Stembridge News Digest

  • New polls show really bad news for Biden as Sanders surges Mon, 27 Jan 2020 01:02:16 +0000

    A new batch of polls have really bad news for former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020.

    Two surveys—taken in Iowa and New Hampshire within the past week—show Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with a clear lead in both early voting states.

    In Iowa, Sanders has 25 percent support among caucus-goers, opening a seven-point lead on the rest of the Democratic pack with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg coming in at second place with 18 percent, according to the New York Times/Siena poll. The poll shows Biden in third place at 17 percent.

    In New Hampshire, meanwhile, a poll released Thursday by WBUR shows the so-called democratic socialist with a commanding 12-point lead over his rivals. According to the survey, Buttigieg and Biden find themselves in second and third place, respectively.

    Part of a trend?

    The Iowa and New Hampshire poll results showing Sanders with a late surge are not isolated and appear to be consistent with other studies conducted in recent days.

    For instance, a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll released on Sunday has Sanders with a nine-point lead over Biden (16 percent), while Buttigieg is in third place with 15 percent support. Meanwhile, an NBC/Marist poll published over the weekend also shows Sanders ahead of his Democratic rivals with a five-point lead among likely voters.

    Iowa does appear to be a closer race, though. The RealClearPolitics average shows Biden with a razor-thin 0.4 percentage-point lead in the Hawkeye State. However, a CBS/YouGov survey taken January 16-23 found a statistical tie with Sanders leading Biden by one point, 26 to 25 percent, followed closely by Buttigieg in third place at 22 percent.

    At Warren's expense

    One of the patterns that's clear from the recent survey results is that Sanders' surge appears to be hurting Sen. Elizabeth Warren's prospects. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows the progressive Massachusetts senator in third place in both states.

    As the New York Times observed:

    The rise of Mr. Sanders has come at the expense of his fellow progressive, Senator Elizabeth Warren: she dropped from 22 percent in the October poll, enough to lead the field, to 15 percent in this survey. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is garnering 8 percent, is the only other candidate approaching double digits.

    The race is also tightening at a national level, as two of the last three nationwide polls taken show Biden with a lead within the margin of error. On Jan. 1, the former vice president led by an average of nine points. His average national lead over Sanders has been cut by a third to six percent.

  • Adam Schiff accuses 'vindictive' President Trump of threatening him Sun, 26 Jan 2020 23:24:27 +0000

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Democrat leading the impeachment charge against President Donald Trump, accused the president on Sunday of threatening him.

    Speaking with NBC host Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press," Schiff called Trump "vindictive," and charged that one of Trump's recent tweets constitutes a personal threat.

    "What may be personal, though, and I think I have to be very candid about this, is I made the argument that it's going to require moral courage to stand up to this president," Schiff said. "I don't think there's any doubt about it. And if you think there is, look at the president's tweets about me today saying that I should 'pay a price.'"

    Todd responded, "Do you take that as a threat?"

    "I think it's intended to be," Schiff replied.

    In the message that Schiff referred to, the president said Schiff has not yet "paid the price" for "what he has done to our Country!"

    "Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!" Trump said.

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) was quick to push back on CNN's "State of the Union," denying that Trump was threatening Schiff.

  • Democrat House impeachment manager inadvertently admits what impeachment is actually about Sun, 26 Jan 2020 22:15:06 +0000

    House impeachment manager Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) made a stunning admission Sunday, implying that Democrats want President Donald Trump's impeachment to impact the 2020 election.

    During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," host Jake Tapper asked Lofgren why she instructed senators last week to not "surrender to the president's stonewalling" when House Democrats did not pursue subpoenas and force additional witnesses to testify.

    "You didn't pursue it in court. You ultimately withdrew the cases and went to the Senate," Tapper noted. "Didn't you surrender to the president's stonewalling, in that sense?"

    Lofgren responded, "Well, in that — I guess, in that sense, we did, because, if we had waited for three or four years, the election would be over. The issue would be almost moot."

