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Trump loses impeachment lawyers days before Senate trial is due to begin

Former President Trump hasn't made a final decision on his legal team days out from his impeachment trial starting, his adviser Jason Miller said Saturday after it emerged he'd lost at least two lead defense attorneys.

Why it matters: With Trump's second impeachment trial due to begin on Feb. 9, it is unclear who will take the lead now South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier have left the team.


  • Another attorney, Josh Howard, "who had been reported as joining the effort but who was never confirmed by Trump advisers publicly, is also not on the team," notes the New York Times' Maggie Haberman.
  • "Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and it was stolen from him rather than focus on proposed arguments about constitutionality," tweeted CNN's Kaitlan Collins, who first reported news of the departure of Bowers and Barbier and also reported on Howard.

What they're saying: The departure decision on Bowers and Barbier was mutual, a Trump adviser told CBS News.

  • Miller said in a statement Democrats' efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is "totally unconstitutional" and "so bad for our country."
  • "In fact, 45 Senators have already voted that is unconstitutional," he added. "We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly."

Of note: Trump was impeached earlier this month for "incitement of insurrection," becoming the only president in history to have been impeached twice.

Go deeper: Most Senate Republicans join bid to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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