A lot of things happened. Here are some of them.
Jim Jordan Tells Jan. 6 Committee To Pound Sand
As 2021 was winding down, the Jan. 6 Committee asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to voluntarily cooperate by providing it with information. Now it has Jordan’s unsurprising response: Nope.
- “As you well know, I have no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose,” Jordan declared in a letter to chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) released Sunday.
- But then: “Even if I had information to share with the Select Committee, the actions and statement of Democrats in the House of Representatives show that you are not conducting a fair-minded and objective inquiry.”
- Jordan and another member of Congress, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), were only asked to cooperate — not subpoenaed — unlike a wide range of Trump administration officials, far-right activists and Jan. 6 organizers.
- Jordan spoke to Trump on the day of the insurrection — potentially multiple times, potentially while it was ongoing. He’s been incredibly squirrely about the details of the call(s).
- A Jan. 6 Committee spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg News Sunday that those calls are among the material that is of interest. “He spoke directly to President Trump on January 6th and is thus a material witness,” the spokesperson said.
- The committee will now consider “appropriate next steps,” the spokesperson told Bloomberg.
- Perry said last year he, too, would not cooperate, after receiving a similar request from the committee. Perry played a role in Trump’s attempts to get the DOJ to cast doubt on the election results.
RonJohn Is Sticking Around
There’s been speculation for months about whether the conspiracy-theory friendly Wisconsin U.S. senator would retire at the end of his term. Johnson, who was swept into the Senate as part of the 2010 Tea Party wave, had promised to serve no more than 12 years — putting his retirement in 2022. But he announced over the weekend that he’s not going anywhere.
- In his own words: “I believe America is in peril. Much as I’d like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don’t feel I should. Countless people have encouraged me to run, saying they rely on me to be their voice, to speak plain and obvious truths other elected leaders shirk from expressing—truths the elite in government, mainstream media and Big Tech don’t want you to hear.”
- That means we’re going to hear a lot more about Wisconsin this year, as Democrats try to unseat the senator and keep their narrow grip on the chamber.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Saturday’s edition of Politico Playbook misidentified a woman having dinner at a fancy D.C. restaurant with top Democrats: it was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the outlet erroneously said, seated alongside Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The person in question, it turned out, was not Sotomayor: It was Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall.
- Conservative news outlets, of course, immediately went hog-wild with the not-news.
- They were already directing their outrage machine at Sotomayor, who had been outspoken about Omicron’s potential to make children ill during Friday’s Supreme Court arguments on the Biden administration vaccine mandates, and exaggerated the number of children who were in the hospital during her questioning.
- The Playbook “scoop” seemed to be the cherry on top of that outrage cycle: While the justice decried the transmissible new variant, she was going out to eat — with powerful Democrats! But it wasn’t true.
- Playbook corrected the newsletter online but didn’t send a follow-up newsletter with the correction until the following day.
Nebraska state senator Tom Briese (R) commemorated Jan. 6 by introducing a bill to make voter fraud a felony.
- The logic, apparently: There was no voter fraud, but the perception that people are getting away with voter fraud can cause insurrections.
- “I don’t think it’s the purview of the legislature to regulate people’s perceptions,” Sen. John Cavanaugh, a Democrat, told Fox42 Omaha.
Those Insurrectionists Getting Light Sentences
Maybe it’s a good thing, writes the New Republic’s Jason Linkins.
- “One of the last things we need is to create, from this abundance of potential defendants, a huge population of martyrs that an authoritarian movement can mythologize for its own illiberal ends.”
Speaking Of Political Martyrdom
Paul Manafort, apparently, has a new memoir: POLITICAL PRISONER.
- It will be published by Skyhorse, home of many Trump-world authors and other controversial or unsavory figures, and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
- The book promises: “A riveting account of the HOAX that sent a presidential campaign chairman to solitary confinement because he wouldn’t turn against the President of the United States.”
- It’s due out in August.
- This news prompted me to reread TPM’s 2019 profile of Skyhorse publishing which includes, among other things, an interview with the author of the Skyhorse-published “Around The World In 80 Lays.”
NYT: Early Data Hints at Omicron’s Potential Toll Across America
CNN: Nearly a quarter of hospitals are reporting a critical staff shortage as Omicron drives a rise in Covid-19 cases
We Hear You, Anonymous Source
An unnamed, grumpy person who has been involved with efforts to pin Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) down on the filibuster gripes to Axios that doing so is “like negotiating via Etch A Sketch.”
- “You think you’re just about there. You think you’ve got an agreement on most of the things and it’s settling in. And then you come back the next morning and you’re starting from scratch,” one individual told the outlet’s Alayna Treene, explaining the Etch A Sketch analogy.
- Build Back Better, meanwhile, appears more or less dead. Manchin laid out a $1.8 trillion offer for the White House before Christmas, but at the moment he is not even negotiating on that, per the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein.
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