    Despite the House waiting to take impeachment action against Richard Nixon until after the 1972 election, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, also one of the Democratic impeachment managers, said last week that "the president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won."

    The admissions align with what White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told senators on Saturday in the opening statements of the president's defense.

    "For all their talk about election interference, they're here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history," Cipollone charged.

  • Bombshell report: Schiff may have hid 'potentially exculpatory' evidence from Trump's lawyers Sun, 26 Jan 2020 21:30:08 +0000

    According to President Donald Trump's legal team, Democrats are concealing the testimony of a major witness the House questioned during its investigation into the Ukraine matter.

    Alex Swoyer and S.A. Miller at the Washington Times reported that House Democrats are refusing to disclose the testimony of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence agency inspector general with firsthand knowledge of the origins of the whistleblower complaint that resulted in Trump's impeachment.

    'It raises credibility issues'

    At least one Republican who was present during Atkinson's testimony says the reason why Democrats are not sharing the information is because it does not advance House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's impeachment case against the president.

    "The reason it hasn't been released is it's not helpful to Adam Schiff. It is not helpful to the whistleblower," Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said. "It raises credibility issues about both of them."

    The Times also noted that the evidence may be "potentially exculpatory" for the president. However, members of the House Intelligence Committee who conducted the interview are not allowed to disclose the details of the discussion, as it could reveal potentially sensitive intelligence information.

    Should be part of the Senate record

    Republicans on the committee believe that Atkinson's testimony should be part of the Senate trial record.

    "It addresses the issue about contacts between Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower, and what the inspector general knows about that. So those are material facts that should be talked about, but Adam Schiff has prevented that," Ratcliffe told The Washington Times.

    Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst agrees with Ratcliffe and maintains that House Democrats should have submitted the transcript to the Senate for its impeachment trial.

    "We should be allowed to take a look at that, but again they have stated numerous times in their brief they had overwhelming evidence — it would be so clear to everyone — and I haven't seen that yet," she said.

  • Viral video of 'whistleblower' nurse suggests the coronavirus outbreak is much worse than Chinese gov't admits Sun, 26 Jan 2020 20:49:02 +0000

    A Chinese nurse treating patients with the coronavirus in Wuhan has become a "whistleblower," the New York Post reported, after a viral video suggests the Chinese government is grossly misleading the world about the number of people who have so far contracted the disease.

    The nurse, wearing a full protective suit, claims in the video that 90,000 people are sick with the rapidly-spreading disease.

    "I am in the area where the coronavirus started," the nurse says in the video, the New York Post reported.

    "I'm here to tell the truth," she adds. "At this moment, Hubei province, including the Wuhan area, even China, 90,000 people have been infected by a coronavirus."

    The nurse also advises people to stay indoors and requests additional medical equipment, the Daily Mail reported.

    The video has been viewed millions of times.

    As of Sunday, China has reported just 2,700 cases of coronavirus and 56 deaths. But Chinese President Xi Jinping has called the situation "grave," and the government has essentially quarantined upward of 50 million people in the city of Wuhan and surrounding cities, suggesting the situation on the ground is much worse than what they're telling the world.

    There have been five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. so far.

  • UPDATED: Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and 7 others killed in helicopter crash Sun, 26 Jan 2020 19:47:07 +0000

    Retired basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, was killed in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area on Sunday along with four other people. Among the passengers on the aircraft was Bryant's 13 year-old daughter, Gianna, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    There are conflicting reports as to the identities of the other victims. Bryant's wife, Vanessa, is reported not to have been on board the helicopter.

    TMZ reports:

    Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning ... TMZ Sports has confirmed.

    Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out.

    Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We're told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation

    The L.A. County Sheriffs Department published a photo of the crash before it was known that Bryant was among the passengers aboard the helicopter:

    According to the Los Angeles Times:

    The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road, according to a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    The crash ignited a brush fire and made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, he said.


    The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter had five people on board and there appeared to be no survivors.

    A source close to ESPN confirmed the tragic news:

    Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is among five people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, a source confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The crash comes one day after Bryant was passed by Lakers forward LeBron James for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. As late as 10:39 p.m. ET on Saturday night, Bryant was active on social media, congratulating Bryant on Twitter during the Lakers 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    The news is being confirmed by local California news stations, as well.

    6:43 p.m. Update: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says nine people were killed in the helicopter crash.

  • Constitutional scholar calls Trump's Senate defense 'powerful,' 'brilliant': 'A very strong start' Sun, 26 Jan 2020 17:00:09 +0000

    George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar and critic of President Donald Trump, showered the president's legal team with praise for their opening arguments on Saturday in Trump's impeachment trial.

    "The House took a lot of hits below the waterline today. These were powerful points that gave ample foundation for senators to support acquittal without agreeing with the Dershowitz theory or the suggestion that everything was 'perfect.' I liked the low key, fact-based argument," Turley said.

    He continued, "The White House did a particularly good job explaining its position on refusing discovery and also the unfair process. Moreover, it was a brilliant decision to limit the opening to a few hours. The House subjected the Senate to mind-numbing repetition for 22 hours."

    "By giving up much of the first day, the White House gave a concise opening, relieved the jury, and pushed the main argument to Monday with a larger television audience. It was a sophisticated and effective strategy that paid off," Turley explained.

    "A very strong start to their case," he concluded.

    Turley, who has been a vocal opponent of impeachment, said last week that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) made a "huge blunder" when he accused Republicans of participating in a "cover-up."

    Nadler's comments angered Republicans, especially the moderates.

    "One of the things you teach law students is that when you make arguments to juries, make sure you don't insult the jury," Turley said.

  • Major Iowa newspaper endorses Warren, says she will 'treat truth as something that matters' Sun, 26 Jan 2020 16:00:09 +0000

    The Des Moines Register announced its 2020 Democratic Party primary endorsement on Saturday and the honor went to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    "Who would make the best president at this point in the country's history?" the newspaper asked. "At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury?"

    The newspaper responded, "The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times."

    The Register went on to assure readers that Warren—who has pledged to dismantle the private insurance industry and impose an unconstitutional wealth tax—"is not the radical some perceive her to be."

    A champion of truth?

    The endorsement stated that Warren and all the other Democratic candidates could "make a fine president" and that each one, including the Massachusetts senator who's notorious for fibbing, would "treat the truth as something that matters."

    Yes, the Des Moines Register's editorial board argued that the same Elizabeth Warren who spent decades falsifying her ethnic heritage would champion facts and truth if she were elected president.

    The Register's lavish praise of Warren raised eyebrows among political commentators, including from the Trump campaign's Matt Wolking who tweeted: "Are they idiots or just messing with us?"

    Warren's greatest hits

    As TheBlaze has pointed out, Warren has an extensive history of fudging facts to her convenience. Below are some examples where the presidential hopeful has not "treated truth as something that matters":

    Perhaps most famously, Warren claimed for years that she was a Native American, but a DNA test show that she was almost entirely of white European ancestry. "According to Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor and expert in the field of population genetics, Warren's possible Native American ancestry traces back six to 10 generations. The results of her DNA test suggest that Warren is between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American," reported TheBlaze.

    In November 2019, Warren falsely claimed that her children only attended public schools. However, a yearbook obtained by the Washington Free Beacon clearly showed that her son, Alex Warren, attended Kirby Hall School, an elite private K-12 school in Austin, Texas, in the mid-1980s.

    In February 2019, TheBlaze reported that Warren falsely claimed having American Indian heritage on her Texas State Bar registration card. Through a public records request, the Washington Post obtained a copy of her 1986 registration card on which Warren hand-wrote "American Indian" in the field for "race.

