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Trump held secret meetings in days before Capitol attack | First Thing

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2022-01-20

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Good morning.

There was a lot of initial excitement around the House select committee tasked with investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol securing the cooperation of the former White House press secretary and longtime Donald Trump insider Stephanie Grisham.

According to sources, Grisham has told the committee that in the days leading up to the attack, Trump hosted secret meetings in the White House residence.

  • Grisham was Melania Trump’s chief of staff when she resigned on 6 January 2021, the day Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to halt the election certification of Joe Biden’s win.

  • Her interview with the House committee was more significant than expected , according to sources, with her informing investigators that details of whether Trump actually intended to march to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse rally would be memorialized in documents provided to the US Secret Service.

  • What took place and who took part in these secret meetings is still unknown , but Grisham purportedly provided the names of other Trump aides who would have that information, including Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and former chief usher, Timothy Harleth.

Supreme court rejects Trump’s attempt to shield documents from Capitol attack panel

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Donald Trump at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by the US Congress in Washington on 6 January 2021. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

The supreme court has rejected Donald Trump’s request for an emergency stay to block the release of White House records to the House select committee tasked with investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol – a blow to the former president that could shed significant light on his role in the events of the deadly day.

This order allows the committee to obtain from the national archives more than 700 documents of some of the most sensitive White House records from Trump’s administration, including call logs, daily presidential diaries, handwritten notes and memos from his top aides.

Democrats fail to advance voting rights bill as Senate holdouts defend filibuster

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Members of the Congressional Black caucus, and others talk in Statuary Hall after speaking to the press outside the Senate about voting rights legislation on Capitol Hill. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday Senate Democrats failed again to pass sweeping voter rights protections, as all 50 Republicans in the chamber united in opposition against the measure, as they have done for the past four months.

  • Republicans once again blocked debate by relying on the filibuster , a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to advance legislation to a final vote.

  • Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer’s plan to advance voter rights by amending the filibuster ultimately failed, with moderate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema defending the parliamentary tactic, despite heavy pressure from the party and Biden.

  • This failure to pass voter rights protections was not just a loss for Democrats , but for Biden, whose prospects look worse than ever .

In other news …

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A seven-year-old receives their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Beaumont Health offices in Southfield, Michigan. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Stat of the day: US livestock animals produce somewhere between three and 20 times more manure than people produce in the US each year.

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US livestock produce between 1.27bn and 1.37bn tons of waste a year, which is partly why devices looking to turn manure into energy sources are catching on – the waste-derived biogas industry appears to be booming; globally, the industry is predicted to reach $126bn by the year 2030, more than doubling over the next decade.

Don’t miss this: a true Marvel

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Author Douglas Wolk. Composite: Alamy/Lisa Gidley

Author Douglas Wolk read all 27,000 of the Marvel comics for his book, All of the Marvels. It was six decades of stories ranging from the well-known Iron Man to the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, whose superpowers include “proportional speed and strength of a squirrel” – and a knack for creative nonviolent conflict resolution.

… or this: multimillionaires v billionaires

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Seaside residence, East Hampton, Long Island, New York. Photograph: Alan Gignoux/Alamy

An airport in the super-rich enclave in the Hamptons has become a flashpoint in what has been described as “the 2% v the 1%” and “the have-everythings v the have-a-lots” – those who are just wealthy enough to live in East Hampton and those who are so wealthy they can afford to fly in and out.

Climate check: bless the rains down in California

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A coho salmon. Photograph: Courtesy Noaa Fisheries/Reuters

California received more rain from October to December than it did in the previous 12 months – and those heavy rains have allowed for the return of endangered coho salmon for the first time in decades. “We’ve seen fish in places that they haven’t been for almost 25 years,” said Preston Brown, the director of watershed conservation for the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network.

Want more environmental stories delivered to your inbox? Sign up to our new newsletter Down to Earth to get original and essential reporting on the climate crisis every week

Last Thing: actors and parasites

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Actor Jeff Daniels and a large Tarantula spider. Composite: NBCU Photo Bank/Getty/Reuters

Scientists have named a tarantula-killing parasitic worm after famed actor Jeff Daniels, inspired by his role in the 1990s cult classic, Arachnophobia. The Tarantobelus jeffdanielsi inhabit spiders’ mouths and can impact their behavior in strange ways, including causing them to walk on their tiptoes. “In Hollywood, you haven’t really made it until you’ve been recognized by those in the field of parasitology,” Daniels said of this honor.

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Comments / 57

Monica Hodges
01-20

I bet Trump is furious with the Supreme Court. It will soon be public knowledge, about the extent of his involvement with the insurrection. If he didn't do anything wrong, then he has nothing to be concerned about.....if he did, he may not be president ever again. All of us will soon find out.

Reply(7)
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Just the facts
01-20

What a disgusting human being and this is who 1/2 of Americans want to lead this country, this is not who we are, wake up America 🇺🇸

Reply
10
Toni Palomarez
01-20

The Republicans are rejecting everything instead of working together with Biden only to take control

Reply(6)
21

Comments / 0