President Biden informed Congress on Thursday that he has terminated the national emergency over the U.S.-Mexico border that former President Trump first declared in Feb. 2019.
Why it matters: Trump used the national emergency proclamation to divert billions of dollars in Pentagon funds toward building a border wall, after it became clear that Congress was opposed to additional funding. The declaration prompted dozens of lawsuits and attempts by Congress to block Trump from fulfilling one his top 2016 campaign promises.
Some swing voters have deep reservations about raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, worried that the impacts on employers or inflation may outweigh benefits to individual workers.
Why it matters: President Biden and most congressional Democrats support the increase and favor its inclusion in the next coronavirus stimulus. But Biden said last week it may face too much resistance to make it into this round. These voters who switched from Donald Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020 help explain why.
House impeachment managers Wednesday used previously unseen security video, unheard police radio calls and undisclosed facts to try to shock Senate jurors into a conviction in Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.
Why it matters: We were on the ground with senators throughout the Jan. 6 insurrection. Everyone was isolated from the activity on that day. On Wednesday, the senators sat in their own chamber, audio booming like a movie theater, seeing the danger that nearly engulfed them. A nation of constituents watched along at home.
House impeachment managers began presenting their prosecution of former President Trump on Wednesday, laying out their evidence — including previously unseen Capitol security footage from the Jan. 6 insurrection — before a divided Senate.
The big picture: One by one, managers detailed how Trump laid the groundwork for his supporters to believe "the big lie" — that the election would be stolen — for months leading up to the attack. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) called Trump's false claims "the drumbeat being used to inspire, instigate, and ignite them," stressing that the incitement didn't just begin with the president's speech on Jan. 6.
New footage of the Capitol siege released by House impeachment managers on Wednesday showed U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman directing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to safety.
Why it matters: Previously unreleased footage shown during former President Trump's second impeachment trial underscores the violence and heroics on display as the Capitol was breached by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.
After initially apologizing for saying that the Capitol attack was a "hoax," Michigan State Sen. Mike Shirkey was caught on a hot mic saying he stood by those comments, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Why it matters: Prominent Congressional Republicans such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and other Trump allies have baselessly floated the idea that Capitol rioters were members of Antifa or others posing as Trump supporters.
What they're saying: "I frankly don’t take back any of the points I was trying to make," Shirkey said, while talking to another Michigan lawmakers at a state legislative session.
Background: A day earlier, Shirkey released an apology for calling the U.S. Capitol riots a hoax.
Of note: Separately, Shirkey was censured by the Hillsdale Republican Party, the Metro Times reported, for condemning armed "peaceful protesters" who stormed the Michigan state capitol and for "utter surrender" to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's pandemic measures.
Flashback: Trump summoned Shirkey and other Republican state lawmakers to Washington D.C. as part of the president's attempt to overturn the election results.
Prosecutors in Georgia have launched an investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the state's 2020 election results, including a phone call with the state's top elections official in which the former president asked to "find" enough votes to declare he won Georgia.
Driving the news: The Fulton County District Attorney's office on Wednesday sent letters to a number of state officials — including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was on the other end of the call — asking them to preserve any documents related to Trump's efforts, DA spokesperson Jeff DiSantis confirmed.
The made-through-TV impeachment presentation delivered by House managers presented a gripping narrative for the public but the rambling, legalistic rebuttal Donald Trump's attorneys presented won Tuesday with the pivotal Senate jurors.
Why it matters: The House managers are playing the outside game; they know it's a long shot their prosecution will alter the final result, so they're trying to shift public opinion. Trump's defense is playing an inside game — they're doing just enough to sustain the votes needed to acquit the former president.
The impeachment trial for former President Trump kicked off in the Senate on Tuesday, beginning with debate over the constitutionality of the House prosecuting a president who has already left office.
The bottom line: After four hours of arguments by each side, the Senate affirmed by a vote of 56-44 that it is constitutional to try a former president.
Officials have heightened security at the U.S. Capitol ahead of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump this week, as Washington, D.C. still reels from the violent insurrection at the building on Jan. 6.
Why it matters: The pro-Trump riots that resulted in five deaths and the invasion of congressional chambers in January revealed major security flaws at the Capitol, which Capitol Police have attributed to several factors, including lack of manpower and delayed calls for backup.