    As Michael Brendan Dougherty notes in National Review, "Warren plagiarized her contribution to a book of Native American home recipes, Pow Wow Chow, from a French cookbook." Not to be outdone, "Harvard bragged about its hiring of Warren and advertised her as an addition to its diversity, though reporting in recent years has attempted to obscure whether this was a help to her," wrote Dougherty.

    Warren may be "a policy wonk" as the Register declared, but a defender of truth she most certainly is not.

    A caveat in their endorsement

    Interestingly, the Des Moines Register's editorial board included a caveat in its endorsement of Warren where they warned some of her agenda might "go too far."

    A qualification: Some of her ideas for "big, structural change" go too far. This board could not endorse the wholesale overhaul of corporate governance or cumulative levels of taxation she proposes. While the board has long supported single-payer health insurance, it believes a gradual transition is the more realistic approach. But Warren is pushing in the right direction.

    Still, despite its concerns with the extremism of some of Warren's policies, the Register's editors concluded "Elizabeth Warren is the president this nation needs."

  • GOP senator prepares subpoenas for Adam Schiff, whistleblower, and the Bidens to testify in Senate trial Sun, 26 Jan 2020 15:07:16 +0000

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is preparing to file subpoena requests for multiple new witnesses to testify in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

    According to Politico, Hawley is targeting House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, the Ukraine whistleblower, among others.

    "I have drafted motions to subpoena Adam Schiff, the 'whistleblower,' Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden to testify. If the Senate calls witnesses, I will ask for votes on all these next week," Hawley announced on Twitter.

    From Politico:

    Hawley's strategy harmonizes with plans from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky to force votes to hear from Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son who was on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

    Their tactics are intended to convince a handful of senators to sink a vote next week to consider new evidence in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is at the heart of the impeachment case against the president.

    If Hawley is able to issue the subpoenas, he would also seek communications related to Schiff and his staff, the whistleblower, the House impeachment managers, and Joe Biden's admitted effort to oust a former top Ukrainian prosecutor, among other communications.

    Hawley needs just a simple majority vote to seek the evidence and issue the subpoenas. The tactic would also undercut the Democratic narrative that Republicans are unwilling to consider new evidence and witnesses during Trump's Senate trial.

  • Ted Cruz nails the lawyers' trick that 'deceptive' Democrats are using in the impeachment trial Sun, 26 Jan 2020 14:15:30 +0000

    With the precision of a highly-trained attorney, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dismantled on Saturday some of the major fallacies in the Democrats' impeachment case.

    In an episode of "Verdict with Ted Cruz," the Cuban-American Republican senator from the Lone Star State broke down the old lawyers' trick that Democrats employed in their closing statements before the Senate.

    Asked by DailyWire host Michael Knowles if the Democrats arguments were deceptive, Cruz's answer was unequivocal: "Yes...and they were deceptive using lots of different tools."

    Cruz continued, "Here's a particular logical construct that the House managers use to be deceptive. They used this several times, and it's a logical construct of 'X, not Y.'"

    The Democrats' tools of deception

    The Texas senator went on to explain what he means by "X, not Y" and illustrate the different rhetorical tools that Democrats are using to deceive senators and the American public:

    They say, for example, that "President Trump and Republicans bought the narrative that Ukraine, and not Russia interfered in the 2016 election." Now, X is right, Ukraine did interfere in 2016, the lie, the deception, is the "not Y." ... it is obvious that Russia...did interfere in 2016...that happened and anyone who looks at the evidence recognizes that. The fact that Russia did [interfere] doesn't mean no other country did.

    Knowles noted, "It's true that the Republicans are saying that Ukraine interfered, but it's not true that Republicans are also saying 'therefore, Russia not interfere.'"

    "And it would be false,"Cruz responded. "If we say 'Russia did not interfere,' that's a false statement."

    Cruz then delivered another example of how the House managers are using misleading arguments.

    The House managers said over and over and over again: "The president wanted the announcement of an investigation and not an actual investigation." X, and not Y. There's lots of evidence Trump wanted an investigation announced. There is zero evidence that Trump did not want an actual investigation. The House managers asserted over and over again "an announcement, and not an actual investigation."They've never cited any evidence whatsoever. By the way, think about it, in what universe would Trump not want an investigation?

