Maddow Blog | Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 4.17.24

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Today’s edition of quick hits.

* The Mayorkas impeachment process is over: "The House impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in February and, on Tuesday, formally referred the issue to the Senate for a trial. Democrats voted to rule both impeachment articles unconstitutional because they did not rise to the level of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' They then adjourned the trial."

* Speaking of notable developments on Capitol Hill: “Facing a divided party and pressure to act, House Speaker Mike Johnson rolled out three bills Wednesday to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, with the hope of holding final votes on Saturday.”

* In related news, President Joe Biden has a new op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today: “Now is not the time to abandon our friends. The House must pass urgent national-security legislation for Ukraine and Israel, as well as desperately needed humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.”

* Yellen is lending her voice, too: At a bilateral meeting later Wednesday with Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to dial up the pressure on House Republicans to act. ‘The failure of House Republicans to act to support Ukraine in this pivotal moment of the war for so long has been inexcusable—and detrimental to our national security,’ Yellen will say, according to a Treasury source. ‘Every moment of delay by House Republicans strengthens Putin and emboldens America’s adversaries around the world who are closely watching to see if we, the United States, maintains its resolve to support a democratic Ukraine as it fends off an autocratic Russia.’”

* How will the court ever recover from the damage done by its far-right members? “Despite his wife’s backing of Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 presidential election, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has ignored calls to recuse himself from recent Jan. 6-related appeals. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that his questioning Tuesday in such a case appeared to downplay the insurrection.”

* I can’t think of a defense for this: “Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, on Monday urged people whose routes were blocked by pro-Palestinian protesters to ‘take matters into your own hands’ and confront the offenders, endorsing the use of physical force against peaceful demonstrators.”

* An initiative worth watching: “Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday announced a new partnership with more than a dozen state attorneys general to investigate consumer complaints against airlines.”

* It’s a shame the details of the settlement haven’t been released: “Ultraconservative news outlet One America News and voting technology company Smartmatic announced Tuesday that they have reached a settlement in the defamation lawsuit the latter filed after hosts and guests on OAN spread lies about Smartmatic software’s being part of a scheme to throw the 2020 election to Joe Biden.”

* An honorable public servant, a man of great integrity, and a class act exits the stage: “Former U.S. Sen. and two-term Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who gained national prominence as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks and as an early critic of the Iraq war, has died. He was 87.”

See you tomorrow.

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