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MSNBC is in talks to sign ex-Fox News host Shepard Smith

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MSNBC is reportedly in talks to sign former Fox News host, Shepard Smith, to a primetime slot and moving NBC’s Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, to a morning segment.  

‘It’s unclear what slot he [Smith] would take, but we’d want him in primetime,’ an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast

The insider claimed that CNN president, Jeff Zucker, is also pursuing Smith as well as a ‘number of networks’.

Sources revealed that MSNBC may be bracing for a major shakeup this year amid discussions to move Todd to a morning slot. 

MSNBC is reportedly in talks to sign former Fox News host, Shepard Smith (pictured), to a primetime slot and moving NBC's Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, to a morning segment

MSNBC is reportedly in talks to sign former Fox News host, Shepard Smith (pictured), to a primetime slot and moving NBC's Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, to a morning segment

MSNBC is reportedly in talks to sign former Fox News host, Shepard Smith (pictured), to a primetime slot and moving NBC’s Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, to a morning segment

'It's unclear what slot he [Smith] would take, but we'd want him in primetime,' an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast. The insider claimed that CNN president, Jeff Zucker, is also pursuing Smith as well as a 'number of networks'. Smith quit Fox News in October 2019

'It's unclear what slot he [Smith] would take, but we'd want him in primetime,' an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast. The insider claimed that CNN president, Jeff Zucker, is also pursuing Smith as well as a 'number of networks'. Smith quit Fox News in October 2019

‘It’s unclear what slot he [Smith] would take, but we’d want him in primetime,’ an MSNBC insider told The Daily Beast. The insider claimed that CNN president, Jeff Zucker, is also pursuing Smith as well as a ‘number of networks’. Smith quit Fox News in October 2019 

Todd has been hosting Meet the Press at 5pm, since he was selected for the position in 2014. Todd is said to be resisting the possible move at the network.

Smith, who was a  midday anchor for Fox News, quit the network in October. 

The host, who had been with the network since its inception in 1996, stepped down from his role as chief news anchor and managing editor of the network’s breaking news unit and anchor of Shepard Smith Reporting.

The decision to exit Fox News was made by Smith, and only Smith, publicists for both the anchor and the network said on Friday. 

Multiple sources told DailyMail.com at the time that Smith’s departure came as a total shock to most at the network. 

In the past few years he has come under fire while at the same time being praised for his coverage of President Donald Trump.

Sources revealed that MSNBC may be bracing for a major shakeup this year amid discussions to move Chuck Todd (pictured) to a morning slot

Sources revealed that MSNBC may be bracing for a major shakeup this year amid discussions to move Chuck Todd (pictured) to a morning slot

Sources revealed that MSNBC may be bracing for a major shakeup this year amid discussions to move Chuck Todd (pictured) to a morning slot 

It all kicked off in 2016 when he said that Trump ‘trades in racism’ during the primary, and Smith has remained one of the network’s few critics of the president ever since.

Comments like those are why Trump never appeared on Smith’s show, despite the anchor reaching out to his campaign for an interview.

‘I would like to have some time with him,’ said Smith back in 2016.

‘For me, at least, it would be interesting to go through the things he’s said and the things he’s done and try to get an explanation.’

Smith, who left University of Mississippi two credits shy of a degree to take his first job, got his start on Fox News after catching the eye of Roger Ailes.

He has said in the past that Ailes saw him reporting on the OJ Simpson trial for Fox affiliates and then called him asking if he would fly to New York City to talk more about the possible new position.

Soon after, Smith moved to New York City and began his career at the network.

Source: CNN – Daily Mail

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Young people are turning their backs on UberEats and are going to restaurants to eat out

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Australians are turning their back on third-party delivery apps and are instead opting to eat out at restaurants and bars, new research has revealed.

The Future Grazing Report by SilverChef found 33 per cent of Australians were more likely to dine out during the last year, compared to 20 per cent using delivery services.

Third-party delivery app UberEats saw unprecedented growth rates when it was downloaded on smartphones across the country five years ago.

But the research indicates the novelty and convenience of home delivery is wearing off, with customers more inclined to go out for a feed.

Australians are turning their back on third-party delivery apps and are instead opting to eat out at restaurants and bars, new research has revealed

Australians are turning their back on third-party delivery apps and are instead opting to eat out at restaurants and bars, new research has revealed

Australians are turning their back on third-party delivery apps and are instead opting to eat out at restaurants and bars, new research has revealed

The use of online food delivery has decreased across all age groups, with 35 per cent of baby boomers admitting they use the service less than the year preceding.   

Gen X followed with 28 per cent noting a decline and 27 per cent of millennials. 

The flattening of delivery apps comes as 50 per cent of hospitality owners revealed the majority of their sales in the past year came from in-house diners. 

A quarter of restaurants said they have decided to decrease their reliance on the third-party apps, while 35 per cent have taken actions to financially safeguard their operations, with some choosing to list menu items that carry higher profit margins. 

