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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 96)

Senate continues to debate Dems’ impeachment amendments as GOP knocks them down, one by one

The Senate continued to debate Democrats’ proposed amendments concerning document and subpoena requests as the proceedings dragged on Tuesday night, as Republicans methodically continued voting them down one by one in a series of party-line votes — an early win for the White House, even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made some tweaks that were likely to assuage Democrats’ concerns over scheduling.

The chamber handed President Trump a win by voting 53-47 four times to effectively kill a series of proposals from Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena White House, State Department and Office of Management and Budget documents, as well as acting White House Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney, respectively. Fox News was told to expect three or four more amendments — including potentially similar amendments to subpoena officials such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Eventually, once Democrats’ amendments are all defeated, the Senate is expected to vote sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning on McConnell’s underlying rules resolution in order to set the ground rules for the trial.

“It’s getting late,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone said late Thursday night, adding that he “would ask respectfully” that the chamber get on with oral arguments

OOPS? BIDEN TEAM TOUTS UKRAINE ACTIVIST WHO CALLED HUNTER BIDEN’S ACTIONS ‘VERY BAD’

As Democrats’ amendments were summarily shot down, reports emerged that some Democrats were privately considering something of a compromise: calling for the testimony of Hunter Biden in exchange for the appearance of some key administration officials. Biden obtained a lucrative board role with a Ukrainian company while his father, Joe Biden, was overseeing Ukrainian policy as vice president. Trump had asked in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukraine’s president for a look into Joe Biden’s admitted pressure campaign to have Ukraine’s top prosecutor fired.

Republicans have sought to portray Trump’s push for a probe as a legitimate request given the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine, while Democrats have alleged that senior administration officials would testify that the administration withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to secure a politically motivated probe.

Meanwhile, the barrage of amendments Tuesday night put into doubt whether the senators would have time to meet in a closed session to converse — which would be a valuable opportunity, given that the senators were legally barred from having any sustenance other than water or milk at their desk all day, and could not communicate verbally with one another during the proceedings.

The restriction on cellphone possession and oral interaction led some members to pass and flash written notes to each other like students in a classroom, as Democratic House impeachment managers and the president’s legal team traded lengthy legalistic arguments.

At one point during the proceedings, former Bill Clinton press secretary and CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart wrote on Twitter that Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz could go to “prison,” noting that Cruz’s Twitter account was posting tweets during the trial. Lockhart was quickly mocked by social media users pointing out that it’s common for senators’ Twitter accounts to be run by staff, and Cruz’s representatives confirmed to Fox News that Cruz had not sneaked his phone into the chamber.

Indeed, even Cruz’s couldn’t resist poking some fun at Lockhart, writing “COME AND TAKE IT,” with an image of a cellphone.

It was a moment of levity in an otherwise emotionally charged day, with Democrats accusing the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and Republicans calling out what they see as a transparent partisan stunt.

“It’s a partisan impeachment they’ve delivered to your doorstep in an election year,” Cipollone thundered early in the day, pointing out that Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and others, were being pulled off the campaign trail. “Some of you should be in Iowa.”

“They’re not here to steal one election, they’re here to steal two elections,” Cipollone added.

JIM JORDAN: THE FOUR FACTS DEMS CAN’T CHANGE

Trump attorney Patrick Philbin said Democrats’ document requests were a “stunning admission” that House prosecutors, who had full rein to conduct their own impeachment inquiry, were now essentially asking the Senate “to do their job for them.”

California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, one of the House Democrats’ impeachment managers, countered in her remarks on the Senate floor that additional documents were needed to provide “clarity.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20021652259411 Senate continues to debate Dems' impeachment amendments as GOP knocks them down, one by one Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 27892250-a8b2-5686-926b-545a355d9361

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial quickly burst into a partisan fight Tuesday as proceedings began unfolding at the Capitol. Democrats objected strongly to rules proposed by the Republican leader for compressed arguments and a speedy trial. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

“As powerful as our evidence is,” Lofgren said, “we did not receive a single document from an executive branch agency including the White House itself.”

Lofgren specifically sought, among other materials, summary notes from an Aug. 30, 2019 meeting between Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which they apparently tried to convince the president that freeing up aid money for Ukraine would be “the right thing to do.”

“It would be wrong for you senators … to be deprived of the relevant evidence,” Lofgren said.

After the 53-47 vote to table his first subpoena request for White House documents, Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced a second amendment seeking a slew of State Department documents and records. McConnell, R-Ky., quickly moved to table that amendment after two hours of debate were concluded, and it was also rejected by a 53-47 vote.

Then, Schumer tried once more, this time with an amendment to seek documents from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that were related to the suspension of Ukrainian aid. That, too, failed with a 53-47 vote and was quickly followed by the debate on the Mulvaney amendment.

The votes to table the proposed amendments were not technically an up-or-down roll call on the merits of the amendments, but instead a vote to ignore them entirely.

However, McConnell abruptly backed off some of his proposed rules for the proceedings earlier Tuesday, easing plans for a tight two-day schedule and agreeing that House evidence will be included. He acted after protests from senators, including fellow Republicans who made their concerns known in private at a GOP lunch.

TRUMP’S LEGAL TEAM GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE

Without comment, the Republican leader submitted an amended proposal after meeting behind closed doors with his fellow senators as the trial opened. The handwritten changes would add an extra day for each side’s opening arguments, instead of just two days, and stipulate that evidence from the Democratic House’s impeachment hearings would be included in the record.

A spokeswoman for Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate, said that she and others had raised concerns. Collins sees the changes as significant improvements, the spokeswoman said.

Additionally, Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman and a substantial number of other Republicans from across the party’s ideological spectrum reportedly wanted to make the changes. Some argued that the two-day limitation would have helped Democrats cast Republicans as squeezing testimony through in the dead of night.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL RULES SEEM WRITTEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE, NOT THE SENATE, SCHUMER SAYS

The turnaround was a swift lesson as the White House’s wishes run into the reality of the Senate.

The White House wanted a session crammed into a shorter period to both expedite the trial and shift more of the proceedings into the late-night hours, according to a person familiar with the matter but unauthorized to discuss it in public.

For his part, though, President Trump appeared undeterred by the proceedings.

“READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!” the president tweeted from overseas, as he returned to his hotel at a global leaders economic conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and Adam Shaw contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125173076001_6125174430001-vs Senate continues to debate Dems' impeachment amendments as GOP knocks them down, one by one Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 27892250-a8b2-5686-926b-545a355d9361   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125173076001_6125174430001-vs Senate continues to debate Dems' impeachment amendments as GOP knocks them down, one by one Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 27892250-a8b2-5686-926b-545a355d9361

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Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was ousted after reporting harassment

The ousted Grammys CEO fired back at the Recording Academy on Tuesday, alleging that she was removed after complaining about sexual harassment and pay disparities and for calling out conflicts of interest in the nomination process for music’s most prestigious awards.

Lawyers for Deborah Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave last week after six months in the job, filed the discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just five days before the Grammy Awards. She alleged she was sexually harassed by the academy’s general counsel, Joel Katz.

Dugan detailed the harassment and other issues in an email to an academy human resources executive on Dec. 22, 2019, according to the complaint.

MEGHAN MARKLE’S OBJECTIVE IS ‘FAME AND FORTUNE’: ‘SHE AND HARRY WILL NEVER FIND HAPPINESS,’ SISTER SAYS

Westlake Legal Group ap20017141129157 Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was ousted after reporting harassment fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/grammys fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 5a6100b7-1146-52d6-b718-705b7dcf691b

Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan at the 62nd Grammy Awards nominations news conference. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The complaint also states that Dugan was paid less than former academy CEO Neil Portnow, who left the post last year, and that she was also subject to retaliation for refusing to hire Portnow as a consultant for nearly half his former salary.

Portnow had been criticized for saying women need to “step up” when he was asked backstage at the 2018 show why only two female acts won awards during the live telecast. Portnow called his comments a “poor choice of words” and later said he chose not to seek an extension on his contract.

A filing with the Internal Revenue Service shows that Portnow was paid $1.74 million in 2016. Dugan said she was pressured to hire him as a consultant for $750,000 annually. Dugan’s compensation was not revealed in Tuesday’s filing.

Last week, the academy said Dugan was put on leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization. In the complaint, Dugan’s attorneys called that accusation false, saying there was no mistreatment and the senior leader was the executive assistant she inherited from Portnow.

In her Dec. 22 email, Dugan called the academy “a boys’ club.”

While trying to resolve a lawsuit against the academy, Dugan said one of the claimants characterized the organization’s leadership as “a boys’ club” that “put their financial interest above the mission.”

“At the time, I didn’t want to believe it,” said Dugan, the former CEO of Bono’s (RED) charity organization. “But now after 5 months of being exposed to the behavior and circumstances outlined here, I have come to suspect she is right.”

The academy said in a statement that it “immediately launched independent investigations to review both Ms. Dugan’s potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations.” Both of those investigations are ongoing.

Dugan, according to the statement, was placed on administrative leave after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organization.

RAPPER QUAVO GETS AGGRESSIVE AT PARIS FASHION WEEK PARTY

“Our loyalty will always be to the 21,000 members of the Recording Academy. We regret that music’s biggest night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan’s actions, and we are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”

An email from Katz said the attorney was out sick. Katz’s firm said it had not yet seen the complaint and could not comment on its allegations.

