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January 1, McConnell Lacks the Vote to Block Witnesses



This Day in History | 1936

Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson are inducted as the first members of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Its going to be a tense day for Republicans and especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. As of Tuesday night, McConnell did not have the 51 votes needed to stop Democrats from calling witnesses, including former national security advisor John Bolton. This, while House impeachment manager and House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), is talking about calling former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to be a witness. This week Kelly told a Sarasota newspaper that he believes John Bolton’s account. The question now is, does that really change anything? 

The relationship between President Trump and his favorite news organization continues to fray. The president chided Fox yesterday for having a Democratic senator join one of the “fair and balanced” networks day time shows. 

Finally, an earthquake in Jamaica was felt as far away as Miami. 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon

McConnell Says GOP Doesn’t Have Votes to Block Impeachment Witnesses

(Wall Street Journal) – Republican leaders said they don’t currently have enough votes to block witnesses in President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, people familiar with the matter said, after his legal team concluded its efforts to counter Democrats’ charges that the president abused power and obstructed Congress.

On the third and final day of presentations by the Trump legal team, lawyers tried to cast doubts on the importance and credibility of allegations by former national security adviser John Bolton about the president’s motives for freezing aid to Ukraine. Republicans had hoped to wrap up the trial with an acquittal of the president by this week, but Democrats have said Mr. Bolton should appear under oath to offer a firsthand account of the president’s motivations for freezing aid to Ukraine—a matter at the heart of the impeachment case.

At a meeting of all Republican senators late Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the vote total wasn’t where it needed to be on blocking witnesses or documents, the people familiar with the matter said. He had a card with “yes,” “no,” and “maybes” marked on it, apparently a whip count, but he didn’t show it to senators.

Read more here

Fmr. Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly: “I Believe John Bolton”

(Sarasota Herald Tribune) – President Donald Trump is denying that he told former National Security Adviser John Bolton that he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until the country launched investigations into Joe Biden and his son, allegations that Bolton levies in his new book, according to a New York Times report.

But one of Trump’s former top aides told a Sarasota audience Monday evening that if the reporting on what Bolton wrote is accurate, he believes Bolton.

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” said retired Gen. John Kelly, who served as Trump’s chief of staff for 18 months.

Learn more here

Trump Declares ‘Beginning of the End’ For ‘Really Pathetic’ Fox News

(Mediaite) – President Donald Trump attacked Fox News on Tuesday, bashing the network for interviewing Democrats, asserting star anchor Chris Wallace should move to “Fake News CNN,” before ultimately declaring, “this will be the beginning of the end for Fox.”

In a series of Twitter posts, President Trump singled out Wallace, former anchor Shepard Smith, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) appearance on the network.

“Really pathetic how @FoxNews is trying to be so politically correct by loading the airwaves with Democrats like Chris Van Hollen, the no name Senator from Maryland,” the president declared. “He has been on forever playing up the Impeachment Hoax. Dems wouldn’t even give Fox their low ratings debates…”

“So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know! Chris Wallace and others should be on Fake News CNN or MSDNC. How’s Shep Smith doing?” he continued. “Watch, this will be the beginning of the end for Fox, just like the other two which are dying in the ratings. Social Media is great!”

Find out more here

Buildings In Miami Evacuated After Magnitude 7.7 Earthquake Off Coast Of Jamaica

(CBS Miami) -A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake has struck south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 

It was centered 77.6 miles north-northwest of Lucea, Jamaica.

It’s not immediately clear if there are damage or injuries . It was centered only about 6 miles beneath the surface of the water.

The quake was so powerful that some people in Miami say they felt their building shake.

“I was sitting at my desk in Aventura, I felt motion similar to feeling light-headed,” said one person who felt his building shake, but didn’t want to be identified.  

He told, “It didn’t stop, and my coworker asked if the building was moving.  It lasted for another 20 seconds as we walked toward the stairwell.”

See the full report here

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