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Takeaways From Latest Jan. 6 Hearing: Election Officials Felt Trump’s Pressure

Taking a step back in time to reexamine the pressure former President Donald Trump exerted in order to overturn the 2020 election results, the Jan. 6 Committee heard testimonies from those who endured terrifying and deadly threats originating from those efforts Tuesday.

Looking to show that Trump’s pushes and false claims ultimately led to the domestic terrorism events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a number of officials from tightly contested battleground states in the election were examined, including one — Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker — who Trump accused of committing voter fraud, along with her mother.

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The surveillance footage and accused actions were debunked, but that didn’t stop Moss from being thrown into the fire by conservatives and Trump supporters. The impact from the events clearly affected Moss, whose emotions were evident in the Cannon Caucus Room.

“There were a lot of threats wishing death upon me,” Moss recounted. Moss’s Black skin color also factored into those threats, with one saying to “be thankful it’s 2020 and not 1920.” “A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful,” she said. Some protesters even attempted to make a citizen’s arrest on Moss’ grandmother.

“It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t want anyone knowing my name. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all.”

Another official, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), testified he was subjected to constant protesting and smearing outside his home, with one man weilding a pistol. Though supporting Trump in a reelection bid, Bowers explained he did “not want to be a winner by cheating.”

Bowers claimed he was asked by Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to find evidence that illegal immigrants and dead people had voted in the 2020 election, along with decertifying Arizona’s electoral votes and replace them with Trump voters.

Biden won Arizona by just .4% (1,672,143 votes). Though Bowers asked to see this evidence of fraud, Trump and Giuliani never presented anything more than just “theories.”

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) made similar statements to Bowers, saying Trump asked him during a phone call to “give him a break” and find 11,780 votes, enough to help him win by one vote in the state he lost by .3%.

The audio of the phone call was played for the committee, with Trump threatening to Raffensperger that those investigating voter fraud and found to be dishonest by claiming falsehood could face criminal behavior.

“You can’t let that happen, that’s a big risk to you. All of this stuff is very dangerous.”

Raffensperger detailed his intensive investigating of potential fraud, examining one of the 4.9 million total votes after another. “The numbers don’t lie. At the end of the day, President Trump came up short,” he said.

In terms of audience viewing, the American public may not be fully invested in the developments, which could spell trouble for Democrats hoping to use the hearings to sway voters in the upcoming midterms. The first hearing on June 9, treated to a primetime spot, peaked at 20 million viewers.

However, that number has since dropped as hearings take place during the daytime. 23% of voters said they saw, read, or heard a lot about the hearings on June 13 and 16, down 7% from the June 9 hearing.

President Podium

How Trump And His Administration Are Handling His Final Month In Office

After the Electoral College confirmed Joe Biden as the 46th President-elect, Trump and his team have been praising all the ‘hard work’ he’s done within the past four years.

US Supreme Court Building

Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Efforts To Block Biden Win In Pennsylvania 

This week the Supreme Court denied a request made by Pennsylvania Republicans to block the certification of the commonwealth election results. If they were successful, this would have invalidated and blocked Biden’s win in the state, however, the court’s rejection makes this a fatal blow for the Republican Party’s continuous attempt to deliver a reelection to Donald Trump. 

Trump has been frequently bragging online that he won his reelection, and was banking on Pennsylvania reversing their results to deliver him the potential that he actually could have won, however, the Supreme Court’s action, along with the moves from individuals in Trump’s administration to begin a transition of power, has confirmed that he will not be returning to office in 2021. 

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“Let’s see whether or not somebody has the courage, whether it’s legislators or legislatures or a justice of the Supreme Court or a number of justices of the Supreme Court. Let’s see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right,” Trump said just hours before the court released their order that blocked the motion for the election results to be blocked. 

Tuesday’s one-line order was filed with no noted dissent or comment from any of the nine justices who have been combating Trump’s administration’s constant efforts to overturn the election since November. This order also marks Amy Coney Barrett’s first vote on an election-related dispute. This quick and one-line order suggests that the Supreme Court is no longer interested in being involved with Trump and his administration’s ongoing efforts to invalidate this election and Biden’s win. 

