This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” January 18, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR (on camera): Thin mints, I got it. Thanks,
Dana. Good evening. Welcome to Washington, I’m Bret Baier.

Breaking tonight, we are less than two days from an inauguration unlike any
other in our nation’s history. The U.S. Capitol city and the U.S. Capitol
Building on edge and a high security alert tonight.

A fire nearby this morning prompted a lockdown of part of the Capitol
facility. This comes amid fears of possibly violent protests here in
Washington and in state capitals throughout the country.

There are growing concerns of an insider attack. Concerns that have led the
FBI to vet all of the 25,000 plus National Guard troops protecting
Washington D.C. this week. Correspondent Rich Edson starts us off tonight.
Good evening, Rich.

Bret. And shortly after that lockdown at the Capitol Complex, it returned
to somewhat normal here. Minus the massive National Guard presents
thousands of police officers and a multilayer miles long security


EDSON (voice over): The U.S. Capitol’s alert system came alive shortly
before 10:30 this morning, warning those inside to keep away from windows
and doors because of an external security threat.

Police say that threat turned out to be a small fire nearby, but the moment
underscored the tension ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration.

25,000 National Guard members are preparing to secure Washington this week
with about 2-1/2 times more than previous inaugurations.

make sure that we have the right people in this security bubble. And we
have the time and the ability to do it.

EDSON: Defense officials say they’re working to re-examine National Guard
members assigned to the inauguration over concerns about any potential
insider threats.

Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller says, “While we have no intelligence
indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing
the Capitol.”

Along with federal and local police officers, the National Guard has set up
checkpoints throughout Washington and have through the weekend already made
a handful of arrests, including those for bringing firearms into D.C.

However, Homeland Security officials say the threat of violence extends
well beyond the Capitol.

is a lot more online chatter, if you will, that has come up since January
6th. But I would point out that a lot of that chatter isn’t Capitol night –
– nation’s Capitol focus, it’s more general across the country.

EDSON: In Washington, the historic inarguable security presence is in part
a response to the Capitol riots two weeks ago. The New Yorker has just
released video of the mob storming the Capitol invading the Senate chamber
and threatening congressional leaders, police and journalists.

There are at least 80 active federal cases with prosecutors steadily
announcing more charges, including Thomas Fee, a recently retired New York
City firefighter. Couy Griffin, a New Mexico county commissioner and the
founder of Cowboys for Trump, who prosecutors say promised to return arms
to Washington for this week’s inauguration and “Plant our flag on Speaker
Pelosi’s desk.”

And federal authorities say they are also looking for more, including Riley
June Williams, who authorities say they suspect took a laptop or hard drive
from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and tried to sell it to the
Russians. The FBI says the case is still under investigation.


EDSON (on camera): As federal law enforcement sifts through the evidence of
that January 6th attack; they are also reviewing their own performance. The
Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security has announced a
review joining the inspector general’s from the Departments of Justice,
Interior and Defense, Bret.

BAIER: Rich Edson on Capitol Hill. Rich, we have thousands of troops here
in D.C. and I hear there’s some of them are receiving a bit of protection

EDSON: Now they are. They’re used to giving the vaccines in their home
states, but now they’re getting it here. The Maryland National Guard has
sown some photos says that a number of their members who are in town to
defend the Capitol during the inauguration, they’ve gotten the COVID-19
vaccine. This is at a time when there are guard members in Washington from
all 50 states, all the territories and the District of Columbia.

Also, in more than a dozen states, they are working to administer the
vaccine, work on logistics. 33,000 guard members according to the National
Guard are deployed for either that or are in their home states doing
logistics or peace operations there to maintain the peace, Bret.

BAIER: Good to see you, Rich, thank you.

We did not see President Trump on this the next to last day of his term but
there is said to be plenty of activity in his final hours surrounding
potential pardons and commutations. The big questions who and how many?

White House Correspondent Kristin Fisher has that story tonight from the
North Lawn. Good evening, Kristin.

Bret. President Trump is expected to issue between around 50 and a hundred
commutations and pardons before he leaves office according to multiple
people familiar with this list.

