Monday's Mini-Report, 1.20.20

Today's edition of quick hits:
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* On the eve of the impeachment trial's first day: "President Donald Trump did 'absolutely nothing wrong,' is the victim of a partisan plot to take him down and should be swiftly acquitted in a Senate trial, his legal team argued in a brief Monday."

* Fortunately, there was no violence: "Thousands of gun-rights activists, banned from carrying their weapons out of fear of violence, crammed into the Virginia Capitol on Monday to urge state lawmakers to reject sweeping measures to limit the spread of firearms."

* I have a hunch Barr won't agree: "Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, has sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting that he recuse himself from the investigation and appoint a special prosecutor, according to a new court filing."

* Keep an eye on this one: "A long-simmering conflict between the National Security Agency and the House Intelligence Committee broke into the open on Sunday when the committee's chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff, accused the agency of withholding critical intelligence from his panel, including some that might be useful in the impeachment trial of President Trump."

* This one's shaping up to be interesting, too: "Andrew Peek, the senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, has been placed on administrative leave pending a security-related investigation, people familiar with the situation tell Axios."

* Trump used to think very little of Ken Starr, who's now part of his team: "President Trump on Friday chose the people who will be defending him at his impeachment trial. And one of them is 'a lunatic' who was 'a disaster' during the last impeachment of a president, according to Trump himself."

* The same goes for Dershowitz: "Politics makes strange bedfellows, but perhaps none have ever been stranger than the two celebrity lawyers just announced as part of Donald Trump's impeachment defense team: Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz."

* I'm curious if Trump has learned what immigration judges are: "President Trump is escalating his attacks on federal unions to a new level. For the first time, the Trump administration is seeking to bust a union, the National Association of Immigration Judges, by declaring that its members are managers ineligible for labor organization membership. It's tantamount to decertification."

* I'm glad Doris Miller is getting an aircraft carrier named after him: "Doris Miller was working as a mess attendant on the battleship West Virginia the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. An alarm sounded, and as the ship drew heavy fire, Mr. Miller raced to assist the West Virginia's fatally wounded commanding officer. He also fired a machine gun against enemy planes. For his bravery and 'distinguished devotion to duty' that day, Mr. Miller was awarded the prestigious Navy Cross, the second-highest military decoration, in 1942, making him the first African-American to receive the medal."

See you tomorrow.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog