Wednesday's Mini-Report, 1.22.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* He did exactly that: "Rep. Adam Schiff opened the arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Wednesday by telling the Senate that House Democrats will present an 'overwhelming and damning' picture of Trump's alleged misconduct with regard to Ukraine."

* Litigation worth watching: "The District of Columbia filed suit against President Donald Trump's inaugural committee and the Trump Organization on Wednesday, charging they misused non-profit funds to enrich the president's family business."

* China: "The death toll from a new flu-like coronavirus in China rose to 17 from 9 on Wednesday, Chinese state media reported. Some 544 people have been infected across the country, according to state-run CGTN."

* SCOTUS: "The Supreme Court seemed prepared Wednesday to rule that states violate the U.S. Constitution if they prevent religious schools from receiving some state benefits."

* What a story: "Two U.N. experts have called for an investigation into an accusation that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, had his phoned hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."

* The difference between "FOIA lawsuits" and "lawyer lawsuits" is real: "President Trump's impeachment managers made little secret Tuesday that they'd rather put House Democrats on trial than Trump. They repeatedly alleged mistreatment of Trump in his impeachment rather than dwelling upon the evidence against him. But in one instance, one of them badly overreached."

* Guantanamo: "On the witness stand was James E. Mitchell, a psychologist and architect of the Bush-era interrogation program that had inflicted torture on prisoners held in secret C.I.A. prisons after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

* Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) apparently made a Fox News appearance during the impeachment trial yesterday.

* In response to a question about Elon Mush, Trump told CNBC, "We have to protect our genius. You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison and we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb and the wheel and all of these things." Part of me wonders if he thinks an American invented the wheel.

* And while I tend not to take note of celebrity news, Jones' work has long meant a lot to me: "Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77, his family said in a statement Wednesday. The actor, comedy writer, director and author was diagnosed with dementia in 2015."

See you tomorrow.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog