Curating the day’s top stories so you don’t have to.
1. Impeachment proceedings will begin today in the House, starting at 9 am. The first vote on procedural issues is slated to occur at approximately 10 am after debating the rules and vote-setting parameters. The final vote, which will occur after two hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Judiciary, will likely take place somewhere around 3 pm.
As reported yesterday, House Republican leaders will not whip their colleagues to vote against the impeachment resolution, allowing instead for them to make a “vote of conscience”, as GOP Rep. Liz Cheney put it. Cheney, who confirmed last night that she will be voting to impeach, minced no words in her announcement, stating unequivocally that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney is joined by GOP Reps. John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, and Jaime Herrera Beutler in supporting impeachment, and insiders say that House Republicans wouldn’t be surprised to see as many as two dozen GOP votes in support, though the number is more likely to fall between 10 and 20.
2. House lawmakers formally adopted a resolution last night that would compel Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. Pence, however, had already rejected the effort in a letter delivered to Speaker Pelosi earlier in the night.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican to vote in favor of the resolution, which passed by a vote of 223-205.
3. Rep. Madison Cawthorn became the latest in a string of Republicans who are attempting to distance themselves from their former rhetoric. Cawthorn, who had previously encouraged his supporters to “lightly threaten” their congressmen if they failed to support election integrity efforts, is now expressing regret over claims of election fraud.
“Once you start floating this idea of election fraud and people outright stealing an election and cheating, that has only one outcome, ” Cawthorn said, adding, “The party as a whole should have been much more wise about their choice of words.”
The freshman representative has previously come under fire for calling Adolph Hitler “the Fuhrer” in a now-deleted Instagram post and for criticizing a person for leaving academia “to work for non-white males like Cory Booker who aims to ruin white males running for office.”
4. The fallout from last week’s Capitol riot continued on Monday with a spate of further resignations. Ted Cruz’s communication director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, resigned in protest over his recent actions, and Jason Schmid, a top GOP aide in the House Armed Services Committee, resigned in a letter that offered a scathing rebuke of Republican leadership, calling the idea that the election was illegitimate a “poisonous lie” and accusing his Republican colleagues of putting “political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic.”
Elsewhere, Rep. Elise Stefanik was removed from the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Senior Advisory Committee in response to her recent actions and unfounded claims of voter fraud.
5. I touched briefly upon polling in yesterday’s update, but I wanted to delve a little further into an analysis of Trump’s approval rating. As mentioned yesterday, Quinnipiac puts Trump’s current approval at 33%, but what is perhaps most striking is his approval amongst Republicans, which now sits at 71%, after previously hovering around 90%. That 20% dip is significant and is likely offering cover to Republicans in Congress who now wish to break from the president. Some Republicans, like Colin Powell, are breaking from the party entirely.
6. Brief rundown of other riot news:
- The FBI was evidently aware of the threat of impending violence, having circulated an internal warning a day before the riot that extremists were preparing to travel to D.C. to commit “war,” making their lack of preparation all the more puzzling.
- The Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement reminding US forces that they defend the Constitution and condemning the “sedition and insurrection” at the Capitol.
- Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended, with many more under investigation, for their roles in the riot. Of the two suspended, one took a selfie with a member of the mob, and the other donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and started directing people around the building.
- More information has come to light concerning the officers injured during the riot. Several officers were either tased or struck in the head with lead pipes, another was shot at with his own gun, and yet another is likely to lose his eye. These, in addition to the officer who was killed, and the other who committed suicide in the wake.
- Donald Trump is now under criminal investigation in the District of Columbia, according to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is currently considering charges.
7. The Biden Inaugural Committee will refund a donation made by former Sen. Barbara Boxer after she registered as a foreign agent for a Chinese surveillance firm accused of abetting the mass internment of Uighur Muslims.
8. Pompeo canceled his trip to Europe at the last minute on Tuesday after being snubbed by Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials who declined to meet with him.
9. Michigan will charge former Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director, and other ex-officials in the wake of a new investigation into the Flint water scandal. The nature of the charges are not yet known, but the attorney general’s office has informed defense attorneys about the upcoming indictments.
10. The latest on coronavirus:
- Ontario issued their second state of emergency and a stay-at-home order on Tuesday, which will begin at 12:01 am on Thursday and be in effect for at least 28 days.
- Rep. Brad Schneider became the third member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in place with Republicans who refused to wear masks in the Capitol last week.
- The United States hit another grim record yesterday with the highest number of new COVID-19 deaths ever reported in one day. Monday saw 4,212 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the US to 381,000.