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January 22, 2020

Biden for Bolton Witness Swap?

This Day in History | 1998

Unabomber Ted Kaczynski pleads guilty to all the federal charges he faced and accepts a sentence of life in prison. 

Good morning Middle America, 

I don’t want to get your hopes up, but there is talk of a witness swap that could result in both Hunter Biden and John Bolton testifying in the Senate impeachment trail.  Lord knows we need something to make this more interesting.  Normally when something has only happened three times in the nation’s history, people are more interested.  For example, there have been eight total solar eclipses since the Founder signed the constitution. When we had the last one a few years ago, people were skipping school and work! Impeachment on the other hand is like watching paint dry. At least for now. Don’t worry, we’ll keep our eyes on it, so you can carry on. 

There was one kinda funny moment late last night when Chief Justice John Roberts admonished House impeachment managers, and Senate Republicans for they way they spoke to each other in during yesterday’s proceedings. It really is like high school. 

Mike Bloomberg is launching a new ad campaign (yes, another one) calling for the removal of President Trump

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders campaign has been uncharacteristically quite since they were slammed by Hillary Clinton in a interview she did with the Hollywood Reporter about her new Hulu docu-series. 

And finally the Guardian reports that Saudi Crown MBS hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s phone.  Imagine global power players paying private security firms to hack into each other’s phones to gain leverage.  It kinda makes one wonder about Jeff Bezo’s very expensive divorce last year. 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon 

Senators Consider Biden for Bolton Witness Swap

(Washington Post) – Several Senate Democrats are privately discussing the possibility of calling Republicans’ bluff on witnesses, weighing an unusual trade in President Trump’s impeachment trial: the testimony of Hunter Biden for the testimony of a key administration official.

Publicly, most Democrats have scoffed at the growing GOP clamor to hear former vice president Joe Biden’s son testify, dismissing him as irrelevant to the charges against Trump and accusing Republicans of trying to distract from the allegations against the president.

But behind closed doors, a small group of Democratic senators and aides has begun to question that logic, sounding out colleagues on whether to back a witness deal that could lead to testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton or other administration officials with possible firsthand knowledge of the Ukraine controversy, according to multiple Democratic officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions. 

Read more here

Roberts Admonishes House Managers, Trump Lawyers After Heated Exchange

(The Hill) -Chief Justice John Roberts warned the House impeachment managers and President Trump’s lawyers early Wednesday morning to keep their tone civil after their arguments in the Senate impeachment trial became heated and personal after a clash over procedure.

“It is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Roberts warned.

“One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse,” he said.

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Bloomberg Blasts Ad Pushing for Trump’s Removal

(AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg launched a new impeachment-focused television ad Tuesday urging the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office.

The ad will run in 27 states, including states represented by vulnerable Republican senators, and be Bloomberg’s only ad on television in the next few days. It comes as the Senate begins its impeachment trial against Trump based on charges he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

“It’s time for the Senate to act and remove Trump from office, and if they won’t do their jobs this November, you and I will,” Bloomberg says in the ad, which appears to use footage from a recent campaign stop.

Read more here

Hillary Torches Bernie: “Nobody Likes Him”, Bernie Bites His Tongue

(Politico) – Bernie Sanders’ campaign remained largely — and uncharacteristically — quiet Tuesday in the wake of fiery attacks by Hillary Clinton.

Privately, Sanders’ aides and allies feel that Clinton is trying to bait them after she reiterated in a Hollywood Reporter article that“nobody likes” the Vermont senator, and refused to commit to supporting him if he wins the primary. In her remarks, published two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, they see a political establishment that is trying to stop him as he rises in early-state polling.

Find out more here

Read Hillary Clinton’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter here

Amazon Boss Jeff Bezos’s Phone ‘Hacked by Saudi Crown Prince’

(The Guardian) – The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.

The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world’s richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis.

This analysis found it “highly probable” that the intrusion into the phone was triggered by an infected video file sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.

The two men had been having a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when, on 1 May of that year, the unsolicited file was sent, according to sources who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity.

Learn more here

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