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1:25 AM ET, January 16, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy  —  CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign 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 …
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Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Photos capture notes from Trump ally leaving the White House on Friday.  —  President Trump, isolated and watching the clock count down on his time in the White House, spent a few minutes of it on Friday with the C.E.O. of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, who brought some notes with him.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
A pillow salesman apparently has some ideas about declaring martial law  —  The galaxy of individuals who have orbited President Trump over the past five years is not lacking for unusual characters.  Few, though, have had quite the same trajectory as businessman Michael Lindell.
The Daily Beast:
MyPillow Guy Presents Trump With ‘China’ Election-Fraud Theory, Lawyers Send Him Packing  —  Following a roughly two hour wait, according to Lindell, he finally met with White House attorneys who dismissed his claims but said they would “look into it.”  —  In the final week of his presidency …
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
New York Times:
Atlanta Prosecutor Appears to Move Closer to Trump Inquiry  —  The Fulton County district attorney is weighing an inquiry into possible election interference and is said to be considering hiring an outside counsel.  —  ATLANTA — Prosecutors in Georgia appear increasingly likely to open …
Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Vaccine Leaders Waited Months to Approve Distribution Plans  —  Holdup left states with little time to develop mass-vaccination plan; U.S. says it needed time for interagency clearance  —  Operation Warp Speed leaders waited more than two months to approve a plan to distribute …
RELATED:
Dartunorro Clark / NBC News:
Alex Azar resigns as Health and Human Services Secretary, citing Capitol mob  —  Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary, resigned earlier this week, citing the violent Capitol riot inflamed by President Donald Trump in his resignation letter obtained by NBC News.
Discussion: The Hill, Axios and The Guardian
Washington Post:
Vaccine reserve was already exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access  —  States were anticipating a windfall after federal officials said they would stop holding back second doses.  But the approach had already changed, and no stockpile exists.
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Capitol Police intelligence report warned three days before attack that ‘Congress itself’ could be targeted  —  Three days before thousands of rioters converged on the U.S. Capitol, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned of a violent scenario in which “Congress itself” …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
How the rioters who stormed the Capitol came dangerously close to Pence
Lachlan Markay / Axios:
John Weaver, former McCain aide, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages  —  John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.
Susan M. Gordon / Washington Post:
A former president Trump won't ‘need to know.’ Cut off his intelligence.  —  Susan M. Gordon was the principal deputy director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019.  —  Every former president in the modern era has benefited from a unique national security perk after leaving the White House …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Wall Street Journal:
Kudlow Criticizes Trump for Handling of Riot, Treatment of Pence  —  President's top economic adviser faulted his boss for recent actions, praised administration policy legacy on taxes and trade  —  WASHINGTON—President Trump's top economic adviser criticized his boss's handling of the riot …
Discussion: Forbes, Axios, Mediaite and Raw Story
RELATED:
New York Times:
Pence, occupying a leadership void, calls Harris to offer assistance — as Trump plans his Inauguration Day getaway.  —  Vice President Mike Pence telephoned Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday to congratulate her and offer his belated assistance — filling a leadership role …
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Thomas Lifson / American Thinker:
Statement  —  We received a lengthy letter from Dominion's defamation lawyers explaining why they believe that their client has been the victim of defamatory statements.  Having considered the full import of the letter, we have agreed to their request that we publish the following statement:
Alex Barker / Financial Times:
James Murdoch blasts US media for unleashing ‘insidious forces’  —  Comments from Rupert's son are his strongest rebuke of industry practices since leaving the family business  —  James Murdoch has castigated the US media for the “toxic politics” threatening American democracy …
RELATED:
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
James Murdoch criticizes ‘media property owners’ who have ‘unleashed insidious’ forces with election denialism claims
Discussion: Deadline
Politico:
Trump weighing a pardon for Steve Bannon  —  President Donald Trump is considering granting a pardon to Steve Bannon, his former White House chief strategist and top campaign aide, who was charged with swindling donors to a private crowdsourcing effort to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border …
RELATED:
Courtney Linder / Popular Mechanics:
Why Joe Biden Can't Bring His Peloton to the White House
Discussion: Politico and Political Flare
E. Jean Carroll / Vanity Fair:
“After Me, Baby, You're Gonna Be Ruined for Anyone Else”: Donald Trump Refused to Take ‘No’ From Women—And Then From America Itself  —  Donald Trump is leaving office with a reputation marred by two impeachments, multiple scandals, and a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.
James Clark / Task & Purpose:
‘I cannot wait to leave this job’ — Acting Defense Secretary Miller has zero f-ks left … Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has apparently dropped his proverbial pack after expending the last f-k he has left.  —  “I mean, I cannot wait to leave this job, believe me,” …
RELATED:
Oren Liebermann / CNN:
Trump's Pentagon chief says he ‘cannot wait to leave’ his job
Discussion: HotAir
Kara Scannell / CNN:
Manhattan DA expands criminal investigation into Trump Organization finances to include family compound in Westchester County  —  (CNN)The Manhattan district attorney's office has expanded its criminal investigation into the Trump Organization's finances to include the family's compound in Westchester County …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
RELATED:
Pew Research Center:
Biden Begins Presidency With Positive Ratings; Trump Departs With Lowest-Ever Job Mark  —  68% of public does not want Trump to remain a major political figure in the future  —  Pew Research Center conducted this study to examine the public's reactions to the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election …
Ben Collins / NBC News:
Online far-right movements fracture in wake of Capitol riot  —  Online far-right movements are splintering in the wake of last week's Capitol riot, as some radical anti-government movements show signs of disillusionment with the relatively hands-off approach of some QAnon conspiracy theorists amid warnings of future violence.
