Posts tagged with "2021"

Josh Hawley pledges not to‘run,’ after being caught running from Trump mob

July 26, 2022

On Thursday evening, July 21, during a primetime hearing, the January 6 committee played stunning footage  of Senator  Josh Hawley  (R-Missouri) running away from a mob of pro-Trump vigilantes that he had been seen riling up just hours earlier, reports The Daily Beast.

Despite the clip—which clearly showed the Republican lawmaker on the run from the Capitol attackers—nearly 24 hours later, he pledged to a group of young conservative activists that he would not “run” away from a battle.

“Hey, listen, I know what I’m talking about because I had them do it to me,” he proudly declared at Turning Point USA’s summer conference in Tampa on Friday evening—referring to being called a “traitor” over pushing for “election integrity.”

“I objected on January 6 last year to the state of Pennsylvania,” he boasted, adding,

“And I just want to say to all of those liberals out there and the liberal media, just in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, I do not regret it,” Hawley continued. “And I am not backing down. I’m not gonna apologize, I’m not gonna cower, I’m not gonna run from you.”

“I’m not gonna bend the knee,” he concluded.

The remarks come as both Hawley and former President Donald Trump attempt to push back on the bombshell January 6 hearing, The Daily Beast says.

Late Thursday night, Trump had a meltdown on his social media site, Truth Social. “I had an election Rigged and Stolen from me, and our Country. The USA is going to Hell,” he fumed after midnight. “Am I supposed to be happy?”

A source close to the ex-president told The Daily Beast during the hearing that Trump has expressed continued frustration at the “one-sided forum,” which gives no opportunity for “cross-examination” or the ability for Trump to “present [his] side.”

“There’s no courtroom in this country where that would be allowed,” the source, who regularly speaks to Trump, said.

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Mike Pence’s security detail feared for their lives, called family members, during Capitol riot

July 25, 2022

Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s security detail were so afraid for their lives during the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot that they made calls over radio to say goodbye to their family members, according to testimony given by a former White House national security official to the House committee investigating the attack. The testimony was revealed at a hearing on Thursday, July 21, reports HuffPost.

The official’s identity was withheld for security reasons.

“There was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio,” the official added. “It was disturbing. I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members. The VP detail thought that this was going to get very ugly.”

After rioters broke into the Capitol, Secret Service rushed Pence to a secure area just off the Senate floor, where he had been presiding over the certification of the Electoral College resultsThe rioters came within 40 feet of Pence before he was evacuated. Some rioters were chanting for Pence to be hanged, and a gallows was erected outside the building.

Five people died and more than 140 officers were injured in the riot. Witnesses  described a war zone at the scene that looked like a “medieval battleground.”

Lawmakers and their staff who hid as the violence erupted on January 6 also feared for their lives. “I think I was in a state of shock, to be honest. I was absolutely terrified,” Erica Loewe, then a staffer for Represenjtative Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), told HuffPost. “Looking back at the text messages … to my family and friends, I just asked them all to pray because I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I don’t think I truly understood the gravity of what happened until afterwards, when I saw the images.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Bipartisan Senate group strikes deal to rewrite Electoral Count Act

July 22, 2022

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators proposed new legislation on Wednesday, July 20, that would modernize the 135-year-old Electoral Count Act—overhauling a law that former President Donald Trump tried to abuse on January 6, 2021, when he attempted to stop Congress’s certification of his election defeat, reports The New York Times.

The legislation aims to guarantee a peaceful transition from one president to the next, after the January 6 attack on the Capitol exposed how the current law could be manipulated to disrupt the process.

According to the Times, one measure would make it more difficult for lawmakers to challenge a state’s electoral votes when Congress meets to count them. It would also clarify that the vice president has no discretion over the results, and it would set out the steps to begin a presidential transition.

A second bill would increase penalties for threats to and intimidation of election officials, seek to improve the Postal Service’s handling of mail-in ballots, and renew for five years an independent federal agency that helps states administer and secure federal elections.

While passage of the legislation cannot guarantee that a repeat of January 6 will not occur in the future, its authors believe that a rewrite of the antiquated law—particularly, of the provisions related to the vice president’s role—could discourage such efforts and make it more difficult to disrupt the vote count.

Alarmed at the events of January 6 that showed longstanding flaws in the law governing the electoral count process, the bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) had been meeting for months to try to agree on the rewrite.