But he is not expected to issue a protective pardon for himself or for
members of his family as some mainstream media outlets have reported that
he was considering doing. And one of the most high-profile names that was
being discussed in this latest round of pardons was Julian Assange.

But despite an aggressive campaign by WikiLeaks to try to secure a pardon
for its founder, President Trump is not expected to give him one. He is
expected to grant a pardon for the rapper Little Wang who pleaded guilty
this year to a federal gun charge. And then there’s the president’s former
chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was arrested on fraud charges over the
summer. It’s unclear at this point though, if Bannon is going to get one.

As the president’s term comes to a close, many are giving their final
farewells. And this afternoon, the First Lady Melania Trump issued a
farewell address on her Twitter account in which he urged all Americans to
choose love over hatred and peace over violence.


you do but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never
be justified.

FISHER (voice over): On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence visited troops at
Fort Drum in New York and delivered remarks which he described as his final
speech as vice president.

During those remarks, the V.P. highlighted the administration’s efforts to
get U.S. troops out of endless wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

with just a few days left in our administration, our administration is the
first administration in decades that did not get America into a new war.
That is peace through strength.


FISHER (on camera): And in terms of timing for these upcoming pardons and
commutations, a few White House officials say that they will likely come
down tomorrow. But Bret, President Trump has until noon on Wednesday to do
it, Bret.

BAIER: Kristin Fisher live in the North Lawn. Kristin, thank you.

The President-Elect Biden’s pick to run the Pentagon is getting some more
support tonight. 16 former defense officials including four former defense
secretaries are backing a waiver that would allow Retired General Lloyd
Austin to serve in that capacity.

The waiver is necessary to get around the minimum seven-year gap between
uniformed service and the top Pentagon job. Several Democrats on the Senate
Armed Services Committee have indicated they will not support that waiver.

These are President-Elect Joe Biden’s final days at his Wilmington,
Delaware home before leaving for Washington and his new home 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue. And he’s preparing to hit the ground running with a
lot of action we’re told in his first hours on that new job.

White House Correspondent to be Peter Doocy shows us tonight.



Biden will make an inaugural address and then grab a pen.

RON KLAIN, BIDEN CHIEF OF STAFF: He’s going to come back to the White House
after giving that speech at the Capitol and take some immediate actions.

DOOCY: Those immediate executive actions on day one, rejoining the Paris
Climate Agreement, reversing the travel ban on people from majority Muslim
countries, mandating masks on federal property and extending a pause on
student loan debt payments.

Day two, he’ll order an expansion of COVID testing. And within the week to
follows, he’ll expand access to health care for women and order migrant
families separated at the border reunited.

Republicans who can easily stop an executive action are instead picking
apart the $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan they’ll get to vote on including
an offer to provide 100 percent federal reimbursement for critical
emergency response resources to states, local governments and tribes
including deployment of the National Guard.

Florida Senator Rick Scott argues that’s a reward for poor COVID

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): And what Biden wants to do is give it to de Blasio
and give it to Cuomo and say, here let me — I know you can’t live within
your means. I know other states have paid for this. But you know, we’re
going to just going to give you some money for — you know, just you know,
because we like you.

DOOCY: What’s driving the new agenda? An L.A. Times headline reads, make
America California again? That’s Biden’s plan. It makes the point even some
ideas that haven’t worked out so well in California are on the national
agenda now. Biden is a fierce proponent of high-speed rail, as well as new
protections for gig economy workers that California voters diluted in

Today, Biden and Harris volunteered at food kitchens. Biden in
Philadelphia. Harris in D.C., where she teased major policy changes.

ours is an ambitious goal.

DOOCY: And the now former California senator has been told she’ll be the
last one in the room with Biden before anything big happens.

BIDEN: I may not be much, but I know how to pick them.


DOOCY (on camera): And the sun has set on Joe Biden’s final full day in
Delaware before the swearing in because even though he and President Trump
still haven’t spoken since the election, tomorrow, Biden is going to stay
in a building officially known as the president’s guest house warehouse,

BAIER: Right across the street, White House Correspondent Peter Doocy,
thanks. Thousands of Central American refugees are trying to make their way
to the U.S. and that resulted in a violent clash with police in Guatemala
trying to stop them. This occurs as the Biden administration is expected to
make major changes to U.S. immigration policy.