It was also revealed three in five hospitality owners have noted the delivery apps cutting into their overall profit lines. 

To combat this, 13 per cent of businesses created their own delivery services in a bid compete with the costs associated with third-party apps. 

The Future Grazing Report by SilverChef found 33 per cent of Australians were more likely to dine out during the last year, compared to 20 per cent using delivery services (stock image)

The Future Grazing Report by SilverChef found 33 per cent of Australians were more likely to dine out during the last year, compared to 20 per cent using delivery services (stock image)

The Future Grazing Report by SilverChef found 33 per cent of Australians were more likely to dine out during the last year, compared to 20 per cent using delivery services (stock image)

Giorgina Venzin of Paw Paw Café and Asian Kitchens said they were quick to join UberEats when it launched in Brisbane.  

‘It was a great way to garner some additional exposure, however, we had no idea how quickly the app would grow and how high the margins would eventually become,’ she said.

But Venzin Group eventually chose to launch their own service.     

‘When third-party delivery apps became the norm we had to come up with a way to bring customers back to communicating with us directly,’ Ms Venzin said. 

‘We decided to develop our own app which allows customers to order the same great menu they get when they dine in, without the delivery markup or compromised quality.’

Third-party delivery app UberEats saw unprecedented growth rates when it was downloaded on smartphones across the country five years ago. But the research indicates the novelty and convenience of home delivery is wearing off, with customers more inclined to go out for a feed

Third-party delivery app UberEats saw unprecedented growth rates when it was downloaded on smartphones across the country five years ago. But the research indicates the novelty and convenience of home delivery is wearing off, with customers more inclined to go out for a feed

Third-party delivery app UberEats saw unprecedented growth rates when it was downloaded on smartphones across the country five years ago. But the research indicates the novelty and convenience of home delivery is wearing off, with customers more inclined to go out for a feed

 

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Coronavirus: Australian authorities say spread outside of China is ‘likely’ as several tested in NSW

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Australian health authorities said it is “likely” we’ll see more coronavirus cases outside of China, as four people were screened for the disease in New South Wales on Friday.

Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said based on the pattern of diagnosis, he suspects there will be “increasing numbers of cases for some time”.

Watch the video above

There are now 844 cases of coronavirus worldwide, 14 of which are in locations outside of China.

NSW Health said four people in undisclosed hospitals around NSW are currently under investigation for potential coronavirus infection.

None have yet been confirmed coronavirus sufferers.

Murphy said testing in Australian laboratories has “matured” and results can be delivered within the same day.

Only one person – who had been in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in the past fortnight and has since come down with flu-like symptoms – had been under investigation by NSW Health on Thursday.

Epicentre

Wuhan is the epicentre of the virus and outbound travel is now banned.

No one who arrived in Sydney on a flight from Wuhan on Thursday self-reported or were deemed ill by a medical team at Sydney Airport.

More on 7NEWS.com.au

However the disease – which has killed 25 people and infected hundreds – has an incubation period of a week or more.

– With AAP

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Almost third of Senate not seated to hear Adam Schiff rebuke

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Adam Schiff rebuked Republican senators for walking out of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on the second full day of the Democratic case to remove the president – but at least 16 senators weren’t even there at the start of his remarks for the historic trial.

Just minutes later, fellow Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler made a key constitutional point by playing a video clip from Sen. Lindsey Graham from the impeachment of Bill Clinton – but Graham was not even in the chamber to hear it.

The moment was noticeable inside the august Senate chamber, and was not lost on Senate GOP conference chair John Barrasso, who sits next to Graham. As other senators looked toward TV screens to see Graham – himself a former impeachment manager in 1999 – Barrasso looked sheepishly upward, placing his hand over the empty chair.

Luckily for Graham and tardy lawmakers, their absence and movements was not visible to the wider public. Senate rules prevent C-Span or other networks from photography inside the chamber, and the Senate Sergeant At Arms controls the fixed camera feet blasted out to the viewing public. It shows only the speaker, be it Schiff or Nadler, speaking in the well of the chamber with a marble background.

Toy time: Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican, brought a stress ball for himself and handed fidget spinners out to other senators as his party mocked the Democratic case

Toy time: Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican, brought a stress ball for himself and handed fidget spinners out to other senators as his party mocked the Democratic case

Toy time: Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican, brought a stress ball for himself and handed fidget spinners out to other senators as his party mocked the Democratic case 

Adam Schiff rebuked senators who left Donald Trump's impeachment trial

Adam Schiff rebuked senators who left Donald Trump's impeachment trial

Adam Schiff rebuked senators who left Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (Republican of Tennessee) arrives at the United States Capitol, as the Senate prepares for the second day of opening statements in the impeachment trial at the United States Capitol

