The Rundown for January 31, 2020

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL… The Senate completed a second round of questioning last night in President Trump’s impeachment trial. Both sides continued sparring over the limits of executive and congressional power in their quest for swing votes. Democrats need just four Republicans to join them in voting to extend the trial and allow witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed. Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff responded to complaints about the length of the trial by proposing that it follow the Clinton model and limit witness depositions to a week. Republicans picked up the vote when retiring Tennessee Congressman Lamar Alexander remained loyal to his party and announced he would vote against new witnesses. However, Democrats appear to have gained the vote of GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who said she’d vote in support of the motion. Remaining potential swing voters include GOP senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah. Murkowski plans to announce her decision this morning. Republicans hope to bring the trial to a quick end after it resumes today at 1 p.m. Eastern. They intend to block the motion to consider witnesses and advance to a final vote to convict or acquit the president.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LAWYER CONTRADICTS TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE… Arguments offered by a Justice Department attorney in federal court yesterday contradicted a key argument President Trump’s defense team has been relying on in its defense against one of the two articles of impeachment the president faces in his Senate trial. Testifying in a separate case involving a House committee’s subpoena for documents related to aborted efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Justice Department attorney James Burnham argued that Congress cannot use the courts to enforce its subpoenas and is limited to impeachment and other legislative tools at its disposal. In contrast, Trump’s impeachment attorneys have been arguing that the obstruction charge against the president is completely unwarranted because Democrats should have taken the president to court to enforce subpoenas.

RAPE ACCUSER SEEKS DNA SAMPLE FROM TRUMP… Lawyers representing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claims Donald Trump her in the 1990s, have requested a DNA sample from the president. The lawyers requested for a sample to be submitted March 2 in Washington. They hope to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress Carroll says she wore during the encounter. Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump in November after the president denied her allegation.

PENCE AIDE LEAVING WHITE HOUSE… Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence who was a key witness in the House’s impeachment of President Trump, is leaving her post two months early. Williams, whose last day will be on Monday, will start her new position as a CENTCOM deputy foreign policy adviser in the spring. She will be advising the command on Middle East policy issues. Williams listened to the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that led to Trump’s impeachment. In her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, she said that Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter were “unusual and inappropriate.”

THREE STATES DEMAND FEDERAL ERA CERTIFICATION… Attorneys general in three states Virginia, Nevada and Illinois took legal action yesterday in demanding that the federal government certify the long-proposed Equal Rights Amendment. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined his Illinois and Nevada counterparts in the 22-page lawsuit. They seek to compel the U.S. Archivist to “carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment.”

LONGEST-EVER SMUGGLING TUNNEL FOUND ALONG MEXICO BORDER… U.S. authorities have discovered the longest smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border. The tunnel originates in Tijuana, Mexico, near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and extends more than three-quarters of a mile. It is approximately 5-1/2-feet tall, 2 feet wide and has an average depth of 70 feet from the surface.. The investigation that led to the discovery spanned many years and involved various agencies.

CORONOVIRUS CONCERNS… Chicago health officials yesterday reported the first U.S. case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly coronavirus. Officials say the new patient is married to a Chicago woman who carried the infection back from Wuhan, China. It’s the sixth confirmed case in the U.S. More than 130 people have died in China and nearly 6,000 have been infected. The virus has spread to at least 16 countries and the global death toll is now 170. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the fast-spreading strain of coronavirus a global health emergency.

KATHARINE McPHEE AND EDDIE CIBRIAN LAND NETFLIX SERIES… Katharine McPhee and Eddie Cibrian have signed on to star in a new Netflix comedy series. “Country Comfort” centers on an aspiring country music singer who becomes a nanny for a cowboy and his five children. McPhee is best known for her work in the CBS series “Scorpion.” Cibrian recently portrayed Eddie on the ABC comedy-drama series “Take Two.”

IN THEATERS… In “The Rhythm Section,” a woman seeks revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family. The R-rated film stars Blake Lively and Jude Law. “Gretel & Hansel” tells the story of a young girl who stumbles into a nexus of terrifying evil when she leads her little brother into the woods to search for food and work. Sophia Lillis and Alice Krige star in the PG-13 film.

