This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.
The Jan. 6 committee has voted to subpoena Donald Trump
The Jan. 6 Committee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a resolution to subpoena former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack on the US Capitol.
The 9–0 vote came at what had been expected to be the last House committee hearing on the yearlong investigation into Jan. 6, 2021. In his opening remarks, committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said evidence had shown that there was a “multipart plan” led by Trump to overturn the 2020 election.
One of the biggest takeaways from the hearing was that former aides told the committee that Trump acknowledged in private that he lost the election. Vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney added that Trump had always intended “to declare that the election was fraudulent and stolen before Election Day before he knew the election results.”
“None of this is normal or acceptable or lawful in a republic,” Cheney said.
While the committee itself is unable to bring criminal charges or indict Trump, it can issue subpoenas that require people to answer questions and turn over documents. Before the new congressional term begins in January 2023, the committee will produce a report for the Justice Department, which could include criminal referrals and recommendations.
Elon Musk is somehow crucially involved in Ukraine
- Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites have been a critical source of communication for the Ukrainian military. Now, Musk announced he will stop funding this service in Ukraine unless the US military starts subsidizing operation costs.
- “SpaceX’s suggestion it will stop funding Starlink also comes amid rising concern in Ukraine over Musk’s allegiance,” writes CNN’s Alex Marquardt. “Musk recently tweeted a controversial peace plan that would have Ukraine give up Crimea and control over the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions.”
A couple alleges they were victims of an anti-gay assault, after they were seriously injured in an attack at the queer bar they own. Casey Fitzpatrick and his husband, Nicholas Ruiz, who own Troupe429 in Connecticut, also said the man used “derogatory and anti-LGBTQ words” to disparage the venue and its customers.
Defense lawyers question Anthony Rapp’s motives in Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault trial. In his testimony, Rapp called the alleged assault “the most traumatic single event” of his life.
Rainbow fentanyl is a real threat, but not because people are giving it out on Halloween. “There’s no evidence that this is happening, and no one’s giving away free drugs, especially in Halloween candy,” said one emergency physician.
A jury has spared the Parkland shooter from the death penalty
The shooter who killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will be spared the death penalty, a jury ruled on Thursday. Instead, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder last year. In each count, the jury indicated they found there were sufficient aggravating factors — including that Cruz acted in a “cruel, cold, calculated, and premeditated manner” to commit “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel” murders — but that these were not enough to overcome the mitigating circumstances of Cruz’s psychiatric state to justify the death penalty.
Over four years after the Parkland shooting, Thursday’s verdict ends what has been an exceptionally rare trial in the US, given that most people who commit mass shootings end up taking their own lives or being killed by police. In the courtroom yesterday, family members of the victims held hands and wiped away tears as the verdict was read. Some shook their heads in anger or disbelief, others sat with their eyes closed, looking crushed.
Two men have now been charged for cheating during a fishing competition
It’s oh-fish-ial: Two men who made headlines around the world when they were caught stuffing lead weights inside their fish during an Ohio tournament have now been charged with a slew of crimes.
According to the indictment, Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky participated in the Sept. 30 Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament where they “did knowingly engage in conduct designed to corrupt the outcome” in order to win $29,000.
Tournament organizers were immediately suspicious at the weigh-in because each of Runyan and Cominsky’s fish weighed in at least 7 pounds, instead of the 4 pounds they appeared to be. A viral video showed organizers cutting open the fish to reveal a total of 10 weights, each weighing either 8 or 12 ounces.
Runyan and Cominsky are charged over felonies of cheating, attempted grand theft, and possessing criminal tools. On Tuesday, authorities seized a boat and trailer belonging to Cominsky that was used during the tournament.
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