Senate Democrats say FBI ignored tips in Brett Kavanaugh investigation

Here at Daily Kos, we all suffered through Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, recalling his indignant behavior while questioned, especially as juxtaposed with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s grace and clarity. We, too, likely recall that Donald Trump was relentless in pushing Kavanaugh's confirmation through. Recently, as Daily Kos covered, Michael Wolff revealed a conversation he supposedly had with Trump in his new book, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, in which Trump took credit for essentially “saving” Kavanaugh's life and expressed feeling disappointed in him in the end, saying he hasn’t had the “courage” to be a great justice.

This background lends an interesting light to a new report from The New York Times, in which fresh details on the FBI’s inquiry into Kavanaugh are causing serious—and legitimate—upset among some Senate Democrats. As covered by the Times, Jill Tyson, an assistant director at the FBI, wrote a letter to Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons explaining that the most “relevant” of more than 4,000 tips the agency received while investigating Kavanaugh were actually passed on to White House lawyers in the Trump administration. It’s unclear how those tips were handled, and Senate Democrats want answers.

For background, the letter from Tyson was actually written in response to a letter sent by Whitehouse and Coons back in 2019, in which they wanted more clarity on how the supplemental background check into Kavanaugh actually went down. Tyson’s letter stressed that the agency did not conduct a criminal investigation, only a background check. To Democrats, the agency failed in its duty to fully investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct—from Ford as well as subsequent allegations from two women who accused him of sexual misconduct—during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Kavanaugh has denied all allegations.

On Wednesday, seven Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee replied to the letter asking for more information about how Trump’s White House handled the investigation and those thousand of tips. Democrats who signed on to the letter included Sens. Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, Patrick Leahy, Mazie Hirono, and, of course, Whitehouse and Coons. 

Whitehouse spoke to the Times in an interview about the letter. Whitehouse told the Times Tyson’s response suggested the agency ran a “fake tip line” with responses never being “properly reviewed,” adding he assumed it was not even done in “good faith.” 

In a letter the Democratic lawmakers sent on Wednesday, and which was released to the public on Thursday, they argued: “If the FBI was not authorized to or did not follow up on any of the tips that it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line at all.”

As we know, neither Ford nor Kavanaugh were interviewed as part of the investigation. According to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI ultimately interviewed just 10 people before closing its investigation. Democrats have long suggested the investigation into Kavanaugh was incomplete and politically contained. 

Watch doctors, representatives, and the dad of a trans girl battle over anti-trans bill in Alabama

The nation is still facing the novel coronavirus, Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is underway, and more than 400,00 Americans have died already due to COVID-19. In all of this, a slew of states have found time to push anti-trans legislation. Now, Alabama’s state legislator is considering a fiercely transphobic bill, HB 1 and SB 1, that would make it a felony for physicians to provide transgender youth with gender-affirming medical care. In this legislation, gender-affirming care includes surgeries, hormones, and puberty blockers.

If the bill becomes law, physicians who provide gender-affirming care—which, by the way, can be lifesaving for trans youth—could face up to 10 years in prison. And somehow, this isn’t even the worst part of the proposal. Even beyond the language of the bill, however, it’s really the public hearing that involved physicians, members of the committee, and the parent of a transgender daughter that’s worth the long watch.

What makes all of this even worse? The bill essentially necessitates that physicians “out” trans youth to their parents if they request gender-affirming treatment. This is terrifying for trans youth for the same reasons it is for everyone: people deserve privacy, autonomy, and a trusting relationship with a medical professional includes honesty. It’s also terrifying for transgender youth because of potential risk of becoming homeless.

Republican Rep. Wes Allen sponsored and introduced the bill, with Republican Reps. Chip Brown and Shane Stringer also sponsoring it.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing to discuss the bill. One man, who introduced himself as a former police investigator, spoke about his daughter coming out to him as transgender at the age of sixteen, and how he initially suspected his child was gay. He talked about being “ignorant” and “not knowing anything” about transgender children, and that in investigating, he learned that transgender youth are disproportionately likely to attempt suicide—but that statistic drops when transgender youth get affirmation and acceptance. His speech was deeply earnest and moving. 