Discussion: Raw Story
Gizmodo:
Leaked Parler Data Points to Users at Police Stations, U.S. Military Bases  —  Location data gleaned from thousands of videos posted on the social network Parler and extracted in the days before Amazon restricted access to app this week, reveal its users included police officers around the U.S …
Discussion: Raw Story
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
‘Destroy Trump’: Breitbart Staffers Seethe After Capitol Riot  —  “This is banana republic shit,” wrote one editor at the staunchly pro-Trump outlet, in response to colleagues downplaying or excusing the violence during last week's MAGA mob. … Editors and reporters at the staunchly pro …
Discussion: The Daily Beast
CBS Dallas / Fort Worth:
North Texan Jenna Ryan Tells CBS 11 She Deserves Pardon After Arrest For Alleged Role In Capitol Riot  —  CARROLLTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - North Texas realtor Jenna Ryan, who was seen in photos and video at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, arrived home Friday, Jan. 15 after turning herself in to authorities earlier in the day.
Discussion: Associated Press
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Is on the Verge of Losing Everything  —  President Trump's second impeachment, like the other repudiations he has suffered, feels provisional.  He is never quite banished.  He is impeached, but Senate Republicans refuse to convict or even allow evidence into his trial.
Discussion: HotAir
CNBC:
Biden to deploy FEMA, National Guard to set up Covid vaccine clinics across the U.S.  —  President-elect Joe Biden plans to use FEMA and the National Guard to build coronavirus vaccine clinics across the United States, according to new details of his Covid-19 vaccination plan released by his transition team on Friday.
William March / Tampa Bay Times:
In Tampa Bay area, 2,000 Republicans switch parties in days after Capitol riot  —  More than half the Republican switchers changed to no party affiliation, while about 300 became Democrats.  The rest went to minor parties.  —  Since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol …
Associated Press:
Mexico clears general, publishes US evidence against him  —  MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of fabricating drug trafficking charges against the country's former defense secretary …
Discussion: WTOP and NEWS 1130
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Worst Secretary of State Ever  —  It's an open question whether Donald Trump will go down as the worst president in American history (James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson remain formidable contenders), but there's no question that Mike Pompeo, his most fervid lapdog, is the worst secretary of state.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
A hidden reason that Joe Biden is trying to go big  —  The sheer scale of the economic rescue package that Joe Biden has unveiled has surprised a lot of observers who were expecting the president-elect to offer something more in line with his centrist, incrementalist past.
United States Department of State:
Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology  —  For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic's origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation.
Discussion: Fox News and Sputnik News
Jason Proctor / CBC News:
B.C. billionaire given the green light to sue Twitter over ‘Pizzagate’ tweets  —  Judge says Frank Giustra's connections to province and Twitter's reach give B.C. court jurisdiction  —  West Vancouver billionaire Frank Giustra has been given the go-ahead to sue Twitter in a B.C. courtroom …
S.A. Miller / Washington Times:
Liz Cheney suffers impeachment vote blowback at home: 'Couldn't win a primary today for dog catcher'  —  Rep. Liz Cheney's vote to impeach President Trump put her political future in jeopardy back home in Wyoming, revealed a state GOP official.  —  Doubts quickly surfaced about her viability …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Clint Smith / The Atlantic:
Trump Is Putting the Machinery of Death Into Overdrive  —  After 17 years without a federal execution in the United States, the Trump administration has gone on what can only be called a killing spree.  —  Staff writer at The Atlantic  —  The first time I stood in an execution chamber …
Mary Louise Kelly / NPR:
Outgoing CDC Director Warns Of Pandemic's Peak: 'We're About To Be In The Worst Of It'  —  Toggle more options  —  Next week marks one year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States.  —  Dr. Robert Redfield …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Susannah George / Washington Post:
U.S. forces in Afghanistan cut to 2,500, lowest level since 2001
Discussion: Breitbart, Al Jazeera and UPI
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
The Good, the Bad, and the Odd in Biden's Stimulus Plan
Usha Lee McFarling / STAT:
In LA, ambulances circle for hours and ICUs are full. Is this what Covid-19 has in store for the rest of the country?
Discussion: Mother Jones and Los Angeles Times
Transition / President-Elect Joe Biden:
President-elect Biden Announces Key Members of his White House Science Team
Discussion: Axios and New York Times
CREW:
President Trump's legacy of corruption, four years and 3,700 conflicts of interest later
 Earlier Items: 
Maya Kosoff / GEN:
Watching Gossip Girl at the End of the World
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Pelosi Holds Back Impeachment Article as House Builds Case
Sheren Khalel / Middle East Eye:
‘Jamal Khashoggi Way’: Washington DC may rename Saudi embassy street
Discussion: Washington Post
Alexander Sammon / American Prospect:
Prop 22 Is Here, and It's Already Worse Than Expected
Discussion: Payday Report
Tahir Hamut Izgil / Newlines Magazine:
A Form in Xinjiang  —  A poet from China's persecuted Uyghur community recalls filling out the government form
Discussion: National Review
Politico:
Top FEMA official attended Trump's ‘Stop the Steal’ rally