Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Friday morning

Inside former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense; Twitter bans Project Veritas account.

What will former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense focus on? The defense team will finish its case Friday. They will focus on four key points about the impeachment, claiming it’s unconstitutional, there’s no due process, it violates the First Amendment and won’t unify the country. The defense will also show video of Trump telling his supporters on January 6 to "peacefully and patriotically" make their way to the Capitol, Axios reported.

Twitter has permanently suspended Project Veritas. Twitter said it suspended the conservative activist group’s account @Project_Veritas for “repeated violations of Twitter’s private information policy.” The organization’s founder James O’Keefe said the account was suspended due to a video of a reporter questioning Facebook vice president Guy Ronsen, but denied that Project Veritas had published his private information. O’Keefe’s Twitter account was also temporarily locked, but it became active once again early Friday. “I’M BACK,” reads a pinned post on his account, accompanied by a video outlining the group’s dispute with Twitter.

Lincoln Project is hiring an outside body to review cofounder John Weaver’s tenure at the organization, after harassment allegations against him surfaced. Weaver has been accused of harassing 21 men. The anti-Trump GOP group issued a statement explaining, “Recently published stories about The Lincoln Project are filled with inaccuracies, incorrect information, and reliant exclusively on anonymous sources. However, there is a central truth in all of them that must be reckoned with and that is John Weaver’s appalling conduct and the abuse he inflicted on people.” The Lincoln Project also published and then removed what appeared to be the private Twitter messages of its recently departed cofounder Jennifer Horn, including correspondence with a reporter who contacted her for a story. 

How Walmart handled a vaccine appointment mix-up. Walmart's website mistakenly allowed adults under the age of 65 with comorbidities to register for COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Florida, conflicting with Gov. Ron DeSantis' "Seniors First" vaccination plan. However, Walmart said it will honor appointments made during the window when the expanded access was available. "Walmart is working to align our scheduling system with the specific populations the state has asked us to vaccinate under the federal retail pharmacy partnership,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. “We are honoring all appointments that have been made to date in all categories listed in the Executive Order.”

Newell Brands Q4 earnings snapshot. The parent of brands including Sharpie, Papermate and Rubbermaid beat earnings estimates for Q4. The company posted net income of $127 million, down from $794 million in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 2.5% to $2.7 billion from $2.6 billion. CEO Ravi Saligram said growth in food, commercial and appliances and cookware business units offset writing softness caused by consumers being forced to stay at home during the pandemic.

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