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11:05 AM ET, January 29, 2020


 Top Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
Feinstein leans toward acquitting Trump as his lawyers end their impeachment defense arguments  —  Just after President Trump's defense lawyers ended arguments in their Senate trial Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California became the first Democrat to suggest that she could vote to acquit …
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Trump rages at Bolton, says former adviser would have caused ‘World War Six’  —  The president's latest attack on his ex-national security adviser comes as the Senate is weighing calling him as a witness.  —  President Donald Trump berated his former national security adviser John Bolton on Wednesday …
Barbara McQuade / NBC News:
Trump's impeachment trial defense hinges on six arguments.  They can all be rebutted.  —  Trump still appears to have the votes for an acquittal in the Senate.  But sometimes a prevent defense ends up being an ill-fated strategy.  —  President Donald Trump's lawyers began their impeachment arguments …
Discussion: Breitbart and The Root
Peter Baker / New York Times:
For John Bolton, an ‘Upside-Down World’ After Trump Revelation  —  Democrats who once derided him now want him to testify at President Trump's impeachment trial while some of his erstwhile Republican friends are throwing him to the curb.  —  WASHINGTON — Not long ago, they called him …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Attacks John Bolton As Desperate Loser Who Nearly Destroyed the Planet  —  President Trump's lawyers built their defense against impeachment on the absence of one small, very specific form of evidence — testimony by a witness who was told about the quid pro quo directly by Trump — that John Bolton reportedly has.
Discussion: Vox, Redstate and Wall Street Journal
Aamer Madhani / Associated Press:
GOP squirms as Bolton prepares to dish on Trump White House
Discussion: Raw Story
Trump team warns: Stand strong or prepare for an endless trial
Discussion: CNN and Vanity Fair
Marisa Schultz / Fox News:
McConnell says GOP lacks votes to block impeachment witnesses, as Bolton book disrupts trial script
Mary Louise Kelly / New York Times:
Pompeo Called Me a ‘Liar.’ That's Not What Bothers Me.  —  Journalists are supposed to ask tough questions, then share the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.  —  Ms. Kelly is a co-host of NPR's “All Things Considered.”  —  Ask journalists why they do the job they do, and you'll hear a range of answers.
New York Times:
Biden Aides Weigh Pursuing an Iowa Caucus Alliance With Klobuchar  —  Amy Klobuchar's campaign signaled no interest in such a plan, under which each candidate would encourage supporters to back the other in certain precincts.  —  Aides to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. are discussing …
Des Moines Register:   Ernst, Grassley should support calling witnesses in impeachment trial; Ernst's comments betray a closed mind
Ben Schreckinger / Politico:
Trump allies are handing out cash to black voters  —  Allies of Donald Trump have begun holding events in black communities where organizers lavish praise on the president as they hand out tens of thousands of dollars to lucky attendees.  —  The first giveaway took place last month in Cleveland …
The Real Goal of Trump's Middle East Plan  —  The Trump administration's long-awaited and ill-named peace plan has many objectives, but making peace isn't among them.  —  Neither is jump-starting negotiations, or nudging the parties toward compromise, or even enshrining implicit …
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The Trump peace plan is a squeeze play against the Palestinians. It might work.
Wall Street Journal:
Art of the Deal, Palestine Version
Discussion: New York Times
QU Poll:
Release Detail  —  January 28, 2020 - 75% Of Voters Say Allow Witnesses In Senate Impeachment Trial, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; 53% Say President Trump Not Telling Truth About Ukraine  —  On week two of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, registered voters say 75 …
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trumpworld torn over running against Bernie
Discussion: The Hill
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Dem Caucuses Could Be a Five-Way Contest  —  Nearly half remain open to switching support on caucus night  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren continue to jostle for the top spot in the fifth and final Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers.
Discussion: NBC News, Politico and Political Wire
Igor Derysh / Raw Story:
Trump's lawyers gave thousands to Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz before the impeachment trial began  —  President Trump's legal team made numerous campaign contributions to Republican senators overseeing the impeachment trial.  —  Former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray …
Washington Post:
McConnell tells senators he doesn't yet have votes to block witnesses in Trump impeachment trial
Wall Street Journal:
GOP Leaders Say They Don't Currently Have Enough Votes to Block Witnesses
Nahal Toosi / Politico:
Democrats are already bracing for a ‘hostile’ Trump transition  —  Democrats are bracing for the possibility that if President Donald Trump loses the 2020 election, he and his aides will bungle a smooth handover of power - and maybe even try to outright sabotage the transition.
