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Congress in Capitol

House Voting On Resolution Calling On Pence To Invoke 25th Amendment 

The House is gearing up to vote on a resolution this Tuesday that would call on current Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office following last week’s riot at the Capitol building that the current standing president helped insurrect. 

The measure that the House is introducing claims that Pence should convene and mobilize Trump’s Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment and declare the president “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.” The resolution itself is sponsored by Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin. 

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A mob of hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building last week after Trump made a speech further emphasizing his belief that Biden won the 2020 election illegally and that this was one of the most “fraudulent elections in US history.” The crowd of angry rioters then stormed the Capitol building after Trump ended his speech claiming that they would be walking to the Capitol to make their voices heard; the president was nowhere to be found once the riot began though. 

The six-page resolution stated that the mob of rioters “threatened the safety and lives of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate, the first three individuals in the line of succession to the presidency, as the rioters were recorded chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ and ‘Where’s Nancy’ when Trump tweeted to his supporters that ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country.’”

The measure also lays out a slew of evidence that Trump incited his supporters to commit acts of violence at the Capitol building, as the president has “demonstrated repeatedly, continuously and spectacularly his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office.” 

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Trump’s disrespect over the 2020 election and democratic process within the past two months is also mentioned quite a bit in the measure, as his complete disinterest in participating in a peaceful transition of power has only further motivated his supporters to “take back the White House” and give it to Trump, as that’s who they believe rightfully won the election. 

Pence is unlikely to remove Trump from office, especially considering House Democrats have also introduced articles of impeachment against the president that could likely be passed before inauguration. Sources close to Pence also claim that at this point he’s just trying to make it to January 20th “in one piece.” 

According to senior White House officials Pence and Trump met in the Oval Office on Monday morning in which they discussed the past four years and the attacks on the Capitol building. They apparently both said that those who broke the law and stormed the building “don’t represent America.” 

The House is projected to vote this Wednesday on an article of impeachment that would charge Trump with “incitement of insurrection” in motivating his supporters to storm the Capitol last week and fight. If passed the Senate will then hold a trial to determine whether or not Trump should be convicted and will potentially eliminate his ability to run for office again. 

The White House

Biden Hires Top Campaign Advisers To Join Him In White House As Senior Staff 

President-elect Joe Biden is currently working on building out the staff that will accompany him into the White House as he begins his term as 46th President of the United States. This Tuesday, Biden’s team announced that he would be hiring two long-time campaign advisers for top roles, and also announced several other members who worked on his presidential campaign that will be in senior positions. 

Mike Donilon was the chief strategist for Biden’s campaign who crafted a majority of his speeches and advertising strategies for the 2020 race; he came up with framing the election as a “battle for the nation.” Donilon was also announced as Biden’s senior adviser this past Tuesday. Steve Rucchetti was the Biden campaign chairman who also has worked alongside Barack Obama and Bill Clinton during their presidencies. Rucchetti was announced to be a counselor to the president. 

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A few days prior to these announcements Biden named Ron Klain as his chief of staff and Jen O’Malley Dillon as his deputy chief of staff. Dillion was the campaign manager who took over the campaign after Biden won the primaries and helped it receive a slew of funding. 

Louisiana representative Cedric Richmond is the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, who announced he would be resigning from his House seat to take a senior adviser position for the president-elect. Richmond will also be taking on the role of director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. 

Julie Chavez Rodriguez was a Biden deputy campaign manager who also previously worked as a top aide for Vice president-elect Kamala Harris during her initial campaign for presidency during the primaries. Rodriguez also worked as a special assistant to the president and senior deputy director of public engagement under President Barack Obama’s Administration, so it’s safe to say she’s familiar with everyone entering into the White House this January. Rodriguez will be director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Biden. 

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Chief of Staff Ron Klain recently spoke with the press about all of the hires that Biden and Harris are collectively making – as well as First Lady Jill Biden who is currently working on hiring her top staffers as well – and discussed how these positions needed to be meticulously filled with individuals Biden trusts to combat all the issues America is currently facing. 

“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have an ambitious and urgent agenda for action. The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.” 

Dana Remus was Biden’s campaign general counsel who also has experience as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Additionally, Remus was a general counsel to the Obama Foundation and the Obama’s’ personal office, making her the perfect choice for Biden’s counsel. 

Annie Tomasini was Biden’s traveling chief of staff throughout his campaign, and will be hired as director of Oval Office Operations; which is heavily thought of as a “gatekeeping role” that will put her close to the president-elect, much like she was during his campaign. Further announcements regarding Biden’s staff and cabinet will likely be announced as the days progress and we get closer and closer to the new year.

Election Pin

Biggest Takeaways From The Kamala Harris-Mike Pence Vice Presidential Debate

The vice presidential debate took place this Wednesday night in Utah, in what commentators are referring to as ‘last week’s debate, on decaf.’

2020 Election Pins

Kamala Harris Officially Chosen As Joe Biden’s Running Mate For 2020 Election

California Senator Kamala Harris, a former 2020 presidential candidate, made history this week when presidential candidate Joe Biden announced her as his running mate. If Biden and Harris win, Harris will be the first women of color vice president for the United States of America. 

Harris herself is a former prosecutor who is generally known as one of the more liberal members of Senate, however, her track record working as a prosecutor and officer of the law has many younger voters skeptical as to where her priorities will lie once in office. So where exactly does Harris stand on all the issues?