“The fact that the justices issued a one-sentence order with no separate opinions is a powerful sign that the court intends to stay out of election-related disputes, and that it’s going to leave things to the electoral process going forward,” said Steve Vladek, a Supreme Court analyst and law professor who spoke with the press recently about these results. “It’s hard to imagine a more quietly resounding rejection of these challenges from this court,” he concluded. 

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Representative Mike Kelly attempted to initially bring this issue to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, at the time he was rejected immediately for failing to file the election result challenge in a timely manner. Kelly’s lawyers then stated that the courts violated his right to petition and “right to due process, guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, respectively, by closing all avenues of relief for past and future harms.”

The Pennsylvania courts responded to these claims by calling them “fundamentally frivolous. No court has ever issued an order nullifying a governor’s certification of presidential election results. The loss of public trust in our constitutional order resulting in this kind of judicial power would be incalculable,” said Justice Bart Delone, the state’s chief deputy attorney general. 

Tuesday’s action from the Supreme Court comes after weeks of Trump and his team spreading inaccuracies regarding the election and creating a highly contentious political divide in a country that is also still enduring a global health crisis. Trump and his team have focused their energy on reversing the already finalized election results while hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to be infected with Covid-19. While a vaccine is likely to begin distribution soon, the way America is currently running is causing its citizens to die at astronomical rates, continue to stay inside and wear a mask whenever necessary.

2020 Election Ballot

Attorney General Claims There Is No Evidence Of Widespread Election Fraud

Attorney General William Barr declared on Tuesday that the US Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of any widespread voter fraud that would change the 2020 election outcome, disputing the constant baseless claims from current president Donald Trump that he won his reelection. 

Barr’s comments made to the media reflect a major contradiction from Trump, who’s been trying to block President-elect Joe Biden from beginning a peaceful transition of power since the results for Pennsylvania were initially announced almost a month ago. 

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

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The comments immediately drew criticism from Trump’s attorneys, who before this point were working with Barr in claims that mail-in voting could be vulnerable to fraud especially considering we’re in the middle of a global health crisis. However, after numerous FBI reviews of specific complaints coming from Trump’s team and various locations, not one single piece of evidence of voter fraud has appeared. 

Trump himself hasn’t directly commented on Barr’s statement, however, his personally attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign released a passionate statement in which they claimed that there “hasn’t been any semblance of an investigation into the president’s complaints,” despite the numerous government organizations and authorities that have claimed investigations occurred to no avail. 

Other administration officials and agencies who spoke out against Trump’s dangerous allegations against America’s democracy were fired almost immediately; which didn’t exactly convince the American people that the president’s claims were valid. Last month Barr issued a directive to all US attorneys which allowed them to pursue any “substantial allegations of voting irregularities” that they felt was necessary.

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That directive memo gave prosecutors the ability to go against a policy that has been long standing within the US’s Justice Department that would normally prohibit any investigation into voter irregularities from occurring before the election is officially called; let alone investigations being performed with no evidence and solely based on the current president’s claims. 

The switch up from the Attorney General, someone who has been riding for the current president in terms of all of his voter suppression and fraud claims, marks a major turning point in the contention over the 2020 election results. Trump himself has continuously taken to twitter and interviews to falsely claim that he won the 2020 election, the results were fraudulent, and Biden won with false votes. 

Despite claims that there are many witnesses who swore under oath that they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud, the Department of Justice hasn’t interviewed a single one of them due to a complete lack of evidence beyond the statements. Trump has still yet to concede, but the transition of powers has already begun taking place, and it’s likely that within the coming weeks the former president will have no choice but to accept defeat and hand the White House over to Biden.

The White House

Donald Trump Said He Would Leave The White House If Electoral College Votes For Biden 

Donald Trump stated this week that he will leave the White House once the electoral college officially votes for Democratic presidential-elect Joe Biden. This marks the first time Trump has even hinted at the idea of conceding to Biden since it was announced that he was projected to win some two weeks ago. 

Biden won the presidential election with 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232; 270 is required to win the election. Biden also led Trump by more than 6 million popular votes. By refusing to concede, Trump is defying a long lasting presidential tradition that marks a smooth transition of power and is meant to represent the continuous existence of democracy. 

Despite Trump and his administration’s adamant efforts to overturn the election results with constant baseless claims of voter fraud, all recounts still gave Biden the win. Speaking to reporters on Thanksgiving Day, Trump said if Biden was certified the election winner by the electoral college he would leave the White House. 

