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Editor Daily Rundown: Impeachment Vote Expected Wednesday

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Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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House Democrats Set To Introduce Articles Of Impeachment

Democrats in the House of Representatives will introduce at least one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday morning after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The House impeachment resolution is led by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California and charges Trump with one article of “incitement of insurrection.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will introduce the resolution, which calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, NBC News reported. Hoyer will need unanimous consent to pass the resolution. If one member objects, there will be a floor vote to impeach Trump in the House.

IMPEACHMENT VOTE EXPECTED WEDNESDAY… WSJ…

WASHINGTON—Congress careened toward a fresh showdown with President Trump, as House Democrats said they plan to vote on impeaching him Wednesday over accusations he incited supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol. […]

A two-thirds supermajority in the Senate would then be required to convict Mr. Trump. The single article of impeachment alleges “incitement of insurrection.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has said there would be no time for a trial and vote before Inauguration Day, with the Senate not set to return until Jan. 19. But incoming leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) is exploring using a little-used emergency tool to call the Senate back sooner if needed, a Senate Democratic aide said. Mr. McConnell would need to agree, and a spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

‘This Is So Ill-Advised’: Joe Manchin Pans Impeachment, Says The Votes Just Aren’t There (VIDEO)

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday that efforts to rush President Donald Trump through a second impeachment would be “ill-advised.”

Manchin told Fox News anchor Bret Baier that he thought Democrats would be better served to focus on helping President-elect Joe Biden through the transition rather than try to impeach Trump again in the last few days of his presidency.

“I want to talk to you first about the impeachment effort,” Baier said, noting that by all accounts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to have the votes to pass articles of impeachment. “Is there any scenario where you see that the U.S. Senate would try and convict President Trump?”

Manchin said he did not believe the Senate would have enough Republican support to convict even if the House did send articles of impeachment to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“They know the votes aren’t there,” Manchin continued. “I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, try to be the president of all the people when we are so divided and fighting again.”

BIDEN SUGGESTS SENATE SPLIT TIME BETWEEN CONVICTING TRUMP AND PASSING HIS AGENDA… STEVEN PORTNOY…

NEW: Biden says his “hope and expectation” is that if the House moves forward, the Senate will “bifurcate” its workday, and spend mornings confirming his nominees & approving his relief package, and afternoons on a Trump impeachment trial.

The Senate impeachment rules hold that while it is conducting a trial, any legislative or executive business the Senate is doing must cease at 1pm each day.

Biden tells reporters he has had conversations to this effect already with senators and is waiting on a final answer from the Senate Parliamentarian.

Biden, once chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spent 36 years in the Senate, and served for eight more years as its ceremonial president. He voted to acquit Bill Clinton in the 1999 impeachment trial. Democrats take control of the chamber later this month.

HILLARY CLINTON WRITES WAPO OP-ED… Trump should be impeached. But that alone won’t remove white supremacy from America.

Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol was the tragically predictable result of white-supremacist grievances fueled by President Trump. But his departure from office, whether immediately or on Jan. 20, will not solve the deeper problems exposed by this episode. What happened is cause for grief and outrage. It should not be cause for shock. What were too often passed off as the rantings of an unfortunate but temporary figure in public life are, in reality, part of something much bigger. That is the challenge that confronts us all.

HOUSE DEMS DEMAND LOBBYISTS PUBLICLY CONDEMN TRUMP OR LOSE ACCESS… ANNA PALMER: House Dem aide: “[A]fter Wednesday, I, and other staffers I’ve spoken to, all agree that anyone that doesn’t, at a minimum, stand up and speak out publicly, will be black balled if they try to lobby us. … “I won’t just refuse the meeting I’ll call their client’s government affairs team and tell them they need to find a new lobby shop if they want any face time with me or my bosses. K Street needs to know that these people aren’t just toxic, they’re caked with anthrax.”

Twitter Stock Plummets After Banning President Trump, Purging Conservative Accounts

Twitter’s share price sunk 11% when markets opened Monday morning for the first time since the site banned President Donald Trump.

The price has recovered somewhat since opening, but is still down nearly seven percent at the time of publication. The social media platform banned the president’s account Friday night, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence,” according to CNBC.

