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2020 Elections

  1. Congress

    Senate Republicans adrift ahead of Trump trial

    GOP senators are largely without leadership guidance over how to judge Donald Trump during the second impeachment trial.

    Senate Republicans talk as a party as many as three times a week during normal times. But these times are anything but normal.

    The Senate GOP has not spoken as a conference for more than two weeks now, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who wasn't present, to explain his plans to challenge the election in a party conference call. Since that Dec. 31 conversation, eight senators challenged the election results, the Capitol was overrun by pro-Donald Trump rioters and the president was impeached.

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  2. Transition 2020

    Pence congratulates Harris days before inauguration

    The vice president has indicated he will attend Biden's inauguration in a show of support for the transfer of power.

    Vice President Mike Pence called his successor, Kamala Harris, on Thursday to congratulate her ticket's win and to assist the transition, people familiar with the situation confirmed to POLITICO.

    The phone call came only six days before Inauguration Day, following a fraught post-election season in which President Donald Trump and his supporters vehemently denied his loss in the 2020 election. Though Trump acknowledged his time in the White House was coming to a close following a violent insurrection by his supporters at the Capitol, the president has yet to fully admit defeat to Biden.

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  3. Elections

    Ex-McCaskill staffers launch PAC to block Hawley's electoral ambitions

    The group is called JOSH PAC, an acronym for Just Oust Seditious Hacks.

    Updated

    Democrats are looking for revenge against Sen. Josh Hawley after he challenged the results of the presidential election last week.

    A group of ex-staffers for former Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill are launching a new organization dedicated to preventing Hawley from winning any further election, whether it’s reelection to the Senate in 2024 or in a future presidential run, according to a source familiar with the effort. Hawley defeated McCaskill in 2018.

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  4. Legal

    Acting U.S. attorney in Atlanta signals lack of merit in election fraud cases eyed by Trump

    Bobby Christine’s decision not to take up a hobbyhorse of the president is likely to reassure some skeptics.

    The Trump-appointed prosecutor installed recently as the acting U.S. attorney in Atlanta said Monday that his office would not pursue spurious election fraud-related cases, assuming the same position that drew White House ire for his predecessor.

    In a recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution acting U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine said Monday he had already rejected two “high profile” election-related cases within the office’s jurisdiction.

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  5. Politics

    Cato Institute investigating blog post by senior fellow that spread election conspiracy theories

    Andrei Illarionov, a senior fellow, is a former economic policy adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Updated

    The libertarian Cato Institute is investigating a blog post published by one of its senior fellows, a former economic policy adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that contains conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and seeks to defend pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol last week.

    Andrei Illarionov, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, made baseless accusations in a post on his personal Live Journal blog on Friday that the storming of the capitol was a “trap” set by police following deliberate “provocation” by Black Lives Matter activists and Democrats.

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  6. Congress

    GOP aide resigns while lashing ‘congressional enablers of this mob’

    A top staffer at the House Armed Services Committee ripped lawmakers who backed Donald Trump’s challenge to Joe Biden's win.

    A top Republican congressional aide is resigning over his party’s support for President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election after it fueled deadly riots at the Capitol.

    In a scathing resignation letter obtained by POLITICO, Jason Schmid, a longtime senior House Armed Services Committee staffer, slammed the GOP members of the panel who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, particularly after a mob incited by Trump stormed the Capitol last Wednesday and left five people dead.

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  7. Legal

    Feds get first indictments in cases related to Capitol riot

    Prosecutors have brought more than 70 criminal cases in connection with the Capitol Hill violence last Wednesday that left five people dead.

    Updated

    Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have obtained their first indictments in connection with the siege of the Capitol last week by demonstrators supporting President Donald Trump.

    A grand jury indicted at least three men Monday in cases related to the violent events of Jan. 6.

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  8. Elections

    Cawthorn expresses concern about election fraud claims after earlier stoking them

    The Republican freshman appeared at a rally in front of the White House before the deadly siege on the Capitol.

    Updated

    North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican freshman who voted last week to overturn the presidential election results, expressed regret about claims of election fraud in a local TV interview.

    "Once you start floating this idea of election fraud and people outright stealing an election and cheating, that has only one outcome,” Cawthorn said in an interview with North Carolina's WTVD-TV news, an ABC affiliate. “The party as a whole should have been much more wise about their choice of words.”

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  9. History Dept.

    Wake Up, America. This Is Who We Are.

    For most of U.S. history, a white minority has refused to share power with people of color — democracy be damned.

    “This is not who we are,” leaders from across the political spectrum resolutely affirmed this week, when a mob — incited by President Donald Trump and his congressional enablers — crashed through the doors of the Capitol. It’s been called terrorism. Anarchy. An insurrection. But cooler heads agree it was “un-American” — an aberration — and, fundamentally, not who we are as a country.

    But what if it is?

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  10. Congress

    Trump supporters yell ‘traitor’ to Lindsey Graham at airport

    The incident comes after Sen. Lindsey Graham publicly broke with the president following the deadly riots on Capitol Hill.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham was verbally harassed by at least a couple dozen Donald Trump supporters at Reagan National Airport on Friday after his public break with the president, according to a person at the scene who provided a video of the incident.