National Correspondent William La Jeunesse reports tonight from Los Angeles


Using tear gas and batons, security forces tried but failed to stop many
Honduran migrants at the Guatemalan border.

MAURICIO ROSALES, HONDURAN MIGRANT (through translator): Thank God we got
through the first part in what Guatemala. And if God allows it, we will go

LA JEUNESSE: For some, the march towards Mexico continues.

SANTOS PINEDA, HONDURAN MIGRANT (through translator): We have lost
everything in the hurricane. So, we are going to ask for help from anyone
who will take us in.

LA JEUNESSE: Migrants say they’re fleeing poverty, homelessness and hunger
made worse by a pair of hurricanes.

A Biden transition official said Sunday, help is on the way but urged the
group to wait.

BIDEN: I will introduce an immigration bill immediately.

LA JEUNESSE: President Trump warned Biden’s policies will lead to chaos.

they’re coming because they think that it’s gravy train at the end.

LA JEUNESSE: Border agents fear Biden’s legalization plan will be a magnet
for others to head north.

BIDEN: Nobody is going to be deported in my first hundred days.

LA JEUNESSE: No deportation means no detention for women, children and
families. And unlike President Trump, Biden said he will loosen asylum

MARK MORGAN, ACTING COMMISSIONER, CBP: The belief is they’re going to be a
lot in. So, they’re not hearing this now. Hey, wait, it’s not going to
happen on day one. They’re already coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing we will do when we arrive in the United
States is to find a job.

LA JEUNESSE: That employment alone immigration advocates hope could earn
them a place in America.

number of essential worker who are undocumented, our hope is that that they
will be protected not only with economic relief, but then also with some
sort of legal status.


LA JEUNESSE (on camera): The caravan right now is pinned down by the
Guatemalan military. Some have given up; others are looking for alternative
routes. 21 have tested positive for COVID, Bret.

BAIER: William, thank you.

Arizona is now the epicenter of the COVID outbreak in the U.S. leading the
nation in hospitalizations and infection rates. It’s one of several places
using high capacity venues to conduct mass inoculations to try to stem the
tide of cases.

We have team coverage tonight Molly Line in Foxborough, Massachusetts where
one of the nation’s premier football stadiums is now one of those mass
vaccination sites. And Chief Correspondent Jonathan Hunt in Glendale,
Arizona. Good evening, Jonathan.

evening, Bret. All day and all night, they keep coming here at Arizona’s
only 24/7 vaccination site as the state tries to deal with the dubious
distinction of being America’s COVID hotspot.


remind people that this is extremely contagious.

HUNT (voice over): The message from Arizona health officials is simple.

CHRIST: Whenever you are with someone who is not in your household to make
sure you’re wearing a mask and staying at least six feet away.

HUNT: Even when you’re in your own house?

CHRIST: Even if you’re in your own home. If you have other people who don’t
live with you, you should be wearing a mask.

HUNT: Arizona’s infection, hospitalization and death rates per capita are
currently the worst in the nation. Hospitals and their staff are at a
breaking point in this marathon struggle.

DR. RICHARD GRAY, CEO, MAYO CLINIC IN ARIZONA: In this 23rd mile they’re on
an uphill climb, so it’s exhausting. And it’s not just exhausting
physically and having to care for so many patients, it is exhausting

HUNT: Republican Governor Doug Ducey is adamant. Arizona’s can’t afford
even stricter lockdowns than those currently in place.

GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): If we’re really all in this together, then we have
to appreciate that for many families, lockdown doesn’t spell inconvenience.
It spells catastrophe.

HUNT: And almost a year and 680,000 infections since Arizona’s first COVID
case, the vaccine program brings hope.

The talks about it being a marathon, can you see the finish line

GRAY: I can see the finish line. I have a lot of hope.


HUNT (on camera): And the state will further ramp up its vaccination
program with the opening of another site on February 1st.

Still, officials say it will likely be the fall before everyone who wants
the vaccine can get it, Bret.

BAIER: Jonathan Hunt in Glendale, Arizona. Jonathan, thank you.