United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (Republican of Tennessee) arrives at the United States Capitol, as the Senate prepares for the second day of opening statements in the impeachment trial at the United States Capitol

United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (Republican of Tennessee) arrives at the United States Capitol, as the Senate prepares for the second day of opening statements in the impeachment trial at the United States Capitol

HOW SENATORS ARE REALLY SPENDING THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL 

Richard Burr (Republican, North Carolina)

  • Brought a stress ball
  • Handed out fidget spinners
  • Played with a fidget spinner 

Tom Cotton (Republican, Oklahoma)

  • Put  a fidget spinner on his desk

Pat Toomey (Republican, Pennsylvania)

  • Put a fidget spinner on his desk
  • Filled his desk with candy

Marsha Blackburn (Republican, Tennessee)  

  • Read a book, then tweeted angrily that it helped her understanding of the trial

Ben Sasse (Republican, Nebraska)

  • Was asked to put away pouch of chewing tobacco. Asked Sergeant at Arms if four spittoons on the Senate floor are decorative

Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky)

  • Crafted a paper airplane; not seen trying to make it fly
  • Spotted with a crossword puzzle
  • Drew or traced a sketch of the Capitol building

Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina)

  • Missed a video presentation which showed him speaking to the Senate as an impeachment manager in 1999 

Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California)

  • Left Wednesday’s session more than an hour early
  • Her office said the 86 year old wasn’t feeling well 

Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts)

  • Played a game on paper 

Susan Collins (Republican, Maine)

  • Demanded reporters be thrown out of the front row of the gallery, apparently for looking below them to see what senators are doing   

Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida)   

  • Had a feather quill on his desk   

Jim Risch (Republican, Idaho)

  • Was spotted with his eyes closed and leaning against his hand   

Bernie Sanders (Independent, Vermont)   

  • Also spotted with eyes closed 

 

However, a DailyMail.com reporter seated inside the chamber was able to see members belatedly making their way toward their seats.  

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina presented some of his colleagues with fidget spinners to help them pass the time – in a gesture that underlined the GOP’s talking point that the trial is dragging on without presenting new information. 

The children’s toy, which features three metal or plastic arms that can be spun around a center, is touted as a stress-reliever and sometimes recommended for kids with attention-deficit issues. 

Burr was spotted using one on the floor, as were fellow GOP senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, NBC reported. As the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr gets access to some of the nation’s most closely-held secrets. His panel conducted its own probe into Russian election interference, a topic that House managers worked into their trial arguments. 

One of his colleagues, Republican Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, paged through a book on the floor – then tweeted out what she was reading, after a conservative but anti-Trump Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin called it ‘shameful.’

‘First – I’m reading Resistance (At All Costs) by Kim Strassel. Read the chapter on obstruction. It provides good insights into today’s proceedings. ‘Second – busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking. Try it,’ she responded. 

Schiff made reference to the strict mandatory attendance requirement at the start of his remarks, after public commentary about senators excusing themselves and standing inside the chamber despite rules.

As he spoke, senators made their way to their seats – a common practice during ordinary session but not during the strict confines of impeachment.

‘I’m not sure the chief justice is fully aware of just how rare it is, how extraordinary it is for the House members to be able to command the attention of senators sitting silently for hours or even for minutes, for that matter. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant-in-arms warning you that if you don’t, you will be in prison,’ Schiff said as he opened the second day of Democrats’ arguments in the case against Trump.

‘It’s our hope that when the trial concludes and you’ve heard us and you’ve heard the president’s counsel over a series of long days that you don’t choose imprisonment instead of anything further,’ Schiff quipped.

A line of senators filed into the chamber as Schiff began his remarks, which followed a prayer by Senate Chaplain Barry Black reminding the senators serving as jurors that ‘listening is often more than hearing.’

Among them were Barrasso, Sens. Richard Burr, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, Dianne Feinstein, Tim Scott, Kamala Harris, Bill Cassidy, Jerry Moran, Michael Bennett, Ted Cruz, and Chris Murphy. Graham took his seat at about 1:10 pm, after Schiff’s remarks were completed and Nadler’s had begun.

‘What’s a high crime? How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means. It’s not very scholarly, but I think it’s the truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime,’ said Graham. Nadler used the quote to illustrate that one of two articles against Trump, abuse of power, is impeachable even though it isn’t technically a legal violation according to Democrats. Nadler said the Constitution’s ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ language ‘cannot’ be limited to criminal code violations.

Several senators were spotted getting restless on Wednesday as Democrats used eight hours to begin their case against President Trump. 

Senate rules require the lawmakers to sit in their seats quietly to listen to arguments but many got up at times to stretch their legs, stand at the back of the chamber, or to temporarily leave the chamber. 

At times up to 20 empty seats were spotted in the chamber as Wednesday’s hearing went into the evening hours.  

Republicans also have complained about the repetitive nature of the trial. 

