Democrats showed shocking new video of the January 6th insurrection on Day Two of Trump’s second impeachment trial. And Senators were asked to reflect on the meaning and history of the gallows that Trump’s mob erected outside the Capitol.
Meanwhile, a prosecutor in Georgia is investigating Trump’s attempts to meddle with the November election results. Multiple criminal charges are possible – what fun!
And lastly, as counterfeit masks proliferate, federal health officials recommend double- masking for better protection against the coronavirus. A new study backs up that advice.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The case against Donald Trump is, well, unimpeachable. The second day of Trump’s Senate trial featured more detailed arguments by the House impeachment managers. Using video and documentary evidence, Democrats offered a minute-by-minute breakdown of the events of January 6th, when Trump’s mob stormed the Capitol to prevent the certification of Electoral College votes making Joe Biden President. It wasn’t pretty.
As the New York Times put it, yesterday Democrats showed disturbing, never-before-seen video footage of Trump’s supporters rampaging into the Capitol and searching for former Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to harm or even kill them. Footage from Capitol security cameras showed Pence, who alienated Trump’s supporters by refusing to try to overturn the election, being rushed by Secret Service officers down a staircase to escape invaders calling for his death. Pelosi’s staff members were shown barricading themselves into an office just minutes before the mob arrived and tried to break down the door. The man famously photographed sitting at her desk was shown carrying a nine hundred and fifty thousand-volt stun gun. The managers labeled Trump’s long barrage of distortions the Big Lie, borrowing an expression from the Nazi era used to describe a falsehood so enormous and widely disseminated that it became difficult to deny.
According to the Washington Post, several Republican senators appeared moved by the managers’ presentation, though the senators did not indicate whether the evidence had
convinced them to convict Trump. Senator Mitt Romney said he did not know how close he was to danger, after watching security video that showed him initially walking toward a pro- Trump mob. Romney bumped into Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who directed him away from the mob. In the footage, Romney can be seen running away along with Goodman.
Impeachment managers resume their case today.
Georgia Prosecutor Targets Trump
The impeachment is not a criminal proceeding. But there could be more of those in store for Donald Trump. The Washington Post reports that an Atlanta-area prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia in the wake of calls Trump placed to state officials, urging them to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory in the state. In a letter Wednesday to several state Republican officials, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis stated that her office is examining a raft of potential criminal charges related to attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 election in the state.
In early January, per the Post, Trump pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to reverse Biden’s victory in the state. He also called the top Georgia state elections investigator shortly before Christmas, asking the person to QUOTE find the fraud ENDQUOTE. In a third call placed in early December to Governor Brian Kemp, Trump urged him to persuade the state legislature to overturn Biden’s victory. Prosecutors are scrutinizing all three of those calls. Yesterday, as part of the ongoing Senate trial, House impeachment managers argued Trump’s calls were part of his long-running attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Willis, a Democrat, told state officials that her office will examine whether anyone illegally solicited election fraud, the Post reports. She’ll also examine whether anyone made false statements to state and local government officials, made threats, or participated in a criminal conspiracy as part of attempts to influence the election outcome. Legal experts have said Trump’s call to the secretary of state may have broken state or federal laws that bar the solicitation of election fraud, among other potential crimes. Throw the book at him! Throw the whole library!
CDC Endorses Double-Masking
LUCIE: We told you previously it might be a good idea. Now, it’s official. Double-masking – specifically, wearing a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask – may provide an extremely high level of protection against the viral particles that cause Covid-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported yesterday, according to NBC News. CDC researchers found that in simulated breathing experiments, a surgical mask alone blocked forty two percent of particles small enough to transmit the coronavirus. One cloth mask did not fare much better, blocking about forty-four percent of particles from an unmasked individual. Double-masking, with a surgical mask and a cloth mask, they found, upped the protection for the wearer significantly, blocking eighty three percent of small particles from an unmasked individual.
Separately, the Associated Press reports that federal authorities are investigating a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. The foreign-made knockoffs are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and could put health care workers at grave risk for the coronavirus. Officials could not name the states or the company involved because of the active investigation.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, fraud remains a major problem, the AP reports. There have been already more than twelve hundred raids by law enforcement that resulted in the seizure of ten million counterfeit 3M masks alone. The company has filed more than a dozen lawsuits over reports of fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging. There are many other reports of fraudulent masks that have reached frontline workers. Officials in Washington state examined their mask supply and discovered that three hundred thousand masks they had purchased for about $1.4 million were counterfeit. Officials are investigating. Pandemic scammers are among the lowest of the low.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
President Joe Biden yesterday announced sanctions on the military leaders who directed the coup in Myanmar, according to CBS News. The first round of targets will be identified this week. Biden said QUOTE As protests grow, violence against those asserting their democratic rights is unacceptable and we're going to keep calling it out. The people of Burma are making their voices heard and the world is watching ENDQUOTE.
Facebook said yesterday that it will begin testing ways to lessen the amount of political content its US users see, according to Politico. The company offered few if any concrete details of how these new steps would work. But political campaigns and grassroots activist say Facebook is undermining crucial tools they use to raise money and attract supporters. Anyway, don’t worry, we’ll be here with all the political news you need.
The US Coast Guard rescued three Cuban nationals who were stranded for more than a month on a desert island in the Bahamas on Tuesday, CBS reports. The two men and a woman survived by eating conchs (CONKS) and rats. A Coast Guard surveillance plane spotted the castaways during a routine patrol Monday. They are now in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in case you worried this story might have an unambiguously happy ending.
The current unemployment rate, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is six point three percent. But the real unemployment rate in the US is closer to ten percent, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said yesterday, according to NBC News. He said reaching maximum employment will QUOTE require a society-wide commitment ENDQUOTE. Somebody should tell those CEOs who visited the White House this week.
FEB 11, 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn