MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The second impeachment trial of former President Trump is underway. We’ll hear from a constitutional scholar how the process may unfold.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.
Also, World Tour.
Plus Kim Henderson stops by a flower show and gets wowed by extravagant blooms.
And World founder Joel Belz on the problem with covering up your face.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, February 10th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Time now for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Lawmakers open Trump impeachment trial » AUDIO: [Gavel strikes] The Senate will be in order.
Lawmakers opened former President Trump’s second impeachment trial on Tuesday. House impeachment managers led with a pre-produced video interspersing Trump’s remarks with footage of the January 6th capitol riot.
AUDIO: We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. CROWD: Take the Capitol!
Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin suggested that video evidence that Trump incited insurrection.
RASKIN: You ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is under our constitution, that is a high crime and misdemeanor.
But the former president’s legal team argued that he called for spirited protests but never violence and charged that the entire trial is a farce. Trump lawyer Bruce Castor:
CASTOR: Let’s understand why we are really here. We are really here because the majority in the House of representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future. That’s the real reason we’re here.
Each side received 16 hours to make their case across two days, yesterday and today. The Senate is scheduled to resume the impeachment trial around 12:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Law enforcement agencies investigating attack on Fla. town’s water supply » Law enforcement officials are hunting for clues, trying to figure out who attacked the water system in a town near Tampa.
Officers revealed on Monday that a hacker took control of a computer system managing the water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Florida on Friday.
The hacker then tried to release dangerous levels of the chemical sodium hydroxide into the water supply.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told Fox News that his department is working with the FBI and other government agencies to get to the bottom of the attack.
GUALTIERI: We don’t know whether the person who did this was down the street or in another country, and that’s a big question for us as to where this originated from and who the actors are and what their ulterior motives were.
Fortunately, a supervisor saw the chemical being tampered with and was able to immediately reverse the change.
Officials warned other city leaders in the region—which was hosting the Super Bowl—about the incident and suggested they check their systems.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the president is aware of the attack.
PSAKI: The president, vice president, members of our national security team are focused on elevating cybersecurity as a threat that has only increased in the past several years.
Experts say municipal water and other systems have the potential to be easy targets for hackers.
WHO winds down virus investigation in China » A team from the World Health Organization is wrapping up its investigation in China on the origins of the coronavirus.
And on Monday, members cast doubt on an assertion from U.S. intelligence officials that the virus may have accidentally escaped from a high security lab in Wuhan. WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarak told reporters…
EMBARAK: It was very unlikely that anything could escape from such a place.
China initially said the virus likely jumped from an animal to humans at a so-called “wet market” in Wuhan. But Embarak was unable to—quote— “pinpoint any animal species as a potential reservoir for this disease.”
The WHO team also voiced an openness to a theory that Chinese officials have pushed recently that the virus might have originated from overseas.
That has led to renewed questions from critics about the objectivity of the World Health Organization.
President Trump withdrew support for the WHO, saying it had been corrupted and politicized. The Biden administration has since reversed that policy, saying it’s best to try and reform the organization from within.
Fauci: Administration pushing hard to reopen schools » President Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that the administration is still working on a strategy aimed at reopening K-12 classrooms.
The president has said that the lack of in-person learning is by itself “a national emergency.”
Fauci conceded that “it’s not an easy problem to solve.” He said the vaccine rollout is a big part of the solution.
FAUCI: Obviously we want to get teachers vaccinated. They are essential personnel as far as we’re concerned. It would be important to get them vaccinated. But there are situations where you likely can still get children back to school.
He said the administration is banking on measures in the president’s COVID-19 relief package providing funds for more masks and better ventilation.
He also said the first priority is reopening classrooms from kindergarten through 8th grade within the next 80 days.
He said some data strongly suggests that younger children don’t transmit the virus as freely as high school students.
McDonough sworn in as VA secretary » President Obama’s former chief of staff Dennis McDonough is the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
AUDIO: That I will support and defend – the Constitution of the United States – the Constitution of the United States.
He took the oath of office on Monday after the Senate signed off on his nomination.
AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 87, the nays are 7. The nomination is confirmed.
Leading veterans advocacy groups voiced concern that McDonough never served in the armed forces. But he touted his experience working in the Obama administration, telling lawmakers he understood how to untangle and solve complex challenges across the government.
He said his experience as chief of staff also enabled him to view the sacrifices that veterans make.
McDonough replaces Robert Wilkie as VA secretary.
