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Progressives plot 11th-hour Trump impeachment over Georgia call

President Trump may have little more than two weeks left in office, but House Democrats are talking about impeaching him — again.

Why it matters: The party is split over how to respond to his phone call asking the Georgia secretary of state to change his state’s vote totals. Progressives including Ilhan Omar are talking another impeachment, while others such as Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) favor a lesser move like censure. The ticking clock factors into both approaches.

Driving the news: Omar (D-Minn.) said Monday night she wants to impeach the president because he and his allies have become “more emboldened” by not being held accountable.

  • “The Constitution does not make exceptions for the amount of time the president has left in office, or the popular support they have,” Omar wrote in a statement. “And we cannot either.”
  • Fellow progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters today: “If it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly.”

Johnson plans on Tuesday to introduce a resolution censuring the president, saying the call is “a violation of state and federal law.” 

  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios it was “borderline criminal,” but there’s not enough time for an impeachment hearing. “We’re not happy, but we’ll leave it to other officials,” he said.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said “any other president” would be impeached but, “we’ve got the virus and public health to take care of.”

The bottom line: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), head of the House Democratic Caucus, said: “We’re not looking backward; we’re looking forward.”

Gina Haspel almost resigned over plan to install Trump loyalist Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel almost resigned in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelations stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency.

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NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

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Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" COVID vaccine distribution

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

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Washington can expect a "new normal" — even after Biden's inauguration

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

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Outgoing VP Pence calls Vice President-elect Harris to offer congratulations, help

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

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CDC: Highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

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Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on Friday announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.

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Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

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