Trump made the comments to reporters at the White House after the traditional Thanksgiving Day address to US service members. Trump was specifically asked by a reporter if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him and he replied: “Certainly I will. And you know that, if they do, they’ve made a mistake.”

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Trump did continue, however, that it would be a “very hard thing to concede” and declined to mention whether or not he would attend Biden’s inauguration; which is scheduled for January 20th. This marked the first time Trump took questions from reporters since the actual election day, and despite his combative attitude and avoidance of talking about his loss, his administration has still begun the process for a formal transition of power. 

Later that evening, Trump defied his comments to the reporters, however, by claiming that the media had not covered the conference in a way that he wanted, and stated that his main point was that he won the election: Twitter immediately flagged his comments for spreading false information. 

The electoral college is officially set to meet on December 14th when each state’s nominated electors will cast their votes for winner of the 2020 presidential election, and the votes are then officially counted by Congress on January 6th. 

Despite Trump and some of his team members adamant claims that he won his reelection, Biden and his team have been carrying on with the transition. For example Biden campaign spokesperson, Michael Gwin recently spoke with the press about Biden’s win, claiming: “President-elect Biden won 306 electoral votes. The Electoral College will soon meet to ratify that outcome. Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.”

2020 Election Pins

Friday Morning Election Update: Biden Closing In On 270 As He Takes The Lead In Pennsylvania 

(9:30 a.m.) As of this morning Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania over President Trump. The state is now reporting that 95% of their votes are counted, and if Biden holds his lead this win would give him the 2020 presidential election. Without the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania Trump would never be able to reach the 270 votes he needs to be reelected. 

Philadelphia specifically updated their numbers this morning showing Biden having over 550,000 votes with Trump at around 125,000, meaning overnight Biden was able to gain over 27,000 votes in the city while Trump gained around 3700. In terms of the other remaining states — Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina – the votes are still yet to be projected. Trump currently has leads in both Alaska and North Carolina, while Biden has leads in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

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The race, however, will likely be over by the end of the day with Pennsylvania nearing in on their final votes. Overall in the state, according to official reports, Biden has 3,295,304 votes, 49.4%, while Trump has 3,289,717 votes, or 49.3%. CNN’s John King recently discussed how crucial this development in Pennsylvania is. 

“The President cannot win reelection without Pennsylvania and without Georgia. Overnight, Georgia flipped blue. Seconds ago, Pennsylvania flipped to the blue. We cannot understate this moment.”

A national defense airspace has now also been placed over the Democratic nominee’s home in Wilmington, Delaware as the results get closer. Additionally, members of Biden’s camp have announced that he is preparing to move quickly to deliver an address to the nation at some point today or tonight. 

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Obviously, we won’t be getting an official address from Biden until the numbers are official, however, his team has made it clear that should he be chosen as the winner they will be moving quickly to announce more “substantial pieces of his transition” into the White House. 

According to a spokesperson from Biden’s transition team, the group has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes for months to prepare for the moment that Biden would be given the presidency (all presidential candidates hire a transition team while campaigning for this purpose). However, for Biden’s team the sense of urgency to address the nation is now being fueled by the current president’s constant questioning of the legitimacy of the election, in which he has made countless baseless claims that the election isn’t being counted legally. 

If the call is made earlier in the day Biden’s team claims that he will address the nation not only regarding the election but what he will be doing within his initial weeks as the 46th President of the United States.

Thursday Morning Election Update: Final States Counting Their Ballots, Biden Still Leading In Electoral Votes

(9:13 a.m.) Two days after Election Day 2020 and ballots are still being counted in 6 key states that could give either presidential candidate a path to the White House. Joe Biden is currently leading in electoral votes with 253, while Trump has received 213. 

As of this morning, the race for the White House is still too close to call. Georgia, Nevada, and some officials from Arizona’s Maricopa County, the biggest in Arizona, all are expected to deliver press conferences today with news of their ballot counts. Georgia’s Secretary of State will be holding a conference at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Clark County, Nevada, which is where Las Vegas is located, is expected to deliver an update at Noon ET; the county has the largest number of votes in Nevada, Biden currently holds the lead in the state by 8,000 votes. Officials in Maricopa County are expected to deliver a conference at 9 p.m. ET, and tweeted that they had 275,000 ballots remaining overnight. 