“In four of the past six presidential elections, this process has been abused, with members of both parties raising frivolous objections to electoral votes,” Collins said on Wednesday. “But it took the violent breach of the Capitol on January 6 of 2021 to really shine a spotlight on the urgent need for reform.”

In a joint statement, the 16 senators involved in the talks said they had set out to “fix the flaws” of the Electoral Count Act, which they called “archaic and ambiguous.” The statement said the group believed that, in consultation with election law experts, it had “developed legislation that establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for president and vice president.”

Although the authors are one short of the ten Republican senators needed to guarantee that the electoral count bill could make it past a filibuster and to final passage if all Democrats support it, they said they hoped to round up sufficient backing for a vote

Collins said she expected the Senate Rules Committee to convene a hearing on the measures before the August recess. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and the chairwoman of the panel, was consulted in the drafting of the legislation.

The bills were announced on the eve of a prime-time hearing by the House committee investigating the events surrounding the January 6 attack, including Trump’s multilayered effort to invalidate his defeat.

The backers of the legislation were optimistic that they could win passage this year, viewing that time frame as their best opportunity given the prospect that Republicans—many of whom backed challenges to electoral votes for Joe Biden—could control the House next year.

The Electoral Count Act does need to be fixed,” Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and the minority leader, told reporters on Tuesday. He said that Collins had kept him apprised of the bipartisan negotiations and that he was “sympathetic” to the aims of those working on the legislation.

Under the proposal to overhaul the vote count, a state’s governor would be identified as the sole official responsible for submitting a state’s slate of electors following the presidential vote, barring other officials from doing so. That provision was aimed at heading off efforts similar to those employed by Trump and his backers, who sought to put forward their own sets of electors not recognized by the states and not reflective of the popular vote.

In an effort to prevent groundless efforts to object to a state’s electoral count, a minimum of one-fifth of both the House and the Senate would be needed to lodge an objection — a substantial increase from the current threshold of one House member and one senator. Objections still would have to be sustained by a majority of both the House and the Senate.

The bill also would create a new expedited route for a candidate to challenge a state’s slate of electors. Under the proposal, those claims would be heard by a special three-judge panel with a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

“I think it is significant to make sure that the particulars around Jan. 6, in terms of any kind of question about the role of the vice president, will be cleared up,” said Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, one of the Democrats behind the legislation.

Besides Collins, the other Republican members of the bipartisan group backing the electoral count overhaul are Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Todd Young of Indiana.

In addition to Manchin and Warner, the Democrats are Senators Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, Chris Coons of Delaware, Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Research contact: @nytimes

On Thursday, January 6 Committee to focus on Donald Trump’s actions during Capitol attack

July 19, 2022

The House select committee investigating the events of January. 6, 2021, will present a minute-by-minute look this Thursday at then-President  Donald Trump’s activities as the Capitol was attacked, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“He was doing nothing to actually stop the riot,” Representative Elaine Luria (D- Virginia) said Sunday on CNN.

“The [former] president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television,” Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) said on CBS.

A spokesperson for Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump has said he has done nothing wrong and has called the select committee a partisan effort.

Kinzinger on Sunday also expressed frustration at what he called “very conflicting statements” about the availability of evidence the committee has sought from the U.S. Secret Service, which includes text messages from January 6 and the preceding day.

Congressman Kinzinger said that the Inspector General—who acts as a watchdog over the Secret Service—reported that many texts from those two days were erased after he had requested them for his own investigation.

The Secret Service in a statement on Thursday, July 14, said data were lost from some phones during a technology change that had been previously planned, but that it didn’t lose any texts the inspector general had sought for his January review.

The House committee issued a subpoena to the agency on Friday, July 15—requesting information about the text messages by Tuesday. “They said we’ll meet this deadline, and we’ll see what we get here,” Kinzinger said.

“In the very least, it is quite crazy that the Secret Service would actually end up deleting anything related to one of the more infamous days in American history, particularly when it comes to the role of the Secret Service,” Kinzinger said.

The House select committee has been piecing together Trump’s actions back at the White House during the afternoon of January. 6—even as his supporters broke into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election.

The committee’s focus for the Thursday hearing will be on a 187-minute period that culminated in a 4:17 p.m. video by Trump in which he asked rioters, whom he called “very special,” to leave the Capitol.

