Caucus day in Iowa. We’ll talk about how Democratic candidates are trying to pull undecided Iowans into their corner. We'll also look ahead to the New Hampshire primary, and next stages in the impeachment trial.
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
Anne Salamon, Precinct 24 voter who supports Sen. Cory Booker. Hospital pharmacist.
Libbey Slappey, Precinct 24 voter who supports Pete Buttigieg. Development director for Kids First Law Center.
From The Reading List
The New York Times: "Republicans Block Impeachment Witnesses, Clearing Path for Trump Acquittal" — "The Senate brought President Trump to the brink of acquittal on Friday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans voted to block consideration of new witnesses and documents in his impeachment trial and shut down a final push by Democrats to bolster their case for the president’s removal.
"In a nearly party-line vote after a bitter debate, Democrats failed to win support from the four Republicans they needed. With Mr. Trump’s acquittal virtually certain, the president’s allies rallied to his defense, though some conceded he was guilty of the central allegations against him.
"The Democrats’ push for more witnesses and documents failed 49 to 51, with only two Republicans, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, joining Democrats in favor. A vote on the verdict is planned for Wednesday."
Reuters: "Senate rejects witnesses in Trump impeachment trial, clearing way for acquittal" — "The U.S. Senate voted on Friday against calling witnesses and collecting new evidence in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, clearing the way for Trump’s almost certain acquittal next week.
"By a vote of 51-49, the Republican-controlled Senate stopped Democrats’ drive to hear testimony from witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, who is thought to have first-hand knowledge of Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
"Those actions prompted the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to formally charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December, making Trump only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached."
The Washington Post: "Inside the Senate trial: McConnell stops rebel push in GOP for witnesses" — "Inside the Mansfield Room at the Capitol, where Senate Republicans have held daily strategy sessions during President Trump’s impeachment trial, senators began walking through their arguments on why they should block witnesses from testifying in the proceedings.
"But at this lunch on Thursday, Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) was getting visibly annoyed. If this is meant to persuade me, Romney told his colleagues, it’s not helpful, according to two officials with knowledge of the exchange. The senator, a near-lone GOP voice in seeking witnesses for the trial, felt as if other Republicans were singling him out.
"That private remark illustrated how Romney has become a rarity in the Senate GOP conference and his party — the man Republicans rallied around for the presidency in 2012 was an outlier in a GOP bound to Trump and unwilling to challenge the president. That political reality helped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hold his conference together in preventing witnesses."
This program aired on February 3, 2020.