'Start Here': Iowa caucus chaos and impeachment trial closing arguments

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

It's Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Let's start here.

1. Iowa 'meltdown'

There was massive confusion in Iowa last night after what Democratic Party officials termed "inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results issues" following the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

On today's "Start Here" podcast, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein calls the process a "meltdown" for the party.

"This was supposed to be the kick-off, this was the big start for the Democrats' big election year and they are unable to tell us... anything about the vote whatsoever," ABC News Political Director Rick Klein says. "The whole system that they set up to actually report these caucus results... it broke down, it utterly failed them."

2. Closing arguments

Ahead of President Donald Trump's all but certain acquittal, the Senate heard closing arguments in the impeachment trial from both sides on Monday as defense counsel insisted that both articles of impeachment "fail to allege impeachable offenses," and the House impeachment managers argued that the president can't be trusted.

Lead House Manager Adam Schiff said senators who voted to acquit on Wednesday would have their names "tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history," an argument that ABC News Legal Analyst Kate Shaw says is a move to convince senators to condemn Trump's conduct in another way.

"I think there's an argument that in a hyper-polarized moment where the president's party controls the Senate, there's almost nothing if, in fact, anything that's going to rise the level of a two thirds vote to convict and remove," ABC News Legal Analyst Kate Shaw says.

3. Viral volatility

The global outbreak of coronavirus is raising alarm bells for all kinds of reasons, including its potential economic impact.

"In a word, it's uncertainty" that could be to blame for the volatility on Wall Street, according to ABC News Chief Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, "Oil prices are [also] one area that have been dramatically depressed since the coronavirus began."

"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.


'Excruciating pain': A woman whose hands were crushed by her car while she was changing a tire on the side of a road managed to save herself by using her toes to call 911.

'I've cooperated with them': The search has intensified for an 11-year-old boy in Colorado who vanished a week ago after leaving his home to play with a friend and now his stepmother is urging the community to stop spreading online rumors vilifying her.

'Perfect message': Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's attacks on National Public Radio and what he called the "unhinged media" are being heard around the world.

'Get It Done Express': The starting bell of 2020 is about to ring. And while the rest of the 2020 Democratic field is in Iowa, slogging through the snow and unruly fervor of caucus-eve, Mike Bloomberg will be touring across California.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

'89 different scenarios for what things could look like after Iowa': Maybe you've seen articles elsewhere detailing the three or four most likely post-Iowa scenarios, full of elegantly-constructed narratives about how the race might unfold. This article ... is not going to be like that.

Doff your cap:

A toddler who had trouble getting around with her oxygen tank is now getting help from a kind group of sixth grade students.

Emmett Hightshoe was diagnosed with Kabuki syndrome in utero. It's a rare genetic disorder impacting organ development, as well as her physical and cognitive abilities.

"She's certainly sassy and strong-willed," mom Maleigh Hightshoe of Charlotte, North Carolina, told "Good Morning America." "She's so happy, loved, very much a people-person which is great because it helps us know if something isn't going well."

Hightshoe said that sometimes the tubing from Emmett's oxygen tank will get caught in areas of her walker or the wheels would over it.

That's when Davis' design and modeling class at McClintock got to work. The students built prototype holders for Emmett using 3D printers.

"All the ideas were really unique," teacher Ben Davis said, adding it took the kids three months to complete their designs. "From the very first day, they were lit up and excited and happy -- they had millions of questions about Emmett."

"Their enthusiasm about this and watching those kids learn about Emmett... they say, 'She's just a little girl. She's just like us she needs help,'" Hightshoe said. "That was really encouraging."

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