a fraudulent value on multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit. James, who launched her probe in 2019, also said in the court filing that the former president ‘had ultimate authority over a wide swath of conduct by the Trump Organization’ that involved fraudulent misstatements to financial institutions, the Internal Revenue Service, and other parties. She specifically mentioned the responsibility of two of the former president’s adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.” See also, New Legal Filing by New York Attorney General Letitia James Reveals Startling Details of Possible Fraud by the Trump Organization. The filing comes several years after a ProPublica investigation revealed conflicting financial details the Trump Organization filed for its downtown Manhattan skyscraper at 40 Wall Street. ProPublica, Heather Vogell, Friday, 21 January 2022: “A new legal filing by New York’s attorney general this week accused former President Donald Trump’s company of misleading lenders about the financial health of its landmark downtown Manhattan skyscraper, 40 Wall Street, while seeking to renew the building’s mortgage. Though the Trump Organization called 40 Wall Street ‘one of the great success stories post 2008,’ lender Capital One found the company’s estimates of the building’s worth so unbelievable that the bank declined to refinance the tower’s loan in 2015, the filing alleges. ‘Capital One harbored great skepticism regarding the Trump Organization’s valuations,’ says the filing, which was submitted by Attorney General Letitia James in response to Trump’s efforts to block her from questioning him and his children as part of an ongoing investigation by her office. The new accusations offer startling details about possible financial fraud involving 40 Wall Street — one of the subjects of a 2019 ProPublica story that highlighted conflicting financial documents the Trump Organization had filed for the building. ProPublica’s story documented how income, expense and occupancy numbers cited in the eventual refinance for 40 Wall Street and another Manhattan building sometimes didn’t match those the company had filed with city tax authorities. A lower valuation for the city would produce a lower tax bill, while a higher valuation for lenders would make it easier to get a new mortgage. One expert said it appeared like the Trump Organization was keeping ‘two sets of books.'”

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch didn’t mask up despite Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s COVID worries, leading her to telework, NPR, Nina Totenberg, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “It was pretty jarring earlier this month when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court took the bench for the first time since the omicron surge over the holidays. All were now wearing masks … except Justice Neil Gorsuch. What’s more, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was not there at all, choosing instead to participate through a microphone setup in her chambers. Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19. She has been the only justice to wear a mask on the bench since last fall when, amid a marked decline in COVID-19 cases, the justices resumed in-person arguments for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Now, though, the situation had changed with the omicron surge, and according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up. They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices’ weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone. Gorsuch, from the beginning of his tenure, has proved a prickly justice, not exactly beloved even by his conservative soulmates on the court.” See also, Supreme Court Justices Roberts, Sotomayor, and Gorsuch Address Reports of Conflicts Over Masks. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes, has been participating in Supreme Court arguments remotely. Justice Neil Gorsuch, her seatmate, is the only member of the court who does not wear a mask. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, published on Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “In an unusual joint statement on Wednesday, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil M. Gorsuch sought to rebut reports that Justice Gorsuch’s refusal to wear a mask at Supreme Court arguments has created tensions between them. ‘Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us,’ the statement said. ‘It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.’ A few hours later, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued his own statement. ‘I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other justice to wear a mask on the bench,’ he said. Since the justices returned this month from their holiday break, all of them started to wear masks in the courtroom except Justice Gorsuch. At the same time, Justice Sotomayor, who has diabetes and had been the only member of the court to wear a mask since the justices returned to the bench in October, started to participate in arguments remotely from her chambers. Justice Sotomayor sits next to Justice Gorsuch on the bench. The justices’ statements seemed to be primarily directed at a report by Nina Totenberg of NPR on Tuesday attributed to ‘court sources.’ In it, Ms. Totenberg said that Justice Sotomayor ‘did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked.'”

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend granted immunity in sex trafficking probe, CBS News, Michael Kaplan, Tuesday, 18 January 2022: “Prosecutors granted immunity to an ex-girlfriend of Representative Matt Gaetz before she testified last week in front of a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation of the congressman, according to a source familiar with the matter. Gaetz has been under investigation to determine if he violated sex trafficking laws and obstructed justice in that probe. Gaetz has previously denied all wrongdoing, and has said he has never paid for sex nor had sex with an underage girl. The woman, who CBS News is not naming to protect her privacy, testified in front of a federal grand jury in Orlando last Wednesday. She is viewed as a potential key witness, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. One of the sources said she has information related to the investigation of both the sex trafficking and obstruction allegations.”


Wednesday, 19 January 2022:


Democrats Fail to Change Filibuster Rules as Republicans Block Action on Voting Rights. Republicans used the filibuster for a fifth time to thwart the bill, and Democrats were unable to muster the votes to change Senate rules to pass it. The New York Times, Carl Hulse, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “Senate Democrats made an impassioned case on Wednesday for legislation to counter an onslaught of new voting restrictions around the country, but they failed to overcome a Republican blockade or unite their own members behind a change in filibuster rules to pass it. Though the twin defeats were never in doubt, Democrats pushed forward in an effort to highlight what they called a crisis in voting rights and to underscore the refusal of Republicans to confront it. They did succeed in forcing the Senate for the first time to debate the bill, leading to hours of raw and emotional arguments on the floor over civil rights, racism and how elections are conducted.” See also, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema join with Republican senators in rejecting attempt to change filibuster rules, effectively killing Democratic voting rights bill, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “The year-long Democratic push for federal voting rights legislation died in the Senate on Wednesday night, after Republicans blocked an elections bill for the fifth time in six months and Democrats failed to unite their caucus behind a plan to rewrite the Senate’s rules and pass it anyway. The final clash, which has been brewing since Democrats won congressional majorities a year ago as Republican legislatures in 19 states embarked on a campaign to roll back election access, began with an evening vote to close debate on a sprawling voting rights bill. That vote, at the Senate’s traditional 60-vote margin for legislation, failed on party lines. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) then moved to reconsider the legislation to propose a rules change allowing for the bill’s advancement with a simple majority of 51 votes. The Senate rejected that maneuver 52 to 48, with two Democrats, Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), joining all 50 Republicans in opposition. The late-evening vote amounted to a bitter but unsurprising finale for the Democratic voting rights effort on Capitol Hill, a campaign backed by top party leaders and pushed by key elements of its coalition even as Manchin and Sinema repeatedly made clear they would not weaken the 60-vote rule, defending it as a tool to protect minority-party rights and promote bipartisanship in U.S. democracy.” See also, Senate fails to change filibuster rules after Republicans block voting rights bill, CNN Politics, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, and Fernando Alfonso III, Wednesday, 19 January 2022.

In Rebuke to Trump, Supreme Court Allows Release of January 6 Files. The House committee investigating the riot received hundreds of pages of documents from the former president’s White House within hours of the ruling. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused a request from former President Donald J. Trump to block the release of White House records concerning the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, effectively rejecting Mr. Trump’s claim of executive privilege and clearing the way for the House committee investigating the riot to start receiving the documents hours later. The court, with only Justice Clarence Thomas noting a dissent, let stand an appeals court ruling that Mr. Trump’s desire to maintain the confidentiality of internal White House communications was outweighed by the need for a full accounting of the attack and the disruption of the certification of the 2020 electoral count. In an unsigned order, the majority wrote that Mr. Trump’s request for a stay while the case moved forward presented weighty issues, including ‘whether and in what circumstances a former president may obtain a court order preventing disclosure of privileged records from his tenure in office, in the face of a determination by the incumbent president to waive the privilege.’ But an appeals court’s ruling against Mr. Trump did not turn on those questions, the order said. ‘Because the court of appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former president necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision,’ the order said. Within hours of the decision, the National Archives began turning over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee. A Justice Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday evening that the documents had been delivered to the committee. But a spokesman for the panel said on Thursday morning that the committee had received only some of the documents and expected the rest to be delivered as quickly as the archives could produce them.” See also, Supreme Court rejects Trump’s request to withhold January 6 materials from House committee investigating violent Capitol riot by Trump supporters, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected former president Donald Trump’s request to block the release of some of his White House records to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The order turned aside Trump’s request to block the records’ release while the case regarding his assertion of executive privilege continues through the courts. It means there is no legal obstacle to release of the materials from the National Archives — which President Biden has approved — and Trump’s lawyers have argued that would make the case moot. White House spokesman Michael Gwin said the court’s ruling was an ‘important step forward’ in the probe. ‘The former President subverted the constitution in an attempt to overturn a lawful and fair election,’ Gwin said in a statement Wednesday night. ‘His actions represented a unique and existential threat to our democracy, and President Biden has been clear that these events require a full investigation to ensure that what we saw on January 6th can never happen again.’ It was a major victory for the House select committee, which has been aggressive in going after Trump’s records, issuing subpoenas to his allies and focusing on the president’s actions during the insurrection. ‘The Supreme Court’s action tonight is a victory for the rule of law and American democracy,’ committee chairman Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a joint statement. ‘The Select Committee has already begun to receive records that the former President had hoped to keep hidden. … Our work goes forward to uncover all the facts about the violence of January 6th and its causes.’ The records will be released to the committee, and not the public.”

