Senate rejects motion for witnesses at Trump impeachment trial — last hurdle before all but certain acquittal

President Trump waves as he and First Lady Melania Trump leave the White House on Friday.
President Trump waves as he and First Lady Melania Trump leave the White House on Friday. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan effort to call witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial Friday, clearing the way for a virtually certain acquittal of the commander-in-chief and putting the proceeding on track to become the shortest, least transparent one in American history.

In a 49-51 vote, the GOP-controlled chamber rejected a motion that would have allowed senators to consider subpoenas of witnesses and records withheld from House impeachment investigators as part of Trump’s all-out stonewalling campaign.

Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah — defected and voted with the Senate’s 47 Democrats in favor of calling outstanding witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, whose forthcoming book has landed like a bombshell in the impeachment trial.

Read more here: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-senate-trump-impeachment-trial-20200131-mtna4wfhpbakrlrzhymqjmt47y-story.html

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Senate slams door on witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Friday rejected calling witness to the impeachment trial of President Trump, falling short by a slim margin and setting up a final vote to end the proceedings.

Two Republicans — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine — voted with all 47 Senate Democrats in favor of considering votes to call witnesses and to subpoena documents from the White House.

Two more votes were needed to reach the simple majority needed to pass the resolution.

Read more here: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/01/31/senate-slams-door-on-witnesses-in-trump-impeachment-trial/23914712/

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VIRUS CRISIS Coronavirus cases in Wuhan alone could be 75,800 – as experts warn ‘true scale of epidemic is unclear’

Scientists believe more than 75,800 people have been struck down with the new illness – yet official figures globally are just 10,000.

 The number of people infected with coronavirus in crisis-hit Wuhan is much higher than reported, experts warn

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The number of people infected with coronavirus in crisis-hit Wuhan is much higher than reported, experts warnCredit: EPA

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Experts say the “true scale of the epidemic is unclear” as not everyone with the virus will seek medical attention.

Dozens of cases may have already spread to major Chinese cities, risking further local epidemics, researchers from the University of Hong Kong warn.

Read more here: https://www.the-sun.com/news/339322/coronavirus-cases-in-wuhan-alone-could-be-75800-as-experts-warn-true-scale-of-epidemic-is-unclear/

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Murkowski comes out against impeachment witnesses, putting Trump on path to acquittal

 

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski came out Friday against calling witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, all but assuring the Senate will move to wrap up proceedings with a likely acquittal in a matter of days, if not hours.

“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” said Murkowski, R-Alaska, a key moderate senator who has been closely watched on the witness question.

Read more here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/murkowski-comes-out-against-impeachment-witnesses-putting-trump-on-path-to-acquittal

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TORCHING EVIDENCE China is cremating bodies in secret to hide true extent of death toll, says new report

 A new report claims China is cremating bodies in secret to hide the true extent of the coronavirus death toll

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A new report claims China is cremating bodies in secret to hide the true extent of the coronavirus death tollCredit: Wuhan central hospital/weibo

This week, they interviewed people working at local cremation centres in Wuhan — where the virus originated from — who said bodies were being sent directly from hospitals without being properly identified and added to the official record.

“There are reasons to remain sceptical about what China has been sharing with the world,” said DW News East Asia correspondent William Yang.

“Because while they have been more transparent about certain things related to the virus, they continue to be sketchy and unreliable in other aspects.”

Read more here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10856405/china-cremating-bodies-secret-hide-death-toll/

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End draws near in Trump impeachment trial as Democrats likely to fall short in vote

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – President Trump’s impeachment trial reaches a climactic vote on Friday, when senators decide whether to call witnesses and prolong the historic proceeding or instead bring them to the swift conclusion that Trump wants.

Senate Democrats have been arguing throughout the two-week trial that lawmakers need to hear from witnesses like John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser. But they do not appear to have enough support from Republicans who control the chamber.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who had been undecided, declared late on Thursday that further evidence in the case was unnecessary.

Read more here: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/01/31/end-draws-near-in-trump-impeachment-trial-as-democrats-likely-to-fall-short-in-vote/23914273/

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Key GOP senator to vote against impeachment witnesses

WASHINGTON – Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced Thursday night he will vote against calling witnesses to the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, likely ending the last real suspense of the trial and opening the door for a speedy conclusion Friday or Saturday.

“There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter,” Alexander said late Thursday in a statement, after another day-long session in the Senate, the ninth day of the trial overall.

Read more here: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/01/31/key-gop-senator-to-vote-against-impeachment-witnesses/23913729/

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Roberts declines to read Paul question on whistleblower

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts has declined to read an impeachment trial question by Republican Sen. Rand Paul that purportedly named the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint led to the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

Paul, of Kentucky, has said he believes that the whistleblower may have conspired with House staff aides in writing the August whistleblower complaint.

Read more here: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/01/30/roberts-declines-to-read-paul-question-on-whistleblower/23913296/

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