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► Day three of Impeachment 2.0 is well underway, kicking off with the first appearance of Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) in her role as a House impeachment manager (another Colorado Member of Congress, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish), has been perhaps the breakout star of the hearings thus far). The Washington Post explains more about what to expect from today:
The House managers opened the second day of their presentation Thursday by trying to strengthen the case that former president Donald Trump incited the violent Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Democratic managers are initially focusing on what the insurrectionists said about their motivations.
On Wednesday, the managers used surveillance footage from the Capitol, along with Trump’s own words and tweets, to try to build a case against him. Trump’s attorneys are scheduled to begin their presentation on Friday. A verdict could come as early as the weekend.
The New York Times summarizes the action from Wednesday, which included more new video clips from January 6:
Filling the Senate chamber with the profane screams of the attackers, images of police officers being brutalized, and near-miss moments in which Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers came steps away from confronting a mob hunting them down, the prosecutors made an emotional case that Mr. Trump’s election lies had directly endangered the heart of American democracy.
They played frantic police radio calls warning that “we’ve lost the line,” body camera footage showing an officer pummeled with poles and fists on the West Front of the Capitol, and silent security tape from inside showing Mr. Pence, his family and members of the House and Senate racing to evacuate as the mob closed in, chanting: “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!”
All of it, the nine Democratic managers said, was the foreseeable and intended outcome of Mr. Trump’s desperate attempts to cling to the presidency. Reaching back as far as last summer, they traced how he spent months cultivating not only the “big lie” that the election was “rigged” against him, but stoking the rage of a throng of supporters who made it clear that they would do anything — including resorting to violence — to help him.
Chris Cillizza of CNN provides his 5 key takeaways from Wednesday. Here’s the key video footage from Wednesday provided by House impeachment managers:
► Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Rep. Joe Neguse’s performance Wednesday:
Neguse’s role in the impeachment trial has given the talented orator a national audience and drawn applause from pundits and politicians across the political spectrum. He’s a sophomore in the House and a rising star within the Democratic Party who has climbed the leadership ranks since his election in 2018.
On Wednesday, Neguse’s job was to “provide a roadmap” of the prosecutors’ evidentiary case, in the words of lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. Neguse explained the case in broad terms, before six other managers went into greater detail.
“As you’ll see during the course of this trial, that mob was summoned, assembled and incited by the former president of the United States, Donald Trump,” Neguse alleged. “And he did that because he wanted to stop the transfer of power, so that he could retain power, even though he had lost the election.”
► Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) offers up a new explanation for $22k in mileage reimbursement claims from her 2020 campaign that includes something about having to buy new tires. This is not going well for Boebert, who is dealing with a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics for questionable campaign spending.
As 9News reports, there are 57 confirmed cases of a COVID variant in Colorado believed to have originated in the U.K.. Officials say there are no confirmed variants from Brazil or South Africa in our state.
You may want to avoid Winter Park for awhile; the ski resort area has seen a huge outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
As Promised, More Words…
► As Paul Waldman writes for The Washington Post, the vast majority of Americans are fully onboard with Democrats pushing for an extensive coronavirus relief/stimulus package:
In fact, this bill so far looks to be one of the most popular pieces of major legislation in U.S. history.
► Westword looks at updated COVID-19 statistics in Colorado to determine where the virus has proven deadliest:
While COVID-19 data has moderated from the fearsome highs of late 2020, Coloradans are still dying from the novel coronavirus every day, and some counties have been harder hit than others. Of 28 counties in the state that have registered ten or more deaths from the disease, sixteen have unusually high rates per capita…
…El Paso County leads this unfortunate roster with 696 deaths, representing 13.13 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Colorado. Next come three metro-area counties: Arapahoe (683 deaths, 12.89 percent), Jefferson (669 deaths, 12.62 percent) and Adams (642 deaths, 12.11 percent). At present, the City and County of Denver proper is in the fifth slot, with 628 deaths, accounting for 11.85 percent of Colorado’s COVID-19 casualties.
► There’s more evidence of the existence of Bigfoot than of freshman Republican Rep. Ron Hanks. Will that change next week when the Colorado legislature reconvenes?
