5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • McConnell plans a speedy impeachment trial

  • Trump's legal team calls on Senate to dismiss impeachment charges

  • CNN poll: 51 percent want Senate to remove Trump from office

  • Thunberg warns 'our house is still on fire' at Davos

  • Pro-gun rally in Virginia draws thousands

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday submitted his impeachment trial rules proposal, which calls for a speedy trial. The resolution will be voted on Tuesday afternoon, and needs a majority to pass the Senate. Under his plan, each side will have 24 hours over two days for opening statements, and senators will have up to 16 hours for questions and four hours of debate. After that, a vote will be held on calling additional witnesses. If other witnesses are called, the Senate will decide if any of them testify publicly. "Sen. McConnell's resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, adding that McConnell "is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through."

Source: The Associated Press

President Trump's lawyers filed a brief Monday urging the Senate to dismiss the impeachment charges against him and labeling the House's impeachment process a "perversion" of the Constitution. The 110-page brief calls the House's impeachment case "flimsy," insists Trump did "absolutely nothing wrong," and says he has "been the victim of an illegitimate partisan effort to take him down." The House filed two impeachment articles against Trump — abuse of power for withholding aid to Ukraine in order to pressure that country to investigate his political rivals, and obstruction of Congress for blocking the House's impeachment inquiry. The Senate trial starts on Tuesday.

Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press

A new CNN poll released Monday shows that 51 percent of Americans think the Senate should vote to convict and remove President Trump from office during his upcoming impeachment trial. Meanwhile, 45 percent believe the Senate should vote against conviction and removal. Almost 69 percent say the trial should include testimony from new witnesses who did not appear before House impeachment investigators. Republicans are split on whether there should be witnesses in the trial — 48 percent are in favor of new witnesses, while 44 percent are not. This was the first major national phone poll conducted since the articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate and Lev Parnas, the indicted Rudy Giuliani associate, appeared on cable news shows and implicated Trump in the Ukraine pressure campaign.

Source: CNN

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke Tuesday at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, telling world leaders that "our house is still on fire." After warning policymakers that they're running out of time to stay within the climate budget needed to give the world a 67 percent chance of holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Thunberg in an address blasted "empty words and promises which give the impression that sufficient action is being taken" and told leaders that "your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour." President Trump in a Davos address said that "we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse."

Source: The New York Times, Politico

Authorities estimate 22,000 gun-rights advocates attended a rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, to protest proposed gun control legislation. Ahead of the event, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned people from carrying weapons at the state capitol, citing "credible intelligence" from law enforcement that white supremacists groups would attend the rally and incite violence. Some extremist groups did attend, but the rally was mostly peaceful and there were no reports of violence. Democrats now control the Statehouse, and have been pushing for new gun regulations, including universal background checks and a ban on military-style rifles.

Source: NBC News
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