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Democrats went to bed on Election Night with a bad feeling in their stomach but have been cautiously optimistic throughout the past two days as more and more absentee ballots began being counted and Biden’s numbers began to rise. However, both presidential candidates could still snag the presidency depending on how each state leans. Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are the main ones that party operatives have been paying the closest attention to. 

As previously mentioned Biden currently holds a lead in Arizona and Nevada, but the margins are narrow. Experts, however, still aren’t sure if those margins are narrow enough to give Trump all the votes he needs to pass Biden. 

Most of this “cautious optimism” comes from Pennsylvania, a state that initially looked like it would be going right to Trump on Election Day, but now has experts unsure. 10% of the votes in Pennsylvania are yet to be counted within three suburban counties in Southeast Pennsylvania that are typically known to vote blue. 

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In Philadelphia alone, there are around 140,000 ballots remaining to be counted, and thousands of other mail-in votes from areas around the city also being counted still. “I know there is enough out there in the state as long as those trends continue, I believe personally, a margin that will carry Pennsylvania for the Vice President,” said Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.

Georgia, like Arizona and Nevada, has been continuously getting closer and closer in terms of who’s leading. As of 9:40 a.m. ET this morning Trump holds a 20,000 vote lead with around 50,000 votes left to be counted, according to spokesperson for the Secretary of State Walter Jones. For democrats, they’ll have to look at Fulton and Dekalb counties which are still being counted as those also traditionally vote blue. 

If one thing is certain, every vote will be meticulously counted as we enter day three of election “purgatory” if you will. Joe Biden tweeted this morning that “Every vote must be counted” with a short video showing a slew of diverse individuals who voted.

U.S. Stocks Climbing Despite Uncertainty Surrounding Presidential Election

Tech-led stocks in the US began climbing when the market opened up on Wednesday morning, despite there being a lack of clarity in terms of who will win the 2020 presidential election. 

According to reports, The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 500 points, or 1.7%. The S&P 500 traded 2.3% higher while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite increased by 3.2%. Mike Lewis is the managing director of US equity cash trading at Barclays, and spoke with the press this morning about these surges. 

“I think that the outlook going forward for markets is this is going to be more about policy and the Fed than it’s going to be about politics, which is a good thing for markets.”

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Key swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could take a while to fully determine how the votes will lean. Both candidates and their camps are confident in their paths to victory this week.

Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all saw spikes of at least 3% in their stocks while Facebook increased by 7%, and Google-parent company Alphabet jumped more than 5%. Traders on Wall Street attribute these spikes to a multitude of factors. The possibility that Republicans will maintain control of the Senate is a positive for the groups, as a Democrat congress could have weighed down on the high-growth sector, according to Barry Bannister, Stifel Head of Institutional Equity Strategy.

“It appears investors may be satisfied with at least half a Republican Senate and no tax increase, knowing they have a ‘Fed put’ if fiscal assistance is slower in coming. This favors Growth stocks over Value near-term.”

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Traders are also still grappling with the idea of a contested election, as Wall Street strategists claim that could have major consequences for the stock market. “News of a contested election could cause a sharp drop in stocks in the very short term, but we do not see it as a bearish gamechanger,” Tom Essaye, founder of the Sevens Report, said.

Traders are also watching the Senate race closely as the result of that race will have major implications on the future of the market as a whole. A Democrat win in the Senate and a Biden presidency has a lot of traders worried about the higher tax rates that would impact technology shares especially. 

On the other hand, some traders think a blue wave in the Senate and White House could lead to a larger stimulus package for Americans as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic; which would also boost stocks linked to the larger economy. 

“When this is all said and done, I still believe equities will move higher regardless of who wins the Oval Office. The coronavirus pandemic and U.S. monetary policy will be bigger market drivers over the long haul,” said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial intelligence.

Biden Gains Momentum In Polls As Key Demographics Switch To Vote Democrat

We’re a little more than a week away from Election Day and Joe Biden’s goal of reaching the White House in 2021 could be dependent on two crucial demographics who’s previous loyalty to Trump led him to his presidency back in 2016.

US Presidental Debate

Biggest Takeaways From The Final Trump-Biden Debate 

The second and final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden took place Thursday night in what experts are calling a “more normal” debate when compared to the original showdown between the two candidates. 