‘You want to take an aspirin to get away from the repetitive headache,’ said Congressman Mark Meadows, a staunch Trump ally, said of the trial on Thursday morning.

Schiff addressed that on Thursday too, explaining why the arguments were being repeated.

‘I must ask you for some forbearance. Of necessity, there will be some repetition of information from yesterday’s chronology, and I want to explain the reason for it. You have now heard hundreds of hours of deposition and live testimony from the house condensed into an abbreviated narrative of the facts. We will now show you these facts and many others and how they are interwoven,’ the Democratic congressman said. 

Chief Justice John Roberts gavels open day three of the president's impeachment trial

Chief Justice John Roberts gavels open day three of the president's impeachment trial

Chief Justice John Roberts gavels open day three of the president’s impeachment trial

Adam Schiff leads the Democratic impeachment managers to the Senate on Thursday

Adam Schiff leads the Democratic impeachment managers to the Senate on Thursday

Adam Schiff leads the Democratic impeachment managers to the Senate on Thursday

There have been repeated complaints from the Republicans that the trial has brought no new information – prompting a fresh argument from Democrats to call more witnesses.

Democrats will spend Thursday and Friday wrapping up their case against President Trump. 

Then the president’s legal team will start their defense, which is likely to begin Saturday. Trump’s allies brushed off concerns that many Americans may miss the defense since their argument begins on a weekend. 

‘A lot of people aren’t watching Adam Schiff talking for four hours,’ said Rep. Jim Jordan.

Democrats, meanwhile, have countered they are not hearing complaints from their GOP colleagues on the Senate floor. 

‘Not a single Republican has approached me and said what about this; what about that,’ said Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer. 

Democrats will spend the third day of the Senate impeachment trial focused on the charge the president  abused the power of his office with a focus on Article I of the constitution. Friday will be devoted to the obstruction of Congress charge and focus on Article II of the constitution. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler took the led in making the case against the president on Thursday.

Nadler focused his case on allegations President Trump with held nearly $40 million from the Ukraine in order to entice them to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, his political rivals.

‘No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,’ Nadler said. ‘Prior presidents would be shocked to the core by such conduct, and rightly so. Now, because President Trump has largely failed to convince the country that his conduct was remotely acceptable, he has adopted a fallback position. He argues that even if we disapprove of his misconduct, we cannot remove him for it. Frankly, that argument is itself terrifying. It confirms the president sees no limits of his power or his inability to use public office for private gain.’

Trump has argued he’s done nothing wrong and Republicans point out Ukraine got the aid money. Democrats, however, note the aid wasn’t released until a whistleblower revealed the details of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That revelation is what led to the start of the House impeachment investigation. 

Rep. Jerry Nadler took the lead on making the case for Democrats on Thursday

Rep. Jerry Nadler took the lead on making the case for Democrats on Thursday

Rep. Jerry Nadler took the lead on making the case for Democrats on Thursday

Members of President Donald Trump's legal team arrive to the Capitol Thursday

Members of President Donald Trump's legal team arrive to the Capitol Thursday

Members of President Donald Trump’s legal team arrive to the Capitol Thursday

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that Hunter Biden's testimony could turn the hearing into a circus

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that Hunter Biden's testimony could turn the hearing into a circus

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that Hunter Biden’s testimony could turn the hearing into a circus

The president weighed in on his impeachment trial via Twitter, arguing Democrats don’t want a witness trade because the people Republicans would call would hurt their case.

‘The Democrats don’t want a Witness Trade because Shifty Schiff, the Biden’s, the fake Whistleblower(& his lawyer), the second Whistleblower (who vanished after I released the Transcripts), the so-called ‘informer’, & many other Democrat disasters, would be a BIG problem for them!,’ he wrote.

The president wants Hunter Biden to testify but, on Thursday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill, said that could be a distraction.

‘There are a bunch of people on my side who want to call Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. I want to end this thing sooner rather than later. I don’t want to turn it into a circus,’ Graham said. 

Blackburn retorted that 'busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking' and said it was a book by a conservative columnist

Blackburn retorted that 'busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking' and said it was a book by a conservative columnist

Blackburn retorted that ‘busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking’ and said it was a book by a conservative columnist

Democrats had discussed a deal in which they would let Hunter Biden testify if Republicans allowed former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify.

The White House threatened to invoke executive privilege if Bolton was subpoenaed and Trump said Wednesday Bolton shouldn’t testify for national security reasons. 

But Schumer shot down talk of the deal Wednesday, saying it was off the table. 

Nadler, meanwhile, also used Graham in his argument against the president. During his argument he played Graham from the 1999 Bill Clinton impeachment trial when Graham was an impeachment manager making the case for Republicans.

‘What is a high crime? How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means?,’ Graham said on the tape, adding it ‘doesn’t have to be a crime. It’s when you act in a way that hurts people.’