Later in the public hearing, he added, “I didn’t want my kids to be short,” the dad said. “Much less transgender.” His point being that parents don’t push their kids into being transgender or force hormones on them, but rather that parents want their kids to fit in and be safe. So, he had a learning process in understanding and accepting, and now argues on behalf of transgender youth getting the support and treatment they need and deserve.

A number of physicians did speak. On the one hand, a plastic surgeon appeared and spoke in favor of the bill. On the other hand, a physician spoke who argued against the bill in terms of its privacy violations, discussing that the law, as written, would take away confidentiality needed between minors and patients. This physician framed the issue in terms of abuse but obviously makes sense in terms of gender-affirming care as well. 

One representative noted they don’t have “medical training” and asked the physician arguing in favor of the bill to send studies he referenced. I believe the study in question is this one, a long-term study out of Sweden, that looks at suicidality and gender-affirming care. This physician used buzzwords like “mutilation,” “gender confusion,” and “transgenderism.” He described the use of some puberty blockers as a “public experiment.” 

“No one is served by a delusion,” the plastic surgeon stated at one point, adding that “affirmation therapy is the problem.” In reference to whether transgender youth should see psychiatrists or psychologists, he stressed that therapy is good, but that “We don’t want to affirm them in something that is not true.”

Now, of course, it makes sense that representatives can ask questions of people who appear at public hearings. What’s deeply concerning, however, is that there are, too, a number of physicians and health experts who are in favor of gender-affirming care—but they weren’t answering questions. Basically: Medicine, like many things in life, is not without bias. 

Thankfully, one representative did clarify that they’re speaking to him as though he’s the “premiere expert” on transgender youth, and asked what his specific area is, as well as what his peers and colleagues believe. Basically: Is the physician in front of us arguing the consensus of the medical committee, or is this a fringe opinion? (It’s not the consensus of the medical community, though, sadly, transphobia is also rampant in medicine, so it is far from a solitary perspective.)

“You’re not a pediatrician,” one representative asked, further clarifying. “You don’t necessarily treat gender dysphoria?”

The physician clarified that he does treat children, and noted, “In fact, they even label me as trans-friendly,” adding that he does hair removal as part of his practice. He clarified that if someone came to him for gender dysphoria, he would refer them to a psychologist. 

One representative snapped back against the plastic surgeon on the basis that what they’re really legislating is how people care for their children, as well as the fact that this legislation would make some medical care a literal felony.

Perhaps amplifying how clearly confusing this situation was, one representative asked: “Why in the world is this judiciary and not health? Or somebody who has some background?” There wasn’t a precise answer for that question, but perhaps reinforces why these bills continue to bubble up around the nation, and why people are, frankly, so misinformed. 

“It is terribly hard to be a transgender person in this world, anywhere,” the dad said in reference to Sweden's study on suicidality. That’s sadly, terribly, true—and a big reminder that we need structural, systemic change on every single level. 

Members did not vote on Wednesday. 

You can watch this session below.

Ayanna Pressley sums up why impeaching Donald Trump is about more than just symbolism

It’s been just over one month since pro-Trump insurgents rioted at the U.S. Capitol, creating both physical and emotional damages. Many who survived the riots have spoken out about their personal experiences, including, as Daily Kos covered, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has done two live videos detailing her trauma. For those of us who followed the insurgency from home, we know that after a group of countless white people invaded the Capitol, custodial workers—including many people of color—were left to clean their mess. 

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley spoke to CNN host Jake Tapper about just that subject on Sunday morning, appearing on State of the Union. Her response is smart, moving, and emotional, and absolutely worth a watch. Let’s delve into it below.

