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► House impeachment managers wrapped up their case against President Trump on Thursday, with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) again taking key roles. As The Denver Post reports:
As she made her case Thursday that former President Donald Trump must be convicted by the U.S. Senate for inciting an insurrection, Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette replayed and read aloud the words of Trump supporters who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear: the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes,” said the Denver Democrat, a prosecutor in Trump’s second impeachment trial. “Donald Trump had sent them there. They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president’s orders and we know that because they said so.”…
…Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat, gave a nine-minute speech late Wednesday afternoon. He attempted to pre-emptively cut down arguments from Trump’s lawyers that the former president’s remarks on Jan. 6 were free speech protected by the 1st Amendment.
“No president, no matter their politics or the politics of their followers — conservative, liberal or anything else — no president can do what President Trump did,” Neguse said. “Because this isn’t about politics, it’s about his refusal to accept the outcome of the election and his decision to incite an insurrection. There’s no serious argument that the 1st Amendment protects that.”
Colorado Public Radio has more on Thursday’s performances from DeGette and Neguse.
Impeachment 2.0 now shifts to the defense of former President Trump from his bumbling batch of lawyers. The front page of CNN summarizes the defense team’s approach pretty simply:
Senate Republicans appear to be largely unswayed by compelling arguments made by the House impeachment team — including evidence that former President Trump knew full well that Vice President Mike Pence was under siege when he sent a threatening Tweet. Many of the GOP Senators are not even bothering to pretend that they are paying attention anymore.
► As The New York Times reports, federal prosecutors charging members of the Oath Keepers militia movement say that the members themselves claim to have stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 at then-President Trump’s behest:
The new accounts about the Oath Keepers’ role in the Capitol assault came on the third day of former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial and included allegations that a member of the militia group was “awaiting direction” from Mr. Trump about how to handle the results of the vote in the days that followed the election. “POTUS has the right to activate units too,” the Oath Keepers member, Jessica M. Watkins, wrote in a text message to an associate on Nov. 9, according to court papers. “If Trump asks me to come, I will.”
This seems like a relevant point for Republican Senators to consider as they ponder impeachment questions. But if you are the betting type, it would still be hard to put money on the GOP doing anything other than looking the other way.
► It’s amazing what you can get done when you have a President who actually knows what he’s doing. As The Washington Post reports:
President Biden said Thursday that his administration had finalized deals for another 200 million doses of the two coronavirus vaccines authorized in the United States, giving the country enough vaccine by the end of July to cover every American adult.
In remarks capping an afternoon tour of the National Institutes of Health, Biden said the federal government had purchased 100 million more doses from Pfizer and German company BioNTech, as well as 100 million more from Moderna, using options built into existing contracts with those companies.
The announcement was the centerpiece of an emotional address from Biden, who made a point of speaking through his mask as he called it a “patriotic responsibility” to wear one.
The United States will now have about 600 million vaccine doses by the summer, which is enough to vaccinate every American with the recommended two doses.
► Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) loves to talk about “law and order”…just as long as the conversation isn’t about her or her COVID hotspot eatery, “Shooters Grill.”
Meanwhile, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel picks up the thread of Boebert paying off $20k worth of liens at around the same time she wrote herself a $21k mileage reimbursement check from her campaign.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…