HOGAN CALLS FOR TRUMP’S RESIGNATION OR REMOVAL: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said “America would be better off” if President Donald Trump resigned or was “removed from office,” Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. He called for leadership as the country reacts to Trump supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was counting Electoral College votes and certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win.
- Maryland’s National Guard and state police were ready Wednesday to help fight the “shameful attack on our democracy” in Washington, D.C., but federal officials repeatedly denied their authorization, Teresa McMinn of Cumberland Times-News reports from the Hogan presser.
- Describing a chaotic phone conversation with leaders of the House, Hogan said the authorization was finally given after an hour and a half, and the national guard plans to remain in place to ensure a peaceful transition of power, Rachel Baye reports for WYPR.
- And much of Maryland’s congressional delegation is pushing for the removal of Trump from office, Emily Opilo reports for the Sun.
- Congressman Kweisi Mfume is co-sponsoring a bill that will be introduced next week, looking to “permanently disqualify” Trump from holding any office in the U.S., Brandon Ingram reports for WMAR.
HARRIS FACES BACKLASH, ‘WILL NOT’ RESIGN: The Maryland Democratic Party on Thursday called on U.S. Rep. Andy Harris to immediately resign, after he continued to support President Trump in the wake of the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol, Jeff Barker and Christine Condon report for the Sun. Democratic leaders said he is a “disgrace” to the state and that he and other Republican members of Congress were complicit in the occupation that left four people dead.
- Harris took a leadership role supporting President Trump by delivering an impassioned House floor speech early Thursday in support of the president’s contention that some election results must be dismissed, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun.
- Harris defended himself in a statement, the Harford County Dagger reports, saying that some Maryland representatives offered objections to the electoral college votes of President Trump in 2017. “Today, some Marylanders are even calling for my resignation, which I will not do,” Harris stated. “My colleagues and I held legitimate Constitutional concerns about how the November election was conducted in certain states and felt compelled to highlight those concerns during the formal vote count.”
- Protesters gathered outside Harris’ Bel Air office Thursday, and the Republican Harford County executive called his actions “part of an act of sedition,” David Anderson reports for The Aegis. Harris, an anesthesiologist, is in his sixth term.
- Former Del. Heath Mizeur, a Democrat who now lives on the Eastern Shore, has threatened to challenge Harris in the 2022 election if he does not resign, Adam Pagnucco writes for Seventh State.
- Harris was among all five Republican members of Congress from Virginia and Maryland to challenge the election results, Meagan Flynn reports for the Post. Harris appeared close to a physical confrontation on the floor during a 2 a.m. debate.
FIRM FIRES EMPLOYEE WHO STORMED CAPITOL: A Frederick marketing firm on Thursday fired an employee who appeared in photos showing he was involved in the siege on the U.S. Capitol the day before, Trevor Baratko reports for The Frederick News-Post. “While we support all employees’ right to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” a statement reads.
- The man was wearing an employee badge while he stormed the Capitol, the Associated Press reports.
PHOTOJOURNALIST ASSAULTED: Amid the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, as supporters of President Donald Trump breached the premises in an attempt to stop the Electoral College votes from being counted, an independent photojournalist was assaulted by a man who has yet to be identified, Bryan Renbaum reports for MarylandReporter.com. Douglas Christian, who has worked as a White House radio pool journalist and has been published by the Baltimore Post-Examiner, said he is still in pain after being punched in the face.
DEMS CALL FOR COX EXPULSION: A Republican party leader denounced a tweet by Del. Daniel Cox (R-Frederick) that criticized Vice President Pence just as rioters were storming the U.S. Capitol, Ryan Marshall reports for The Frederick News-Post. Cox called Pence a “traitor,” and the governor’s spokesman called the tweet dangerous.
- Cox arranged for multiple tour buses to take constituents to Wednesday’s pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., though it’s not known how long the group was in Washington or if any of its participants were involved in the attack on the Capitol, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters. The Frederick County Democratic party is calling for his expulsion from the House of Delegates.
WOMAN WHO DIED HAD LIVED IN ANNAPOLIS: Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who died after being shot by police while storming the U.S. Capitol, lived in Annapolis for years before a divorce and move to San Diego, Lilly Price and Tim Prudente report for the Sun.