Representative Luria on Sunday said the hearing will include witnesses whom the public hasn’t heard from yet, but she didn’t give details. A committee spokesperson declined to comment.

Thursday’s prime-time hearing is the eighth and final one in a series planned by the House select committee. However, committee members said the investigation would continue and that more hearings could follow.

“New witnesses are coming forward. Additional information is coming forward,” Reprentative  Zoe Lofgren (D-California), another committee member, said Sunday on ABC. “There are things that we are looking at still.”

Research contact: @WSJ

Prosecutors say Steve Bannon still should face trial

July 12, 2022

The Justice Department has informed a federal judge that Steve Bannon’s last-minute offer to testify to the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021attack on the Capitol will not enable the former strategist for then-President Donald Trump to avoid trial for defying the committee’s subpoena seeking testimony and documents, reports The Wall Street Journal.

 Bannon told the committee over the weekend that he was willing to testify—preferably at a public hearing. His trial is set to begin July 18 on two counts of criminal contempt.

 He initially refused to comply with the subpoena from the January 6 committee last October. “The Defendant’s last-minute efforts to testify, almost nine months after his default—he has still made no effort to produce records—are irrelevant to whether he willfully refused to comply in October 2021 with the Select Committee’s subpoena,” prosecutors said in a filing on Monday, July 11.

 The government’s filing sought to block Bannon’s defense team from telling jurors about his last-minute willingness to testify.

 Bannon said he was now willing to testify after Trump said he would waive any privilege claim—citing what the former president called unfair treatment of his former senior aide.

 Prosecutors said that Trump “never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials,” and that Mr. Bannon’s privilege claim never justified total noncompliance with the subpoena.

 The prosecutors’ filing came ahead of a court hearing Monday, which had been  previously scheduled to discuss a request by Bannon to delay his trial until October and other issues in the case. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, is overseeing the case in Washington, D.C.

 Bannon’s lawyers have argued that news coverage of the committee’s hearings could taint the jury pool and deprive him of a fair trial.

 “Select committee members have made inflammatory remarks about the culpability of President Trump and his closest advisers, including Mr. Bannon, and have broadcast to millions of people their purported ‘findings’ on issues that may prejudice the minds of jurors in this case,” Bannon’s lawyers wrote in a June 29 court filing.

 Research contact: @WSJ

FBI seizes phone of John Eastman, key figure in effort to overturn 2020 election

June 29, 2022

Federal agents seized the cell phone of John Eastman—an attorney who advised former President Donald Trump how to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election—Eastman said in a court filing on Monday, June 27, reports The Huffington Post.

Eastman filed a lawsuit asking the Justice Department to return his property and destroy any records it had obtained after FBI agents in New Mexico stopped him as he was leaving a restaurant last week. The investigators had a warrant and seized his iPhone, the filing says, and agents were able to access his email accounts.

He said in the filing that the agents “forced” him to unlock the device.

“By its very breadth, the warrant intrudes on significant privacy interests, both of [Eastman] and of others whose communications with him are accessible on the seized cell phone,” his attorneys wrote in the filing, obtained by The Hill.

Eastman was a key figure in developing a plan that would have seen Vice President Mike Pence delay or block certification of the 2020 Electoral College results, and his work has become a central focus of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Pence refused to go along with the scheme.

Eastman also spoke at the January 6 rally just before the Capitol attack, where Trump falsely claimed that widespread election fraud had cost him the White House. There is no evidence to support those allegations.

The seizure of Eastman’s phone came the same day federal authorities searched the home of Jeffery Clark, a former Justice Department official under Trump who encouraged the then-president’s efforts to remain in office, despite his Electoral College loss to Joe Biden.

Clark had served in the Trump administration as assistant attorney general of the environment and natural resources division—but became close to the White House after the 2020 election. At one point, Trump mulled putting Clark in charge of the Justice Department after William Barr resigned after refusing to go along with Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud.

The House select committee focused heavily on Eastman’s efforts to aid Trump during its third hearing this month. The body, citing an email he sent to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, also noted that Eastman sought to be on the president’s “pardon list.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

The inexplicable 7-hour gap in the Trump White House’s January 6 call log

March 30, 2022

Fifty years ago, the scandalous actions of an American president were shielded from public view, thanks to a suspiciously convenient 18½-minute gap in the Nixon White House’s call recordings. Today, the actions of another American president remain shielded thanks to another convenient—and inexplicable— gap in White House records, reports The Washington Post.