Now, for the perspective from the East Coast, Correspondent Molly Line is
in Foxborough, Massachusetts tonight.

home of the New England Patriots is the first mass vaccination site
launched in Massachusetts. Now serving first responders and healthcare
workers prioritize to get their shots.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully, everybody will get rolled out and, you
know, got the vaccines, and we can all be safe.

LINE: 500 appointments are offered daily with plans to ramp up to 5,000
vaccinations per day, providing hope the Bay State will pick up the pace.
Residents over 65 were not yet eligible here. But today, Massachusetts
starts vaccinations for those living and working in all congregate-care
facilities, like group homes, shelters, and controversially, prisons.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker defended the state’s plan.

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R-MA): When we made the decision early on that we were
going to focus on what we consider to be populations that were most at
risk. And all the data and all the evidence makes pretty clear that
congregate care settings are at-risk communities. No matter how you define

LINE: At least 17 states include correctional facilities in their phase one
plans, including Illinois, where Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker’s
administration moved prison inmates up in line ahead of adults with medical

President-elect Joe Biden noted that creation of priority groups was
science-driven but criticized implementation as too rigid and confusing.
His incoming chief of staff complaining that the new administration is
inheriting a huge mess.

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pushed back.

concerted effort by the new team to down talk where things are, so they can
look like heroes when they come in, and just carry forward the momentum
that we have established.


LINE (on camera): Over 31 million vaccine doses have been delivered across
the country, but only 12.3 million doses have actually been administered.
Something many hoped these mass vaccination sites will help to change.

BAIER: Molly Line in Foxborough. Molly, thanks.

Up next, the cancel culture and impeachment. And still, to come, we’ll take
you on the ground to preparations in Washington, D.C. for the most unusual
presidential inauguration ever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington is looking very different than it normally

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s pretty wild. I mean, it’s totally empty. We
actually didn’t think we could get that spark.



BAIER: An Arizona woman who vanished last week is said to be improving
tonight after being found over the weekend. 28-year-old Jessica Goodwin was
discovered on an Indian reservation, west of her home in San Tan Valley,
between Phoenix and Tucson. She was airlifted to a local hospital. Goodwin
disappeared under what police called abnormal circumstances one week ago.

The cancel culture showing no signs of letting up. Social media sites
continue the crackdown on users, accused of violating big tech’s rules. But
conservatives are finding ways around it.

This comes against the backdrop of the waiting game on just when the U.S.
Senate will hold its impeachment trial of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel brings us up to date.

over): Senator Lindsey Graham is calling on incoming majority leader Chuck
Schumer to hold a vote to dismiss the article of impeachment against
President Trump.

Graham warning in this letter, “In your first act as majority leader,
rather than begin the national healing that the country so desperately
yearns for, you seek vengeance and political retaliation instead.”


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Now, I’m asking Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden to
withstand the pressure from the radical left, stand down what I believe to
be clearly an unconstitutional impeachment of a president leaving office,
it will create further division in the country.

EMANUEL: The senate democratic whip, says dismissal is unlikely.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): I think there is precedent to suggest that even if
Donald Trump’s left town, he is still going to be held responsible for what
happened, January 6th.

EMANUEL: There are also signs of more targeting of conservatives following
the riot at Capitol Hill. Loews Hotels will no longer allow a fundraiser
for Senator Josh Hawley at one of its hotels.

Hawley firing back, “I will not bow to left-wing corporate pressure.” This
after Simon and Schuster canceled a book contract for the Missouri
Republican after he challenged the election results. Hawley now has a
publishing deal with Regnery.

Newly elected Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended by Twitter
for 12 hours after she blamed Georgia secretary of state officials for
losing the Senate runoffs for Republicans.

Social media app, Parler is fighting for its life after being shut down by
big tech. Parler reappeared over the weekend with an hourglass noting
technical difficulties. CEO John Matze, offering this prediction, “I’m
confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up.”

A left-wing activist charged for his alleged participation in the Capitol
Hill riot maintains control of his YouTube account. 26-year-old John
Sullivan videotaped the riot and can apparently be heard egging on


EMANUEL (on camera): Following reporting by Fox News, Sullivan’s Twitter
account has now been suspended.

