Trump announces his new impeachment defense team days before Senate trial to begin

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Trump announces his new impeachment trial legal defense team – Who’s on it?
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday announced a new legal defense team after he parted ways with five of his impeachment lawyers just over a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, Fox News has confirmed.

South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier and former federal prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser and Josh Howard had left the defense team by Saturday, a source said, calling it a mutual decision.

The source said the lawyers left over a difference of opinion on the direction of the defense’s argument.

Another anonymous source told the Associated Press Bowers and Barbier left because Trump wanted them to make election fraud allegations during the trial.

Trump will now be represented by trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr.

The changes come with little time before the former president faces charges that he incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, leaving the exact members of his defense team and their approach up in the air at a crucial moment.

Trump was all but certain to be acquitted, however, because 45 out of 50 Republicans in the Senate voted earlier this month to dismiss the trial on a point of order brought forward by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– Politico reporter: Trump base is ‘getting stronger’ since he left office, impeachment would only empower him
– Trump impeachment conviction urged in letter circulated by House aides
– ‘Vindictive’ and ‘harsh’ Trump impeachment trial won’t bode well for Democrats: Historian Jay Winik
– Calling ‘QAnon Shaman’ as impeachment witness would turn trial into ‘circus,’ Graham says

COVID-19 vaccines effective against current variants, but new one may prove more difficult, Inglesby says
Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said Sunday that while COVID-19 vaccines continue to prove effective against the current variants, this might not continue to be the case if more variants emerge.

Inglesby downplayed concerns about recently discovered variants, particularly the South Africa variant which has reportedly displayed resistance to some treatments and possibly the vaccine itself.

“What we’re seeing is that in the variant that was found in South Africa, at least in mild to moderate disease, some of the vaccine studies are showing diminished effectiveness,” Inglesby confirmed to “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, while noting that “we still have enough cushion with the vaccines that they will still be very effective at this point.”

Inglesby warned, however, that “it’s a message that’s saying this virus is evolving and could continue to evolve in ways that make it more dangerous – either more transmissible or more lethal.”

Inglesby praised the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, saying that it was an “amazing” development that provides a much-needed boost as the country pushes to vaccinate more people in an aggressive campaign. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Top epidemiologist urges single doses of COVID-19 vaccine
– American taxpayers have spent jaw-dropping amount on keeping 9/11 mastermind alive
– Dr. Marc Siegel: Congressman tests positive after COVID vaccine – here’s what this case tells us
– Instagram influencer got COVID-19 vaccine in NYC, arguing she’s an ‘educator’

US expresses ‘grave concern’ over reports of military coup in Burma, ‘will take action’
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken condemned reports that the Burmese military took control of the country and detained senior leaders—including Aung San Suu Kyi, its de facto leader—and called for the military to “reverse these actions immediately.”

Myawaddy TV, which is controlled by the military, announced the takeover and cited a section of the military-drafted constitution that allows the military to take control in times of national emergency. The presenter said the reason for the takeover was, in part due, to the government’s failure to act on the military’s claims of voter fraud in last November’s election and its failure to postpone the election because of the coronavirus crisis. A state of emergency has been declared for a year.

The National League for Democracy, which is led by Suu Kyi, said in a statement obtained by Reuters that those in the country should reject the military actions.

“The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship,” the statement read. “I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.”

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the U.S. is “alarmed” by reports from Burma. President Biden has been briefed on the unfolding situation by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Burma’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials arrested, party spokesman says
– Gordon Chang: China testing Biden with incursions against Taiwan, India: ‘This is a very dangerous time’

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– California Gov. Gavin Newsom, facing GOP-led recall, criticized by Democrats over COVID-19 response
– Democratic Party tweet accused of contradicting Biden’s original promise for third, $2000 stimulus check
– Kushner, deputy nominated for Nobel Peace Prize over Israel deals
– Sanders dismisses Biden ‘unity’ pledge to push COVID relief bill
– Chicago mayor orders teachers to return to classroom as tug-of-war with union intensifies

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
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