Good morning! Thank you for joining us for our first week of 10 Things in Politics. I’m Brent Griffiths. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.
Send me your tips, thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: Former President Donald Trump is plotting a return after his second impeachment trial, Insider’s Tom LoBianco scooped last night.
After his first acquittal, Trump’s administration moved swiftly to silence the diplomats and officials who spoke out. This time he views the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him as the biggest turncoats. He can’t fire them, but Trump’s advisors are urging him to reassert his dominance in the GOP.
- His list of names in red, underlined: “Republicans familiar with the plans told Insider that Trump’s targets are expected to center around the 10 House Republicans who voted for his impeachment last month like two-term Rep. Anthony Gonzalez. A former NFL wide receiver, Gonzalez represents a Northern Ohio district where Trump won handily in 2020.”
The backstory: 10 Things asked Tom about his scoop and how Trump will handle next week’s trial given his rejection of Democrats’ request that he testify. (While you’re at it, follow him on Twitter.)
- How Trump-world views the historic second trial: “There is some split thinking on whether the trial itself helps or hurts him. By most accounts, get to walk off with another acquittal from another impeachment (which they see as a victory.) But getting to acquittal means re-living the attack on the Capitol, and there is some worry that so much has been pieced together in just the last month that it will paint an even more damning picture than what we all witnessed in real-time.”
- On whether Trump can remain silent: “As one of my sources noted, he seems to be quite aware himself of the country’s general ‘Trump fatigue’ and that he may have been ‘overexposed.’ Now this source meant ‘overexposed’ in a political sense, as in how the public would react and how that might damage him. But I’ve also picked up from other sources that there is also a very real concern from others around him about being over-exposed legally.”
2. House votes to kick Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off committees: 11 Republicans joined House Democrats in stripping the Georgia Republican of her two assignments in what both sides agreed was a precedent-setting action. Greene expressed “regret” over some of her posts, but did not apologize. She also admitted “9/11 absolutely happened” after previously spouting conspiracy theories about the attack. (More on the 11 Republicans.)
- What it was like on the Hill: Insider’s Eliza Relman takes us in the room: “The House floor fell silent as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer held up a poster with an enlarged image of one of Greene’s campaign ads.
- Key quote: “They’re so far down the rabbit hole now that it’s going to be very difficult for them to dig themselves out,” Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon told Eliza. “Marjorie Taylor Greene has become the face of the Republican Party.”
3. What we learned during the 15 hours of vote-a-rama: Vice President Kamala Harris broke her first-ever tie. Democrats have begun the process to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan without GOP support.
4. A $15 minimum wage is complicating stimulus action: There’s a real chance one of Biden’s earliest campaign pledges won’t make it in the final relief package. Part of the problem are the rules of reconciliation, but even some Democrats are skeptical about including a raise in a covid-relief bill or want to see a smaller increase. Check out my colleague Kimberly Leonard’s exclusive report.
- Who to watch: “About a dozen Democrats are possible holdouts including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Jon Tester of Montana.”
5. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 8:30 a.m.: The Labor Department releases January’s jobs report.
- 9:45 a.m.: President Biden and Vice President Harris meet with House Democratic leaders and key committee chairs.
- 11:00 a.m.: Greene holds a news conference at the Capitol
- 11:00 a.m.: The White House’s pandemic team and economic adviser Jared Bernstein hold a news conference.
- 11:45 a.m.: Biden delivers remarks on the state of the economy; Harris will join him.
- 1:00 p.m.: Press secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily news briefing.
- 3 p.m.: Harris and Treasury secretary Janet Yellen speak with members of local Black Chambers of Commerce
6. Biden ended U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen: America has “to varying degrees, been supporting a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, which has resulted in what the United Nations has characterized as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,” my colleague Ryan Pickrell reports.
7. Johnson & Johnson asked for emergency authorization for its COVID-19 shot: The vaccine would become the third to reach the American people if it is approved by regulators. Meanwhile, the FDA wants to make it quicker for vaccine developers to upgrade their shots.
8. A election-technology company filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News: Smartmatic alleges Fox furthered election-related conspiracies that irreparably harmed the company and “damaged democracy worldwide.” Hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro are listed as defendants, as are Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell whom they invited on their shows.
9. Sen. Ben Sasse fired back at his state party for potentially censuring him, again: “It’s because I still believe (as you used to) that politics is not about the weird worship of one dude,” the Nebraska Republican said in a video message. Multiple resolutions censuring Sasse for his criticisms of Trump are currently pending. (Omaha World-Herald)
10. Flagging a historic moment: Sarah Thomas will become the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl game this weekend.
Today’s trivia question: Many of you nailed yesterday’s question, but I wanted to jump back in here with a Super Bowl-specific query. Who was the first president to host a Super Bowl champion at the White House? Bonus: Name the team. Email your response and a suggested question to me at email@example.com
That’s all folks! Thank you again for joining us during our launch. Enjoy your weekends and the game. Go Chiefs!