Amerika

INSURRECTION FALLOUT

Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz

Democrats are requesting an investigation into the pair of senators over their objections to the election results. A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against GOP Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, over their Jan. 6 efforts to object to the 2020 presidential election results.

Inauguration

Joe Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity

Joe Biden on Wednesday made an appeal for unity to Americans across the political spectrum in his inaugural address as the 46th president of the United States, seeking to turn the page on the divisions of the Trump era. Biden described unity as the path forward in order to contain the coronavirus, restore the U.S. economy, address the effects of climate change, deliver racial justice and mend deep divisions that were laid bare over the last four years.

Civil War

Woman reportedly in critical condition after shots are fired at U.S. Capitol

A woman has been shot inside the U.S. Capitol after a crowd of rioters breached the building's entry on Wednesday. The woman was in critical condition after being shot in the chest, according to CNN. Pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the building in the afternoon, following an angry speech delivered by the president ahead of the Electoral College vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.

Trump’s plans for 20 January

Official plane used by Trump will fly to Scotland just before Biden inauguration

The murk surrounding Donald Trump’s likely whereabouts on his last day as president has thickened considerably with news that an official plane he has used in the past is due to fly to Scotland the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Republicans

Senate GOP opposition grows to Electoral College challenge

The Senate Republicans opposed to certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win are heading toward a hefty defeat on Wednesday. The only remaining question is this: how badly do they lose? Just 11 GOP senators have signaled support for separate efforts led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). That makes 13 supporters — and many more have come out swinging against it.

Kelly Loeffler

Georgia Republican senator had ‘no idea’ she posed with neo-Nazi

The campaign of the Georgia Republican senator Kelly Loeffler is disavowing a photo circulating on social media of her posing with a longtime white supremacist at a recent campaign event, with less than a month to go until the runoff elections that will determine the balance of the US Senate.

New York Times

Rudy Giuliani is said to have discussed a pardon with Trump

Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer who has led the most extensive efforts to damage his client’s political rivals and undermine the election results, discussed with him as recently as last week the possibility of receiving a pre-emptive pardon before Mr. Trump leaves office, according to two people told of the discussion.

Election 2020

Joe Biden is projected to win the 2020 presidential election

Joe Biden is projected to win the 2020 presidential election, defeating Donald Trump in a nail-biter of a race sure to remain contentious given the country’s bitter partisan divide and the president’s reckless and unfounded claims voter fraud. Major news networks projected that Biden, a former Delaware senator and vice president during Barack Obama’s administration, would win Pennsylvania, pushing him over the 270 electoral-vote threshold. Counting continues in several states, where Biden is leading or expected to win.

After the election

Democrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins

House Democrats are weighing how to move forward with a flurry of ongoing probes and future investigations if President Trump loses. The big question hanging over Democrats, who are expected to keep the majority in the House, is whether to lean into post-election investigations that could detract from their legislative priorities under a Joe Biden presidency and risk further dividing the electorate.

Corruption

Pompeo's wife and son made personal requests of State Dept staff

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s wife and son reportedly sent personal requests to department officials. The emails come as both Congress and the Office of Special Counsel are overseeing investigations into allegations of personal misuse of government resources by the secretary and his wife. While emails previously indicated that Susan Pompeo, asked top State Department staffers to work the week of Christmas in order to finish their personal holiday cards, the new emails reportedly show additional cases when Susan Pompeo instructed staff to complete personal tasks.

supreme court

Joe Biden plans special commission to suggest reforms

Joe Biden has confirmed he would appoint a special commission to study the US court system over 180 days, if he is elected next month, to provide reform recommendations relating to the supreme court and beyond.

Supreme Court justice

Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will boycott Thursday's committee vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. The plan comes as the 10 Democratic senators on the panel have been discussing how to protest the GOP plan to confirm Barrett next week to the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Paid propaganda?

Glenn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox

Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald called Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) "the most pathological liar in all of American politics" accusing the House Intelligence Chairman in an interview on Fox News of fabricating "accusations at the drop of a hat the way other people change underwear."