    A 'lawyerly sleight of hand'

    The DailyWire host observed the notion that Trump only wanted an announcement of an investigation "makes no sense."

    "The Democrats' trick here is that they're making a true statement and using the true statement to cover-up for the false statement they say immediately afterward? Knowles asked,

    "Yes, and the media does this all the time," Cruz stated, adding, "That logical construct, 'X and not Y,' is a real give-away that they're engaging in lawyerly sleight of hand."

    Cruz also noted that "X not Y" is a go-to trick used by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

    "By the way," he added, "Adam Schiff says it very smoothly, he says it smiling and to date, I haven't seen anyone contradicting it and pointing out that half of that sentence is a total deception."

    Knowles, who was noticeably impressed by the senator's analysis, observed, "That's an incredibly deceptive trick...."

    "There's a reason lawyers are so beloved," a smiling Cruz sarcastically quipped.

  • Trump lawyer reveals how Dems 'hid' a major piece of evidence that absolves the president Sun, 26 Jan 2020 00:45:06 +0000

    If you only listened to the House Democrats' case against President Donald Trump, one could walk away thinking that freezing foreign aid to Ukraine was an unprecedented move by the administration.

    But, as Townhall's Cortney O'Brien points out, the White House's top lawyer, Pat Cipollone, revealed to the nation and members of the Senate a major piece of evidence that Democrats have conveniently omitted from their presentations.

    "They didn't tell you that burden sharing was discussed in the call," Cipollone said Saturday, referring to Trump's call with the president of Ukraine.

    As Cipollone pointed out, in his July 25 call with Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky, Trump told the newly elected leader that Germany and other European nations do "almost nothing" for them. According to transcripts of the conversation, Zelensky said Trump was "absolutely right."

    House Democrats "didn't have time in 24 hours to tell you this [in their impeachment remarks]," Cipollone said.

    A "legitimate" point

    Cipollone's argument even resonated with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin who, in his analysis of the Trump defense team's remarks, acknowledged the president's lawyers raised a "legitimate" point by underscoring the president's longstanding concerns with foreign aid and burden-sharing among nations.

    "They did make one good point about [the transcript], I thought, which was the president did about burden-sharing in that phone call, and the House managers didn't focus on that or even mention it. And fair is fair," he said, the Washington Examiner reported.

    "He has talked about it before, and that was, I thought, a very legitimate good point made by the defense," he added.

    Toobin also acknowledged that Trump is "winning" impeachment case against him.

    The best defense is a strong offense

    True to the adage, the president's counsel showed on Saturday that the best defense is a strong offense. In his remarks before the Senate, Deputy White House counsel Mike Purpura went on the offensive and highlighted "six key facts" that exonerate Trump of wrongdoing.

    Among them, according to Purpura, is that the transcript of Trump's call with Zelensky "shows that the president did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything," In fact, "the paused security assistance funds aren't even mentioned on the call," Purpura said.

    "The Democrats' blind eye to impeach the president does not and cannot change the fact, as attested to by the Democrats' own witnesses, that President Trump has been a better friend and supporter of Ukraine than his predecessor," he explained. "Those are the facts."

  • Medical simulation shows shocking number of people could die of coronavirus in just 18 months Sat, 25 Jan 2020 23:29:45 +0000

    Global fear over the coronavirus grew exponentially this week — and a recent medical simulation proves there may be good reason to be concerned.

    As the Chinese government quarantines 40 million people in and around the city of Wuhan — where the disease outbreak originated — the United States government is working to evacuate all known U.S. citizens from the area.

    More than 1,400 confirmed cases of the disease have already been confirmed, including two in the U.S., while the death toll has risen to more than 40 people.

    But Eric Toner, a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, is not shocked about how rapidly the disease is spreading.