The Post’s Bob Woodward and CBS News’s Robert Costa state that White House documents turned over to the House January 6 select committee display a gap of 7 hours and 37 minutes between phone calls then-President Donald Trump had with allies.

The gap takes place between 11:17 a.m. and 6:54 p.m., covering virtually the entirety of the insurrection at the Capitol, which was first breached at 2:11 p.m. on January 6, 2021.

Other Trump actions are recorded for that period, including an hour-plus-long speech he gave at a rally that preceded the insurrection, and some of his movements inside the White House. But vast stretches of time are unaccounted for, The Washington Post says.

Why is that inexplicable? Because the documents show Trump rather feverishly working the phones at virtually all other times. He spoke to at least eight people that morning, in the period before the more than seven-hour gap, and he spoke to at least 11 people afterward. He also repeatedly requested calls with, and received messages from, the White House switchboard.

Perhaps most important, we know the logs are missing at least four calls — and important ones, at that — that have become public knowledge in the year since January 6.

The documents appear to exclude calls Trump had with then-Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California). We already know that the latter two occurred during the gap, and the other two might well have.

Trump also requested a number of calls with people with whom calls were never recorded in the logs, including Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who led the effort to stop Congress from finalizing Trump’s loss, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), whom an aide said

And the final call recorded before the gap—at 11:17 a.m.—lists the other party on the call as an “unidentified person.” It’s the only such call listed, and for some reason it’s featured in Trump’s daily diary but not in the call log (as the other calls are).

Below is a timeline of what is known, based on the White House documents (both the call log and the daily diary) and other key events in the public record (in italics), along with the missing and incomplete call information (in bold).

For brevity, the Post excludes most requests for calls that were soon recorded as having taken place, while keeping requests for other calls that either weren’t recorded or didn’t happen for several hours.

  • 8:34 a.m. — Kurt Olsen
  • 8:37 a.m. — Stephen K. Bannon
  • 8:45 a.m. — Rudy Giuliani
  • 8:56 a.m. — Requests White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
  • 9:02 a.m. — Requests Vice President Mike Pence
  • 9:16 a.m. — Requests Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (a call that an aide says the senator declined)
  • 9:24 a.m. — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
  • 9:39 a.m. — Requests Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
  • 9:41 a.m. — Giuliani
  • 9:52 a.m. — Stephen Miller
  • 10:32 a.m. — Nick Luna
  • 10:45 a.m. — William Bennett
  • 11:04 a.m. — Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.)
  • 11:11 a.m. — Meets with his children and advisers

 

  • 11:17 a.m. —Call with unidentified person (no end time for call recorded, not recorded at all on call log)
  • Late morning— Pence (during which Trump reportedly tells him: “Mike, you can do this. I’m counting on you to do it. If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago.” He adds, according to Woodward and Costa, “You’re going to wimp out!”)
  • 11:38 a.m. — Leaves for “Stop the Steal” rally
  • 12 p.m.-1:17 p.m. — Speech at “Stop the Steal” rally
  • 1:19 p.m. — Returns to White House
  • 1:21 p.m. — Meets with valet
  • 2:11 p.m. — Capitol is breached
  • 2:13 p.m. — Pence escorted from House chamber
  • ??? — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). (McCarthy has said he was “the first person to contact [Trump] when the riot was going on.” Trump reportedly told McCarthy, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”)
  • 2:24 p.m. — Trump tweets attacking Pence
  • 2:26 p.m. — Mistakenly calls Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) seeking Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Lee hands phone to Tuberville.
  • ??? — At least one more call with Jordan. (Jordan has confirmed he spoke with Trump multiple timesthat day. Politico reported this call took place early in the insurrection and featured Jordan and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida asking Trump to call off his supporters.)