Tapper referenced the one-month anniversary of the insurgency, as well as Donald Trump’s impeachment trial beginning this coming Tuesday. “You lived through the events of January sixth,” Tapper stated. “What do you say to people who say, ‘Come on, just move on’?”

“If we really believe that this is a moment of reckoning in every way, then we must act accordingly,” Pressley replied. “And that means that Donald J. Trump must be held accountable because he is culpable for having incited this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie. This House has twice done its job. He will forever be the twice impeached president by this Democratic-majority led House.

Now, the Senate must honor their oath and impeach Donald J. Trump to hold him accountable,” Pressley continued. “But also, to bar him from running for public office ever again. And then, we know that he had accomplices. Who told on themselves. In broad daylight. They aided and abetted this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie. And they must be expelled. And then we must continue to investigate, Jake, so that any individuals or agencies that enabled this insurrection are taken to account.

But let me just say this, for those that continue to feign great surprise about what happened on January 6th. As a Black woman, to be barricaded in my office, using office furniture and water bottles… On the ground, in the dark. That terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me. And, I want us to do everything to ensure that a breach like this never occurs at the Capitol. But I want us to address the evil incurred that is white supremacy in this nation. This is not only about securing the Capitol to ensure that members, and our staffs, and custodial staff, and food services workers, are safe in the Capitol… It is that we are safe in America.

One of the images that I am haunted by,” Pressley continued, “is the Black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob. That is a metaphor for America. We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations. And it must end. So, impeach, expel, investigate.”

Tapper mentioned that some Congresspeople have expressed fear for their safety following the insurgency, and noted that they are not sharing Pressley’s location during the interview because of her “significant” security concerns and that many House colleagues blame rhetoric coming from some House Republicans. Surprising no one, Tapper mentioned Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

“Simply put,” he asked. “Do you feel safe going to work?”

“Look, I feel safe,” Pressley said. “Living with threats and living with bigots, who are as vile in their rhetoric as they are in the policies that they seek and enact, and the harm that they seek to cause the most marginalized communities, Black Americans in particular, is not new. Again, this is familiar in an ancestral sort of way. So, it is not going to deter or obstruct me from doing my job for the American people.” Then Pressley discussed the importance of a COVID-19 response that leaves no one behind.

Here’s that clip.

“One of the images that I’m haunted by is the black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob. That is a metaphor for America.” Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley discusses the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol and impeachment. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/t2i5su99Gj

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) February 7, 2021

On a related note, New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim tweeted about his personal experience cleaning up after the riots. The thread is quickly going viral and is well worth checking out, too.

It was a month ago when I found this broken eagle while cleaning the Capitol after the insurrection. I kept it as a tender reminder of the enormous work ahead to heal. This is one of several symbols I want to share with you as we think what comes next for our nation (THREAD) pic.twitter.com/u4SRgA8lxX

— Andy Kim (@AndyKimNJ) February 6, 2021

Watch Florida Republican try to explain why he thinks Trump impeachment trial is ‘stupid’

Appearing on Fox News Sunday to chat with host Chris Wallace, Sen. Marco Rubio delved into his feelings on former President Donald Trump. What about Trump, specifically? Oh, just the articles of impeachment against him. In a word, Rubio said he finds the trial “stupid.”

In a very slightly more eloquent attempt to express himself, Rubio said he feels, “We already have a flaming fire in this country,” and that a trial would amount to “a bunch of gasoline.” Basically, just another way of arguing that a trial would rupture unity efforts, even though as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued last week, ignoring all that’s gone is actually what is more likely to sow division in the country. Why? Because we need accountability. 

As of Sunday morning, at least one Republican sees the impeachment trial differently than Rubio, however. We can check out more of what Rubio said below, as well as what one of his peers in the Senate argued.

Rubio said he does think Trump “bears responsibility for some of what happened” and that it was “certainly a foreseeable consequence of everything that was going on.” It would be fascinating to hear what Rubio qualifies as “some” of what happened when a group of pro-Trump rioters surged into the U.S. Capitol and effectively terrorized elected officials. Rubio, instead, stressed he thinks that is “separate” from the idea of revisiting it and “stirring” it up. 