    Several people repeatedly loudly yelled at the South Carolina Republican that he was a “traitor.” One woman called him a “liar,” while another said, “You work for the people, you work for us, do you hear me?” They promised not to touch him as he was surrounded by security.

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  11. Transition 2020

    FBI arrests man who posted photo of himself with feet up in Pelosi's office

    A man elected last year as a delegate to the West Virginia legislature was also charged for unlawfully entering the Capitol.

    Updated

    A man who joined in the breach of the Capitol on Wednesday and posted a photo of himself on social media sitting with his feet up on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was arrested by the FBI on Friday in Arkansas, officials said.

    Richard Barnett was arrested on federal charges including unlawful entry into a restricted area, according to Kenneth Kohl, a senior prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington.

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  12. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    GOP Rep. Mace: Trump's legacy 'wiped out' by Capitol riot

    “I’m disappointed right now,” Mace, who worked for Trump's 2016 campaign, said Thursday morning.

    A Republican freshman congresswoman sworn in just days before President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol argued Thursday that the deadly siege had “wiped out” his administration’s legacy and any accomplishments he had achieved over the last four years.

    In an interview on CNN, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) fiercely condemned the violence that unfolded the previous day across the Capitol complex, which resulted in four deaths and both chambers of Congress being forced into lockdown after pro-Trump rioters breached the building’s walls.

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  13. Technology

    Twitter, Facebook lock Trump's accounts in confrontation over Capitol breach posts

    Social media companies faced fresh calls to suspend or remove Trump amid Wednesday’s insurrection.

    Updated

    Twitter and Facebook locked President Donald Trump's accounts and YouTube removed one of his videos after throngs of his supporters rioted inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, marking the harshest confrontation to date between the president and the social media companies.

    Twitter also threatened to permanently suspend Trump from the platform if he violated its rules again — even as a chorus of Democrats, civil rights activists and others urged the company to kick him off now for stoking attacks on the legitimacy of his election loss.

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  14. Elections

    ‘President Trump, step up’: Biden calls on Trump to rebuke Capitol rioters

    “The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is,” Joe Biden said. “At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite.”

    Updated

    President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday demanded that President Donald Trump go on national TV to call off the rioters who have stormed the U.S. Capitol.

    “I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of the democracy to go forward,” Biden said as armed rioters caused the Capitol to go into lockdown. “The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is.”

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  15. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    McConnell warns overturning election would 'damage our Republic forever'

    The Kentucky Republican characterized Wednesday’s vote as the most important he’d ever cast in his 36 years in the Senate.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is leading the charge against President Donald Trump and a dozen Senate Republicans’ efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

    In a floor speech following the first objection to Arizona’s election results, McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that the effort to object to certifying the Nov. 3 election, if successful, would spur U.S. democracy into a “death spiral.”

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  16. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    GOP lawmakers object to Arizona electors, launching futile bid to undo Biden's victory

    The House and Senate will now participate in no more than two hours of debate on the Arizona objection in each chamber.

    Republican lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon issued their first challenge to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, objecting to Arizona's electoral vote count.

    Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) formally made the objection at the outset of the joint session of Congress, after lawmakers approved the electoral vote counts of Alabama and Alaska, states won by President Donald Trump, without objection.

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  17. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    Pence rebuffs Trump, telling lawmakers he has no authority to throw out election results

    The assessment from the vice president came in a letter delivered ahead of a joint session of Congress on Wednesday afternoon.

    Vice President Mike Pence informed members of Congress on Wednesday that he does not believe he has the power to "reject electoral votes unilaterally," essentially denying President Donald Trump's public demands that he help overturn the results of the 2020 election.

    The assessment from the vice president came in a letter delivered ahead of a joint session of Congress on Wednesday afternoon, where Pence will preside over lawmakers' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

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  18. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    'I’m going to be in your backyard': Trump sons threaten primaries for GOP lawmakers

    Fox News, which had been carrying the remarks live, dropped its feed of the rally after the expletives uttered by the president's son aired uncensored.

    President Donald Trump’s eldest sons threatened Republican lawmakers at a large rally outside the White House on Wednesday, pledging that their family would continue to dispute the results of the 2020 election just hours before Congress was set to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

    “To those Republicans, many of which may be voting on things in the coming hours: You have an opportunity today,” Donald Trump Jr. told the crowd gathered for the “Save America March” on the White House Ellipse. “You can be a hero, or you can be a zero. And the choice is yours. But we are all watching. The whole world is watching, folks. Choose wisely.”

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  19. Live Updates: Electoral College Fight

    D.C. mayor says city 'absolutely prepared' for pro-Trump demonstration

    President Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at Wednesday’s protest, and tweeted Tuesday night about the expected “BIG CROWDS."

    Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said the nation’s capital is “absolutely prepared” for the large pro-Trump protest scheduled for Wednesday.

    “We are doing everything possible that we can to keep our residents safe, our businesses safe, but, of course, allow for people to exercise their First Amendment rights, no matter what their viewpoints are,” Bowser said Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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