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: we’ll unpack the legal arguments for and against impeaching former President Donald Trump.
Plus, Joel Belz on wearing masks and living Biblically.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 10th of February, 2021.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s Washington Wednesday.
The second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is underway in the Senate. Presentations began on Tuesday with House impeachment managers making their case as to why Trump is guilty of inciting insurrection while Trump’s legal team say both the charge and the trial itself are unjust.
So what should we expect from this impeachment trial? How will both sides play it? And if the Senate doesn’t convict, does the trial even matter?
REICHARD: Here to help us find those answers is Frank Bowman. He is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri. He also wrote a book about the history of presidential impeachments called High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Professor, thanks for joining us!
FRANK BOWMAN, GUEST: My pleasure.
REICHARD: Professor, put this trial in context for us historically. Have we had impeachment of presidents in the Senate prior to this?
BOWMAN: Well sure. Not lots. There have really only been five impeachments or near-impeachments of presidents in our history. The first was Andrew Johnson after the Civil War. Then there was an interregnum of nearly a century before the near-impeachment of Richard Nixon, which would have happened except Nixon, of course, agreed to resign because he was convinced that he would have been impeached and removed. Then we skip to Bill Clinton, who was impeached but acquitted. And now, of course, we have President Trump.
REICHARD: Let’s talk procedure. What is the process for an impeachment trial? Time length and so on.
BOWMAN: Well, there isn’t any prescribed process. The Constitution does say that when a president is being tried in the Senate, the chief justice should preside. Your listeners may know that Chief Justice John Roberts has elected not to show up, presumably on the theory that the person being tried is not the current president and, therefore, the conflict of interest for which the framers put in the requirement that he be there is no longer there. That’s because ordinarily and in theory the person who presides over the Senate is the vice president, whose constitutional job is to be president in the Senate. And the framers were worried that, well, if you have the vice president presiding over the trial of an actual sitting president, then there’s an obvious conflict of interest because if the president is convicted, then the vice president gets his job and we don’t want that, so we’re going to bring in somebody from the outside to do that. Chief Justice Roberts has apparently decided that it’s not necessary for him to be there since that problem doesn’t currently exist. But beyond those things, there’s really not much in the Constitution—nothing at all—about how the trial is to be conducted. The Senate has created a set of standing rules. The last set was enacted around, I believe, 1985. But even that set of standing rules leaves all kinds of room for maneuvering and change and can be changed at any point by vote of the Senate.
REICHARD: Talk about the mission of House impeachment managers in this. What has to happen in order to actually convict the former president?
BOWMAN: Well, the simple thing is that 67 Senators have to vote for it. I mean, that’s all there is. The Constitution says that, of course, that the verbal standard for an impeachable offense is treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, but all those terms other than treason are sometimes difficult to define. And, at the end of the day, the Senate basically gets to decide what they mean. The Senate gets to decide whether the evidence that it’s heard is sufficient and, indeed, every individual Senator is essentially his or her own judge on those questions. So, the naked political question is can the managers convince 67 Senators to vote ‘guilty,’ which means all 50 Democrats and at least 17 Republicans. The candid answer is under the current political circumstances is almost certainly not. It seems extraordinarily unlikely that they’re going to convince 17 Republicans to vote to convict this president. Now, of course, they’re going to make an effort. They’re going to present a case, but I think they know that it’s nearly impossible for them to change enough Republican minds to make a conviction happen and therefore I think they’re going to structure a case which will be factual, but it’s not going to be aimed at the people in the chamber. It’s going to be basically aimed at the American public outside the chamber in order to lay out a cohesive narrative of the things that the managers believe that the president did wrong.
REICHARD: And if they were to convict him, would that automatically disqualify him from future office or further action be needed?
BOWMAN: Now, the Constitution says that [inaudible] conviction shall extend no further than removal and disqualification from [inaudible] office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States. Which basically means if the Senate in this case were to convict, it would then turn to a second question which is whether or not to vote disqualification. If they were to do that, if they were to vote disqualification, then Mr. Trump could never serve in any federal office, including—most relevantly—he couldn’t be president again, even if he were to try to run in 2024.
REICHARD: Now, the article of impeachment charges him with incitement of insurrection. So a lot of the focus has been on Trump’s public comments ahead of the January 6th riot at the Capitol. But the House article also mentions efforts to reverse the outcome of the election. So what exactly is the core of the argument that House impeachment managers are making?
BOWMAN: What a prosecutor in a criminal case might call the charging paragraph does talk about incitement to insurrection. One can argue about whether or not that was a wise choice because it does invite the kinds of arguments that you’re going to hear about whether or not Mr. Trump’s speech focused narrowly, looking strictly to his speech on January 6th, amounted to incitement and what happened at the Capitol was insurrection. However, as you correctly point out, if you look at the article more broadly, it really places the events of January the 6th in a bigger context, and the context is the effort beginning on November the 4th and culminating on January the 6th to reverse the results of a lawfully conducted election. And I think the managers will talk a good deal about January the 6th because it’s kind of the emotional core of their case. Obviously the citadel of our democracy was breached and people died and many others were injured. And that, of course, has an awful lot of emotional resonance not just for the congressmen who were there, the senators who were there, but lots of other people. But I think the managers will try to show that Mr. Trump’s conduct was impeachable regardless of whether or not anybody ever went inside the Capitol, regardless of whether or not anybody was injured or killed because the point of the exercise on January the 6th, was to try to induce congress to do something it has no constitutional power to do, which is to reverse the results of the election. So, I think they’ve got a delicate balance to strike between their charging paragraph that focuses on these words incitement and insurrection. And thus on the emotional core of the case and the broader context within which the events of January the 6th sit.
REICHARD: Okay, now on the other side, what is the heart of the argument that Trump’s lawyers are making?
BOWMAN: Well, they make a couple of arguments. The principal one is the jurisdictional claim, that somehow or another because Mr. Trump has left office that he’s no longer subject to trial by the Senate, even though he was impeached while he was still the president. I think that’s a very weak argument. A few serious people have stuck with it, have maintained it. The overwhelming scholars and students of impeachment in the Constitution view it the other way. And certainly the best argument that can be made against jurisdiction is such a hyper-technical argument that certainly the Senate — if the Senate wants to go ahead and convict this president they’ll do it, and no court would ever think about reversing that result. It really is largely a political pretext. Trump’s lawyers have also, of course, argued things like, well, he has a First Amendment right to speak. I really don’t know that anything in Mr. Trump’s pleadings amounts to anything like a very serious argument against the charges against him. All of the arguments made are really efforts to give Republican Senators a plausible reason to acquit Mr. Trump and, thus, not to alienate his political base. Which is, to a large extent, their political base.
Listen carefully and what you will hear is not a single Republican, I warrant you—if so, no more than one or two—will rise to try to defend the substantive conduct of Donald Trump. Instead, they’re going to rely on jurisdictional arguments.
REICHARD: We’ll be watching this closely and we’ll find out what happens. Professor Frank Bowman, thanks so much!
BOWMAN: My pleasure.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa correspondent, Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Political turmoil in Haiti—We start today in the Caribbean.
AUDIO: [Man speaking French]
Opposition parties in Haiti named a top judge as the country’s interim leader late Sunday night. In a video statement, the judge said he accepted the choice of civil society, although no one else has recognized his authority.
AUDIO: [Man speaking French]
That announcement came hours after government officials said they had foiled an attempt to assassinate President Jovenel Moise. Police arrested 23 people allegedly involved in the plot.
The latest political turmoil in Haiti began in 2018, a year after Moise took office in 2017 following a disputed election. He won a majority of votes in 2016, but only 21 percent of voters participated. Opposition parties denounced the election as fraudulent.
Haiti’s constitution allows presidents to serve five-year terms. Moise’s critics say his term began in 2016 and should therefore end this year. He claims his term did not begin until he took office, in 2017. That would give him one more year as the country’s leader.
Protests in Myanmar grow—Next we go to Southeast Asia.
AUDIO: [Protesters chanting]
Protesters in Myanmar braved water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to rally in support of their toppled government. Many held signs bearing the face of leader Aung San Suu Kyi and shouted, “No dictatorship!”
AUDIO: [Woman speaking Burmease]
This woman says the protesters want the military to solve the crisis peacefully and restore democracy. Military leaders deposed the elected government last week. They banned rallies and issued a nighttime curfew to prevent gatherings. But hundreds of thousands of angry protesters have taken to the streets anyway.
Glacier breaks in India—Next to India.
AUDIO: [Sound of beeping, heavy equipment]
More than 100 people are missing after a sudden flash flood in the country’s mountainous Himalayan region. A wall of water and debris roared down a tight valley Sunday, destroying bridges and roads before hitting two hydroelectric power plants.