    Just three months ago, Toner ran a staged a hypothetical pandemic and found that a rapid-spreading disease similar to coronavirus could infect people in every country within just six months. Even more shockingly, Toner discovered the disease could kill 65 million people within just 18 months.

    "I have thought for a long time that the most likely virus that might cause a new pandemic would be a coronavirus," Toner said, according to Business Insider.

    "We don't yet know how contagious it is. We know that it is being spread person to person, but we don't know to what extent," he explained. "An initial first impression is that this is significantly milder than SARS. So that's reassuring. On the other hand, it may be more transmissible than SARS, at least in the community setting."

    Toner's simulation did not specifically use the coronavirus, but a vaccine-resistant disease that is deadly and as easy to spread as the flu; the coronavirus checks all of those boxes. The simulation started in Brazil's pig farms (coronavirus originated in a food market that also sold live animals), then spread outward as more people contradicted the disease. After 18 months, 65 million people in the simulated perished.

    What could mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Toner explained, is the rapid development of a vaccine, which scientists have already begun developing.

    "If we could make it so that we could have a vaccine within months rather than years or decades, that would be a game changer," he said.

  • CNN analyst admits Trump is winning the impeachment trial, but has too many white lawyers Sat, 25 Jan 2020 22:51:10 +0000

    CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin made a surprising admission on Saturday after President Donald Trump's defense lawyers laid out their opening arguments at Trump's Senate trial: Republicans are "winning" the impeachment case.

    "Again, I just think the Republicans are winning here. The president is winning here. And as long as they don't completely fall on their faces, which they're all competent lawyers, they're not going to do that, I think that's fine for them," Toobin argued.

    The liberal commentator also acknowledged that Trump's lawyers raised a "legitimate" point by underscoring the president's longstanding concerns with foreign aid and burden-sharing among nations.

    "They did make one good point about [the transcript], I thought, which was the president did about burden-sharing in that phone call, and the House managers didn't focus on that or even mention it. And fair is fair," he continued, according to the Washington Examiner.

    Too many 'white people' on Trump's defense team

    However, Toobin noted that Trump's legal team may have a major flaw: it lacks racial diversity.

    In subsequent remarks, the CNN analyst quipped "White House and white people," while pointing out that Trump has too many "white men" as lawyers.

    "It was all white men today," he continued. "There are two white women allegedly on the team, we'll see if they're allowed to argue."

    Praised racial diversity of House Democrats

    On the other hand, Toobin praised House Democrats for having a racially diverse team of impeachment managers.

    "I mean, you know, this is a lesson in the diversity of the two parties," he said. "I mean you look at the House managers, it was almost evenly divided between men and women. It was, you had two African-Americans, you had a Hispanic."

    It's unclear how the race and genders of either Trump's lawyers or House Democrats' impeachment team are relevant to the underlying facts of their respective cases, but Toobin said that since television is "a visual medium," when you have one side that "has a very diverse team" and the other is comprised of "all white men," it "says something in and of itself."

  • Multiple Dem senators already considering voting to acquit President Trump, report says Sat, 25 Jan 2020 22:21:12 +0000

    At least two Senate Democrats are already signaling they could vote for President Donald Trump's acquittal just hours into the president's legal team began their defense, The Hill reported.

    After Saturday's trial session — which ended early to allow Democratic senators to hit the campaign trail — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Trump's legal team did such a "good job" that their arguments are "making me think about things."

    "One thing that stuck in my mind is they said there isn't a witness they have had so far that had direct contact with the president. I'd love to hear from Mulvaney and Bolton," Manchin told a CNN reporter. "I'll be very impartial til the end."

    Earlier in the day, Manchin, one of the most moderate Senate Democrats, reiterated his commitment to impartiality.

    "I take my oath extremely seriously, my oath to the Constitution to protect and defend and my oath of impartiality. I want to see and hear from the defense counsel today and we'll see where we go from there," he said.

    According to The Hill, moderate Democrat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) has also signaled willingness to remain impartial and consider voting to acquit Trump.

