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Pence’s counsel emailed Trump lawyer ‘thanks to your bullshit, we are under siege’ – January 6 hearing live

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Donald Trump’s education secretary Betsy DeVos contemplated an effort to invoke the 25th amendment and remove him from office following the January 6 insurrection, she said in an interview.

Speaking to USA Today columnist Ingrid Jacques, DeVos said she opted to resign after concluding her effort would fail:

“I spoke with the vice president and just let him know I was there to do whatever he wanted and needed me to do or help with, and he made it very clear that he was not going to go in that direction or that path,” DeVos says. “I spoke with colleagues. I wanted to get a better understanding of the law itself and see if it was applicable in this case. There were more than a few people who had those conversations internally.”

Once she understood removing the president was pretty much impossible, DeVos resigned later that day.

DeVos wasn’t alone in considering using the amendment that provides for the removal of an incapacitated president, potentially on grounds of mental as well as physical fitness, after a majority vote by the cabinet. Trump’s secretary of state and Treasury secretary reportedly pondered doing the same following the attack on the Capitol.

Neither ultimately acted. Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House in the final days of his term, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him.

Biden calls January 6 ‘flagrant violation of the constitution’

US President Joe Biden spoke about the January 6 committee during a meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in Los Angeles. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Americans will learn new details of the January 6 insurrection at tonight’s hearings, Biden said, calling the assault on the Capitol, a “flagrant violation of the constitution.”

“I think these guys and women broke the law, tried to turn around the result of an election. There’s a lot of questions, who’s responsible, who’s involved. I’m not going to make a judgment on that,” Biden said during a meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

“A lot of Americans are going to be seeing for the first time some of the detail of what occurred” at the night’s hearing, the president added.

Updated at 15.46 EDT

Michigan police officer charged with second-degree murder in shooting of Patrick Lyoya

A police officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan is facing second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, a Black man who was shot in the back of the head while on the ground.

From The New York Times:

Christopher Becker, the Kent County prosecuting attorney, said the officer, Christopher Schurr, acted unreasonably when he shot Mr. Lyoya, 26, while wrestling with the motorist, who had run away. The officer told Mr. Lyoya he pulled him over for having license plates that did not match his car.

“Patrick Lyoya immigrated to the United States from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue the American dream and provide a better and safer life for himself and his family,” Ben Crump, a lawyer for the family, said in a statement when the videos were released. “Instead, what found him was a fatal bullet to the back of the head, delivered by an officer of the Grand Rapids Police Department.”

Lyoya’s father described the the killing as an “execution.” Footage of the altercation was caught on Becker’s body camera.

An unintended consequence of the recent congressional push for gun control legislation is that a bill to boost domestic semiconductor production has been put on the back burner, Bloomberg reports.

The proposed legislation would spend $52 billion to spur domestic manufacturing of the vital computer chips that ran short globally during the pandemic, exacerbating supply chain issues in the United States and driving up inflation. It would also contain provisions to help American businesses compete against China.

But with senators so focused on a bipartisan agreement to better regulate guns following recent mass shootings, and with midterms in which Democrats could lose control of one or both chambers of Congress growing nearer, Bloomberg reports that lawmakers are finding little time or use for the talks:

Supporters say that without passage, the US will fall further behind other countries in making the components of everything from fighter jets to vacuum cleaners, putting it at the mercy of overseas supply chains.

Frustration with the Biden administration looms large on Capitol Hill and among business lobbyists who have pushed for the measure. Senators and other people close to the negotiations said the White House has not pressed hard enough on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in her chamber to finish the legislation.

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat who faces a tough re-election contest, said he’d like the White House to get more involved, especially with the House.

Republican supporters of the bill, too, have been puzzled by the White House’s strategy, saying Biden’s team hadn’t pushed House Democrats more forcefully and let months go by without throwing their weight behind what was supposed to be a top priority.

Despite earlier optimism from the chamber’s top Democrat, it does not look like senators will reach a compromise on gun control today.

As CNN’s Manu Raju reports:

After a meeting in Sen. Simema’s basement hideaway, Sen. John Cornyn told a group of us there’s no deal yet on guns.

”We’re meeting again tomorrow and I hope to resolve remaining differences,” Cornyn said.

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 9, 2022

That talks are taking so long may mean something, Politico’s Burgess Everett notes:

Updated at 14.57 EDT

Nina Lakhani

Biden has started his day in Los Angeles with a speech to business leaders, where he encouraged them to focus on sustainability in the face of intensifying climate change. One state away in Arizona, The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani reports officials fear heat deaths as temperatures in the largest city Phoenix are expected to top 110F in the coming days:

A dangerous heatwave is due to scorch large swaths of Arizona for the rest of the week, triggering the first extreme heat warning of the year as temperatures in Phoenix are forecast to top 113F (45C) on three consecutive days.