On Wednesday, the seven managers, led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, argued the president obstructed the House’s ability to conduct a complete investigation and also continued their push to include new witness testimony in the Senate trial.

Republicans, however, say the first full day of Democratic opening arguments revealed no new information.

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney and one of the defense lawyers assigned to engage in opening arguments, said the defense team continuously repeated themselves.

‘We’re hearing the same things each time,’ Sekulow lamented.

Adam Schiff

Adam Schiff

Zoe Lofgren

Zoe Lofgren

Democrats will spend the third day of the Senate impeachment trial Wednesday arguing Donald Trump abused the power of his office. Pictured Wednesday: two Democratic prosecution managers, Adam Schiff (left) and Zoe Lofgren (right), arguing the case the remove Trump

Trump's defense, and Senate Republicans, say they heard no new evidence in the Democrats' first day of opening arguments. The president's personal attorney Jay Sekulow said: 'We're hearing the same things each time'

Trump's defense, and Senate Republicans, say they heard no new evidence in the Democrats' first day of opening arguments. The president's personal attorney Jay Sekulow said: 'We're hearing the same things each time'

Trump’s defense, and Senate Republicans, say they heard no new evidence in the Democrats’ first day of opening arguments. The president’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow said: ‘We’re hearing the same things each time’

Democrats argue, however, that if Republicans want to hear something new, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) should allow the prosecution to call new witnesses to testify and subpoena relevant documents

Democrats argue, however, that if Republicans want to hear something new, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) should allow the prosecution to call new witnesses to testify and subpoena relevant documents

Democrats argue, however, that if Republicans want to hear something new, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) should allow the prosecution to call new witnesses to testify and subpoena relevant documents

Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney

John Bolton

John Bolton

Democrats claim new information would emerge if they could call desired witnesses, including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (left) and former national security adviser John Bolton (right)

Trump seemed to suggest in a tweet Thursday morning that even if Republicans allow Democrats to call witnesses, they still won't be satisfied

Trump seemed to suggest in a tweet Thursday morning that even if Republicans allow Democrats to call witnesses, they still won't be satisfied

Trump seemed to suggest in a tweet Thursday morning that even if Republicans allow Democrats to call witnesses, they still won’t be satisfied

He also lamented that Democrats didn't give Republicans the courtesy of calling their preferred witnesses in the House impeachment investigation

He also lamented that Democrats didn't give Republicans the courtesy of calling their preferred witnesses in the House impeachment investigation

He also lamented that Democrats didn’t give Republicans the courtesy of calling their preferred witnesses in the House impeachment investigation

Republican Senators acting as jurors in the impeachment trial said they hear ‘no new’ information presented Wednesday than they had already heard from Democrats seeking to kick the Trump out of the White House.

‘We spent five and a half hours today hearing almost exactly what they said yesterday,’ Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said. ‘So this overwhelming evidence that’s going to be presented to the Senate, I guess they did it yesterday because I’ve seen, heard nothing new whatsoever.’

Pennsylvania GOP Senator Pat Toomey also weighed in, ‘I didn’t hear anything new today. We’ll see.’

READ THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST DONALD TRUMP

In 1,414 words, the articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives lay out two charges against President Donald Trump.

Article I: Abuse of Power

Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.

He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.

President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.

President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.’

Article II: Obstruction of Congress

As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.

In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment — and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives. 

‘Six hours of testimony so far today since I didn’t hear anything new, at all,’ said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming.

Trump also weighed in on Twitter Wednesday morning, mainly attacking lead impeachment manager Schiff, and accusing Barack Obama’s administration of withholding aid from foreign countries.

‘The Democrats & Shifty Schiff, whose presentation to the Senate was loaded with lies and misrepresentations, are refusing to state that the Obama Administration withheld aid from many countries including Ukraine, Pakistan, Philippines, Egypt, Honduras, & Mexico. Witch Hunt!’ Trump detailed in a tweet.

A main theme of the impeachment inquiry is Trump withholding millions in military assistance to Ukraine – which the Democrats claim was done in an attempt to pressure the country to open an investigation into political rival Joe Biden.

Democrats pushed back on Republican criticism that there is no new information coming out in the Senate trial, claiming if the members of the GOP are unhappy with the lack of new information, they should allow them to call witnesses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not said whether or not the Republican-controlled Senate will allow the defense and prosecution to call witnesses to testify – especially those who did not testify during the House investigation.

Democrats held the articles of impeachment in the House for a month to make the case to Republicans and the American people that witnesses were needed to get to the bottom of Trump’s relations with Ukraine.

While Democrats want to call former National Security Advisor John Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, among others, Republicans warn if witnesses are permitted, they could subpoena former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Senator Kamala Harris, who recently dropped out of the presidential primary race, demanded the chamber be able to hear all relevant evidence.

‘We should be concerned with having all available evidence that is relevant to the issue before us,’ Harris said.

