Dec 16, 2019

Democrats expect handful of defections on impeachment vote

The paperwork documenting the House Judiciary Committee member vote, Dec. 13. Photo: Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Most Democratic members and committee staffers who have spoken to Axios expect around four to six moderate Democrats will break ranks and vote against impeaching President Trump on Wednesday.

The big picture: According to conversations with multiple Democratic members this week, including those in vulnerable districts that voted for Trump, they don't expect a lot of Democrats to vote against the articles. But they do agree that there will likely be more defectors than there were on the vote launching a formal impeachment inquiry.

  • Republicans House members, however, appear to have united entirely behind the president. Leadership sources say they expect zero Republican defections.

Behind the scenes: Most centrist Democrats have publicly avoided committing to how they'll vote — expertly dodging reporters in the halls. Instead they said they plan to make their decision over the weekend after thoroughly reviewing the final articles.

  • One person who hasn't been shy is Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the New Jersey Democrat who is not only voting against impeaching Trump but has also told the president he's prepared to switch parties to become a Republican, according to two White House officials briefed on their conversation.
  • If you're looking for clues on which other Democrats might defect, a tempting place to start is with the House Democrats who attended Trump's holiday party last week while their colleagues were drafting articles of impeachment.

Go deeper: Inside the McConnell-Trump impeachment trial playbook

Go deeper

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Cisco, Sony postpone events amid continued protests

Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

Cisco said Monday night that it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event, amid the ongoing protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.

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Twitter suspends fake antifa account tied to white nationalists

Twitter said Monday that it has suspended an account named "ANTIFA_US" which it says was tied to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Over the weekend, the account had called for violence and its posts had widely circulated online.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of social media being used to exploit and sharpen the very real divisions in American society. It's also the latest example of Twitter more aggressively rooting out false information on its platform.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized federal police in a tweet Monday night for using munitions earlier in the day "on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of (DC Police Department) officers more difficult." "Shameful!" she added as she urged residents to go home and stay safe.