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This piece was originally published in the February 10, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“Senators, we must not become numb to this.”
— Impeachment Manager Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA)
Unity = doing what the American people need and support.
IN THE NEWS
- Last night, the Senate voted 56–44 to affirm the constitutionality of the ongoing second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, with just one additional Republican defector joining a handful of his Republican colleagues in voting to proceed with the trial.
- Now that it’s crystal clear this process holds up to constitutional muster, senators have moved on to the actual trial itself. Today marked the first official day of arguments on the question of whether or not Donald Trump should be convicted for inciting a violent insurrection on the Capitol last month. We heard searing testimony from House impeachment managers Madeleine Dean, Ted Lieu, Eric Swalwell, and Stacey Plaskett.
- In her first speech, Impeachment Manager Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) invoked footage of the attack on a Biden campaign bus by Trump supporters ahead of the November election. “For anyone who says Donald Trump didn’t know the violence he was inciting,” she said, “I ask you to consider: His supporters tried to drive a bus off the highway…to intimidate his opponents’ campaign workers, and his response was to…call those individuals…patriots.”
- Congresswoman Plaskett picked back up later this afternoon to walk senators through a timeline of the Capitol attack. She presented several clips of never-before-seen security footage from inside the Capitol as the attack went down. The footage made it clear just how driven the crowd was by a desire to violently overthrow and murder senior government officials who they were convinced had wronged Donald Trump — and how close they came to fulfilling that mission.
- The new footage showed Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) being directed away from a main throughway of the Capitol by Officer Eugene Goodman with just moments to spare before the mob made their way there. Several other lawmakers and their staff, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), were within minutes of coming face to face with the attackers, many of whom were armed and seeking to harm members of Congress.
- One of the most jarring components of today’s trial was the visual representation of where the mob and lawmakers were located inside the Capitol. You can see it here, and be sure to tune in for continued coverage of the impeachment trial tonight and throughout the week.
Don’t miss a moment of this week’s historic second impeachment trial. Follow @CAPAction for the latest updates.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Both chambers of the Virginia state legislature voted to abolish the state’s death penalty last week. Virginia has committed the most executions of any state other than Texas — a total of 113 since 1976, and hundreds more in the centuries prior. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) plans to sign the bill into law, which will make Virginia the first southern state to abolish the death penalty.
- Billionaires have now racked up nearly $4 trillion in profits since the pandemic began. A report from Oxfam found that these profits alone would be enough to pay for COVID-19 vaccines for every person on earth and to keep everyone out of poverty. On that note, in the wake of the world’s second richest man announcing last week that he plans to step down from the top job at Amazon, here are some suggestions for how Jeff Bezos could spend all that free time and money — $193 billion, to be exact.
- Lawmakers in several states are seeking to punish K-12 schools and colleges that use the 1619 Project in their curriculum. Sound familiar? Trump and his allies on the right have been pushing this sort of censorship since the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection on race in America was published in 2019. Their attempts to suppress the powerful arguments of the 1619 Project — about America’s history of racism and the remnants of slavery which remain in our society even today — is just one of many tactics people like Trump and these lawmakers use to whitewash our history.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Understanding the Policing of Black, Disabled Bodies by Vilissa Thompson (CAP)
- Deep South Towns Are Counting on Biden to Keep His Climate Promises by Elizabeth Elkin and Leslie Kaufman (Bloomberg)
- How Women Survive and What We Remember by Sara Benincasa (GEN)
- Quick Facts on Paid Family and Medical Leave by Diana Boesch (CAP)
- Stories of Slavery, From Those Who Survived It by Clint Smith (The Atlantic)
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“The Progress Report” is CAP Action’s regular news email, providing policy-minded analysis of the day’s stories—and offering subscribers ways to get involved.