House January 6 Committee Subpoenas White Nationalist Figures. The panel investigating the assault on the Capitol wants information from two leaders of the ‘America First’ extremist movement. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued two subpoenas on Wednesday for the leaders of a white nationalist movement that helped bring a crowd to Washington ahead of the riot. The committee issued subpoenas to Nicholas J. Fuentes and Patrick Casey, whom the panel described as leaders of the ‘America First’ or ‘Groyper’ movement and who were on the Capitol grounds last Jan. 6. Mr. Fuentes, a white nationalist, online provocateur and activist, has allied with Representative Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican from Arizona who helped lead objections in Congress to the certification of President Biden’s victory. The subpoenas demonstrated the committee’s intensifying focus on the rallies that led up to the mob violence and how those with extremist views were drawn to former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. The panel instructed the men to turn over documents related to their activities and submit to interviews in February.”

How Oath Keepers Are Accused of Plotting to Storm the Capitol, The New York Times, Denise Lu and Eleanor Lutz, Wednesday, 19 January 2022: “In laying out the sedition charge against Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keeper militia, and 10 others, federal prosecutors have built a timeline of events as evidence of a conspiracy to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year.”


Thursday, 20 January 2022:


The House Committee Investigating the January 6 Capitol Riot Seeks Testimony From Ivanka Trump. The committee revealed what it has learned about what unfolded inside the White House that day. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on Thursday requested cooperation from Ivanka Trump, as it revealed pieces of what it has learned about a scramble inside the White House that day to get President Donald J. Trump to denounce and call off the mob that was laying siege to the Capitol. In a letter to Ms. Trump, the former president’s eldest daughter who served as one of his senior advisers, the committee said it had obtained evidence that multiple White House officials — including Ms. Trump, at least twice — had implored Mr. Trump to call off the violence, only to be rebuffed. But aides at the time were also worried about Mr. Trump issuing anything other than a scripted statement during the mayhem…. The summoning of Ms. Trump suggested that the committee was delving deeper into the question of what Mr. Trump was doing and saying while the attack unfolded, as it seeks to determine his intentions and state of mind during the assault. The letter also made clear that the panel has already uncovered substantial evidence about those critical hours inside the White House from key players who were present that day.” See also, January 6 House Select Committee seeks testimony from Ivanka Trump to discuss her father’s attempt to overturn the election results, The Washington Post, Tom Hamburger, Jacqueline Alemany, and Josh Dawsey, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has requested voluntary testimony from Ivanka Trump, saying in a letter sent Thursday that witnesses have told investigators that she may have direct knowledge of President Donald Trump’s actions before, during and after his supporters attempted to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as president that day. The request from committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said the former White House adviser was present when her father pressured Vice President Mike Pence to reject Biden’s victory when he presided over the electoral vote count in the Capitol last year. ‘The Committee would like to discuss any other conversations you may have witnessed or participated in regarding the President’s plan to obstruct or impede the counting of electoral votes,’ Thompson wrote. The committee also said it has information that Ivanka Trump was enlisted by White House aides to get her father to call off his supporters while they were ransacking the Capitol. In addition, Thompson said the panel wants to speak with her about what she knows about whether her father sought to deploy or block the deployment of the National Guard in response to the attack.” See also, January 6 House Select Committee asks Ivanka Trump to give voluntary testimony. The committee said it has evidence that Ivanka Trump was ‘in direct contact’ with her father on the day of the riot. NBC News, Teaganne Finn, Leigh Ann Caldwell, and Kyle Stewart, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has invited Ivanka Trump to give voluntary testimony. In a letter sent Thursday to former President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, who served as a top White House adviser, the committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said it was seeking information about her communications with the White House surrounding the attack. The committee said that has evidence that Ivanka Trump was ‘in direct contact’ with her father on the day of the riot and that she may have ‘direct knowledge’ of the former president’s efforts to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to block Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results.” See also, After January 6, Fox News Host Sean Hannity Advised Trump: ‘No More Stolen Election Talk,’ The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The Fox News host Sean Hannity had some blunt advice for President Donald J. Trump on Jan. 7, 2021: ‘No more stolen election talk.’ His guidance did not take. But documents disclosed on Thursday showed in vivid detail just how closely Mr. Hannity had worked with White House aides in a fervent, if brief, effort to persuade Mr. Trump to abandon his false claims about voter fraud after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. One day after the attack, Mr. Hannity sent a text message to Kayleigh McEnany, then the White House press secretary, describing a five-point plan for approaching conversations with the president, according to documents released by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot. After urging Ms. McEnany to avoid discussion of a ‘stolen election,’ Mr. Hannity proffered another talking point to use with Mr. Trump: ‘Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit …’ Mr. Hannity appeared to be referring to the possibilities that Mr. Trump could be impeached, face mass resignations from his staff or be temporarily removed from office by a group of his cabinet secretaries invoking the 25th Amendment. Ms. McEnany replied: ‘Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce.’ Fox News, where Ms. McEnany is now a commentator and a co-host of a weekday program, declined to comment on Thursday. In public, Mr. Hannity and Ms. McEnany remain lock-step supporters of Mr. Trump and his worldview. But their private exchanges show the level of alarm among even the president’s closest allies after the Jan. 6 riot, as Mr. Trump persisted in his false claims that the election had been stolen from him and his political future appeared deeply precarious. The exchanges were included in a letter sent by the House committee to Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s daughter and one of his senior advisers.”

Ex-press secretary Stephanie Grisham tells the House select committee that Trump held secret meetings in days before January 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters, The Guardian, Hugo Lowell, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack that Donald Trump hosted secret meetings in the White House residence in days before 6 January, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The former senior Trump aide also told House investigators that the details of whether Trump actually intended to march to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse rally would be memorialized in documents provided to the US Secret Service, the sources said. The select committee’s interview with Grisham, who was Melania Trump’s chief of staff when she resigned on 6 January, was more significant than expected, the sources said, giving the panel new details about the Trump White House and what the former US president was doing before the Capitol attack. Grisham gave House investigators an overview of the chaotic final weeks in the Trump White House in the days leading up to the Capitol attack, recalling how the former president held off-the-books meetings in the White House residence, the sources said. The secret meetings were apparently known by only a small number of aides, the sources said. Grisham recounted that they were mostly scheduled by Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and that the former chief usher, Timothy Harleth, would wave participants upstairs, the sources said.”

Atlanta District Attorney Fani T. Willis Requests Special Grand Jury in Trump Election Inquiry. Willis is investigating possible election interference by the former president and his allies. The New York Times, Maggie Astor and Danny Hakim, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “A district attorney in Atlanta on Thursday asked a judge to convene a special grand jury to help a criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. The inquiry is seen by legal experts as potentially perilous for the former president. The grand jury request from the district attorney in Fulton County, Fani T. Willis, had been expected after crucial witnesses refused to participate voluntarily. A grand jury could issue subpoenas compelling those witnesses to provide information. The distinction of a special grand jury is that it would focus exclusively on the Trump investigation, while regular grand juries handle many cases and cannot spend as much time on a single one. The Georgia case is one of two active criminal investigations known to involve the former president and his circle; the other is the examination of his financial dealings by the Manhattan district attorney. ‘The District Attorney’s Office has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,’ Ms. Willis wrote in a letter to Christopher S. Brasher, the chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court; the letter was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Judge Brasher declined to comment…. The inquiry centers on Mr. Trump’s actions in the two months between his election loss and Congress’s certification of the results, including a call he made to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to pressure him to ‘find 11,780 votes’ — the margin by which Mr. Trump lost the state. Ms. Willis said that Mr. Raffensperger was among those who had refused to cooperate without a subpoena.” See also, Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis requests special grand jury in probe of Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s election results, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Thursday, 19 January 2022: “The Atlanta-area prosecutor weighing whether former president Donald Trump and others committed crimes by trying to pressure Georgia election officials has requested a special purpose grand jury to aid in her investigation. In a letter Thursday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) told the chief judge of Fulton County’s Superior Court that the move was needed because a ‘significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.’ Willis cited Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) as an example. Willis has previously confirmed that part of her probe centers on the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Raffensperger in which Trump asked Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state’s presidential election.”

Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw fake electors plot in 7 states, CNN Politics, Marshall Cohen Zachary Cohen, and Dan Merica, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw efforts in December 2020 to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme. The sources said members of former President Donald Trump’s campaign team were far more involved than previously known in the plan, a core tenet of the broader plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory when Congress counted the electoral votes on January 6. Giuliani and his allies coordinated the nuts-and-bolts of the process on a state-by-state level, the sources told CNN. One source said there were multiple planning calls between Trump campaign officials and GOP state operatives, and that Giuliani participated in at least one call. The source also said the Trump campaign lined up supporters to fill elector slots, secured meeting rooms in statehouses for the fake electors to meet on December 14, 2020, and circulated drafts of fake certificates that were ultimately sent to the National Archives. Trump and some of his top advisers publicly encouraged the ‘alternate electors’ scheme in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico. But behind the scenes, Giuliani and Trump campaign officials actively choreographed the process, the sources said.” See also, As Rudy Giuliani coordinated plan for Trump electoral votes in states Biden won, some electors balked, The Washington Post, Beth Reinhard, Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, Emma Brown, and Rosalind S. Helderman, Thursday, 19 January 2022: “On Dec. 14, 2020, the day of the electoral college vote, Republican electors convened in the capitals of five states that Joe Biden had won. They declared themselves ‘duly elected and qualified’ and sent signed certificates to Washington purporting to affirm Donald Trump as the actual victor. At the time, the gatherings in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin — all states that had officially approved Biden electors — were widely derided as political stunts intended to bolster Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud. Understanding the origins of the rival slates has now become a focus of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to people familiar with the panel’s activities. Two Democratic attorneys general have asked federal prosecutors in recent days to investigate whether crimes were committed in assembling or submitting the Trump slates. The Trump electors gathered in plain sight, assisted by campaign officials and Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said publicly that the rival slates were necessary and appropriate. Internally, Giuliani oversaw the effort, according to former campaign officials and party leaders who, like some others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. One of the people familiar with the plan said Giuliani was assisted at times by an anchor from the right-wing network One America News. The extent and particulars of the behind-the-scenes coordination — and the refusal by some Trump electors to go along with the plan — have not been previously reported. The campaign scrambled to help electors gain access to Capitol buildings, as is required in some states, and to distribute draft language for the certificates that would later be submitted to Congress, according to the former campaign officials and party leaders…. In ways that were not publicly known until months later, however, the rival slates were leveraged as evidence in last-ditch efforts to give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to reject Biden’s victory when he presided over the electoral vote count in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”

Supreme Court Lets Texas Abortion Law Stay in Effect, for Now. In dissent, the three liberal justices said the majority, by allowing a time-consuming legal detour, had created ‘a disaster for the rule of law.’ The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Thursday, 20 January 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request from abortion providers in Texas that a federal judge be allowed to take prompt action on their challenge to a state law that bans most abortions after six weeks. The practical effect of the order, the three liberal justices wrote in dissent, was to let the law stay in place indefinitely. ‘This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,’ Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent. The majority gave no reasons for its ruling, which followed a decision last month allowing the providers to sue at least some state officials to try to block or limit the law. That victory was an empty one, the dissenting justices wrote on Thursday, because the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, refused to return the case to the trial judge and instead sent it on a legal detour to a state court.”


Friday, 21 January 2022:


January 6 Panel and State Officials Seek Answers on Fake Trump Electors. Pressure is mounting on the Justice Department to investigate bogus electors who claimed that Donald Trump defeated Joseph Biden in their states. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Friday, 21 January 2022: “Law enforcement officials, members of Congress and the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are digging deeper into the role that fake slates of electors played in efforts by former President Donald J. Trump to cling to power after he lost the 2020 election. In recent days, the state attorneys general in Michigan and New Mexico have asked the Justice Department to investigate fake slates of electors that falsely claimed that Mr. Trump, not Joseph R. Biden Jr., had won their states. Representative Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, wrote to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Friday demanding an investigation into the same issue in his state. And this week, members of the House committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 riot said that they, too, were examining the part that the bogus electoral slates played in Mr. Trump’s scheme to overturn the election. ‘We want to look at the fraudulent activity that was contained in the preparation of these fake Electoral College certificates, and then we want to look to see to what extent this was part of a comprehensive plan to overthrow the 2020 election,’ Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill. ‘There’s no doubt that those people were engaged in a constitutional fraud on the public and on the democracy,’ he added in a separate interview, referring to the bogus electors. The false slates, put forth in seven contested swing states, appear to have been part of a strategy by Mr. Trump’s allies to disrupt the normal workings of the Electoral College. After election officials in those states sent official lists of electors who had voted for Mr. Biden to the Electoral College, the fake slates claimed that Mr. Trump had won.”

Texas Man Chad Christopher Stark Charged With Threatening to Kill Georgia Election Officials. Stark is accused of using Craigslist to call for the assassination of election officials; he is the first to be charged by the Justice Department’s task force on election threats. The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein, Friday, 21 January 2022: “The Justice Department on Friday charged a Texas man with publicly calling for the assassination of Georgia’s election officials on the day before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The case is the first brought by the department’s Election Threats Task Force, an agency created last summer to address threats against elections and election workers. Federal prosecutors accused the man, Chad Christopher Stark, 54, of Leander, Texas, of calling for ‘Georgia Patriots’ to ‘put a bullet’ in a Georgia election official the indictment refers to as Official A. Mr. Stark, according to the three-page indictment, made the threat in a post on Craigslist, the online message board, while then-President Donald J. Trump and his allies were putting public pressure on Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state who certified Mr. Trump’s defeat in Georgia to Joseph R. Biden Jr. ‘Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors,’ Mr. Stark wrote, according to the indictment. ‘It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges.’ Mr. Stark was charged with one count of communicating interstate threats.” See also, Texas man Chad Christopher Stark is charged with threatening election and other government officials in Georgia, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky, Friday, 21 January 2022: “A Texas man was arrested Friday and charged with threatening election and other government officials in Georgia, in the first case brought by a Justice Department task force formed to combat such threats, authorities said. In an indictment, federal prosecutors alleged that Chad Christopher Stark, 54, posted a message on Craigslist on Jan. 5, 2021, saying it was “time to kill” an official, whose name is not included in the court documents…. Georgia officials, in particular, were targeted by hostile messages after they refused to back President Donald Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud. Trump called Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) the ‘enemy of the people’ after the election went against him, and he urged Raffensperger in a phone call to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat.”

Read the never-issued Trump executive order that would have seized voting machines, Politico, Betsy Woodruff Swan, Friday, 21 January 2022: “Among the records that Donald Trump’s lawyers tried to shield from Jan. 6 investigators are a draft executive order that would have directed the defense secretary to seize voting machines and a document titled ‘Remarks on National Healing.’ POLITICO has reviewed both documents. The text of the draft executive order is published here for the first time. The executive order — which also would have appointed a special counsel to probe the 2020 election — was never issued. The remarks are a draft of a speech Trump gave the next day. Together, the two documents point to the wildly divergent perspectives of White House advisers and allies during Trump’s frenetic final weeks in office. It’s not clear who wrote either document. But the draft executive order is dated Dec. 16, 2020, and is consistent with proposals that lawyer Sidney Powell made to the then-president. On Dec. 18, 2020, Powell, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump administration lawyer Emily Newman, and former CEO Patrick Byrne met with Trump in the Oval Office. In that meeting, Powell urged Trump to seize voting machines and to appoint her as a special counsel to investigate the election, according to Axios. A spokesperson for the House’s Jan. 6 select committee confirmed earlier Friday that the panel had received the last of the documents that Trump’s lawyers tried to keep under wraps and later declined to comment for this story on these two documents. The draft executive order shows that the weeks between Election Day and the Capitol attack could have been even more chaotic than they were. It credulously cites conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia and Michigan, as well as debunked notions about Dominion voting machines.” See also, Trump draft executive order would have authorized National Guard to seize voting machines. The order, which was obtained by Politico, was never signed by the former president. NBC News, Dareh Gregorian, Friday, 21 January 2022: “A draft of an executive order prepared for then-President Donald Trump and obtained Friday by Politico would have authorized the secretary of defense to send National Guard troops to seize voting machines around the country in the weeks following the 2020 election. The order, which was never signed by Trump, also would have appointed a special counsel “to institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected,” and calls on the defense secretary to release an assessment 60 days after the action started, which would have been well after Trump was set to leave office on Jan. 20, 2021.”

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court? Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court. The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, Friday, 21 January 2022: “In December, Chief Justice John Roberts released his year-end report on the federal judiciary. According to a recent Gallup poll, the Supreme Court has its lowest public-approval rating in history—in part because it is viewed as being overly politicized. President Joe Biden recently established a bipartisan commission to consider reforms to the Court, and members of Congress have introduced legislation that would require Justices to adhere to the same types of ethics standards as other judges. Roberts’s report, however, defiantly warned everyone to back off. ‘The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence,’ he wrote. His statement followed a series of defensive speeches from members of the Court’s conservative wing, which now holds a super-majority of 6–3. Last fall, Justice Clarence Thomas, in an address at Notre Dame, accused the media of spreading the false notion that the Justices are merely politicians in robes. Such criticism, he said, ‘makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference,’ adding, ‘They think you become like a politician!’ The claim that the Justices’ opinions are politically neutral is becoming increasingly hard to accept, especially from Thomas, whose wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, is a vocal right-wing activist. She has declared that America is in existential danger because of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fascist left,’ which includes ‘transsexual fascists.’ Thomas, a lawyer who runs a small political-lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting, has become a prominent member of various hard-line groups. Ginni Thomas’s political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights.”


Saturday, 22 January 2022:


Arizona Democrats have censured Senator Kyrsten Sinema over her pro-filibuster vote, NPR, Rachel Treisman, Saturday, 22 January 2022: “Arizona’s Democratic Party is rebuking one of its own. Its executive board voted on Saturday to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over her opposition to changing the filibuster. By opposing the change, Sinema, along with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and all Senate Republicans, prevented Senate Democrats from advancing major voting rights legislation earlier this week. ADP Chair Raquel Terán said in a statement that while the party appreciates Sinema’s leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure law, the ‘ramifications of failing to pass federal legislation that protects [constituents’] right to vote are too large and far-reaching.'”


Sunday, 23 January 2022:


The January 6 House select committee has spoken with former Trump attorney general William Barr, The Washington Post, Amy B Wang and Tom Hamburger, Sunday, 23 January 2022: “Former attorney general William P. Barr has spoken with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the committee chairman said Sunday, a further indication that several former Trump administration officials are cooperating with the panel even as others are fighting efforts to compel their testimony. ‘We’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already. We have talked to Department of Defense individuals,’ Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, said Sunday on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’ The bipartisan House panel is investigating the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob trying to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral college win, an attack that resulted in the deaths of one police officer and four others and injured about 140 members of law enforcement. It is unclear what has been discussed between the committee and Barr, who stepped down as attorney general in the weeks before Jan. 6, 2021. Barr had been closely allied with Trump through most of his tenure at the Department of Justice but resigned in December 2020 after publicly disputing claims of widespread election fraud. Thompson was asked Sunday if he intended to ask Barr about a draft of a Trump executive order, first reported by Politico last week, that would have directed the defense secretary to seize voting machines in battleground states. Thompson said he did, though he acknowledged the plan was only in draft form and never became operational.”

Timothy Heaphy, the Top Staff Investigator on the January 6 House Select Committee Investigating the Violent Attack on the Capitol by Trump Supporters, Is Fired From His Position as Top Lawyer at the University of Virginia. Democrats in Virginia denounced the action as a partisan move aimed at helping former President Donald Trump undercut the investigation of the Capitol riot. The New York Times, Michael Schmidt, Sunday, 23 January 2022: “The top staff investigator on the House committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has been fired by the state’s new Republican attorney general from his position as the top lawyer for the University of Virginia, from which he was on leave while working on the congressional inquiry. The office of the Virginia attorney general, Jason S. Miyares, said the firing of the investigator, Timothy J. Heaphy, was not related to the Jan. 6 investigation, but the move prompted an outcry from Democrats in the state, who accused him of taking the highly unusual action as a partisan move to further former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to undermine the committee’s work. ‘This is purely payback for Jan. 6 — there is no other reason that makes any sense,’ said Scott Surovell, a top Democrat in the Virginia State Senate, who said that he knew of no other similar example in recent history where a new attorney general had immediately removed a school’s top lawyer. ‘In our state, we normally leave those decisions to the school’s board of visitors and president.'”

How Trump’s flirtation with an anti-insurrection law inspired the January 6 insurrection, The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu, Sunday, 23 January 2022: “Within days of President Donald Trump’s election defeat, Stewart Rhodes began talking about the Insurrection Act as critical to the country’s future. The bombastic founder of the extremist group Oath Keepers told followers that the obscure, rarely used law would allow Trump to declare a national emergency so dire that the military, militias or both would be called out to keep him in the White House. Appearing Nov. 9, 2020, as a guest on the Infowars program of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Rhodes urged Trump to invoke the act ‘to suppress the deep state’ and claimed Oath Keepers already had men ‘stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option.’ Invoking the Insurrection Act was an idea sparked in conservative circles that spring as a means of subduing social justice protests and related rioting, a goal Trump seemed to embrace when he called for state leaders to ‘dominate’ their streets. By the end of the year, it had become a rallying cry to cancel the results of a presidential election. Now, private and public discussions of the law stand as key evidence in the cases against the Oath Keepers. Earlier this month, Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy, accused along with 10 members of his group of conspiring to use violence to try to stop Joe Biden’s certification as president. Rhodes has denied wrongdoing, saying he never wanted or told his group to enter the U.S. Capitol.”


Monday, 24 January 2022:


The Chief Judge of the Fulton County Superior Court Approves Special Grand Jury in Trump Election Inquiry. A district attorney in Georgia is investigating possible election interference by former President Donald Trump and his allies. The New York Times, Astead W. Herndon, Monday, 24 January 2022: “A Georgia district attorney’s request to convene a special grand jury was approved Monday in the criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. Fani T. Willis, an Atlanta prosecutor, requested the grand jury last week after crucial witnesses identified by investigators refused to cooperate voluntarily. Assembling a grand jury — which could issue subpoenas — is the next step in an inquiry that legal experts see as potentially threatening for the former president. ‘The special purpose grand jury shall be authorized to investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to alleged violations of the laws of the State of Georgia,’ stated the approval order, signed by Christopher S. Brasher, the chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court. The grand jury would start its work on May 2 and continue ‘for a period not to exceed 12 months,’ the order said. Legal experts have been watching the Georgia case for months, and say that the former president’s criminal exposure could include charges of racketeering or conspiracy. It is the only known criminal case that focuses directly on Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.” See also, Georgia prosecutor granted special grand jury in probe of Trump’s efforts to overturn state’s election results, The Washington Post, Amy B Wang and John Wagner, Monday, 24 January 2022: “The Atlanta area prosecutor weighing whether former president Donald Trump and others committed crimes by trying to pressure Georgia election officials has been granted a special purpose grand jury to aid in her investigation. Fulton County Superior Court judges on Monday approved the request made last week by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and said she will be allowed to seat a special grand jury on May 2, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The special grand jury can continue for a period ‘not to exceed 12 months,’ Christopher Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County Superior Court, wrote in an order.”

Court Throws Out Alabama’s New Congressional Map. A federal panel of judges ordered state lawmakers to redraw the lines, saying Black voters ‘have less opportunity than other Alabamians’ to elect candidates of their choice. The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein, Monday, 24 January 2022: “A panel of three federal judges threw out Alabama’s congressional map on Monday and ordered state lawmakers to draw a new one with two, rather than just one, districts that are likely to elect Black representatives. The map that Alabama’s Republican-majority State Legislature adopted last fall drew one of the state’s seven congressional districts with a majority of Black voters. The court ruled that with Alabama’s Black population of 27 percent, the state must allot two districts with either Black majorities or ‘in which Black voters otherwise have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice. Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress,’ the panel of judges wrote. The case is certain to be appealed and could lead to the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the question of whether lawmakers can draw political maps to achieve a specific racial composition, a practice known as racial gerrymandering. In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts have no role to play in blocking partisan gerrymanders. However, the court left intact parts of the Voting Rights Act that prohibit racial or ethnic gerrymandering.” See also, Alabama Redistricting Ruling Sparks Hopes for Democrats. Three federal judges in Alabama ruled that a new congressional map drawn by Republican state lawmakers violated the Voting Rights Act. The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein, published on Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “After years of court decisions battering the Voting Rights Act, a ruling in an Alabama redistricting case is reasserting the power of the 56-year-old law — and giving Democrats and civil rights groups hope for beating back gerrymandered maps. The decision from three federal judges ordered state lawmakers to rework their newly drawn congressional maps. The Republican-led legislature violated the Voting Rights Act, the judges ruled, by failing to draw more than one congressional district where Black voters might elect a representative of their choice. Alabama’s Republican attorney general, Steve Marshall, quickly appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Tuesday, and asked for a motion to stay the ruling. Still, the unanimous ruling — signed by two judges appointed by former President Donald J. Trump and one by former President Bill Clinton — was a sign that a key weapon against racial discrimination in redistricting could still be potent, even as other elements of the landmark Voting Rights Act have been hollowed out by Supreme Court decisions. The case hinged on Section 2 of the act, which bars racial discrimination in election procedures. A similar case already is pending in Texas, and the success of the challenge in Alabama could open the door to lawsuits in other states such as South Carolina, Louisiana or Georgia. It could also serve as a warning for states such as Florida that have yet to finish drawing their maps.”

A federal judge rejects effort by Trump lawyer John Eastman to sideline the January 6 House select committee subpoena. At issue are documents connected to John Eastman’s work at Chapman University. Politico, Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu, Monday, 24 January 2022: “A federal judge indicated Monday he will reject an urgent bid by John Eastman — the attorney who spearheaded Donald Trump’s effort to pressure Mike Pence to single-handedly overturn the 2020 election — to invalidate a subpoena issued last week by the Jan. 6 select committee to Chapman University, Eastman’s former employer. Instead, Judge David Carter ordered Eastman to work with the Jan. 6 panel to produce a log of documents that Eastman wants the university to withhold, citing a variety of confidentiality restrictions and privileges. ‘The Court expects that the parties will work together with the urgency that this case requires,’ ruled Carter, who sits on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, where Eastman filed suit. The ruling is the latest in a string of court victories for the Jan. 6 select committee, which is now slated to learn, perhaps this week, the general subjects of key documents that Eastman had hoped to shield from the panel. Carter ordered the committee and Eastman to file public progress reports on Wednesday and Friday and to reconvene a hearing next week. The committee issued its subpoena to Chapman University on Jan. 18, demanding documents by Jan. 21. Eastman filed suit against the committee and the school on Jan. 20. He has also sued the panel in federal court in Washington to block a subpoena for his own testimony and records. Eastman was a central figure in Trump’s last-ditch effort to subvert the 2020 election, developing a legal strategy to pressure Pence to declare total authority to reject dozens of Joe Biden’s presidential electors. Under Eastman’s plan, Pence — who was constitutionally required to preside over the Jan. 6 counting of electoral votes — would simply refuse to count those from states Trump was contesting, throwing the result into doubt.” See also, Trump lawyer John Eastman is ordered by a federal judge to respond to January 6 committee subpoena for his Chapman University emails, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, published on Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “A federal judge is forcing a conservative lawyer who had worked for then-President Donald Trump before the January 6 insurrection to respond to a House select committee subpoena of Chapman University for his emails — setting congressional investigators up to receive access to information they’ve wanted for months but had not been able to get. Federal Judge David Carter in Santa Ana, California, on Monday pinned down exactly when law professor John Eastman was at work for his client, Trump, as he devised a plan to overturn the 2020 election result. A lawyer for Eastman told the judge during a court hearing Monday that his client had been working for Trump during a number of major controversial moments leading up to January 6: When he told state legislators on January 2 they needed to ‘fix this, this egregious conduct’ that would put Joe Biden in the White House, when he was in the Willard Hotel with other Trump contacts, and when he met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on January 3 about blocking the congressional certification of the 2020 vote. The admissions from Eastman’s lawyer, Charles Burnham, are the clearest statements yet on how much Eastman was doing on Trump’s behalf — rather than on his own initiative — in the days leading up to January 6, 2021.”


