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2:45 PM ET, January 20, 2021

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The White House:
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency  —  President Donald J. Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals.  —  Todd Boulanger - President Trump granted a full pardon to Todd Boulanger.
RELATED:
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
With hours left in office, Trump pardons Bannon.  —  President Trump has granted clemency to Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who was charged with defrauding people who supported building a border wall that Mr. Trump supported, White House officials said.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump's swampiest pardons, ranked  —  President Trump came into office pledging to drain the swamp.  He exits having extracted a bunch of allies who were neck-deep in the muck from it.  —  As I've regularly noted with Trump's pardons, it's not unheard-of for a president to pardon an ally.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
Andrew Weissmann / Just Security:
Gaps in Trump's Pardons: How the Biden Administration Can Still Pursue Justice  —  Former President Donald Trump issued numerous pardons and commutations to friends, family and associates, as well as felons who engaged in heinous crimes involving war crimes, murder, political corruption, and civil rights violations.
Grant Stern / Byline Times:
Still Faces ‘We Build the Wall’ State Investigation  —  Joe Biden's presidency has just begun and the Donald Trump era has just come to an end - with its chief enabler the recipient of a last-minute pardon for federal felony charges.  But new reporting shows that Steve Bannon is still staring …
Discussion: Law & Crime and Crooks and Liars
Tiana Lowe / Washington Examiner:   Trump's final insult to his supporters: Pardoning Bannon
New York Times:
With Hours Left in Office, Trump Grants Clemency to Bannon and Other Allies
Washington Post:
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president, pleads for unity in inaugural address to a divided nation  —  Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, pledging to unite the country and confront an array of convulsing challenges dividing a fractured nation.
RELATED:
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Inauguration Live Updates: Trump Leaves White House as Biden Prepares to Assume the Presidency
Axios:
Off the rails: Inside Trump's campaign to coerce Pence into overturning the election  —  Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term.
RELATED:
Alayna Treene / Axios:
Trump departs on final Air Force One flight  —  President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.  —  The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration …
Washington Post:
Biden inauguration live updates: Speech emphasizes unity; parade to follow solemn wreath-laying ceremony
Andrew Restuccia / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Has Discussed Starting a New Party  —  President Trump has talked in recent days with associates about forming a new political party, according to people familiar with the matter, an effort to exert continued influence after he leaves the White House.  —  Mr. Trump discussed the matter …
RELATED:
Politico:
‘Really quite shocking’: Inside the ugly transition at the Pentagon  —  The Pentagon blocked members of President Joe Biden's incoming administration from gaining access to critical information about current operations, including the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, upcoming special operations missions …
Discussion: UPI, Defense One and Raw Story
NBC News:
Some QAnon followers lose hope after Inauguration  —  Some QAnon conspiracy theorists, in public and private internet forums and chat rooms, were despondent Wednesday as their prophecy of an Inauguration Day coup to keep Donald Trump in power failed again as President Joe Biden was sworn into office.
RELATED:
Transition / President-Elect Joe Biden:
FACT SHEET: President-elect Biden's Day One Executive Actions Deliver Relief for Families Across America Amid Converging Crises  —  Actions Address the COVID-19 Pandemic, Provide Economic Relief, Tackle Climate Change, and Advance Racial Equity  —  Today, hours after taking the oath of office …
RELATED:
Politico:
Biden plans executive action blitz for Day One
Andrew Stiles / Washington Free Beacon:
HISTORIC: Joe Biden to Be Sworn In on Jeffrey Epstein's Birthday  —  Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, bringing to a close one of the most successful administrations in American history.  —  In what may or may not be a coincidence …
RELATED:
Dan Diamond / Washington Post:
Biden to ask Surgeon General Adams to resign  —  Ouster is regarded as a break with the Trump administration's covid-19 response, which the president-elect has called a failure  —  The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free.