At least 31 people are confirmed dead, but officials expect that total to rise. Search crews used heavy equipment to dig through rubble and mud, looking for survivors trapped in two tunnels. Most of those missing worked at the power plants.
AUDIO: [Man speaking Hindi]
This man said he had lost all hope of being rescued.
Officials aren’t sure what caused the sudden flood. Initial reports blamed a chunk of glacier ice that broke off and fell into the river. But later reports say the water might have come from a glacial lake that suddenly ruptured.
U.S. Ambassador turns rap star—And finally, we end today in Vietnam.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink has taken diplomacy to a new level with a rap written for the upcoming Lunar New Year, known in Vietnam as “Tet.”
RAP: Time for introductions are at hand. Hi, my name is Dan. I’m from Nebraska. I’m not a big city boy. Then three years ago, I moved to Hanoi. Check the calendar, Tet is coming soon.
That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.
NICK EICHER, HOST: The politician is no match for the smart business person and here’s another proof:
Covid lockdowns closed up barber shops but not other kinds of businesses, so a Canadian barber near the town of Niagara Falls decided to tweak her business model.
Alicia Hirter simply added cameras, lighting equipment, and microphones at her Chrome Artistic Barbering shop. She then turned on the “open” sign in the window, reopening as a production studio.
Customers may enter her shop to audition for a future podcast or documentary. The audition comes at the cost of $29, but includes a haircut.
Because, you know, you always want your hair just-so for a podcast!
Here she is on the Chance of Fluri podcast…
HIRTER: So I’ve found a little bit of backlash, a lot of positivity. Right now, we’re booked with auditions until March. And I mean Kitchener, everybody’s driving down from all over.
So, welcome to the world of podcasting!
And planning a documentary about her experience called “A Little Bit off the Top.”
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, February 10th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Flower power.
Wintertime means much of the landscape is dormant now. But one hardy shrub? It’s strutting its stuff with extravagant red and pink blooms, lots of history and a whole lot of fans.
EICHER: Last weekend WORLD Senior Correspondent Kim Henderson attended a unique flower show and brings us the story.
KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Magnolias and azaleas are strong contenders, but in most Southern yards, camellias are the common denominator.
Common enough to show up in To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11.
SOUND: [AUDIO BOOK]
While Jem Finch took his anger out on Mrs. Dubose’s poor camellias, the rest of us just take in their ability to color a winter flower bed. A camellia’s cotton candy blooms open up even as a dog’s water bowl beside it freezes solid.
CAMPBELL: They love the flower, they love the flower, you know. And it’s just a wonderful thing.
Jim Campbell is past president of the American Camellia Society. He’s not surprised by the hundreds of enthusiasts crossing state lines to come to this 68th annual camellia show in small town Mississippi.
But wait. There’s more. Even if you’ve never seen a camellia plant, most people have tasted one.
CAMPBELL: The main camellia everybody knows about, but doesn’t really know about, is camellia sinensis, and camellia sinensis is the tea plant. That’s where all tea comes from. And so a lot of people don’t realize that it is a camellia…
AUDIO: [SHUFFLING PLANTS]
Before visitors enter the event center, they pass by a trailer filled with prize camellias grown in Folsom, Louisiana. A worker is unloading them for shoppers.
MIZELL: Camellias are kind of like the Cadillac of plants…
That’s the trailer’s owner, David Mizell. When other nurseries focused on fast-dollar flowers, his family’s nursery went a different direction.
MIZELL: I said, “We’re going to grow camellias, specialize in camellias.” We grow 90 to a 100 thousand a year…
The Richards have traveled two hours to come to their first camellia show. They’re sifting through what’s left in Mizell’s trailer.
MRS. RICHARD: I was looking for the size of the bloom and when it blooms…
Her husband stands nearby, waiting. He’s ducking the rain.
MR. RICHARD: I get to do the work at home — planting them. (laughs)
AUDIO: [Sound of crowd]
The atmosphere inside the building where judging will take place is a little more serious. Participants arrive with carefully-boxed blooms.
CONTESTANTS: So we’ll do a White Empress in novice. Should I do that in novice? (No, I’d do …)
Each entry gets a label, a tiny glass vase, and an assigned spot on a folding table. One participant is working on presentation.
MAN: Well, you want the flower to meet the eye of the judge, the angle of the flower makes a difference…
He’s proud of his San Dimas.
MAN: It’s a very beautiful variegated flower, particularly the stamens and the bright yellow on top…
People come to these shows for all sorts of reasons.
