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Trump impeachment news - live: White House denies president bragged about withholding evidence as Senate trial to resume

Donald Trump has reacted angrily after House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff laid out the case against him in the first opening statement of the impeachment trial on Wednesday, accusing the president of orchestrating a “corrupt scheme” to extort a domestic political favour from Ukraine.

While Mr Schiff’s speech was praised by Democrats, Republicans in the chamber made a point of looking visibly bored by his extensive presentation of the evidence, prompting CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to remind them they should be “doing their damn job” and focusing on principle, not party and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to invite them to resign.

After sending out a record-breaking 142 tweets yesterday, President Trump has continued to fight the messaging war on Thursday and revived his attack on 2020 Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg, branding him a “clown” and saying his campaign is a “hopeless” waste of money.

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Tulsi Gabbard on Hillary Clinton defamation lawsuit: 'I will not stand quietly by'

The Hawaii congresswoman and rogue Democratic 2020 candidate has been elaborating on her decision to sue the fallen 2016 nominee after she suggested on the Campaign HQ podcast that Gabbard was a Russian asset sent to split the vote.

Here's more from Clark Mindock.

Chuck Schumer denounces Republican senators, Fox News over reponse to impeachment trial

The Senate majority leader has been giving a press conference and laying into the GOP response to yesterday's opening statement from Chairman Schiff, particularly over their complaints abour not hearing anything "new" after voting down the chance to do so nine times on Tuesday.

Andrew Yang endorsed by ex-2020 candidate Marianne Williamson in Iowa

"She answers questions that many of us haven’t even thought to ask," says the universal basic income advocate.

Beautifully put. 


Biden says proposed witness trade would turn impeachment trial into 'farce'

Like Schiff and Schumer, Joe Biden is (unsurprisingly) not keen on his son Hunter being called to give testimony at the Senate impeachment trial, warning it would cause matters to descend into a "farce".

Chris Riotta has this report.

Ex-vice president Al Gore compares climate change to Dunkirk, Agincourt and 9/11

Kate Ng has the details on his address to the World Economic Forum.

Team Trump shilling Adam Schiff T-shirts off the back of Senate impeachment trial

If you had any glimmer of doubt left that this administration is more interested in turning a quick buck than good governance or justice, let me present Exhibit A.


Prince Charles 'snubs' Mike Pence at Holocaust memorial

Representing Britain at a memorial event in Jerusalem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Prince Charles has been spotted gliding passed the US vice president, avoiding his eye and making a beeline for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead.

So much for the special relationship.

Fox legal expert says evidence for Trump's conviction 'ample'

Writing in an op-ed on the Fox News website, the networks's senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano has broken ranks to say there is "ample" evidence at the Senate impeachment trial with which to convict Donald Trump.

“It is deadly serious business based on well-established constitutional norms,” says the former New Jersey Superior Court judge, reminding his readers of the gravity of what is unfolding on Capitol Hill right now.

After breaking down the events that led the Trump administration to this sorry pass, Napolitano concludes: “[This] leaves us with valid, lawful, constitutional arguments for Trump’s impeachment that he ought to take seriously.” 

“What is required for removal of the president?” he asks. “A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump’s case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.”

Michael Bloomberg fires back after Trump brands him a 'clown' in latest attack

Trump's latest broadside is aimed at Mike Bloomberg, whom he calls a "clown" and accuses of wasting money on his "hopeless" pursuit of the Democratic nomination.

The president has been particularly dogged about attacking the ex-New York mayor in recent weeks - and determined to make that nickname stick - going after him with much greater frequency than Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg or the rest of the field.

The fact has not gone unnoticed by the candidate.


Steve Mnuchin says climate change is not a 'doom and gloom' issue that will impact people in 10 years

Trump's Treasury secretary is still in Davos and, like his boss, is working hard to downplay the significance of global warming.

'Trump's Davos speech exposed how US isolationism is reaching its final narcissistic chapter'

For Indy Voices, Robert Fisk reflects on the geopolitical ramifications of a US government that believes it ought to be reimbursed for military intervention overseas in the interests of peacekeeping and then paid to leave when the battle is won.

Space Force strikes back at uniform critics on Twitter

You will recall that Trump's ludicrous Space Force initiative (surely just a ploy to shift merchandise to the easily-impressed) were ridiculed over the weekend for unveiling jungle camoflauge uniforms to help them evade enemy fire in darkest deep space.

Even more absurdly, they've begun hitting out at their critics on Twitter, even deploying Robert Downey Jr GIFs to make their point.

Here's more from Greg Evans.