Toronto 115 – CLEVELAND 109… The Raptors got 26 points from Serge Ibaka and 23 from Kyle Lowry in fighting off the Cavaliers for their ninth straight win. Fred VanVleet had 12 assists.

WASHINGTON 121 – Charlotte 107… Bradley Beal lit it up for 39 points in leading the Wizards past the Hornets. Thomas Bryant delivered 21 points off the bench.

ATLANTA 127 – Philadelphia 117… Trae Young poured in 39 points and dished off a career-high 18 assists to lead the Hawks past the 76ers. Five other players scored in double figures for Atlanta.

BOSTON 119 – Golden State 104… Gordon Hayward pumped in 25 points and Marcus Smart added 21 off the bench as the Celtics cruised past the Warriors. Jayson Tatum added 20 points.

DENVER 106 – Utah 100… The short-handed Nuggets took the lead with a 15-0 run to end the third quarter and held on to down the Jazz. Nikola Jokic came up big down the stretch and finished with 28 points and 10 assists. Michael Porter Jr. had 12 points and as many rebounds.

Sacramento 124 – L.A. CLIPPERS 103… The Kings held the Clippers to 14 second-quarter points on their way to an easy win. De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 34 points.

Toronto is at Detroit…
Brooklyn hosts Chicago…
Dallas is at Houston…
New Orleans hosts Memphis…
Denver is at Milwaukee…
Phoenix hosts Oklahoma City…
Portland is at the L.A. Lakers

NBA ALL-STAR ROSTERS SET… Rosters are complete for the 69th NBA All-Star Game, which is scheduled for February 16 in Chicago. Reserves were announced last night following last week’s naming of starters… LeBron James of the L.A. Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks have been named starters and captains. Other starters are: Anthony Davis of the Lakers, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Kawhi Leonard of the L.A. Clippers, Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks… Reserves are: Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat, Kris Middleton of the Bucks, Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers, Jayson Tatum of the Celtics, Kyle Lowry of the Raptors, Ben Simmons of the 76ers, Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, Brandon Ingram of the New York Knicks, Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook of the rockets.

Montreal 3 – BUFFALO 1… The Canadiens got past the Sabres after spotting them an early goal. Ilya Kovalchuk and Brendan Gallagher scored 2:16 apart in the second period.

Nashville 6 – NEW JERSEY 5 (SO)… Filip Forsberg’s second goal of the game broke a tie midway through the third period and the Predators held on to edge the Devils. Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist. Kyle Turris assisted on two goals.

Los Angeles 3 – ARIZONA 2 (OT)… Alex Iafallo found the net 24 seconds into overtime to complete a hat trick and lift the Kings over the Coyotes. Anze Kopitar set up two of the goals.

Detroit is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Pittsburgh hosts Philadelphia….
Washington is at Ottawa…
Carolina hosts Vegas…
Boston is at Winnipeg…
Edmonton hosts St. Louis…
Tampa Bay is at Anaheim

#2 Gonzaga 87, SANTA CLARA 72…
#11 Oregon 77, CALIFORNIA 72…
#15 Maryland 82, #18 Iowa 72…
#19 ILLINOIS 59, Minnesota 51…
UCLA 72, #20 Colorado 68

SUPER BOWL WEEKEND… Super Bowl weekend is upon us as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will clash on Sunday to determine the NFL champion. Super Bowl LIV will feature a pass-happy Kansas City offense against a San Francisco defense that ranked second in the league. Sunday’s game will be played in Miami and airs on Fox at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

NASCAR NEWS… NASCAR driver John Andretti, who announced in 2017 that he had stage 4 colon cancer, lost his battle with the disease yesterday. He died at age 56. Andretti raced all types of cars, but was most active in NASCAR’s top series, running 393 races. He won the 1997 summer race at Daytona International Speedway and at Martinsville, in 1999. Andretti raced 12 times at the Indy 500, and in 1994 he raced there and in a NASCAR event that night. He was the nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti.

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