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George Conway. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

MSNBC raised eyebrows just before Wednesday's impeachment hearing with a special guest commentator: conservative lawyer George Conway, the husband of counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway.

Why it matters: His association to the president has made him "a liberal sensation by emerging as an unlikely critic of the president," per the New York Times. But despite having previously written a Washington Post op-ed, Conway hadn't appeared on television before Wednesday's MSNBC cameo.

I’m horrified. I’m appalled. ... I don’t think I could have imagined a president, any president, engaging in this sort of conduct.
— Conway on whether he's disappointed other Republicans don't share his views on Trump

What he's saying: "I just don’t get why people can’t see this, and why people are refusing to see this. It’s appalling to me," Conway said of the alleged misconduct at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. "I don’t think I could have imagined a president, any president, engaging in this sort of conduct."

  • Conway praised Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, Conway after they testified, saying: "These men are talking about duty and honor and country and freedom. Those words mean nothing to Donald Trump. Because all Donald Trump cares about, again, is himself."

Of note: Brian Williams and Nicole Wallace, who hosted MSNBC's coverage of the events, did not ask Conway about his wife, Kellyanne Conway.

Go deeper: The impeachment surprise on Day 1

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

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