TRUMP IMPEACHED FOR SECOND TIME, 10 REPUBLICANS JOIN: President Trump was impeached by the House Wednesday (January 13th) on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” in the wake of the assault on the Capitol that he’s accused of inciting, becoming the only president to be impeached twice. Ten Republicans joined with all the Democrats in the 232-197 vote, including Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House GOP leader, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in modern times. The impeachment process was very swift, coming just a week after last Wednesday’s attack. Urging that Trump be impeached, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats warned that the president is a danger, stating, “He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.” But Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led many Republicans in saying that impeachment would further divide the country.
Despite the impeachment, Trump is virtually guaranteed to end his term as scheduled on January 20th, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the earliest an impeachment trial could start is next Tuesday, the day before President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration. A trial can be held after Trump leaves office, and would have as a main goal preventing him from being able to hold federal office again. McConnell said in a note to colleagues yesterday that he had, quote, “not made a final decision on how I will vote.” A two-thirds vote in the Senate would be required for conviction.
Pelosi: [“Today in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States. That Donald Trump is a clear and president danger to our country and that, once again, we honored our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.”] SOUNDCUE (:24 OC . . . defend the Constitution.)
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy: [“A vote to impeach would further divide this nation. A vote to impeach would further fan the flames of partisan division. Most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution. They want durable, bipartisan justice.”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC . . . durable, bipartisan justice.)
TRUMP RELEASES VIDEO CALLING FOR NO VIOLENCE AT UPCOMING DEMONSTRATIONS: President Trump released a video yesterday (January 13th) from the Oval Office in which he condemned last week’s attack on the Capitol and called for there to be no violence at demonstrations that are reportedly being planned in the days up to and on President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration that have FBI and law enforcement officials very concerned. In his remarks, which didn’t mention his impeachment that had happened earlier in the day, Trump said in his first condemnation of the the Capitol attack, “Like all of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week.” He stated, “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for.” Saying he’d been briefed on threats related to upcoming demonstration, Trump said, “I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law breaking and no vandalism of any kind,” and stated, “[I] am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country.”
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., was in a state of lockdown because of the threat surrounding next week’s inauguration in the wake of the attack on the Capitol. Fencing had been put up around landmarks and traffic blocked off from a huge part of downtown. More than 15,000 National Guardsmen from several states, some of them armed, were in the nation’s capital, and officials said more may be called. However, before being able to send more guardsmen, state leaders have to be sure their own state capitols are protected, as the FBI has warned of threats to them in all 50 states. Stunning photos yesterday showed scores of guardsmen sleeping on the floor of the Capitol building.
Trump: [“There has been reporting that additional demonstrations are being planned in the coming days both here in Washington and across the country. I have been briefed by the U.S. Secret Service on the potential threats. **EDIT** I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law breaking and no vandalism of any kind.”] SOUNDCUE (:26 OC . . . of any kind.)
[“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.”] SOUNDCUE (:13 OC . . . great American flag.)
MORE THAN 4,000 CORONAVIRUS DEATHS YESTERDAY FOR THIRD TIME: There were 4,022 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus yesterday (January 13th), according to The COVID Tracking Project, the third time there has been more than 4,000 deaths in one day. Johns Hopkins University says the total number of deaths is now more than 384,700 as of early this morning. More than 38,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 in the first two weeks of the year, and a forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is projecting that another 92,000 will die over the next three weeks. Hospitalizations and deaths are continuing at the worst rates of the pandemic, as they have for weeks now, even as vaccines are being administered.
EX-MICHIGAN GOVERNOR SNYDER CHARGED IN FLINT WATER SCANDAL: Former Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday (January 13th) with willful neglect of duty in the Flint water scandal, which left residents of the city drinking water contaminated with lead. The charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Charges are also expected against others, including officials who were Snyder’s state health director and a senior adviser. Snyder served as governor from 2011 through 2018, and on April 25, 2014, an emergency manager he’d appointed to run the financially-struggling, majority-Black city decided to save money by using the Flint River for water while a pipeline from Lake Huron was under construction. But the water wasn’t treated properly, and released lead from homes’ old plumbing into the water. Despite complaints from residents, Snyder’s administration didn’t take significant action until a doctor reported elevated lead levels in children about 18 months later. There were also at least 90 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County, including 12 deaths, and it was found there wasn’t enough chlorine in the water-treatment system to control legionella bacteria.