Westlake Legal Group Deborah-Dugan Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was ousted after reporting harassment fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/grammys fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 5a6100b7-1146-52d6-b718-705b7dcf691b

Deborah Dugan, the ousted Grammys CEO, claims she was retaliated against after reporting she was subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination during her six-month tenure. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File)

In the complaint, Dugan alleges that in May 2019, when she had accepted the CEO position but had not begun her work, she had dinner with Katz, the academy’s general counsel, alone at his request in Laguna Niguel, California, on the eve of a meeting of the academy board.

There, Katz acted “extremely inappropriately,” according to the complaint, calling Dugan “baby,” and making “an obvious and unwelcome attempt to ‘woo’ Ms. Dugan into a romantic relationship.”

The complaint states Dugan made it clear she wasn’t interested and was in a relationship, but he still attempted to kiss her at the end of the night. Dugan “quickly turned away, repulsed.” Katz continued the harassment in subsequent interactions, the complaint alleges.

It also contends Katz and his firm were paid inappropriately by the academy, and that his role representing both the academy and artists who are up for Grammys was a conflict of interest.

The complaint is also critical of the Grammys voting process, specifically its use of nomination committees to select the final list of nominees, which can range from five to eight depending on the category.

“Rather than promoting a transparent nomination process, the Board has decided to shroud the process in secrecy and ultimately controls, in large part, who is nominated for Grammy Awards,” the complaint read.

For the top four awards, committees select the final nominees from the top 20 contenders, based off ballots from its voting members. But the complaint said the committee members sometimes include artists who did not make it in the top 20 because of their personal or business relationships with those artists.

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“This year, 30 artists that were not selected by the membership were added to the possible nomination list,” the complaint read.

The complaint also claimed that one of the song-of-the-year nominees — who placed 18th in the top 20 — sat on the committee deciding the song-of-the-year nominees and is represented by a member of the academy board.

Westlake Legal Group ap20017141129157 Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was ousted after reporting harassment fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/grammys fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 5a6100b7-1146-52d6-b718-705b7dcf691b   Westlake Legal Group ap20017141129157 Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was ousted after reporting harassment fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/grammys fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 5a6100b7-1146-52d6-b718-705b7dcf691b

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Netflix Reports a Subscriber Bump as Disney Poses a New Threat

Westlake Legal Group 21NETFLIX-witcher-facebookJumbo Netflix Reports a Subscriber Bump as Disney Poses a New Threat Video Recordings, Downloads and Streaming q4 2019 earnings Netflix Inc Hastings, Reed Company Reports

Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, has grown used to going up against Amazon, Hulu and YouTube. But the Walt Disney Company’s entry into the streaming industry, with Disney Plus, caught his attention.

After Netflix released its earnings figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 on Tuesday, Mr. Hastings noted his new rival’s “great” content lineup, including “The Mandalorian,” a “Star Wars” series featuring the character known as Baby Yoda. And in a rare acknowledgment of a competitor’s strength, he added that the emergence of Disney in streaming “takes away a little from us.”

Disney Plus started strong in November, signing up 10 million customers on its first day, and industry insiders wondered how much Disney might have dinged Netflix.

Turns out, a little bit, according to Netflix’s latest results.

The streaming giant signed up 420,000 new customers in the United States during the last three months of 2019, the company reported. That fell shy of the 600,000 it had expected.

Netflix misses its estimates about half the time, but the company suggested that, for this quarter, Disney Plus might have had a moderate impact. But in Mr. Hastings’s view, Disney is more of a threat to traditional television. “Most of their growth in the future is coming out of linear TV,” he said in a call with investors after the earnings announcement.

Netflix now has 61 million customers across the country. Its slowing growth in the United States is nothing new. The service is still the dominant streaming company in the nation and expects to top out at 90 million total domestic customers.

Internationally, the results were more impressive. Netflix added about 8.4 million subscribers outside the United States in the last quarter, exceeding the seven million it had anticipated. Record additions in Latin America, Asia and Europe have given the company a total of 167.1 million subscribers around the world, a 5.5 percent bump from the end of September.

Netflix’s stock rose more than 2 percent in after-hours trading following its fourth-quarter earnings report.

The new subscriptions abroad underscored Netflix’s status as a largely international business, putting it in a good position to counter the pending arrival of domestic streaming entrants like NBCUniversal’s Peacock (April) and AT&T’s HBO Max (May). About 90 percent of Netflix’s new business comes from outside the United States, and Mr. Hastings spends more of his time managing its overseas strategy than on domestic content.

The company on Tuesday also reported a significant change in how it counts viewership. Netflix used to tally accounts that watched at least 70 percent of a show or film to generate its version of a ratings figure. Now, it will consider a “view” to be any account that has watched at least two minutes of a series or a film.