In terms of timing when the article of impeachment will be sent over to the
Senate, Democrats are saying it will be soon and insist they must hold a
trial. And they’re expressing the hope it won’t take long to get it done.

BAIE: All right, Mike, thank you.

Up next, we’re just minutes away from one of the moments created just for
Wednesday’s inauguration. We’ll show you that live. Stay tuned for a
display you’re unlikely to see anywhere else but the comfort of your home.

First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are
covering tonight. Fox 32 in Chicago, as a California man who told police he
was afraid to fly because of the pandemic is arrested on charges that he
hid in a secured area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three
months. Aditya Singh is charged with felony criminal trespass and
misdemeanor theft.

Fox 11 in Los Angeles says legendary music producer Phil Spector dies in a
California prison. Spector who was convicted of murdering actress Lana
Clarkson at his home in 2003, reportedly died of COVID. He was 81.

And this is a live look at Atlanta from our affiliate Fox 5 down there. One
of the big stories there tonight.

The pandemic forces organizers to move the Martin Luther King Junior Day
Commemorative Service to a virtual format. Dr. King’s daughter, CEO of the
King Center, Bernice King says she is saddened people could not attend the
service. But says the virtual format allows more creativity and a
potentially larger audience.

That’s tonight’s live look “OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY” from SPECIAL REPORT. We’ll
be right back.


BAIER: You’re looking live at the National Mall there. In just a few
seconds, more than 191,000 U.S. flags will be lit up with 56 pillars of
light. It’s called the Field of Flags. You’ll see it here live on Fox.

Meantime, Wednesday’s inauguration will be historic and most exceptional,
obviously, the oldest incoming president and absent outgoing president from
the ceremony. A female vice president of color, and with the pandemic in
full force a change in the usual pomp and circumstance.

Correspond Kevin Corke takes a look at the final preparations including
something, as we mentioned, happening right now. Good evening, Kevin.

public display of art here on the National Mall not very far from where we
are standing here tonight. You mention 191,000 U.S. flags — to be exact,
191,500. And you’re right, 56 pillars of light. By the way, the 56 meant to
represent the U.S. states and territories.

Again, this is the Inaugural Committee’s idea about creating an environment
of American unity ahead of the inauguration. And certainly, this country,
frankly, between you and me and the fencepost could use a lot of that
moving forward.

Now, as you know, modern inaugurations have really spanned the gamut. We
have seen them be historic. We’ve also seen them, of course, be quite
buzzworthy. And this year’s inauguration can obviously turn out to be both.
Among many firsts, as you mentioned the first woman vice president and vice
president of color, Kamala Harris. Another first, President Trump, the
first outgoing president in more than 100 years, 152 years to be exact, to
not attend his successor’s inauguration, a reflection of political tenure
of the times to be sure. But also in sharp contrast to the last
inauguration when both President Obama and former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton did attend despite their obvious political differences with
the then incoming president.

Another difference, Bret, is the pageantry that we’ve come to expect from
the inauguration. That has obviously changed not just because of COVID-19
but certainly because of the heightened security situation here in the
nation’s capital. So you’re going to see a number of very different things
happen here this year for the inauguration. We’re going to talk about the
traditional parade, for example. Yes, there will be a parade, but it won’t
be the kind we are used to seeing, and there won’t be an inaugural ball
like we are used to seeing. We’re talking about replaced by virtual video
productions instead.

Meanwhile, back out live in Washington, the display on the mall, as I
mentioned, all those flags representing all the American people who will be
unable to travel here to Washington to take part this year, Bret.

BAIER:  Kevin, we are looking live at this picture, and we should take if
full again. We were told it was going to be 6:30 on the nose when this
would launch. I haven’t seen it yet, unless there is something I’m missing
in this live picture. But we will continue to show you this live because it
is supposed to, according to pool reporting, be pretty cool once it
happens. Despite these changes this year, Kevin, you have a list of
luminaries from music and art and sports, pretty long. What about that?

CORKE:  Yes, pretty surprising, actually, when you consider everything that
has happened, they’re still trying to create celebratory atmosphere. So
we’re talking about a Wednesday night broadcast, Bret, that they are going
to have on Inauguration Day, the Inaugural Committee hoping to invite
people like Lin-Manuel from “Hamilton” fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda from
“Hamilton” fame. John Legend is also expected to take part in that event,
Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, just to name a few. Again, the idea is they
should be a celebration for all Americans, and by having then perform
Wednesday night, they are hoping this will bring us all together. Bret?

