Here's your daily evening round-up of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin'!)
"We did what we came here to do," said Trump in his farewell speech to the nation. In a 20-minute recorded video, the president wished the incoming administration luck but did not mention Joe Biden by name. He characterized his first and only term as a success, from his administration's work at passing tax cuts to his disastrous pandemic response. Though Trump acknowledged that his time in office is over, he said that the "movement we started is only just beginning." The Senate better ensure there's no sequel to this nightmare. Watch the full thing here:
Washington State Sen. Steve Hobbs said "almost two-thirds of our service members didn't want to take" and even "refused" the COVID-19 vaccine: The senator, who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard and working in food banks, made the comments during the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee this morning. "My wife works at a nursing home and several of her staff people didn't want to take it. I've taken the vaccine," Hobbs said. Just wait till they get to the cops.
The Biden-Harris administration kicked off their inauguration events with a Covid Memorial this afternoon: The live memorial featured a somber lighting ceremony at the nation's Reflecting Pool in DC. It featured Lori Marie Key, a nurse from Michigan, singing "Amazing Grace." Key went viral last year after singing the song during a shift change. After the performance, Biden delivered a Biden-ism: "If there are any angels in heaven, they are all nurses."
Watch the full video of the short ceremony here:
Damn: "When folk don't die right, they haunt."
"I'm thinking of Charlie"@esglaude grows emotional while discussing Covid-19 memorial service, remembering friend who died from coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/ccIm68OfhJ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 19, 2021
Trump was advised not to pardon himself, his kids, or GOP lawmakers involved with the storming of the Capitol: On Saturday night, the people closest to Trump warned that any preemptive pardons would place him in a "legally perilous position," making him more vulnerable to further litigation. They went on to caution him against pardoning any Republican lawmakers involved in the January 6 siege, warning that it could upset Senate Republicans in his upcoming impeachment trial. According to CNN's sources, the message resonated.
That being said: We're still waiting on Trump to announce his pardons officially. Here's who might make the cut.
On his last day, Trump authorized the declassification of Department of Justice documents related to the Russia probe: Donald has long vowed to make more sensitive materials public. Here's Politico on the matter:
It’s unclear which documents Trump has ordered declassified less than 24 hours before he leaves office. He cited the decision as based on the results of a Dec. 30 review he asked the Justice Department to perform. The department presented him with a “binder of materials” that remain classified, he said in a memorandum issued on Tuesday. Trump said he then asked for the documents to be declassified to “the maximum extent possible.”It's still not clear when exactly those documents will drop for everyone.
The FBI responded that it believed that all of the materials should remain classified, but that some were particularly crucial and should at least be redacted.
It's been a wet start to January: But things are looking dry and cold for the rest of the week. Also: mountains :)
With a little dry stretch it's no longer the wettest start to the year in Seattle. In addition to the wet start it's also been warm. Thru January 18 in Seattle it's the 6th warmest start to January in 77 years. Cooler & drier next 7 days w/best chance of precip this weekend.#wawx pic.twitter.com/Qjf0D2GKqg
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 19, 2021
"Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
A little Cascadian glow to bring the day to a conclusion. #wawx pic.twitter.com/GR8fMjkahI
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 20, 2021
The U.S. Senate is back in session, and McConnell says the Capitol Insurrectionists were "provoked by the president": The statement marked the first time McConnell has publicly admitted Trump bears some responsibility for the attack. Saying "the mob was fed lies," McConnell threw a few more logs on the upcoming Senate impeachment fire.
From one Capitol Hill to another: Back on January 6, during the much smaller insurrection in Washington state, 26-year-old Capitol Hill resident Damon Huseman attacked multiple members of the media and threatened to kill one of them while storming the grounds of Gov. Inslee's mansion. If you've walked around Capitol Hill in the past weeks, you've probably seen his face on a pole. Huseman was arrested today and charged with two counts of second degree assault and one count of felony harassment. A Thurston County Superior Court recently ordered Huseman to "immediately surrender all firearms and any concealed pistol license." More from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog here.
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman has had enough of the Grand Old Party (maybe): In an interview with KUOW, Wyman linked the baseless claims of election fraud made by Trump and other Republicans to the assault on the Capitol building. It's making her rethink her own party affiliation. "If that's what my party stands for now, I don't know that I can continue being a Republican, because that's not what Republicanism is about," she said. The tent can only get so big!
12 members from the National Guard were removed from inauguration duty: Why? CNN:
Two of the individuals were flagged due to "inappropriate" comments and texts, Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson told reporters after a defense official told CNN earlier Tuesday that they were removed over possible links to extremists.
The other 10 Guard members were removed for questionable behavior found in the vetting process, Hokanson said, emphasizing that this does not necessarily mean they have ties to extremists, but simply that they were "identified" and removed from service "out of an abundance of caution."
Remove them forever.
A final word from Ms. Lady Gaga: It all goes down tomorrow AM at the crack of dawn.
I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans. A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/fATHiJHCq0
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 19, 2021
Heads-up: Instead of Slog AM + PM tomorrow, we'll run a live-blog focusing on the inauguration all day. In case you're wondering, you need to start watching around 8 AM PST.
Rich Smith contributed reporting to this round-up.