Here’s that clip.

Marco Rubio acknowledges Trump "bears responsibility" for the Capitol insurrection, but insists holding him accountable with an impeachment trial is the wrong move because it'll "stir up" the country again pic.twitter.com/egtvNAgrS8

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 24, 2021

Also related to the Trump family, Wallace asked Rubio how he feels about whispers that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, may run for a senate seat in Florida. Given that Rubio is up for reelection in 2022, a primary challenge is considerably important. Rubio, however, dodged the meat of the question by declaring that he doesn't “really get into the parlor games of Washington.”

He did say that if he wants to be “back in the U.S Senate, I have to earn that every six years” and that he doesn’t own his seat. Which is true, but would ring as a touch more meaningful if Florida didn’t have rampant voter suppression issues. 

Wallace also spoke to Sen. Mitt Romney about the impeachment trial, posing the same question to both Republicans. Did they agree with fellow Republicans who argued that the trial should be thrown out under the alleged basis that it’s unconstitutional to convict a former president? Rubio said yes, he’d definitely vote to nix the trial, but Romney thinks the proceedings are constitutionally solid. (Which, of course, they are.)

“if you look at the preponderance of the legal opinion by scholars over the years,” Romney explained, “the preponderance of opinion is that yes, an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office.” Romney, who did vote to convict in the first trial, however, did not say how he would vote either way a second time, noting they have yet to actually hear arguments and evidence from both sides. 

Nancy Pelosi nails response over concerns about impeachment sowing division in U.S.

During House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s weekly press briefing on Thursday morning, the California Democrat appeared to stop herself from making a mistake many of us may find ourselves making as we adjust to life in 2021. What is it? The speaker referred to Joe Biden as “vice president” and then updated her language with the now correct identifier: President Biden. As change goes, a pretty fun one to adjust to after four years of the Trump administration.

On a more serious note, however, the speaker stressed a point that will be reassuring to many progressives, Democrats, and, frankly, even some Republicans. In reference to the pro-Trump insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Pelosi said, “There is no question that there were members in this body who gave aid and comfort to those … with the idea that they were embracing a lie. ... A lie perpetuated by the president."

She went on to state that there will be an after-action review, and, if House lawmakers “did aid and abet, there will be more than just comments from their colleagues here. … There will be prosecution if they aided and abetted an insurrection in which people died.” Pelosi stressed, of course, that it all comes down to evidence, which, in her words, “remains to be seen.”

Let’s check out other highlights of her briefing, as well as clips, below.

Here’s that clip.

Speaker Pelosi says there will be consequences if House lawmakers are found to have aided and abetted insurrectionists: "More than just comments from their colleagues here, there will be prosecution." pic.twitter.com/OxtZLBAomy

— The Recount (@therecount) January 21, 2021

A journalist, identified on Twitter as Manu Raju of CNN, asked Pelosi if she was at all concerned that moving forward with an impeachment trial could contradict or undercut efforts to unify the country. In a word, she said, “No.”

Here’s that clip.

Speaker Pelosi says it would be “harmful to unity” to not hold Trump accountable for inciting the insurrection. The Senate must convict Trump. pic.twitter.com/gC8xBdyjzb

— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 21, 2021

“The fact is, the president of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection. I don’t think it’s very unifying to say, Oh, let’s just forget it and move on.” Pelosi stressed it’s their responsibility to protect and defend the integrity and constitution of the United States. 

"You don't say to a president, ‘Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration,’ ... 'You're going to get a Get Out of Jail Card free,' because people think we should make nice-nice and forget that people died here on January 6th."

Pelosi stressed she thinks forgetting would, in fact, be harmful to unifying the country. And she’s definitely right, even as some Republicans, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, argue: “What good comes from impeaching a guy in Florida?,” as though Trump has been just “a guy in Florida” for the last four years. 

