Fox News host says Trump must ‘learn to lose’
The sprawling effort to bring the 6 January rioters to justice has crossed a new rubicon with prosecutors bringing charges of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia who joined the insurrection. Elmer Stewart Rhodes has been arrested and charged along with 10 other members of the group, who stand accused of plotting to “oppose the lawful transfer of power by force”.
As for the investigation on Capitol Hill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the 6 January committee with information about his conversations with Donald Trump during the attack last year, calling the panel “illegitimate”. Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony. “I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” she told CNN.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, has faced an abject week in Congress – and it seems his popularity is suffering badly. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the annals of the modern presidency, only Donald Trump had a lower approval rating at this point in his first year.
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Trump enemy’s name circulates in Senate race speculation
One of the handful of senior Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump after the 2020 election was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who rejected the baseless claim that his state’s vote was deliberately manipulated in favour of Joe Biden.
While Mr Ducey has previously said he is not considering a run for another office, a report in Politico has stoked speculation that he could run enter the Republican Senate primary to challenge Democrat Mark Kelly this November. That would throw a major curveball into the Arizona election itself and the national Senate game more widely – but reaction to the story has been mixed.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 14:29
Congressman who tweeted Nazi-vaccine comparison loses press aide
According to Capitol Hill reporter Taylor Popielarz, Congressman Warren Davidson has lost his communications director over a tweet from his office’s official account that compared vaccine mandates to policies enacted by the Nazi Party.
After a public outcry, the congressman has since apologised for drawing the parallel.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 14:05
Lawyer for Oath Keepers leader rants about “the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”
Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for indicted Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes, has been tweeting furiously since his client was indicted on sedition charges – claiming, among other things, that 6 January investigators are mounting a “malicious prosecution”, that “January 6 was the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”, and that “We know that prosecutors know that we know that they are lying”.
Earlier this week, he also tweeted at Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to pitch a Rhodes interview for the host’s show.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 13:45
How unpopular is Joe Biden?
According to political analysis site FiveThirtyEight, Joe Biden’s first year has seen his popularity plummet to alarmingly low levels. So poor is the president’s polling, write Geoffrey Skelley and Jean Yi, that he is approaching the record nadir set by Donald Trump.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 13:16
The real significance of the Oath Keepers indictment
Speaking on the sedition charges brought against the leader of the Oath Keepers over the 6 January riot, former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi last night pointed out that “seditious conspiracy” has not been successfully charged by the US since the mid-1990s. “We charge seditious conspiracy against international terrorists trying to blow us up,” he said to MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace, “and now we’re doing it against our own.”
He also pointed out that the Oath Keepers’ membership includes many retired and active US law enforcement and military personnel.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:51
Social media and the insurrection
Since the rise of Donald Trump as a political force, social media giants have been under increasing pressure for hosting misinformation and incitements to political violence – and now, the 6 January committee has subpoenaed records from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to try and understand “what steps – if any – social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence”.
Donald Trump himself was banned from Twitter and Facebook after the riot, radically limiting his ability to communicate directly with supporters.
Andrew Feinberg has more:
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:28
ICYMI: Biden overshoots on what’s possible in divided DC – Analysis
He was supposed to break through the congressional logjam. End the pandemic. Get the economy back on track.
Days before he hits his one-year mark in office, a torrent of bad news is gnawing at the foundational rationale of President Joe Biden’s presidency: that he could get the job done.
Read the latest analysis from the Associated Press:
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:00
Trump says Biden has ‘failed miserably’ following vaccine mandate decision
Donald Trump heralded the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Biden administration’s plan for a vaccine mandate for large businesses.
In a statement released through his spokesperson, the former president called the proposed mandate “unconstitutional”.
The Supreme Court has spoken, confirming what we all knew: Biden’s disastrous mandates are unconstitutional.
Biden promised to shut down the virus, not the economy but he has failed miserably on both — and mandates would have further destroyed the economy.
We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down. No mandates!
Ella Glover14 January 2022 11:20
Rabbi charged in Capitol riot wants to pay $50 to avoid jail time
A Messianic rabbi who is among the hundreds charged in the Capitol riot has argued that he should be allowed to pay a fine of $50 (£36) and not be sent to jail.
Rabbi Michael Stepakoff, who took a selfie inside the Capitol on the day of the riot, is accused of entering and remaining and carrying out disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
He is also charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct and parading, demonstration or picketing in the Capitol building.
Arpan Rai reports:
Ella Glover14 January 2022 10:23
Biden loses hope over elections and voting rights legislation
President Joe Biden appeared to concede defeat over the Democrats’ elections and voting rights legislation package that would see the biggest overhaul of US elections in a generation, AP reported.
“The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said following a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators.
However, he added: “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.”
But their efforts have stalled in the narrowly divided senate, where they lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
The legislation would aim to counteract a number of new state laws, inspired by former president Donald Trump‘s false claims of a stolen election, that have made it harder to vote.
However, pushing it through the senate has proved difficult as Democrats lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Ella Glover14 January 2022 09:33