‘Start Here’: Senate impeachment trial gets underway with debate on rules

It’s Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Let’s start HERE.

1. trump on trial

The impeachment trial of President Donald trump began on Tuesday with a battle over the proposed rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s original plan would have allowed each side just two days to present their cases in marathon 12-hour sessions. Democrats objected to the resolution, but it was a handful of moderate Republicans that eventually forced his hand, according to ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce on “Start HERE.”

“He is eager to keep these key Republicans in his corner because they could determine later on the question of witnesses,” she says. “McConnell doesn’t want to call witnesses, but these senators have said they’re open to considering it, so McConnell, eager to please them, quickly gave in. In fact, the changes were actually scrawled by hand onto the text of the resolution.”

Meanwhile as the trial unfolded on Capitol Hill, the president was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he blasted the impeachment trial as a “hoax,” but insisted, “I’m sure it’s going to work out fine.”

2. SCOTUS and Obamacare

The Supreme Court has rejected a fast-track review of the Affordable Care Act after more than a dozen Democratic-led states defending the law requested the high court to expedite a decision on whether to take the case.

“They’re not going to take this up on an emergency basis– they’re going to let it play out through the lower courts, and Democrats were a little bit concerned about that.” ABC News Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer tells the podcast. “They were fearing that this uncertainty around Obamacare is leading to higher insurance prices and public confusion.”

3. Coronavirus in U.S.

The first case of the new coronavirus from China has spread to the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

ABC News’ Kayna Whitworth joins the podcast from Seattle where the first U.S. patient was diagnosed.

Chinese authorities have said the outbreak began in a seafood and live-animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Nearly 300 people in Asia have been sickened by the fast-spreading virus and at least nine people have died, according to officials.

“Start HERE,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.


‘My heart sank’: A female state senator from Michigan has come forward with a sexual harassment complaint against a male lawmaker in the wake of recent claims from a reporter regarding his conduct, to help show that “this behavior is a pattern.”

‘The enemy within’: The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which once conducted targeted surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other activists during the civil rights movement, caused a firestorm on social media after posting a tribute honoring the iconic leader.

‘Active investigation’: Residents in the town of Grantsville, Utah, are still searching for answers as to why a young boy allegedly killed four of his family members inside their home.

‘Long history of engagement’: Alaska in January is cold and icy and its population is spread out over 665,000 square miles, but that’s not going to stop a group of advocates from ensuring every resident living in the state is accounted for.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘What went down at the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday’: It didn’t feel like we learned a bunch of new information, and especially not anything that will change the trajectory we seem to be headed on — a vote of acquittal by the Senate.

Doff your cap:

Annmarie Small was working as a teacher and raising her 5-year-old son in Kingston, Jamaica, when she decided in 2007 to move to america to make a better life for her family.

She moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where she knew no one, and was hired as a teacher at Cornerstone Learning Academy, a small private school that teaches kindergarten through eighth grade.

Last week, Small was cheered on by current and former students as she took the oath to become a U.S. citizen.

“I use the term ‘bag of emotions’ because that’s exactly what it was,” Small, 42, said of her reaction. “When everything was quiet after the ceremony and I went home, I cried, and it was tears of joy.”

“I’m so happy the process is over now because it’s been a long process,” she said. “And there were tears of joy because I’ve had the support of Cornerstone since day one.”