On a heartwarming note, Pelosi talked about the inauguration as a “breath of fresh air” for the nation, and congratulated the three new Democratic senators, as well as celebrating the new majority Democrats hold in the Senate. 

Here is that clip.

Speaker Pelosi: "That inauguration was a breath of fresh air for our country." pic.twitter.com/pdlz73WFRe

— The Hill (@thehill) January 21, 2021

You can check out a full livestream below, courtesy of YouTube.

Every minute of AOC’s hour-long Instagram video about the pro-Trump insurgency is worth watching

On Tuesday night, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hopped onto an Instagram live video and shared her experience during the pro-Trump insurgency at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. In a moving address straight to followers (of which more than 100,000 people joined in to listen and watch), the progressive lawmaker said she had a “very close encounter” with the rioters and  “I thought I was going to die.” She repeated the chilling sentiment later in the hour-long video, saying, “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.” She did not give more details on the encounter, citing security reasons.

What did she give more details on? Her concerns about sheltering with some Republican lawmakers. Why? Because she was afraid some of them might give up her location or enable chances for her to be hurt or kidnapped by insurgents. Let’s dive more into that horrifying possibility, as well as the lawmaker’s discussion of trauma and political nihilism, below.

“I didn’t even feel safe going to that extraction point because there were QAnon and white supremacist members of Congress who I felt would disclose my location and create opportunities to allow me to be hurt,” Ocasio-Cortez stated. She did not explicitly name the colleagues she thought might expose her to danger. 

"Let me give you a sneak peek,” she stated in an address to Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. “You will never be president. You will never command the respect of this country, never. Never. And you should resign.”

Ocasio-Cortez also stressed that the two conservatives essentially cast their votes in an effort to overturn election votes “not out of genuine belief” but instead out of “political ambition.” She also described Donald Trump as a “traitor to our country,” which, of course, he is.

“I don't want to see the Republican Party talk about blue lives ever again,” Ocasio-Cortez said in reference to a Capitol police officer losing their life during the riot. “This was never about safety for them. It was always a slogan. … Because if they actually care about the rule of law, they would speak up when people break the law."

Ocasio-Cortez also spoke intimately about trauma, saying, “You have all of those thoughts where, at the end of your life, these thoughts come rushing to you. That’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday. I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. And not just in a general sense, but in a very specific sense." She also brought up that in addition to members of Congress, staffers, and even the children of lawmakers, were at the Capitol that day. 

On a personal level, Ocasio-Cortez said she found herself sleeping more in the days after the riot, and that, “to me is telling me that my body is going through something and my brain is trying to heal."

People, as usual, were impressed by the progressive’s ability to connect with people—even at 11 PM on a weeknight.

.@AOC just gave an impassioned speech about impeachment to more than 100,000 people on Instagram at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday night. Her natural political skills, spontaneous eloquence and fluency with social media are so striking, especially at a national moment like this.

— Liam Stack (@liamstack) January 13, 2021

AOC is giving a Gettysburg Address level oration over Instagram live right now "White supremacy is doomed to fail... supremacy is a myth, so they resort to violence"

— Prerna Jagadeesh (@PrernaJagadeesh) January 13, 2021

Watching @AOC’s Instagram live and knowing as it happens that it’ll be featured in history books one day as a piece of important oratory of the moment is really something.

— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) January 13, 2021

And her transparency was, as ever, moving and important.

Turns out the first moment of real human solidarity I've felt in the past 6 traumatizing days is watching @AOC's unbelievably moving instagram live with a bunch of friends and strangers who feel the same way on twitter at 11PM

— Helen Brosnan (@HelenBrosnan) January 13, 2021

Watching @AOC's instagram live helped me finally recognize all of the anger and grief and fear that's become so commonplace that I don't even notice I'm feeling it anymore. I'm really grateful for that.