Day and nighttime temperatures are expected to reach 7F to 10F (4C to 6C) above normal for this time of the year, which could drive a surge in medical emergencies and deaths as people struggle to stay cool amid soaring energy prices and rising homelessness.

Extreme heat is America’s leading weather-related killer, and Phoenix, in Maricopa county, is the deadliest city.

Hugo Lowell

The January 6 commission will in its hearing tonight try to show that the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers militia groups worked together on attacking the Capitol, the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is expected at its first hearing on Thursday evening to connect the far-right Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers militia groups in the same seditious conspiracy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The move by the panel and chief investigative counsel Tim Heaphy would likely be one of the major revelations that comes from the hearing, which is expected to focus on the militia groups and how they made plans to storm the Capitol, the sources said.

Top members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been charged separately by the justice department with seditious conspiracy, but the select committee’s intention to show that their efforts were connected would escalate the gravity of the plans to attack the Capitol.

Lowell also spoke to MSNBC’s Katie Phang about what his reporting revealed:

NEW: “The January 6th committee is expected to tie in the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys militia groups together in the same seditious conspiracy,” @hugolowell tells @KatiePhang.

More to come from Katie’s interview with Hugo to preview tonight’s first public 1/6 hearing. pic.twitter.com/xSJwcMXEpu

— The Katie Phang Show (@katiephangshow) June 9, 2022

The day so far

Thanks for sticking with us through a morning packed with news, as Washington prepares for new revelations from the January 6 committee this evening. Later this afternoon, President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

Here’s what’s happened in the day so far:

  • Senators may be nearing a deal on gun control legislation demanded in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, the top Senate Democrat said, though he acknowledged the legislation was unlikely to contain all the provisions his party is demanding.
  • NBC News reported that a bipartisan Senate deal may be near to fix legal loopholes that could exploited by a political candidate to steal an election.
  • The FBI arrested a Michigan Republican candidate for the party’s gubernatorial nomination. While it is unclear what the charges are, Ryan Kelley was in Washington on January 6, 2021 and local media reports that there are signs he may have taken part in storming the capitol.
  • The average price of a gallon of gas is nearing $5 a gallon, a symbolic threshold it has never before passed. The nationwide spike is likely to only worsen Biden’s approval ratings, which a recent poll found had hit an all-time low.

US average gas price nearing $5 a gallon

In a sign of the ongoing inflation threat, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is closing to surpassing $5 a gallon in the United States, an all-time high that poses implications for the wider economy and may worsen Biden’s low approval.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price of a gallon of regular gas is today at $4.97, though GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan say it has already passed the symbolic threshold.

BREAKING: According to GasBuddy, the national average has reached $5 per gallon.

— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 9, 2022

“People are still fueling up, despite these high prices,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said earlier this week. “At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet.”

The gas price spike is attributable to the US economy’s overall recovery from the pandemic downturn in 2020 as people returned to driving and traveling nationwide, but it grew markedly worse earlier this year when Russia invaded Ukraine and western nations imposed sanctions that roiled global oil markets.

Rightly or wrongly, many Americans see gas prices as a proxy for the wider economy’s health, and as they hit new heights, Biden is increasingly being blamed for the spike.

Updated at 12.57 EDT

Tomorrow may be a pretty rough day for the White House. Any damning revelations that come out of the January 6 committee could be overshadowed by the latest inflation numbers from the Labor Department, which will be released at 8:30am eastern time.

The May consumer price index data may very well indicate that the worst bout of inflation the US economy has seen since the 1980s isn’t ending anytime soon, nor will its potently negative effects on the president’s support. In fact, his approval is now at an all-time low, according to Morning Consult/Politico data released yesterday.

The list of factors fueling inflation is lengthy, and ranges from the war in Ukraine’s economic ripple effects to the Biden administration’s own policies to the Federal Reserve’s decisions to keep rates low throughout last year, which were beyond the White House’s control. One thing’s for certain: the Republican opposition will no doubt seize on tomorrow’s data — whatever it shows — to argue Biden is a poor steward of the world’s largest economy.

Ahead of its release, the White House has tweeted a video highlighting Biden’s efforts to lower ocean shipping costs, which are part of the wider global supply chains snarls and indeed a factor in America’s inflation problem.

One of the reasons prices have gone up is because a handful of companies who control the market have raised shipping prices by as much as 1,000%. It’s outrageous — and I’m calling on Congress to crack down on them. pic.twitter.com/eLIdQBmskJ

— President Biden (@POTUS) June 9, 2022

Whether voters will listen is another matter.