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McConnell slams Senate Democrats for invoking Jan. 6 to push filibuster changes: 'Surreal'
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats in a floor speech Wednesday, accusing them of using last year's Jan. 6 Capitol riot to justify proposed filibuster reform to pass election legislation. 

"It is surreal to hear sitting senators invoke Jan. 6 to justify breaking the rules to grab outcomes they have not earned," said McConnell, R-Ky. "It is jaw-dropping for colleagues to propose to commemorate that by breaking the Senate themselves."

McConnell’s condemnation came one day after he accused Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of trying "to break the Senate" by gutting the filibuster.

In a Monday letter to his Democratic colleagues, Schumer said the upper chamber would debate rule changes in an attempt to carve a path for voting reform legislation. 

Schumer said the move was necessary to circumvent situations like the Jan. 6 attack that could jeopardize the legitimacy of the current democratic process. 

"We must adapt," he wrote. "The Senate was designed to evolve and has evolved many times in our history." CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
- Mark Meadows: Democrats using Jan. 6 to implement socialist takeover of Washington
- Tucker Carlson: Democrats fixation on Jan. 6 reveals their midterm strategy
- Two questions from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
- Rep. Troy Nehls reflects on protecting House chamber on Jan. 6 with makeshift weapon: 'I refused to leave'
- Jan. 6 anniversary speech: Biden to call out Trump's 'responsibility'

California extends mask mandate through Feb. 15 amid surge in COVID-19, omicron cases
California has extended its indoor mask mandate through Feb. 15 amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 and its omicron variant.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the extension Wednesday. The move came just days after a report suggested cloth masks were ineffective against the omicron variant.

The original mask mandate took effect Dec. 15 and was slated to expire Jan. 15. It requires the wearing of masks in all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. 

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County reported more than 21,000 new COVID-19 cases. The county reported 45,000 new cases after New Year's weekend. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- Rep. Eric Swalwell the latest blue-state Democrat spotted maskless in mandate-free Florida
- Chicago Public Schools cancel classes for second straight day amid fight with teachers union 
- Lightfoot mulls legal action against teachers amid COVID row
- Chicago teacher battling cancer refuses to stop in-person classes: 'I want my life to be relevant right now'
- Los Angeles County suspends criminal trials for two weeks following delta, omicron spikes
- NFL drawing up Super Bowl contingency plans in case COVID forces move from Los Angeles area

Ghislaine Maxwell lawyers seek new trial after juror claims he was sex-abuse victim
Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers are seeking a new trial after one of the jurors who convicted the British socialite told news outlets he was a sex abuse victim

The new revelations "present incontrovertible grounds for a new trial," Maxwell attorney Christian Everdell wrote in a filing, half of which was redacted. "According to the juror, his disclosure influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell."

In a subsequent document, another member of Maxwell's legal team, Jeffrey Pagliuca, wrote that "the Court can and should order a new trial" and that they were currently drafting a motion to support their position.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan set a schedule for both sides to file papers on the matter. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- Ghislaine Maxwell's courtroom sketcher : 'I am basically the substitute camera'
- Prince Andrew's lawyer grilled by judge on whether secret Epstein settlement bars sex abuse suit
- Prince Andrew can't document claim he suffered from an inability to sweat, his lawyers said
- New York judge dismisses case against Epstein jail guards who allegedly slept through his suicide


- 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones falsely claimed Civil War began in 1865
- Brian Laundrie notebook not linked to parents’ petition to access his estate, Bertolino says
- Boston Marathon bomber ordered to return $1,400 coronavirus relief payment to victims for restitution
- Missing Harmony Montgomery: Dad accused of giving partially blind daughter black eye in 2019, other abuse
- Florida man charged with attempted murder after allegedly strangling woman at bus stop

- WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS are exploring possible sale of CW Network
- TikTok couple goes viral after finding a clever way to survive I-95 traffic jam
- To-Go drinks making a comeback in New York
- Mike Rowe issues grim warning after record number quit their jobs
- Fed hints at faster rate hike for first time in years — but there's one big condition


Laura Ingraham blasted Democrats on "The Ingraham Angle" Wednesday night, claiming they jumped down the radical-left rabbit hole after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election. 

"By 2020," she said, "the party could not resist throwing in with its most radical elements. They work with the press and corrupt forces inside our own government to hound Trump with relentless and baseless investigations. And, of course, leveling all these ridiculous accusations. The left salivated at the prospect of impeachment and conviction. They were committed to winning by any means necessary.

"They're now stuck with these crazy, hard-left policies and toxic people issuing unrealistic demands."

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This edition of Fox News First was compiled by Fox News' Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday.