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January 1, Witnesses or Acquittal? – We’ll Know by Friday



This Day in History | 1882

Franklyn Delano Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park New York.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Depending on how Republican Senators vote, the Impeachment trial of President Trump could either wrap up by this weekend, or enter a long and tedious phase of court battles over witnesses and documents. 

Establishment Democrats continue to try and sandbag Bernie Sanders, but it’s not working. 

Sanders reportedly raised more than $1.3 million dollars in one day after a group started running negative ads against the Vermont Democratic Socialist. 

We are also closely watching the global spread of the coronavirus. Right now it’s infected more people than the SARs virus in 2003.  While not as deadly as SARs, American health experts say it’s time to prep for the worst. 

And it might be time to go back to the drawing board when it comes to the border wall after a portion falls down because of high winds.

Read all about it.

-Fraser Dixon

Trump Could be Acquitted in Impeachment Trial as Early as Friday

(Reuters) – A Democratic push to force Republicans to accept witnesses at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate appeared to be flagging on Wednesday, raising the possibility the president could be acquitted as early as Friday.

As senators spent the day posing questions to both the Trump legal team and the Democratic managers of the trial, the White House objected to the planned publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton in which he is said to have depicted Trump as playing a central role in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, the No. 3 Republican in seniority, said it was possible the trial could end on Friday without Democrats achieving their goal of having witnesses called to testify.

“The momentum is clearly in the direction of moving to final judgment on Friday. That vote will be Friday. We still have a couple members who said they want to listen to the answers to questions, but that’s where the momentum is,” Barrasso said.

Read more here

Sanders Campaign Cays It Raised More than $1.3 Million in One Day After Negative Ad

(The Hill) – Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign said Wednesday it raised more than $1.3 million in one day in response to a super PAC’s negative ad targeting the senator and the heart attack he suffered last year. 

The presidential candidate received more than 70,000 donations the day after his campaign warned supporters about an ad from the Democratic Majority for Israel scheduled to begin airing Wednesday, The New York Times reported

The super PAC launched the almost $700,000 ad campaign in the days before the Iowa caucuses. The ad highlights voters characterizing Sanders as too risky as a left-wing progressive to beat President Trump, with one voter also mentioning his heart attack earlier in the campaign and their concerns about the senator’s health. 

Find out more here

Coronavirus: Experts Say Its Time to ‘Prepare for the Worst’

(Axios) – The U.S. should be preparing for the worst as the Chinese coronavirus spreads, and somebody at the White House needs to be in charge of coordinating that effort, public health experts say.

The National Security Council official who would have been in charge of leading the response to a pandemic left in 2018, and now no one is around to do the job.

“They need to put someoneat the White House in charge,” Ron Klain, who served as then-President Obama’s “Ebola czar,” said this week on Axios’ Pro Rata podcast.

Containing and combating a viral outbreak involves border patrol and national security officials; public health agencies at the federal, state and local levels; public and private vaccine researchers; and coordinating with individual hospitals.

It makes sense to put one person in charge of coordinating all of that, Klain said.

There have only been five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and there are still big unanswered questions about it.

The primary goal so far has been to contain the virus — that’s why China has locked down the Wuhan area and the U.S. has expanded travel screenings for people traveling from China.

Learn more here

Portion of US Border Wall in California Falls Over in High Winds

(CNN) – Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds Wednesday, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border.

The area is part of an ongoing construction project to improve existing sections of the wall.

Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection sector in El Centro, California, told CNN that the sections that gave way had recently been set in a new concrete foundation in Calexico, California. The concrete had not yet cured, according to Pitones, and the wall panels were unable to withstand the windy conditions.

The National Weather Service reports that winds in the area gusted as high as 37 mph Wednesday. Video from CNN affiliate KYMA shows the metal panels leaning against trees adjacent to a Mexicali, Mexico, street as the wind whips up dirt from the construction site on the other side of the border.

“We are grateful there was no property damage or injuries,” said Pitones.

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