— Taylor (@taylorjeanjn) January 13, 2021

AOC almost died the other day and got on Instagram Live to talk to us about trauma and what’s actually happening behind closed doors. Her transparency is a gift and will hopefully save lives pic.twitter.com/prLImsgDFT

— ilana kaplan (@lanikaps) January 13, 2021

In speaking about nihilism in politics, Ocasio-Cortez really hit home with an emotional address, saying, “What claim will you have? That you rule over a destroyed society? That the ashes belong to you?" Those are questions every member of the Trump administration should answer. 

You can also watch snippets of the live stream on YouTube below.

Update: This statement from fellow progressive Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff Sarah Groh about realizing panic buttons had reportedly been “torn out” of the Congresswoman's office adds another unsettling and chilling element.

According to Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff Sarah Groh, the panic buttons in the Congresswoman’s office were all “torn out—the whole unit.” They don’t know why or who did it. https://t.co/MLhxhi7nUp pic.twitter.com/l7wgoHOJKN

— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) January 13, 2021

GOP lawmaker’s tweet about Nancy Pelosi during riot at U.S. Capitol sparks calls for her resignation

Just over one week ago, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert went viral because of a video she sent out to Twitter in which she appeared to be strutting around Washington, D.C., with a Glock handgun. (A spokesperson for Boebert later clarified that the lawmaker was not actually carrying the gun throughout the video shoot.) Since then, the pro-Trump Colorado representative has gone viral for an even more nefarious reason. In fact, this isn’t even just a head-scratching digital ad. Many of her colleagues are calling for Boebert’s resignation over her behavior both before, and during, the pro-Trump insurgency against the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

Now, as a quick review, Congress was set to vote to certify the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Boebert, who has fully leaned into efforts to overturn the presidential election results, formally objected. That morning, before the insurgency, she tweeted: “Today is 1776.” What she tweeted while rioters were actually at the Capitol is what’s really chilling.

Here is the 1776 tweet.

Today is 1776.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

While pro-Trump insurgents were descending upon the Capitol, many lawmakers did take to Twitter. Boebert joined them … and decided to tweet out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been removed from the House Chambers. Though she did not specify where Pelosi had been moved to, obviously this tweet stunned countless people. After all, the viral photo of a man with his foot up on Pelosi’s desk is not quick to leave any of our minds soon. Nor is the report of a man who traveled from Colorado to Washington, D.C. who was arrested for allegedly making threats against Pelosi. There are reports that some who invaded the Capitol were searching for not only Pelosi but also Vice President Mike Pence and Schumer. 

So it’s safe to say Boebert’s tweets were both chilling and concerning.

The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021

Boebert, however, only doubled down in releasing a statement on the calls for her resignation, saying in part, “We should take Democrats at their word when they say never let a crisis go to waste. Their hypocrisy is on full display with talks of impeachment, censure and other ways to punish Republicans for false accusations of inciting the type of violence they have so frequently and transparently supported in the past.”

In terms of her choice to tweet about Pelosi, Boebert argued, “They accuse me of live-tweeting the Speaker’s presence after she had been safely removed from the Capitol, as if I was revealing some big secret, when in fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV.”

She suggested that “leading Democrats” have encouraged “mob violence,” including former President Barack Obama and President-elect Joe Biden. She also accused a number of celebrities of doing the same, for who knows what reason, including Madonna and Johnny Depp.

And earlier Tuesday, she’s back with a pseudo unity call on Twitter.

Calling 75,000,000 Americans domestic terrorists is not unity.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 12, 2021

There are currently 211 House members, and 28 senators who are on record supporting impeachment & removal, and over 200 House members have cosponsored the impeachment resolution. Regardless of where your members of Congress stand, please send them a letter.

Hillary Clinton gets brutally honest about what our nation needs to do if we want to heal post-Trump

Less than one week after a group of pro-Trump insurgents rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton published a smart, somber analysis in The Washington Post. Surprising few, Clinton calls for Donald Trump to be impeached. She discusses the grief, horror, and trauma that comes with an insurgency at the Capitol. But she also discusses the white supremacy that enabled Trump—who wasn’t surprised by the violent riot in Washington, D.C. last week—and, perhaps most importantly, what President-elect Joe Biden must prioritize as president. 