Trump entered the debate and maintained a relatively calm presence, under the advice of his administration who pleaded with the president to cool down this round. The basis of his arguments remained the same as the previous debate: he downplayed the coronavirus pandemic and took no personal responsibility for America’s failings in handling it, threw personal attacks at Biden, and lacked an overall sense of substance in his answers. For example when asked about a health care agenda for his second term, Trump avoided the question and yet again made it through the night without mentioning a plan.

Additionally, the first question Trump was asked regarded how he would lead during the next stage of the coronavirus pandemic, to which the president reflected on the “success” he’s already had within the past year. The centerpiece of Trump’s arguments focused on the mentality that “it could be worse,” despite the fact that more than 220,000 Americans have now died. 

“It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.”

Trump made the above claim while avoiding discussing the multiple surges in cases occurring all across the nation currently. He did optimistically claim that a vaccine would be arriving “within weeks,” despite having no real evidence that that’s true. In a later portion of the debate he backtracked and mentioned that there was no “guarantee” one would be ready but he’s hopeful one will be ready by the end of the year. 

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Biden then offered a much darker, more realistic, painting of America’s handling of this virus, claiming we’re heading toward a very “dark winter” due to the action’s of Trump. Biden accused Trump of denying responsibility for Covid’s spreading in the US and downplaying the virus for months despite the piles of evidence being presented to him. 

“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths [over 200,000] should not remain as President of the United States of America.”

When discussing how he would handle the virus, Biden was able to list out some more specifics in terms of a concrete plan of action. He said he would establish a national standard for the reopening of schools and businesses and stimulus payments to get the nation as a whole back on track. He also projected that a vaccine wouldn’t realistically be available in America until at least the middle of next year, which is more on par with what public health experts are claiming, so instead he knows the biggest concern will be minimizing the spread. 

Trump, however, already has 50 million votes cast for him, and as he nears the same position he was in four years ago when he was going up against Hilary Clinton, he’s decided to resort to the same tactics he used back then to hopefully secure him another win. He tried to paint Biden to be a typical politician, like he did with Clinton, and pointed out that he’s been in office for nearly 50 years and America still has the same issues it did 50 years ago, like systemic racism. Trump continued to try to place every systemic issue America has experienced within the past five decades on Biden, which only gave Biden an opening to discuss all the successes that occurred under the Obama administration. 

Trump then continued to attack Biden and brought up the allegations made against his son Hunter and his involvement with the Ukraine, to which Biden just turned it back around and mentioned that “the guy who got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy,” pointing to Trump, “trying to bribe the Ukrainian government to say something negative about me, which they would not do.” Remember, it was Trump’s actions in the Ukraine that led to his impeachment. 

Biden then fully flipped the attack on Trump by going down the list of all his failings, specifically in terms of his administration’s economic, health care, and immigration policies. This was the moment in the debate that viewers really saw the difference between their two candidates. One answered every policy related question with a series of detailed proposals that explained how each would impact the average American household while the other kept the statements short, general and in high praise of the current administration. 

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Biden continued to assert his position byt slamming Trump for trying to have the Supreme Court undo the Affordable Care Act and all of its protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions; a pool of people that Biden mentioned will soon include those who suffered from Covid-19. Trump has long promised a new health care plan that would protect all Americans regardless of their current health status, but hasn’t even mentioned the specifics of a new plan once within the past four years. 

Biden, on the other hand, detailed his already existing proposal that would allow Americans to buy into a public health insurance program, he called the proposal “Bidencare.” He also asserted that minimum wage should be nationally raised to $15 an hour while Trump said the matter was up to the states. 

Then, more importantly, the issue of immigration was brought up, to which Biden immediately mentioned the 545 children that were separated from their parents at the border this week, to which Trump responded that they were being “very well taken care of,” despite the fact that some haven’t seen their families in months, which made Biden very upset. 

“They got separated from their parents, and it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.”

The issue of race and systemic racism was then raised, to which Trump claimed he’s done more for African Americans than any previous president since Abraham Lincoln, claiming to be the “least racist person in the room.” Biden then cast Trump and his entire administration as one that has consistently sought out to divide the country racially. 

“Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. This guy has a dog whistle as big as a fog horn.” The night then ended with Biden claiming he would transition the country away from the oil industry because of how much it pollutes the earth. As of right now the race is stagnant, so the most important thing to remember is to get out and vote!! 

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