    "I'm hoping to hear the facts and the rebuttal from the president. So I think that's only appropriate," Jones said Saturday.

    If any Democratic senators are likely to jump ranks and vote against Trump's conviction, Manchin and Jones are the two most likely candidates. As The Hill noted, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) could also be a possible Democratic defector.

    Still, Trump's acquittal is almost certain. Democrats need a total of 67 votes to convict Trump and remove him from office, meaning they need 20 Republicans to jump ship — a practical impossibility.

  • Trump's lawyers 'kneecapped' Adam Schiff and the Dems' impeachment case, says Sen. Rick Scott Sat, 25 Jan 2020 20:30:09 +0000

    President Donald Trump's lawyers were so successful at dismantling the House Democrats' impeachment case on Saturday morning that one prominent Republican senator compared it to a mob hit.

    When asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto what he thought of the arguments laid out by the president's defense team, Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott said it looked like Rep. Adam Schiff got "kneecapped."

    "I think Adam Schiff got kneecapped," Scott said. "I think the White House counsel showed three was no due process in the House. Just a fabrication what [Schiff] did."

    Scott, who was elected in 2018, went on to point out that Trump's defense counsel successfully highlighted the weaknesses in the Democrats' case against the 45th president of the United States.

    "They explained there was no quid pro quo, no obstruction of justice. I think he did a great job," he added.

    'Six key facts' exonerate Trump

    As TheBlaze's Chris Enloe reported earlier on Saturday, in his remarks before the Senate, deputy White House counsel Mike Purpura pointed to "six key facts" that exonerate Trump of wrongdoing.

    1. The infamous Ukraine call transcript
    "The transcript shows that the president did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything," Purpura explained. "The paused security assistance funds aren't even mentioned on the call."

    2. Ukrainian officials deny being pressured
    "[Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said that there was no quid pro quo and no pressure on them to review anything," Purpura said.

    3. Ukraine did not know about paused aid
    "President Zelensky and high-ranking Ukrainian officials did not even know — did not even know — the security assistance was paused until the end of August, over a month after the July 25 call," Purpura explained.

    4. No witnesses say Trump tied aid to Biden investigation
    "Not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations in security assistance, a presidential meeting, or anything else," Purpura said.

    5. Security Assistance aid continued after phone call
    "The security assistance flowed on September 11 and a presidential meeting took place on September 25, without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigations," Purpura explained.

    6. President Trump has been a strong ally of Ukraine
    "The Democrats' blind eye to impeach the president does not and cannot change the fact, as attested to by the Democrats' own witnesses, that President Trump has been a better friend and supporter of Ukraine than his predecessor," Purpura said. "Those are the facts."

    Indeed, Trump's lawyers spent much of Saturday morning emphasizing to senators a series of exculpatory evidence that absolves the president of any wrongdoing and contextualizing the president's decision to withhold aid to Ukraine.

    The Democrats are the ones interfering with an election

    Meanwhile, in his remarks, White House counsel Pat Cipollone turned the tables on Democrats by accusing them of being the ones attempting to undermine a democratic election, Fox News reported.

    "For all their talk about election interference, they're here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history," Cipollone said in his opening statements. "And we can't allow that to happen."

    "It would violate the sacred trust that the American people have placed in you and have placed in them. The American people decide elections. They have one coming up in nine months," he added.