Tuesday, 25 January 2022:


Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones met virtually with the January 6 House select committee and says he pleaded the Fifth ‘almost 100 times,’ CNN Politics, Annie Grayer and Oliver Darcy, Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones met virtually on Monday with the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, he announced on his broadcast. A source familiar with the investigation confirmed the meeting to CNN. ‘I just had a very intense experience being interrogated by the January 6 committee,’ Jones said on his broadcast on Monday. ‘They were polite, but they were dogged.’ Jones said that, by his lawyer’s count, he had pleaded the Fifth Amendment ‘almost 100 times’ and that he had been told to do so ‘on advice of counsel.’ ‘The questions were overall pretty reasonable,’ Jones said. ‘And I wanted to answer the questions, but at the same time it’s a good thing I didn’t, because I’m the type that tries to answer things correctly even though I don’t know all the answers, and they can kind of claim that that’s perjury, because about half the questions I didn’t know the answer to.'”

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told CNN that federal prosecutors are looking at 2020 fake elector certifications, CNN Politics, Evan Perez and Tierney Sneed, Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “Federal prosecutors are reviewing fake Electoral College certifications that declared former President Donald Trump the winner of states that he lost, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told CNN on Tuesday. ‘We’ve received those referrals. Our prosecutors are looking at those and I can’t say anything more on ongoing investigations,’ Monaco said in an exclusive interview. The fake certificates falsely declaring Trump’s victory were sent to the National Archives by Trump’s allies in mid-December 2020. They have attracted public scrutiny amid the House’s January 6 investigation into the pressure campaign that sought to reverse Trump’s electoral defeat.” See also, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco Says Justice Department Is Reviewing the Role of Fake Trump Electors, The New York Times, Katie Benner, Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “The Justice Department is investigating the fake slates of electors that falsely declared Donald J. Trump the victor of the 2020 election in seven swing states that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had in fact won, a top agency official said on Tuesday. ‘Our prosecutors are looking at those, and I can’t say anything more on ongoing investigations,’ Lisa O. Monaco, the deputy attorney general, said in an interview with CNN. The false certificates appear to have been part of an effort by Mr. Trump’s allies to reverse his defeat in the presidential election. Even as election officials in the seven contested states sent official lists of electors who had voted for Mr. Biden to the Electoral College, the fake slates claimed Mr. Trump was the winner in an apparent bid to subvert the election outcome. Lawmakers, state officials and the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot have asked the Justice Department to look into the role played by those fake electors and the documents they submitted to the National Archives on Dec. 14, 2020. In some cases, top Republican Party officials in those seven states signed the false documents, according to copies posted online last March by American Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group. ‘The phony electors were part of the plan to create chaos on Jan. 6, as a pretext for a contingent election,’ said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee. ‘The fake electoral slates were an effort to create the illusion of contested state results,’ Mr. Raskin said. That, he added, would have given Mike Pence, who as vice president presided over Congress’s count of electoral votes on Jan. 6, ‘a pretext for unilateral rejection of electors.’ In Michigan, Dana Nessel, the attorney general, gave federal prosecutors information from her yearlong investigation into the matter. She has said that she believes there is enough evidence to charge 16 Republicans in her state with submitting the fake certificates and falsely claiming that they were official electors for the state. And Hector Balderas Jr., the attorney general of New Mexico, and a local prosecutor in Wisconsin also asked the Justice Department to review the matter. If investigators determine that Mr. Trump’s allies created the fake slates to improperly influence the election, they could in theory be charged with falsifying voting documents, mail fraud or even a conspiracy to defraud the United States. It is unclear whether the Republican Party officials and others who submitted the false documents did so on their own or at the behest of the Trump campaign.” See also, Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions, NPR, Miles Parks, Tuesday, 25 January 2022: “During the chaotic two months following the 2020 presidential election, groups of Republicans in seven states won by Joe Biden met and signed documents falsely asserting that Donald Trump was or may be the rightful recipient of their state’s Electoral College votes. The efforts, which in many cases seem to have been coordinated by high-ranking members of Trump’s campaign team, weren’t successful. Congress did not accept any of the illegitimate results on Jan. 6, 2021. But the actions by those groups across the U.S. still may have been illegal. Attorneys general in at least two of the seven states where the Republicans met, Michigan and New Mexico, say they have referred investigations regarding the separate slates of electors up the ladder to federal prosecutors…. Republicans in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin also sent in illegitimate Electoral College results, according to public records requests and subsequent disclosures by the left-leaning watchdog group American Oversight. Those efforts were uncovered shortly after the election, but they’re now getting renewed scrutiny for a number of reasons. The House committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is focusing on them, according to the panel’s chairperson, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. The committee subpoenaed two high-ranking Trump campaign officials last week who were reportedly involved in the scheme: Rudy Giuliani and Boris Epshteyn. Epshteyn told MSNBC on Friday that he was involved in the effort, and the The Washington Post and CNN reported last week on Giuliani’s involvement.”


Wednesday, 26 January 2022:


Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from the Supreme Court, paving the way for Biden appointment. The liberal justice’s decision to step down after more than 27 years on the court allows Biden to appoint a successor who could serve for decades. NBC News, Pete Williams, Wednesday, 26 January 2022: “Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, according to people familiar with his thinking. President Joe Biden and Breyer are scheduled to appear together at the White House Thursday as the Supreme Court justice is set to announce his retirement, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News. Breyer is one of the three remaining liberal justices, and his decision to retire after more than 27 years on the court allows Biden to appoint a successor who could serve for decades and, in the short term, maintain the current 6-3 split between conservative and liberal justices. At 83, Breyer is the court’s oldest member. Liberal activists have urged him for months to retire while Democrats hold both the White House and the Senate — a position that could change after the midterm elections in November. They contended that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stayed too long despite her history of health problems and should have stepped down during the Obama administration.” See also, Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire From the Supreme Court, The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Wednesday, 26 January 2022: “Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the senior member of the Supreme Court’s three-member liberal wing and a persistent if often frustrated advocate of consensus as the court moved sharply to the right, will retire upon the confirmation of his successor, people familiar with the decision said, providing President Biden a chance to fulfill his pledge to nominate a Black woman. Mr. Biden is expected to formally announce the retirement at the White House on Thursday, but the partisan machinery that has built up in recent decades around Supreme Court confirmations was already swinging into action on Wednesday as word of Justice Breyer’s decision raced through Washington. Justice Breyer, 83, the oldest member of the court, was appointed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020 allowed President Donald J. Trump to appoint Justice Amy Coney Barrett as her replacement, Justice Breyer became the subject of an energetic campaign by liberals who wanted him to step down to ensure that Mr. Biden could name his successor while Democrats control the Senate. With conservatives now in full control of the court, replacing Justice Breyer with another liberal would not change its ideological balance or affect its rightward trajectory in cases on abortion, gun rights, religion or affirmative action. But the opening provides Mr. Biden a chance to put his stamp on the court — the last justice nominated by a Democrat was Elena Kagan by President Barack Obama nearly a dozen years ago — and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill said they intended to move quickly to begin the confirmation process once Mr. Biden selects a successor for Justice Breyer. Their goal, they said, was to have hearings completed and a nominee confirmed in time to be sworn in soon after the court completes its current term in late June or early July, allowing Justice Breyer to serve out this term.” See also, Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from Supreme Court, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Wednesday, 26 January 2022: “Justice Stephen G. Breyer will retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, giving President Biden a chance to reinforce its liberal minority and deliver on his campaign pledge to make history by nominating the first African American female justice. Breyer, 83, is the court’s oldest justice and was nominated to the court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. Breyer has been under unprecedented pressure to retire while Democrats have narrow control of the Senate, which must confirm Supreme Court nominees. The current term concludes at the end of June.” See also, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, CNN Politics, Aditi Sangal, Maureen Chowdhury, Adrienne Vogt, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, and Mike Hayes, Wednesday, 26 January 2022.

Biden administration cancels two mining leases near Minnesota wilderness, in reversal of Trump-era decision. For years, a proposed copper and nickel mine near the popular Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has been at the center of a tug of war between Democratic and Republican administrations. The Washington Post, Dino Grandoni, Wednesday, 26 January 2022: “The Biden administration has canceled two leases near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — a remote, lake-pocked region at the center of a blistering fight over whether to mine near one of the nation’s most popular wilderness destinations. On Wednesday, the Interior Department said it found that the leases to extract copper, nickel and other valuable hardrock minerals in northern Minnesota were improperly renewed under Donald Trump. The Biden administration’s decision will help protect the hundreds of lakes, streams and wetlands in the 1.1 million-acre wilderness area hugging the Canadian border from the potential toxic leaching from mining. ‘The Department of the Interior takes seriously our obligations to steward public lands and waters on behalf of all Americans,’ Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. ‘We must be consistent in how we apply lease terms to ensure that no lessee receives special treatment.’ Each year, Boundary Waters attracts roughly 150,000 Boy Scouts and other visitors looking to canoe, fish and connect with nature. The glaciers that gouged the region over the past 2 million years left behind a rugged terrain that today is home to wolves, moose, bobcats, beavers, bald eagles and peregrine falcons.”

