‘Start Here’: Senate votes to acquit Trump of impeachment charges

3 weeks ago
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It’s Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Let’s start here.

1. Trump acquittal

President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice by a party line vote on Wednesday.

Every Democrat voted to convict the president, but Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voted to convict on the first count of abuse of power, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party.

In a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Romney invoked his faith as a reason for guiding his decision, and accused Trump of being “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

“He was the Republican standard bearer in the election just eight years ago, but that party is dead and gone– it’s a different party, a different America,” ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran tells “Start Here.”

2. New Hampshire next

The New Hampshire primary is less than a week away and the Iowa Democratic Party still hasn’t released the complete results from Monday night’s caucuses following technical issues.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are both taking victory laps, as former Vice President Joe Biden looks to be on pace for a fourth place finish, says ABC News’ Rachel Scott in New Hampshire.

“It’s definitely sort of a gut punch to his campaign heading into this next contest,” she tells the podcast.

3. Coronavirus questions

Two planes carrying hundreds of U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China have arrived at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California for a mandatory two-week quarantine as health officials confirm a 12th coronavirus case in the country.

Chinese officials are reporting more than 500 deaths from the coronavirus, but there’s still not much known about the outbreak, according to ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton: “We still don’t know how it’s transmitted… and we still don’t really know the severity or the fatality rate,” she says.

“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.

Elsewhere:

‘Careful whom you hire!!’: A gas station employee allegedly made off with more than $ 17,000 of cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets on his very first day of work.

‘Such a long silence’: The Paris prosecutor opened an investigation on Tuesday into allegations made by figure skating champion Sarah Abitbol alleging that her coach raped her when she was a teenager.

‘He shot two of our guys’: Authorities are on the hunt for a person of interest who shot two Maryland police detectives after they stopped to question him.

‘Busted the front door’: A gunfight broke out at a home and a suspect was killed when men posing as sheriff’s deputies attempted a home invasion and got more than they bargained for from the family inside.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘Our post-Iowa primary forecast is up, and Biden’s chances are down’: Now that we finally have some clarity on Iowa’s results — with 86 percent of precincts reporting — we’ve turned our primary model back on, including its estimates of the potential fallout from Iowa.

Doff your cap:

Liam Fitzgerald, who went viral as the “Fist Bump Kid” in 2014, when he was seen fist-bumping the Boston Bruins, is bringing his great sportsmanship and energy to middle school.

On Tuesday, Fitzgerald, 13, of Northborough, Massachusetts, started his first basketball game for Melican Middle School.

“You know, I think every kid has a dream out there and every kid deserves an opportunity and a shot to achieve that dream,” said Ken MacDonald, the team’s coach.

Fitzgerald became well known in November 2014, when he was captured on video giving his favorite NHL team players, one by one, a fist bump as they finished a pregame workout before their game at TD Garden. Millions saw the video, making it go viral and coining him the “Fist Bump Kid.”

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