► Erik Maulbetsch of The Colorado Times Recorder looks at a campaign finance complaint in Colorado that could reveal some very interesting information:
In a legal action that could unveil the names of high-rolling Republicans in Colorado and beyond, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Elections Division is moving ahead with its investigation of a conservative dark money group behind millions of dollars in campaign spending during the 2020 election cycle.
In a complaint filed Feb. 1 with the Office of Administrative Courts, Attorney General Phil Weiser alleges on behalf of the division that despite making six-figure contributions to three separate ballot issue committees, Unite for Colorado, a conservative advocacy group, failed to register itself as an issue committee for any of the measures…
…Unite for Colorado contributed over $2 million to three campaigns (in support of Propositions 116 and 117 and opposing Proposition 113).
However, in addition to splitting the $2 million three ways, it spent another $3.5 million opposing John Hickenlooper’s campaign for U.S. Senate, and Unite director Dustin Zvonek says it spent far more money it isn’t yet required to disclose.
► If there was even a tiny part of you that missed former Sen. Cory Gardner, this brief Fox News appearance will remind you otherwise.
► Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville inadvertently helped Democrats prosecuting the case for impeachment on Wednesday. Via POLITICO:
Tuberville revealed late Wednesday that he spoke to then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, just as a violent mob closed in on the Senate, and informed Trump that then-Vice President Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber.
“I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,’” the Alabama Republican told POLITICO on Capitol Hill, saying he cut the phone call short amid the chaos.
Tuberville’s recollection is a new and potentially significant addition to the timeline of Trump’s reaction to the violent mob of his supporters as it stormed the Capitol. Aides to the House impeachment managers, entering the second day of opening arguments, indicated the new details may come up before they rest their case Thursday and turn the trial over to Trump’s defense team.
Sorry, Mr. President. I’ll call you back if I don’t get killed by your violent mob.
► As The Washington Post reports, Congressional Democrats are looking to extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is hosting a series of Black History Month-focused town hall meetings.
► Former Congressman and regular gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo is not happy with Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney.
► Fox 31 Denver previews a Colorado legislative session focused on the economy that begins next week.
► Colorado Public Radio looks at how different school districts have handled a return to high school sports.
► Colorado has sold about a billion dollars worth of marijuana since legalization was approved in 2014.
► Judith Kohler of The Denver Post reports on some good news from Colorado:
Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility, has reached a significant milestone for how much wind energy capacity is in its system. Xcel is now one of only two energy companies in the country to have the capability of producing 10,000 megawatts of energy using wind.
Xcel Energy said Wednesday that it had a total of 10,000 megawatts at the end of 2020. The Minneapolis-based utility said 10 new projects in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and the Upper Midwest contributed.
The only other company to reach the 10,000-megawatt mark is Berkshire Hathaway Energy, parent company of MidAmerican and PacifiCorp utilities, Sam Brock, spokesman for the American Clean Power Association, said in an email. Both companies reached the mark in the fourth quarter of 2020.
One megawatt of wind energy can power roughly 300 to 500 U.S. homes, according to the association.
► State Sen. Brittany Pettersen and state Rep. Kerry Tipper delivered meals to frontline health workers in Lakewood on Wednesday.
► The Colorado Sun looks at the future of hydrogen power in Colorado and potential incentives to speed progress.
Say What, Now?
► Yup, that’s CU Regent and potential GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl spreading the political gospel of Pitbull:
Pitbull Warns Of Loss Of Freedom Amid Crisis: ‘Smells Like Communism’ https://t.co/2tVrbVCKYD
— Heidi Ganahl (@heidiganahl) February 11, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Josh Mandel, an early favorite for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, is kicking off his 2022 campaign by insisting that the 2020 Presidential election was indeed stolen from Donald Trump.
► Prominent Republicans are considering creating a new anti-Trump political party. Maybe they should spend more time talking to Senate Republicans about getting rid of Trump through the impeachment opportunity that is currently available.
Meanwhile, state and local Republican parties keep attacking elected Republican officials who dare say anything mean about former President Trump.
► Federal officials are considering potential domestic travel bans, including states such as Florida, out of concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is not being adequately addressed locally.
► Republicans think they have an opportunity to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022, but they apparently won’t be targeting any Democrats in Colorado.
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