A large number of conservative users have also been banned from the site in the days since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Many large conservative accounts have noted losses of thousands of followers, and other high-profile figures on the right have been banned themselves.

A spokesperson for Twitter told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they were suspending accounts “in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity.” Some conservatives have also voluntarily left the platform in protest of the president’s ban.

THE GERMANS THINK BIG TECH IS GOING TOO FARMerkel Thinks Twitter’s Trump Ban Is ‘Problematic,’ According To Spokesperson

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Merkel thinks Twitter’s ban on President Donald Trump’s accounts is “problematic,” The Associated Press reported Monday.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman, told reporters in Berlin that freedom of opinion is an intrinsic right carrying “elementary significance,” according to the AP.

“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” Seibert continued. “Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked.”

WSJ OP-ED: Save the Constitution From Big Tech

Conventional wisdom holds that technology companies are free to regulate content because they are private, and the First Amendment protects only against government censorship. That view is wrong: Google, Facebook and Twitter should be treated as state actors under existing legal doctrines. Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats, Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.

It is “axiomatic,” the Supreme Court held in Norwood v. Harrison (1973), that the government “may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” That’s what Congress did by enacting Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which not only permits tech companies to censor constitutionally protected speech but immunizes them from liability if they do so.

The justices have long held that the provision of such immunity can turn private action into state action. In Railway Employees’ Department v. Hanson (1956), they found state action in private union-employer closed-shop agreements—which force all employees to join the union—because Congress had passed a statute immunizing such agreements from liability under state law. In Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Association(1989), the court again found state action in private-party conduct—drug tests for company employees—because federal regulations immunized railroads from liability if they conducted those tests. In both cases, as with Section 230, the federal government didn’t mandate anything; it merely pre-empted state law, protecting certain private parties from lawsuits if they engaged in the conduct Congress was promoting.

THE PRO-TRUMP ‘VIKING’ IS ON HUNGER STRIKE BECAUSE THE JAIL DOESN’T SERVE ORGANIC FOOD… MELISSA BLASIUS: Jacob Chansley, AKA Jake Angeli, Arizona man makes first court appearance in for charges related to storming the U.S. Capitol. His mom says he hasn’t eaten since Friday because the detention facility won’t feed him all organic food. @abc15

Biden Proceeds With ‘America United’ Inauguration Theme

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration theme will be “America United,” following Wednesday’s storming of the capitol and amid rumors of upcoming protests. […]

The president-elect’s team said that the inauguration comes “at a time of unprecedented crisis,” Fox News reported Monday, and Biden’s team emphasized that the inaugural theme “reflects the beginning” of a “path to a brighter future,” according to the publication.

“Our political divisions are seeking to tear us apart and continue to test the strength of our democracy,” the Biden team said, according to Fox News. “The moment calls for sober reflection and the mustering of our national resolve. It is also a moment of hope.”

Biden’s inauguration is intended to highlight American “resilience, heroism and unified commitment to coming together as a nation,” Biden’s team said.

“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people – one of healing, of unifying, of coming together, of an America united,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Dr. Tony Allen said, according to Fox News.

“It is time to turn the page on this era of division,” he continued. “The inaugural activities will reflect our shared values and serve as a reminder that we are stronger together than we are apart, just as our motto ‘e pluribus unum’ reminds us – out of many, one.”

REPORT: FBI Says Armed Protests Planned In All 50 State Capitols Before Biden’s Inauguration

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released an internal bulletin, claiming armed protests are being planned in all 50 U.S. state capitols, including Washington D.C., before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to ABC reporter Aaron Katersky.

“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the FBI bulletin reads, Katersky tweeted Monday.

The bulletin also notes an unidentified group is calling on protesters to storm “state, local, and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event” Congress removes President Donald Trump before Inauguration Day, Katersky reports.

The National Guard released a statement Monday saying it will increase the number of troops in D.C. by at least 10,000 prior to Biden’s inauguration next week, according to the Associated Press.

Washington Monument Temporarily Closing Due To ‘Credible Threats’

The National Park Service announced Monday it is temporarily closing the Washington Monument due to “credible threats” after a riot broke out Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

Tours of the Washington Monument will be suspended from Jan. 11 until Jan. 24, after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration as president Jan. 20, according to a Monday alert from the National Park Service.