‘I think the people who are voting against witnesses and documents that are relevant are going to find that this is really a disservice to the Senate going forward,’ Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said. 

Trump compared the House proceedings to the Senate rules, claiming Republicans were given no leeway in the investigation.

‘The Democrat House would not give us lawyers, or not one witness, but now demand that the Republican Senate produce the witnesses that the House never sought, or even asked for?’ Trump tweeted. ‘They had their chance, but pretended to rush. Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!’

‘No matter what you give to the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, it will never be enough!’ he continued in another tweet.

Trump labelled the impeachment proceedings a ‘work of fiction’ in tweeting a quote he heard on Fox News.

”In an Impeachment, you can’t use a work of fiction as the theory for the case, filling in gaps with presumptions against the President. It was a weak presentation, self indulgent, & he didn’t deliver the goods.’ Robert Charles, @HeatherChilders @FoxNews,’ Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, Trump tried to paint Schiff as a pitiful Looney Tunes character Wednesday as Democrats sketched out their case against him in his impeachment trial.

Flying back from Switzerland, Trump retweeted a cartoon short in the style of a Coyote and Road Runner cartoon. His aide Dan Scavino had earlier tweeted it out during the president’s trip overseas.

The 90-second sketch did its best to ridicule the impeachment trial that Democrats have described as a serious affair with grave stakes for the republic. In the cartoon, which offers apologize to cartoon great Chuck Jones, the California impeachment manager is drawn with computer animation to look represent Wile E. Coyote, who just can’t seem to land his prey.

Instead, Schiff T. Coyote ends up getting crushed under a giant boulder, slammed by a catapult bearing the name of former special counsel Robert Mueller, and nearly run down by the ‘Trump Non Stop’ 2020 Express train.

Trump also spent Thursday morning specifically calling out lead Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff, claiming his two-hour opening argument Wednesday was 'loaded with lies and misrepresentations'

Trump also spent Thursday morning specifically calling out lead Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff, claiming his two-hour opening argument Wednesday was 'loaded with lies and misrepresentations'

Trump also spent Thursday morning specifically calling out lead Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff, claiming his two-hour opening argument Wednesday was ‘loaded with lies and misrepresentations’

President Donald Trump retweeted a video depicting impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff as the hapless Wile E. Coyote

President Donald Trump retweeted a video depicting impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff as the hapless Wile E. Coyote

President Donald Trump retweeted a video depicting impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff as the hapless Wile E. Coyote

One sketch shows Rep. Schiff getting whipped by a catapult as he tries to pursue the speedy Road Runner (Trump)

One sketch shows Rep. Schiff getting whipped by a catapult as he tries to pursue the speedy Road Runner (Trump)

One sketch shows Rep. Schiff getting whipped by a catapult as he tries to pursue the speedy Road Runner (Trump)

The 90-second sketch made fun of cast Schiff as unable to take out Trump, a day after Republicans voted against a series of Democratic attempts to get witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial

The 90-second sketch made fun of cast Schiff as unable to take out Trump, a day after Republicans voted against a series of Democratic attempts to get witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial

The 90-second sketch made fun of cast Schiff as unable to take out Trump, a day after Republicans voted against a series of Democratic attempts to get witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial

But the president wasn’t the only one using video to effect. Democratic House impeachment managers used their first day of fully making their case against Trump to use video clips, often to harsh effect.

They made their first use of a Fox News video clip by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and frequently played clips of the president himself to seated senators who appeared to perk up whenever impeachment managers turned to media.  

‘Keep your eye on Ukraine,’ Giuliani can be heard saying on ‘Fox and Friends’ in April 2019. ‘Because in Ukraine a lot of the dirty work was done in digging up the information. American officials were used. Ukrainian officials were used. That’s like collusion with the Ukrainians. Actually in this case conspiracy with the Ukrainians,’ Giuliani said.

‘I think you’ll get some interesting information about Joe Biden from Ukraine. About his son Hunter Biden. About a company he was on the board of for years, which may be one of the most crooked companies in Ukraine,’ said the president’s lawyer and former New York mayor. 

Democrats call Trump and his team’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Biden, a leading political rival, a centerpiece of their abuse of power impeachment article. 

Impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas played video clips of Trump’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, who asked if he would accept opposition research from a foreign government like Russia or China or call the FBI.  

‘I think maybe you do both. I think maybe you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,’ Trump said, in comments broadcast inside the Senate chamber and to viewing audiences.

‘I think I’d want to hear it,’ he explained. ‘It’s not an interference. They had information – I think I’d take it.’