Judge Says States Can Investigate WinRed’s Fund-Raising Tactics. The Republican digital donation platform is facing inquiries from four state attorneys general into its use of prechecked boxes to withdraw donations automatically. The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Wednesday, 26 January 2022: “A federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by WinRed, a company that processes online donations for Republicans, that sought to block state attorneys general from investigating fund-raising tactics that have triggered complaints of fraud. The attorneys general from four states — New York, Minnesota, Maryland and Connecticut — first sent letters to WinRed last April, asking for documents after a New York Times investigation revealed the company’s use of prechecked boxes to automatically enroll donors in recurring contribution programs. The boxes resulted in a surge in demands for refunds from supporters of former President Donald J. Trump. WinRed declined to provide the documents and instead went to federal court to argue that federal law should pre-empt any state-level consumer investigations. Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court in Minnesota ruled against the company on Wednesday. Judge Tunheim dismissed WinRed’s attempt to stop the attorneys general investigating outside Minnesota, ruling that he did not have jurisdiction. He ruled in favor of the Minnesota attorney general, Keith Ellison, writing that federal law would not pre-empt a state inquiry.”


Thursday, 27 January 2022:


Federal Judge Revokes Oil and Gas leases, Citing Climate Change. A judge ruled that the interior Department must consider the climate effects of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico before awarding leases. The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Thursday, Thursday, 27 January 2022: “A federal judge on Thursday canceled oil and gas leases of more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, ruling that the Biden administration did not sufficiently take climate change into account when it auctioned the leases late last year. The decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is a major victory for environmental groups that criticized the Biden administration for holding the sale after promising to move the country away from fossil fuels. It had been the largest lease sale in United States history. Now the Interior Department must conduct a new environmental analysis that accounts for the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the eventual development and production of the leases. After that, the agency will have to decide whether it will hold a new auction. ‘This is huge,’ said Brettny Hardy, a senior attorney for Earthjustice, one of several environmental groups that brought the lawsuit. ‘This requires the bureau to go back to the drawing board and actually consider the climate costs before it offers these leases for sale, and that’s really significant,’ Ms. Hardy said, adding, ‘Once these leases are issued, there’s development that’s potentially locked in for decades to come that is going to hurt our global climate.'” See also, Federal judge cites climate crisis in decision to cancel oil and gas leases in Gulf of Mexico, CNN Politics, Ella Nilsen, published on Friday, 28 January 2022: “A federal judge on Thursday invalidated a massive oil and gas lease sale for 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico after a coalition of environmental groups sued the Biden administration to stop it. The ruling cancels 1.7 million acres of oil and gas leases from that sale, according to data from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The administration tried in its first days in office to put a stop to new oil and gas drilling. On January 27, 2021, Biden signed an executive order that paused new permits and directed the Department of the Interior to launch a ‘rigorous review’ of existing programs related to fossil fuel development. But a lawsuit filed in March on behalf of 13 states led to a judgment from a federal court in Louisiana that blocked Biden’s pause and the sale went forward in November. At the time, administration officials openly admitted that the sale was at odds with its climate goals and said its hands were tied. In the Thursday ruling, Rudolph Contreras, a US District Court judge for the District of Columbia, said the lease sale was invalid because the Department of Interior’s analysis did not fully take into account the climate impacts of the leases. Interior Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz tweeted a statement Thursday night noting the Louisiana ruling ‘compelled’ the department to hold the lease sale using the Trump administration’s analysis.” See also, Judge throws out massive Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale. The decision cancels 1.7 million acres of drilling leases, citing a flawed analysis completed during the Trump administration. The Washington Post, Anna Phillips and Maxine Joselow, Thursday, 27 January 2022: “A federal judge on Thursday invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history, ruling that the Biden administration violated federal law by relying on a seriously flawed analysis of the climate change impact of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia threw out 1.7 million acres of oil and gas leases that the Biden administration actually did not want to sell. Shortly after taking office, President Biden suspended new oil and gas drilling on lands and waters owned by the federal government. But after a Louisiana judge struck down the moratorium last summer, administration officials said they were forced to go through with the sale in November.”

Biden vows to nominate Black woman to succeed Stephen Breyer on Supreme Court, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Amy B Wang, Felicial Sonmez, Eugene Scott, and Mariana Alfaro, Thursday, 27 January 2022: “President Biden vowed Thursday to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court by the end of February, saying ‘it’s long overdue.’ His pledge came during a White House event with Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who told Biden in a letter released Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the court’s current term, assuming his replacement is nominated and confirmed. ‘I’m here today to express the nation’s gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career of public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country’s laws work for its people,’ Biden said of Breyer, 83, who was nominated to the court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. Biden promised during the 2020 campaign to select a Black woman for any vacancy and maintained Thursday that he would fulfill that pledge. ‘I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,’ Biden said.” See also, Biden announces Stephen Breyer’s retirement and pledges to nominate Black woman to Supreme Court by end of February. Biden’s next nominee will help shape the court for years to come and act as a political tool to motivate the Democratic base. NBC News, Shannon Pettypiece, Thursday, 27 January 2022: “President Joe Biden formally announced the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday, thanking him for his ‘remarkable’ service and reaffirming his commitment to nominating the first Black woman to the court. ‘The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court,’ Biden said. ‘I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment. It’s long overdue in my opinion,’ he said, noting that he would make his choice by the end of February.”


Friday, 28 January 2022:


The House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Attack on the Capitol Subpoenas Fake Trump Electors. The committee demanded information from 14 people who were part of bogus slates of electors for President Donald Trump, digging deeper into an aspect of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Friday, 28 January 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack issued 14 subpoenas on Friday to people who falsely claimed to be electors for President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election in states that were actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr., digging deeper into Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the results. The subpoenas target individuals who met and submitted false Electoral College certificates in seven states won by President Biden: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. ‘The select committee is seeking information about attempts in multiple states to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including the planning and coordination of efforts to send false slates of electors to the National Archives,’ Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said in a statement. ‘We believe the individuals we have subpoenaed today have information about how these so-called alternate electors met and who was behind that scheme.’ The so-called alternate electors met on Dec. 14, 2020, in seven states that Mr. Trump lost and submitted bogus slates of Electoral-College votes for him, the committee said. They then sent the false Electoral College certificates to Congress, an action Mr. Trump’s allies used to try to justify delaying or blocking the final step in confirming the 2020 election results — a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, to formally count the electoral votes. The 14 individuals subpoenaed on Friday were: Nancy Cottle and Loraine B. Pellegrino of Arizona; David Shafer and Shawn Still of Georgia; Kathy Berden and Mayra Rodriguez of Michigan; Jewll Powdrell and Deborah W. Maestas of New Mexico; Michael J. McDonald and James DeGraffenreid of Nevada; Bill Bachenberg and Lisa Patton of Pennsylvania; and Andrew Hitt and Kelly Ruh of Wisconsin. The subpoenas order the witnesses, all of whom claimed to be either a chair or secretary of the fake elector slates, to turn over documents and sit for depositions in February. Those who signed onto the fake slates of electors were mostly state-level officials in the Republican Party, G.O.P. political candidates or party activists involved with Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign. None of those who were subpoenaed responded on Friday to requests for comment.” See also, House Select Committee Subpoenas ‘Alternate Electors’ From Seven States, January 6th House Select Committee, Friday, 28 January 2022.

Trump White House spokesman Judd Deere is sent subpoena by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, CNN Politics, Gloria Borger and Jeremy Herb, Friday, 28 January 2022: “The House Select Committee investigating January 6 has issued a subpoena Friday for a former White House spokesman with firsthand knowledge of Donald Trump’s behavior before and during the January 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a copy of a letter accompanying the subpoena obtained by CNN. The committee is seeking both documents and a deposition next month from former deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere, who helped with ‘formulating White House’s response to the January 6 attack as it occurred,’ according to the panel’s letter. In its letter to Deere, the committee specifically said it wanted to speak with him about the January 5 staff meeting in the Oval Office with the President. The committee said it had obtained information that Trump repeatedly asked in the meeting: ‘What are your ideas for getting the RINOs to do the right thing tomorrow? How do we convince Congress?'”

Pennsylvania Court Says State’s Mail Voting Law Is Unconstitutional. The decision, which could deal a blow to voting access in a critical battleground state, was immediately appealed. The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti, Friday, 28 January 2022: “A state court in Pennsylvania on Friday struck down the state’s landmark election law as unconstitutional, dealing a temporary blow to voting access in one of the nation’s most critical battleground states. In a 3-to-2 decision, the state court sided with 14 Republican lawmakers who sued last year, arguing that the law was unconstitutional. Pennsylvania filed an appeal to its Supreme Court on Friday afternoon, triggering an automatic stay that keeps the law in place during the appeal process. The law, known as Act 77, was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in 2019. It permitted no-excuse absentee voting, created a permanent mail-in voter list, reduced the voter registration deadline from 30 days to 15 and provided for $90 million in election infrastructure upgrades. It also eliminated straight ticket voting…. Democrats in Pennsylvania said they were not surprised that the Commonwealth Court, which they said leans conservative, ruled against the law. They expressed confidence that the appeal to the state Supreme Court, which has sided with the state on voting issues both during and following the 2020 election, would be successful.” See also, Pennsylvania court declares state’s mail-in voting law unconstitutional, in win for Republicans. The state’s Democratic attorney general promised a swift appeal and insisted that the court’s action won’t have an immediate impact on elections this year. The Washington Post, Mariana Alfaro, Friday, 28 January 2022: “A Pennsylvania court struck down the state’s expansive mail-in voting law as unconstitutional, delivering a temporary win to state Republicans who challenged the law after former president Donald Trump falsely claimed mail-in voting resulted in election fraud. While the two-year-old law was struck down by a majority of the five-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the state’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro (D), promised a swift appeal, criticizing the court’s opinion as being ‘based on twisted logic and faulty reasoning. The administration will immediately appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court and today’s lower court ruling will have no immediate effect on mail-in voting pending a final decision on the appeal,’ Wolf said Friday. The state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed the law establishing no-excuse mail-in voting for all voters in 2019 with bipartisan support. Previously, Pennsylvania voters could cast absentee ballots if they met certain criteria. Amid the pandemic, more than 2.6 million Pennsylvania voters cast mail-in or absentee ballots out of 6.9 million.”


