2. Whether the Constitution allows for Trump, now a private citizen, to be tried in the Senate for acts committed when he was president.
Arguments For Conviction
In an 80-page brief, nine Democratic House impeachment managers laid out their case for convicting Trump in the Senate and barring him from ever again holding federal office.
They argued Trump was “personally responsible” for inciting an insurrection, citing his January 6 appearance at a rally on the Ellipse near the White House where, among other things, he told the crowd: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” (Full video | Transcript)
On the topic of the trial’s constitutionality, the impeachment managers contended they were on solid ground.
💬 Relevant Quote:
“It is unthinkable that those same Framers left us virtually defenseless against a president’s treachery in his final days, allowing him to misuse power, violate his Oath, and incite insurrection against Congress and our electoral institutions simply because he is a lame duck. There is no ‘January Exception’ to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution. A president must answer comprehensively for his conduct in office from his first day in office through his last.”
Arguments Against Conviction
In a 14-page filing, Trump’s lawyers called on the Senate to dismiss the article of impeachment or vote to acquit the former president.
They argued that the aim of convicting a president in the Senate is removal from office, making it unconstitutional to hold a trial for a private citizen who is no longer president and nullifying the Senate’s ability to prevent Trump from ever again holding federal office.
On the topic of inciting an insurrection, Trump’s lawyers said he had “exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect” and that he hadn’t incited violence.
💬 Relevant Quote:
“It is denied that the phrase ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’ had anything to do with the action at the Capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general, as evidenced by the recording of the speech.”
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
🏛️ Senate Confirms Cabinet Picks
The Senate confirmed two of Biden’s cabinet nominations yesterday.
Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed in a 56-43 vote (50 D & 6 R), becoming the first Latino and first immigrant to lead the department.
Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg was confirmed in a mostly bipartisan 86-13 vote, becoming the first openly gay Cabinet member approved by the Senate. (Aside: Richard Grenell, former acting director of National Intelligence for the Trump administration, was the first openly gay Cabinet-level official, though he was not confirmed by the Senate.)
A Russian court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 2.5 years in prison – after subtracting one year of time already served – for violating the terms of his probation while recuperating in Germany from nerve agent poisoning. During testimony, Navalny blamed the poisoning on Russian President Vladimir Putin and denounced the court proceedings as cowardly.
More: The verdict, delivered at 8 p.m. local time, ignited protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg that reportedly led to the arrests of ~1,400 people.
The White House Covid response teamsaid the federal government will begin sending a combined 1M vaccine doses per week directly to ~6,500 retail drug stores nationwide on February 11, with plans to eventually expand to 40k pharmacies.
A peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet found Russia’s two-shot Sputnik V vaccine was 91.6% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and offered 100% protection against severe cases. (The full study)
👋 Bezos Says Goodbye
In its Q4 earnings report published yesterday, Amazon announced that Jeff Bezos will be stepping down from his role as CEO in Q3 this year and transition to executive chairman.
Bezos has served as Amazon’s CEO since he founded it in 1994, presiding over the company as it grew from an online bookstore to the ~$1.7T market cap giant it is today. Read his email sent to employees.
He will be replaced by Andy Jassy, the current leader of Amazon Web Services.
More: Amazon agreedto pay $61.7M yesterday to settle FTC allegations the company withheld some customer tips from its Flex delivery drivers.
🚗🍺 Introducing: Uber Drinks
Uber announced the acquisition of alcohol delivery startup Drizly in a cash-and-stock deal worth $1.1B. Since its founding in 2012, Drizly has become the U.S.’s top alcohol delivery service, with operations in over 1,400 cities nationwide.
🚀 Put to the Test (Pt. 2)
SN9, the latest prototype of SpaceX’s Starship rocket, launched successfully on Tuesday and flew more than six miles into the sky before exploding on impact while attempting to land (video). The test flight was similar to the one SpaceX conducted in December, when the company launched the SN8 on the highest and longest
flight to date before it exploded on impact while attempting to land.
Catch Up Quick…
🔠 Google parent Alphabet posted Q4 earningsshowing a record profit for the second straight quarter ($15.23B).
🚘 Tesla announced a recall of ~135k Model S luxury sedans and Model X SUVs due to touch-screen failures, which will cost the company an estimated $200-250M.
🏠 The number of new homes sold in the U.S. reached a record high of 811k last year, an 18.8% increase over 2019 according to Commerce Department estimates.
After cashing out nearly $30K in GameStop stock last week, 20-year-old Hunter Kahn – a mechanical engineering student at Cornell University – donated more than $2K worth of Nintendo consoles and games to the Children’s Minnesota Hospital.
“As a beneficiary of the recent events on Wall Street I think it is important that myself and others pay forward our good fortune,” he wrote on Instagram.
And the good news doesn’t stop there…
Inspired by a letter from Matthew Walzer, a man with cerebral palsy who is unable to put on his own shoes, designers at Nike created the Go FlyEase sneakers – a model of accessibility-minded shoes that are completely hands-free.
When a winter storm dropped a fresh blanket of snow on Washington, D.C., this past weekend, giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian of the National Zoo enjoyed the winter wonderland by excitedly sliding around in their enclosure. (Video)
Captain Tom Moore, the WWII veteran who was knighted by the Queen after raising ~$40M for health care workers by walking in his garden during quarantine, passed away at 100 years old. (Our previous Dose of Positive stories covering Sir Tom Moore: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4.)
❤️ February is Heart Health Month. We’ve partnered with Dash to bring you a tip for the ‘ole ticker…
The Scoop on Sodium:
First, what is it?
Sodium is both an electrolyte and mineral that helps keep the water and electrolyte balance of the body. It also helps nerves and muscles work.
📉 If your sodium levels are too low: you’ll experience symptoms similar to dehydration (since sodium helps regulate fluid levels).
📈 If they’re too high: excess sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, creating an added burden on the heart. Too much sodium increases your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, and kidney disease.
👀 Where to find it: Table salt and packaged & prepared foods (canned soups, lunch meats, frozen dinners, etc.). More than 70 percent of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods.
So you could say sodium is… well… everywhere. One in three Americans will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime.
Which brings us to Dash… the salt-free alternative for spicing up your favorite meals. Each blend, seasoning packet, or marinade is created from a mixture of different spices thoughtfully mixed together to bring out flavors from different cultures and styles of cooking without any salt.