Friday News: Whitewashed

1898 WILMINGTON COUP NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS, STUDENTS SAY: Some teachers, deVille said, also are worried about parents complaining that the coup is being taught. “There’s also a hesitation of will it make the phone ring?” Reagan Razon, 17, a senior at Enloe High School in Raleigh, is among the students who say the coup was never mentioned in their social studies classes, even though they discussed other events from the 1890s. Razon said she learned about the coup during last year’s nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd and other Black people by police officers. “It’s skipped over,” Razon, an executive at large with the Wake County Black Student Coalition, said in an interview. “It’s just so weird to me. You can pick and choose which things to talk about from the same year.” Some Black students say what they learn about Black history in social studies is a whitewashed, simplistic version.

SCHOOL REOPENING BILL FORCED INTO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE: The 74-44 vote sent Senate Bill 37 back to the Senate for a final vote. But senators knocked it off the fast track, disagreeing with changes made by the House and sending it a conference committee to negotiate a compromise. House Democrats called the legislation needless government overreach, noting 90 percent of North Carolina's school districts have already reopened, and the remainder plan to do so. "There's nobody that wants to reopen that can't really reopen right now," House Minority Leader Robert Reives said. "We can't keep usurping the authority of who was elected at the local level," said Rep. James Gailliard, D-Nash. Gov. Roy Cooper has expressed similar reservations about the bill, saying decisions about reopening should be left up to local boards. Still, he urged districts last week to get more students in classrooms. Rep. John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg, said Cooper's statement is fine, but the state needs to have a requirement in place so districts can't waffle on the issue. "The time is now. Let's go," Bradford said.

GASTONIA MAN ARRESTED FOR THREATENING TO KILL PRESIDENT BIDEN: David Kyle Reeves, 27, of Gastonia was arrested on Feb. 5, but the criminal complaint wasn’t unsealed until the court hearing in Charlotte, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina. Authorities said Reeves made multiple phone calls to the White House switchboard between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1 and made threats against the president and others who were not identified in the news release. Reeves also made threats in phone calls to the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Capitol Police, officials said. Court documents alleged that in one of the phone calls, Reeves threatened to kill everyone in the White House and added “I am going to chop your heads off.” He also told a Secret Service agent that no punishment would stop him and that it is not against the law to threaten people, officials said. U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler ordered Reeves to remain in custody. He is being held at the Mecklenburg County jail. Kevin Tate, the attorney assigned to represent Reeves from the Federal Defender's Office, couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday.

FORMER FBI AGENT AND NAVY VET WAS CENTRAL FIGURE IN INSURRECTION PLOT: Prosecutors allege Caldwell used his military and law enforcement background to plan violence — including possible snipers and weapons stashed on a boat along the Potomac River — weeks ahead of the Capitol insurrection. Caldwell, of Berryville, Va., is charged on counts of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, trespassing, destruction of government property, and aiding and abetting. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes — identified as Person One by prosecutors in documents charging Caldwell — called on members of the group to “stand tall in support of President Trump” on Jan. 6. and, prosecutors say, Caldwell responded. He had been coordinating with the Oath Keepers since the week after the election, prosecutors allege, when he hosted members at his Virginia home for a pro-Trump protest that turned violent. “Next time (and there WILL be a next time) we will have learned and we will be stronger,” he messaged others afterward, according to the court documents. “I think there will be real violence for all of us next time. . . . I am already working on the next D.C. op.” Associates of the Oath Keepers had a chat group on the encrypted app Signal to prepare for Jan. 6, according to prosecutors, while Three Percenters met on Zoom. In a statement after Caldwell’s indictment, Plofchan said Caldwell is being used as a “scapegoat” and was merely “an observer of increased frustration by some members of the public.” He did not enter the Capitol, Plofchan said, and is not an Oath Keeper. Prosecutors say it is irrelevant whether Caldwell personally breached the building. “Like any coach on the sideline, Caldwell was just as responsible as his players on the field for achieving what he viewed as victory that day,” they wrote.

TRUMP'S "LAWYERS" WILL PRESENT HIS DEFENSE TODAY, BEGINNING AT NOON: Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump will have their first chance on Friday to counter the claim that Democratic House impeachment managers have sought to establish this week: that he was personally responsible for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan 6. As House prosecutors wrapped up their arguments on Thursday, they gave no indication that they planned to call witnesses, as they did last year in Mr. Trump’s first Senate trial. Rather, they expressed confidence that they had proved their case. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have also shown little interest in prolonging the proceedings. One of them, David I. Schoen, said on Thursday that he expected his team might use as few as three or four hours to mount its defense on Friday. The Senate will reconvene at noon. Mr. Trump’s lawyers may also seek to argue that the former president was never in control of his supporters’ actions, and that his expressions of frustration about the election were not overt calls to violence but opinions protected as free speech under the Constitution. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have so far avoided repeating or defending Mr. Trump’s more outlandish claims of widespread election fraud, and are not expected to make that part of their arguments. If Mr. Trump’s lawyers do complete their presentation quickly, senators, who act as jurors in the case, may have time on Friday to begin questioning each side. Trial rules allow four hours for senators to do so. A number of Republican senators reiterated concerns on Thursday about the constitutionality of the trial and the precedent that impeaching a former president could set. Many said they expected to see questioning finished by Friday night.