Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential bid Wednesday, saying the former vice president has the ability to win swing states President Trump won in 2016, CNN reports.
Ryan Lizza: “The degree to which the Democrats in Congress who are running the impeachment inquiry are disconnected from their colleagues running for president cannot be overstated. Impeachment and the presidential primary are like two planets slowly pulled together by gravity that are finally about to collide — nobody seems to know who will survive impact.”
“The House Intelligence Committee announced a new slate of hearings for the impeachment inquiry late Tuesday, scheduling eight witnesses for public appearances next week,” Politico reports.
“The hearings — scheduled for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — will feature current and former senior officials from across the National Security Council, the State Department and the Pentagon. All of the scheduled witnesses have already been deposed behind closed doors, and several provided explosive evidence that could be featured in articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.”
New York Times: “Both men have concluded in recent weeks that Mr. Biden, the former vice president, is not the imposing adversary they had expected him to be, interviews with aides and allies show. Both also believe there is room in the race for a more dynamic candidate who is closer to the political middle than Mr. Biden’s two most prominent challengers, Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.”
“Should Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Patrick enter the race, they would test that proposition in different ways: Mr. Bloomberg with a powerfully funded campaign that would take on President Trump directly and contest the biggest states on the primary map from the start; Mr. Patrick with an insurgent candidacy that would begin in next-door New Hampshire and run through South Carolina, where black voters are likely to decide the primary.”
Politico: “The center of the Democratic Party is throwing a fit.”
Just published: The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics by Sen. Michael Bennet.
“We had become the land of flickering lights, in which the standard of success was not what we were doing for the next generation of Americans, or to enhance our role in the world, but instead whether we had kept government open for another few minutes.”
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bennet, Michael (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 304 Pages - 06/04/2019 (Publication Date) - Atlantic Monthly Press (Publisher)
Rudy Giuliani, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
“Mr. Trump requested that Ukraine root out corruption; he didn’t demand it. His words were cordial, agreeable and free of any element of threat or coercion. Mr. Trump offered nothing in return to Ukraine for cleaning up corruption. If you doubt me, read the transcript. Allegations of Burisma-Biden corruption weren’t even a major part of the conversation. The focus was on Ukrainian corruption broadly speaking and out of a five-page transcript Mr. Trump spent only six lines on Joe Biden.”
“President Trump has been threatening for weeks to fire acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, but senior advisers have counseled him to hold off on such a drastic step amid a high-stakes impeachment probe, according to three people familiar with the discussions,” the Washington Post reports.
“Senior advisers have cautioned Trump that removing Mulvaney at such a sensitive time could be perilous, the people said — both because Mulvaney played an integral role in the decision to freeze the aid, and because of the disruption that would be caused by replacing one of Trump’s most senior aides.”
Top House Republican sources tell Axios that one impeachment survival strategy will be to try to distance President Trump from any Ukraine quid pro quo, with Rudy Giuliani potentially going under the bus.
Said one: “This is not an impeachment of Rudy Giuliani, it’s not an impeachment of Ambassador Sondland. It’s an impeachment of the president of the United States. So the point is as long as this is a step removed, he’s in good shape… If it’s a step removed from the president, he doesn’t lose any Republicans in the House.”
John Harris: “The conventional appraisal of Trump’s prospects—the House will likely convict, the Senate will likely acquit and Trump will claim vindication—might well be true. But this glosses over a larger point: On the current trajectory, Republicans are engaging in a battle with their own long-term costs that they will be paying for the next generation.”
“Based on Clinton’s precedent, those costs will be paid against Trump’s agenda—things he wants to do but won’t achieve because of the distorting effects of impeachment on his political options and room for maneuver.”
“They will be paid by his associates—people whose reputations and ambitions will be permanently dented because of their proximity to him. And they will be paid by conservatives who follow him—who will discover their own principles have lost credibility and power in the public mind because of their connection to Trump.”