Mike Pompeo 'to visit Ukraine' amid Trump impeachment trial

Well this is going to be awkward.

Trump's secretary of state is scheduled to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, right when the impeachment trial of his boss for pressuring the same man is really starting to get juicy.

Clark Mindock reports.

Trump administration approves permit to allow building of Keystone oil pipeline

Here's Clark Mindock with news of the latest assault on the American landscape from this president and his cronies. 

Ivanka Trump criticises Greta Thunberg for 'purely pessimistic outlook' on climate change

The first daughter was in Davos with her father and gave an interview to The New York Times in which she expressed admiration for climate change activist and icon Greta Thunberg but said she believes a "purely pessimistic outlook" will not solve the problem.

She wasn't the only member of the administration to have a go at the Swedish teen, who was also speaking at the summit and looked bored sideways at Trump's speech on Tuesday:

Here's Greg Evans for Indy100.


President resumes hectic anti-impeachment tweeting schedule

Trump is watching Fox and Friends in bed and back on Twitter, quoting Rush Limbaugh (the conservative talk radio blowhard he said yesterday he believes deserves a Pulitzer Prize) to gaslight a nation on Adam Schiff.

Every one of these is total garbage.

White House criticised for giving press credentials to antisemitic media outlet 

Regarding Davos, the White House is under fire for giving press credentials to TruNews, a far-right outlet whose founder, pastor Rick Wiles, has previously been accused of antisemitism after he refered to the impeachment inquiry into Trump as a "Jew coup".

“That’s the way the Jews work, they are deceivers, they plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda,” Wiles said in November, according to Mediaite.

“This ‘impeach Trump’ effort is a Jew coup and the American people better wake up to it really fast because this thing is moving now toward a vote in the House and then a trial in the Senate. We could have a trial before Christmas. This country could be in civil war at Christmastime. Members of the US military are going to have to take a stand just like they did in the 1860s with the Civil War. They are going to have to decide: are you fighting for the North or the South?”

Amazingly, that wasn't even the dumbest occurrence at the World Economic Forum.

Check out this scene from the president's interview with CNBC's Squawk Box:

As The Huffington Post points out, the invention of the wheel can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia and is not attributable to Thomas Edison, as this moron appears to think.

Tucker Carlson says Adam Schiff 'had not a single friend in high school'

As we've seen, the lead Democratic impeachment manager's performance in the Senate was warmly received by his own side and by left-leaning commentators like Jeffrey Toobin on CNN, who called it "dazzling".

Wolf Blitzer, Mueller lawyer Andrew Weissman and George Conway all likewise agreed that Schiff had done an exceptional job.

But one man who found the praise repellant was Fox's Tucker Carlson, who described their reaction as "pornographic".

“They were too deep in bliss," the host moaned. "To the mouthbreathers on cable television, an Adam Schiff speech is like a brainstem massage, surging waves of ecstasy flood the central nervous system. Linear thought ceases. All that’s left are satisfied grunts of pleasure.”

Carlson also complained the trial was as boring as a foreign language film and even claimed that sources had told him the California congressman had no friends at high school.

It was an unbelievably petty display, even for this buffoon.

Here's a much more clear-headed account of Schiff's meticulous arguments.


Democrats rule out Hunter Biden-John Bolton witness deal

 Back to the Senate, where the man of the hour said after his opening statement yesterday that his side has no interest in agreeing a "swap deal" with Republicans over witnesses: calling ex-national security adviser John Bolton in exchange for allowing GOP conspiracy-mongers to call Hunter Biden.

 "This isn't like some fantasy football trade," Schiff remarked.

“That trade is not on the table,” echoed Chuck Schumer.

 Earlier this week, the Senate voted down Democratic proposals that new witnesses and documents be summoned before the trial commenced - but they can have another vote on the matter when the opening statements by both sides have been concluded.

 The Democrats still have two more days to present their case, before the president's defenders get their quota of three days to offer a rebuttal. After that, we'll have at least two days of written questions from senators, followed by the Trump team being given a chance to dispute key bits of evidence.

 Even with the Senate sitting on Saturdays, that still takes us to early February before the next vote on witnesses can be heard - all of which sees the process butting up against the president's (potentially humiliating) State of the Union address on 4 February.

 Interesting times.

Trump to be first president to attend anti-abortion rally

That said, there was this announcement that he intends to become the first president to attend a March for Life rally in Washington on Friday, choosing the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic Roe vs Wade ruling on which to make this odious declaration.

“Since day one, the Trump-Pence administration has sought to undermine our access to healthcare, including safe, legal abortion," responded Planned Parenthood Action.

Kate Ng has the full story.