 

  • 4:03 p.m.-4:07 p.m. — Records message to supporters in Rose Garden

 

  • 6:54 p.m. — Requests Dan Scavino
  • 7:01 p.m. — Pat Cipollone
  • 7:08 p.m. — Scavino
  • 7:16 p.m. — Informed of pending calls from five people: Olsen, Mark Martin, Cleta Mitchell, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Hawley. Trump asks for calls to Olsen, Martin, and Mitchell.
  • 7:17 p.m. — Olsen
  • 7:30 p.m. — Mark Martin
  • 7:40 p.m. — Olsen
  • 7:53 p.m. — Mitchell
  • 8:39 p.m. — Giuliani
  • 9:23 a.m. — Jason Miller
  • 9:42 p.m. — Kayleigh McEnany
  • 9:55 p.m. — Scavino
  • 10:11 p.m. — Meadows
  • 10:19 p.m. — Bannon
  • 10:50 p.m. — Eric Herschmann
  • 11:08 p.m. — Fox News host Sean Hannity
  • 11:23 p.m. — John McEntee

The White House isn’t the only entity to have slow-rolled its disclosure of Trump’s calls with Jordan; so did Jordan, who implausibly claimed he didn’t remember how often he spoke to Trump or when. His office later confirmed there were multiple calls between the two that day, but only one is recorded by the White House.

McCarthy also threatened phone and tech companies that supplied records to the Jan. 6 committee with retribution if Republicans retake the House.

There is no question that information is missing. The question is how much and why. Were people caught up in the moment and not recording things after the insurrection was underway? That seems possible, but certainly these times would seem to call for extra care in recording Trump’s actions.

Perhaps relevant to that question is the call at 11:17 a.m. Not only is the other party not identified (unlike the other calls), but it also features no end time (unlike the other calls) and doesn’t appear in the call log (unlike the other calls). You could certainly make an argument, then, that the gap stretches to nearly eight hours, between Trump’s calls with Perdue at 11:04 a.m. and his request for Scavino at 6:54 p.m.

But also consider this, the Post says: That call would have been listed on the next page of records, if there were such a record. The gap somehow neatly breaks down with the last recorded call—with Perdue at 11:04 a.m.—at the end of one page and the beginning of the next one—the request for Scavino at 6:54 p.m.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Cheney, Kinzinger call out Trump over Pence comments

February 1, 2022

Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) called out former President Donald Trump after he suggested that former Vice President Mike Pence should have overturned the results of the 2020 presidential election, reports The Hill.

Cheney and Kinzinger—who are the only two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol—characterized the ex-president’s comments as un-American.

Cheney outlined a series of Trump’s recent statements in a tweet on Monday, January 31— including his admission that “he was attempting to overturn the election”— before writing, “He’d do it all again if given the chance.”

The Wyoming Republican, who is facing a Trump-backed primary challenger, also noted that Trump previously said he would consider pardoning individuals charged in connection to the January 6 riot if he runs for president again and wins another term in the White House.

Kinzinger on Sunday said Trump’s statement earlier that day was “an admission” and “massively un-American.” He then offered an ultimatum to GOP leaders, calling on them to “pick a side” between Trump or the Constitution.

“There is no middle on defending our nation anymore,” he added in a tweet.

Trump in a statement on Sunday pointed to a congressional effort to reform the Electoral College Act as proof that Pence “did have the right to change the outcome” of the 2020 presidential election.

The former president said Pence “unfortunately” did not “exercise that power,” adding “he could have overturned the Election!” 

Pence’s role in overseeing the certification of the Electoral College vote was, as it is for all vice presidents, largely ceremonial. He presided over a joint session of Congress on January 6 where he recognized GOP senators and House members who objected to the results to the voting count in specific states. That set up votes by the House and Senate to consider the objections.

Trump has long argued falsely that Pence had more power over the process and the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 did so thinking they could end the

The former president’s statement comes as the congressional effort to reform the Electoral College Act is picking up momentum, with some lawmakers seeing changes to the archaic law as a compromise between both parties on election reform; which Democrats have been pushing for on the federal level in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

The Electoral College Act was enacted in 1887 and outlines how the Electoral College results are counted. A bipartisan group of senators met last week to discuss changes to the statute.

Research contact: @thehill

Lock him up! Senate Dems see good chance of Garland prosecuting Trump

January 18, 2022

Senate Democrats are beginning to believe that there is a good chance the Department of Justice will prosecute former President Donald Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election—and, as part of that effort, for inciting the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, reports The Hill.