Let’s discuss her op-ed below.

Clinton (accurately) points out that Trump ran for office “on a vision of America where whiteness is valued at the expense of everything else.” During his time in the White House, he emboldened white supremacists and conspiracy theorists and sowed a deep mistrust in some of the nation’s fundamental values, like a free and fair election, for example. Most recently, Clinton argues, when it came to the riotous attack on the Capitol, “Trump left no doubt about his wishes, in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and with his incendiary words before his mob descended.”

The obvious answer most Democrats, progressives, moderates, and even some Republicans agree on? We need to prosecute the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol. But as Clinton points out, it’s not actually enough to merely “scrutinize — and prosecute“ them. According to Clinton, “We all need to do some soul-searching of our own.”

Clinton points out that many, many people in this nation were not in the least bit surprised by what happened last Wednesday. Who? Many people of color. Why? Because, as Clinton puts it, “a violent mob waving Confederate flags and hanging nooses is a familiar sight in American history.” In bringing us through recent horrors, Clinton references police violence during Black Lives Matter protests and stresses the fact that if we want unity and some degree of healing, that process “starts with recognizing that this is indeed part of who we are.”

In practical terms, Clinton outlines a few key starting points. She wants to see social media platforms held accountable in efforts to stop the spread of violent speech, new state and federal laws to hold white supremacists accountable, and tracking the insurgents who stormed the Capitol. 

In the biggest, most immediate picture, Clinton wants to see Trump impeached and believes the Congress members who enabled him should resign immediately. Unsurprisingly, she also argues that “those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately.”

There are currently 159 House members and 24 senators who are on record supporting impeachment and removal. Regardless of where your members of Congress stand, please send them a letter.

‘Lies, lies, lies’: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech about Trump and fellow Republicans goes viral

In the days since a group of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., sending elected officials into temporary hiding and the nation into a period of shock and horror, a number of Republicans have spoken out against Donald Trump. Whether they’ve criticized his endless insistence that he actually won the 2020 presidential election (he didn’t), called for Trump to resign, both long-standing critics and newly vocalized GOP members are speaking out against Trump.

In a moving, personal video, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger succinctly described Trump as a “failed leader” and someone who “will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.” Direct jabs aside, however, Schwarzenegger also dove deep into serious matters and discussed intergenerational trauma, personal examples from his youth in Austria, and directed a very important message to not only Trump but the Republicans who enabled him. He also wished “great success” to President-elect Joe Biden for when he takes office in less than a month. Let’s check out the video below.

First, in reference to Trump, Schwarzenegger states, “President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.” Obviously, the extra layer of zing here is that Twitter (as well as a handful of other social media platforms) recently permanently suspended Trump from their platforms.

On a personal note, Schwarzenegger discussed growing up in the long-term wake of Kristallnacht (also known as the Night of Broken Glass). Schwarzenegger described Kristallnacht as “a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys,” and said the insurgent’s attack on the Capitol last Wednesday was “the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted [and] trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.”

Schwarzenegger talked about how intergenerational trauma (though he didn’t use that term) can affect an entire society. In his case, Schwarzenegger described being a child and watching his father come home drunk once or twice a week, hitting and scaring his mother. He said it felt normal because he knew it happened at neighbors' houses, too. Why? According to Schwarzenegger, this behavior tied to collective guilt and horror after World War II, saying these men were “in emotional pain for what they saw or did.” In his words, he grew up “surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history."

“It all started with lies, lies, lies, and intolerance,” Schwarzenegger stated. “Being from Europe I’ve seen firsthand how bad things can spin out of control.”

In terms of his fellow Republicans, Schwarzenegger called out those who “enabled” Trump’s “lies and his treachery.” He also quoted former President Teddy Roosevelt to them, saying, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.”

