SIDNEY POWELL TRIED TO EVADE LAWSUIT SERVER IN $1.3 BILLION DEFAMATION SUIT: After evading attempts for weeks by a civil process server that included being “pursued over state lines,” ex-Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was served with a $1.3 billion lawsuit at her Biltmore Forest home, near Asheville, according to recently filed court papers by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion filed the defamation lawsuit against Powell Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. But attempts to officially serve the Texas-based attorney with the summons took until Jan. 28, said attorneys for the company. “Powell evaded service of process for weeks, forcing Dominion to incur unnecessary expenses for extraordinary measures to effect service, including hiring private investigators and pursuing Powell across state lines,” according to a Feb. 9 answer to Powell’s request for more time to respond to the complaint.
GOVERNOR COOPER SIGNS $1.6 BILLION PANDEMIC RELIEF BILL: Gov. Roy Cooper signed a pandemic relief bill into law Wednesday with $1.6 billion in it to help schools reopen and otherwise deal with coronavirus. Senate Bill 36 also includes a raft of tweaks to various federal pandemic relief programs and hundreds of millions of dollars for things like vaccination programs, rental assistance and broadband expansions. There's also a deadline extension on the $335-per-family "extra credit" grants the state created last year to help parents with school-aged children offset costs of online learning. An initial deadline passed last year, but tens of millions of dollars were left in the program. The bill passed the General Assembly quickly and with widespread, bipartisan support. It relies largely on federal funding approved by Congress last year in response to the pandemic. The rental assistance funding totals more than $700 million, some of which will be managed by local governments in the state's largest counties, but most of which will flow through the state. Details on those programs should also be forthcoming.
NORTH STATE JOURNAL CALLED OUT FOR MONETARY CONNECTION TO PAUL NEWBY: “People ask me what kind of a judge I am, and I say, ‘Well, exhibit A is my wife. I’m a great judge because I made a good choice there,’” he told the weekly newspaper. What the Journal — formed by officials from a prior Republican governor’s administration — didn’t report is that Macon Newby is also an investor in the five-year-old publication. Justice Newby’s statements of economic interest going back to 2016 show an investment company owned by his wife, New Tuck LLC, had invested more than $10,000 in the Journal. “It’s an absolutely clear ethical obligation for North State Media to make note of the investment by Justice Newby’s wife in every article it publishes that concerns him,” said Samuel Freedman, a journalist and professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. “Transparency is the gold standard here. By not being open with its readers about the investment, North State Media actually brings more suspicion on its coverage. It gives the impression, whether accurate or not, that something is being hidden.”
VIDEO EVIDENCE OF INSURRECTIONISTS HUNTING LAWMAKERS PRESENTED IN TRUMP TRIAL: The House Democrats, led by lead manager Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), spent Day 2 of former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial displaying violent video scenes of the Jan. 6 attack and the rioters’ relentlessly raw language, including chants to “hang” Pence and a sinister clip of a man looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking, “Naaaancy? Where aaaare you, Nancy?” All of it, the impeachment managers said, was a direct result of the president’s months-long effort to persuade his supporters of the “big lie” that the election had been stolen. After he had exhausted all other options to overturn President Biden’s victory, they said — including dozens of lawsuits and a sustained campaign to pressure state election officials — Trump turned his sights to Jan. 6, the day Congress was scheduled to formalize Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. “President Trump put a target on their backs,” said Stacey Plaskett, a Democratic House delegate from the Virgin Islands, describing the threat to lawmakers and Pence. “And his mob broke into the Capitol to hunt them down.” Worse still, she and the other managers said, is that when lawmakers, Trump’s aides and even his family members implored the president to call off the rioters as the attack unfolded, he refused initially to do so — because, the managers argued, he hoped the mayhem would block the electoral vote count. “Senators, you’ve seen all the evidence so far,” Rep Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said toward the end of nearly eight hours of arguments. “And this is clear: On January 6th, President Trump left everyone in this Capitol for dead.”
TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY FOR HOUSE PROSECUTORS TO MAKE THEIR CASE AGAINST TRUMP: The House impeachment managers are set to conclude their oral arguments on Thursday in the Senate trial of former President Donald J. Trump, a day after they delivered a dramatic presentation that showed in graphic detail the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. The presentation, which featured never-before-seen security footage as well as police radio communications, was a chilling retelling of the harrowing events on Jan. 6, after Mr. Trump rallied his supporters on the day that Congress met to certify the election results. The Senate is scheduled to convene at noon on Thursday, and the House managers, who are acting as the prosecution team for the trial, will have up to eight hours to finish laying out their case. Then it will be time for the defense team, whose debut on Tuesday during a debate over the constitutionality of the trial was rocky at best, infuriating Mr. Trump. The trial is moving at a rapid pace, and a vote on whether to convict the former president could take place as soon as this weekend. Seventeen Republican senators would need to join all 48 Democrats and two independents to reach the two-thirds supermajority required to convict Mr. Trump of the “incitement of insurrection” charge he faces.