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Impeachment takes over the Senate. Democrats battle for a spot at the top in Iowa. Trump visits Davos. The roundtable dissects another non-stop week in the news.
Catherine Lucey, White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@catherine_lucey)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
NBC News: "Trump's Senate impeachment trial: What happened on Day Two" — "Opening arguments began in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday, with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., telling senators they need to remove Trump from office because he's shown he's ready and willing to cheat in the 2020 election.
"'The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box because we cannot be assured the vote will be fairly won,' Schiff told the Senate. He called Trump's efforts to get a foreign government to announce an investigation into his political rival 'a gross abuse of power' that requires the Senate to act.
"Trump's legal team, meanwhile, likely won't begin its defense until Saturday. 'There’s a lot of things I’d like to rebut and we will rebut,' Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told reporters."
The Washington Post: "Democrats scale back language as Trump and GOP press ahead with attacks on Senate impeachment trial" — "House Democrats charged with prosecuting the impeachment case against President Trump on Wednesday scaled back their fiery language following a rare scolding from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., as they began laying out their case for Trump’s removal from office for pressuring Ukraine to help him win reelection.
"But as Democrats softened their tone if not their message, Trump and his fellow Republicans dialed up their partisan rhetoric, with GOP senators largely ignoring Roberts’s admonition and leveling scathing attacks against the trial’s prosecutors.
"Democrats also appeared to shut down talk of a deal to secure testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton by offering to trade testimony from the son of former vice president Joe Biden, who was the focus of Trump’s alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine. Biden himself said he would refuse such an arrangement.
"The Republican barrage was led by Trump himself, who in Davos, Switzerland, called the top House managers 'sleazebags' while denouncing his impeachment as a 'hoax' and 'disgrace' to his presidency."
NBC News: "Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50M, claims defamation over 'Russian asset' remark" — "Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Hillary Clinton seeking $50 million in damages, claiming the former Democratic presidential nominee 'carelessly and recklessly impugned' her reputation when she suggested in October that one of the 2020 Democratic candidates is 'the favorite of the Russians.'
"The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says it aims to hold Clinton and other 'political elites' accountable for 'distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election.' It also says Gabbard suffered an economic loss to be proven at trial.
"Gabbard, a dark horse candidate who represents Hawaii, was on the campaign trail Wednesday and unavailable for comment about the suit, according to her law firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP."
The Daily Beast: "MBS Taunted Jeff Bezos Over Secret Affair Before National Enquirer Expose" — "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent Jeff Bezos a photograph of woman resembling the one he was having an affair with months before the National Enquirer published a report exposing the liaison, according to a United Nations investigation.
"Two United Nations special rapporteurs released a statement Wednesday detailing forensic evidence linking MBS to the Bezos hack, which suggests the future king of Saudi Arabia may have been threatening the owner of The Washington Post and founder and CEO of Amazon.
"Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night denied allegations of a politically motivated hack when it emerged that the UN was expected to formally request a response to the extraordinary claim that malware was sent from MBS’ personal WhatsApp account to Bezos."
This program aired on January 24, 2020.
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