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McConnell afraid GOP doesn’t have enough votes to dismiss impeachment charges against Trump

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was once confident he could get rid of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. As more information becomes available, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

A CNN report explained Monday that despite Trump’s urging, forcing senators to vote against a fair trial would put Republicans up for reelection in danger of losing their seats.

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At the same time, the polling isn’t in Trump’s favor. As CNN’s Manu Raju explained, the new Quinnipiac University showed that 51 percent of voters support impeachment, while 46 percent believe he should be convicted and removed from office. A full 66 percent of Americans want John Bolton to testify, which shows alarming support for a fair trial with witnesses.

FiveThirtyEight gives Quinnipiac a B+ in their polling, noting that their margin of error is closer to 4.6 percent, which is different from what Quinnipiac cites.

“McConnell has made clear to his colleagues that he wants Trump to emerge victorious in the trial and is not willing to hold a vote that could fail, sources said,” wrote CNN’s Manu Raju, Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett. “He’s also keenly aware of what a vote to dismiss would look like politically, according to Republican senators, and has shepherded his conference away from the idea for several weeks.”

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It takes 67 votes to convict and remove Trump from office. However, it takes just 34 votes to acquit Trump and stop the trial in its tracks. McConnell signed onto a resolution sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would dismiss the impeachment outright.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said over the weekend that dismissing the impeachment and refusing to hold a trial with witnesses is akin to a “cover-up.”

Trump, by contrast, thinks the whole thing is a “witch hunt,” and is refusing to cooperate.

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Read the full report at CNN.com.

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Another fatality in China from SARS-linked virus as mysterious illness spreads to third Asian country

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A second person has died in China from a mysterious SARS-linked virus that has stricken dozens and appeared in two other Asian countries, officials said.

Local authorities said a 69-year-old man died on Wednesday in Wuhan, the central Chinese city believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of a coronavirus from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen.

The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

At least 41 people have been hit with pneumonia linked to the new virus in China, prompting authorities in Hong Kong to step up detection measures, including temperature checkpoints for inbound travellers.

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Laurence Tribe predicts how John Roberts — his former student — will rule on impeachment witnesses

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The man who taught Constitutional Law to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts expects him to vote to allow witnesses if he needs to cast a tie-breaking vote while presiding over President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

Prof. Laurence Tribe was interviewed by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday. In addition to having argued three-dozen cases before the highest court, Tribe has taught at Harvard Law for 50 years and even taught the chief justice.

"What do you expect and what are you hoping to see in your former student presiding over this trial, Chief Justice Roberts?" O'Donnell asked.

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Lev Parnas reveals to Maddow how Trump tried to fire Ambassador Yovanovitch ‘four or five times’ — but failed

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Lev Parnas revealed to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that President Donald Trump repeatedly attempted to fire then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch -- but failed.

Parnes says Trump tried "four or five times" according to Parnas.

Parnas, who is under federal indictment, described a meeting at Trump Tower -- attended by Donald Trump, Jr. -- where the president ordered the firing of the ambassador.

The indicted Rudy Giuliani associate says both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-National Security Advisor John Bolton both refused to fire Yovanovitch.

He said, "they couldn't get it done" and so they started the public smear campaign against the ambassador to make it easier for her to be removed.

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