Discussion: Raw Story
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trio of Dem senators considering vote to acquit Trump  —  A trio of moderate Senate Democrats is wrestling with whether to vote to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trial — or give the president the bipartisan acquittal he's eagerly seeking.  —  Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia …
Brian Faler / Politico:
Democrats cite Starr in effort to lift stay in Trump tax returns case
Discussion: The Hill
Thomas B. Edsall / New York Times:
Trump's Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists  —  Left and right agree on one point.  The president's re-election campaign is way ahead online.  —  Mr. Edsall contributes a weekly column from Washington, D.C. on politics, demographics and inequality.
John Roberts will not be silent Wednesday.  But the questions he asks will not be his.  —  Washington (CNN)Since the Senate impeachment trial began last week, Chief Justice John Roberts has been mainly out of the camera's line of sight.  He has, clerk-like, enforced Senate procedures and kept the clock for the lawyers at the lectern.
Jessica Contrera / Washington Post:
Anti-human-trafficking groups refuse to attend Ivanka Trump's White House summit  —  On Friday, President Trump is expected to attend a White House summit organized by his daughter Ivanka on human trafficking, an issue he frequently invokes as a top priority.
Discussion: The Hill
The Daily Beast:
Parnas Lawyer: Giuliani Delivered Graham Letter Calling for Sanctions on Ukrainian Officials  —  The mysterious letter-writer listed several Ukrainian officials, including one reformer who'd gone up against an oligarch, and claimed they were part of a “crime syndicate.”
Discussion: Raw Story
Ryan Heath / Politico:
Say hello to invisible Brexit  —  BRUSSELS — Britain is leaving the European Union this weekend with a whimper.  —  It took one referendum, two national elections, three prime ministers and four years of continentwide political anguish for the United Kingdom to achieve Brexit …
Heiko Maas / ZEIT ONLINE:
Separate, but together  —  Britain is leaving the EU …
Discussion: Politico
Nathaniel Meyersohn / CNN:
Slashing food stamps hurts the poor.  It also hurts their supermarkets  —  New York (CNN Business)Independent grocery stores and regional supermarket chains already face brutal competition and shrinking profits.  Now, they are worried about losing out on a valuable source of sales: food stamp recipients.
NBC News:
Dutch Trump superfan who claimed he surveilled Ambassador Yovanovitch told people he was DEA  —  Interviews with a half-dozen people who know Anthony de Caluwe and documents obtained by NBC News show that the Trump superfan has a shadowy past.  —  WASHINGTON — The Dutch man who claimed …
Discussion: Raw Story
Nancy A. Youssef / Wall Street Journal:
Pentagon Raises Number of U.S. Troops Injured in Iranian Attack to 50  —  Most of troops added to new assessment have returned to work, Pentagon says  —  An additional 16 U.S. troops suffered concussions or traumatic brain injuries during Iran's ballistic missile strike earlier this month …
NBC News:   More U.S. service members diagnosed with brain injury from Iran missile attack
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 More Items: 
Dave Levinthal / Center for Public Integrity:
Congressional candidate's gamble: risk breaking laws — or the bank
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Guardian to ban advertising from fossil fuel firms
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
One year inside Trump's monumental Facebook campaign
Laura McGann / Vox:
Joe Biden is the only candidate with a real shot at getting things done
Curtis Ellis / American Greatness:
As China Carries Disease, Elites Carry Their Water
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Trump looks to sign trade deal, show wins during impeachment
Discussion: The Week
William Saletan / Slate:
Bernie Is the Opponent Trump Wants
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and VICE
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Special Operations forces are stretched to the danger point
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
Andrew Kugle / Washington Free Beacon:
Top Sanders Surrogate Appears to Parrot 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Discussion: Instapundit
Dylan Byers / NBC News:
BuzzFeed News editor Ben Smith to join New York Times as media columnist