WOMAN: This is actually one of my dad’s favorites. So I brought it here to show for him, in remembrance of him.
DEAN: We’re also looking for maybe some older varieties that may be close to being lost.
MAN: My wife’s really into it. My dad’s really into it. So I get dragged along.
WOMAN: I enjoy it. I come willingly. I don’t get dragged.
One of the show’s judges, New Orleans resident Dennis Hart, offered some perspective on camellia culture.
HART: I only have 30 camellia bushes, so I consider myself a camellia buff, not a camellia nut. I think once you go over a thousand plants, then you’re in the N-U-T category, my personal opinion.
Still, he says moving away from his bushes would be hard.
HART: It’ll be like abandoning your children. Who knows what the next owner would do?
Contestant Margo Fort can relate to that point. She lives in Greenville, Alabama—also known as the “Camellia City.” The man who started her plants helped make the camellia the state flower of Alabama.
FORT: I inherited a historic camellia garden when I bought my historic home. So I have one of the earliest time capsules that I’m trying to restore—camellia gardens.
Her garden’s heritage even includes a romantic link. In 1916, a bride came to the United States from Japan, bringing a chest of 500 seeds as a dowry. Her horticulturist husband used them to produce some of the camellias Fort uncovered.
FORT: I, along with my son, personally filled up 20, over 22 large dumpsters of vines and brush and undergrowth and the way we figured out what the camellias were so we couldn’t, we wouldn’t cut them down is the leaves are serrated. We found like 52.
All the digging and tending was worth it. Margo Fort and her fought-for camellias went on to snag a first-place ribbon at this year’s show.
For cultivators with a Bible bent, rewards also come in the form of insight into things like good soil. Pruning. The sure fact that flowers fade, but God’s Word stands forever.
But as Jason Dean notes, even an appreciative glance at a camellia gives its creator glory.
DEAN: Drive around your city this time of year and look for the camellias. They’ll be about the only thing really about blooming. And, you know, just enjoy them.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, February 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
We welcome back WORLD Founder Joel Belz to the podcast after a time of recovery from a broken bone. He’s thought about the unintended consequences of constantly covering our faces.
JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: If I’ve asked just a dozen people, I must have asked 100. What’s the worst part about this pandemic? The overwhelming winner is: The masks!
Let me be emphatically clear. I do not believe, and I am not suggesting here, that the masks now covering 90 percent of all Americans’ faces are the result of some vast conspiracy designed to show how subservient we are. My sense is more that some top experts in medicine, science, academia, and politics, when confronted with a genuinely baffling threat to public health, stumbled across one tool that offered potential help. And that one tool also just happened to carry with it some symbolism that should serve as a warning to many people.
Practicing Christians should pay attention. Intentional or otherwise, the wholesale masking of a population has produced a profoundly negative effect on at least three behaviors central to Biblical living. Christians are expected to gather often and committedly. Christians are expected to share the sacraments when they gather. And Christians are expected to sing when they gather!
I am astonished that a number of WORLD readers are reporting to me that it has now been a year—and more—since the churches of which they are members have welcomed them to these practices ordained by God, and intended for our nourishment in all kinds of ways. When we begin paying more attention to the demands of civil authorities than we do to God’s gentle commands, why should we expect happy results?
There’s also the practical side of things. Kindergarten teachers report how hard it is to build intrapersonal relationships with no more than half a face to share with a 5-year-old in his or her first year of school.
On the other hand, tending the needs of the elderly presents even more challenges. I heard last week from one of my college roommates now retired in an assisted living center where he also serves as a chaplain. He wrote: “A visit requires gowning, gloving, masking, and shielding. It is most difficult for the person I visit to recognize me. And trying to hear me clearly behind masks and shield is a struggle for them. For me, with glasses fogged, reading Scripture is greatly hampered.”
Imagine, if you will, what your response might have been if you’d been told the preceding paragraph came from a Muslim nation, where it was commonplace for a regulatory government to make life difficult for Christians. In such a case, I think many of us would scurry to our prayer closets to seek relief for our beleaguered brothers and sisters.
This mask issue’s not a petty matter of fretting and worrying about some possible future consequence. The church has already taken an incredible hit in terms of lost opportunity to offer ministry and personal care. Those masks have covered up much more than people’s faces.
I’m Joel Belz.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: President Biden wants to use the Covid relief bill to include student-loan forgiveness. We’ll tell you about how much that might cost.
And, we’ll remember a Christian Nigerian schoolgirl still held by Islamic extremists.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
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