“To those who think they can overturn the United States constitution, know this: You will never win,” he stated, asking for the people responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol to be held accountable. 

Here’s the video on Twitter, which has garnered more than 6 million views at the time of writing. It’s about seven minutes long, but honestly, is worth the full watch.

My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/blOy35LWJ5

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021

You can watch the full video on his YouTube channel below.

There are currently 159 House members, and 24 senators who are on record supporting impeachment & removal. Regardless of where your members of Congress stand, please send them a letter.

AOC cuts to the point: ‘We came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday’

After an incredibly chaotic, exhausting, and, frankly, terrifying week, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on ABC’s This Week and talked to host George Stephanopoulos about what we all know is true: “Every minute” that Donald Trump sits in office “represents a clear and present danger.” As many on social media have pointed out, if Trump can’t even be trusted with a Twitter account, how can he be trusted to run the country, hold nuclear codes, or guide us through a global pandemic? 

Still, some people are frustrated at the notion of removing Trump so close to the end of his term, wondering, Well, what’s the point? There’s symbolism, of course, in impeaching Trump for a second time. But there are also real, tangible benefits to removing Trump from office that can affect the country in both the short and long-term. Let’s check out how Ocasio-Cortez breaks them down in the clips below.

“Our main priority is to ensure the removal of Donald Trump as President of the United State,” Ocasio-Cortez told Stephanopoulos. “Every minute and every that he is in office represents a clear and present danger not just to the United States Congress but to the country. But in addition to removal, we’re also talking about completely barring the president—or rather, Donald Trump—from running for office ever again. And in addition to that, the potential ability to prevent pardoning himself from those charges that he was impeached for.”

Here’s that clip.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backs impeachment, telling @GStephanopoulos “every minute" that Trump is "in office represents a clear and present danger.” “We’re also talking about complete barring of (Donald Trump) from running for office ever again.” https://t.co/k4g6uA7rAo pic.twitter.com/k5nIiWuOtx

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 10, 2021

Stephanopolous asked Ocasio-Cortez about the concerns of some that having an impeachment trial could slow down getting Biden’s agenda underway, including, for example, passing coronavirus relief and confirmations. Ocasio-Cortez argued that the “safety” of the president, Congress, and the “security of our country takes precedence over the timing of nominations” and potential “confirmations.”

Asked about some concerns that an impeachment trial in the Senate would delay Biden’s agenda, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she believes “safety” and the “security of our country takes precedence over the timing of nominations” and “confirmations.” https://t.co/FnD9YSf2TE pic.twitter.com/EKlvs71yj4

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 10, 2021

Stephanopoulos referenced a letter sent on behalf of a number of Republicans who implored President-elect Biden to forego impeachment for the sake of “unity,” arguing that it is “unnecessary” and “inflammatory.” The group of House Republicans, led by Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, wrote: “In the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution, we ask that you formally request that Speaker Nancy Pelosi discontinue her efforts to impeach President Donald J. Trump a second time.”

To that, Ocasio-Cortez hammered down on the point that what happened this past week was an “insurrection against the United States.” The New York City progressive argued that “healing” requires “accountability.” She pointed out that if we allow insurrection to happen with impunity, “we are inviting it to happen again.” 

“We came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,” Ocasio-Cortez stated. “If a foreign head of state, if another head of state, came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say that should not be prosecuted? Would we say that there should be absolutely no response to that? No. It is an act of insurrection. It is an act of hostility.” She stressed that without accountability, “it will happen again.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez pushes back against some GOP lawmakers suggesting a second impeachment of Pres. Trump would threaten unity: "The process of healing is separate and in fact requires accountability... because without it, it will happen again." https://t.co/eefTDFOx31 pic.twitter.com/e4ZRTszpAv

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 10, 2021

There are currently 159 House members, and 24 senators who are on record supporting impeachment & removal. Regardless of where your members of Congress stand, please send them a letter.