BAIER:  Hopefully we will get the field of flags to bring you that visual.
It promises to be good. We’ll bring it to you when it is.

All right, up next, the special panel with the final destinations, the
final days of the Trump administration as we wait for pardons, that is
coming up next.



SEN. DICK DURBIN, (D-IL) SENATE DEMOCRATIC WHIP:  I don’t think there’s any
promise to date when Speaker Pelosi is going to present the articles of
impeachment. We understand under the Constitution we have a responsibility
to act as quickly as possible.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC):  This is insane at every level. It will create
further division in the country. What good comes from impeaching Donald
Trump after he leaves office? This is a scarlet letter impeachment.

REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO):  We cannot be, as a constitutional republic, a
country where the president of the United States can incite an armed
insurrection and face no consequences.


BAIER:  The impeachment, when will it happen, the trial in the Senate? This
is a real question as you get to the beginning of the Biden administration.

Let’s bring in a special panel, they used to spend a lot of time with each
other on this show, FOX senior political analyst Brit Hume, Mara Liasson,
national political correspondent for National Public Radio, and Fred
Barnes, senior columnist at “The Washington Examiner.” Panel thanks for
being here. And I couldn’t help but quote from someone else who would
usually be here, and that is Mort Kondracke. And he had an op-ed saying
“Why rushing to impeach Trump is a gift to Trumpers,” saying “A good case
can be made that Senate Democrats would only help him by trying to convict
him now and failing again, which they’re most likely to do. If more than 17
senator Republicans stick with Trump, as seems likely, he will claim
exoneration and feel encouraged to continue dominating the GOP and run
again in 2024. So the best course may be to hold off sending the House’s
Article of Impeachment to the Senate, at least until President Joe Biden
has completed his first 100 days. It would provide time for the January 6
Capitol invasion to be thoroughly investigated, possibly turning up new
evidence of Trump’s involvement and making it harder for Republicans to
resist conviction if Democrats decided to pursue it.” Mort Kondracke there
writing an op-ed. And Brit, you could say, oh, Mort, or however you want to
respond to that.


say “Oh, Mort,” for a long time. And I don’t totally disagree what he is
saying. I think there is a more compelling reason, though, and that is
Wednesday is the day the Trump era officially ends and the Biden era
begins. It is the traditional beginning of proverbial first 100 days when a
president wants to hold the spotlight, place it on his or her agenda,
hasn’t been a her yet, but on his agenda, and move forward.

And if you are in an impeachment conviction trial for conviction in the
Senate, you are off on an entirely different mission, one that is bound to
hog the headlines and keep Trump in the limelight, and detract from what
President Biden is trying to do. So I think it’s a good question of whether
Nancy Pelosi will send the articles over right away so that a trial can
begin right away. She has the option of holding it. Remember, she did it in
the original impeachment of President Trump, she held it for some time,
trying to lever the Senate into doing something the Senate didn’t do. But
she might well try it again.

BAIER:  We are trying again to get this visual of the field of flags that
is taking a lot longer than the 6:30 start, they said. Fred, what about
your fellow beltway boy and the prospect of Mort Kondracke saying 100 days
after the Biden administration takes office to then go after the president
in the Senate trial who has left 100 days earlier?

FRED BARNES, “WASHINGTON EXAMINER”:  Good luck, Mort. I don’t think that is
going to happen. I don’t think Trump is going to be convicted under the
impeachment charge anyway. The votes probably aren’t there. And look, what
has happened that is more important than that is that Trump’s career is
gone. Look, he’s finished as a politician now. And this is what makes it
such a fine thing for Republicans in Congress, in the House and the Senate
and running around the country, Trump is no longer a drag on them.