CECIL RESIDENTS DIVIDED ON RIOT: Cecil County residents are, like the rest of the country, divided on how to react to the news of Trump supporters invading the Capitol, Jane Bellmyer reports for the Cecil Whig.
STEELE ON FUTURE TRUMP RUNS: Former Maryland Lt. Gov. and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele poured cold water on President Donald Trump’s frequent suggestion that he might run again in 2024, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. Steele said even if Trump does decide to run the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol by his most ardent supporters would likely serve to render a future candidacy “moot.”
STATE FINES BGE FOR COLUMBIA GAS EXPLOSION: The state Public Service Commission fined BGE more than $437,000 for safety violations that caused a 2019 gas explosion at a Columbia office park, Lorraine Mirabella reports for the Sun. The PCS is also requiring BGE to upgrade gas lines at a cost of $17 million to prevent similar accidents.
COMMENTARY: INSIDER APPOINTMENT PROCESS NEEDS TO GO: Party insiders have had control of filling vacancies for so long, a process that breeds cronyism and nepotism, that Maryland residents think it is normal, writes Cristi Demnowicz in an op-ed for Baltimore Brew. But Democrats and Republicans taking charge of elected positions opened up through deaths, resignation or scandal and filling them with widows, lobbyists, officeholders and other party loyalists should not continue, and the state should look to special elections as more than half of the other states do.
VACCINATION UPDATES: Officials from Howard and Baltimore counties expressed frustration Thursday about the slow pace of coronavirus vaccination supply, saying appointments had to be made at the last minute as shipments come in, David Collins reports for WBALTV.
COMMENTARY: VACCINATION LEADERSHIP CRUCIAL: The Baltimore Sun editorial board is urging the state to continue looking at ways to get more people vaccinated, after Maryland was at one point ranked dead last in deployment of the vaccine.
MOCO TO PROPOSE EVICTION BILL: The Montgomery County delegation voted 17-6 in favor of a bill that will require Montgomery County landlords to provide just cause for evicting a tenant from a residential property, Briana Adhikusuma reports for Bethesda Beat. The bill will go before the General Assembly, which is considering statewide restrictions on evictions this year as well.
CARROLL STUDENTS RETURN IN PERSON: Carroll County students have returned to hybrid learning after months of virtual learning, Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. Failing grades were cited as one reason for the return to classrooms.
ELECTION WORKERS GO WITHOUT PAY: Checks paying election workers for the 2020 election appear to be stuck in a backlog of U.S. Postal Service mail, Elijah Westbook reports for WBFF. The paychecks were mailed Dec. 16.
- Many of the hundreds of election workers in Baltimore expecting checks for their Election Day work have not received them, Brenda Wintrode reports for Baltimore Brew.
GA SENATOR HAS TIES TO BALTIMORE: Rev. Raphael Warnock, the first Black person to be elected to the Senate from the state of Georgia, previously served as a pastor at Douglas Memorial Community Church in West Baltimore before he moved to Atlanta, writes Sean Yoes for AFRO.
LIERMAN ‘CAMPAIGNS’ IN WESTERN MD: Maryland comptroller candidate Brooke Lierman introduced herself to western Maryland voters in 2021 style, with a Mountain Maryland Meet and Greet online event, Brenda Ruggiero reports for The Garrett County Republican.
EAGLE HABITAT COULD VANISH WITH LAGOON:A Maryland Department of the Environment mandate to end the use of lagoons in wastewater treatment may result in some bald eagles losing habitat because they’ve taken up residence near a lagoon stocked with bass, Joseph Hauger reports for the Garrett County Republican. Oakland plans to shut down the lagoons when a new multi-community wastewater treatment plant is constructed.
SENATE ASSIGNMENTS ANNOUNCED: Senate President Bill Ferguson has announced changes to the Senate’s four standing committees as the General Assembly prepares to get underway in less than a week, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND LAWMAKERS PREPARE FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Southern Maryland lawmakers are preparing for twice weekly COVID tests, virtual hearings and fewer days in session at the General Assembly, Madison Bateman reports for Southern Maryland News.