Some Hollywood players have expressed frustration with the meager viewership data provided by Netflix. Nielsen, a third-party research firm, provides ratings but only to clients, such as producers and studios.

In its latest report, Netflix played up some of its new programming, including “The Witcher,” a fantasy epic starring Henry Cavill. The company said it had been viewed by 76 million households within four weeks of its release under the new measurement system.

But the new system inflates viewership data by as much as 35 percent, according to the company. Netflix said the new method was fair because it treated short and long pieces of content equally. The new count reveals a viewer’s “requests,” the company said, akin to the “most popular” section of a news site.

Netflix anticipates adding seven million total customers for the first three months of 2020, down from the 9.6 million it added in the same period last year. That has partly to do with the competitive landscape and a price increase Netflix instituted last year.

The company’s balance sheet is also improving. For the current year Netflix anticipates it will have to spend $2.5 billion more in cash than it takes in — a financial metric known as cash flow — which would be an improvement over last year, when it burned through more than $3 billion.

Netflix has been investing more on its own shows and films instead of renting them from other studios. Over time, it could stockpile a higher proportion of content that doesn’t require licensing payments.

The company, based in Los Gatos, Calif., reported income of $587 million on $5.5 billion in sales. Investors were looking for $335 million in profit and $5.4 billion in revenue. For the current quarter ending in March, the company expects to add $760 million in profit with $5.7 billion in revenue.

“We keep doing these amazing numbers,” Mr. Hastings said on the call. “The quality of our service two or three years from now will be so much higher than it is today — that’s the thing that’s not well understood.”

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For the first time, a majority of Americans want the Senate to remove President Trump from office

Westlake Legal Group o3OlqrEZmUwA9cZi0iypS_MIUsElK8oW-y9Affz9p_4 For the first time, a majority of Americans want the Senate to remove President Trump from office r/politics

No they know that the only way in 2020 is to lie, cheat, steal, suppress votes, rig vote counts using vulnerabilities, and other chicanery, and that regardless of how they vote, actual voters will vote to oust them. A fair trial is the first step toward crushing their ability to do so. This is their last, and only, chance of finally turning America into a fascist state under their absolute control.

A sham trial of an obvious criminal says “fuck you, we’re in charge”. It’s the ultimate power play. It is breaking the back of the rule of law, which previously stood in the way of their totalitarian dreams.

They will lose the majority to ANY fair and free election in 2020. The only way they don’t is if they can demonstrate that they don’t have to be fair, that they don’t have to let us be free.

They are already all in.

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Republicans Block Subpoenas for New Evidence as Impeachment Trial Begins

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167515650_3288b414-7e82-43a4-82e5-792618f110cb-facebookJumbo Republicans Block Subpoenas for New Evidence as Impeachment Trial Begins United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Collins, Susan M

WASHINGTON — A divided Senate began the impeachment trial of President Trump on Tuesday in utter acrimony, as Republicans blocked Democrats’ efforts to subpoena documents related to the pressure campaign on Ukraine and moderate Republicans forced last-minute changes to rules that had been tailored to the president’s wishes.

In a series of party-line votes punctuated by hours of contentious debate by the House impeachment managers and the president’s legal team, Senate Republicans turned back repeated attempts by Democrats to subpoena documents from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon that could shed light on the core charges against Mr. Trump. More votes were to come throughout the evening on Democratic efforts to subpoena current and former White House officials, although the outcome was expected to be the same.

The debate, which stretched into the night in a Senate chamber transformed for the occasion, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. presiding from the marble rostrum and senators sworn to silence looking on from their desks, was the substantive start of the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

On its face, Tuesday’s debate was a technical one about the rules and procedures to govern the trial. But it set the stage for a broader political fight over Mr. Trump’s likely acquittal that will persist long after the proceeding is over, and will help shape the contours of the 2020 campaign.

Democrats were laying the groundwork to argue that the trial was a cover-up rigged on Mr. Trump’s behalf and to denounce Republicans — including the most vulnerable senators seeking re-election in politically competitive states — for acquiescing. Republicans, for their part, insisted that the Senate must move swiftly and decisively to remedy what they characterized as an illegitimate impeachment inquiry that amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

Standing in the well of the Senate, the Democratic House impeachment managers urged senators to reject proposed rules from the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, that would delay a debate over witnesses and documents until the middle of the trial, with no guarantee that they would ever be called.

“If the Senate votes to deprive itself of witnesses and documents, the opening statements will be the end of the trial,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead manager. He said Mr. McConnell’s proposal was tantamount to saying, “Let’s have the trial, and maybe we can just sweep this all under the rug.”

If adopted, the resolution would pave the way for the trial to move forward on Wednesday afternoon with oral arguments from the House managers presenting their case for removing Mr. Trump.