Look what has happened. He didn’t win reelection. He was barred being on
Twitter, that really hurts Trump who leaned heavily as his communication
with the whole country on tweet. Of course, he had rallies, but tweeting
was important. All the events on January 6th, we know those, and those
certainly hurt Trump. And look, his polling has dropped down to the low
30s. I think he’s gone. And now Republicans are where they want to be, and
that is the opposition to the Biden agenda, which we know now, we see what
he’s done, he sounds like Bernie Sanders. Biden is not acting like a

BAIER:  Mara, what about that, and the launching this agenda with the
prospect of the specter of that impeachment looming?

Yes, look, Joe Biden has said he wants to somehow bifurcate the Senate
proceedings where you do impeachment half the day and work on his agenda
the other half. He wants to keep impeachment at arm’s length. He wants to
focus on the pandemic and say impeachment is something that Congress is

I don’t know if that’s going to be possible for him to continue that. One
thing that Mort has put his finger on is Democrats have a lot of things,
equities to balance. They want Trump to have some kind of consequences,
they want to hold him accountable for what happened, but they don’t want to
make him a martyr or make him even more popular.

I don’t know if I agree with Fred that he’s finished. He has a very strong
hold on the Republican base, 70 percent of Republicans say they believe the
election was stolen from him, that he won. That is simply false, but they
believe it. He has very strong support out in the country among Republican
state party officials. So I don’t think he’s finished. I think there are
big questions about, how do you handle a Senate trial for a president that
is not president, for an ex-president?

BAIER:  But Brit, how, to Fred’s point, how left the Biden agenda tries to
go for as opposed to moderation to get things across the finish line may
affect how Trump’s future is in a Republican Party, at least the short

HUME:  Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is in a very,
very red state, has said he is not prepared to vote to end the filibuster,
which will mean the filibuster remains in effect, it will take 60 votes to
pass anything in the Senate, with the exception of certain categories or
certain legislation you can pass with 51 votes. But the broad sweeping
agenda about which Joe Biden has been speaking can’t pass without 60 votes.
You’re not going to get 60 votes for anything that’s truly, truly heavy
duty, controversial liberal stuff, which is the kind of thing he’s been
talking about.

So as long as you have the filibuster, he needs to find a way to pass
legislation that can be supported by at least some Republicans and give him
some achievements to get started with. Otherwise, his agenda will be
stymied, and we’ve now got these markers, 100 million vaccine shots in the
first 100 days, he is going to bring us together. A truly controversial
liberal agenda isn’t going to help to bring us together. It will divide
people even further and make for an even more divisive atmosphere in
Washington. So I think Joe Biden has got some thinking to do about what he
wants to try to do in Congress.

BAIER:  There will be a lot, I’m sure, that falls into the COVID bucket
when it comes to legislation.

But when we come back, we’ll talk about the Biden agenda and those first
few days in office.



first week-and-a-half in office you’re going to see him move on promises
that he made on the campaign trail to ensure that we are focused on
workers. You’ll see him make good on his buy American promise. You’re going
to see him make good on promises us toward a more just and racially
equitable society.

The second piece of the agenda will be working with Congress. You saw
President-elect Biden roll out the American Rescue Plan. This is a plan to
get desperately needed direct relief to the people who have been hardest
hit by this crisis all over the country. And it’s an effort to fund a
coordinated federal vaccine effort.


BAIER:  Kate Bedingfield with the President-elect’s team, talking about the
agenda in the first 10 days of office. There are a series of executive
actions expected, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, reverse the travel
ban on people from Muslim majority countries, extend a pause on student
loan debt payments, cancel Keystone XL pipeline, permit perhaps, order
families separated at the border to be reunited, expand COVID testing,
expand access to health care.

We’re back with the panel. Fred Barnes, what about that effort, how much
can President Biden overturn of a Trump agenda early?

BARNES:  It would be difficult for him to do it early because much of the
Trump agenda is in legislation, and that would have to be turned. You can’t
do it by executive order. I, frankly, went to sleep hearing who that was
outlining the Biden agenda. Look, it’s $1.9 trillion to spend, $130 billion
for the teachers union, more money for food stamps, $400 to people who are
already getting employment insurance, they’re getting an extra $400 for
each payment. And how does that compare to Barack Obama did in 2009 when he
had a similar program to help out people, he added $25, not $400 to the
whole unemployment payment. And it goes on and on and on, all this money
being spent without doing one thing that’s so important — creating jobs.
It’s paying people not to work.