DHS MOVES DATE OF HEIGHTENED SECURITY MEASURES TO START IMMEDIATELY IN DC… YAHOO NEWS…

At a press conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser outlined several requests she said she’s made to federal agencies regarding additional security measures in light of last week’s attack on the Capitol and additional threats ahead of the inauguration. Bowser said that over the weekend she sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking to extend the national security event period for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to run from Monday, Jan. 11 through Sunday, Jan. 24. She said she also asked the acting attorney general to direct the FBI to provide daily intelligence and threat briefings during that time period, and she called on the secretary of the Interior to deny applications for public gathering permits between now and Jan. 24 and cancel any existing public gathering permits that have already been issued for that time period.

On Monday afternoon, acting DHS Secretary Wolf announced that he instructed the U.S. Secret Service to begin the National Special Security Event operations for the 2021 Inauguration effective Wednesday, Jan. 13, instead of Jan. 19.

CHAD WOLF: My statement on the NSSE Designation. (STATEMENT)

AND THEN WOLF RESIGNS… Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Resigns Four Days After Vowing To Remain In Post Until Biden’s Inauguration

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf will resign from his post Monday at midnight, citing “recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of” his “authority as Acting Secretary” in an email sent to DHS staff Monday evening.

Wolf didn’t directly reference the Capitol Hill riot that had already prompted resignations from other Trump Administration cabinet officials and tapped Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor, “a consummate professional,” to lead the department until Jan. 20.

“I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the Department until the end of this Administration. Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary. These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power,” he wrote.

SENATE DEMOCRAT SEEKS PUNISHMENT OF SENS. CRUZ, HAWLEY… JOHN BRESNAHAN: @SenWhitehouse⁩ says ⁦@tedcruz⁩ & ⁦@HawleyMO⁩ face Ethics Cmte investigation over their role in 1/6 attack on Capitol. He also says they should come off cmtes that may probe incident. Cruz is on Judiciary, Hawley on Judiciary & Homeland Security

Bill Belichick declines Presidential Medal of Freedom

“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients,” Belichick said. “Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy.

“I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”

STATEMENT FOLLOWS PRESSURE FROM MASS. DEMOCRATS… BOSTON GLOBE…

Sen. Ed Markey told Boston Public Radio that he thought it would be in poor taste for Belichick to accept the invitation to the ceremony, which could be held on Thursday – the same day the House could vote to impeach.

“He should just say no,” Markey said. “That could be the day that Donald Trump is being impeached in the United States House of Representatives for inciting an insurgency against the United States.”

Markey continued:

“So, Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach of all time. But on the Thursday of the week in which Donald Trump is going to be impeached, that is not the right day to be accepting a Medal of Freedom award.”

New York State Bar Association Begins Inquiry To Remove Rudy Giuliani From Membership

“NYSBA has received hundreds of complaints in recent months about Mr. Giuliani and his baseless efforts on behalf of President Trump to cast doubt on the veracity of the 2020 presidential election and, after the votes were cast, to overturn its legitimate results,” the organization wrote on its website. “As widely reported, these efforts included the commencement and prosecution of court actions in multiple states without any evidentiary basis whatsoever. In each and every instance, these actions were appropriately dismissed by the courts in which they were brought.”

The NYSBA went on to accuse Giuliani of intending to encourage Trump supporters “to take matters into their own hands.

NYSBA’s bylaws state that “no person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by force or other illegal means, shall be a member of the Association.” Mr. Giuliani’s words quite clearly were intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to take matters into their own hands. Their subsequent attack on the Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup, intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power.

The release concluded by stating that Giuliani will “be provided due process” and will be given an opportunity “to explain and defend his words and actions.”

MEANWHILESupreme Court Denies Request To Fast-Track Review Of Election Lawsuits

The Supreme Court rejected Monday requests to expedite consideration of election lawsuits that challenge election results in battleground states.

In an unsigned order, the court wrote that “the motion of petitioners to expedite consideration of the petition for writ of mandamus is denied” for several cases, including one filed against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and one against the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

There was no explanation or opinion given with the order and there were no noted dissents from any of the justices.

President Donald Trump’s lawyers have worked tirelessly to get the court to take up the cases prior to Jan. 6 when Congress met to certify Biden’s win.

John Eastman, the president’s attorney representing him in the case against Boockvar, which challenges Pennsylvania’s election procedures, warned that if the court didn’t take that case before Jan. 20 “it will be impossible to repair election results,” according to CNBC.

Biden Taps Williams Burns — Former Ambassador To Russia And Jordan — To Serve As CIA Director

Burns, a 33-year State Department veteran, served as the U.S. ambassador to Jordan for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and U.S. ambassador to Russia for Bush as well. He has a long relationship with Avril Haines, Biden’s Director of National Intelligence appointee.

CNN noted that Burns, then serving as deputy secretary of state, stood in for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a 2012 House hearing during the Benghazi investigation.

“We learned some very hard and painful lessons in Benghazi,” he testified at the time. “We are already acting on them. We have to do better. We owe it to our colleagues who lost their lives in Benghazi.”

CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWNS…

JUST DAYS BEFORE BIDEN INAUGURATION, CUOMO DISCOVERS THE NEED TO REOPEN… After Forcing Thousands Of Businesses To Shut Down, Cuomo Now Says The ‘Cost’ Of Staying Closed Is ‘Too High’

“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open,” [NY GOV. ANDREW CUOMO] tweeted. “We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.”

Just last month Cuomo announced that all indoor dining in New York City would be banned, claiming the risk associated with the practice was “too high.”

Data from the governor’s office, however, showed that restaurants and bars have led to 1.4% of all COVID-19 cases in the state.

CHRIS BEDFORD REACTS… BEDFORD: Sooner or later, everyone will come around to this basic common sense view that would have saved tens of thousands of small business months ago. Then they’ll all forget shadow banning and doing constant hit pieces on those who said it first. They’ll pretend it was their idea.

OPTIMISM NOW IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… JULIE CAREY: Exciting news for Fairfax County teachers. The health dept. & Inova have partnered to provide COVID vaccinations to 40,000 teachers & staff at schools across the Fairfax Health District. Vaccinations will start as early as Jan. 18. FCPS Supt letter below @nbcwashington (SCREENGRAB)

FAIRFAX PARENT GROUP DEMANDS SCHOOLS GET OPENED IMMEDIATELY… RORY COOPER: The #OpenFCPS parent coalition making it clear: You demanded vaccinations. Here they are. Time for a return to 5 days a week in-person learning. (#OPENFCPS STATEMENT)

JIM ACOSTA IS GETTING HIS OWN SHOWCNN Announces Major Changes For Jim Acosta, Other Programming

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, the network announced a slew of changes in both reporting positions and anchor jobs. Acosta “has been named anchor and chief domestic correspondent for CNN,” the network wrote.

“His anchoring duties will be on the weekends with more details coming soon,” according to CNN.

In addition to Acosta’s new role, anchor Jake Tapper will have his show extended and his weekend show will be co-hosted with Dana Bash. CNN’s Abby Phillip, currently a political correspondent for the network, will anchor her own show on Sunday, according to CNN.

Fox News Announces Big Changes To Daytime Programs, Including A Move For Martha MacCallum

Fox News announced a new daytime lineup Monday, including a new interim opinion program.

The network noted in October that it planned to “launch new formats as appropriate after the election.” Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts will be co-hosting a new two-hour program, according to a press release.

Roberts will co-host “America Reports” with broadcaster Sandra Smith. The new White House correspondent team has not yet been named.

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum’s show “The Story,” previously at 7 p.m., will move to the 3 p.m. time slot. The network plans to rotate various Fox News opinion hosts for that hour until a replacement is announced in a new show called “Fox News Primetime,” according to the press release.

Calling All Patriots: Over the past year, the government has revealed some pretty startling things about UFOs and the possibility of alien life. The Pentagon declassified several videos that reportedly depict UFOs, the Senate solicited a report from the intelligence community on the possibility of UFOs and it was revealed that both President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama may have been briefed on aliens and UFOs. So Patriots, is the truth out there? Let us know in the form.