Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Jan 21, 2022
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 capitol riots has asked the former President’s daughter to meet for an interview. A Georgia prosecutor who is also investigating events surrounding 2020 election interference may secure the power to subpoena uncooperative witnesses. The Trump campaign may have been more involved in trying to flip the electoral college than previously thought. And Ukraine had harsh words for President Biden yesterday after a lukewarm statement from the U.S. leader. All this and more in today’s PDB.
1 - First, Ask Nicely
The House committee investigating Jan. 6 has reached out to Ivanka Trump
The committee has asked Ivanka Trump to voluntarily cooperate with their request for an interview concerning her communications with former President Donald Trump during key moments on Jan. 6, 2021. The committee would like to discuss a telephone call between the former president and then-Vice President Mike Pence that they say Ivanka witnessed in-person, in the Oval Office, in which Trump pushed Pence to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election. Earlier this week, the committee subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani and other members of Trump’s legal team that supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. (Source: AP)
2 - Second, Head Down South
A Georgia prosecutor investigating 2020 election interference wants backup
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has encountered numerous noncooperative witnesses in her search for the truth about the 2020 election, so now she’s looking to pull out the big guns. In a letter to Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher, she requested a special grand jury for the case so that they would have the power to subpoena hesitant witnesses. Willis is investigating calls between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and between Raffensperger and Senator Lindsey Graham, as well as the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on January 4th. (Source: NBCNews)
3 - Third, Follow the Crumbs
Rudy Giuliani led Trump campaign officials in pushing illegitimate electors
The 2020 U.S. presidential election just won’t die, will it? In December of 2020, it seems ex-President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani coordinated a state-by-state project that involved putting forward illegitimate electors to replace Biden’s electors before Congress counted the electoral college votes on January 6, 2021. The news, which comes from three sources close to the scheme, could mean that Trump’s campaign team was much more involved in the plan than previously thought. One of the fake electors, Meshawn Maddock, even stated at a recent event that “We fought to seat the electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that.” (Source: CNN)
4 - No Small Thing
Ukrainian President rebuffs U.S. President Biden’s comments on Russia
Earlier this week, Biden said that a “minor incursion” from Russia into Ukraine could warrant a weaker response from NATO and the U.S. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed back against such logic, tweeting “There are no minor incursions. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.” White House officials have been doing damage control since Biden’s comments, which implied a less-than-committed stance on retaliation. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to walk back the statement yesterday, insisting that any incursion from Russia would be met with a “swift, severe and united response.” Diplomatic overtures continue today, as Blinken meets with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in the hopes of averting a a potentially devastating new war in Europe. (Source: BBC, NYT)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Intel to invest $20 Billion in chip-making complex in Ohio. To overcome the global computer chip shortage, Intel announced Ohio as the new site for domestic production. It is estimated to employ over 3,000 people. (Source: NYT) Lobbying firms make record revenue in 2021. The industry largely profited from fighting Democratic proposals to reshape industries and stop corporate consolidation. (Source: TheHill) Jury selected in George Floyd federal trial. Officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Keung will be tried for depriving Floyd of his civil rights and for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. (Source: AP)
Congresswoman Katie Porter
As She Discusses Her January 6th Close Call
1 - An Electric Year Ahead
Bank of America predicts a big year for electric vehicle market
A new wave is coming, and luckily this time it has nothing to do with the pandemic. Analysts at Bank of America have projected that 2022 will be a “major year of commercialization” for the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Legacy automakers plan to release a slew of new electrics, including Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Ford’s electric F-150. Over the next two years, the analysts predict EVs will more than double their market share from 6% to 16% in 2024. While encouraging, that growth rate will not hit President Biden’s ambitious goal of EVs growing to 50% of U.S. passenger vehicles by 2030. (Source: Axios)
2 - Benevolent Money Bags
Rap star Cardi-B offers to pay burial cost for 17 killed in Bronx blaze
As every Cardi fan knows, Ms. Belcalis Almanzar was born in the Bronx, NY, and proud of it. So when a tragic fire killed 17 people in a Bronx high-rise, Cardi knew she needed “to do something to help,” she said in a statement. The rapper has already committed to paying to repatriate victims who will be buried in their homeland in Gambia, according to NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ office. The fire, which was sparked by a faulty space heater, was the city’s deadliest in 30 years. Multiple complaints of neglect had been lodged by tenants before the fire, including lack of heat. (Sources: AP, NYT)
3 - Spotlight on Benedict
Former Pope Benedict XVI implicated in four child abuse cases
The former Pope, who is still alive at 94 and living in the Vatican City, has been incriminated in a German probe into the Catholic Church. It concerns his tenure as archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, during which he was known as Josef Ratzinger. The probe alleges that Ratzinger knew about a priest’s history of abusing boys being transferred into his diocese and still allowed him to work in pastoral care roles which involved visiting and supporting those in the community. The pope emeritus denies all allegations but expressed support for the inquiry. (Source: BBC)
4 - Racist Rough Rider Retires
Theodore Roosevelt will no longer grace the steps of a New York institution
When you visit the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, you will no longer be greeted by the statue of the 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt atop a horse, flanked by two unnamed, shirtless men. The statue is in the process of being taken down and shipped to North Dakota, likely in part because the two men standing beneath Roosevelt are Native American and of African descent, respectively. The museum’s own website notes that, although the statue has stood for some 80 years, many have found the statue’s implicit racial hierarchy “disturbing.” (Source: NPR)
5 - Move Over, McRib
The McPlant might be coming to a McDonald’s near McYou
The fast food giant has announced that it will begin selling its meatless burger at 600 locations in and around San Francisco and Dallas, starting on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). The McPlant was developed with Beyond Meat, the company that has attracted attention in recent years for its realistic plant-based meat substitutes. It’s a pretty big scale up from their initial introduction of the McPlant at only eight stores in November. McDonald’s has been relatively slow on the uptake with plant-based burgers; Burger King introduced its Impossible Whopper in 2019, and KFC announced it’s taking its Beyond Meat tenders nationwide earlier this month. (Source: ABCNews)
We asked, you spoke!
Your responses to Tuesday’s, January 18th, poll on the Wealth Tax:
“Given the increasing wealth disparities in the U.S. and around the world, should governments impose more taxes on the rich?” The overwhelming response was yes, and included thoughtful comments, such as: tax transactions of money, (i.e. tax the purchase/sale of stock and real estate, given that many wealthy individuals do not rely on their income); define threshold for rich and close all tax loopholes.
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