Saturday, 29 January 2022:


Trump suggests that if he is reelected, he will pardon January 6 Capitol rioters. The Washington Post, Tyler Pager, Saturday, 29 January 2022: :Former president Donald Trump suggested Saturday night that he will pardon the rioters charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol if he is elected president in 2024. Trump, who has teased but not confirmed another run for president, has repeatedly criticized the prosecution of people who violently stormed the Capitol to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president. But his comments at a Texas rally on Saturday marked the first time he dangled the prospect of pardons, an escalation of his broader effort to downplay the deadly events of Jan. 6.” See also, Trump Says He Would Consider Pardons for January 6 Defendants if Elected President in 2024. In a speech in Texas, the former president also urged supporters to stage protests if prosecutors in Atlanta and New York Took action against him. The New York Times, J. David Goodman and Emily Cochrane, published on Sunday, 30 January 2022: “Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that if elected to a new term as president, he would consider pardoning those prosecuted for attacking the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 last year. He also called on his supporters to mount large protests in Atlanta and New York if prosecutors in those cities, who are investigating him and his businesses, took action against him. The promise to consider pardons is the furthest Mr. Trump has gone in expressing support for the Jan. 6 defendants.” See also, Trump teases a presidential run and dangles pardons for January 6 rioters at Texas rally, CNN Politics, Eric Bradner, published on Sunday, 30 January 2022: “Former President Donald Trump on Saturday teased a 2024 presidential candidacy and said he would consider pardoning those who were charged in connection with the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol if he wins the White House again. Trump’s comments came during a campaign-style rally in Texas in which he complained about the criminal prosecutions that Capitol rioters have faced as a result of their attempt to interrupt the counting of Electoral College votes after he lost the 2020 election. He said the rioters are being treated ‘so unfairly.'”


Sunday, 30 January 2022:


Campaigning to Oversee Elections, While Denying the Last One. Brazenly partisan candidates who insist that Donald Trump won the 2020 election are transforming races for the once-obscure office of secretary of state. The New York Times, Jennifer Medina, Nick Corasaniti, and Reid J. Epstein, Sunday, 30 January 2022: “Nearly two dozen Republicans who have publicly questioned or disputed the results of the 2020 election are running for secretary of state across the country, in some cases after being directly encouraged by allies of former President Donald J. Trump. Their candidacies are alarming watchdog groups, Democrats and some fellow Republicans, who worry that these Trump supporters, if elected to posts that exist largely to safeguard and administer the democratic process, would weaponize those offices to undermine it — whether by subverting an election outright or by sowing doubts about any local, state or federal elections their party loses. For decades, secretaries of state worked in relative anonymity, setting regulations and enforcing rules for how elections were administered by local counties and boards. Some held their jobs for many years and viewed themselves not as politicians but as bureaucrats in chief, tending to such arcane responsibilities as keeping the state seal or maintaining custody of state archives. The aftermath of the 2020 presidential election changed all that. In the two months between Election Day and Congress’s certification of President Biden’s victory, Mr. Trump and his allies pressured Republican secretaries of state, election board members and other officials in battleground states to overturn his defeat. In a phone call that is now the subject of an Atlanta grand jury investigation into Mr. Trump’s actions in Georgia, the former president urged Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to ‘find 11,780 votes’ — the margin by which Mr. Trump lost the state to Mr. Biden.”


Monday, 31 January 2022:


Trump advisers drafted more than one executive order to seize voting machines, sources tell CNN, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen and Paula Reid, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Former President Donald Trump’s advisers drafted two versions of an executive order to seize voting machines — one directing the Department of Defense to do so and another the Department of Homeland Security — as part of a broader effort to undermine the 2020 election results, multiple sources tell CNN. The idea of using the federal government to access voting machines in states that Trump lost was the brainchild of retired Col. Phil Waldron and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, the sources said. Both Army veterans spread misinformation about the election being stolen from Trump. While advisers publicly floated the idea at the time, revelations that two draft executive orders were actually drawn up for different agencies to carry out the job underscores the extent to which the former President’s allies wanted to weaponize the powers of his lame-duck administration to overturn the election.Any operation for the military or federal agents to seize voting equipment for political purposes would have been unprecedented in US history. CNN has reported the existence of a draft order tasking the Pentagon with seizing voting machines. That document has been handed over by the National Archives to the House select committee, which is investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Multiple sources now tell CNN that a second version of the document, instructing DHS to carry out the same task, also exists. It’s unclear who drafted the executive orders, and neither was issued.”

Trump Had Role in Weighing Proposals to Seize Voting Machines. New accounts show that the former president was more directly involved than previously known in plans developed by outside advisers to use national security agencies to seek evidence of fraud. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt, and Luke Broadwater, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Six weeks after Election Day, with his hold on power slipping, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states, three people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Giuliani did so, calling the department’s acting deputy secretary, who said he lacked the authority to audit or impound the machines. Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Giuliani to make that inquiry after rejecting a separate effort by his outside advisers to have the Pentagon take control of the machines. And the outreach to the Department of Homeland Security came not long after Mr. Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr, raised the possibility of whether the Justice Department could seize the machines, a previously undisclosed suggestion that Mr. Barr immediately shot down. The new accounts show that Mr. Trump was more directly involved than previously known in exploring proposals to use his national security agencies to seize voting machines as he grasped unsuccessfully for evidence of fraud that would help him reverse his defeat in the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the episodes. The existence of proposals to use at least three federal departments to assist Mr. Trump’s attempt to stay in power has been publicly known. The proposals involving the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security were codified by advisers in the form of draft executive orders. But the new accounts provide fresh insight into how the former president considered and to some degree pushed the plans, which would have taken the United States into uncharted territory by using federal authority to seize control of the voting systems run by states on baseless grounds of widespread voting fraud. The people familiar with the matter were briefed on the events by participants or had firsthand knowledge of them.”

Mike Pence’s former chief of staff testifies in House January 6 investigation, CNN Politics, Jamie Gangel, Gloria Borger, and Jeremy Herb, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, quietly testified before the House select committee investigating January 6 last week in response to a subpoena, sources tell CNN, in the most significant sign to date that Pence’s team is cooperating with the probe. Short, who was with Pence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and participated in a critical White House meeting on January 4, 2021, is seen as a potentially crucial witness in the committee’s investigation as the panel pieces together the pressure campaign then-President Donald Trump and his allies waged to try to convince Pence not to certify the presidential election. Short testified before the select committee in person last Wednesday in a lengthy session, according to a source familiar with the matter. Short had previously supplied a limited number of documents that were subpoenaed by the committee, according to one source, including a memo from Trump aide Johnny McEntee comparing Trump to Thomas Jefferson. It’s also customary that witnesses hand over more documents when they testify, according to another source familiar with the matter. Short’s testimony, obtained after months of discussions between his attorney Emmet Flood and lawyers on the committee — as well as a subpoena — comes as the panel still does not know whether Pence himself will testify.” See also, Marc Short, Former Chief of Staff for Mike Pence, Has Testified to the January 6 Committee. Short, who has firsthand knowledge of former President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on his vice president to throw out the election results, appeared under subpoena. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Marc Short, who served as chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, testified privately last week before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the latest turn in weeks of negotiations between the panel’s investigators and Mr. Pence’s team. Mr. Short appeared in response to a subpoena from the committee, according to three people with knowledge of the developments, making him the most senior person around Mr. Pence who is known to have cooperated in the inquiry. Investigators believe that participation by the former vice president and his inner circle is critical, because Mr. Pence resisted a pressure campaign by former President Donald J. Trump to use his role in presiding over Congress’s official count of electoral votes to try to overturn the 2020 election.”

Trump suggests Mike Pence should have ‘overturned’ the election on January 6, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Former president Donald Trump suggested in a statement Sunday night that then-Vice President Mike Pence should have “overturned” the election on Jan. 6, 2021, as he presided over the counting of electoral college votes by Congress. Trump has expressed frustration before that Pence did not use his role to try to reject the electoral votes of several states that Joe Biden won. But the language in Sunday’s statement was among Trump’s most explicit in publicly stating his desire. The statement came in response to ongoing efforts by Congress to make changes to the Electoral Count Act, a law that governs what Congress should do in the case of any disputes about which candidate won in a state. Among the changes under consideration is making it more explicit that the role of the vice president is merely ceremonial. ‘If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had “absolutely no right” to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?’ Trump said in his statement. ‘Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!’ There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in any states in which Biden prevailed, despite repeated claims by Trump to the contrary.”

