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Speaker Nancy Pelosi will deliver an update on the impeachment process Thursday in the Speaker’s Balcony Hallway, a long, narrow space outside her office. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
NEWS … Speaker
NANCY PELOSI will speak at 9 a.m. to deliver an update on the “status of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.” Pelosi will speak in the Speaker’s Balcony Hallway, a long, narrow space outside her office.
THIS COMES as House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have been told to stay in town this weekend for “prep,” a few sources on the panel told us.
WHAT THIS MEANS: THERE’S BEEN a good amount of guesswork about whether Pelosi’s House has the time this month to impeach the president, and this statement today could clarify the path forward for the chamber.
INSIDE THE D.C. BUBBLE, people were taken aback at the slow pace and relatively wonky substance of the hearings Wednesday. But here’s the frame through which tens of millions of Americans saw the day: Constitutional experts say President
DONALD TRUMP should be impeached, but there was one Republican witness who disagreed.
-- “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS,” Lester Holt open: “Breaking news tonight, the high-stakes new impeachment showdown. House Democrats moving their inquiry to a critical new phase. Three legal experts say Trump committed impeachable offenses with his conduct toward Ukraine. … The lone witness for Republicans denouncing the evidence as wafer thin.”
-- “CBS EVENING NEWS,” Norah O’Donnell open: “Breaking news tonight, constitutional clash. Partisan anger spills out as House Judiciary hearings on impeaching the president begin. Law professors giving lawmakers a crash course in the Constitution.”
-- ABC’S “WORLD NEWS TONIGHT,” David Muir open: “Tonight, the historic showdown on Capitol Hill, the impeachment inquiry takes a dramatic new turn today, the witnesses constitutional law scholars, they’re asked was the president’s conduct impeachable, they do not hold back, and the scholar who said the Democrats are rushing this. And the moment one witness brings up the president’s youngest son -- did she cross the line?”
NYT FRONT PAGE: “TENSION AS SCHOLARS DEBATE IF CASE WAS MADE TO IMPEACH”
KYLE CHENEY and
ANDREW DESIDERO: “Dems exhale as they dodge impeachment debacle”
THE NEXT IMPEACHMENT FIGHT … SARAH FERRIS and
HEATHER CAYGLE: “Moderate Dems warn against ‘kitchen sink’ impeachment push”: “A group of House Democratic centrists are warning their caucus that any case against President Donald Trump should steer clear of Robert Mueller — resurfacing an ugly internal debate on impeachment that could complicate the coming weeks.
“Multiple moderates — including freshman lawmakers deemed most at-risk in 2020 — have urged Democrats not to relitigate the issues in the Mueller report in their own investigation into the Ukraine scandal. But key Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, have suggested that it could be included in eventual articles of impeachment, with many in the caucus still eager to repudiate Trump for his misconduct outlined by Mueller.” POLITICO
WAPO, A1: SEUNG MIN KIM, MIKE DEBONIS, RACHAEL BADE and
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN: “White House gears up for aggressive effort to defend Trump in Senate as House moves toward impeachment vote”: “The White House signaled Wednesday that it will aggressively defend President Trump in a near-certain Senate impeachment trial in the coming weeks, as legal experts called by House Democrats testified in a contentious hearing that Trump’s Ukraine dealings constitute an impeachable offense.
“Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters that Trump ‘wants his case made fully in the Senate,’ previewing a strategy that would include live witnesses on the floor, rather than videotaped depositions that were entered into evidence during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999.
“‘In this instance, we believe very strongly — given the fatally flawed process in the House — that if they were to elect against our better advice [and] send over impeachment to the Senate, that we need witnesses as part of our trial and a full defense of the president on the facts,’ Ueland said, gesturing toward the Senate chamber.” WaPo
-- MARIANNE LEVINE and
BURGESS EVERETT: “Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Wednesday that [Pat] Cipollone was emphatic that the impeachment inquiry against Trump was not worthy of being approved by the House, but that if it is sent over to the Senate, the president is eager to present his case.
“‘The president’s counsel said enough times that he wanted to be sure we heard it, that even though they’re talking about what they may do if it comes here ... they clearly don’t believe — based on what’s happened so far — that the House should send it here,’ Blunt said. …
“One attendee said the meeting was intended in part for ‘relationship building with Pat’ and that there were no new revelations about the Senate impeachment process. Cipollone, who was accompanied by White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland, was the only administration official who spoke at the lunch.” POLITICO
CNN: “Nancy Pelosi quietly gauges Democrats’ temperature over impeaching Trump,” by Manu Raju and Haley Byrd: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is having a steady stream of private conversations with her colleagues to get their input about whether they're ready to impeach President Donald Trump and what they think should be included in articles of impeachment, according to multiple Democrats familiar with the matter.”
HEADLINERS TODAY … PELOSI will hold her weekly news conference at 10:45 a.m., followed by House Minority Leader
KEVIN MCCARTHY at 11:30 a.m. …
PELOSI will sit down with
CNN’S JAKE TAPPER tonight for a town hall in D.C.
TRUMP’S NEW DEFENSE, via Twitter: “When I said, in my phone call to the President of Ukraine, ‘I would like you to do US a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.’ With the word ‘us’ I am referring to the United States, our Country. I then went on to say that......
“....‘I would like to have the Attorney General (of the United States) call you or your people.....’ This, based on what I have seen, is their big point - and it is no point at a all (except for a big win for me!). The Democrats should apologize to the American people!”>
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MUST READ … JOHN HARRIS: “Donald Trump, you're no Bill Clinton”: “Here is a subject — what Clinton was like during impeachment — I know well, from reporting at the time and extensive reconstructions with key players afterward. It is an arcane specialty that I had assumed was long since been filed away in the basement, exhumed occasionally over drinks and remember-that-one-time stories with aging sources and colleagues.
“In fact, people for the most part misremember that time. The mythology that Clinton was a disciplined compartmentalizer who kept public business rigorously insulated from his personal and legal problems, like many myths, has an element of truth. But it has an equal or greater element of fiction. Impeachment consumed a year of his public and private life, and by all evidence it is doing the same for Trump.” POLITICO
Good Thursday morning. NEWS JAKE -- AND CHUCK TODD! -- CAN USE … THE GW MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM capped off a 10-0 run with a putback at the buzzer to beat
KYLE CHENEY’S Boston University basketball team.