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On the roster: Pelosi: Will impeach if cabinet won’t oust Trump – Garland, judge and famed prosecutor, to lead DOJ – ‘Oh yeah, we can’t have that’
PELOSI: WILL IMPEACH IF CABINET WON’T OUST TRUMP
Fox News: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for President Trump‘s immediate removal from office by way of the 25th Amendment for inciting a violent riot at the Capitol Wednesday in an attempt to stop the counting of President-elect Joe Biden‘s win. She joins with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in urging Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to remove Trump from office immediately, calling him ‘a very dangerous person’ who committed an ‘act of sedition.’ Pelosi said if Pence won’t act, the House is prepared to impeach Trump again. ‘The president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people,’ Pelosi said Thursday, a day after a pro-Trump supporters took over the U.S. Capitol. ‘I joined the Senate Democratic Leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and cabinet do not, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.’ ‘The President of the United States incited an insurrection against America,’ Pelosi added.”
Transportation secretary to resign in protest – USA Today: “Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will resign from her position, she announced Thursday. Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the first Cabinet secretary to resign after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday in an attempt to halt the counting of Electoral College votes. ‘Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,’ Chao said in a statement. ‘As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.’ Chao noted her office would continue to help Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for transportation secretary, transition into his role.”
Pence furious – Tulsa [Okla.] World: “[U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe] hedged on who he thought might be to blame for what happened [Wednesday], but he allowed that Trump did not do enough to stop it. … Instead, Trump directed his disdain toward Vice President Mike Pence… By doing so, he may have alienated one of his most steadfast allies. ‘I’ve known Mike Pence forever,’ Inhofe said Tuesday night. ‘I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.’ ‘I had a long conversation with him,’ said Inhofe. ‘He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump).’’ Aside from Wednesday’s attempted takeover of the Capitol, the past few days have been difficult for Inhofe because he refused to go along with protesting the Electoral College results. ‘We’ve had calls. We’ve had threats. … I have many very, very close friends mad at me, when all I’m doing is upholding my oath,’ Inhofe said.”
Kinzinger backs removal – Fox News: “GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger has called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked against President Trump following a harrowing day at the nation’s Capitol. ‘The president is unfit, and the president is unwell,’ Kinzinger said in a searing video posted to Twitter on Thursday, a day after thousands of rioters flocked to Washington, D.C., to stymie the vote to certify the Electoral College tally for President-elect Joe Biden. Pro-Trump supporters, encouraged by the president’s rhetoric, stormed into the building, forcing lawmakers into hiding for hours. He called on Vice President Mike Pence and the majority of the Cabinet to use the Constitutional amendment to declare Trump unfit for office and ‘ensure the next few weeks are safe for the American people.’”
Barr: Trump committed ‘betrayal of his office’ – Politico: “Former Attorney General William Barr accused President Donald Trump on Thursday of a ‘betrayal of his office’ — the latest rebuke of the president by a former high-ranking administration official after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. ‘Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable,’ Barr said in a statement obtained by POLITICO. ‘The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.’ Barr’s criticism on Thursday was not his first public comment on the chaos at the Capitol. As the president’s supporters breached the building on Wednesday afternoon, he released a statement through his spokesperson that did not refer to Trump by name. ‘The violence at the Capitol Building is outrageous and despicable,’ Barr said on Wednesday. ‘Federal agencies should move immediately to disperse it.’”
Top officials leave over Trump misconduct – Fox News: “With just two weeks left before the Trump administration vacates Washington D.C., some staffers are resigning in protest after demonstrations breached the U.S. Capitol Wednesday by protesters following a speech by President Trump. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, East Wing Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham, and Social Secretary Rickie Niceta all submitted their resignations after pro-Trump supporters mobbed the U.S. Capitol building to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes. Late Thursday morning, a senior administration official told Fox News that Matt Pottinger, deputy national security adviser, resigned Wednesday afternoon as a result of the president’s actions and the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Mick Mulvaney — special envoy to Northern Ireland and President Trump’s former chief of staff — on Thursday also resigned, telling CNBC: ‘I can’t stay here.’”
Trump repeats claims that drove mob in response to certification – Fox News: “President Trump promised an ‘orderly transition’ on Jan. 20 after Congress early Thursday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden his presidential victory. The certification came after a day in Washington, D.C., that was marred by pro-Trump protesters storming the U.S. Capitol. Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff, posted a statement from Trump on Twitter that called for calm in the early hours of Thursday morning. ‘Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,’ the statement read.”
THE RULEBOOK: RAYS OF GLORY FROM THE GLOOM
“If now and then intervals of felicity open to view, we behold them with a mixture of regret, arising from the reflection that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom, while they dazzle us with a transient and fleeting brilliancy, they at the same time admonish us to lament that the vices of government should pervert the direction and tarnish the lustre of those bright talents and exalted endowments for which the favored soils that produced them have been so justly celebrated.” – Alexander Hamilton, in his essay “The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection,” Federalist No. 9
TIME OUT: IT MUST HAVE BEEN MOONGLOW
The Writer’s Almanac: “On this date in 1610, Galileo wrote a letter describing his discovery of three of Jupiter’s moons. He discovered them in December, after improving his telescope design. He wasn’t sure at first they were moons; he thought they were fixed stars. He soon realized that they were actually orbiting the giant planet. Since most people at that time still believed in the Ptolemaic theory that the Earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around us, it was an important discovery. It went a long way toward confirming Copernicus’s controversial theory that the Earth went around the sun and not the other way around, something that Galileo believed as well. A rival astronomer, Simon Marius, discovered the moons at about the same time, and he named them after four of Zeus’s mythological lovers. Marius’s names stuck, and today we know the moons as Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.”
