The six Republican rebels who voted against Trump

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In the Oval Office, Biden meets corporate leaders

As the drama of Trump’s impeachment trial was unfolding, President Joe Biden was meeting with top industry leaders in the Oval Office.

Biden met with the chief executives of JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Gap Inc, and Lowe’s Companies and said he intended to discuss his administration’s economic recovery bill as well as infrastructure and the minimum wage.

Biden said he agreed with a proposal by Democratic lawmakers that would limit or phase out stimulus payments to higher-income individuals as part of his $US1.9 trillion ($2.45 trillion) coronavirus relief bill.

The president, speaking during the meeting with corporate leaders, said he had been in touch with Republican leaders about the package.

“I think we’re in a position to … think big,” he said.

Reuters1 hr ago – 10.10am

‘They thought they were going to die’

The congressman’s voice cracked and he paused to drink from a bottle of water as he told of apologising to his daughter for bringing her to the US Capitol on the day a deadly mob overran it.

But it was recalling what she said to him next, after he assured her nothing like that would happen again, that made Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin break down.

“She said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol,’” Raskin said softly, squeezing his nose and shaking his head to clear away tears. “Of all the terrible, brutal things I saw and I heard on that day and since then, that one hit me the hardest.

Raskin, 58, a former constitutional law professor, is leading the impeachment prosecution in the Senate of former President Donald Trump, who is charged with inciting last month’s siege of the Capitol to overturn the election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Senate votes 56-44 to proceed with trial

After the arguments on the constitutionality of the trial were completed, the Senate voted 56 to 44 to proceed with it.

Donald Trump is charged with inciting the insurrection that took place on January 6, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including one police officer.

The proceedings will resume on Thursday AEDT.

Six Republicans voted with all Democrats to proceed with the trial: Bill Cassidy from Louisiana; Mitt Romney of Utah; Ben Sasse of Nebraska; Susan Collins of Maine; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; and, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.3 hrs ago – 9.11am

Trial ‘will tear this country apart’: Trump lawyer

The Washington Post

David Schoen was the the second lawyer to speak on Donald Trump’s behalf, and he accused House impeachment managers of using “pure, raw, misguided partisanship” to divide the country further.

“This trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we have only seen once before in our history,” Schoen said, alluding to the Civil War.

Taking issue in particular with a video that House impeachment managers showed in their opening statement, he accused Democrats of engaging in “a blood sport of sorts”, saying it shouldn’t have been necessary to actually show the insurrection, which resulted in five deaths, in such graphic detail.3 hrs ago – 8.47am

Video of Capital assault introduced in Senate trial

The following is the video introduced by House impeachment managers at the start of Donald Trump’s Senate trial

Compiled by Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, the viral video shows a Trump rally, and his supporters raiding the Capitol.4 hrs ago – 8.18am

Trump lost election, one of his attorney’s says

The Washington Post

In a meandering 48-minute speech, Trump attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. praised senators, argued that Trump should not be punished for “political speech” and — in a move that is likely to displease the former president — acknowledged that Trump lost the 2020 election.

“President Trump no longer is in office,” Castor said. “The object of the Constitution has been achieved. He was removed by the voters.”

Castor also said that Trump’s remarks on January 6 were simply a matter of “free and robust political speech” rather than incitement of insurrection, “and if people go and commit lawless acts as a result of their beliefs and they cross the line, they should be locked up”.

Twitter user growth misses expectations

Reuters

Twitter posted 27 per cent user growth, missing Wall Street estimates, and warned this rate would slow in the upcoming quarters as a boost from the pandemic fizzles.

The social media company, which beat quarterly sales and profit estimates, said expenses would rise 25 per cent or more in 2021 but projected that total revenue would grow faster than costs.

In the fourth quarter, Twitter said it had 192 million average monetizable daily active users (mDAU) – its term for the number of daily users who can view ads. Analysts were expecting 196.5 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Twitter said user growth was driven by product improvements and more global conversation from events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the US election. Some temporary changes to reduce misinformation around the US election had a small negative impact on global user growth, it said.Advertisement4 hrs ago – 7.46am

Republican senators look away as riot video played

The Washington Post

Almost every senatorial eye in the chamber was glued to the screens as lead House manager Jamie Raskin (a Democrat from Maryland) played a 13-minute video depicting the events of January 6 to introduce the impeachment case against Trump — with a few notable exceptions.

While the screen showed demonstrators marching on the Capitol, Senator Rand Paul ( a Republican from Kentucky) looked down at the pad of lined paper in his lap, where he had already begun doodling with a pencil.

Behind him, Senator Rick Scott ( a Republican from Florida) studied papers in his lap, taking only the tiniest glimpses at the screen to his right.

A few seats over, Senator Tom Cotton ( a Republican from Arkansas) also focused most of his attention on papers in front of him instead of on the images depicting the insurrection at the Capitol, and a few seats from him, Senator Marco Rubio ( a Republican from Florida) did the same.

The Washington Post

Representative David N. Cicilline (a Democrat from Rhode Island), another of the House impeachment managers, cited Trump’s remarks in a tweet the former president sent hours after the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

While the rest of the country was “absolutely horrified” by the events that were unfolding at the Capitol that day, “we also know how President Trump himself felt about the attack”, Cicilline said.

He then read aloud a tweet that Trump sent that afternoon: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

The tweet was deleted before Twitter later suspended Trump’s account due to such statements.

“Every time I read that tweet, it chills me to the core,” Cicilline said. “The president of the United States sided with the insurrectionists. He celebrated their cause. He validated their attack. He told them, ‘Remember this day forever,’ hours after they marched through these halls looking to assassinate Vice President Pence, the speaker of the House and any of us they could find.”4 hrs ago – 7.36am

Raskin begins trial with emotional review of attack

AP

Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, grew emotional as he concluded the Democrats’ first round of arguments in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.

Raskin spoke about his personal experience in the Capitol on January 6. He had been joined by family members that day — the day after he had buried his son, who took his own life in December.

His daughter and son-in-law were in an office in the Capitol and hid under a desk, where they sent what they thought were their final texts. He says, “They thought they were going to die.”

Separated from them in the House chamber, Raskin described people around him calling to say goodbye to their families, members removing their congressional pins to try to evade detection. And he said he heard the rioters “pounding on the door like a battering ram” — a sound he said he would “never forget”.

He choked up as he recounted his daughter telling him she never wanted to return to the Capitol again.

Through tears, Raskin says, “This cannot be the future of America.”

Source: afr.com

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