Democratic lawmakers say they don’t have any inside information on what might happen and describe Attorney General Merrick Garland as someone who would make sure to run any investigation strictly “by the book.” But they also say the fact that Garland has provided little indication about whether the Department of Justice has its prosecutorial sights set on Trump doesn’t necessarily mean the former president isn’t likely to be charged.  

 Given the weight of public evidence, Democratic lawmakers think Trump committed federal crimes.  However, they also warn that Garland needs to proceed cautiously. Any prosecution that fails to convict Trump risks becoming a disaster and could vindicate Trump—just as the inconclusive report by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team was seized upon by Trump and his allies to declare his exoneration on a separate series of allegations.

 Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said “clearly what [Trump] did” in the days leading up and the day of the January 6 attack on Congress “falls in the ambit of what’s being investigated and perhaps is criminal.” 

 Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) said it’s up to the prosecutors at the Justice Department whether to charge Trump, although he believes that the former president’s actions on and before January 6 likely violate federal law.  “They have all of the evidence at their disposal,” he said.  

According to The Hill, Kaine believes federal prosecutors are looking seriously at charges against Trump, although he doesn’t have any inside information about what they may be working on.  

 “My intuition is that they are” looking carefully at whether Trump broke the law, he said. “My sense is they’re looking [at] everything in a diligent way and they haven’t made a decision.” 

 “I believe there are federal statutes that are very much implicated” by Trump’s efforts to overturn President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, Kaine added.  

 Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, “I think anybody who it’s proven had a role in the planning of [the Jan. 6 attack] should be prosecuted—not just the people who broke in and smashed the window in my office and others.” 

 “I think anybody that’s shown to have had a role in its planning absolutely should be prosecuted,” he added. “I mean it was treason, it was trying to overturn an election through violent means.”  

 Asked whether Trump broke the law, Brown said “I’m not going to say he’s guilty before I see evidence,” but he also said there’s “a lot of evidence that he was complicit.”  

 Garland gave Democrats a tantalizing hint when he announced the day before the first anniversary of the January 6 attack that he would prosecute those responsible “at any level” for what he called “the assault on our democracy.” 

“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible,” he said.  

 It was a potentially significant statement from an attorney general who otherwise keeps his cards close to the vest.

 On the other side of the equation, a Democratic senator who requested anonymity to comment on the possibility of a federal prosecution of Trump warned that it would take only one pro-Trump juror to derail a conviction and that failure to win any case in court would have disastrous consequences.  

“If you pull the trigger on this one, you have to make sure that you don’t miss, because this is one if you miss it essentially validates the conduct,” the senator warned.

 

Research contact: @thehill

Escape from masks and lockdowns by applying for a job on this COVID-free island off the UK coast

December 18, 2020

If you wouldn’t mind leaving behind all talk of social distancing, masks, and lockdowns, you might want to apply for a job as a volunteer warden on Lundy Island—an unspoiled getaway that sits off the north coast of Devon, England, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the British Channel.

According to a report by Metro, the hunt is on for five wardens to help with conservation and land management. Although the jobs are unpaid, they do offer free lodging.

Such positions often are filled by students on their gap years, or those who have just finished university—but they are open to anyone who is interested. No qualifications are required—but you will need to be “ … of a hardy nature,” according to the help wanted advertisement, as working days can be “long and in a range of weather conditions.”

The ad on Facebook reads:

“Looking to gain experience in conservation? Want to get away from the busy mainland and experience living on a small isolated island? Want to surround yourself with breathtaking land and seascapes, interesting and thoughtful people and a wide range of fascinating and beautiful plants and animals?

“Well then why not apply to volunteer on the wonderful island of Lundy? The roles on offer on the three-mile-long island are two volunteer assistant wardens for the seabirds, between April and July, two for the Atlantic Grey Seals, between July and September, and one volunteer assistant ranger between April and October. The roles will be varied, but will primarily involve monitoring the island’s wildlife, including seabirds and seals. The successful candidate will also help out the warden team with the various monitoring efforts and general island duties.

“It will also involve monitoring butterfly transects, moth trapping and helping out the ranger team with practical management tasks such as Rhododendron seedling searches, dry stone walling, etc,’ says the job advert.

“Involvement in more general island duties such as helping in the island recycling plant, housekeeping and visitor engagement will also be required.

The closing date for applicants is February 5, 2021, with all interviews to be held the week later.

Research contact: @MetroUK