Mitch McConnell plans to give House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team 24 hours each over the course of two days to make their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. During the Clinton impeachment trail, opening arguments were spread out over four days. The rule change indicates Senate Republicans are looking to finish the trial before Trump’s Feb. 4 State of the Union address. Democrats oppose the move, calling it an attempt by McConnell to “conceal the President’s misconduct in the dark of night.” (CNN)
The White House appointed several prominent House Republicans to advise his impeachment defense team ahead of the Senate trial, which begins today. Reps. Jim Jordan, John Ratcliffe, Mike Johnson, Mark Meadows, Debbie Lesko, Lee Zeldin, Elise Stefanik, and Doug Collins have been tapped to help Trump with the trial. Republicans in the Senate warned against the appointments, saying that it would cast the Senate trail in a partisan light. (The Hill)
Lev Parnas asked Attorney General William Barr to recuse himself and appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Parnas. Parnas has been charged with federal campaign finance violations in New York and was also part of the team that helped Giuliani pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Parnas claims Barr “had to have known everything” about the effort and that he was “basically on the team,” rendering Barr unable to fairly prosecute the case against Parnas. (NBC News)
poll/ 51% of Americans say Trump has encouraged interference in U.S. elections. 41% say the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared to keep the 2020 election safe and secure from outside interference. (NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist)
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