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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 05:15 PM
Number of posts: 30,397

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Biden to announce purchase of 200M more doses of Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

Source: ABC News

President Joe Biden will announce Tuesday that his administration has secured commitments from coronavirus vaccine makers to buy another 200 million doses to arrive this summer, raising the total to 600 million and ensuring the U.S. will eventually have two shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for nearly every American.

Biden also was expected to tell the nation to expect a modest uptick in production in the near term -- from 8.6 million doses a week to 10 million a week for the next three weeks, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The announcement does not resolve the major shortages the nation is experiencing now, and does not suggest the Biden administration has found a novel way to ramp up production quickly.

The slight uptick to 10 million in the next three weeks had been expected, as vaccine makers slowly expand supply.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-announce-purchase-200m-doses-pfizer-moderna-covid/story?id=75497450&cid=clicksource_4380645_5_heads_hero_live_hero_hed

DC National Guard commander says Pentagon restricted his authority before riot

Source: The Hill

Pentagon officials restricted the commander of D.C. National Guard’s authorities ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, the commander told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday.

Normally, a local commander would be able to make decisions on taking military action in an emergency when headquarters approval could take too much time.

But Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, told the Post the Pentagon took that power away from him ahead of the Capitol riot, which meant he could not immediately deploy troops when the Capitol Police chief called asking for help as rioters were about to breach the building.

“All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life,” Walker told the Post. “But in this instance, I did not have that authority.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/535888-dc-national-guard-commander-says-pentagon-restricted-his-authority-before-riot

Capitol rioter Garret Miller says he was following Trump's orders, apologizes to AOC for threat

Source: CNBC

A Texas man charged with invading the Capitol and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that he was effectively following then-President Donald Trump’s orders when he joined a mob that stormed Congress on Jan. 6.

Garret Miller also apologized to Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for writing “Assassinate AOC” in a Twitter post. He said he would be willing to testify to Congress or in a trial about the riot.

Miller, 34, had on a social media account also threatened a Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a fellow rioter, saying he planned to “hug his neck with a nice rope,” authorities have said.

The Richardson resident’s apology came as a federal judge in Dallas ordered him detained without bail pending trial, after finding he was both a danger to the community and a flight risk, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/25/capitol-riots-garret-miller-says-he-was-following-trumps-orders-apologizes-to-aoc.html?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=Main&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1611605519

Sen. Leahy, not Supreme Court chief justice, expected to preside over impeachment trial

Source: USA Today

House Democrats will carry today their article of impeachment against Donald Trump across the Capitol to the Senate. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, is expected to preside over the trial, which will start Feb. 9.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/25/politics-live-updates-trump-impeachment-article-goes-senate/6698416002/


Senator Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving Democrat, will preside over Trump’s impeachment trial.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Senate president pro tempore, is expected to preside over former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial when it formally begins on Tuesday, assuming a role filled last year by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., aides and other officials said on Monday.

The Constitution states that the chief justice of the United States presides over any impeachment trial of the president or vice president. But it does not explicitly give guidance on who should oversee the proceeding for others, including former presidents, and it appeared that Chief Justice Roberts was uninterested in reprising a time consuming role that would insert him and the Supreme Court directly into the fractious political fight over Mr. Trump.

Mr. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, recently reclaimed the mantle of president pro tempore — the position reserved for the longest-serving member of the majority party — when Democrats took control of the Senate. Mr. Leahy, 80, has been in office since 1974.

The role was largely ceremonial in the first impeachment trial of Mr. Trump a year ago. But as the presiding officer, Mr. Leahy could issue rulings on key questions around the admissibility of evidence and whether a trial of a former president is even allowed under the Constitution.

AP source: Lawmakers threatened ahead of impeachment trial

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump’s trial, the official said Sunday.

The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden’s inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump’s trial exemplified the continued potential for danger.

Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/lawmakers-trump-impeachment-trial-b9a44a269d6cfeee28e79b46572d28a6

MAGA Mob Assaulted at Least 139 Cops at Capitol Riot, Prosecutors Say

Source: The Daily Beast

The pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 assaulted at least 139 police officers, U.S. prosecutors have alleged. According to the Washington Post, prosecutors for the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. filed papers on Sunday that repeatedly described the storming of Congress an “insurrection,” and said it resulted in the deaths of five people and assaults on around 81 Capitol Police and a further 58 D.C. police officers. “Every person who was present without authority in the Capitol on Jan. 6 contributed to the chaos of that day and the danger posed to law enforcement, the Vice President, Members of Congress, and the peaceful transfer of power,” wrote prosecutors with the public corruption unit of the Washington U.S. attorney’s office. One of the dead was police officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after the riots from injuries he sustained “while physically engaging with protesters.”

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/capitol-rioters-assaulted-at-least-139-cops-prosecutors-say?via=twitter_page

Portman won't run for reelection

Source: The Hill

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will not seek reelection to a third term in 2022, he announced Monday morning.

Portman plans to make the announcement at a press conference in Cincinnati. In a statement, Portman cited political partisanship as a factor in his decision.

“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” he said. “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/535669-portman-wont-run-for-reelection

Ezra Cohen (former Pentagon official): "The president (Trump) threw us under the bus"




Miller and Patel both insisted, in separate conversations, that they neither tried nor needed to contact the president on January 6; they had already gotten approval to deploy forces. However, another senior defense official remembered things quite differently, “They couldn’t get through. They tried to call him”—meaning the president.The implication: Either Trump was shell-shocked, effectively abdicating his role as commander in chief, or he was deliberately stiff-arming some of his top officials because he was, in effect, siding with the insurrectionists and their cause of denying Biden’s victory.


Ezra Cohen, another of Miller’s top confidants, believes that his colleagues’ words and deeds may be well and good, but are beside the point: “The president threw us under the bus. And when I say ‘us,’ I don’t mean only us political appointees or only us Republicans. He threw America under the bus. He caused a lot of damage to the fabric of this country. Did he go and storm the Capitol himself? No. But he, I believe, had an opportunity to tamp things down and he chose not to. And that’s really the fatal flaw. I mean, he’s in charge. And when you’re in charge, you’re responsible for what goes wrong.”

Trump Campaign Paid Organizers of Pre-Riot Rally $2.7 Million

Source: Bloomberg

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign paid more than $2.7 million to individuals and firms that organized the Jan. 6 rally that led to violent rioters storming the U.S. Capitol, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The payments, which span Trump’s re-election campaign, show an ongoing financial relationship between the rally’s organizers and Trump’s political operation. They were all made through Nov. 23, the most recent date covered by Federal Election Commission filings, which is before the rally was publicly announced.

Eight paid Trump campaign officials were named on the permit issued on by the National Park Service for the rally, including Maggie Mulvaney, the niece of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff who resigned his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland after the riots. Maggie Mulvaney was paid $138,000 by the campaign through Nov. 23.


The biggest recipient of campaign funds according to the report, was Event Strategies Inc., which was paid more than $1.7 million by Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee. The firm’s owners, Justin Caporale and Tim Unes, served as rally production manager and stage manager, respectively.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-22/trump-campaign-paid-organizers-of-pre-riot-rally-2-7-million?sref=PqmVp1JY

Authorities found sniper rifle, handcuffs in home of accused 'zip tie guy' in Capitol riot

Source: USA Today/Nashville Tennessean

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Federal agents recovered a sniper rifle and more than a dozen high-powered weapons from the home of Eric Munchel, a Nashville man charged in connection with this month's U.S. Capitol riot and storming in Washington D.C., new court documents show.

They also found a tactical vest covered in patches and a set of plastic restraints that match those that caught the attention of social media users in the aftermath of the riot and led to the nickname "zip tie guy."

The items, discovered when federal agents searched his home, are among several reasons why federal prosecutors plan to argue Munchel should remain in custody as his case proceeds, according to a a motion filed Wednesday in Middle Tennessee U.S. District Court.

The 31-page memo signed by federal prosecutors was filed in advance of a hearing set Friday to determine whether a judge will approve him to be released from custody.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/22/eric-munchel-court-documents-sniper-rifle-handcuffs-found-home/6668520002/
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