COVID-19: Donald Trump

Trump says Americans 'tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots'

Donald Trump has once again attacked his top public health expert, using a call with campaign staff on Monday to deride Anthony Fauci as “a disaster” and to claim “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss ways to combat the coronavirus.

Help Biden ‘any way I can’

Andrew Cuomo brushes off AG speculation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted Monday that he was not interested in becoming attorney general under a potential President Joe Biden, but also said he would help the Democratic nominee “any way I can.”

Trump Campaign

Anthony Fauci criticises Trump for using his words out of context

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, has criticised Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for using his words out of context to make it appear as if he was praising the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lincoln Project

Fly on Pence's head 'historically a mark of the devil'

Steve Schmidt, a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, declared that a fly that landed on Vice President Pence during Wednesday night's debate "is always seen as a mark of the devil," drawing mockery on social media.

1.500 pages and groups down

Finally: Facebook has banned QAnon for all times

Facebook is banning all pages, groups, and accounts associated with QAnon, the company announced on Tuesday, in the most significant action taken against the mass delusion that has seeped into the highest level of American politics. “Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon,” the company said in a press release. “We’re starting to enforce this updated policy today and are removing content accordingly, but this work will take time and will continue in the coming days and weeks.”

Election 2020

Brad Parscale steps down from Trump campaign

Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, is stepping away from the re-election campaign, days after he was hospitalised when Florida law enforcement officials said he threatened to harm himself. Parscale, one of Trump’s closest political aides, served as the campaign manager for the re-election effort until July, when he was demoted by Trump after a much-hyped campaign rally in Tulsa attracted an embarrassingly sparse crowd.

Election 2020

Biden raises record funds as aides jab 'train wreck'

Joe Biden broke fundraising records coming out of Tuesday’s acrimonious presidential debate between the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump. The chaotic and unwieldy debate, in which moderator Chris Wallace, from Fox News, struggled to rein in Trump and the president egged on far-right groups, yielded a large fundraising haul for the Democratic campaign.

former Trump campaign manager

Brad Parscale hospitalised after self-harm threats

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalised after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials. Police were called to the home in Desota Drive in the Seven Isles community of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, late on Sunday afternoon. The home is owned by Bradley and Candice Parscale.

Election 2020

Democratic donations skyrocket

The imminent confirmation battle over RBG’s seat has prompted Trump to galvanize supporters from the rally stage—“Fill that seat!” they chanted Saturday—while Biden zeroes in on health care and Democrats open their wallets. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, and the future of the nation’s highest court, quickly moved front and center in an election year marked by a pandemic, protests against racial injustice, and impeachment.

Shortnews

Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

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Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

“Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said in a statement.

“Just today, he declined to say he would enforce the laws Congress has already passed to secure the border wall system. Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered," he added.

Hawley’s opposition comes as Biden and Democrats argue the attacks on the Capitol make the post a top priority. Hawley was the first senator to announce he would vote against certification of the 2020 election results.

His hold could stall a nomination otherwise expected to advance once Democrats gain control of the Senate on Wednesday. Defeating the hold will require a 50 vote threshold cloture vote and eats up days of floor time, complicating the process.

Mayorkas, who previously served as the deputy secretary of DHS under the Obama administration, did not earn any Republican votes when he was confirmed in 2013.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges and threats to our national security, and our country urgently need a confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security in place on day one to protect the American people. Alejandro Mayorkas is one of the most knowledgeable homeland security experts in the country," Biden transition spokesman Sean Savett said in a statement to The Hill.

"The Senate held swift confirmation votes for the DHS Secretary nominee in 2009 and 2017 in order for them to start on day one for good reason. Senator Hawley's threat to disrupt historical practice and try to leave this vital position vacant is dangerous, especially in this time of overlapping crises when there is not a moment to waste."

Hawley’s opposition stems from an exchange where the lawmaker asked Mayorkas if he would obligate $1.4 billion in funds set aside for Trump’s border wall.

“If I may strike at the fundamental point that I believe you were inquiring of, which is will I follow the law and the execution of my responsibilities should I have the privilege of serving as the Secretary of Homeland Security. And the answer is yes I will follow the law. And what I would need to do is to understand what the law provides with respect to the obligation of funds to construct a border wall, and then see what the opportunities are to discontinue any such obligations,” Mayorkas said.