Democrats made their own use of video, including playing clips of Trump saying he would accept opposition research from a foreign government

Democrats made their own use of video, including playing clips of Trump saying he would accept opposition research from a foreign government

Democrats made their own use of video, including playing clips of Trump saying he would accept opposition research from a foreign government

In this screengrab taken from a Senate Television webcast, House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) speaks during impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump. She played video of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani

In this screengrab taken from a Senate Television webcast, House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) speaks during impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump. She played video of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani

In this screengrab taken from a Senate Television webcast, House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) speaks during impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump. She played video of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani

While speaking from the Senate Floor, Adam Schiff, who is leading the Democratic prosecution team, said that Trump is what the Founding Fathers fear most, which is why, he says, the included the provision of impeachment and removal

While speaking from the Senate Floor, Adam Schiff, who is leading the Democratic prosecution team, said that Trump is what the Founding Fathers fear most, which is why, he says, the included the provision of impeachment and removal

While speaking from the Senate Floor, Adam Schiff, who is leading the Democratic prosecution team, said that Trump is what the Founding Fathers fear most, which is why, he says, the included the provision of impeachment and removal

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a stellar review to Schiff, calling his opening statement a ‘tour de force.’ 

Trump legal team member Rep. Mark Meadows was unpersuaded, casting the third-ever presidential impeachment trial as a snooze-fest.

‘The troubling thing to many of us is actually staying alert enough to be able to follow it,’ he told reporters in the Capitol basement. ‘You know the punchline to this joke. You can’t even pay attention,’ he continued. ‘I would suggest that the American people – if they could turn their channel and watch something else, that’s what they’re doing.’

Meadows told DailyMail.com the Democrats’ use of video clips wasn’t effective, making still another TV analogy. 

‘Thirteen million people have already seen those videos not once but twice, so I don’t know that it’s affective at all. There’s only so much you can do reruns, unless you’re Andy Griffith. At this particular point, Adam Schiff reruns are not getting good ratings,’ he posited. 

During his initial presentation of the case for impeachment, Schiff likened Trump to a despot, claiming that the conduct the articles charge the president with committing is exactly what the framers of the Constitution were trying to prevent. 

Schiff said the Founders knew what it was like to live under monarchical rule, and said they created impeachment to make sure that never happened in America.

‘We should not imagine for one moment that they lacked basic common sense,’ Schiff said of the framers. ‘Or refuse to apply it ourselves. They knew what it was like to live under a despot and risked their lives to be free of it.’

THE TRUMP DREAM TEAM: WHO’S DEFENDING PRESIDENT IN SENATE

Lead counsel: Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel

Millionaire conservative Catholic father-of-10 who has little courtroom experience. ‘Strong, silent,’ type who has earned praise from Trump’s camp for resisting Congress’ investigations of the Ukraine scandal. Critics accused him of failing in his duty as a lawyer by writing ‘nonsense letters’ to reject Congressional oversight. His background is commercial litigation and as White House counsel is the leader of the Trump administration’s drive to put conservative judges in federal courts. Trump has already asked aides behind the scenes if he will perform well on television. 

Jay Sekulow, president’s personal attorney

Millionaire one-time IRS prosecutor with his own talk radio show. Self-described Messianic Jew who was counsel to Jews for Jesus. Longtime legal adviser to Trump, but he is himself mentioned in the Ukraine affair, with Lev Parnas saying that he knew about Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to dig dirt on the Bidens but did not approve. Michael Cohen claimed that Sekulow and other members of Trump’s legal team put falsehoods in his statement to the House intel committee; Sekulow denies it. The New York Times reported that he voted for Hillary Clinton.

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor

Shot to worldwide fame for his part in the ‘dream team’s’ successful defense of OJ Simpson but was already famous for his defense of Claus von Bulow, the British socialite accused of murdering his wife in Rhode Island. Ron Silver played Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune. In 2008 he was a member of Jeffrey Epstein’s legal team which secured the lenient plea deal from federal prosecutors. But Dershowitz was a longtime friend of Epstein and was accused of having sex with two of Esptein’s victims. He denies it and is suing one of them, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, for libel, saying his sex life is ‘perfect.’ He admits he received a massage at Epstein’s home – but ‘kept my underwear on.’ Registered Democrat who spoke out against Trump’s election and again after the Charlottesville violence. Has become an outspoken defender of Trump against the Robert Mueller probe and the Ukraine investigation.     

Ken Starr, former Whitewater independent counsel

Famous and reviled in equal measure for his Whitewater investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s finances in Arkansas which eventually led him to evidence of Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. He was a federal appeals judge and George H.W. Bush’s solicitor general before that role. He later became president and chancellor of Baylor University in Waco but was removed as president in May 2016 for mishandling the investigation into allegations of multiple sexual assaults by football players and other students, then quit voluntarily as chancellor. Is the second Jeffrey Epstein defender on the team; he was present  in 2008 when the plea deal with prosecutor Alex Acosta was made which let Epstein off with just 13 months of work release prison.       

