Good Morning DC: Citizen Trump

#GoodMorningDC. Another day packed with news is ahead of us. Next stop, impeachment trial. 

Good Morning DC with Chief White House Correspondent  Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer

Good Morning DC ☕️

Today, at noon, an impeachment trial kicks off in the Senate. On this historic day, Good Morning DC will tell you everything you need to know for the day ahead.

Trump's legal team issued a statement regarding the next phase of the impeachment trial: "We appreciate that Senate Republican leadership stood strong for due process and secured a structure that is consistent with past precedent. This process will provide us with an opportunity to explain to Senators why it is absurd and unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial against a private citizen."

Good Morning DC went through Trump's trial memorandum in which his lawyers attribute the impeachment, the sequel to "Trump derangement syndrome," and argue that a private citizen, Trump, cannot be impeached. 

"Democrat politicians seek to carve out a mechanism by which they can silence a political opponent and a minority party. The Senate must summarily reject this brazen political act," they say. 

Trump's communication with the media is eerily understated as if a new persona is sending the statements and memos to the press. While he is staying out of the public eye, others are working the cameras. Lindsey Graham went on Sean Hannity last night to issue a Trump's style warning: If the House Managers call one witness, the defense is going to call Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Cory Booker, and Eric Holder to testify

The former President's defense team argues that Trump was using the verb "fight," figuratively, which they state is an acceptable use of language in national political discourse. 

In Good Morning DC, published on January 14, 2020, you could read that Trump's post-impeachment vote evening address in which the former president narrated the script to precision, was designed to be used as evidence in the impeachment trial. The President’s legal counsel wanted Trump to have as many as possible recorded messages stated on record to condemn violence and insurrection so they can play these messages on loop to try to salvage his legacy. One month after, it’s exactly what they are doing.

Trump's defense team was building their case for acquittal around the line from Trump's speech at the Ellipse when he said, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." Trump indeed did say that, but Michael Choen says that Trump is a person who talks in hints. Come what may, the impeachment trial will rehash what happened on January 6 and at the same time bring Trump back into breaking news headlines. 

The GOP won’t move to convict Trump. Those who still believe that 17 Republicans will magically appear to vote with Democrats did not read Ronna McDaniel’s OpEd, a piece of politically writing consistent with the talking points of Trump's defense team. 

Adam Kinzinger is busy profiling himself as the new GOP faction leader that opposes Trump and Trumpism. In the last twenty-four hours, he published an OpEd in the Washington Post and was profiled in the Economist. Kinzinger knows that Trump has 45 votes to get himself acquitted, but congressman from Illinois also knows that an opportunity to gain national media’s attention does not come along often. He is using the free media to build his profile and make his name recognizable across America. 

While the Trump legal team will try to make the whole trial an exercise in semantics, the reality is that the impeachment trial will take place under ramped up security as a precautionary measure at the US Capitol.

Meanwhile, in the Senate…

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Denis McDonough to be the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

"Denis McDonough's experience overcoming bureaucracy will be invaluable as he takes over the reins at VA. There's much work to do to repair and rebuild the VA's relationships with Congress and the Veteran Service Organizations and I believe that as Secretary, he will work hard to overcome those issues," said Senator Duckworth.

The US Senate is divided over the Biden Administration's proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15. While Senator Bernie Sanders is telling Democrats to seize the momentum to increase, Senator Rick Scott is against it.

"Just last week, Senate Democrats overwhelmingly joined Republicans in voting against raising the national minimum wage to $15 during the pandemic. We know that enacting a $15 minimum wage now would be catastrophic for small businesses and the jobs they provide families, and now we have data showing its impacts would stretch far beyond our battle against COVID-19." He added that "A new report from the CBO confirms that raising the minimum wage to $15 will increase the national debt by $70 billion and eliminate 1.4 million jobs. That is unacceptable."

Still, the Progressive Caucus announced that they secured for $15 minimum wage to get into Biden’s relief package. The Progressive Caucus wants everyone to know that with the introduction of the Pay Workers A Living Wage Act in 2015, they were  the first caucus to support a $15 minimum wage, 

What will Biden do today?

Biden will monitor the Senate impeachment trial, but without a running commentary on Twitter, the former President Trump was known for. 

At 9:30 AM EST, Biden and Harris will receive the President's Daily Brief in the Oval Office. AT 1:45 PM EST, the Treasury Secretary will join them to meet with business leaders to discuss the American Rescue Plan.  

At 12:45 PM EST, Press Secretary Psaki will brief the press. 

The situation in Myanmar where thousands of protesters have now taken to the streets remains a "deep concern" for the Biden Administration. Good Morning DC has learned that Jake Sullivan spoke with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ambassadors in Washington DC. Sullivan expressed appreciation for ASEAN nations' attention to this crisis, noting the importance of regional support for the immediate restoration of democracy in Myanmar. 

Secretary Blinken spoke to CNN”s Wolf Blitzer on US foreign policy. On the imprisonment of  Navalny, Blinken said that “the fact that Russia feels compelled, that Mr. Putin feels compelled to try to silence one voice speaks volumes about how important that voice is and how it’s representative of so many millions of Russians who want to be heard, and who are fed up with the corruption and with the kleptocracy.”

Today, WHO will hold a meeting on accelerating access to Covid-19 vaccines. 

And that's a wrap for this Tuesday morning. Let the second impeachment trial begin. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

***

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