  • Report: Kobe Bryant, Daughter Die in a Helicopter Crash Sun, 26 Jan 2020 19:42:32 +0000
    According to a report from TMZ, NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13- year-old daughter Gianna Maria Bryant, were killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in California.
  • Trump Denies New York Times Report on John Bolton Book Mon, 27 Jan 2020 05:58:08 +0000
    President Donald Trump denied claims in a New York Times report Sunday evening about a forthcoming book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton in which Bolton reportedly claims Trump wanted to make aid to Ukraine conditional on investigations into "Democrats."
  • Source: Alexander Vindman's Brother, Yevgeny, Clears Publications by NSC Officials Mon, 27 Jan 2020 04:10:34 +0000
    A source close to the Trump administration informed Breitbart News on Sunday evening that Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a senior ethics lawyer for the National Security Council (NSC), is in charge of reviewing all publications by current and former officials.
  • New York Times: Draft Bolton Book Says Trump Wanted to Withhold Ukraine Aid for Investigations Mon, 27 Jan 2020 02:44:31 +0000
    A draft of a book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly claims that President Donald Trump wanted to withhold aid to Ukraine until it completed investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and others, according to the New York Times on Sunday evening.
  • Bolton's Lawyer: Draft Book was Leaked to New York Times Mon, 27 Jan 2020 02:58:10 +0000
    Bolton's book manuscript draft appears to have been leaked to the New York Times, his lawyer said in a statement Sunday.
  • CNN's Stelter: John Bolton Book Goes on Pre-Order at Amazon after NYT Story Mon, 27 Jan 2020 05:12:45 +0000
    CNN media reporter Brian Stelter tweeted Sunday evening that former National Security Advisor John Bolton's new memoir went on pre-order sale at right after the New York Times published an article suggesting it would undermine President Donald Trump's defense against impeachment and removal.
  • Shaquille O'Neal 'Sick' over the Loss of His 'Brother' Kobe Bryant Mon, 27 Jan 2020 04:34:23 +0000
    NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal expressed "pain" and sadness at the sudden and tragic passing of his former teammate Kobe Bryant, and his "niece" Gianna Maria Onore Bryant.
  • Watch: Grammys Open with Kobe Bryant Tribute Mon, 27 Jan 2020 01:52:57 +0000
    The 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday night opened with a tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, with Alicia Keys and R&B group Boyz II Men honoring Bryant and the eight others killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday morning.
  • Video: Grammys Host Alicia Keys Calls for Trump Impeachment Mon, 27 Jan 2020 02:27:59 +0000
    The death of Kobe Bryant didn't stop Alicia Keys -- standing on stage in the Staples Center, the house that the NBA legend built -- from making the Grammys about politics and dumping on President Donald Trump.
  • Dallas Mavericks to Retire No. 24 in Tribute to Kobe Bryant Mon, 27 Jan 2020 03:24:28 +0000
    In the wake of the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Sunday, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban has decided to retire the No. 24, Bryant's old number, in tribute to the fallen legend.
  • Missile Attack Hits U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Mon, 27 Jan 2020 01:10:39 +0000
    A barrage of rocket fire targeted Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on Sunday, hitting part of the U.S. embassy complex in that country. Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya news agency noted that the American compound "has been regularly hit by rockets in recent months."
  • Kobe Bryant Memorials Appear Across Los Angeles Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:52:52 +0000
    LOS ANGELES, California -- Memorials to the late Kobe Bryant began appearing across Los Angeles within hours of news that the Lakers basketball legend had perished tragically in a helicopter crash near his home in Calabasas.
  • CHINA: Coronavirus Could Spread Two Weeks Before Symptoms Show Sun, 26 Jan 2020 20:06:49 +0000
    A Chinese health official reports the Wuhan novel coronavirus could be contagious for up to two weeks before a patient becomes symptomatic. This means people who are not yet showing symptoms of coronavirus-related illness could be spreading the virus to other contacts.
  • Arizona Resident is Fifth Coronavirus Case in U.S. Sun, 26 Jan 2020 20:28:00 +0000
    U.S. health officials announced Sunday that a Maricopa County, Arizona, resident is the fifth confirmed coronavirus case in the country. 
  • California Case of Coronavirus Revealed: Three Now Confirmed in U.S. Sun, 26 Jan 2020 13:37:22 +0000
    A fresh diagnosis of the deadly coronavirus has been confirmed in Southern California, bringing to three the number of cases in the U.S. as the fast-moving virus continues its spread and the global death toll spiked to 56.

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