At the heart of the trial are charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president approved last month by the Democratic-led House. They assert that Mr. Trump used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals while withholding as leverage nearly $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting for its president. The president then sought to conceal his actions from Congress, the charges say, by blocking witness testimony and documents.

Mr. Trump’s legal team argues that the charges are baseless and amount to criminalizing a president’s prerogative to make foreign policy decisions as he sees fit and then shield from Congress documents relating to his duties. They also claim — in a break with most constitutional scholars — that because the articles of impeachment do not outline a specific violation of a law, the impeachment was invalid.

But on Tuesday, the debate focused on whether his trial would be fair or not.

“This initial step will offer an early signal to our country: Can the Senate still serve our founding purpose?” Mr. McConnell said before it got underway.

Yet Mr. McConnell, too, received a sharp reminder on Tuesday about the limits of his power to control an inherently unpredictable proceeding with few precedents. Under pressure from Republican moderates, he was forced to make some last-minute changes to the set of rules he unveiled on Monday, which would have squeezed opening arguments by both sides into two 12-hour marathon days and refused to admit the findings of the House impeachment inquiry into evidence without a separate vote later in the trial.

The compressed timetable was in line with a White House request to quickly dispense with opening arguments so that Mr. Trump’s team could more speedily take to the floor before the weekend and begin presenting a defense of his actions. And Mr. McConnell’s proposal hewed to the broader argument made by the president and his legal team that the House inquiry was so fatally flawed that it lacked any legitimacy.

But Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, among others, objected privately to those provisions, which they believed departed too much from procedures adopted unanimously by the Senate for the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton. At a closed-door luncheon with Republican senators in the Capitol just before the trial was to begin, the senators raised their objections, according to aides familiar with the conversation, and Mr. McConnell rushed to submit a revised copy of the resolution — with lines crossed out and changes scrawled in pen in the margins — when it was time for the debate.

When his resolution was read aloud on the Senate floor, two days had been extended to three and the House’s records would be automatically admitted into evidence, although Mr. McConnell inserted a new provision that would allow Mr. Trump’s team to move to throw out parts of the House case.

The last-minute reversal underscored the outsized influence of a small group of moderate Republicans in the narrowly divided Senate whose interests and demands could prove decisive to shaping the impeachment trial, beginning next week in a more formal debate over witnesses and documents.

Half a world away, Mr. Trump, in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, sought to use the global stage to project confidence about his standing at home. He swatted away questions from reporters about the impeachment trial, instead bragging about the strength of the American economy under his leadership.

But in the Senate chamber, his lawyers replayed for senators many of his most frequent and personal grievances, accusing Democrats in only slightly more lawyerly terms of conducting a political search-and-destroy mission that Mr. Trump’s rails about daily on Twitter.

“It’s long past time that we start this so we can put an end to this ridiculous charade and go have an election,” said Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel.

The historically rare debate was rendered even more unusual by Senate rules that prohibit senators from speaking on the chamber floor for the duration of the proceedings and instead empower the House managers and White House defense lawyers to debate the proposals. The effect was that on the trial’s first day, the Senate chamber split cleanly into partisan factions, with the managers siding with Senate Democrats and Mr. Trump’s lawyers taking the place of the Republicans.

Mr. Cipollone rose first, delivering a brief statement urging senators to support Mr. McConnell’s proposed rules, which he called “a fair way to proceed.”

“We believe that once you hear those initial presentations, the only conclusion will be that the president has done nothing wrong,” Mr. Cipollone said, “and that these articles of impeachment do not begin to approach the standard required by the Constitution.”

Democrats, who came armed with digital slides and video clips to drive home their arguments, spent hours detailing the factual record compiled by the House investigation and cataloging the witnesses and documents Mr. Trump had succeeded in withholding. Senators facing such a grave decision as removing a president, they argued, have a responsibility to try to push all the facts to light.

“With the backing of a subpoena authorized by the chief justice of the United States, you can end President Trump’s obstruction,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, the first woman in history to speak on the Senate floor as a House impeachment manager. “If the Senate fails to take this step, you won’t even ask for the evidence. This trial and your verdict will be questioned.”

Just an hour or so before the trial began, the seven House managers submitted one final written rebuttal to arguments put forward against their charges by Mr. Trump’s lawyers. In 34 pages, they rejected the lawyers’ assertion that abuse of power was not an impeachable offense and that Mr. Trump had acted legally when he ordered administration officials not to appear for questioning in the House or provide documents for the impeachment inquiry.

Locked in silence for much of the day, senators were able to talk only before the proceeding began or during brief breaks. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, denounced Mr. McConnell’s rules as deeply unfair and skewed toward Mr. Trump.

“It is completely partisan. It was kept secret until the eve of the trial,” he said. “The McConnell rules seem to have been designed by President Trump and for President Trump, simply executed by Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans.”