Kate Bennett / CNN:
Melania Trump outsourced writing her own ‘thank you’ notes to the White House residence staff  —  (CNN)First lady Melania Trump did not write her own “thank you” notes to the White House residence staff who have cared for her and her family for the last four years, according to two sources …
RELATED:
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Trump revokes rule preventing White House staff from lobbying
Susan Ferrechio / Washington Examiner:
McCarthy urges Biden: ‘Pick up mantle’ from Trump successes  —  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on President Biden to pick up on challenges “confronted” by his predecessor, now former President Donald Trump.  —  McCarthy, who has long supported Trump but blamed him in part …
Discussion: Foreign Policy and Townhall
RELATED:
Catherine Thorbecke / ABC News:
Powerful images symbolize an inauguration unlike any other
Discussion: RedState, IJR and CBS Baltimore
HuffPost:
Feds Arrest Proud Boy Member Joe Biggs Over Capitol Riot  —  The right-wing media figure denied to FBI agents that he was involved in any planning for the attack on the Capitol, but admitted entering the building.  —  Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Joe Bigs …
Discussion: The Hill and Eschaton
Allyson Waller / New York Times:
Joe Biden's Family Bible Has a Long History  —  He's used the same Bible as far back as 1973.  It was also used by his son Beau.  —  When President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath of office on Wednesday, he is likely to place his hand on a familial artifact that has followed …
RELATED:
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Biden sworn in as nation's 46th president
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Writing a speech for Biden can be hell.  And that was before the inaugural.  —  Joe Biden paces as he dictates long portions of his speeches to aides, spinning out thoughts that quickly pile into six, seven or eight paragraphs of copy, only to later be scrapped.
Jim Small / Arizona Mirror:
Biggs and Gosar sought pardons for Capitol riot, but won't get them: report  —  Arizona Republican Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar have asked President Donald Trump to preemptively pardon them for their roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, but the president has no plans to do so, CNN reported Tuesday.
Ben Makuch / VICE:
Far-Right Extremists Tell One Another to Stay Home, Fight Another Day  —  Troop deployments, FBI crackdowns, deplatforming, and infighting seem to have deterred a bigger turnout of the far right across the country.  —  TORONTO, CA  —  In the wake of the Capitol Hill riots …
Discussion: Raw Story and NBC News
Evie Fordham / Fox News:
Liz Cheney gets 2022 primary challenger after Trump impeachment vote  —  Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard throws his hat in the ring  —  Fox News Flash top headlines for January 20  —  Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., one of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Obituary for a Failed Presidency  —  One last Letter from Trump's Washington.  —  Susan B. Glasser's column will continue as Letter from Biden's Washington.  Sign up for her newsletter to get her stories delivered to your in-box every week.  —  Precisely at noon on Wednesday …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Biden: ‘We Must End This Uncivil War.’ Here's What It Would Look Like.
Discussion: CNN and Orange County Register
Joseph Simonson / Washington Examiner:
Trump exits White House without pardons for Assange, Snowden, or Joe Exotic
Discussion: Forbes, Jacobin, The Hill and Al Jazeera
The Daily Beast:
Trump Pardons Fox News Host's Ex-Husband With Minutes Left in Office
Discussion: Mediaite
Gerry Shih / Washington Post:
China turbocharges bid to discredit Western vaccines, spread virus conspiracy theories
Discussion: HotAir
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Biden gives DOJ green light to resume Obama-era ‘slush fund’ payouts to liberal groups
Discussion: Breitbart and The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
An Incompetent Authoritarian Is Still a Catastrophe
Discussion: Salon and Daily Kos
National Review:
The Madness of the Arizona GOP
Bernie Sanders / The Guardian:
Joe Biden must put an end to business as usual. Here's where to start
Washington Post:
Biden is ‘inheriting a disaster’ as coronavirus continues to grip nation amid chaotic vaccine rollout
Politico:
‘Like a Ghost’ in the White House: The Last Days of the Trump Presidency