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Trump will meet as relations between the two NATO allies are at their lowest point in decades, with Turkey rebuffing the U.S. and turning toward Russia on security issues and Ankara facing a Washington backlash over attacks on Kurdish civilians during its incursion into Syria last month,” the AP reports.
“Erdogan and Trump have a difficult agenda Wednesday that includes Turkey’s decision to buy a Russian air defense system and its attack on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Their scheduled afternoon news conference, however, will give Trump a stage to counter the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry.”
Playbook: “The House’s impeachment of President Trump is kind of like watching the newest season of “Jack Ryan” on Amazon Prime Video. Sure, the twists and turns are exciting. You know the dude is going to get chased, shot at or stabbed — and do it all in exotic locales. Every episode makes you sweat as Jack gets into one pickle or another. In the end, though, you also know the showrunners probably won’t kill him off.”
“Impeachment is kind of similar. Yes, the hearings these next two weeks are momentous and historic. They will highlight just how unusual this White House is: The president’s personal lawyer was running around the globe trying to get a foreign country to investigate a political rival, and the U.S. government was dangling meetings and money as enticements. We’ll hear from longtime foreign servants, a military official and White House insiders, all of whom have the same view of this administration’s behavior: improper, immoral and wrong-headed.”
“But, at the end of the day, we all have a pretty good idea how this movie is going to end: a nearly party-line vote, with most every Democrat voting to impeach the president, and nearly all Republicans voting against it. But in the middle — the next nine days — you’ll get nonstop, white-knuckle action.”
Axios: “Starting today, Democrats will do everything they can to put the most damaging testimony against President Trump in front of the public — while Republicans try to put as much distance as possible between Trump and the efforts to pressure Ukraine.”
“Jared Kushner and other senior Trump administration officials are planning to set up web cameras to live-stream construction of President Trump’s border wall, going against objections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials,” the Washington Post reports.
Said one senior official: “There will be a wall cam, and it’ll launch early next year.”
Washington Post: “One of the men, Lev Parnas, has described to associates that he and his business partner, Igor Fruman, told Trump at the dinner that they thought the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was unfriendly to the president and his interests.”
“According to Parnas, the president reacted strongly to the news: Trump immediately suggested that then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had been in the Foreign Service for 32 years and served under Democratic and Republican presidents, should be fired, people familiar with his account said.”
“For three years, Donald Trump has unapologetically defied the conventions of the American presidency. On Wednesday, he comes face to face with the limits of his power, confronting an impeachment process enshrined in the Constitution that will play out in public and help shape how the president will be viewed by voters next year and in the history books for generations,” the AP reports.
“Now a parade of career public servants will raise their hands and swear an oath to the truth, not the presidency, representing an integral part of the system of checks and balances envisioned by the Founding Fathers.”
Said historian Douglas Brinkley: “Trump can do away with the traditions and niceties of the office, but he can’t get away from the Constitution. During Watergate, many people feared that if a president collapsed, America is broken. But the lesson of Nixon is that the Constitution is durable and the country can handle it.”
“President Trump could soon intervene in at least one of several cases in which U.S. service members have been accused of war crimes, according to people involved in the process, despite concern among some Pentagon leaders that such action could damage military discipline and morale,” the Washington Post reports.
“Families and attorneys for the accused saw the Veterans Day weekend as a possible window for Trump to issue pardons or help in other ways. The president has not spoken publicly about the cases in recent days but has questioned whether the service members were treated fairly and believes he has support among his political base to act.”
“President Trump has been fulminating for weeks over the impeachment inquiry, which he sees as a persecution cooked up by Democrats and ‘Never Trumpers,'” the AP reports.
“In reality, a collection of witnesses that includes Still Trumpers, Once Trumpers and the apolitical civil service has put together a largely cohesive account of a president exerting pressure on a foreign power for political benefit at home.”
“I disagree with her ideologically, but I think Nancy Pelosi is a master at political warfare. I think, strategically, what she has done from their perspective is actually quite brilliant.”
— Steve Bannon, in an interview with CBS News.