Inside the chamber, Mr. Schumer forced separate votes on demanding documents and planned more on compelling testimony from four current and former Trump administration officials who were blocked from speaking with the House: John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert B. Blair, an adviser to Mr. Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, a White House budget official.

Each time, Mr. McConnell moved to kill the proposal before it could be considered, and was sustained by unified Republican support.

“This is the fair road map for our trial,” Mr. McConnell declared. “We need it in place before we can move forward. So the Senate should prepare to remain in session today until we complete this resolution and adopt it.”

Even after Tuesday’s changes, Mr. McConnell’s proposal makes way for potentially the fastest presidential impeachment trial in American history, particularly if the Senate declines to call witnesses.

Only two other American presidents have stood trial in the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868, and his trial took the better part of three months, featuring testimony from dozens of witnesses and extended periods for discovery, before he was ultimately acquitted by just a single vote. Mr. Clinton was tried in 1999 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. That proceeding lasted five weeks, included testimony from just three witnesses and resulted in an overwhelming acquittal.

Without witnesses, Mr. Trump’s trial could conclude by the end of January. If senators ultimately do call witnesses, that timeline could stretch weeks longer.

Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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Netflix Reports a Subscriber Bump as Disney Poses a New Threat

Westlake Legal Group 21NETFLIX-witcher-facebookJumbo Netflix Reports a Subscriber Bump as Disney Poses a New Threat Video Recordings, Downloads and Streaming q4 2019 earnings Netflix Inc Hastings, Reed Company Reports

Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, has grown used to going up against Amazon, Hulu and YouTube. But the Walt Disney Company’s entry into the streaming industry, with Disney Plus, caught his attention.

After Netflix released its earnings figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 on Tuesday, Mr. Hastings noted his new rival’s “great” content lineup, including “The Mandalorian,” a “Star Wars” series featuring the character known as Baby Yoda. And in a rare acknowledgment of a competitor’s strength, he added that the emergence of Disney in streaming “takes away a little from us.”

Disney Plus started strong in November, signing up 10 million customers on its first day, and industry insiders wondered how much Disney might have dinged Netflix.

Turns out, a little bit, according to Netflix’s latest results.

The streaming giant signed up 420,000 new customers in the United States during the last three months of 2019, the company reported. That fell shy of the 600,000 it had expected.

Netflix misses its estimates about half the time, but the company suggested that, for this quarter, Disney Plus might have had a moderate impact. But in Mr. Hastings’s view, Disney is more of a threat to traditional television. “Most of their growth in the future is coming out of linear TV,” he said in a call with investors after the earnings announcement.

Netflix now has 61 million customers across the country. Its slowing growth in the United States is nothing new. The service is still the dominant streaming company in the nation and expects to top out at 90 million total domestic customers.

Internationally, the results were more impressive. Netflix added about 8.4 million subscribers outside the United States in the last quarter, exceeding the seven million it had anticipated. Record additions in Latin America, Asia and Europe have given the company a total of 167.1 million subscribers around the world, a 5.5 percent bump from the end of September.

Netflix’s stock rose more than 2 percent in after-hours trading following its fourth-quarter earnings report.

The new subscriptions abroad underscored Netflix’s status as a largely international business, putting it in a good position to counter the pending arrival of domestic streaming entrants like NBCUniversal’s Peacock (April) and AT&T’s HBO Max (May). About 90 percent of Netflix’s new business comes from outside the United States, and Mr. Hastings spends more of his time managing its overseas strategy than on domestic content.

The company on Tuesday also reported a significant change in how it counts viewership. Netflix used to tally accounts that watched at least 70 percent of a show or film to generate its version of a ratings figure. Now, it will consider a “view” to be any account that has watched at least two minutes of a series or a film.

Some Hollywood players have expressed frustration with the meager viewership data provided by Netflix. Nielsen, a third-party research firm, provides ratings but only to clients, such as producers and studios.

In its latest report, Netflix played up some of its new programming, including “The Witcher,” a fantasy epic starring Henry Cavill. The company said it had been viewed by 76 million households within four weeks of its release under the new measurement system.

But the new system inflates viewership data by as much as 35 percent, according to the company. Netflix said the new method was fair because it treated short and long pieces of content equally. The new count reveals a viewer’s “requests,” the company said, akin to the “most popular” section of a news site.

Netflix anticipates adding seven million total customers for the first three months of 2020, down from the 9.6 million it added in the same period last year. That has partly to do with the competitive landscape and a price increase Netflix instituted last year.

The company’s balance sheet is also improving. For the current year Netflix anticipates it will have to spend $2.5 billion more in cash than it takes in — a financial metric known as cash flow — which would be an improvement over last year, when it burned through more than $3 billion.

Netflix has been investing more on its own shows and films instead of renting them from other studios. Over time, it could stockpile a higher proportion of content that doesn’t require licensing payments.