Pam Bondi, White House attorney

Florida’s first female attorney general and also a long-time TV attorney who has been a Fox News guest host – including co-hosting The Five for three days in a row while still attorney general. Began her career as a prosecutor before moving into elected politics. Has been hit by a series of controversies, among them persuading then Florida governor Rick Scott to change the date of an execution because it clashed with her re-election launch, and has come under fire for her association with Scientology. She has defended it saying the group were helping her efforts against human trafficking; at the time the FBI was investigating it over human trafficking. Went all-in on Trump in 2016, leading ‘lock her up’ chants at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Joined the White House last November to aid the anti-impeachment effort.

Robert Ray, Ken Starr’s successor

Headed the Office of the Independent Counsel from 1999 until it closed for business in 2002, meaning it was he, not Ken Starr, who wrote the final words on the scandals of the Clinton years. Those included the report on Monica Lewinsky, the report on the savings and loan misconduct claims which came to be known as Whitewater, and the report on Travelgate, the White House travel office’s firing and file-gate, claims of improper access to the FBI’s background reports. Struck deal with Clinton to give up his law license. Went into private practice. Was charged with stalking a former lover in New York in 2006 four months after she ended their relationship. Now a frequent presence on Fox News. 

Jane Raskin, private attorney

Part of a husband-and-wife Florida law team, she is a former prosecutor who specializes in defending in white collar crime cases. Their connection to Trump appears to have been through Ty Cobb, the former White House attorney. She and husband Martin advised Trump on his response to Mueller and appear to have been focused on avoiding an obstruction of justice accusation. That may be the reason to bring her in to the impeachment team; Democrats raised the specter of reviving Mueller’s report in their evidence to the impeachment trial.

Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura, Deputy White House Counsels

Lowest-profile of the team, they work full-time for Cipollone in the White House. Philbin (left) was a George W. Bush appointee at the Department of Justice who helped come up with the system of trying Guantanamo Bay detainees in front of military commissions instead of in U.S. courts. He was one a group of officials, led by James Comey, who rushed to seriously-ill John Ashcroft’s bedside to stop the renewal of the warrant-less wiretap program. Unknown if Trump is aware of his links to Comey. Purpura (right) is also a Bush White House veteran who shaped its response to Congressional investigations at a time when there were calls for him to be impeached over going to war in Iraq. His name is on letters telling State Department employees not to testify. Has been named as a possible Trump nominee for federal court in Hawaii.

THE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS: MEET THE SEVEN DEMOCRATS PROSECUTING DONALD TRUMP

Adam Schiff of California: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, 59, led the impeachment process against Donald Trump. He became a frequent target of Trump’s fury: the president called him ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff and made fun of his neck. But Schiff won praise for his leadership during witnesses hearings. Schiff served in the California State Assembly and was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years. He oversaw the prosecution of Richard Miller, the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage. Elected to Congress in 2012. 

Jerry Nadler of New York: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, 72, led the series of hearings that developed the two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. He’s in his 15th term in Congress and was a New York State Assembly man before joining Capitol Hill. He was in law school when he was first elected to state office and completed his J.D. while serving in Albany. He and Schiff were expected to be named. Elected to Congress in 1992.

Zoe Lofgren of California: A close Nancy Pelosi ally and a long time friend of the speaker, Lofgren, 72, has the unique experience of playing a role in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a Judiciary Committee staffer during Richard Nixon’s in 1974, as a Judiciary Committee Member during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment, and now in President Trump’s. Additionally, she heads the Committee on House Administration, a position that has the moniker ‘Mayor of Capitol Hill’ given the panel’s jurisdiction over the everyday running of the Capitol, including members’ allowance, office space, and rules of the House. Elected to Congress in 1994.

Hakeem Jeffries of New York: Jeffries, 49, was a litigator in private practice before running for elected office. He worked in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before becoming assistant litigator for Viacom and CBS, where he worked on litigation stemming from the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, when Janet Jackson’s breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was later referred to as a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. The Federal Election Commission fined CBS $550,000 after a long legal case. The Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Jeffries serves on the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, he was in the New York State Assembly for six years. Elected to Congress in 2012 and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Val Demings of Florida: Demings, 62, served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, including serving as the city’s first female chief of police. She is one of seven children born in poverty – her father worked in Florida orange groves and her mother was a housekeeper. She was the first member of her family graduate from college. She worked as a social worker before joining the Orlando police department. A member of the House Intelligence panel and the Judiciary Committee, Demings won plaudits for her careful questioning of witnesses during the impeachment hearings. She wrote on Twitter in December, during the impeachment process: ‘I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.’ She spends her free time riding her Harley-Davidson Road King Classic motorcycle. Elected to Congress in 2016.

Jason Crow of Colorado: Crow, 40, was an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served three tours and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a private litigator with the Holland and Hart Law Firm before running for Congress. He was elected to Congress in 2018 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

Sylvia Garcia of Texas: Garcia, 69, has a strong judicial background. She was the director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected city controller. She was also the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court. Elected to Congress in 2018, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

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