Jan 3, 2019

Pelosi breaks with Justice: Trump can be indicted

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

In an interview to air on NBC's "Today," co-anchor Savannah Guthrie asks Nancy Pelosi, who will become House speaker at around 1:30 pm Thursday: "Do you believe the special counsel should honor and observe the Department of Justice guidance that states a sitting president cannot be indicted?"

The big picture: Pelosi replied, according to an excerpt from NBC: "I do not think that that is conclusive. No, I do not." With that response, she becomes the highest ranking official to suggest President Trump could be indicted while in office.

Pelosi is ready to rumble, planning to maintain the unyielding posture she took with Trump in their Oval Office standoff before the shutdown.

  • She tells USA Today that Trump is now entering a "different world."

House Democrats plan to be aggressive on both an investigations/oversight track and a legislative track, writes Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group:

  • "The Democratic majority is largely due to Democrats in Trump-won districts from 2016, so expect a lot of legislation with high approval ratings first in the queue: infrastructure, drug pricing, immigration reform (protections for DREAMers), shoring up the ObamaCare exchanges/protecting pre-existing conditions, gun control, voting rights."

Excerpts from remarks Pelosi will make when she takes the gavel during the opening session of the 116th Congress (opens at noon, with the speaker vote — which will take about an hour — starting around 12:15 pm):

  • "When our new members take the oath, our Congress will be refreshed, and our democracy will be strengthened by the optimism, idealism and patriotism of this transformative freshman class."
  • "We must be pioneers of the future. This Congress must accelerate a future that advances America’s preeminence in the world, and opens up opportunities for all."

"[We] will call upon the bold thinking needed to address the disparity of income in America, which is at the root of the crisis of confidence felt by so many Americans."

  • "We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis."
  • "I pledge that this Congress will be transparent, bipartisan and unifying."
  • "[T]he floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions."

Go deeper: Trump v. Pelosi showdown will define 2019 and 2020

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.