News Headlines 2/12/21

HOUSE MANAGERS CONCLUDE CASE AFTER SECOND DAY OF PRESENTATION IN SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: The House managers prosecuting the case against former President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial concluded their presentation after a second day Thursday (February 11th) that was shorter than the first. The managers repeated some of their points from the first day, including their arguments that: Trump had for months stoked the anger and violence that led to the attack on the Capitol with his constant assertions that the presidential election had been stolen; that Trump was derelict in not doing anything for hours to stop the assault or send help; and that the rioters believed they had been attacking at his direction to “stop the steal,” using video of attackers at the Capitol saying that’s why they were there.

But they also warned yesterday about what they said the future effects could be if Trump is not convicted on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” and barred from holding federal office again. Rep. Joe Neguse said, “If we pretend this didn’t happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?,” and Rep. Ted Lieu stated, “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose, because he can do this again.” They also charged that Trump had incited and condoned violence among his supporters since he launched his 2016 presidential campaign, citing incidents such as praising violence among audience members at his rallies and his remarks saying there were good people on “both sides” after the Charlottesville white nationalist rally that led to violence.

The Defense: Trump’s attorneys will begin the presentation of their defense today. One of them, David Schoen, said it should go quickly, indicating that even though they have 16 hours they can use, they might be done without using any time on Saturday. If things do go that quickly, the vote on whether or not Trump is guilty could take place this weekend. Schoen yesterday criticized the Democrats’ presentation, telling reporters that it was “offensive,” and that the managers, quote, “haven’t tied it in any way to Trump.” He also said he believed making the public relieve the attack hurts efforts at unity.

Rep. Jamie Raskin: [“What makes you think the nightmare with Donald Trump and his violent mobs is over? If we let him get away with it and then it comes to your state capitol or it comes back here again, what are we going to say?”] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC . . . going to say?)

[“He knew they were coming. He brought them here, and he welcomed them with open arms. ‘We hear you and love you from the Oval Office.’ My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes if he’s ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?”] SOUNDCUE (:21 OC . . . get his way?)

[“Why did President Trump do nothing to stop the attack for at least two hours after the attack began? As our constitutional commander in chief, why did he do nothing to send help to our overwhelmed and besieged law enforcement officers for at least two hours on January 16th after the attack began?”] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC . . . the attack began?)

Rep. Joe Neguse: [“Standing in the middle of that explosive situation, in that powder keg that he had created over the course of months, before a crowd of people poised for violence at his signal, he struck a match. He aimed it straight at this building, at us.”] SOUNDCUE (:26 OC . . . building, at us.)

[“On January 6th, he didn’t condemn the attack, didn’t condemn the attackers, didn’t say that he would send help to defend us or defend law enforcement. He didn’t react to the violence with shock or horror or dismay as we did. **EDIT** Instead, he issued messages in the afternoon that sided with them.”] SOUNDCUE (:28 OC . . . sided with them.)

[“President Trump wasn’t just some guy with political opinions who showed up at a rally on January 6th and delivered controversial remarks. He was the president of the United States, and he had spent months, months, using the unique power of that office, of his bully pulpit, to spread that big lie.”] SOUNDCUE (:28 OC . . . that big lie.)

Rep. Diana DeGette: [“Their own statements before, during and after the attack made clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions, and to fulfill his wishes. Donald Trump had sent them there. They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president’s orders and we know that because they said so.”] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC . . . they said so.)

Rep. Ted Lieu: [“President Trump’s lack of remorse shows that he will undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed. Because he still refuses to account for his previous high, grave crime against our government. You know, I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose, because he can do this again.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC . . . do this again.)

BIDEN: U.S. HAS SECURED COMMITMENTS FOR ENOUGH VACCINE FOR 300 MILLION PEOPLE BY JULY: President Biden said yesterday (February 11th) that the administration has secured commitments for enough coronavirus vaccines by the end of July for 300 million Americans to be fully vaccinated. The contractual commitments from Moderna and Pfizer to supply the 600 million doses — two doses for 300 million people — by the end of July is more than one month earlier than had previously been expected. That good news came as the U.S. is on track to surpass Biden’s stated goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, with more than 26 million doses already given in his first three weeks.

REPORT: CUOMO AIDE SAYS HID NUMBER OF NURSING HOME COVID DEATHS: An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Democratic state lawmakers Wednesday that the  administration hid the number of nursing home deaths from Covid-19 so that it couldn’t, quote, “be used against us,” the New York Post reported Thursday (February 11th). The report cited an audio recording of a meeting between Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and state Democrats, with DeRosa telling them that when they got a request from the state legislature for the nursing home death numbers, quote, “we froze.” She explained that then President Donald Trump had been turning the issue into a, quote, “giant political football,” saying, “He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes.” She added, “So we do apologize. I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that more than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York were released into nursing homes from hospitals early in the pandemic under a much-criticized Cuomo directive that was later rescinded, citing new records it obtained. That number is more than 40 percent higher than what the state health department previously released.

SIX KILLED IN MORE THAN 130-VEHICLE CRASH ON TEXAS HIGHWAY: There were six people killed and dozens injured in a massive crash on a Texas highway involving more than 130 vehicles during a winter storm yesterday morning (February 11th). At least three people were critically injured among the more than 65 people who were brought to hospitals. The crash happened on Interstate 35 near downtown Fort Worth, where the surface of the highway was icy because of the storm.

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST BUFFALO COPS WHO SHOVED ELDERLY PROTESTER TO GROUND: Prosecutors said yesterday (February 11th) that felony assault charges had been dropped against two Buffalo, New York, police officers who shoved a 75-year-old protester to the ground last June during protests in the wake of George Floyd‘s killing, after a grand jury declined to indict them. The incident drew national attention after Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were seen on video shoving Martin Gugino as crowd control officers were clearing protestors for an 8 p.m. curfew. Gugino fell backward onto the pavement, hit his head and began bleeding. He suffered a fractured skull and brain injury and was hospitalized for a month. The Buffalo Police Department will carry out an internal affairs investigation of the incident, according to The Buffalo News.