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When it comes to health care, Harris was a co-sponsor of Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All act. During her initial presidential campaigning she claimed that she wanted to eliminate private insurance, but more specifically all of the “waste and bureaucracy” that was embedded in private insurance companies. Harris also has made claims that she would never deny a person health care based on citizenship status; something that’s become a major problem for undocumented individuals living in America in the current political climate.

Harris has always been pro-choice in terms of abortion access for women in America. Pro-abortion rights group NARAL gave her a 100% rating in regard to her support of a womens right to choose, however, while working as an attorney general in California Harris also allowed a hospital to stop providing elective abortions once that hospital entered into a new partnership with the Catholic St. Joseph Health System; a decision that caused Harris to receive a lot of backlash.

When it comes to the current Covid-19 pandemic Harris has been adamant about her support of Biden’s plans for the future of America and it’s continuous fight against the virus. Specifically, she’s said that she wants Americans to receive monthly stimulus checks; $2,000 per adult and an additional $2,000 per dependent. 

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Climate change is currently one of the largest issues the world is facing (besides the pandemic of course) and has also become a major point of contention among all world leaders. Trump’s presidency has been heavily rooted in the belief that climate change is not actually occurring and the scientific evidence is simply false. 

While campaigning for president, Harris introduced a $10 trillion plan to address climate change. The goal of this plan is to have zero-net emissions by 2045 and 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2030. Harris also claimed that she would go after major corporations who contribute the most to pollution in America, and would end federal spending on fossil fuel production. 

LGBTQIA+ rights have also been under fire throughout the Trump presidency. Harris pledged that she would be including members of the community in her cabinet if elected. When she was California’s attorney general she also declined to defend Proposition 8; a law that defined marriage as something between a man and a woman. 

Harris has also claimed in the past that she supports the federal legalization of marijuana, especially now since our economy is suffering so much. However, as attorney general Harris oversaw hundreds of marijuana-related convictions that have been seen as unjust as severe in terms of punishment. 

Finally, when it comes to gun control, another major point of conflict in American politics, Harris has promised to take executive action on guns if elected president. She’s been a major advocate for stricter gun control policies and supports requiring anyone who sells more than five guns a year to perform intensive background checks on their clients.

Ukraine Flags

Lev Parnas Implicates Giuliani, Pence, Barr, Nunes, and Trump in Ukraine Scandal

One of the central figures that has emerged in the Ukraine scandal that led to the president’s impeachment is Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. Parnas was indicted on federal charges several weeks ago and has since indicated that he is willing to cooperate with Congress’s investigation into allegations that Trump improperly pressured the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation of his political opponent, Joe Biden. On the eve of the House’s transmission of articles of impeachment to the Senate, Parnas sat down with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to discuss documentary evidence that he had produced, including handwritten notes describing the scheme to coerce President Zelensky into announcing an investigation into the Bidens. 

Parnas’s interview signalled a break from the Trump administration, as he directly blamed several key White House figures, including the attorney general and the vice president, for their culpability in the scheme. While Parnas’s claims have not yet been fully vetted, they corroborate much of the testimony provided by other witnesses who participated in the House’s investigation. Most prominently, Parnas reiterated Gordon Sondland’s claim that “everyone was in the loop;” in other words, according to witnesses, all of the senior Trump administration officials were aware of the scheme as it was being carried out. 

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In addition to providing circumstantial evidence corroborating the narrative that has emerged about the president’s involvement in the extortion plot, Parnas also provided previously-undisclosed evidence, further illuminating the roles of individuals connected with the two governments in attempting to carry out the plan. Parnas, by his own account, personally worked with Rudy Giuliani and others to oust former US ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was perceived as interfering in the administration’s scheme. 

Parnas also communicated with a new character in the Ukraine story, Robert Hyde, a controversial Republican congressional candidate who was not publicly known to be connected with the scandal before Parnas’s release of text messages and other documents. Hyde, by Parnas’s account, was “always drunk,” and as such Parnas often did not take his text messages seriously. Nevertheless, Hyde’s recently-revealed correspondence with Parnas drew significant media attention as his texts appeared to include personal threats against the ambassador, who seemed to be under surveillance by suspicious figures. Accordingly, and in an ironic twist, Ukraine has opened an investigation into the alleged surveillance of and threats against the American ambassador, potentially paving the way for the release of further evidence about the scandal down the road.

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According to Parnas, essentially all of the highest-ranking members of the Trump administration as well as other government officials were aware of and at least complicit in the scheme, specifically including the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Pence, U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, and Attorney General William Barr. According to Parnas, Pence’s trip to Ukraine was canceled as a direct result of Zelensky’s delay in announcing an investigation into the Bidens, Nunes personally knew Parnas despite his claims that they didn’t know each other and was involved in efforts to produce documents denigrating Biden, and Barr must have known about everything that was happening but chose not to do anything about it, despite his position as the head of the Department of Justice. By Parnas’s account, Guiliani definitely had a direct role in carrying out the scheme whereas the other government officials participated in a supporting capacity. 

While Parnas’s claims are explosive, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of them have been fully vetted, and although Parnas produced documents that support some of his claims, some of what he said may be untrue. Though he pled “not guilty” to largely-unrelated federal charges issued last year, Parnas may be lying in order to diminish the appearance of his own culpability in committing illegal acts, or he may be lying for reasons unknown to the general public. While Parnas’s character and his testimony can reasonably be called into question, the voluminous documentation he made publicly available reveals a near-incontrovertible paper trail that strongly supports the general narrative of the administration’s involvement in a corrupt extortion scheme carried out to compromise an American election.