News Headlines 1/26/21

HOUSE MANAGERS DELIVER IMPEACHMENT ARTICLE TO SENATE: The nine House Democrats who are the managers in former President Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial, meaning they will be the prosecutors, ceremoniously walked over the single impeachment article for “incitement of insurrection” yesterday (January 25th) to the Senate, where the trial will take place starting in two weeks. After they arrived, one of the managers, Rep. Jamie Raskin, read out loud the House resolution. In addition to being the first president impeached twice, Trump will also be the first former president to face an impeachment trial, and a growing number of Republicans have been objecting to having such a trial for a president who is no longer in office. President Biden told CNN late yesterday that the trial, in his words, “has to happen,” even as he acknowledged the effect it could have on agenda, but stating there’d be, quote, “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.” He also stated he didn’t think enough Republican senators would vote for impeachment to convict Trump, but said that might be different if the former president still had six months left in his term.

Raskin: [“Donald John Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States.”] SOUNDCUE (:08 OC . . . the United States.)

[“Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”] SOUNDCUE (:13 OC . . . the United States.)

Roberts Won’t Preside: It was disclosed yesterday that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts won’t be presiding at the trial, as he did during Trump’s first impeachment trial. That’s because the Constitution says the chief justice has to preside at the impeachment trial of presidents, and some constitutional scholars argue that doesn’t apply for a former president. Roberts chose not to preside, so the Senate president pro tempore, the most senior senator in the majority party, will preside, who is Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

CORONAVIRUS CASES, DEATHS FELL OVER PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT STILL AT HIGH LEVELS: The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. fell significantly over the past couple of weeks, but they are still at very high levels. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, said the improvement appears to reflect a leveling off from a peak that was due to a post-holidays surge, and not yet vaccinations. The U.S. is averaging just under 3,100 deaths a day, down from more than 3,350 less than two weeks ago, and new cases are averaging about 170,000 a day after peaking at almost 250,000 two weeks ago. The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has also fallen to about 110,00 from a high of 132,000 on January 7th. The risk now is that even as more people will get vaccinated, the mutated virus variants that are beginning to be seen that are more contagious could blunt ongoing reductions if they outpace vaccinations. Only less than six percent of the U.S. population has gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine. More than 421,000 Americans have been killed by the coronavirus as of early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data.

Brazil Variant Found in U.S.: The first known case in the U.S. of a new variant of the virus that was first seen in Brazil has been detected in a Minnesota man who recently traveled to that country, state health officials announced Monday (January 25th). U.S. health officials are also concerned about variants that were first reported in the U.K. and South Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported at least 195 cases of the U.K. variant in the U.S. The South African variant has not yet been discovered in the U.S.

JUSTICE DEPT. INSPECTOR GENERAL TO PROBE IF DEPT. OFFICIALS TRIED TO OVERTURN ELECTION RESULTS: The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is launching an investigation to look into whether department officials were involved in a, quote, “improper attempt” to overturn the results of the presidential election. Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Monday (January 25th) the probe will investigate allegations about current and former officials. The investigation announcement comes after the New York Times reported that a former assistant attorney general, Jeffrey Clark, discussed a plan with then-President Donald Trump to remove the acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, and challenge the election results by falsely saying there had been widespread election fraud.

SUPREME COURT ENDS EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE CASES AGAINST TRUMP SINCE HE’S NO LONGER PRESIDENT: The Supreme Court yesterday (January 25th) ended lawsuits charging that former President Donald Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution and was illegally profiting from his presidency, with the justices saying the cases were moot because Trump is no longer in office. The cases had alleged Trump was violating the clause by accepting payments from foreign and domestic officials who stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and patronized other businesses owned by him and his family.

17-YEAR-OLD RELATIVE ARRESTED IN INDIANAPOLIS KILLING OF FIVE, INCLUDING PREGNANT WOMAN: Indianapolis police said Monday (January 25th) that a 17-year-old had been arrested in the fatal mass shooting of five people early Sunday morning, including a pregnant woman, and that he was related to the victims. Because of his age, the suspect’s name has not been released. Those killed were: Kezzie Childs and Raymond Childs, Jr., who were both 42, 18-year-old Elijah Childs, 13-year-old Rita Childs, and 19-year-old Kiara Hawkins, who was pregnant and whose unborn child also died. A 17-year-old boy who was also shot is expected to survive. No motive has been given for the killings.

YELLEN APPROVED AS TREASURY SECRETARY: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen was approved by the Senate yesterday (January 25th) as treasury secretary in a 84-15 vote, becoming the first woman to ever hold the position. Yellen is the third member of President Biden’s Cabinet to be confirmed.