10 Things in Politics: Senators were just steps away from rioters — A thief hit the Biden campaign

Good morning! Welcome to 10 Things in Politics. I’m Brent Griffiths. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.

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Here’s what you need to know:

  • We now know lawmakers barely avoided the Capitol rioters
  • Thieves stole at least $2.7 million from federal political committees
  • Brad Parscale is back in the Trump orbit

1. GRAPHIC NEW DETAILS ON THE INSURRECTION: House Democratic impeachment managers presented previously unseen footage on Wednesday that illustrates the Capitol insurrection in even sharper relief. It also shows close insurrectionists came to the very officials they chanted about killing. 

  • What we learned: Just “58 steps away” Rep. Eric Swalwell of California estimated the distance between fleeing senators and the mob. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was spared thanks to the quick thinking of Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman. Vice President Pence was shown being hurried down a hallway by his security detail after rioters breached the Capitol. His quick exit occurred just minutes after Trump had attacked him again on Twitter. Pleas of overwhelmed officers begging for backup were heard on previously unreleased audio.

“This is clear: On January 6th, President Trump left everyone in this Capitol for dead,” Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas said toward the end of eight hours of arguments, per The Washington Post.

Watch the videos for yourself: We’ll add the same caveat as the impeachment managers did, the footage can be graphic and disturbing.

The reactions: “I’m angry. I’m disturbed. I’m sad,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told reporters, adding “I don’t see how Donald Trump could be re-elected to the presidency again.” Romney said of his close call “It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes.” Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma reportedly got teary-eyed and was comforted by a fellow Republican senator.

Once again, it’s unclear if this really changes anything: 


2. Thieves stole at least $2.7 million from federal political committees during the 2020 cycle: Campaigns ranging from now-President Biden to congressional candidates were raided by thieves using techniques ranging from cyberattacks to traditional check tampering. This has been a problem for a “long time” one expert told my colleague Dave Levinthal for his exclusive report.

3. Fed Chair says unemployment situation is worse than we think: The actual unemployment rate is close to 10%, nearly double the official figure and matching the worst of the Great Recession, Jerome Powell said. Read more of his stark assessment here.

4. Brad Parscale is back in Trump’s orbit: Don’t expect people near the former president to talk about this development though. After all, Parscale is the former campaign manager whom Trump says stole his money. But Trump still wants to send mass emails and have a website. Apparently, ex-presidents don’t use Wix. Tom LoBianco has all the juicy and exclusive details.

  • Parscale has a very big bargaining chip: “Former Trump campaign staff looking for access to their old emails and documents had to go through Parscale, the only administrator with access to those files.”

5. A Texas real estate agent wanted a pardon after flying a private jet to the insurrection. Now she “regrets everything”: Jenna Ryan went viral for asking for a pardon as if it came with a free side. Now she feels abandoned and has remorse for buying into “the big lie,” per The Washington Post. “I was down there based on what my president said: ‘Stop the steal.’ Now I see that it was all over nothing,” she told the paper. 

6. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:00 a.m.: Biden and Vice President Harris meet with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss infrastructure. Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg will join virtually.
  • 12:00 p.m.: Trump’s second impeachment trial resumes
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki delivers the White House’s daily news briefing.
  • 3:45 p.m.: Biden visits the NIH

7. CDC finds double masking works: “Double masking — combining the snug fit of a cloth mask with the filtering capability of a surgical one underneath it — can improve mask performance by about 50%, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found.” More on what you should take away from the findings.

8. Biden announces sanctions targeting Myanmar military leaders: “The people of Burma are making their voices heard, and the world is watching,” the president told reporters, promising immediate sanctions for military leaders that directed the coup which led to the detention of officials like civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (Meanwhile in Burma, young protesters are using memes to combat police aggression.)

  • Biden also pressed Xi on human rights and trades: The leaders of the world’s two largest economies spoke for the first time since President Biden’s inauguration. The White House said Biden raised concerns about Beijing’s “human rights abuses in Xinjiang” and “coercive and unfair economic practices.” A Chinese state broadcaster struck a mostly positive tone about the conversation.

9. This is no longer the way for Cara Dune: Gina Carano, who plays Dune on “The Mandalorian,” was fired last night after her latest social media fracas — this time over her claim comparing modern-day Republicans to Jews during the Holocaust. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilms said Carano was “not currently employed” and wouldn’t be again in the future. 

10. Lawmakers struggle with Zoom too: One day after we were treated to cat lawyer, the world has given us upside-down lawmaker. Republican Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota struggled to find the right direction during a House hearing.

One last thing.

Today’s trivia question: John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators planned the Lincoln assassination at Mary Surratt’s boarding house. What is the building today? Email your response and a suggested question to me at [email protected]

  • Yesterday’s answer: President Hoover retreated to his house in Palo Alto, California. It is now the official residence of Stanford’s president.

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