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GOT A WILD PITCH? READY TO THROW A FASTBALL?
We’ve brought “From the Bleachers” to video on demand thanks to Fox Nation. Each Wednesday and Friday, Producer Brianna McClelland will put Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt to the test with your questions on everything about politics, government and American history – plus whatever else is on your mind. Sign up for the Fox Nation streaming service here and send your best questions to [email protected]
GARLAND, JUDGE AND FAMED PROSECUTOR, TO LEAD DOJ
CBS News: “President-elect Joe Biden will announce Thursday he has selected Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee for attorney general. Garland serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was nominated by former President Barack Obama to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in 2016. But his nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans who argued the American people should have a say in selecting the president who fills the vacancy. In addition to serving on the D.C. Circuit, where he was its chief judge until February 2020, Garland is a veteran of the Justice Department, leading the prosecutions of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and Ted Kaczynski, the ‘Unabomber.’”
Biden said to pick Boston mayor as Labor boss – Politico: “President-elect Joe Biden has picked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former top union leader, to serve as his Labor secretary, according to four sources, ending a selection process that split the labor movement and stoked diversity concerns among Democrats. Walsh beat out a host of other names floated for the position, including Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), former Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris, California Labor Secretary Julie Su and AFL-CIO Chief Economist Bill Spriggs. His selection suggests that Biden was willing to overlook calls for a diversity choice, since Walsh is a white man, and Asian American and Pacific Islanders had been lobbying heavily for Su. Spriggs is Black.”
Biden reportedly will name R.I. governor to lead Commerce – WSJ: “President-elect Joe Biden is expected to choose Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his commerce secretary and Isabel Guzman, a California economic development official, to lead the Small Business Administration, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Raimondo was elected as the first female governor of Rhode Island in 2014. Before that, she served as the state’s general treasurer. She also led the Democratic Governors Association from 2018 to 2019. Before she entered public service, Ms. Raimondo co-founded Point Judith Capital, a venture-capital firm. Ms. Guzman was a senior official at the SBA during the Obama administration, serving as deputy chief of staff. In 2019, she became the director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, where she helped implement a grant program for businesses affected by the pandemic.”
Cotton condemns tactics used by Cruz, Hawley – The Hill
The complete list of lawmakers who backed Trump bid to steal election – NYT
Hoyer announces no sessions of the House until after the inauguration – Fox News
Pence chief of staff says Trump locked him out of White House – NY Post
The Judge’s Ruling: COVID restrictions violate our natural rights to personal liberty – Fox News
AUDIBLE: ‘GETTING IN TUNE TO THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW’
“The rule of law is not just some lawyer’s turn of phrase. It is the essence of our democracy.” – Merrick Garland in a speech after President-elect Joe Biden introduced him as his attorney general pick on Thursday, per The Atlantic.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I was just sitting here wishing I could get Stirewalt’s take on today’s events, lamenting that there would probably be no Halftime Report today. Then this showed up in my inbox. We love you, Chris — thank you. … I had held a cynical take on all this election fraud nonsense (that it was to raise money, or pressure states to rollback their vote-by-mail programs, or both). But I struggle to reconcile that take with the call with Brad Raffensperger. I do worry that Trump has now spent 8 weeks drinking his own Kool-Aid.” – Shawn A. Van Ness, Browns Point, Wash.
[Ed. note: As much as I wanted to just melt into a puddle after staying up all night for the Georgia runoffs and then a day spent watching the riot, I knew I needed to be with you lovely people. You did me more good than I did you, I promise.]
“I agree with every carefully chosen word you wrote [Wednesday] about the attack on our Capitol, our country and [the Republican] Party. I am, as Mitt Romney once claimed to be ‘severely conservative.’ There is no time for whatboutism or ‘Antifa is bad too’ today. I’m without words to say more. Maybe you can keep writing for all of us.” – Brian D. Liddicoat, Watsonville, Calif.
[Ed. note: Antifa most certainly is bad. So is social isolation. So is the decline of the nation’s spiritual health. So is the rise of negative partisanship. So is the dearth of local news coverage. There’s so much that is bad in American public life these days. But what really saddens me are those who pretend Wednesday’s ransacking was inevitable. Aside from excusing the conduct of the vandals and rioters, it suggests somehow that the case for America is hopeless. What a sad betrayal of the sacrifices made to provide the extraordinary opportunities we now enjoy. The doom caucus helped lead us here. It’s time to start tuning them out.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at [email protected] and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
‘OH YEAH, WE CAN’T HAVE THAT’
KSTP: “A man is in custody after assaulting a trooper who responded to a crash Sunday night in Brooklyn Center [Minn.], and a good Samaritan is receiving praise for helping. …The good Samaritan, later identified as Vincent Williams from Fridley, … was heading to the store Sunday when he saw the trooper was in need of assistance, ‘I had seen his fists go up, I was like ‘oh he’s tussling’, let me go and stop and see what’s going on, it looks like he needs assistance, I was just thinking If I had driven off and something would have happened, I would have felt bad. I saw [the suspect] try to un-holster [the trooper’s] gun, I was like ‘oh yeah, we can’t have that’, knowing the conditions outside we’re on the side of the freeway too, I didn’t know if his hands were wet or anything, if he gets his gun it could be me and the trooper that are gone… you know,’ Williams continued.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Consider the oath of office that we take for granted. Whenever we bestow upon anyone the authority to wield the power of the state over free citizens, we make them swear to protect not the people, not the nation, not the flag, but the Constitution of the United States. A piece of paper.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column from the Washington Post on Nov. 29, 2018, excerpted from his posthumous book, “The Point of It All.”
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.