Douglas Letter, the House of Representatives’ top lawyer, accuses Trump attorney John Eastman of stalling on January 6 subpoena. The general counsel said Eastman was seeking to ‘defeat’ the summons by reviewing the earliest records first rather than those from around the Electoral College showdown. Politico, Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, Monday, 31 January 2022: “The House of Representatives’ top lawyer accused John Eastman, a key legal adviser to former President Donald Trump, of dragging out his response to a House subpoena and frustrating a House panel’s efforts to investigate Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. During a hearing before a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit Eastman brought to prevent his former employer, Chapman University, from turning over more than 94,000 pages of emails to the House panel, House General Counsel Douglas Letter said Eastman was seeking to ‘defeat’ the subpoena by reviewing the earliest subpoenaed records first rather than those from around the time of the Electoral College showdown in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. District Court judge, David Carter, based in Los Angeles, has already ordered Eastman to review 1,500 pages of records per day — a process he noted on Monday would take about 13 weeks — but the House has asked Eastman to prioritize emails from between Jan. 4 and Jan 7, 2021. The subpoena to Chapman University asked for all of Eastman’s records between Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 20, 2021, and the school initially indicated it planned to turn them all over to the committee. But Eastman sued to block the subpoena, resulting in Carter’s order last week. Letter said plodding through the records in chronological order could end up making the subpoena ultimately worthless.”

Georgia Prosecutor Fani T. Willis, Who Is Investigating Trump, Seeks Safety Assistance From the F.B.I. The Fulton County district attorney expressed concern about the former president’s comments at a rally in Texas. The New York Times, Richard Fausset, Monday, 31 January 2022: “The district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., who is conducting a criminal investigation of former President Donald J. Trump has asked for an F.B.I. risk assessment of the county courthouse in downtown Atlanta, citing ‘alarming’ rhetoric used by Mr. Trump at a rally in Texas over the weekend. The Fulton County prosecutor, Fani T. Willis, is planning to impanel a special grand jury in May to look into accusations that Mr. Trump and his allies tried to improperly influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Among other things, the investigation is looking into a call that Mr. Trump made to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to pressure him to ‘find 11,780 votes’ — the margin by which Mr. Trump lost the state. Ms. Willis, a Democrat, made her request for a security assessment in a letter on Sunday to J.C. Hacker, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Atlanta field office. Ms. Willis said that she and her staff had ‘already made adjustments to accommodate security concerns during the course of the investigation, considering the communications we have received from persons unhappy with our commitment to fulfill our duties.’ But she also noted that Mr. Trump, at his rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday, made ‘multiple references to investigations that are known to concern his activities.’ Ms. Willis’s request to the F.B.I. was reported earlier by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At the rally, Mr. Trump said he would consider, if re-elected in 2024, pardoning people prosecuted for the attack on the National Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and told supporters to start protests in Atlanta and New York — where he is also facing civil and criminal investigations of his business — if prosecutors ‘do anything wrong.'” See also, Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump asks FBI for security help. Trump on Saturday railed against prosecutors like Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis who are investigating him, calling them ‘racist’ and urging mass protests. NBC News, Dareh Gregorian, Charlie Gile, and Blayne Alexander, Monday, 31 January 2022: “The Georgia prosecutor probing possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump asked the FBI on Sunday for security assistance after Trump called for mass protests in some cities where his conduct is under investigation. In a Jan. 30 letter to the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta field office, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis noted that her office is ‘conducting a criminal investigation of former President Donald J. Trump and his associates regarding alleged attempts to improperly influence the administration of Georgia’s 2020 General Election,’ and that she has convened a special grand jury to hear evidence in the case in May.”

Trump Entered 2022 With $122 Million in the Bank. The former president’s overall war chest was more than double the cash on hand of the Republican National Committee. The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Donald J. Trump’s political operation raised more than $51 million in the second half of 2021 as the former president continued to dominate the Republican fund-raising landscape in his first year out of the White House, according to new federal filings. Mr. Trump’s overall war chest entering 2022 stood at $122 million — more than double the cash on hand of the Republican National Committee itself — as he continued to solicit his online supporters with the same pace and intensity of the heat of the campaign. The huge sum gives Mr. Trump an invaluable head start should he run for the White House again, as he has repeatedly suggested is his intention. Mr. Trump remains, by far, the most popular figure in his party among Republican voters, but his lead against hypothetical challengers in 2024, in particular Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, has narrowed in recent months as he faces fresh challenges to his role as the party’s undisputed leader. While his $122 million are stored in federal accounts that legally cannot be spent on a presidential run, loose rules allow him to fully fund his political operation for now, including paying for rallies, television ads and even direct money to his own businesses.”

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring back mercury pollution rules that were nixed under Trump Administration, CNN Politics, Ella Nilsen, Monday, 31 January 2022: “The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday it intends to reaffirm its authority to regulate toxic mercury from power plant smokestacks, undoing a Trump-era rollback. The EPA is proposing to bring back the 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules that were first implemented during the Obama administration. The rules require power plants to reduce pollutants, including mercury and acid gases, which Biden administration officials say will improve public health. Mercury is a neurotoxin with several health impacts, including its harmful effect on brain development in children.” See also, Biden Administration to Reinstate Mercury Pollution Rules that Were Weakened Under Trump. The Environmental Protection Agency will resume enforcing limits on the release of mercury, a neurotoxin linked to developmental damage in children, from coal-burning power plants. The New York Times, Coral Davenport, Monday, 31 January 2022: “The Biden administration on Monday reinstated a way of measuring the benefits of reducing air pollution, the first step in a plan that could tighten limits on the amount of mercury that can be discharged from coal-burning power plants. Mercury is a neurotoxin that poses a particular danger to the brain development of children and fetuses. The mercury announcement is among several recent actions taken or planned by the Biden administration that are aimed at reducing pollution in air and water. After a first year in which President Biden tried to push ambitious climate legislation through Congress only to see it stall, the administration is using its regulatory machinery to try to curb pollution. In many cases, the Biden administration is restoring environmental regulations that had been weakened by President Donald J. Trump before it lays the groundwork for even stronger rules to come.” See also, Biden begins crackdown on power plant pollution, The Washington Post, Dino Grandoni, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Biden administration officials are kicking off a crackdown on power plant pollution, aiming to shift the nation’s electricity supply to cleaner energy in the face of congressional resistance and a Supreme Court that could limit the federal government’s ability to tighten public health standards. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency affirmed its authority to curb mercury from smokestacks, reversing a 2020 Trump administration policy. The move signals a broader effort by the administration to cut greenhouse gases and other pollutants from U.S. power plants, which rank as the nation’s second-biggest contributor to global warming. President Biden has pledged to make the U.S. electricity sector carbon-neutral by 2035, but his deputies may have to rely on their existing federal authority now that Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has blocked the president’s plan to provide utilities with incentives to transition faster to clean energy. And in late February, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case brought by West Virginia that may undercut the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants in the future. But the EPA can pressure the nation’s dirtiest coal plants to shut down through other means, and the administration is beginning to exercise its leverage.”

Some records sent to the January 6 committee were torn up and taped back together–mirroring a Trump habit. The National Archives confirmed Trump’s unusual and potentially unlawful habit of ripping up documents, which forced aides to attempt to piece them back together in order to comply with the Presidential Records Act. The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey, Amy Gardner, and Tom Hamburger, Monday, 31 January 2022: “When the National Archives and Records Administration handed over a trove of documents to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, some of the Trump White House records had been ripped up and then taped back together, according to three people familiar with the records. Former president Donald Trump was known inside the White House for his unusual and potentially unlawful habit of tearing presidential records into shreds and tossing them on the floor — creating a headache for records management analysts who meticulously used Scotch tape to piece together fragments of paper that were sometimes as small as confetti, as Politico reported in 2018. But despite the Presidential Records Act — which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties — the former president’s infrangible shredding practices apparently continued well into the latter stages of his presidency. The National Archives on Monday took the unusual step of confirming the habit, saying in a statement that records turned over from the Trump White House ‘included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump.’ The statement came in response to a question from The Washington Post about whether some Jan. 6-related records had been ripped up and taped back together. Some of the documents turned over by the White House had not been reconstructed at all, according to the Archives.” See also, Some Trump White House records handed over to January 6 committee had been ripped up, CNN Politics, Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen, and Annie Grayer, Monday, 31 January 2022: “Some Trump White House documents that have been handed over to the House select committee investigating January 6 had to be taped back together by National Archives staff because they had been ripped up, the agency said in a statement. The Archives, in response to questions from CNN, said that ‘some of the Trump presidential records received by the National Archives and Records Administration included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump.’ The agency did not explain how officials know former President Donald Trump himself ripped up the records, but the Archives pointed to previous reporting that White House records management staff had to tape together torn-up documents during the Trump-era.”






Even though the Trump administration is no longer in office, I am continuing to post summaries of the daily political news and major stories relating to this tragic and dangerous period in US history. I will try to focus on the differences between the Trump administration and the Biden administration and on the ongoing toxic residual effects of the Trump administration and Republicans. I usually post throughout the day and let the news settle for a day or so before posting.

I created Muckraker Farm in 2014 as a place to post muckraking (investigative) journalism going back to the 19th century. Recently I have been able to make time to return to this original project. You can find these muckraking pieces under the Home Page link at the top of this site. Thanks for reading!