The company, based in Los Gatos, Calif., reported income of $587 million on $5.5 billion in sales. Investors were looking for $335 million in profit and $5.4 billion in revenue. For the current quarter ending in March, the company expects to add $760 million in profit with $5.7 billion in revenue.

“We keep doing these amazing numbers,” Mr. Hastings said on the call. “The quality of our service two or three years from now will be so much higher than it is today — that’s the thing that’s not well understood.”

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2020 election: Lower-tier Democrats still fighting in the primaries

With the first presidential primary just weeks away, the list of Democratic candidates remains one of the most crowded in decades.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg have dominated the headlines, polling at or higher than 10 percent.

Here are some of the lower-tier candidates who are still in the race:

Michael Bennet

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is polling at 10th place, according to Politico. He threw his hat in the race in May 2019 and has since struggled to maintain the momentum of his rivals, trailing at 1 percent in the polls by some estimates.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., speaks at the Brown & Black Forum at the Iowa Events Center. (AP)

The New York Times, in a Sunday editorial that endorsed Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, gave Bennet only a passing mention.

John Delaney

John Delaney, unbeknownst to many, was the first to declare his candidacy for president back in July 2017 — just six months into President Trump’s tenure in the White House. An Axis report in July estimated that Delaney had spent nearly $19 million on his White House bid since declaring his candidacy more than two years ago.

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Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, during an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Public Service Forum in Las Vegas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Delaney grew up in a working-class family and went on to start two companies, becoming the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. He has a net worth of more than $200 million and is mostly self-financing his campaign.

Deval Patrick

A latecomer into the 2020 race, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced his candidacy in November 2019. Patrick has shrugged off concerns of his late arrival, arguing that other candidates have been raising money for a long time without gaining in popularity.

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Former Massachusetts governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick, right, takes a question at the Council on Foreign Relations. (AP)

A former official in the Clinton administration, Patrick has focused his campaign on early voting states, saying “as a practical matter, we’re going to try to spend a lot of time here in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, but we will be active in Iowa and Nevada, as well.”

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After Julian Castro and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., withdrew from the race, Patrick remains the only candidate of color vying for the presidency. Before the seventh Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa, last week, he lamented that “America will not see herself in full.”

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Tulsi Gabbard

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Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) waved to the crowd at the She The People Presidential Forum at Texas Southern University on April 24, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, is polling stronger in New Hampshire than other states and in national polls, but is still trailing behind several candidates.

A Real Clear Politics poll averages Gabbard at 3.5 percent in the polls out of New Hampshire.

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CNN’s Joe Lockhart mocked for calling on Twitter to investigate Cruz for tweeting during impeachment trial

Westlake Legal Group Joe-Lockhart-Ted-Cruz-CNN-AP CNN's Joe Lockhart mocked for calling on Twitter to investigate Cruz for tweeting during impeachment trial Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d05ec7a5-d13a-5ea5-8993-5e59f57a4f53 article

CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart was the butt of the joke on Twitter for sounding the alarms on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., for tweeting during the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

As the impeachment trial was underway, Cruz shared a video of himself knocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee chairman and House manager Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for suggesting that Trump invoking executive privilege is “obstruction of Congress.”

“If it were, nearly every president would have committed impeachable conduct,” Cruz added.

Lockhart, however, cried foul because the senators are forbidden to bring their cellphones to the impeachment trial. Not only did the CNN analyst question if Cruz was “willing to go to prison,” he called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to look into the matter.

“Senators on the floor are sworn to silence and have no electronic devices. So how is this Senator tweeting? Did he sneak a phone in[?] Is he willing to go to prison? Or is the tweet from someone other than Cruz. @jack you should investigate,” Lockhart wrote.

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Critics quickly went after the former Clinton aide for suggesting the Texas lawmaker was breaking the law.

“This person is paid to provide analysis on @CNN,” Daily Caller White House correspondent Amber Athey reacted.

“Congrats! You’ve said the dumbest thing ever!” Club for Growth senior analyst Andrew Follett exclaimed.

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National Republican Senatorial Committee senior advisor Matt Whitlock pointed out that Cruz’s colleague and 2020 candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as well as. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., also tweeted during the impeachment trial.

“If you’re going to be the enforcer on this I think you’ll end up staying pretty busy,” Whitlock told Lockhart.

Even Cruz piled on the CNN analyst, daring him to “come and take” his cellphone.