BAIER:  Mara?

LIASSON:  Yes, the Biden people say they’re going to have a jobs bill, a
jobs package that they’re going to be presenting pretty soon too. Look,
some of the things that he wants to do, the things that he needs
legislation for, it’s going to be tough in a 50/50 Senate, there is no
doubt about that. But there are a lot of things he can do by executive
order, and I think one of the biggest things he can do is, as he put it,
manage the hell out of the pandemic, which means get a lot of vaccinations
out there. If he can, he’ll be showing that government can actually help
people on a day-to-day basis. He can get the supply going and the
distribution going. That’s really his first job in the first couple of
months. He’s got to get that solved.

The other stuff, some of them are popular — raising the federal minimum
wage to $15 an hour. Don’t forget Florida voters voted for that by 62
percent as they were voting for Donald Trump to win the state by three
points. So there’s stuff in there that has bipartisan support. Other things
are going to be a lot harder.

BAIER:  Brit, “The L.A. Times” had a piece called “Make America California
Again.” That is Biden’s plan, to use California as his think tank for what
to do for the rest of the country. What about that?

HUME:  I think it’s dangerous because people are pouring out of California
and other states as we speak. California has had a terrible experience with
the coronavirus. A lot of ideas do come out of California, but in recent
times, they haven’t always been the best ideas, as California’s recent
fortunes tell us.

I would say this about Biden, he cannot undo a lot of things that Trump did
by executive order, and that list that you presented at the top of the
segment exemplifies that. But as my colleagues have been saying, in a 50-50
Senate and also with a narrowly divided House, moving a lot of really big,
ambitious stuff, such as green new agenda type stuff, is going to be very
difficult. And I think what Biden has to be concerned about is he’s made a
lot of promises, he may make some more come Wednesday. And we will start,
finally, to stop thinking about Donald Trump and start measuring Joe Biden
against what he has promised. And we’ll see how that scorecard turns out,
but that’s where we’ll be.

BAIER:  But Brit, to stop thinking Donald Trump is a big thing, because the
last two Democratic presidents in 1994, Bill Clinton, and 2010, Barack
Obama, lost Congress after their first two years. And if Trump is hanging
around —

HUME:  Well, Trump may be hanging around. It remains to be seen what kind
of role he will have. Trump has financial difficulties and other
distractions to deal with, and he’s lost some of his platform, to say the
least. So it will be interesting to see whether he will be able to make
himself as visible as he has been.

BARNES:  The media is going to — 

BAIER:  All right, panel, stand by. When we come back, something new,
something new, the panel on tomorrow’s headline tonight. As we go to break,
those flags, finally, those flags, there they are.


BAIER:  And we are back with our special panel with a new segment. We’re
going to look at tomorrow’s headlines, what that might be, a look at it
tonight. Mara, first to you.

LIASSON:  My headline is business group surprisingly positive about parts
of Biden’s agenda. That is something that surprised me, to hear the Chamber
of Commerce praise his COVID-19 agenda. I don’t think we are seeing a huge
realignment here. Business community is pretty solid Republican. But I
think it’s surprising that they are as open as they are Biden’s plan.

BAIER:  All right, Brit, your headline tonight?

HUME:  My headline tonight, or tomorrow, would be Pelosi sends Article of
Impeachment to Senate, or Pelosi declines to send Article of Impeachment to
the Senate, which would tell us a lot about what will lie ahead as
President Biden takes office.

BAIER:  All right, Fred, headline tomorrow, give it to us tonight.

BARNES:  Biden orders Americans to wear lifetime masks.


BARNES:  I’m only partially joking there. Biden is fanatical about masks,
which has really become an ideological issue. Conservatives are very easy
going about masks, and Democrats, so many of them get all whipped up if you
don’t wear a mask. And I wear when I need to.

BAIER:  All right, I’m not sure that headline is coming, but we’ll see.
Thanks, panel, a lot of fun tonight.

Thanks for inviting us into your home. That’s it for the SPECIAL REPORT.
Fair, balanced and still unafraid. The brand new “FOX NEWS PRIMETIME”
hosted by Brian Kilmeade tonight starts right now.


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