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This piece was originally published in the February 11, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“January 6 was a culmination of the president’s actions, not an aberration from them.”
The evidence is clear: The Senate must convict Donald Trump.
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IN THE NEWS
- If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from this week’s impeachment trial, it’s that much of the incriminating evidence against Donald Trump is a matter of public record. As the impeachment managers wrapped up their arguments this afternoon, they focused on events and footage many of us have seen over and over since the January 6 attack — the crowd chanting “hang Mike Pence,” the wildly insufficient and dangerous video Trump tweeted out in which he expressed his “love” for the attackers as they continued to charge the Capitol in his name, and more. We knew about most of this before now — and to objective observers, it has long been obvious how culpable Trump was in fueling the insurrection.
- Yet, despite having most of this horrifying evidence available for over a month now, reports indicate the powerful video footage and constitutional arguments presented to senators this week appeared to leave a mark on several of them. When pieced together and put in the context of a minute-by-minute timeline, it seems to have now sunk in just how close the mob got to them and their colleagues. Sen. Mitt Romney, for one, said he hadn’t realized how close of a call he’d had when he was redirected by an officer. Others on his side of the aisle gave similar, shell-shocked statements.
“He was telling us that he will do this again.” — Impeachment Manager Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)
- Will this lead Senate Republicans to do the right thing and convict Donald Trump? It’s useless to try and read the tea leaves when it comes to the U.S. Senate, but one thing is for sure: The House impeachment managers gave it their all. They hit every point they possibly could have and presented a compelling, fact-based case that erases any doubt that Donald Trump stoked this chaos and incited the insurrection on January 6.
“Is there [anyone] 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? If he gets back into office and it happens again, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.” — Rep. Jamie Raskin
- We now have some important context on Trump’s tweet deriding then-VP Mike Pence in the midst of the insurrection. After being told by Senator Tommy Tuberville — a major Trump ally — over the phone on the afternoon of January 6 that Pence was actively being evacuated from the building, Trump continued to stoke the anger and throw fuel on the fire, effectively riling up the crowd that had already infiltrated the Capitol.
- Approximately ten minutes after he was informed Pence was in danger, he tweeted the following: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” According to footage presented by the impeachment managers, rioters read the tweet out loud over a bullhorn, and had erected a gallows to fulfill their chanted promise to “hang Mike Pence.”
- Tomorrow, Trump’s lawyers will present their side of the case. They spent today making Fox News appearances and deriding the Democratic impeachment managers and brushing off footage of the violent mob their client incited as an “entertainment package.”
Don’t miss a moment of this week’s historic second impeachment trial. Follow @CAPAction for the latest updates.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- A new poll found that a majority of Americans are planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s great news — but for the other 32% of people who aren’t yet sure, there’s much work left to do. Public health experts and scientists have been pushing to get the facts about the vaccine out to skeptical Americans and ensure that the public that getting inoculated is safe and effective.
- That being said, people are more likely to believe information when it comes from someone they know and trust. That’s where you come in. Share this FAQ from the Washington Post about the COVID-19 vaccine with family and friends who might still have questions about how and why to get vaccinated.
- Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) announced this week that they’d secured a provision in the ongoing pandemic relief talks to help people cover the costs of burying family members lost to COVID-19. On Monday, the lawmakers shared that they would be allocating $2 billion in federal funds to reimburse low-income families for the burdensome expenses that compound the already devastating experience of burying a loved one during the pandemic. “When you suddenly lose a loved one, you’re talking about an expense of four or five, seven, 10 thousand dollars,” Ocasio-Cortez said, reflecting on her own family’s struggle to cover her late father’s funeral costs.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- GoFundMe CEO: We weren’t meant to replace COVID relief by Tim Cadogan (USA Today)
- Momentum Grows for Bold Democracy Reform by Michael Sozan (CAP)
- Fox hosts downplay Trump’s culpability for the insurrection — and their own by Matt Gertz (Media Matters)
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