6.17.2022

John Eastman, Watergate, and the Low-Power Brain Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, June 17, and we're covering the third public hearing on the events of Jan. 6, a lookback at the Watergate affair, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Jan. 6 Hearings (Pt. III)

The House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the storming of the US Capitol last Jan. 6 held its third in a series of public hearings yesterday afternoon. Much of the panel focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his aides and allies to pressure Vice President Mike Pence as he prepared to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

 

Among other key moments, witnesses alleged Trump legal adviser John Eastman acknowledged that a plan for Pence to refuse to certify the results violated the Electoral Count Act. Emails also revealed Eastman unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon in the aftermath of Jan. 6. Eastman pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a deposition with the panel. 

 

The Democrat-led committee has no criminal prosecution authority, and sources suggest internal disagreement within the group on whether to refer any potential charges to the Justice Department. The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 pm ET. 

 

Separately, reports say the panel will request an interview with Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, over her alleged role in coordinating efforts to reverse the election results. 

Watergate Anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of a break-in at the Watergate Office Building in Washington, DC, an intrusion that sparked one of the most notorious political scandals in modern US history and led to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. 

 

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested attempting to infiltrate and bug the Democratic National Committee in the lead-up to that year's presidential election (see visual timeline). Originally claiming to be anti-communists and freedom fighters, the men were eventually linked to the Nixon campaign.

 

The ensuing cover-up lasted for more than two years—during which Nixon won reelection by a landslide—until key witnesses and revelations that Nixon secretly recorded Oval Office conversations unraveled the plot. Listen to the "smoking gun" tape that led to him leaving office ahead of impeachment.

 

The saga included many twists and turns, including the purported kidnapping of Martha Mitchell and the reporting of Woodward and Bernstein

Warriors Back on Top

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship last night, beating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the finals. It marks the seventh title in franchise history and the team's fourth since 2015. 

 

Despite appearing five straight finals between 2015 and 2019—and winning in 2015, 2017, and 2018—the team notched the league's worst record two seasons ago amid injuries to stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Having returned to nearly full health entering the playoffs, Curry dominated the postseason, including a 34 point, seven rebound, seven assist performance last night. The eight-time All Star was named Finals Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career.

 

See a way-too-here early analysis of next year's best teams.

In partnership with The Ascent

AWARD-WINNING PERKS

 

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with CanvasPeople

> Los Angeles, Toronto, and Mexico City among 16 host cities announced for 2026 FIFA World Cup; tournament to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico (More)

 

> Beyoncé announces seventh album "Renaissance" to be released July 29; will be her first new album since 2016 (More)

 

> Seattle Storm's Sue Bird, 12-time WNBA All-Star and league's all-time assists leader, announces she'll retire at end of 2022 season (More)

From our partners: Free large canvas?! Bring beautiful photos from the camera roll to the living room, with CanvasPeople. They print your favorite images onto high-quality canvases, and today they're giving 1440 readers one free 16x20 canvas print (over $120 in value). Just pay S&H; create yours today!

Science & Technology

> Cybersecurity experts say recent record-setting distributed denial-of-service attack peaked at 26 million requests per second, used a new approach involving a network of just 5,000 devices (More) | What are DDoS attacks and how do they work? (More)

 

> Researchers identify molecule in the blood produced during exercise that reduces food intake and obesity in mice; findings suggest a step toward "exercise-in-a-pill" applications (More)

 

> Polar bear population found in the Arctic has learned to hunt without the use of sea ice, suggesting adaptability to rising temperatures and ice loss (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -3.3%, Dow -2.4%, Nasdaq -4.1%) on recession fears; Dow falls below 30,000 for first time since January 2021 (More)

 

> Elon Musk holds digital town hall meeting with Twitter employees ahead of potential $44B acquisition (More)

 

> Cosmetics giant Revlon files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; company owned by a private equity financier reportedly has $3.8B in debt and lost over $200M in 2021 (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Russian gas flows into Europe continue to fall as Moscow blames repair issues on major pipelines; natural gas prices jump 30% (More) | European leaders visit Ukrainian capital of Kyiv (More)

 

> US-led forces capture senior Islamic State leader in northern Syria; experienced bombmaker Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi acted as the de-facto governor of the city of Raqqa during IS control (More

 

> Abbott Nutrition forced to pause operations at recently restarted baby formula production facility due to flooding from severe storms (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Low-Power Brain

Quanta | Allison Whitten. Neuroscientists have discovered an energy-saving state of the human brain that comes at the expense of finer-grained functions. (Read)

'Merry-Go-Round' of Buck Passing

Guardian | Robert Booth. Five years after one of modern Britain's deadliest structural fires, what has been learned? (Read)

Volcano Hunters

BBC Future | Adrienne Bernhard. In January, a mega-explosion from an underwater volcano rocked the island of Tonga. How can scientists predict the next blast? (Read)

BEST OF 2022

 

In partnership with The Ascent

 

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This card was named "Best 0% Intro APR Credit Card" and "Best Balance Transfer Credit Card," thanks to its incredible 0% intro APR period on purchases and qualifying balance transfers of 18 months. Check it—or any of The Ascent's other great credit finds—out today.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

Older Americans are getting political on Twitter

 

Create a stirring harmony with Blob Opera.

 

America's most beautiful small towns

 

Scientists reconstruct the upper body of a Bronze Age woman.

 

Explaining the Sriracha shortage.

 

Lego announces its first US brick factory

 

Five friends snap the same photo four decades running.

 

A nightmarish vision for airplane seating.

 

Clickbait: Dominoes, but with laptops

 

Historybook: Battle of Bunker Hill fought (1775); Statue of Liberty arrives in New York as gift from France (1885); HBD tennis star Venus Williams (1980); HBD rapper Kendrick Lamar (1987); OJ Simpson arrested for murder following police chase (1994). 

 

"You have to train your mind as much as your body."

- Venus Williams

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