Hawley then thanked Mayorkas for getting “right to the nub” of his question.

He also asked Mayorkas about Biden’s plans to give legal status to 11 million people residing in the U.S., something Hawley said concerned him “especially in this time of severe economic distress that has fallen disproportionately on working class Americans.”

Mayorkas called the move a “path to citizenship for the individuals who have been in this country for many years, who have contributed to our communities, and to this nation's economic prosperity."

"I would be privileged to work with Congress to pass immigration reform legislation that provides that path, and provides a permanent solution to what is clearly a broken system,” he added.

Pompeo scraps trip

EU leader calls Trump 'political pyromaniac'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe at the last minute after European officials were publicly critical of Donald Trump’s role in last week’s storming of the Capitol. The official reason for the cancellation of the trip, originally to Brussels and Luxembourg, was the need to coordinate with a transition team from the incoming Biden administration, but it comes after the unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and US allies.

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Pompeo scraps trip

EU leader calls Trump 'political pyromaniac'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe at the last minute after European officials were publicly critical of Donald Trump’s role in last week’s storming of the Capitol. The official reason for the cancellation of the trip, originally to Brussels and Luxembourg, was the need to coordinate with a transition team from the incoming Biden administration, but it comes after the unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and US allies.

The Luxembourg leg of the trip was called off on Monday after its foreign minister Jean Asselborn called Trump “criminal” for inciting the attack.

Asselborn described the outgoing US president to RTL radio as a “political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court”.

Reuters and Fox News both quoted diplomatic sources as saying it was Luxembourg that had called off the meeting, a devastating snub from a tiny country for a secretary of state that continually claims to have restored “swagger” to the state department.

Pompeo was also due to meet the Belgian deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Sophie Wilmes, who tweeted while the assault in Washington was underway, “These images are shocking, also because they hurt our democratic ideals.”

“They show the extent of President-elect Biden’s task, which will be to unite American society around a common project. We trust him to do that.”

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, who was due to have a dinner with Pompeo had described the scenes in Washington as “shocking” and said: “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.” A Nato spokesperson confirmed that Pompeo had cancelled on Tuesday, giving as a reason the need to focus on the transition.

Reuters reported that EU officials had declined to meet Pompeo on his last foreign trip, but a EU spokesperson denied there had been any plan or request for meetings with EU leaders.

The state department, in a statement, attributed the cancellation to transition work before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on 20 January, even if until recently Pompeo had been reluctant to unequivocally recognise Biden’s win. Also on Tuesday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft cancelled a planned visit to Taiwan.

The state department declined further comment on European officials’ rejection of meetings with Pompeo.

The cold shoulder was a contrast with Pompeo’s previous visits to Brussels, which is home to Nato and EU headquarters, over the past three years, where he has given key-note speeches on US policy and met the EU’s chief executive, even as Europe balked at Trump’s foreign policy.

Nancy Pelosi

Trump should be removed immediately

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Washington policymakers should act immediately to remove President Trump from office just two weeks before his term ends, citing "seditious" acts related to the president's role in encouraging the assault on the U.S. Capitol a day earlier. Pelosi said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump immediately. Short of that, she said, the House will impeach him for a second time.

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Nancy Pelosi

Trump should be removed immediately

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Washington policymakers should act immediately to remove President Trump from office just two weeks before his term ends, citing "seditious" acts related to the president's role in encouraging the assault on the U.S. Capitol a day earlier.

Pelosi said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump immediately. Short of that, she said, the House will impeach him for a second time.

"Yesterday the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

"The gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our nation's history — instigated by the president."

Pelosi characterized Trump's role in his supporters' storming of the Capitol as "a seditious act" and called on Pence and other members of the president's cabinet to join forces to remove Trump from office, despite his short time left in office.

"This is an urgency of the highest magnitude," Pelosi said.

“While there are only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America,” she added.

In the wake of Wednesday's extraordinary events, Pelosi called on the resignation of the chief of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund. And she announced that the House Sergeant-at-Arms, Paul Irving, has already delivered his intention to resign.

CBS News poll

Biden leads Trump Arizona, Minnesota

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gained a small lead over President Trump in the battleground state of Arizona and holds a larger 9-point lead over the president in Minnesota, according to a new poll. Biden is backed by 47 percent of likely voters in Arizona, compared to Trump’s 44 percent, according to a CBS News poll released Sunday. Biden’s 3-point lead is within the poll’s margin error. Biden has gained on Trump in Arizona since a similar poll conducted in July found the race tied, with 46 percent of likely voters backing both candidates.

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CBS News poll

Biden leads Trump Arizona, Minnesota

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gained a small lead over President Trump in the battleground state of Arizona and holds a larger 9-point lead over the president in Minnesota, according to a new poll. Biden is backed by 47 percent of likely voters in Arizona, compared to Trump’s 44 percent, according to a CBS News poll released Sunday. Biden’s 3-point lead is within the poll’s margin error. Biden has gained on Trump in Arizona since a similar poll conducted in July found the race tied, with 46 percent of likely voters backing both candidates.

The survey also found half of Arizona voters said they think Biden would do a better job handling the coronavirus outbreak, with 50 percent saying Biden would handle the outbreak better compared to 37 percent who said the same about Trump.

Biden also leads when asked who would make voters feel more safe, with 46 percent saying Biden and 41 percent saying Trump. The candidates were about even when asked who would do a better job handling the economy, with 45 percent saying Trump and 44 percent saying Biden, based on the poll.

In Minnesota, a state Trump narrowly lost in 2016, Biden is backed by 50 percent of likely voters, based on the poll. The survey found 41 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Trump.

Biden again led Trump when asked about the coronavirus outbreak, with 50 percent saying Biden would do a better job handling the outbreak and 36 percent saying Trump would. Additionally, 47 percent of voters in Minnesota said Biden would make them feel more safe and 42 percent said the same about Trump.

Trump has a lead over Biden when asked about handling the economy. Forty-eight percent of likely voters in Minnesota said Trump would do a better job handling the economy and 44 percent said Biden, based on the poll.

The surveys were conducted on behalf of CBS News by YouGov between Sept. 9 to Sept. 11. The Arizona poll is based on 1,22 registered votes and the margin of error is 3.8 percentage points. The Minnesota poll is based on 1,100 registered voters and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

Peter Strzok

Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok told NBC’s Chuck Todd Sunday that he still believes President Trump to be “compromised by the Russians...I believed at the time in 2016 and I continue to believe that Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians,” Strzok said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And when I say that I mean that they hold leverage over him that makes him incapable of placing the national interest, the national security ahead of his own.”

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Peter Strzok

Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok told NBC’s Chuck Todd Sunday that he still believes President Trump to be “compromised by the Russians...I believed at the time in 2016 and I continue to believe that Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians,” Strzok said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And when I say that I mean that they hold leverage over him that makes him incapable of placing the national interest, the national security ahead of his own.”

“One of the largest ways that people in foreign governments gain leverage, certainly in the case of the president, is through financial entanglements,” he added. “And I think when you take a look at the Trump financial enterprise, particularly its relationship with Russian, with Russian monies and potentially those related to organized crime and other elements, that those interactions have placed him in a position where the Russians have leverage over him and are able to influence his actions.”

Todd also questioned Strzok about the text messages between himself and FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he had an affair. Todd asked Strzok whether he blamed himself for “putt[ing] [himself] in a compromising position” or whether he believed he was treated unfairly.

“I certainly regret sending the text messages that were absolutely weaponized and used to bludgeon the work of the FBI, the work of the special counsel, I'll always regret that,” Strzok conceded.

However, he claimed that “the way that those were weaponized” was part of an ongoing pattern of the Trump administration purging dissenters.

“Whether it is in the impeachment hearings with regard to Ukraine, the whistleblower, or anybody in any number of federal government agencies - if somebody dares speak the truth about this administration, this administration has shown no boundaries in going after people in ways that frankly is shocking, are shocking and are inappropriate,” he said.