Biden focuses on the climate crisis

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 8:46 PM ET, Wed January 27, 2021
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9:40 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Biden will focus on climate change today

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc and Betsy Klein

President Biden will focus on the climate crisis today, and is expected to sign a series of executive orders initiating regulatory actions to "combat climate change domestically and elevates climate change as a national security priority."

Biden is slated to speak at 1:30 p.m. ET and sign the executive orders.

Biden is expected to halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and take other climate related actions that include a memorandum on scientific integrity, the re-establishment of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology and an executive order that kicks off the development of a new emissions reduction target.

The administration is expected to announce a US-hosted Climate Leaders’ Summit, set to take place April 22, which is Earth Day.

Biden will also address creating clean energy jobs quickly.

The President's plans for this week were outlined in a draft calendar document viewed by CNN's Betsy Klein, and the moves allow for the President to set his agenda into motion while his administration continues the plodding work of coordinating with Congress on more policy goals, like a new Covid-19 relief package.

Bill Weir looks at Biden's plans to target the climate crisis:

8:45 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Where things stand ahead of Trump's second impeachment trial

From CNN's Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb, Clare Foran and Lauren Fox

Senators were sworn in for the second impeachment trial of former President Trump yesterday, and there was an immediate challenge to the constitutionality of the trial from a Republican ally of the former President.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky forced a procedural vote on the constitutionality of the trial Tuesday afternoon, in what amounted to the first test of how Senate Republicans view the upcoming trial, the substance of which will begin with arguments next month. The Senate voted to table, or kill, Paul's point of order, 55 to 45, with just five Republicans joining Democrats to vote against dismissing the trial.

The five Republicans who voted against Paul were Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Paul said Tuesday that he forced the procedural vote to show there already aren't sufficient votes to convict Trump, which would require two-thirds of senators. Many Republicans have taken the position in recent days that the trial is not constitutional because Trump is no longer President, in what's become the most common argument to acquit Trump.

The Senate passed its pre-trial organizing resolution, laying out the rules heading into impeachment the trial, 83-17, before the Senate adjourned as a "court of impeachment" until Feb. 9, when the trial arguments are scheduled to begin.

What comes next: The two-week break until the trial begins will give both sides more time to prepare for the trial. Trump is still hiring lawyers for his impeachment legal defense team, which is being led by South Carolina lawyer Butch Bowers.

As the House impeachment managers put together their plans for the trial, they are considering using a variety of video evidence to show how the rioters were responding to Trump's own words when they breached the Capitol, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

The impeachment managers are still wading through the huge amount of video that exists from Jan. 6 to determine what they should use at the trial, the sources said, including video posted to the conservative social media site Parler.

It remains to be seen how long the trial will last, whether the House impeachment managers will seek witnesses and what the exact contours of the President's legal defense will be.