Westlake Legal Group Joe-Lockhart-Ted-Cruz-CNN-AP CNN's Joe Lockhart mocked for calling on Twitter to investigate Cruz for tweeting during impeachment trial Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d05ec7a5-d13a-5ea5-8993-5e59f57a4f53 article   Westlake Legal Group Joe-Lockhart-Ted-Cruz-CNN-AP CNN's Joe Lockhart mocked for calling on Twitter to investigate Cruz for tweeting during impeachment trial Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d05ec7a5-d13a-5ea5-8993-5e59f57a4f53 article

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Boeing 737 Max May Stay Grounded Into Summer

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Some of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are seen parked in Moses Lake, Wash., in October 2019. David Ryder/Getty Images hide caption

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Some of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are seen parked in Moses Lake, Wash., in October 2019.

David Ryder/Getty Images

Boeing’s troubled 737 Max airplane will now remain grounded from passenger service until at least June or July, which is months later than the company had previously suggested.

And that means airlines will likely cancel Max flights through the busy summer travel season.

The three U.S. airlines that fly the 737 Max, American, Southwest, and United, had already removed the planes from their flight schedules into early June.

In a statement, Boeing confirms that it has told its customer airlines and its manufacturing suppliers that “we are currently estimating that the ungrounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020.” Industry sources tell NPR that means June or July at the earliest and ultimately, the FAA and other aviation regulators around the world will determine when the 737 Max is safe to fly passengers again, which could be months later.

The 737 Max has been grounded by regulators since last March, after the second of two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Investigators primarily blame a faulty automated flight control system on the Max for the crashes. The company has been working on software fixes for that and other problems ever since.

Until recently, Boeing had often suggested the fixes were almost ready to be submitted to regulators and approval was imminent. But in December, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson pushed back against Boeing’s then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg for suggesting repeatedly that the Max would be recertified before the end of the year, saying the regulatory agency would not be pressured into granting quick approval.

Dickson summoned Muilenburg to Washington for a hastily called meeting, in which the FAA chief told the company’s chief executive that “Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic.” In a statement, the FAA said Dickson was also concerned with “the perception that some of Boeing’s public statements have been designed to force FAA into taking quicker action.”

During the meeting, Dickson “made clear that FAA’s certification requirements must be 100% complete before return to service.” And “he reminded Mr. Muilenburg that FAA controls the review process” and will take all the time it needs to get the 737 Max review right.

Shortly after the FAA’s rebuke, Muilenburg was forced out and replaced by Boeing board member and former General Electric executive David Calhoun as CEO.

In a statement today, the FAA says “the agency is following a thorough, deliberate process to verify that all proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX meet the highest certification standards. We continue to work with other safety regulators to review Boeing’s work as the company conducts the required safety assessments and addresses all issues that arise during testing. We have set no timeframe for when the work will be completed.”

Boeing’s efforts to fix the MCAS flight control system on the MAX have been plagued by setback after setback.

In pushing back the anticipated date of the plane’s return to service, new CEO Calhoun appears to be trying to set a new tone. The new estimate “is informed by our experience to date with the certification process,” Boeing says in its statement.

The new estimate of when the plane may finally be approved to return to service “is informed by our experience to date with the certification process,” Boeing says in its statement. “It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX’s flight control system,” including pilot training requirements.

“Returning the MAX safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen,” Boeing’s statement continues. “We acknowledge and regret the continued difficulties that the grounding of the 737 MAX has presented to our customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public.”

The 737 Max crashes and subsequent crisis at the airplane manufacturer has been taken a toll on morale among Boeing employees and retirees in the Seattle area, where most of the company’s planes are built.

CEO Calhoun is in Seattle this week, meeting with Boeing employees and for the first time, he plans to take questions from reporters in a conference call Wednesday.

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Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election

Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732

Larry Walker was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, narrowly crossing the 75 percent threshold needed to get into Cooperstown, and joined an even more exclusive club.

Walker appeared on 76.6 percent of the ballots. The one-time National League MVP played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals over the course of his career.

DEREK JETER, LARRY WALKER ELECTED TO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

The former outfielder became the second Canadian-born major leaguer to be elected into the Hall of Fame. He joins Chicago Cubs great Fergie Jenkins as the only Canadians in the Hall. Jenkins was inducted in 1981.

“As a Canadian, it’s a proud moment for me to represent my country and join Ferguson Jenkins in the Hall of Fame,” Walker said during MLB Network’s broadcast of the Hall of Fame announcement.

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Walker joined Derek Jeter as the only two players elected to the Hall of Fame this year.

While the outfielder didn’t win a World Series or have any transcendent baseball moments in his career, he still put up incredible stats.

Walker won the batting title three times and hit over .300 nine times in his career. While some say his numbers were inflated because he played at Coors Field during the prime of his career, he still managed to make an impact with whatever team he was playing for.

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The former outfielder didn’t expect to get into the Hall, tweeting earlier Tuesday, “Although I believe I’m going to come up a little short today I still wanna thank all you that have been pulling for me and showing your support. I’m grateful for all of you! It’s been fun leading up to today reading everyone’s thoughts.”

Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732   Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732

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